Misc topics
Erstam talks about various themes, some related to the Elder scrolls series or RPG gaming in general, but also about other things. This section is going to be updated occasionally.

10-02-06 - Erstam who?
Anyone want to know where my forum name and avatar come from? Well, it had to be a mad mage of some sort, and browsing through my RPG memories, I remembered the old mage from Ultima VII: Serpent Isle. Y'know, the one who opposed Lord British's rule, exiled himself to the Ophidian world together with his followers, and spent his later days trying to make servants out of corpse parts.

Actually, in real life I'm not exactly as old and, um, deranged as that guy. Moreover, I generally fail to reproduce his temper in my posts (otherwise I might have got several warnings by now). But there's a good thing about choosing the name of a very uncool character from a decade-old game: you can be almost sure that it isn't already taken. No need to call myself "shadow_5139641021", or something like that.

The name has a certain German flavor, consonant-clustered as it is, and with me actually being from that country, one might draw a connection - but that's pure coincidence. I don't think that Warren Spector (or Richard Garriott, or whoever at Origin came up with that name) had something German in mind. Most likely it simply means "Master", letters scrambled.

Speaking of Origin and the Ultima series, there's indeed a connection to the Elder Scrolls games. Origin pioneered the creation of large RPG worlds with lots of freedom and player interaction, and a lore background with well thought out religious / philosophical systems. They were one of the most creative and innovative game studios ever, that is, before EA bought, assimilated, disintegrated, and finally defecated them. It's a sad story, but things like that are quite common in nowadays biz world...

To close the circle, I'd like to point towards the ambitious and very promising mod for Morrowind: Ultima IX: Redemption. Featuring a new storyline, and trying to stick closer to the game world and gameplay of earlier Ultimas, this might become a worthier conclusion to the "Trilogy of Trilogies" than the official Ultima IX: Ascension. Hang on, guys! :)