Ultima 9: The Source Code


As we continue to mark the occasion of Ultima 9’s fifteenth anniversary, I’m pleased to announced that the seemingly dormant Ultima Source Code Offline Archival Project (USCOAP) has finally borne some fruit: the Ultima Codex has added the source code for Ultima 9 to its offline archive.

Hopefully this news will come as a happy thing, and hopefully it won’t be too much of a source of frustration for fans that we cannot publicly release the code at this time (any will probably never be able to). But equally, nothing stops anyone from pointing out to EA that we now have available some of the “raw materials” (I’m totally stealing that phrase, by the way) from which a console release of Ultima 9 could potentially be constructed. Or a mobile port, perhaps; we could use a good mobile RPG — and another Ultima — on mobile, I think.

13 Responses

  1. Frank says:

    there’s a typo “( any will probably never be able to )” and I hate this exclusivity.. if we don’t have access to it and only a few do, I don’t see what reason we have to rejoice.

  2. UltimaFan says:

    Is this the sourcecode for the isometric version of Ultima IX?

  3. Eric says:

    I thought RG stopped programming on the Ultima games after U5?

    • WtF Dragon WtF Dragon says:

      He took a hiatus, clearly. But for U9, he dived back in.

      • Sergorn says:

        As I recall, Garriott ended up doing some programming on Ultima IX for E3 1998 because the demo was behind Schedule and taking more time than expected, so he just dived back into it. I am unsure if he did more programming beyond that demo though.

  4. HiPhish says:

    I wonder if it would be possible that someone with access to the source code would document how it works and then people could work based on that documentation. I am in the process of doing a similar thing with the Wolfenstein 3D source, so future ports could be written without looking at the original source (if you’ve seen the original source you’ll know why that’s a good thing). You can find my work on GitHub:

    It has been a while since the last commit, but the project is not dead, just dormant for a while. I have used this documentation to write an asset extractor from scratch. This is all 100% my code without looking at the original implementation (after writing the documentation of course):

    My goal is to use the documentation to write a plugin for the Doomsday Engine (source port for various Doom engine games) to play Wolfenstein 3D in it. Originally I wanted to do Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior, but those two were too big to chew on for now.

    The cool thing about Doomsday is that it’s not strictly bound to Doom, it’s a generic engine that uses different plugins for different games. Imagine if we had the documentation to write plugins for Ultima Underworld or System Shock, with mouse look and modern interfaces.

  5. Sanctimonia Sanctimonia says:

    Maybe I’m missing something, but it’s legally and morally permissible to pass around the source code amongst a small circle of people, but otherwise to dump it to pastebin? There’s what’s right, what raises eyebrows, and what brings a shitstorm, so where does this fit in?

  6. grav por says:

    If you’re looking for the source code to other Ultimas…
    Apparently, the Ultima 8 source code still exists:

    (the link in the first post is dead, though)