Digital Music Archive
Ultima VI: The False Prophet
Music composed by:
Ken Arnold, Iolo Fitzowen, Herman Miller, Todd Porter
Welcome Traveller. . .
In this hall, thou shalt here the music of Ultima VI: The False Prophet. Though simple by the standards of today, it is yet their very simplicity that makes these melodies timeless. Indeed, though the later music of the Age of Enlightenment (Ultima VII) is much more complex and the ethereal powers of the Roland LAPC-I are better demonstrated there and elsewhere. . . these melodies of past adventures yet retain their intrinsic charm. . . and foreshadow the grandeur to come. . .
FEBRUARY 20, 2003 UPDATE
All MP3s have been re-recorded. I was able to increase the default volume level and improve clarity. Further, these MP3s no longer fade out at the end. Rather, they can now loop appropriately (as they did in the game). Finally, it was brought to my attention that "Engagement & Melee" was missing. It is now included. Enjoy!
As thou art summoned once more to Britannia's aid, a crimson gate transports thee to dangers unknown. . .
This song is very simple. . . yet hearing it often still gives me chills as I can picture "a Lord British Production" slowly fading in. . .
Because I thought it would be fun to compare, here is a short snippet of what 99.9% of the people playing the game heard through their Adlib cards. Those who had Roland way back then were very lucky!
As thou arrivest in Britannia, thou'rt beset by hideous creatures. . . later thou shalt know them as gargoyles.
This selection is especially impressive as the extremely realistic drum set of the LAPC-I pumps the song with vigor and menace. Turn on your subwoofer!
And, again, here is a very short snippet of how the Adlib sounded.
- Character Creation
Thy memory travels back in time to the days of thy Great Quest. When thou didst choose thy path. . .
Simply put, one of my all-time favorites. . . and no General MIDI revision of it has ever done it justice. Simple, yet haunting. . .
- The Ultima Theme
The Theme for Adventure. . .
This theme originally made its appearance in Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (for those fortunate enough to have a music board for their Apple, or a Commodore computer. I wish the composer had chosen more classical instruments for this piece. I've always though it sounded overly techno and/or synthetic. This is partly due to the fact that no MIDI card (in my humble opinion) has ever gotten trumpets and other brass intstruments quite right. Though, of course, not perfect, the Roland's attempt at trumpets leaves the FM synthesis of the Sound Blaster and Adlib cards far behind. Compare here.
- Engagement & Melee
The classic Ultima battle theme.
This score made its first appearance in Ultima V. Now, in Ultima VI, it is heard for the final time.
Surely thou didst feel uneasy as this tune accompanied thy journeys into the dark recesses of Sosaria. . .
The drums, the violens, the simplicity. . . all very effective.
Ah heck. . . why not another Adlib Comparison!
As thou didst travel the lands, perhaps it was Iolo who played this tune on his lute. . . over, and over, and over again. . .
Not exactly one of my favorites. Too bad the game wouldn't let you turn off only certain songs!
- Captain John's Hornpipe
The sea spray in thy face as the minstrel plays a jig for the crew. . .
Again, bleh. Though notice just how realistic the instrument(s) sound!
The mystical tune by Iolo. Perhaps the best known song of the realm.
This represents the first time Stones could be heard in anything other than (relatively crappy) FM synthesis. Enjoy!
- Rule Britannia
The heart swells as the theme of our Liege fills the halls. . .
The obligatory salute to Lord British that is a part of every Ultima that included music! This song truly shows off the realism that the Roland LAPC-I can achieve. Though, again, not as impressive as will be heard in later Ultimas, the realism is striking nonetheless.
Just how realistic? Well, compare the Roland version above to yet another snippet of the Adlib card playing the same tune.
The suprisingly pleasant anthem of the Gargoyle people. Perhaps their race is not wholly evil?
As always, notice the relative realism of the instruments.
A nice tune. Though it is somewhat jarring and seems a bit strange. Until. . .
As Lord British raises the blue lens before the ethereal void. . . and King Draxinusom of the Gargoyle race holds aloft the purple lens of his people. . . the codex of Ultimate wisdom opens before the two noble rulers. At this, the two lords looked upon each other then, not with fear, but with understanding. Thus was the war between the people of Britannia and the Gargoyle race ended. . .
Notice the intertwining of 'Rule Britannia' and the Gargoyle theme. Pretty neat, no?