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Lord British pardons long-ago piracy of Ultima 6

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Fan, who had only a $3 allowance, asks forgiveness and receives it

12th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards
Richard Garriott in 2009, at the Interactive Achievement Awards
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences

Years ago — at most 27 — one young Ultima fan “rented” (his words) Ultima 6 from a computer store in town and, um, didn’t erase the game after installing it to his PC. Yesterday, he finally begged forgiveness from the game’s designer.

Joshua Dudley tilled up the memory in a Twitter thread about his Ultima-playing days, noting that he was 13 years old on an allowance of $3 weekly.

Richard Garriott, in character as the Lord British persona, replied with benevolent forgiveness.

“Lord Dudley,” Garriott tweeted, “I am deeply moved and appreciative of your note to me and fully absolve you of any debt or guilt.”

Garriott (and Warren Spector) designed Ultima 6: The False Prophet, which launched in 1990 on PC; he has credits (whether as a designer, director or producer) on every game in the series. Following Ultima’s retirement, he was executive producer on the now-defunct City of Heroes for NCSoft. His latest game is Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, billed a spiritual successor to the Ultima series.

Polygon profiled Garriott at the beginning of the year with the launch of his autobiography, Explore/Create.

Garriott’s mention of New Britannia in the above tweet references Shroud of the Avatar, which launched on PC this year. Dudley, for his part, pledged to join his merciful liege in the new realm.