Ultima VII: The Black Gate turns 20

It might be hard to believe for those old enough to remember it, but it was 20 years ago today that Ultima VII: The Black Gate was released. Considered a defining moment in the history of RPGs, the folks over at the Ultima Codex have put together a phenomenal retrospective of the title.

The retrospective includes some interesting documents from the game's designers, including everything from notes scribbled on scraps to concept art, as well as the Japanese manual for the SNES port, which includes some 'interesting' artwork.

Ultima VII is widely considered to be the definitive installment of the seminal RPG series, being the last title released by Lord British's (AKA Richard Garriot) studio, Origin, before it was taken over by EA. Modern day EA haters will no doubt be amused by the jabs at the company present in the game.

The classic was recently re-released on GOG, where you can snatch it up for a paltry $5.99. If you haven't had the opportunity, you really should give it a shot, both because it's a great game that has aged well, and because you'll be discovering the roots of the modern open-world RPG.

And if you have had a chance to experience the game (and even if you haven't), you really ought to check out the Ultima Codex's retrospective. It's pretty awesome. You can also check out our own Retro Wednesday retrospective of the original (and much less impressive) Ultima I.

Image via MobyGames

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2 Comments

This version had like three expansions, if I read GoG's site correctly. Been a very long time since I played it, back when it came out.

ir0nw0lf said,
This version had like three expansions, if I read GoG's site correctly.

Sort of, two separate games with one expansion each; Black Gate and Forge of Virtue, then part two was Serpent Isle and Silver Seed. Great game for its day; shoot graphics/audio aside it's still got more complexity, depth and overall fun factor than most modern RPG's.

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