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Richard Garriott de Cayeux aka Lord British is moving house
October 27, 2011 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Lord British has put his mansion, Britannia Manor II, on the market. Richard Garriott de Cayeux, creator of the Ultima franchise, astronaut, geocacher and regular guest star in his own games as Lord British (or, in the future war MMOG Tabula Rasa, General British) has listed his Austin home, Britannia Manor II.

Built by Garriott de Cayeux, the manor boasts three bedrooms, an observatory and a range of traps and hidden rooms. Like Britannia Manor I before it, it provided the venue for a charity haunted house scavenger hunt run by the Texas nonprofit Scare for a Cure (previously), and fundraising for Austin Planetarium. Prospective buyers can enjoy a virtual tour.

Garriott de Cayeux is not moving out of Texas - and, having recently been awarded $32 million in damages and costs from a former employer, is probably not being forced to sell. Instead, he is building a new home, Britannia Manor III. This process will presumably continue until Britannia Manor IX.
posted by running order squabble fest (71 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
NOOOOOOOOOO
posted by The Whelk at 7:04 PM on October 27, 2011


(Mostly cause I can't afford it)
posted by The Whelk at 7:05 PM on October 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


I wish Garriott was making more RPGs, instead of trying to get into social gaming.
posted by JHarris at 7:09 PM on October 27, 2011


"This process will presumably continue until Britannia Manor IX."

Too bad the last two will be opened to the public while only half-done.
posted by Copronymus at 7:11 PM on October 27, 2011 [20 favorites]


Looking at the pictures made me imagine an MTV Cribs-style tour of the mansion. Lord British escorting us into his bedroom, clapping his hands together and declaring "Verily! This is where the magick doth happen."
posted by naju at 7:12 PM on October 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Kal Ort Por
[clicks on recall rune]
[steals house key]
"Thou wilt regret thine actions, swine!"
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:12 PM on October 27, 2011 [10 favorites]


Looking at the pictures made me imagine an MTV Cribs-style tour of the mansion. Lord British escorting us into his bedroom, clapping his hands together and declaring "Verily! This is where the magick doth happen."

I've seen him show his house around on TV before. It wasn't MTV but I'll be there's youtube out there of it.
posted by curious nu at 7:13 PM on October 27, 2011


I have been on the grounds but not inside, and hot damn, do I wish I had 4.1 mil lying around. (Although the property taxes are approaching the total value of my current mortgage - ouch.)
posted by restless_nomad at 7:13 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Only three bedrooms? More like a stable than a manor.
posted by crunchland at 7:13 PM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


As an architect I feel that he may have been shortchanged by his builder. Lets hope the next one has a bit more gravitas.
posted by phoffmann at 7:15 PM on October 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's ugly.
posted by mek at 7:15 PM on October 27, 2011 [8 favorites]


Wait, Richard Garriot is no longer in space?
posted by subbes at 7:22 PM on October 27, 2011


Word, is it ugly. The lovechild of a McMansion and a motel, given up at birth and raised by a public library.
posted by Jehan at 7:22 PM on October 27, 2011 [16 favorites]




But it has secret passages.
posted by restless_nomad at 7:26 PM on October 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


The lovechild of a McMansion and a motel, given up at birth and raised by a public library.

This description warms my cold little heart.

I used to play Ultima Online, and was a tailor in between getting COR POR'D by people who hated tailors.
posted by winna at 7:28 PM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


That waterslide comes out a little too close to the edge of the pool for my liking. It's probably fine, but every time I went down I'd have a little voice in the back of my head whispering enjoy the ride, because this might be the time it finally happens.
posted by Winnemac at 7:28 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


naju: Looking at the pictures made me imagine an MTV Cribs-style tour of the mansion. Lord British escorting us into his bedroom, clapping his hands together and declaring "Verily! This is where the magick doth happen."

As if by powerful magic: MTV's Cribs visits Britannia Manor.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:33 PM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


God, after watching that, someone needs to PK Lord British.
posted by crunchland at 7:41 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Before you are shown the house, you must answer a series of questions to determine your moral character.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:42 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I used to play Ultima Online, and was a tailor in between getting COR POR'D by people who hated tailors.

I was a miner. I feel your pain.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:51 PM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The mead cellar is fantastic!
posted by rhizome at 7:52 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


As if by powerful magic: MTV's Cribs visits Britannia Manor.

Ok, ignoring the fact that he's claiming he owns human remains (probably/hopefully fake) but... wait, what? He bought one of Lunokhod rovers? Random.
posted by loquacious at 7:59 PM on October 27, 2011


That waterslide comes out a little too close to the edge of the pool for my liking. It's probably fine, but every time I went down I'd have a little voice in the back of my head whispering enjoy the ride, because this might be the time it finally happens.

That's the Waterslide of Dead Reckoning. You're fine as long as you roll 20s.
posted by loquacious at 8:02 PM on October 27, 2011


Man that would be a sweet house to play D&D at is all I'm saying.

Lord British performed the ceremony at my friends' zero-gravity wedding, and I've never really forgiven them for having a much, much cooler life than I have.
posted by pts at 8:17 PM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Carpet? He built an awesome, huge house like that and put carpet in it? That is really, really lame.

If you can afford to have Italian-quarried granite floors, by god, you ought to have them. Or at least wood floors in the whole place.
posted by koeselitz at 8:18 PM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah.... I was gonna say that it looks like a bastard child of a castle and a McMansion. Really odd..

Certain parts and elements of it are fantastic, while others remind me of my Grandmother's house.
posted by schmod at 8:20 PM on October 27, 2011


someone needs to PK Lord British

again.
posted by radiosilents at 8:21 PM on October 27, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also, the photos might have a bit more gravitas, had the photographer not used a flash on every single shot.
posted by schmod at 8:21 PM on October 27, 2011


Well, always remember, even a castle is someone's grandmother's house. Think of how William feels about Buckingham Palace.
posted by hippybear at 8:22 PM on October 27, 2011


You can't buy taste.
posted by Floydd at 8:26 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


The lovechild of a McMansion and a motel

It's like a themed Super 8. The idea I like (hidden rooms and passages, observatory) the execution is, well, cheap looking. IDK what the market is like in Austin but for $4.1 million I'd expect some old world craftsmanship and at least an attempt at architecture. It looks like it was built from several clearance DIY home kits combined.
posted by MikeMc at 8:46 PM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


I bet most of the cupboards and drawers are filled with the exact same single folded beige shirt, over and over again. Even in the kitchen.
posted by tumid dahlia at 8:58 PM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


The least they could have done is put this as the soundtrack to the slideshow. more
posted by crunchland at 9:06 PM on October 27, 2011


It's like a themed Super 8.

Touché.
posted by pts at 9:14 PM on October 27, 2011


It's a Home-Fill.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:17 PM on October 27, 2011


brutal. fucking brutal.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:17 PM on October 27, 2011


Giving yourself a title is kind of like buying Christmas presents for yourself.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:21 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


Exactly. Richard Garriott is basically Mr. Bean.
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:24 PM on October 27, 2011


Hideous! The carpeting alone - ha!
posted by electricsandwich138 at 9:29 PM on October 27, 2011


Looks like the place was laid out on graph paper.
posted by the_artificer at 9:37 PM on October 27, 2011 [5 favorites]


Interesting. I have not been to the home, but I've been to the property, which has a small faux medieval village right on the banks of Lake Travis. And a dock with pedal boats. And a reproduction of the Globe theater. That must technically be a separate property, because the listing doesn't mention any of it, and you wouldn't want to leave any of that out.
posted by adamrice at 9:38 PM on October 27, 2011


Strange. For some reason I thought that Chuckles would be welcoming me as I looked through his house.
posted by chemoboy at 10:11 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will favorite EVERY SINGLE Ultima Online reference and joke: GO.
posted by stratastar at 10:12 PM on October 27, 2011 [4 favorites]


IDK what the market is like in Austin but for $4.1 million I'd expect some old world craftsmanship and at least an attempt at architecture.

The bulk of that $4.1 million is just for the land. According to the link, "The home is situated high on a level 3.99 acre hilltop overlooking downtown Austin and the 3,000-acre Balcones Canyon Land Preserve." And as adamrice mentions, it is on Lake Travis. (This is the same neighborhood as Lance Armstrong's mansion, I think.) I bet that once he paid for that location and the "observatory, traps, and hidden rooms," there wasn't that much construction money left!
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 10:19 PM on October 27, 2011


Reading the description, I was imagining some badass mideval castle. But the pictures seem to show a particularly ugly McMansion.
posted by delmoi at 10:39 PM on October 27, 2011


The only downside of the residence is that if you only have have one floppy disk drive, you have to swap the disk like nine times any time you want to enter or leave.
posted by blueberry at 10:49 PM on October 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


/lets himself in
/walks around opening chests and drawers
/steals things
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:55 PM on October 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


this is the time to mention that i was a famous ultima online celebrity
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:17 AM on October 28, 2011


hi everybody
posted by TwelveTwo at 12:17 AM on October 28, 2011


Wow that was far less than I expected.
posted by arse_hat at 12:20 AM on October 28, 2011


this is the time to mention that i was a famous ultima online celebrity

Never heard of you.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:32 AM on October 28, 2011


He bought one of Lunokhod rovers? Random.

The Lunokhod makes more sense if you imagine this forming a reasonable chunk of his inner monologue.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:25 AM on October 28, 2011


Who hates tailors?
posted by No-sword at 3:29 AM on October 28, 2011


God, after watching that, someone needs to PK Lord British.

Well, if you can get the cannon from the ship...*

*Validity depends on your version of Ultima.
posted by ersatz at 4:30 AM on October 28, 2011


The least they could have done is put this as the soundtrack to the slideshow.

I tried to open the link but forgot I had installed Quicktime and my browser stopped responding for a while. Thankfully, it came to its senses before I even had time to find the Love computer card.
posted by ersatz at 4:37 AM on October 28, 2011


I suppose the bad taste of the manor can be explained. This is the same person who had access to the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom and put its access key* to a museum.

*Lens

I'll show myself out.

posted by ersatz at 4:40 AM on October 28, 2011


You can buy real, genuine, livable-in medieval castles for less than that - this beauty in France for example. They may not be in great locations, and will have higher upkeep costs, but you can buy the real thing for less than this horrible looking thing.
posted by Coobeastie at 5:59 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, I really couldn't have imagined how little that would look like a manor.
posted by ninebelow at 6:26 AM on October 28, 2011


Looking at the pictures made me imagine an MTV Cribs-style tour of the mansion.

"Forsooth - if thou hast no bucket of shoes, a great hound thou art not."
posted by foldedfish at 6:46 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


http://homesoftherich.net/
posted by blue_beetle at 7:07 AM on October 28, 2011


I totally love Richard Garriott (de Cayeux, really?). As a little kid in Houston I grew up playing the Ultima games and thought they were awesome. Sometime about age 12 I realized he put his whole family in to Ultima II, with their names, and I got the bright idea to look them up in the phone book and there they were! So I called his mom and said "can I talk to Richard please?" She was very polite and explained he'd moved away, I think to college. Still it was amazing: I called my hero's mom!

I love his unabashedly child-like pursuit of his pleasures. He went to space, just like in Ultima I and II. He built a mansion with all sorts of gothic secrets, just like in half his games. The dude's having fun with his video game life.

(Also Ultima IV is one of the most important games ever made.)
posted by Nelson at 7:14 AM on October 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


MikeMc: “IDK what the market is like in Austin but for $4.1 million I'd expect some old world craftsmanship and at least an attempt at architecture. It looks like it was built from several clearance DIY home kits combined.”

This is in Texas. No matter what you think of Texas, this is true: if you have a big, ugly McMansion, there are white people somewhere in the state willing to pay lots of money for it. In fact, the saddest thing about this place is that, although the dude is trying to evoke a medieval manor or something, this place pretty much screams Texas.
posted by koeselitz at 7:17 AM on October 28, 2011


My girlfriend and I agonized for days and days over what to name our cat when we got one from the shelter. I favored William Catner, but she wasn't as enthusiastic. We got there, looked at the cats, found one we really liked...

Me: "Hey there, dude, you sure are friendly!" *Looking at tag on cage* "Heh, Lord British."

And thus his name has stayed.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:43 AM on October 28, 2011


Let's hope he fixed that loose plaque over the entryway - that thing was a killer.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:01 AM on October 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


The thing about Richard is that he is a bit of a nut, but he's a genuinely sweet, interested, loyal guy. I have a ton of friends who have worked for him, and while a lot of them won't work for him again because, surprise, the visionary genius is kind of a terrible project manager, especially when he has so much clout no one can tell him no, but I don't know anyone who dislikes him personally.

He won my heart forever when he showed up to the Ultima Online ten year reunion and stayed for two hours, chatting with the fans, totally on his own and making zero mention of his current project - this was years and years after he'd left EA. He just really cares about the community in a way not every bigshot game designer does.

(That link is freaking hilarious - watch the video for sure.)
posted by restless_nomad at 9:02 AM on October 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


The next house is going to be bad ass. My favorite feature is an elevator to an underground tunnel, which leads to the lake.
posted by rush at 10:31 AM on October 28, 2011


(de Cayeux, really?)

"By the way... Hence forth call me "Dr Richard Garriott de Cayeux"! Got married July 1st, took the de Cayeux from my wife"
posted by porpoise at 1:28 PM on October 28, 2011


Huh, they didn't do much of a job of showing the actual cool bits of the house. Like, hey, pics of the observatory please. The dungeon is cool, they showed both floors of the - well - science area, but they didn't show the view from the balcony of the DNA painting made by fucking Crick. (which is fine since you wouldn't actually be buying that) Nor of the hidden passageways. Also I guess the automaton room would look sparse with out all the bobbles in it. But hey, the neighbors must be stellar if you can randomly have fireworks, exploding whatever, helicopters, 30 MIBs wandering around and arrows stuck in your roof.

I'm not making any of this up.

Richard is a pretty outstanding fellow. You just have to grok that he is pretty much a 12 year old boy who got all the money in the world and did exactly what a 12 year old boy would do with it.
posted by jopreacher at 5:44 PM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am still so, so mad I wasn't there for the alien invasion.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:05 AM on October 29, 2011


I met Garriott back when he was the head of Origin and I was at Looking Glass, who were making System Shock for Origin at the time. I was all prepared for him to be Mr. Pompous Self-Important Guy (I mean, he *did* name the monarch in the Ultima games after himself), but restless_nomad is right: he was a very genuine, very friendly guy who really just loved making games and seeing great games made. I was a little awestruck, having grown up on the Ultima series, and was really pleased to learn that the guy whose products had consumed so many of my teenage hours in front of the C-64 was, in fact, relatable and cool.
posted by foldedfish at 7:28 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


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