The Collectible ULTIMA


"It is rumoured that when the Gem was shattered, thousands of splintered fragments scattered across the universe. Within each facet purportedly lies the very image of Sosaria, just as it was captured during Mondain's ritual. No mortal has yet found the means to find or reassemble these fragments... Perhaps one day, another Stranger will arrive - one similar to yourself - who has the wherewithal to answer such questions."

-- from The Ballad of the Shattered Stone

By now, nearly everyone knows about Ultima Online. Even people who don't know about computer games know about Ultima Online. This Internet-based, multiperson role-playing game is by far the largest and most complex of its kind ever created. It even has its own newsgroup on Usenet. The game was officially released in September of 1997, after nearly three months of public beta involving tens of thousands of testers. Some of the more cynical players say it's still in beta. Others say it's better than a warm plate of Silverleaf and a cold mug of Frasier's Folly. Now, you can be the judge. There are a few other items on this site of relevance to Ultima Online: a beta test kit, a couple pieces of apparel, and a reserved spot for any future collectibles that may appear.

Ultima Online Ultima Online
  • Platform: PC.
  • Publisher: Origin Systems, Inc., © 1997.
  • Characteristics: UPC 14633-10136. CD (1).
  • Included: Ultima Online cloth map; pewter UO pin; Reference card; ???.
  • Original List Price: $64.95 (plus $9.95/month)
Ultima Online had several other names considered for it. Ultima: Shattered Legacy seemed to be the working title during the product's public "pre-alpha" test in April 1996. Originally, though, Richard Garriott's personal favorite was "Multima". (*shudder*) Anyway, one thing not included with the game is an in-depth instruction guide. For that you need to visit the official Ultima Online web site, or buy Origin's official guide to the game.

Ultima Online
Charter Edition
  • Characteristics: Same as above.
  • Included: Same as above, plus a Hildebrandt print.
  • Original List Price: $99.95
The "Charter Edition" was available from Origin by preorder, and also in limited quantities after the regular edition shipped. In fact, it may still be available now, as the only differences are a larger box, the inclusion of the above-mentioned artwork, autographed by the Hildebrandt brothers, and the autograph of Lord British (Richard Garriott) on the box.

UO Game Time Ultima Online Game Time

Not a separate title, this is a way to buy extra time in Ultima Online. Basically, purchasing UO Game Time gives three months of online access to Ultima Online, in advance, for $29.85. How this is different from simply subscribing for three months and paying the exact same $29.85 in three installments escapes me. Frankly I can't see why anyone would want to purchase this "product", except that it is the only way Origin will allow someone to play UO without a credit card. I'm not even sure if unused time is refundable should you choose to quit UO.

Ultima Offline eXperiment The Ultima Offline eXperiment

This is not a commercial product - rather a private effort to produce a "proxy" server capable of letting Ultima Online owners play on their own "shards", without connecting to Origin's UO servers. Players can use the server to play UO either standalone or together with (a few) others. Plus you can pop around the UO world map and see all those places you've always meant to see. It's an intersting project, now well into its third incarnation. Visit the UOX3 home page for more details.

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