Ultima: Everybody's Free (To Save Their Game)
Everybody's Free (To Save Their Game)

(Set to the theme of Baz Luhrmann's "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

Ladies and gentlemen of Virtue:

Save your game.

If I could offer you only one tip for Ultima: Ascension, saving would be it. The long-term benefits of saving your game have been proved by Ultima fans, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own senile mumblings.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your TNT2 card. Oh, never mind. You will not get to use the power and beauty of your TNT2 card until the third or fourth patch release. But trust me, in 20 years, OSI will be finished with U:A, and you'll look back at screenshots of the game and recall in a way you can't grasp now how badly the graphics were then... The Avatar is not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about 3DFX Glide. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to restore Virtue while robbing the townspeople blind. The real troubles in your game are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that locks up your system and forces you to reinstall Windows 98.

Explore one dungeon every day that scares you.


Don't be reckless with other people's dimensions. Don't put up with megalomanical beings who are reckless with yours.

Don't Walk. Run....

Don't waste your time on side-quests. Sometimes you're winning a battle, sometimes you're running for your life. The quest is long and, in the end, it's only to ensure the survival of Britannia and Earth.

Remember karma you receive. Forget the Guardian. If you succeed in doing this, the game is over.

Keep your old weapons and armour. Throw away your old clothes... you're not going home anyway...

Don't Run. Run like Hell...

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you're supposed to do next. The most interesting Avatars I know didn't know during their quests what they had to do, until they checked rec.games.computer.ultima.dragons. Some of the most interesting Dragons I know still don't.

Get plenty of reagents. Be kind to your liege. You'll miss him when he's gone.

Maybe you'll win, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have to reload, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll restore the Shrine of Honor, maybe you'll recover the glyph of Spirituality. Whatever you do, don't get too excited, or get mad at yourself either. Your quests are linear. So is the plot.

Enjoy your Moongates. Use them every way you can. Don't be afraid of them or of what other people think of them. They're the fastest transport around town that you'll ever own.

Install, even if you have no more space on your hard drive.

Read the manual, even if you were cheap and didn't order the Dragon Edition.

Do not listen to the Guardian. He will only make you lose an eighth.

Get to know your Companions. You never know when they'll become a giant serpent in the Ethereal Void. Be nice to Lord British. He's your best link to your past and the person most likely to stick with you with a nearly impossible task.

Understand that friends won't travel with you, because the OSI team decided the party system was something they didn't need to hold on to. Work hard to learn the geography and lifestyle of Britannia, because this time around, its not the place you knew.

Live in Jhelom once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Moonglow once, but leave before it makes you soft. Use a boat.

Accept Truth, Love, and Courage: The will to struggle for beliefs and for others, the empathic bond that unites the self to all others, the objective reality that which is not false. And when you do, you'll understand the sum of the Principles is Infinity.

Disrespect your enemies.

Don't expect anyone else to quest with you. Maybe you have a two-handed sword. Maybe you'll have a set of magical armour. But you never know when the game might lock up and make them disappear.

Don't expect to look the way you do in Britannia. The Avatar is 40, but looks 85.

Be careful taking advise from someone in a wyrmguard outfit, but be patient with someone bearing a message from Lord British. Advice is like something else everyone has. Dispensing it is setting up a fishing macro in UO, walking away from your computer, returning to find your character jailed for unattended macroing.

But trust me on saving your game.

Houston Dragon

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