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Thanks to that wonderful invention that is the Internet, it is no longer necessary that research be restricted to the materials that Origin provides with its software packages. No, Ultima fans the web over have provided us with transcripts, map, walkthroughs, tips, and all kinds of material, out of which you, the editor, can be very quickly fast-tracked to the material you seek, while working on Codex articles. This page intends that all of these materials will be available to you in one place. Additionally, this page will contain tips on how to conduct research efficiently.
In most cases, the guidelines that apply to editing out-game Codex pages apply. However, this page has unusual needs, as web resources are born and die quite randomly. This means that links to web pages will appear, and then become dead. In the event that they die, strike out the text, such that attention will be drawn to it, and beside it, include the earliest date that the link was known to be dead. For instance, should a link be discovered to be dead at the Ides of March in 2008:
Do not delete the original URL, as it will be useful should someone endure to rectify the problem. Simply strike out the link, and place the date on which you discovered the dead link (in Japanese notation for consistency, please). After a while, these links can be cleaned up, if dead for long enough.
The most authoritative research can be done by playing the game, and seeing how it performs for you. While authoritative, and always correct, it may lead you to gather overly specific material. By software's very expressive nature, there can be a great wealth of contingencies that caused the game to behave that way for you. One should always be mindful that maybe that rock didn't have to fall that way, or that NPC may sometimes give other responses, that chest may not always contain that weapon, etc. This uncertainty, however, is no match for an editor's good judgment. Common sense should be enough when following this method of research.
Another problem with gameplay is that the amount of time it takes to gather the material you seek can be prohibitive. Otherwise, there would be very little need for this page.
somewhat unreliable due to unstated incompleteness
Transcripts are quite probably the most useful tools available to the Codex researcher. With a transcript, you can usually search everything that everyone said in an entire game. If this sounds too good to be true, it probably is. One draw back is that many transcripts are not as complete as they seem to think they are. While it's fairly easy to gather the dialogue from the earlier games, starting with Ultima V, the contingencies, flags, triggers, and everything that goes into deciding what an NPC will say becomes convoluted. Consequently, dialogue tends to slip between the cracks. What's more, a transcript will often only capture a certain class of NPC dialogue. For instance, if a transcript claims to have all the dialogue from Ultima IV, it probably only contains dialogue from the "chatty" NPCs. The "functional" NPCs (shopkeepers, Lord British, Hawkwind, Shrines) will not likely be included.
Some transcripts are given as HTML, and will be opened by your browser. Your browser's text searching tool should be useful here. Others are text files, which are embedded in compressed zip files. It will be necessary to download these to your computer. When you extract the text file, you should use whatever editor comes with your operating system to open them, and use its text searching tool. Other transcript are given as programs, which have their own native ability to browse and search text.
Transcripts on the web
Notable Ultima - probably very reliable, but admittedly from the 1986 remake, not the original.
A more trustworthy method of searching for text is to open the files that contain it. This might be done in your operating system's text editor, but one might be inclined to use a hex editor. Keep in mind that some text is not in plain text, and will therefore not be found through any kind of general search.
Currently, the files listed are only for the PC versions of the games.
Dialogue source files
Most files named *.ULT
one-liners, phrases, and individual words.
end game text.
near end game text.
text describing Avatar's karma.
responses to (L)ook.
mostly Virtue-related one-liners.
signs and tombstones.
no general NPC transcript
no transcripts are in plain text. U6Edit can provide these
Maps do little more than tell you where everything is relative to everything else. However, sometimes this is useful for research purposes.
These are links to various maps available on-line. Many do not completely fulfil the category into which they have been placed. For instance, a link in the Buildings, townes and other dwellings row might not have all the dwellings for which you were hoping. You might never find a map of Iolo's hut, for instance. Also, the labels for the rows are more like overly concrete terms for vague concepts. There is no "outside" in the Underworlds, but there is a larger map, into which other maps are accessible.
In a single cell, links are arranged in the order of their perceived usefulness.