It happened at a Friday night. Suddenly my handy phone rang. The phone said, "Hello, this is Peacock Dragon." Peacock Dragon, a famous Japanese Ultima fan, said "Can you go to Tokyo at Aug. 16 ? An Electronic Arts person told me Richard Garriott will come to Japan, and a fan party will be set at this time." Before the message came to my eardrum, I replied "Of, course!"
A few days later, an E-mail from Electronic Arts Square came to me. It says "Please send me mail to reply whether you will go to the party or not." And I replied "I want to go to the party!"
2-3 days later, I received invitation card. It says,
InvitationLord British Cordially Invites YouForUltima Online Fan PartyDate: August 16th, 1999Time: 19:30 (Gate Opening)@20:00-21:30Place: Dr. Jeekahn's 4F (Hydrotte)Come with Casual Cloth.Fantasy Costume OKSponsor: Electronic Arts Square Co., Ltd.Cooperate: Origin Systems Inc.
Lord British came to Dr. Jeekahn's
At that evening, I and two Ultima fans entered the gate of Dr. Jeekahn's building(at Shibuya town). In the gate several people had been already. Most of them are Ultima Ring Japan members, and 6 Japanese UDIC members(including me) had gathered. It had never occured that more Dragon had gathered before that time.
The time of open-gate came. We went up to 4F with elevator. And we signed our name on a scrol and was brought a "nameplate":/ultima/img/nameplate_jpg . Then I sat a seat. There were 4 other people with my table, three are Dragon :-) One of them, An Wis Dragon showed us "Ultimate Adventures" Japanese Edition. That's interesting. The front page is different from original version, and there is no advertisement of T-shirt, and back of this book is whitepage(no advertisement of another magazine).
Then an M.C. introduced the career of Lord British. She said,
He is known as famous adventurer, such as investigating Titanic, and flying the stratosphere with a MiG figher ;
In 1994, he has been the only person that have artifact in outside of the Earth, by buying Soviet moonprobe on the Moon.
Then she announced arrival of Lord British. At the same time, background music changed into "Rule Britannia" And she said, "Stand up please, ladies and gentlemen."
Lord British, in his black costume, came in the room, from the entrance. We all clapped, and he walk through in front of me. And he sat on a chair near the screen. Lord British answered our question
Then he introduced Ultima Online the Second Age. After introduction, he visited each table and handed us letters of thank(autographed by Lord British!) , and shook our hands. The letter says,
To: KtJ Dragon
I, Lord British, honor thy achievements as a friend of Britannia and hereby declare thee to be the special citizen of Britannia.
May virtures lead the long road ahead of thee.August 16th, 1999Lord BritishKing of Britannia
Then we asked him some questions. Such as...
Questions about Ascension
- How are BGM of Ascension?
All BGMs were recorded in THX studio in the building of Origin. They are played by an orchestra.
- What is the next Ultima from Ascension?
Ascension is the last game that isn't played online. Origin will change into online game developer.
- For we Japanese, Listening of English is too hard
Ascension can display text. And Japanese edition of Ascension can display Japanese text.
- When Ascension will ship?
If you want uncompleted version, I ship now :-) Well, U.S. edition will ship in this year. Europian and Japanese editions will delay a little.
- What is the trinket of the Ascension?
U.S. version has a set of 8 tarrot cards, seen in creation section in Ultima IV, that shows 8 virtue symbols. But cost problem can change it in Japanese and Europian edition.
Questions about another Ultimas
- What the word "Hythloth" came from?
It's unknown, unclear word. The opposite meaning of Humility. (note: I think translator may mistake. He may say "What the meaning of Hythloth?" And LB's answer may mean "Hythloth is meaningless word, such as another dungeons.")
- What Ultima do you like best?
I like Ultima IV and Ultima VII. Because Ultima IV has spiritualty, and Ultima VII has detailed virtual world.
Questions about Lord British
- How do you buy your costumes?
I have my own costume designer in Texas. I make new costume biyearly.
And then he introduced Ultima Ascension, and went out from the room. The party had finished.
When we went out the room, each of us was given a paper bag. Inside the bag, wow...., IT'S A T-SHIRTS AUTOGRAPHED BY LORD BRITISH! The autograph, contains a symbol of silver serpent.
Tetsuo Kanai spoke about Ultima and Lord British
After the party, we talked to Tetsuo Kanai, the primary translator of former Ultima games, and he is a friend of Richard Garriott. He said,
Robert Garriott, elder brother of Richard, retired from Origin. And he and his wife traveled through the world for several years, then he started his next career in Digital Anvil company.
Most of Origin people looked much more carefree, than we Japanese. But people of Ultima section didn't. The section, was at tension. I felt the tension make the room temprature down. All people in the section were very smart, especially a person who made Gargoyle language.
Richard is nice, kind guy. But he loves aweful things, for instance Devils and skulls. And his car number is 666.
Richard's former girlfriend, Judy quarreled with Richard when he developed Ultima VI. So her alter ego,appeared in Ultima VI, became a person of irritable.
(note : I think Judy is Julia in Britannia.)