New Gallery: Guardian’s Hollow (An Early Ultima Forever Dungeon)
After the shutdown of Ultima Forever’s online services was announced, I took one last stab at extracting the game’s data files — which are encapsulated using Mythic’s proprietary MYP archive format — using EasyMYP. There was nothing to be gained from the MYP files in the iOS version of the game; these use a newer version of the encoding that EasyMYP can’t process. However, one of the MYP files for PC alpha version of the game could be opened using the tool…and inside it, I found these images.
What’s notable about this dungeon is that it’s a holdover, a relic from the earlier days of Ultima Forever’s development. There is no Guardian’s Hollow dungeon that appears in the game; indeed, there are no overt references to the Guardian at all.
The dungeon would really have been, by all appearances, a homage to other Ultimas in more than one respect: there would evidently have been a lot of serpentine art and decoration for players to take note of as they progressed through its depths. Some of the serpent art very explicitly evokes Serpent Isle.
The character art visible in the above image is what gives the age of this set away; the more cartoonish, oddly-proportioned characters date back to…well, early 2011 or 2010, I suppose. By the time that a few of us got a first look at the game in mid-2011, the appearance of the characters — and the art of the game in general — had been iterated upon.
Anyhow, you can check out the entire gallery here.