Courtesy of Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum, and thanks to the hard work of both him and the team at the Wing Commander CIC, the Ultima Codex is pleased to present ten (10) scanned pages of character and creature concept art from the original plot of Ultima 9. A lot of the characters appearing here will be familiar to long-time Ultima fans, but there is at least one new face to tantalize the imagination and foster speculation.
These drawings are principally the work of Denis Loubet, who should be known to most Ultima fans for the copious amount of artwork he produced for many different titles in the series. Scott Jones, who also designed the Ultima 9 game box, did the sketch of the dragon and the sketch of the ghosts.
Download the original sketches:
Sketches of characters from early on in the development of Ultima 9, by Denis Loubet and Scott Jones.
Since these sketches were for the original plot of the game, many of them became functionally obsolete once the Bob White Plot was abandoned. One interesting tidbit of history, however, is the appearance, on some of the sketches, of the letters “LBR” — this may be a reference to the Ultima Online expansion Lord Blackthorn’s Revenge, and an indication that some of these works were later re-used as character concept art for that title. Joe Garrity points out that the letters “LBR”, when they appear, were obviously written by a different hand than the original writing on the drawings. Terilem Dragon, meanwhile, offers a different theory in the comments: the initials are actually likely just “LB” followed by a checkmark, indicating that Richard “Lord British” Garriott had seen and approved of the sketches.
Now, a few disclaimers.
These images are JPEG copies of the originals; the originals, available for download below the gallery, are in the TIFF format.
Also, the images are quite large as resolution goes, though not overly large in terms of file size. Still, they may take a while to load when you click on them. Once you click on them, they 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) will take you to the full-resolution image.
Finally, enjoy. Pull up the images. Pore over them. Print them and mark them up. Pick apart every little detail you can, and see what you find. This is Ultima history at its finest, and Aiera is indebted to Joe Garrity, Electronic Arts, Mythic Entertainment, BanditLOAF and the team at the Wing Commander CIC, Bob White, Denis Loubet, Scott Jones, and everyone who worked at Origin for it.