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Ultima > I Mondain

Ultima I (Mondain & the Gem of Immortality)

    Mondain was his name, a son of a respected mage in the times before the boy called "British" rose to become Lord of one of the four great land masses of Old Sosaria. Mondain was a troubled youth with a dark heart. His father sought to quell the rages of the boy by sending him into the good auspices of the monks of a nearby abbey who would train him, in humility, the virtues of love.

    The father made the son a promise. On the successful completion of his lessons the boy would receive a gift, a stone that harnessed the power of the Sosarian sun. Unfortunately, the father did not know the true nature of Mondain's greed and avarice. Mondain stole his father's gem and killed him that very night.

    With the gem now in his possession, Mondain found a new use for it. He began crafting a dark jewel. Once complete, this jewel would support and maintain Mondain's evil for all eternity. He and his power would never fade from the realm of Sosaria.

    Many years later, as the darkness wrought by Mondain spread throughout the lands, Lord British, who had by will and deed arisen as king of the lands that were then made his name sake, surveyed the evil that this selfish and greedy wizard wrought. The lands were in turmoil, dungeons belched forth endless horrors that stalked travelers day and night. Man and monster battled for gold and the transient threads of power whilst Mondain held the ropes. Lord British envisioned the hero the likes of which could find the means to end this nightmare made real. Perhaps without even the realization of doing so, the good king's actions laid the basis for the Crossing, a rare event by which British as a boy many a year ago found himself in these lands.

    And so you find yourself, a single being called to unknown lands to seek the means of defeating the evil of the wizard Mondain ... and his Gem of Immortality!

Ultima I has no given title. "Gem of Immortality" is a title I bestowed on it a while ago. Actually, as with George Lucas' Star Wars Episode 4, Ultima I was actually "Ultima" back at its first publication. In the afterglow of Akalabeth's success, Richard Garriott wrote a more complex design which had a means to actually confront the primary antagonist mentioned in the other game. 

That original Ultima is a very old game. Most who have played it recently on DOS/Windows PCs have played the second edition, created in 1986. This is the version I have. I cannot speak to any differing minutiae between the original and this version.