Ultima 7 Design Documents: The AGIL Usecode Language

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-five (25) images — which describe AGIL (A Goofy Interpreted Language), the usecode language of Ultima 7.

Download the documents:

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The routine and function declaration document, like the conversation functions document, makes mention of the language or script that the game’s various functions were to be implemented in, which was called AGIL. This was evidently a designation internal to Origin Systems. Regardless, the document contains lists of functions to be called in the game, with notes about the inputs and outputs of each. It too might have been authored by John Watson, but there’s no actual mention of him (or any writer) in the document itself. The AGIL usecode language document, by one Zachary Simpson, is a more recent discovery, and describes the language in some detail. The document goes into some detail on functions and operators of the language, and ends with reference tables for these and more.

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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