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re origins of the purple llama

Discussion in 'UHall' started by fonsvitae, May 7, 2019.

  1. fonsvitae

    fonsvitae Adventurer

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    Making a search on the internet for purple llama today yields many, many results: the purple llama is no longer just a UO easter egg. The llama is all over the place, ubiquitous across many streams. Well, I got to thinking: just what are the origins of the purple llama? And, did UO have anything to do with either initiating and/ or popularizing the idea of the purple llama? Below is my outlined investigation.

    As it happens, when the Magery spell, Energy Vortex, is cast, it is at times expressed as a purple llama graphic: it has the same abilities, limitations and behaviors of any other cast EV, but it appears as a purple llama. This is considered as a bug which has been allowed to continue in the game, dating to likely the very beginning of Ultima Online. With this information, I have a reference point and possible beginning (late nineties) for the purple llama, but is there more?

    I did come across an interesting game developer out of the UK named Jeff Minter. Founder of the video games company Llamasoft, Minter has shown an affinity for having ruminant themed games as far back as 1982, with titles showcasing mutant camels, mega camels and mama llamas running around and even in outer space, though none of them purple.

    Where does this leave things? It would seem, per internet searches, that UO has the earliest example of a purple llama. That said, this answer isn't definitive: it could be that the purple llama was an ongoing matter/ meme across media which the internet didn't capture and that persons involved never related in an internet capture-able way: it could be a number of things.

    Anything you can add to this?
     
  2. Stinky Pete

    Stinky Pete Seasoned Veteran
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    Will Wright included llama references in the original SimCity (1989). The llama has since been used in all sim games. The Sims franchise happens to also be owned by EA. Perhaps this has something to do with it.
     
  3. Akiho

    Akiho Journeyman

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    I was always dubious about it being a bug, when it spawns it also came with a a paperdoll and a unique name, I seem to recall it being 'a mystic llamaherder' or similar. A bug that generates a paperdoll and a unique name? Seems intentional to me. Can't even remember the last time I saw a llama vortex, not used as much these days for it to spawn i guess.

    I'm sure it was intentionally done by a mischievous programmer who wanted to leave a mark as most programmers like to do in almost all games, some are more subtle but this always caught they eye and made you go.. 'WTF?!?' :D

    I personally think it was an ode to Jeff Minter, in my mind even the paperdoll name would suggest that, he was well known for being a bit psychedelic/mystical.
     
  4. Gidge

    Gidge Lore Keeper
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    There is an interview with Raph Koster. He states it was just an easter egg. It is done by another game, so I can't post a link :( I am listening to see if there is more said later. It's kinda long so it may be tomorrow before I get to finish.

    I just watch 2 and half hours and nothing else about it. I'll keep looking.
     
    #4 Gidge, May 8, 2019
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  5. petemage

    petemage Certifiable
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    Youtube has transcripts of all the videos, so I found it:

     
  6. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Hilariously, because of the way EC was coded, and the Purple Llama vortex was added back in, most of the time when an EC character gets a purple llama, it's a regular EV to CC users, and vice-versa. I've only heard of one instance where both EC & CC characters saw a llama at the same time, and there were multiple EVs on the field, so they might have been two different EVs.

    And, thanks to how streaky the RNG for UO is, I've had 2 purple llamas at the same time a couple times before.
     
  7. Jennifer-Marie

    Jennifer-Marie Journeyman

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    — The official UO Wiki and the other wiki so many people use for information both list the purple llama EV as purposeful.

    I’d venture to say that since Ultima Online was so massively popular in the early years, any purple llama reference in other video games, RPGs, or tabletop games would be influenced by UO/EA.
     
  8. Gidge

    Gidge Lore Keeper
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    Ah, see I didn't post the link cause I thought we could not post anything about other games.
     
  9. Pawain

    Pawain I Hate Skilling
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    Be a Bad Girl once in a while.
     
  10. Gidge

    Gidge Lore Keeper
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    I got in trouble once here for posting a website that was building a 3D UO world and then got in trouble for saying I got in trouble for posting a website about a 3D world, so now I will probably get in trouble for mentioning the fact I got in trouble. :) Is that bad enough for you?
     
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  11. Pawain

    Pawain I Hate Skilling
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    :eek: Bad Girl

    But Stratics is not the official Forum of UO now.

    You can post links to other games especially if it relates to Purple Llamas!
     
  12. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Uh... No, you didn't. You can post about "other games" all you want, as long as they are relatively on topic with the conversation. You just can't post about emulation of existing games (freeshards, attempts to recreate Game X with another game engine, etc.) - because the game companies themselves are typically death on those (and on forums that routinely discuss them).

    You got in trouble for posting about a game that was trying to replicate game material protected by copyright/trademark law.

    From the terms of use/rules of conduct for Stratics (things not allowed):
    • Posting or linking to 3rd party game related software and utilities not authorized for use by any title supported on Stratics.

    Recreating a functioning alternate version of UO without written permission from EA is a violation, as is linking to someone attempting it.
     
  13. Gidge

    Gidge Lore Keeper
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    I just looked back at my warning and read what I posted and I thought it was just an artists rendition of UO in a 3D format when I posted it I didn't know it was really going to be a world. :)

    Corrects herself...."I got in trouble once here for posting a website that was building a 3D UO world that was in process of becoming an actual game that would have been UO's stuff. "

    Yeah, see the key thing I was pointing out was that I got in trouble. Not what I got in trouble for, I learned what I did was wrong.

    Which was my point. So the video posted is not a freeshard? That's why I didn't post the video myself. I came close to it, just the youtube link, but thought better.

    Or that means that that freeshard has EA permission? hmmm!
     
  14. Pawain

    Pawain I Hate Skilling
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    Technically Stratics is not bound by UO rules now. They could make a sub forum for freeshards if there was enough interest, which means money from banners, but they have chosen not to. Maybe the reason they do not is because the shards have their own forums and there would not be interest.

    But I would say discussing this would belong in the off topic area. not a topic to get you in "trouble" now.

    Bad Girl!
     
  15. Captn Norrington

    Captn Norrington Stratics Forum Moderator
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    Pretty much yeah. We discussed it a while ago, but there's just not much reason for free shard players to post here when the person who owns their shard already has a forum and responds to them individually. The benefit of a few extra posters doesn't outweigh the cost of losing all UO developer interaction on the site either. They still read things even though they don't post anymore. They most likely wouldn't be allowed to use their accounts here at all for contractual reasons if Stratics supported free shards.
     
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  16. Pawain

    Pawain I Hate Skilling
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    Yup, no reason to burn bridges when there is no return for Stratics.

    :cheerleader:Stratics is still the Official Forum of Endless Journey.:cheerleader:
     
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  17. Alkaseltzer

    Alkaseltzer Journeyman

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    I love a good origin story. :popcorn:
     
  18. fonsvitae

    fonsvitae Adventurer

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    This is a llama reference, but it is only a llama reference (not purple) and, as llama reference, Minter's llama contributions predate Mr. Wright's.

    The EA matter is irrelevant as the UO purple llama existed in UO prior to EA acquiring the company.

    I tend to agree w/ this as a strong possibility because Minter may have had sufficient inroads into the lives of fellow programmers to inspire them to do such a thing (create a purple llama as an ode to him); that said, we do not know today the influence Minter may have had on any involved programmer(s), and so, strong as a possibility as this may be, it remains conjecture.

    This shows that the purple llama was an intentional addition to UO; we are on the right track here.

    With this I agree. The purple llama may (or may not) have been contributed to by other llama fixations extant at the time or prior, but the earliest expression of a purple llama as an idea or meme is indeed a UO original.
     
  19. Nero

    Nero Adventurer

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    Gidge likes this.
  20. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    And, UO WAS ALWAYS PART OF EA -

    EA had bought Origin Systems LONG BEFORE the "Multima" proposal. IF you ever listen to the many interviews about the origins of UO, Garriott, Long, Koster and others ALL mentioned having to go SEVERAL TIMES to the people at EA controlling the purse strings to attempt to get funding for the project, BEFORE IT WAS ACTUALLY APPROVED AND STARTED.

    And, the purple part is almost certainly from the color of EVs and the llama used as a placeholder animation, not tied to the llama easter egg dfirectly.
     
  21. fonsvitae

    fonsvitae Adventurer

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    Oops. I stand corrected, @Stinky Pete @Basara this Will Wright did indeed contribute to the overall llama popularization in games at the time and may well have contributed to it being in the EA/ UO atmosphere of the time. Thank you for pointing out my error there.