Ultima IX nitpicks on Earth

“What journey?”

Here you’ll find inaccuracies in the introduction on Earth in Ultima IX - Where the word “artistic licence” takes a whole new meaning. They made this entire tutorial for only reason: To get total beginners used with the interface of the game. Pretty pathetic. But that’s not even an acceptable excuse. In the original plot of Ultima IX, this tutorial was meant to take place at Stonegate in Britannia. There was no need to throw away the ending of Ultima VIII.

Ignorance of predecessors

  • This inaccuracy has been corrected in the dialogue patch: The entire introduction on Earth is a farce. At the end of Ultima VIII, to be precise, the Avatar stood in front of a huge Guardian head, which looked exactly like the one in the Ultima IX intro - the Avatar had without a doubt returned to Britannia and immediately found himself on Terfin. The original plot of Ultima IX would as well have started with the sequence in which the Wyrmguard attacks the Avatar.

    Now what happens at the beginning of Ascension? Yes, the Avatar is peacefully sleeping in his house on Earth! Need I say more? Some call it “artistic license”, I say it’s real crap.

    Richard Garriott once said about the intro on Earth and the end of Ultima VIII:

    “The ending of Ultima VIII still happened, but what you didn’t see was that the Avatar spent some time on Earth before returning to Britannia.”

    Well, that’s a cheap way to avoid plot holes. The interpretation of the Ultima VIII ending, Avatar returning to Britannia, was originally not intended by Origin. See article about the original Ultima IX.

    (by Hacki Dragon)

    Claiming that this inaccuracy was corrected would be too much, but at least the patch tells us that the Guardian “redirected” the Avatar to Earth.

  • This inaccuracy has been corrected in the dialogue patch: The gypsy says you’ve made this trip 8 times before... Not exactly right! All in all, the Avatar travelled to Britannia or Sosaria 7 times, i.e. in:
    • Ultima I
    • Ultima III
    • Ultima IV
    • Ultima V
    • Ultima VI
    • Ultima VII
    • Ultima Underworld I
    Ultima II took place on Earth, Ultima VII Part 2 on Serpent Isle, Ultima VIII on Pagan, and in Underworld II, the Avatar had already been in Britannia since Ultima VII...
    (by Hacki Dragon)

    The gypsy just says “several times” in the patch.

  • This inaccuracy has been corrected in the dialogue patch: At the end of Ultima VIII, the Avatar became the mighty Titan of Ether. And now? Now he is yet again an ordinary useless wimp, who doesn’t even know the most basic spells.

    I know that an Avatar with ueberpowers would have caused a number of design problems in Ultima IX. However, the designers had more than enough ways to avoid them without completely disregarding Ultima VIII.

    For example, you could have put it this way: The Avatar’s transformation into the Titan of Ether isn’t finished yet and won’t come to its conclusion until the “Ascension” at the end of Ultima IX. Note that the four other Titans were formed of their own element, while the Avatar still moves around in his earthly body. Too bad the developers didn’t waste a single dialogue on it.

    Richard Garriott himself once said the Avatar loses his titanic powers in the intro of Ultima IX, when the dragon fries him... Yeah, that’s the best explanation.

    (by Hacki Dragon)

    The patch explains it this way: The Avatar possesses those powers, but he has yet to learn controlling them properly.

  • Quite a bad plot hole: When the Avatar walks through the moongate, he forgets to take his Orb of the Moons with him. (See theory.)
    (by Tribun Dragon)

Back to top of page

Technical shortcomings

  • This inaccuracy has been corrected in the dialogue patch: Wanna have something really messed up? When the gypsy speaks the mantras, she says “Bah”, which means nothing, instead of “Cah”, the mantra of Sacrifice.
    (by Paulon Dragon)

    Simply corrected in the patch!

  • I really didn’t know that such exotic pets dwell in the lovely surroundings of Austin... Any zoologist would die to study those Giant Spiders!
    And please don’t tell me that using up more computer memory for yet another animal race would not have paid - It was good enough for a cameo appearance of the Avatar’s dog, after all. (Wait a moment... Who in the world’s gonna care for the poor one now?)
    (by Hacki Dragon)
  • After you turn on the light switch in your house, the light turns on. What’s so disturbing about this? Well, the light switch you used turns on the lamp!
    It’s a bit odd that the Avatar needs a light switch at the wall to turn on the lamp, since a lamp already has its own switch...
    (by Darlon)
  • You want an extraordinary nitpick? Here we go:
    The stop sign at the driveway of the Avatar’s house is complete nonsense. In America too, exits of parking lots automatically don’t take precedence in traffic regulation. Hence, the sign is useless...
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • The park at the Avatar’s house appears to be public with all the lanterns and signs, but you can only get there by walking through the Avatar’s estate.
    (Granted, the worldbuilders had to put borders around this small map, but, whatever.)
    (by Tribun Dragon)
  • The lazy developers have used the same sky for Earth and Britannia. Two moons appear at night, and the sun rises in the wrong direction. But who knows, perhaps that’s normal in Texas?
    (by Tribun Dragon)

Back to top of page

General problems

  • This inaccuracy has been corrected in the dialogue patch: At the beginning, you hear Hawkwind’s exaggerated voice telling you that the Guardian has invaded Britannia. Bleh, the Guardian has already invaded Britannia 20 years ago! It’s nothing to worry about!
    (by Hacki Dragon)

    In the patch, Shamino does not present it as news that the Guardian is in Britannia.

  • This inaccuracy has been corrected in the dialogue patch: Who opens the moongate? Hawkwind? Why did he wait for 20 years to do so then? Or was it the Guardian? Why then did he wait for 20 years to get rid of the Avatar that way? And as if this wasn’t enough already, he sends the Gazer through the gate at the very wrong moment, when the Avatar is armed, warmed up, trained, and warned.
    (by Hacki Dragon)

    In the patch, Shamino opens the moongate.

  • Does the Avatar not have any friends or relatives on Earth to whom he wants to say goodbye?

    Well, perhaps he really has no friends. Think about it: All he does is walking alone in the fields (Ultima IV), watching TV (Ultima VI), and playing with his computer (Ultima VII). Ever heard of an uncooler guy? On the other hand, it’s understandable he doesn’t like going to parties, since he doesn’t want to take the risk of a moongate suddenly opening on the dance floor...

    (by Mimu)
  • Right at the beginning of the game, you are told that Lord British has called you to your last adventure. That’s nonsense of course, because it’s Hawkwind who calls the Avatar.
    If the Avatar relied on Lord British informing him, then he would still be lying in his bed or be playing Ultima Online on his computer now.
    (by Tribun Dragon)

Back to top of page

You discovered a nitpick not yet listed on this site? Send it to me! You are also welcome to use the message board for discussions about nitpicks.

Back to top of page

Name des Betreibers: Christian Hackl
Wohnort: Kapfenberg

Deutsche Version | Sitemap