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Exclusive on Online Gaming Review
Ultima Online: Interview with Rainz, The Man Who Killed Lord British
Also read The Great Experiment and Origin's Response
by Paul Bannister

Ultima Online is the game that the most people are talking about these days. As you may or may not know, last week, during a speech to the masses, Lord British (the online alter ego of Ultima's creator, Richard Garriot) was killed. As many Ultima junkies know, killing Lord British is supposed to be impossible, but due to a bizarre turn of events, it happened. OGR talks to the man who did the deed, Rainz, and we find out how he did it and what's come of the situation.

OGR: Give us your background, how old are you, where are you from, what do you do?

Rainz: I'm 23 and I run an Internet software consulting/development firm in Indianapolis. I don't normally get the chance to get away from work much but UO beta has brought me out of my coccoon.

OGR: How long have you been playing Ultima Online? What do you think of the beta so far?

Rainz: 3 weeks. What Quake did for realism and Warcraft 2 did for strategy, UO does for interactivity. UO draws you into its world unlike any other game I've played. The beta started out so buggy and slow that it was unplayable for most. The OSI team has made leaps and bounds in the past 2 weeks, in it's current form the game runs unbelievably smooth and Internet lag is barely noticeable, evidentally some advanced prediction buffer is being used. If the current rate of improvement is any indication, the release version will kick severe butt. Simply put, the beta has just been pure fun. I've met nice people who just want to adventure and talk, as well as brutal player killers who slay newbies on sight. The contrast of good and evil adds a realistic tension to the dynamics of the game.

OGR: What gave you the idea to kill Lord British? Did you actually think you could kill him?

Rainz: I am a member of the Ravens of Fate, a guild dedicated to maintaining the balance of power in Britannia. Without conflict and war there is only one side subjugating to another. Lord British has noble desires, but he is the ultimate wielder of tyrannical rule. I knew that it may have been possible to slay British, but I didn't expect it to come so early in Britannian history. As any Ultima fan knows, killing British is something we've all attempted but never really had any luck with. It was a total shock, I stared at his corpse in disbelief then burst out in laughter.

OGR: Give us a recount of exactly what happened, from your point of view.

Rainz: The servers had just been taken down to prepare for the huge influx of players for the speech Lord British and Lord Blackthorne were giving throughout Britannia. When the servers came back up, I strolled through Britain with Helios, my fellow guild member. We headed to Blackthorne's castle where the first speech was being given. LB, Blackthorne, and their jesters were up on a bridge orating to the masses. Unfortunately I wasn't playing my mage character, so casting spells from a spellbook was out of the question. Luckily my character was a good thief who had high "stealing" skill. I desperately searched the backpacks of those around me and eventually came upon a fire field scroll. After that it was pretty simple, I just cast the scroll on the bridge and waited to see what would happen. Either LB or Blackthorne made the comment "hehe nice try", can't recall exactly who. It was a humorous sight and I expected to be struck down by lightning or have some other evil fate befall me. Instead I heard a loud death grunt as British slumped to his death. After that it was just pure mayhem, Blackthorne or another force summoned 4 daemons into the castle and people were dying left and right.

OGR: After the deed was done, what was your next action?

Rainz: I hauled b-lls out of the region like there was no tomorrow.

OGR: What has Origin, and Lord British, said to you regarding your actions? Has any action been taken against you?

Rainz: To make a long story short, Origin considered my style of gameplay to be detrimental to the nature of the beta test. I had previously played a character of evil alignment who slaughtered hundreds, this type of role playing was denounced by certain OSI members. After they had a discussion with me I erased my evil "Aquaman" character that same day and nailed his coffin. I thought that this had brought an end to the whole ordeal. Instead, after slaying LB, an OSI member informed me that I had come to the "last straw" and was now banned from "all further Origin World Online games."

OGR: Will you be playing Ultima Online in the future? When the game is out in stores?

Rainz: Would I try playing as the same character? I don't think I will be permitted to. Would I ever play under another alias? Maybe.

OGR: Any other thoughts on the game or your actions?

Rainz: No, that pretty much sums it up, hopefully some good comes out of incident for UO.

OGR: Thanks for your time!

Below are eight pictures taken during the event. The first six pictures are a time-line of what went on, picture seven is a map of everything on the screen, and picture eight, a rare picture, shows a mouse cursor over the body of Lord British identifying it as his corpse. Thanks to Ultima at Scorched for the first six pictures, Rainz for picture seven and Tarquin for picture eight.