Origin Systems

From Audiovisual Identity Database


Origin Systems was an American development studio. Their Ultima and Wing Commander series are widely known. Origin was founded by Richard Garriott in 1987 and was acquired by Electronic Arts in 1992. In the late 90's, EA began putting pressure on the studio and hampering their creative activity. As a result, Garriott left the studio in 2000. Origin continued to merely support Ultima Online until 2004, when it was finally closed by EA.

1st Logo (2nd logo placeholder) (March 1988)

Logo: There is a blue parallelogram with the words "ORIGIN SYSTEMS INC." with a grid to the left. In the grid is a "+" shape with arrowheads on each end. Below it is "Presents" in a medieval font.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on Ultima V.

Legacy: This logo is likely a placeholder for the next logo.

2nd Logo (1989-1994)

Logo: There is a blue square divided into a grid. In it is an 8-pronged starburst with 4 of the points expanding out of the grid. The right point expands the entire length of the word "ORIGIN". Under it is "Presents...".

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Uncommon.

3rd Logo (August 1993-March 15, 1994)

Logo: In space, the sparkling word "ORIGIN" is seen with "PRESENTS" under it.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: None.

Availability: Seen on Wing Commander Academy and Ultima VIII: Pagan.

4th Logo (Wing Commander 3 variant) (December 1994)

Logo: There is a galaxy spinning around while the camera spins around it. The galaxy blows up and the mist phazes out, revealing some planets. "ORIGIN" in glass rotates into place as a sun shines next to it, becoming a starburst. The planets and space disappear, leaving the starburst and the word. The slogan appears and a byline appears with 3 registered trademarks.

Technique: The galaxy blowing up and the word rotating.

Music/Sounds: A rising synth note, then a synth hit and an orchestra when we see the planets and the galaxy blowing up.

Availability: Seen on Wing Commander 3.

5th Logo (Metal Morph variant) (December 1994)

Logo: On a black background, publishing and trademark info is seen at the bottom:




A few moments later, the "ORIGIN" name in the same style as the third logo, except with purple, pink, magenta and silver coloring and shining, zooms in towards the screen spinning. After it rests at a comfortable position, the colors shimmer throughout the logo as the words "PRESENTS" and "METAL MORPH", in the same style as the trademark info, appears below the company name. After a bit, the logo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System ("SUPER NINTENDO" with "ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM" in a red rectangle shape) fades in behind the "PRESENTS METAL MORPH" text. As that appears, the other text shakes. After a moment, the "PRESENTS METAL MORPH" text disappears as the Origin and SNES logos zoom away before the logo fades out.

Technique: The spinning and zooming in of the Origin logo, the SNES logo fading in, the shaking text, the two logos zooming away.

Music/Sounds: Something that sounds like the THX Deep Note played on a horn.

Availability: Very rare. Only appeared on Metal Morph on the SNES.

Legacy: This logo marks the only appearance of the Super Nintendo logo on-screen.

6th Logo (Cybermage: Darklight Awakening variant) (June 15, 1995)

Logo: There is a large word "ORIGIN" with an EA byline.

Technique: None.

Music/Sounds: The opening of the game.

Availability: Seen on Cybermage: Darklight Awakening.

7th Logo (Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom variant) (February 12, 1996)

Logo: A white light appears and blazes an Earth-like planet. The fire goes out and the planet zooms out, which becomes letters bundled into each other. They expand out and become "ORIGIN", while fire forms the slogan and it becomes space. The logo fades out.

Technique: The fire and letters expanding.

Music/Sounds: The opening of the game.

Availability: Seen on Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom.

8th Logo (September 9, 1996-February 2004)

Logo: On a black background, a large flash occurs, expelling large amounts of particles. It then forms a thick white line and starts to spin around, creating a galaxy. As it spins faster, a translucent box emerges from the borders and captures the galaxy as it makes a large flash, causing the Origin logo of the time to appear, which is a starburst with 2 streaks on the tips, as well as "ORIGIN" below in a white rectangle. The galaxy can be briefly seen inside the square before it turns into a murky blue substance. A light below it creates the slogan "We create worlds" in white.

Technique: The formation of the logo.

Music/Sounds: A loud whoosh is heard at the beginning, along with a rising synth. As it ends, a proud orchestral theme can be heard.

Availability: Seen on Ultima IX. Also appeared on Special Edition releases of Wing Commander: Privateer and Crusader: No Remorse.

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