Back in the late 1900s and early 2000s, Scorched.com was a great site to hit up for the latest and greatest news, buzz, and advance information about the hottest upcoming games. Which, naturally, included later Origin Systems titles like Wing Commander Prophecy and Ultima 9. Chris “Mental4” Bailey maintained the Ultima 9 section, and with assistance from Bob White, Lord Pall, Sith Dragon, and Dan Rubenfield, he created a pretty cool archive of preview images for Ascension. Some of the images were taken from the March 1998 issue of Next Generation magazine, while others were provided by the various people mentioned previously.
These days, Scorched.com is no more, but you can view a glimpse of the Ultima 9 page thanks to the Wayback Machine. Some of the images archived there are lost to time, but those that could be saved are presented here, with captions matching those in place on the original page as of early 1998.
Some of the scenes here — many of them, in fact — never made it into the final game, or were cut during production. Jaana has been restored as an NPC that can be encountered in the game by the Forgotten World project, but some of the locations — e.g. Asylum — cannot be accessed in normal gameplay.
Anyhow, enjoy! Pull up the pictures, look them over, and take a bit of a stroll down memory lane. Most of the images here will be familiar to those who followed the marketing and advance buzz for the game, but there might be a surprise or two in the collection for some readers. The Ultima Codex would like to thank Bob White, Lord Pall, Sith Dragon, Dan Rubenfield, and of course Chris Bailey for their work in amassing this archive initially, and also Deckard for pointing out that the Wayback Machine had a good archive snapshot of the page from which at least some materials could be gleaned.