Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 123 / NOVEMBER 1990 / PAGE 18


Ultima Sound

In the April 1990 issue of COMPUTE!, in the review of Ultima VI (p. 84), I found a statement to be confusing. Shay Addams states that when a spell is cast, the player will hear the spell names spoken aloud as digitized voices. Also, according to the review, there are amazing sound effects and music to be heard if the user has a Roland MD-32 or an Ad Lib sound board. I own an IBM compatible (AT) and have a Sound Blaster music card by Creative Labs, which it claims is Ad Lib–compatible. When playing Ultima VI, I hear plenty of music but no digitized voices when casting spells. Additionally, the only sound effects I hear are through my PC speaker. I called Origin, and the reps stated that there were not any digitized voices to be heard when a spell was cast. Thus, my question is Are there or are there not any digitized voices to be heard when a spell is cast? I would appreciate a brief reply if at all possible.


Shay Addams responds:

Yes, you can hear dozens of digitized voices when casting spells in Ultima VI—if your computer has 50 megs of extended RAM, a 20,000-meg hard disk and a Rad Lib sound board. But since these peripherals are unavailable outside my own twisted imagination, I may as well reveal the true reason my review alleged the presence of said digitized voices: I made a mistake. True, it is the first one in my career, but embarrassing nonetheless. So embarrassing, in fact, that I feel compelled to elaborate. The myth of digitized voices in Ultima VI emerged during a private showing of a beta version of the game at Origin headquarters in Austin, Texas. While casting a slew of spells, I did indeed hear unerringly similar names shouted aloudbut learned only after writing the review that the voice I'd heard was none other than that of Ultima VI's creator, Richard Garriott, who was conducting Origin's Latin classes in an adjoining office. His teaching methods involve shouting Latin phrases and then their English equivalents. The lessons are required training for all employees working at adventure game companies. There, it's all out in the open and I feel much better. Now can I go home?