Editable Codex
Orcs, from Ultima V manual
First appearance: Ultima I
Last appearance: Ultima V

Primitive, porcine humanoids created by magical experiments in the Age of Darkness, orcs are not particularly strong or intelligent, but always travel in packs. Their life goals are simple: plundering, killing, and reproducing. Usually little more than pests, they are typically encountered in the wilderness, but frequently dwell underground as well.

Orcs never changed much in the games they appeared in, functioning as primitive roadside-robbers that were barely a threat to veteran adventurers. At the time of Ultima III, their connnection to the physical world was still fragile enough that the simplest magic could dispel them—a weakness they shared with their cousins, goblins and trolls. After Ultima V, orcs disappeared without explanation.



Small, pig-visaged humanoids, the Orcs were the vanguard of Mondain's first advance. Tribal by nature, they are sub-human at best, just a slight cut above true bestiality. They abhor all things human and cultured and will lay waste to anything fashioned by human hands. 'Tis said that they relish the taste of human flesh.

- from The First Age of Darkness (Ultima I)

More pest than peril, the not-bright orc is the prolific product of a foolish experimental genetic mating of human and boar.

- from The Second Age of Darkness (Ultima II)


These creatures of evil are the result of long ago mutations wrong by magic. As they were created by magic, so can a wizard's spell dispell them from this plane.

- from The Book of Play (Ultima III)

Would that every Orc had been destroyed with the fall of the Triad of Evil! They bred like rabbits and still infest the woods and hills, though in much smaller numbers than before.

- from The History of Britannia (Ultima IV)

Orcs are often more annoying than dangerous to the seasoned adventurer, but they can be a grave threat to the novice, especially when they travel in large groups or accompanied by a giant or two. Generally, they are fairly easy to defeat, do a modicum of damage if they hit, and carry meagre belongings.

- from The Book of Lore (Ultima V)


  • Along with elves, orcs were scheduled to make a reappearance in the cancelled Ultima X. Their detailed historical write-up is interesting, but not necessarily canonical. It can be read here.