DescriptionWorlds of Ultima: The Savage Empire
is a spin-off of Ultima
games, taking the series' protagonist, the Avatar, into strange and mysterious places outside the scope of a conventional dungeon-based RPG. In this game, the hero visits Eodon, an Amazonian world dominated by dinosaurs. Many characters populate this world, including stone-age tribes, mad scientists, and lizardmen. But not all the inhabitants of Eodon are peaceful - get ready to fight for survival as gorillas, pterodanodons and tigers encroach.
The game is made with the Ultima VI
engine, and is very similar to that game visually and gameplay-wise. Like Ultima VI
, the game is set in a seamless graphical world, and offers many objects to interact with and combine, party management, and turn-based combat. Compared to Ultima VI
, some gameplay features have been simplified. There are less spells, less emphasis on character development, and conversations with NPCs are more limited.
- "Ultima: Kyouryuu Teikoku" -- Japanese title
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This was the game that started the "Thank you for Playing" tradition at Origin. Part of that came from Texas culture - it just seemed right to thank people for playing the game - but the actual moment of genesis has a story behind it.
If you remember the bad old world of DOS programming, you know that the OS was more or less incapable of stopping you from doing hokey things - or even bloody murder - at the machine level. Development environments of the day would try to help out. In particular, the environment used to program this game put a guard block at address zero in memory, so bad writes to null pointers would not damage anything and could be detected when the program exited.
At one point in the development of the game, there was a bug that was causing just such a write. When a couple of weeks of work failed to find the bug, and one night while a little punchy from lost sleep, Steve was inspired to hack the error message. Instead of saying "Null pointer write detected" as you exited the game, it would say "Thank you for playing."
Eventually the bug was actually found and fixed, but everybody decided that the message was so appropriate it should be there, so they added the message as normal code when the game exited. But whenever I see a "Thank you for playing " message, I remember that late-night half-mad hack, and grin.