Talk:Ultima: Escape from Mt. Drash

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Found something interesting while exploring the internet:


Check the comments section for a post from Johnny Magpie at http://www.gamesniped.com/2007/11/08/worlds-most-expensive-video-games/


"As someone who worked at Sierra On-line at the time and actually worked with Richard Garriot and Keith Zabaloui (hope I spelled that right – it’s been a while) I can say with absolute authority that much of the stories about how this game was made, etc. are just flat not true.

First off, Richard Garriot knew about the game from inception. Keith was a friend of Richards, and actually came up to Oakhurst based on an invitation from Garriot to work on the game. (I actually don’t remember much about Keith other than he seemed to be high energy and a little bit immature at the time. He got on a lot of peoples nerves.)

Richard actually invited a few of his friends to program up in Oakhurst. One of his other friends, Charles Beuche – who published under the name “Chuckles” – was actually my roommate for a while. (Again, I apologize if I mispelled the last name. It’s been close to three decades ago now.)

Second off, the Sierra On-Line management was young but not stupid. It wouldn’t publish a game and use a trademark without the right to do so. Ken Williams had to work on the Ultima trademark issues when he negotiated the rights to the original Ultima I with the original publisher – a company called “California Pacific” I believe it was called. Ken had actually been involved in some court fights about copyrights and trademark issues. (On-Line System vs. Atari is widely noted in books about the early days of the computer industry, and most don’t know it, but Apple actually released a computer called the “Lisa” which actually violated the trademark of a assembly language toolset that On-Line published at the time called “LISA.)

Third point, no one at Sierra made any attempt to “hide” the game. We just got it out too late for the market. By the time we beat the biggest bugs out of the game, the Vic-20 had lost steam in the marketplace and there really wasn’t a lot of shelfspace at retail for the product. You will find it in some old the older Sierra catalogs if you look around.

Also, the game just wasn’t that good. The Vic-20 wasn’t much a game machine and the cassette tape was too slow on loading. It just wasn’t fun to play and I think we only actually did a production run to meet our publishing contract.

A few other points: The cover for Mt. Drash is actually the art that was used for the original back cover of Ultima II. We did that because the Vic-20 sold through places like Canadian Tire and Sears while Ultima computer games sold through computer stores. That artwork wasn’t cheap and it was very cool for it’s day so why not reuse it.

I believe more than 2500 copies of the game were actually produced, but not many more. Maybe 5000 tops. Most were tossed as the game never sold well, mostly because there just wasn’t any interest in carrying Vic-20 games at retail by the time it shipped.

Anyway, thanks for the opportunity to set the record straight."

Looks interesting, although I have no way of confirming anything. (Dungy 21:31, August 21, 2010 (UTC))