Ophidian Alphabet

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Ultima Ophidian Runes.png


An Ophidian book

The Ophidian Alphabet is used exclusively in Ultima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle, found on all signs and books in the ruins of the Ophidian civilization (and some books that got displaced). It can be surmised that said civilisation developed it after the appearance of the three serpents, abandoning the runic script of old in the process. The script is difficult to read and translate during play, so a special Translation spell exists in the game, which makes this much simpler. Even Erstam himself admits that the script is hard to read and that the form of the letters is not intuitive.

The script is unique as it is the only one that also has special characters for numerals. On the other hand it is lacking characters that express more than one latin letter.


Here are the original symbols from which I translated the scroll into our common alphabet and language. It is easy to see why even I had difficulty, for the combinations are not intuitive. As my understanding may be slightly flawed, I trust that all who apply my work to their studies will excuse any misinformation. Make what thou canst of it.


  • The monks on Monk Isle also have a special lens that allows reading the books without the Translation spell.
  • Interestingly enough, there are two instances in the game, where the Translation spell is hindering progress. At the entrance of Skullcrusher it is easier to sort to runes with Ophidian letters to the fitting pedestals without the spell, and at the entrance to the temple of Logic, the same applies.
  • Spell scrolls found on the Serpent Isle use this alphabet instead of Runic for the words of power.

See also[edit]