Final Fantasy 14 legend Yoshi-P witnessed one of early MMO history's most infamous mishaps firsthand

Final Fantasy 14
(Image credit: Square Enix)

Naoki Yoshida, aka Yoshi-P, the legendary producer of Final Fantasy 14, was present during one of the most iconic moments in MMO history: Lord British's assassination in Ultima Online.

This was discovered by Twitter user @Dreamboum, who posted translations of an interview Yoshi-P and fellow Final Fantasy veteran Yasumi Matsuno had with Denfaminicogamer. During the conversation, Matsuno mentions the famous mishap, to which Yoshi-P replies, "I was there to witness the Lord British incident."

If you're into your early MMOs, you might already be well-versed in this story, but here's a little background for those who aren't that familiar. Lord British was a character controlled by Richard Garriott, the creator of Ultima and the ruler of the game's world. He was designed to be practically invincible, but much to the surprise of those who'd gathered to hear his in-game speech during Ultima Online's beta test in 1997, he was killed. The culprit was a player called Rainz, who obliterated Lord British with a fire spell.

Recalling the event, Yoshi-P says, "He was killed by a single magic spell, a 'fire field' shot by an ordinary player in the public eye, and everyone laughed and laughed, and the event ended as it did." He adds, "At any rate, the guy who shot the magic was immediately taken away".

It turns out that several days before the event, Ultima Online's server had crashed, and Garriott forgot to reenable his character's invulnerability when logging back in, thus making him easily killable by anyone wishing to do so.

Yoshi-P says that were the same thing to happen to him while hosting an in-game event in Final Fantasy 14, "it would be a big deal". Thankfully the MMO's been going for a decade now without its own version of the Lord British incident.

Yoshi-P's enthusiasm for games has earned him a large following of fans, and that appreciation extends far beyond the virtual worlds he helps shape. These days he can't get enough of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and even dropped into the latest official Final Fantasy 14 live stream playing the much-anticipated sequel on the new, special edition Zelda-themed Switch.

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Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.