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 over 180 scanned images from a guidebook issued to prospective Ultima Online Game Managers (GMs), and to members of the now-defunct Counselor programme for the game as well . The Counselor programme was a volunteer effort that Origin Systems fostered in order to “enhance the overall enjoyment of the community for themselves and other members.” The programme was disbanded in 2000, a move which resulted in a class action lawsuit being filed against Origin and EA.
The images offer an interesting glimpse into the administrative workings of Ultima Online, and into the responsibilities which were placed on the people Origin hired and/or brought on board to serve as guides to the UO community. I have rendered them into a single PDF as well, although the resultant file is quite large (since it is composed of images rather than text).
Now, a few disclaimers.
These images are JPEG copies of the originals; they have been cropped and adjusted from their original sizes. Regrettably, some of the source images were partially corrupted, so there may be some errors in these edited versions.
Also, the images are quite large, both in terms of resolution and of file size. As such, they may take a while to load once clicked on. 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. Pick them apart and find every little detail, if you feel so inspired. This is Ultima history at its finest, and an interesting glimpse into what it meant to be an Origin employee affiliated with Ultima Online, and the Ultima Codex is indebted to Joe Garrity, Electronic Arts, Mythic Entertainment, BanditLOAF and the team at the Wing Commander CIC, and everyone who worked at Origin for it.