[[caption-width-right:300:''[[DarkerAndEdgier Lovely]]''.]]

->''"You have been a thorn in my side for far too long, Avatar. Your two worlds will be crushed. Britannia first, then Earth. I shall parade you before their conquered peoples as the fallen idol of a pathetic ideal. I banish you to the world of Pagan. No one here knows of the Avatar!"''
-->-'''The Guardian'''

''Ultima VIII: Pagan'' (1994) is the eighth official installment in the classic ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'' series of RolePlayingGames by Creator/OriginSystems. After [[BigBad The Guardian]] captures the Avatar, he banishes him to Pagan, a world of eternal twilight very different from the usual series setting of Britannia. Here, the Avatar is forced to find his bearings and learn in a strange new environment. [[KarmaMeter The Virtues]] of the previous games are gone, and despite being a messianic paragon in Britannia, no one knows of him here. None of his old companions appear in the game, nor does Lord British. Instead, most of the story deals with the Avatar's interactions with the four Titans, powerful demi-gods whose worshippers are capable of different forms of magic. The Avatar travels this world learning the different forms of ElementalPowers, before ultimately facing off the Titans themselves. After this, he hopes to return to Britannia to [[VideoGame/UltimaIX deal with the Guardian]].

''Pagan'' occupies an interesting place in the ''Ultima'' series. ExecutiveMeddling meant its production ended up being quite rushed, and many of the original planned elements were left out. The removal of party-based gameplay and the addition of various platform game features also got a mixed reception among fans of the previous games. Combined with the change in setting and lack of relation to the series' story arc, the gameplay changes left it with little in common with the other ''Ultima'' games. It is still, however, much more fondly remembered than the ObviousBeta that was ''VideoGame/UltimaIX'', and is quite fun when judged in its own right rather than in comparison with the rest of the series.

An expansion pack called ''The Lost Vale'' was announced and apparently completed, but the release was cancelled when ''Pagan'' didn't sell as well as was hoped. A full version is confirmed to have existed, but it was not archived and the game is thus lost for good. The only information we have on it are a bunch of screenshots and whatever can be reconstructed from previews and statements by the developers. A single, completed box for ''The Lost Vale'' (without the actual game) surfaced in 2005, and was sold on eBay for $1,923.
!!This game has examples of:

* AbortedArc: There are a number of plot threads that are hinted at or begun that never lead to any satisfying conclusion, due to the game being released before they were completed.
* AccidentalPublicConfession: The Avatar and his friend Devon the fisherman are about to be executed for treason when the Avatar reveals information that he found in a book that was locked away in the dungeon and whose author was killed for writing it. Said book states that Devon is an illegitimate son of the previous Tempest and, being older than his sister, the rightful heir to the throne. Mordea's toadying seneschal Salkind reacts not by denying the existence of the book or claiming it is fake, but by saying that no-one could have read the book since he hid it too well. Cue a sheepish reaction once he realises his mistake and Mordea killing him in epic fashion for his idiocy.
* AfterTheEnd: the world of Pagan was devastated before the events of the game in an apocalypse orchestrated by the Guardian; centuries on, recovery has been very limited.
* AllCrimesAreEqual: In Tenebrae, the punishment for all crimes, from minor theft to murder, is death by combustion, or via a lightning bolt if you attack/offend the Tempest personally.
* CainAndAbel: Queen Mordea of Tenebrae ends up fighting a magic/elemental duel with her older brother Devon for the throne. [[KarmicDeath Let's say it doesn't end well for her]]. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxHGg7P-RLA View a video of the whole "Fall of Mordea" scene here, the action starts at about the 4.45 mark.]]
* ConvectionSchmonvection: You can go as close as you like to molten lava, as long as you don't touch it without casting a heat protection spell first.
* CrapsackWorld: Oh boy, where to begin. Pagan is a world [[TheBadGuyWins the Guardian has conquered]], and the results are not pretty. The skies are constantly covered with dark clouds (or perhaps ash) and ''the sun'' is merely an obscure myth. Human life manages to continue only by the people worshiping elemental Titans who constantly lend their power to help the people, and the Titans are not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. The largest (and only) human city is ruled by a petty tyrant. And the Avatar over the course of his efforts to find a way home arguably makes things ''[[NiceJobBreakingItHero worse]]''.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Certainly compared to the earlier ''Ultima'' games. There are no Virtues, few truly good characters, some (for the time) pretty graphic violence and the world itself is literally immersed in eternal gloom.
* DarkIsNotEvil: The necromancer Vividos is one of the most pleasant and helpful people in the game.
* ElementalPlane: Each of the four Titans lives in a separate region of the world, which is themed around the element associated with that Titan. Each region includes relevant supernatural occurrences (floating rock platforms in the Air region, undead roaming the Earth region, etc.). Furthermore, there's the Aether region which is an actual Elemental Plane outside the world of Pagan.
* ElementalPowers: The different types of magic featured in the game are all tied to the traditional western elements.
** Necromancy involves manipulating Earth and, by extension, the dead.
** Theurgy deals with Air and has several healing spells.
** Sorcery is the magic of Fire and fire-related creatures such as demons.
** Tempestry is the power affecting Water, as well as the weather. The Avatar never learns this branch of magic, so all that we see of it is based on demonstrations by other characters.
** Thaumaturgy encompasses a diverse series of spells, apparently all related to the mysterious element of [[ElementNumberFive Aether]].
* ElementNumberFive: Aether, and its magical school of Thaumaturgy.
* GodsNeedPrayerBadly: The old Zealan gods are apparently heavily weakened by the fact that no one worships them any more.
* IShallTauntYou: The Guardian will not ''shut up'' about Britannia burning while you're mucking about Pagan.
* InformedEquipment: Even when wearing no equipment at all, the Avatar's in-game sprite depicts him wearing a full suit of armour (complete with a face-obscuring helmet).
* LordBritishPostulate: While Lord British himself doesn't turn up, various techniques can be used to get rid of Beren, the normally invincible town sorcerer, by exploiting the game's SuperDrowningSkills against him.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: The Avatar says this in the brief moment between casting the Armageddon spell and being blown to shreds (Pagan's version of the spell kills the caster as well).
* NintendoHard: Many of the platforming sections involve jumping between series of rocks over a body of water. If the fact that missing your target means instant death (thanks to SuperDrowningSkills) wasn't bad enough, in the unpatched version many of the rocks will periodically sink underwater, meaning you have to be damn fast. The only saving grace (no pun intended) is your ability to save after reaching every new platform, although the length of time it takes to save/load games on the hardware of the time makes this less useful than you'd like.
* NotEvilJustMisunderstood: One journal is by a troll that has woken up from a long slumber due to a magical accident to find his once advanced people have degenerated into mindless monsters now hunted by the humans they once allied with. The last entry has him about to take an injured child to humans, hoping it will clear things up a bit. A separate guard captain's journal indicates one of his recruits "bravely" chopped apart the troll as he begged for his life. And the little girl, but of course [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters "She was only a peasant however, and of no import."]]
* ObviousBeta: The game features several useless areas and doors you'll never open due to being rushed out.
* PowerGlows: The Avatar's hands glow blue when he is casting a spell. Other characters' hands change to different colours when performing magic, such as red or orange. Enchanted weapons, armour, scrolls and other magic items have a blue glow around them.
* RealIsBrown: Or grey, when exploring underground cavern areas. This factor is admittedly subject to some exaggeration by [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]].
* ShopliftAndDie: Get caught committing theft, bodily harm or murder in Tenebrae, and Beren, the town sorcerer, will immediately teleport to where you are and graphically blow you up.
* SmallStepsHero: Deconstructed and averted like crazy. If you want to get off Pagan, you will have to make sacrifices and do morally reprehensible things.
* ShoutOut:
** The book ''Ear of Arricorn'' is a reference to ''Literature/TheEyeOfArgon''.
** The book ''Eye of the Boulder, the Runes of the Myth Drainer'' is a reference to ''VideoGame/EyeOfTheBeholder'', and the ''[[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons D&D]]'' box set, ''The Ruins of Myth Drannor''.
** The ''Song of Fred'' book parodies ''Series/TheBeverlyHillbillies''.
** In the throne room, Mordea says, "[[Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland Off with her head!]]"
** One of the gravestones reads, "[[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger Arnold]] -- [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay Hasta Lavista Baby]]"
* SuperDrowningSkills: Falling into even the tiniest body of water means instant death. This includes water fountains in Tenebrae. To destroy any item or character, just drop it into water. What makes this especially [[{{Narm}} hilarious]] is that the Avatar starts the game being fished out of the sea.
* TitleDrop: In the history of the world of Pagan, conflict arose between the followers of the old Zealan gods and those who started following the Guardian and the elemental Titans. The latter group came to be called Pagans.
* TowersOfHanoi: Turn up as part of a puzzle to get into the Zealan Shrine, although you can find another way to enter the place if you wish.
* WalkOnWater: Devon has this ability. After defeating his royal sister in an elemental duel, he takes a walk out to sea.
* WhatTheHellHero: Given the central {{Aesop}} of the story is that sometimes you have to commit evil acts in pursuit of greater good, the Avatar gets some very deserved ones. Some of the biggest are the Theurgists after the Avatar steals the magical artifact that gives them the connection to their Titan and allows their healing magic to function. Another is after the Avatar frees Hydros, the Titan of Water, on empty promises of gaining the powers of Tempestry, and the Titan then goes on to cause constant rain with the intent of drowning everyone.
* YourMagicsNoGoodHere: Pagan has ''five'' different magic systems, none of them compatible with Britannia's.