Ultima 7 Design Documents: Character Lists

Courtesy of former Origin programmer Bill Randolph, and thanks to the tireless efforts of Joe Garrity of the Origin Muesum, the Ultima Codex is pleased to present these documents — which have been broken out into twenty (20) images — which discuss the NPCs which were planned for inclusion in Ultima 7. What’s more, these documents pertain to a very early version of the game, which is different in several ways from what was finally shipped. Not all of the NPCs listed in these two documents, which are dated approximately a month apart, made the final cut and were included in the Ultima 7 we know.

Download the documents:

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These lists are just what they claim to be: lists of NPCs which were to appear in the game. Many of the names listed will be familiar from the shipped version of Ultima 7, although there are a few listed people that either didn’t make the final cut or which had their name changed at some point. The NPCs document follows a similar structure. Take note, in both lists, of notes indicating that particular NPC’s are based on real-life people; Tseramed, for example (who was originally to be called Kendem, it seems). The character form, meanwhile, is a one-page document which was evidently used to describe individual characters and some basic development-related details about them.

Now, the images here, in JPEG format, are lower-resolution extracts from PDF scans of the original documents. They are legible, but not of particularly high quality, and thus are not recommended for printing; download the PDF files for that purpose.

Most importantly, though: enjoy! Pull up the images, download the PDFs, and pore over them. Search out every little detail, and enjoy a fascinating glimpse into the nuts and bolts of how Origin crafted a truly ground-breaking RPG. The Ultima Codex is indebted to Joe Garrity for providing these documents, to Bill Randolph for releasing them and making them available for us to see, to John Watson, and to everyone who worked at Origin Systems.

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