Virtue Cards

story-icon-generalThe Eight Virtuesstory-icon-game

BioWare Mythic had a set of Virtue Cards on display at the BioWare display at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con. They released an image of the card’s facing side on the Ultima Forever Facebook page, and also kindly agreed to release the rest of the card artwork for display here at the Ultima Codex. I’m informed that they are also planning their own rollout of the cards, with in-depth write-ups for each card.

For now, however, you can feast your eyes on the gorgeous artwork of all eight Virtue Cards here:

Now, there’s a bit of a story to one particular aspect of these cards.

As many of you will no doubt notice, the artwork for some of the cards is heavily inspired by the set of tarot cards released as an in-the-box trinket with Ultima 9. When creating those cards, Origin Systems’ artists decided to include the phases of the two moons of Britannia, Trammel and Felucca, at the top of each card. Trammel is always in the “full moon” phase, while Felucca’s phase varies with each card. Or nearly so; Felucca’s phase is in error (inverted, actually) on the Valour and Justice tarot cards.

During our trip to the BioWare Mythic studio a little more than a year ago, Time Machine Dragon saw what I believe were the original source art templates for the tarot cards framed and adorning a wall in the studio, and remarked that the moon phases were in error and essentially arbitrary. Almost a year later, Jimmy Acevedo (the assistant producer for Ultima Forever) asked Time Machine and myself if some sense could actually be made of the moon phases adorning each tarot card. After looking over them for a bit, I deduced the above-noted error and relayed that information to Jimmy, who evidently set his artists to work to set matters straight. It was too late for Ultima 9, but on BioWare Mythic’s take on the cards, Felucca now always appears in the moon phase associated with the city associated with the depicted Virtue.

Trammel, on each card, continues the trend of being locked in the “full moon” phase, which incidentally is associated with Minoc (and therefore Sacrifice). Which, I suppose, is a pretty fitting Virtue for the Avatar to keep always in mind.

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