Ultima 8 Was Released 22 Years Ago, Today
Ultima 8: Pagan — the eighth numbered instalment in the Ultima series, and the ninth game in the main series overall — was released on March 15th, 1994.
I suppose, after over two decades, we’ve hit the point where there isn’t much that needs to be said. Ultima 8 was controversial at the time, not just because there was a huge flaming pentagram on the box art, but also because of the numerous changes it brought to the Ultima experience. Gone, for example, was the open world of its immediate predecessors, although its level-based world still offered a fairly high degree of interactivity. The game also introduced a new jumping mechanic, which was buggy at first and eventually had to be toned down quite substantially in a much-welcomed patch.
This is also the game that formally canonized the Avatar as a blond male, a design decision that made perfect sense at a technical level, but which was nevertheless not welcomed by many Ultima fans.
I don’t have any new content lined up to commemorate this anniversary of the game’s release, but there are a number of interesting Ultima 8-related materials already up on the Origin Gallery. For some interesting insights into the game’s development, meanwhile, I can do no better than direct you to this interview the Codex did with Mike McShaffry a couple of years ago.
Oh, and if you haven’t yet played the game, you can grab it for cheap via GOG.