The Worlds of Ultima series (an offshoot of the main series Ultima) died after the first two parts – Savage Empire (1990) and Martian Dreams (1991) – fell short of their expectations. However, the idea of independent stories still attracted Origin, which resulted in the emergence of Arthurian Legends. The project, in general, was doomed from the very beginning – it was not possible to find a publisher for it after the failure of “Worlds …”.
Nevertheless, the Origin staff continued to work on it. First, the work was supervised by Richard Garriott, then by Warren Spector. Unlike most other Camelot games, the Arthurian Legends strictly followed the writings of Thomas Malory and Chrétien de Troyes (medieval writers, authors of books about King Arthur). But the game formally had nothing to do with the Worlds of Ultima.
Arthurian Legends was to be set in ancient England, in a world based on the actual legends about King Arthur. Some of the sources used included Knight of the Cart by Chretien de Troyes, and Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory. The player would be in charge of trying to find the missing King Arthur and to fix the problems currently plaguing Camelot. Though the initial idea was for the player’s alter ego to be one of the twelve knights of the Round Table, this was eventually changed for the player to create his own avatar. Several well-known characters were going to make appearances, including Sir Pelenor, Sir Gawain, Melora, Sir Mordred, Morgana, Lancelot, Guinevere and Arthur.
The game was going to include some of the bloodier elements from the legends, such as a giant cannibal that was praying on the children from a local village. However, the search for the Grail was not to be included, as the team felt it had already been played out too many times. Other quests included curing Sir Pellinore from a blindness inflicted to him by an evil mage, and a maze of moving thorn hedges.
What is funny, after the end of the series, the Origin staff jokingly drew a silhouette in front of the office with chalk on the ground, as they do with corpses, and hung a sign “The King is Dead” next to it. The next day, flowers appeared under it.
Information is taken from «Игромания» magazine, 03 (114) 2007
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