Underworld Ascendant: Ultima Underworld Influences
The latest Stygian Sentinel update from OtherSide Entertainment goes into a bit of detail about some of the ways that the design of Underworld Ascendant is being influenced by the Ultima Underworld games:
In our last update, we mentioned that the Green Lizard Men will be found in the neutral zone of Marcaul, an area featured in our Vertical Slice. That’s a direct connection to one of our favorite moments in Ultima Underworld — a game that, a year and a half before Edge Magazine famously said, “lf only you could talk to these creatures…” about Doom, let you decipher the language of a race of creatures, talk to them, and make alliances with them.
As you can imagine, we find this sequence pretty inspiring and intend to feature the Lizard Men prominently in the Vertical Slice. (We’ll even drop the name “Ishtass” as a hint…)
Another one of our favorite moments in the series? In Ultima Underworld 2’s Prison Tower of Tarna level, the player could: 1) fight your way through several levels full of goblins or 2) talk your way through past all the guards, access the jail on the top floor, and release a captured troll, who would then proceed to wipe out every single goblin in the place. Both were fun ways of solving the same challenge and allowed a large gameplay choice on a quest level.
Oh, and of course there’s this reminder:
As far as other direct connections go, you’ve heard the game will feature Ultima Underworld characters Cabirus, who attempted to found a utopia in The Stygian Abyss, and Tyball, the “big bad” wizard… who is returning as a lich. One of the two? Has a very major role to play in Underworld Ascendant.
It would also appear that the internal codename for the game’s narrative system is — get this — Looking Glass 2.0. We should be getting more details about that in the future.