The Collectible ULTIMA


The Ultima series has always had good music; it's part of why the games have been so popular. A good soundtrack can really heighten the sense of illusion being created by the game. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to listen to that music on its own, separately from the games? If you're fortunate enough to find one of Origin's soundtracks, you can. Comments in Black Gate and Serpent Isle notwithstanding, Origin and Electronic Arts have released three soundtrack CDs in the 1990s. Each of these included music from various Origin games, including some Ultimas.

There are also some excellent fan reproductions of the game music. You can find MIDI files for practically every piece of music that has ever appeared in an Ultima at the Bard's Library web site.

Origin Soundtrack Series,
Volume 1
  • Publisher: Electronic Arts UK (?)
  • Characteristics: Music CD. Includes tracks from Ultima VI, Savage Empire, and Martian Dreams.
  • Original List Price: ?
  • Availability: None.
I've heard various tales about this product. One story has it that it was put out in the UK; another is that it was put out privately by someone inside Origin, either as a joke or just a present to some of the staffers. Either way, it was never sold commercially in the US. This was probably what prompted Origin to put a gag in the end of the Black Gate credits, saying "Soundtrack available from Origin!". Unfortunately for them, the gag backfired, and they had so many requests from people thinking it was a real product that in the next game, Serpent Isle, they had to put in a retraction: "Soundtrack NOT available - so DON'T ASK!" Guess it just goes to show, be careful what you ask for! Fortunately for the fans, the interest was enough to spur Origin to put out a REAL soundtrack of those games, which is listed below.

Origin Soundtrack Vol. 2 Origin Soundtrack Series,
Volume 2
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1992 - 1993.
  • Characteristics: Music CD. 19 tracks, running time 49:48. Includes Roland MT-32 music from Black Gate, Serpent Isle, and Strike Commander.
  • Original List Price: $9.95
  • Availability: Electronic Arts.
Presumably this product was spurred by the same flood of messages that caused Origin to put their retraction in the Serpent Isle credits, as mentioned above. This product can still be bought from Electronic Arts.

Origin Soundtrack Vol. 3 Origin Soundtrack Series,
Volume 3
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1994.
  • Characteristics: Music CD. 16 tracks, running time 59:16. Includes General MIDI music from Pagan, Wing 3, Privateer, Bioforge and several others.
  • Original List Price: See below.
  • Availability: Electronic Arts.
This item was not sold individually, but was part of the promotional package included with the Wing Commander 3 Deluxe Edition, which can still be bought from Electronic Arts. It has music from Wing Commander 3, Pagan, and a bunch of other games. It even has some bonus tracks of music that wasn't included in any released games.

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