Memories from MMOs Part II: The Unicorn

Ultima Online was one of the first open world MMOs I spent a lot of time on.  Other avid, early MMOGamers over the age of 25 can probably relate.  I remember discovering the vast world and game complexities with such awe.  To this day I still play because I appreciate how much you can do in that game.

One thing that game still has going for it is its taming system.  The only game I know of that came close to matching its complexities was Pre-CU Star Wars Galaxies.  Each creature has a set of stats and characteristics.  For example, a giant beetle may have wrestling, magery, and poisoning.  This means that it fights hand to hand, can cast certain spells, and can poison an enemy.  It may not be a pack animal though, so it fights better alone.

This taming system drew me into making what I was convinced would be my best character ever:  A mage/tamer who rode a beautiful unicorn.  As a little girl, I loved unicorns, so discovering that they were in the game and served as viable mounts of female characters made me very happy.  I worked hard to acquire this creature.  This meant spending countless hours taming lesser creatures and working my way up the ladder.  Let’s just say that my tamer was a good friend to the entire polar bear population of ice island.

I cannot stress enough how obsessed I was with unicorns and ponies. Here is one of my favorite toys as a child, an original My Little Pony unicorn pony. This picture properly represents the inner glee I had about getting a unicorn in UO.

Finally, I had enough skill to try for a unicorn.  If I recall correctly, sometimes taming a creature and failing could make them angry, so I did a lot of running away from them only to come back and try again.  This went on for several hours one night, but I was determined.  All my hard work paid off when I successfully tamed a unicorn and triumphantly rode it back to the town of Skara Brae.

The ideal dream for me in UO.

Proud of my endeavor, I began to show off my unicorn to the people loitering about the bank and stables.  Keep in mind I was probably 14 years old.

Me: “look my unicorn”
Me: “pretty”
Me: ” finally got it”
Me: “it likes me”
Them: “That’s great…” [Meanwhile they are brandishing their much more powerful and rare tamed creatures such as Snow Wyrms]
Me: “yep how do i name it”

This is where it got bad.  A guy told me to follow him close to the stables so he could show me how to control my newly tamed unicorn.  I trusted him.

Him: “You have to release it to name it.”
Me: “huh? will i get her back?”
Him:  “Yes, just click release.  You have to tame it while it is named for you.”
Me: “oooh k” [Right clicks the creature and clicks release.]
Game: “A Unicorn decides it is better off without a master!” [Loud neighing]
Him: [Begins to attack the creature lightly] “Oh no!”
Him: “GUARDS!”
Game: “A guard appears.” [An NPC guard teleports to the unicorn and a giant lightning strike can be seen.  The unicorn falls dead at my feet.]
Me: “hey”
Me: “what”
Me: “he killed her”
Him: “Looks like your unicorn had rabies… sorry.”
Me: “u killed her”
Him: [Proceeds to carve the unicorn and remove two ribs from it, setting them on the ground.]
Him: [Then rides off on his horse, disappearing from my screen.]
Me: [Left with the unicorn corpse and its carved ribs at my feet.]
Me: [Holds back tears IRL.]

The reality of how my unicorn ended up.

And now we know what conditioned me to be so terrible to the GM in Anarchy Online about The Shopkeep.

This entry was posted in Animals, Classic Games, Memories from MMOs, Online Gaming, Ultima Online and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s