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Richard Garriott’s Akalabeth Disk Label

Akalabeth is a game Richard Garriott (the creator of Ultima) programmed back in his high school days. Essentially his first programming project, it launched a career and was the spiritual predecessor to the Ultima series.

From the auction:

This is one of RIchard Garriott’s ORIGINAL Akalabeth labels, created for his high school project Akalabeth, the one that sold under 15 games (NONE of the original games sold are in the hands of any collector’s as far as I know). This label was obtained in a trade with RG many years ago. His game was bought out by California Pacific which startted the Ultima revolution, Cal Pacific later released Ultima I, then Richard went to Sierra where Ultima II was released, he then founded his own company, Origin which released most of the Ultima games and others over the years. This game was the beginning. May be the ONLY original new Akalabeth label around unless RG has any left. New, still on it’s original backing.

Auction Here (Far From Cheap)

This seller actually has one of the top Ultima collections in the world and is thinking of selling it off – over $70,000 of stuff on paper. More on that when and if it happens.

I’ll also mention this neat little Garriott interview I watched recently. Looking at his collections of various stuff it frightens me to think of what a millionaire could do with a retro gaming collection. He also mentions some his his early days including Akalabeth.

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  1. There is much conflicting data but nowhere before have I seen it was a school project. Created in 1979 or 1980 (most including Lord British say 1979 but labels are marked 1980) while he was in high school working at Computerland in Clear Lake City, Texas. According to his interview in CDmag Origin’s Garden Of Eden
    by Cindy Yans he spent $200 on baggies and cover sheets. He states in that article 8 were sold. But I’ve also heard other numbers with as many as 16 created and 15 were sold. There are at least 3 originals known today. One was found in St Louis in the 90’s. All originals that were sold were numbered and that one is #8. Number 8 was cheap and was found at a school or church sale. Another belongs to Jason Cobb (Jocksitter Dragon) who is a bigtime Ultima collector with copy #12. The copy that didn’t sell is the personal copy of Lord British himself. It was auctioned off a few years back. Not sure if that one was numbered as it was an unsold copy.

  2. Another interview conflicts the number of baggies/paperwork and the number sold in the 1st interview. One says 200 baggies.paperwork the other $200 worth. One says 8 sold the other 16 made 15 sold. It reads in part as follows. I created Akalabeth for me, in the summer after my senior year in high school when I was working at a ComputerLand store. The owner convinced me to self-publish the game, so I went out and produced 200 ziplock bags, coversheets and printed manuals. None of these have disks because they were expensive, and I’d only copy them when I needed them. I created 16 of them, and sold 15 in the store. Then a publisher in California got hold of it and purchased the publishing rights.?

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