Earth

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250px-The Earth seen from Apollo 17.jpg

Earth in the Ultima series is similar to its real world counterpart. In the series, it is the native land of a number of noteworthy personalities in Britannia, including Lord British, the Avatar, Iolo FitzOwen and Sir Dupre.

It is also home to Dr. Eliott Rafkin and Dr. Johann Spector, both close friends of the Avatar who are uninvolved with Britannia.

Different Earths[edit]

The Avatar's homeworld[edit]

In the Ultima series, Earth's history is presumed to be near identical to that of the real Earth.

The Earth in Martian Dreams[edit]

Earth's surface: mountains of Colorado

The 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago was home to a demonstration by Percival Lowell, a noted astronomer of the age who theorized the existence of canals on the surface of Mars. The exhibition unveiled Lowell's space cannon, with which the visionary scientist hoped to send a manned train-sized capsule to the red planet, using the explosive powers of phlogistonite as a means of propulsion. Due to sabotage by the Russian monk, Grigori Rasputin (who was acting under the influence of the Martian Raxachk), the space cannon launched prematurely. A number of artists, writers, scientists and other luminaries of the era who had been viewing the space capsule were launched to Mars in the process.

Two years later, in 1895, Nikola Tesla launched a rescue mission to the red planet. The Avatar and Dr. Spector joined his crew, after using the Orb of the Moons to open a time gate between Tesla's secret laboratory on the Avatar's homeworld and this alternate world and age.

The rescue operation eventually proved successful, and the humans from both the 1893 and 1895 launches returned to Earth, along with a group of Martians, disguised in humanoid bodies, who were intent on immigrating to Earth after the effectual ruination of their home world.

A public celebration followed the return of the explorers, implying that in Ultima's chronology there was known space travel as early as 1895, although it is unclear as to how much of their journey the returning heroes shared. The reality of Martians among Earth's populace was kept a sworn secret between those who knew of it, fearing prejudice against the extra-planar visitors if they were revealed.

Eodon, the time-space anomaly in Savage Empire[edit]

Earth as seen from orbit

At some point during prehistory, a meteor composed of the same substance as the moonstones and the Orb of the Moons (possibly blackrock) collided with Earth, creating a valley upon impact which was mystically out of phase with the rest of the reality, rendering it inaccessible to the rest of Earth's populace save through magical means.[1]

In Eodon, an advanced reptilian civilization called the Kotl arose. They managed to harness the energies of the moonstone meteor such as that they were able to develop and sustain a high level of technology, including intricate machinery and intelligent automata. Desirous of a slave class to support their society, the Kotl kidnapped numerous human beings from a variety of ethnic groups in the outside world and brought them to the valley to be their servitors. Due to this intervention, Eodon came to host a unique commingling of species, with humanity sharing its habitat with a mix of fauna from the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

Eventually, the Kotl fell into decline after the moonstone responsible for their rise to power was seized by the Myrmidex, an insectoid race developed by Kotl engineers in the hopes of replacing humans with a less autonomous slave populace. After the collapse of the Kotl Empire, the servitor humans redistributed themselves into tribal communities, usually on the basis of shared ethnic identity. Some survivors of the Kotl race, after being driven from their cities, settled in the wilderness among these people, and eventually came to be known as the Sakkhra.

Later, the Avatar arrived in Eodon from his/her homeworld. The cause of such arrival was an accident during experimentation upon the Avatar's Orb of the Moons. As a consequence, the whole laboratory where the experiment was held was transported to Eodon, together with its three occupants: the Avatar, Professor Rafkin, and the young journalist Jimmy Malone. The hero eventually assisted in the eradication of the Myrmidex, then a major threat to most of the tribal groups in the valley, and the destruction of the Eodon moonstone.

It is presumed that this valley still exists in Ultima multiverse, and continues to be walled off from external intrusion.

The ahistorical Earth in Ultima II[edit]

Map of Earth in Ultima II

During the events of Ultima II, Earth's history was manipulated by the ministrations of the enchantress Minax, resulting in a significantly altered course of events. In this alternative time line, magic was a concrete part of Earth reality and mankind lived in conflict with orcs, daemons and other fantastical creatures. Due to the appearance of time doors, however, people of Earth were able to move temporally between four different ages in the planet's history. This strange fluidity of time resulted in a past consciousness of the impending future destruction.

The history of this Earth became different from the Avatar's homeworld when the Time Doors first appeared during Pangea age, when the Earth's continents were still locked into a single landmass. Minax's minions from the world known as Time of Legends and human time-travellers from the future arrived to this age. Experienced astronauts could be found in the primitive village of Baradin's Town. Anachronistic Weapons and transportation became available.

Time Doors disappeared for about nine million years, and re-opened in 1423 B.C. . Uncharacteristically advanced civilizations emerged in this age. Advanced weaponry and transportation became available. Probably due to Minax's magic powers, the whole castle of Lord British was transplanted from Britannia to this world and age.

Time doors disappeared for another 34 centuries, and re-opened during the year 1990 A.D., a "present" time extremely different from the Avatar's homeworld. Probably due to Minax's magic powers, the whole castle of Lord British was transplanted from the previous age to this year.

One century later, humanity developed space travel and terraformation of other planets. All planets in the Solar System became inhabitable and many of them were colonized by humans and orcs. On the Earth, hostilities between nations escalated such as that most of the populace was destroyed in a nuclear holocaust in 2111 A.D. . One year after the nuclear cataclysm, Time Doors appeared again. A number of survivors escaped to Sosaria and unified in creating a council to research the Minax's instrumentality in the Earth's eventual doom and the possibility that history could be altered to avert it. The head of this committee was Lord British.[2] The remnants of the USSR seemingly resettled in the post-apocalyptic wasteland of 2112, where they maintained a temporal monopoly on space technology.

Eventually, following the death of Minax in the extra-temporal Time of Legends, the Time Doors disappeared forever. The sages in Britannia declared that this Earth became ahistorical and officially ceased to exist, therefore the cataclysm of 2111 A.D. officially never happened. Memory of this alternate earth was gone from Britannia, save for in the mind of the Stranger who slew Minax, and among a select few (such as Lord British) who arranged for the Stranger's mission. [2]


Locations[edit]

Ultima II[edit]

In Ultima II there were several settlements throughout the various time zones of Earth, most of which "officially ceased to exist" after the Time Doors disappeared.

Pangea

1423 B.C.

1990 A.D.

Aftermath

Ultima IX[edit]

Map of the Avatar's house on Earth

In Ultima IX, the Avatar begins the game at his/her house on Earth, where various tutorials instruct the player as to how to interact with the game world. The in-game cheats can also be found in this location, over the fence from where the sword practice tutorial takes place.

Trivia[edit]

  • In year 2112 A.D. (Ultima II), the coordinates of the Earth are 6,6,6.
    • Coincidentally, this appears to be a reference to the infamous "number of the Beast" in the Book of Revelations; still, this could be just a coincidence, because in at least one other occasion Origin staff admitted their ignorance of the Bible.[3]
    • Actually, the solar system coordinates in Ultima II are a three-dimensional 10x10x10 grid. The center of the grid is at 5,5,5. The coordinates of Earth and Sun are symmetric about it: one is at 4,4,4 and the other one is at 6,6,6.
  • In Ultima IX, the Avatar's starting point at home on Earth seems incongruous with the ending of Ultima VIII, where the hero seems to return to an already conquered Britannia.
  • According to the park area signs, the Avatar's home in Ultima IX is located in Austin, Texas. This is a reference to the fact that Origin was based in Austin.

References[edit]

  1. In more colloquial terms, it could be said that Eodon Valley became sort of a parallel dimension separated from the Avatar's homeworld.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Rollo, Mary Taylor. "The Story of Minax". The Second Age of Darkness (Ultima II). Sierra On-Line, Inc.: 1983. Page 15.
  3. "When first coming up the name for Ultima III, Origin at first didn't know what the word "Exodus" meant. It was just a cool-sounding name for the main villain." --- Ultima III: Exodus #Trivia

The Avatar's Homeworld
Normal timeline Earth Mars
Ahistorical timeline Minax' Ahistorical Time-Space