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October 8, 2009 9:49 PM   Subscribe

From 1988-1994 game designer Richard Garriott ran one of the most elaborate, interactive 'haunted houses in the world from his own house, a sprawling mansion custom built in part to house the event. After 1994 there was a break for Garriott's new house to be built (with more customization just for haunt use). Many had lost hope, but now 15 years later it's back.
posted by djduckie (17 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
*sigh* For years I wanted to go to Lord British's haunted house, but I didn't have the wherewithall to get there, etc. Then when I did have the means, he stopped doing them. Now I live over 2500 miles away, and there is no way I can get there. I hope he does it for more than just this year, so I can plan for the future.

Ultima IV for the win!
posted by hippybear at 10:13 PM on October 8, 2009


Odd, I was just speaking to a friend Monday that I thought Ultima 4 might have been the best game our generation ever got.

It completely shifted the paradigm regarding how one behaved in a video game.

You couldn't be the immoral teenage asshole we all were at the time. You had to help the weak. You had to give money to the poor. You couldn't use the all powerful skull-o-death. You couldn't rob the poor.

In the mid '80s, Garriott was our hero.

Rightfully so.
posted by Sphinx at 10:14 PM on October 8, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'd like to thank Lord British for Ultima Underworld. Back in 1993 it was my alternate life for a while and is still in my memory the best video game I ever played.
posted by Tashtego at 10:17 PM on October 8, 2009


Yes, Ultima IV was truly revolutionary. It's in my top 10 all-timers, although I had forgotten. It's always cool when someone reminds me of a great bit of media that I had forgotten about and I'm like oh yeah, I forgot about that when so-and-so asked me what were the best whatevers last week.

That said, U4 wasn't necessarily the best of the Ultima series (although I would rank it as #2). For me, that distinction goes to the supremely weird and fun Ultima World Adventures 2: Martian Dreams. For those not in the know, my wikipedia link does no justice to the awesomeness of this game.
posted by Edgewise at 10:32 PM on October 8, 2009


Thou art an elderly, wealthy eccentric. Halloween is near. Dost thou:

* Haunt thine house for charity, and receive public adulation
* Humbly allow the contractors to finish the new addition

posted by benzenedream at 1:43 AM on October 9, 2009 [4 favorites]


Many had lost hope, but now 15 years later it's back.

Many had lost hope, but now 15 years later . . . it's baaaaaaaaaack.

FTFY.
posted by jeremias at 4:08 AM on October 9, 2009


Oh, hell yeah to Martian Dreams. Fantastic game that maybe helped give birth to a whole sci-fi genre.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:02 AM on October 9, 2009


I'd like to thank Lord British for Ultima Underworld. Back in 1993 it was my alternate life for a while and is still in my memory the best video game I ever played.

Thanks! Underworld was actually made by the folks at Blue Sky Productions (later Looking Glass Studios), which included me. Our only real design interaction with Origin was with Warren Spector, the producer (who was awesome). Richard did do a voiceover in the opening cut scene, though...
posted by dfan at 6:38 AM on October 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


I worked with Richard for 2-3 years on Ultima Online and Ultima 9 in the 90's.

I remember snippets.. The birthday party he threw every year in July at his old house. I set off enough fireworks at that party to NEVER WANT TO SET OFF FIREWORKS AGAIN. We're talking a tractor trailer delivery and 4-6 teams of 2 people, 1 a runner, 1 a lighter with a blow torch. It was a lot of fireworks.

He had a stalker who broke into his house, thinking that Richard was actually Lord British. Richard scared the guy off with his Uzi and they arrested the stalker. A few years later the same stalker broke into Sea World to swim with Shamu and died. ( I think this is the article about it)

He owns a moon rover. On the moon. He's the only private individual to own something on a different planet. He paid the $68,000 for Lunakhod at a Sotheby's auction.

He was always going to exotic places. He was one of the last guys to visit the titanic, he went to Antarctica to look for meteorites, and most recently, finally got to go to space and visit the ISS.

He's the only person I've ever sent an email to that started -

"Now that you're back from Space..."

And that was AWESOME.
posted by Lord_Pall at 7:37 AM on October 9, 2009 [12 favorites]


Richard did do a voiceover in the opening cut scene, though...

It can't beat Serpent's Isle -"Put it on the table."
posted by Lord_Pall at 7:40 AM on October 9, 2009


dfan, Sorry about the mis attribution. You guys did a fantastic job with Underworld. It was years (10 at least) ahead of its time and it actually ran on my 386SX 16Mhz. It ran very slowly but it ran frame by frame. I upgraded my computer that year so Underworld would run better. Still, with the other Ultima games, space travel, and haunted house Garriott has led a life that makes me think, "Damn, that's so cool. I wish I had done that."
posted by Tashtego at 7:58 AM on October 9, 2009


Lord_Pall, did you know for just one second that he'd be back to bother you?
posted by gene_machine at 9:21 AM on October 9, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fantastic game that maybe helped give birth to a whole sci-fi genre.

I guess you mean steampunk, right? I guess I could see that.
posted by Edgewise at 11:17 AM on October 9, 2009


This thread gives me a happy

-==[UDIC]==-
posted by Sparx at 11:40 AM on October 9, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sparx, me too. (=
posted by djeo at 8:17 PM on October 10, 2009


i did not know that
posted by stillhopeful at 8:03 PM on October 18, 2009


Thanks, djduckie! We're about to head out to Scare for a Cure momentarily... I'll post with an update if we survive...

(to be continued)
posted by fiercecupcake at 4:26 PM on October 25, 2009


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