Name: John Razimus
Character Name: Dr. Pepper
Shard: Beta Tester
John Razimus was an eye-witness to one of the most controversial—and potentially most memorable—moments in all of Ultima Online’s two-decade history: the murder of Lord British (a character controlled by Ultima series creator Richard Garriott). In Braving Britannia Razimus brings new details to light about the murder, sharing the role he played in the death of Britannia’s king.
When Richard Garriott assumed the mantle of Lord British and stepped into the game, it was usually with the goal of addressing the citizens of Britannia, advancing the lore of the world, or just to mingle with the common folk. However, during a roleplaying event that evening, the king learned even he was not impervious to death nor taxes.
“I was on my way to Lord British’s castle because a Game Master made a shard-wide announcement that the king would be making special appearance at his castle in Britain,” said John “Dr. Pepper” Razimus, who was one of the lucky ones chosen for UO’s beta test.
What players didn’t yet realize was that the King’s speech was merely a ruse. By drawing as many players as possible toward a single location on the map, the dev team was conducting a final stress test on the servers.
As thousands of players converged on Britain, the game slowed to a crawl, a server crash imminent. Hoping that a fresh start might smooth things out—and allow Lord British to give his speech—Origin reset the server, requiring all players to log back into the game. The reset also caused a small time jump as it reverted to a save from shortly before the announcement of the king’s appearance.
With players still moving at a crawl, it was announced that Lord British would join Lord Blackthorn (an avatar piloted by UO‘s director, Starr Long) at his castle. By combining the speeches to a single location, it would call for less running for players, and in turn, it probably kept the servers in Origin’s offices from bursting into flames.
What happened next was a series of three very unfortunate events, setting off a chain reaction that led to regicide.
Read more of John Razimus’s story in Braving Britannia: Tales of Life, Love, and Adventure in Ultima Online.