Courtesy of Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum, and to the hard work of both him and the team at the Wing Commander CIC, the Ultima Codex is pleased to present two high-resolution images of in-game artwork from Ultima 8.
If you’ve played Pagan before, you’ll recognize both scenes; one is the confrontation with Pyros, and the other is the Guardian’s hand holding the Avatar above the land, just prior to casting him down into the sea. What is impressive about both images is that they are not stills captured from within the game; they are screen captures from the original renderings of those sequences, and are as such at a much higher resolution than we got to see on our monitors back in the day. (As some of you may know, when artists create 3D characters and animated sequences, the original versions are made at an astonishingly high level of detail and resolution, with millions of polygons. Characters and sequences that appear in-game are compressed, condensed versions of these original creations.)
A pair of images of scenes from Ultima 8, taken from the original high-resolution 3D renderings thereof.
The images on display here are JPEGs, but the files hosted for download are larger TIFF files.
Given their resolution, these images would, among other things, serve admirably as desktop backgrounds. Once you click on them, a larger version of the JPEG image will appear in a lightbox formatted to fit your monitor resolution; right-clicking on the lightbox and selecting “View Image” (a feature not available in all browsers) from the context menu will take you to the image directly. In that same menu, the option to save the image should also be present.
At any rate, enjoy. These images offer an interesting glimpse into the development history of the penultimate entry in the Ultima series — the second image, in particular, was the basis for a (rare) Ultima 8 promotional poster. This is Ultima history at its finest, and the Ultima Codex is indebted to Joe Garrity, Electronic Arts, Mythic Entertainment/BioWare Mythic, BanditLOAF and the team at the Wing Commander CIC, and everyone who worked at Origin for it.