Ultima 7 Design Documents: Cluepath

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 this document, which is a flowchart describing the “cluepath” of Ultima 7. It is, in essence, a list of locations that the Avatar must visit, in order, to move through the game’s plot.

Download the documents:

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Of particular interest, I think, are a pair of curious locations mentioned along the path toward the endgame. One such place, Odessalation, is visited between visits to Minoc, and Origin had evidently planned to make a sea serpent somehow significant to reaching and leaving the place. Immediately following the second visit to Minoc in the sequence, the plot would have taken the character to a new dungeon, one which presumably had not previously been seen in Britannia.

Little hints, in other words, of pieces of the game’s plot that were later discarded.

Now, the image here, in JPEG format, is a lower-resolution extract from a PDF scan of the original document. It is legible, but not of particularly high quality, and thus is not recommended for printing; download the PDF files for that purpose.

Most importantly, though: enjoy! Pull up the image, 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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