Rule, Britannia!

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Rule, Britannia!
Composer Thomas Arne
Released 1740-08-01

Rule, Britannia! is a song about British imperialism based off of a poem by James Thomson and set to music composed by Thomas Arne. It has become the de facto national anthem of the United Kingdom. Several games have used this tune, most notably the Ultima series which has used the song in the majority of its games as a theme for Lord British.

Additional songs in the Ultima series have remixed the song including The Missing Monarch, Ending - Ultima: Quest of the Avatar (NES), Unity, and Joyous Reunion.

Games

Ultima III: Exodus (A2)

Platform - A2.png
Ultima III: Exodus (A2)
Arranger Ken Arnold
Released 1983-08-23
Format UNK
Loops Yes

Rule, Britannia! is played when you talk to Lord British.

Blue Max (A8)

Platform - A8.png
Blue Max (A8)
Arranger Bob Polin
Released 1983-??-??
Length 0:54
Format SAP
Loops ?


Blue Max (C64)

Platform - C64.png
Blue Max (C64)
Blue Max - C64 - Title.png
Arranger Stephen Biggs
Released 1983-??-??
Length 0:45
Format SID
Loops ?

Played at the title screen.

Ultima III: Exodus (A8)

Platform - A8.png
Ultima III: Exodus (A8)
Released 1983-??-??
Format SAP
Loops Yes

The song is play in the same location as the Apple II original.

Ultima III: Exodus (C64)

Platform - C64.png
Ultima III: Exodus (C64)
Output - SID.svg
Ultima 3 - C64 - Lord British.png
Arranger Ken Arnold
Released 1983-??-??
Length 0:16.05
Format SID
Loops Yes

Like the Apple II port, Rule, Britannia! is played when you talk to Lord British.

The song is track 8 in the SID file and plays on the 6581.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (A2)

Platform - A2.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (A2)
Arranger Ken Arnold
Released 1985-09-18
Format UNK
Loops Yes

For those equipped with a Mockingboard, they will hear Rule, Britannia! when talking to Lord British, rendered on an AY-3-8910.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (C64)

Platform - C64.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (C64)
Output - SID.svg
Ultima 4 - C64 - Lord British.png
Arranger Ken Arnold
Released 1985-??-??
Length 0:38
Format SID
Loops Yes

In the Commodore 64 port of Ultima IV, Rule, Britannia! plays when you are talking to Lord British. The song is track 9 in the SID file and rendered on the 6581.

Ultima III: Exodus (AMI)

Platform - AMI.png
Ultima III: Exodus (AMI)
Released 1986-??-??
Format UNK
Loops Yes

The song is play in the same location as the Apple II original.

Ultima III: Exodus (AST)

Platform - AST.png
Ultima III: Exodus (AST)
Released 1986-??-??
Format SNDH
Loops Yes

The song is play in the same location as the Apple II original.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (A8)

Platform - A8.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (A8)
Released 1986-??-??
Format SAP
Loops Yes

The song plays in the same location as the Apple II original.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (PC98)

Platform - PC98.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (PC98)
Output - OPNA.svg
Ultima 4 - PC98 - Lord British.png
Arranger Unknown
Released 1987-07-18
Length 0:34.61
Format S98
Loops Yes

The PC-9801 port plays slightly faster than the original. It is likewise played while speaking to Lord British, and is rendered on the YM2608.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (PC88)

Platform - PC88.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (PC88)
Arranger Unknown
Released 1987-07-??
Format S98
Loops Yes

Like the PC-9801 port, the song is rendered on the YM2608, but it uses a lower quality sound.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (AST)

Platform - AST.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (AST)
Released 1987-??-??
Format SNDH
Loops Yes

The song plays in the same location as the Apple II original.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (MSX2)

Platform - MSX.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (MSX2)
Arranger Unknown
Released 1987-??-??
Format KSS
Loops Yes

It is rendered on the YM2149.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (X1)

Platform - X1.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (X1)
Arranger Unknown
Released 1987-??-??
Format S98
Loops Yes

It is rendered on the YM2151.

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (A2)

Platform - A2.png
Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (A2)
Arranger Ken Arnold
Released 1988-03-??
Format UNK
Loops Yes

Rule, Britannia! is played in three different versions in Ultima V. It is played in a down beat from as The Missing Monarch, in normal form as Rule, Britannia!, and in a happy version as Joyous Reunion. The song loops.

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (C64)

Platform - C64.png
Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (C64)
Output - SID.svg
Arranger Ken Arnold
Released 1988-??-??
Length 0:37.23
Format SID
Loops Yes

Like the Apple II game, the Commodore 128 version plays Rule, Britannia! in three different versions. It is played in a down beat from as The Missing Monarch, in normal form as Rule, Britannia!, and in a happy version as Joyous Reunion. The song loops.

Ultima: Quest of the Avatar (NES)

Platform - NES.png
Ultima: Quest of the Avatar (NES)
Output - NES.svg
Arranger Seiji Toda
Released 1989-09-20
Length 0:01
Format NSF
Loops No
Seiji Toda sneaked about a second of Rule, Britannia! into the Ending track. It can be heard around the 1:00 mark.

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (AMI)

Platform - AMI.png
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar (AMI)
Released 1988-??-??
Format UNK
Loops Yes

The song plays in the same location as the Apple II original.

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (AST)

Platform - AST.png
Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (AST)
Arranger Wally Beben
Released 1989-??-??
Format SNDH
Loops Yes

Like the Apple II game, the Atari ST version plays Rule, Britannia! in three different versions. It is played in a down beat from as The Missing Monarch, in normal form as Rule, Britannia!, and in a happy version as Joyous Reunion. The song loops.

Ultima VI: The False Prophet (DOS)

Platform - DOS.png
Ultima VI: The False Prophet (DOS)
Output - Roland.svg
Output - OPL2.svg
Output - Philips.svg
Output - Tandy.svg
Ultima 6 - DOS - Lord British.png
Arranger Herman Miller
Released 1990-??-??
Length 0:37
Format M
Loops Yes

Unlike earlier games, Rule, Britannia! is not played specifically for Lord British's castle. Rather, it is one of the four tracks that plays randomly throughout the game after conversations. It its, however, played in the game's ending when Lord British is summoned to meet the Lord Draxinusom. The song is also integrated into the ending song, Unity.

The song file is named Brit.m.

Ultima: Warriors of Destiny (NES)

Platform - DOS.png
Ultima: Warriors of Destiny (NES)
Output - NES.svg
Ultima - Warriors of Destiny - NES - Title Screen.png
Arranger Martin Galway
Released 1991-01-??
Length 0:35
Format NSF
Loops ?

Played at the title screen.

Ultima VI: The False Prophet (C64)

Platform - C64.png
Ultima VI: The False Prophet (C64)
Output - SID.svg
Arranger Ken Arnold
Released 1991-??-??
Length 0:37.23
Format SID
Loops Yes

The Commodore port of Ultima 6 uses the same version of Rule, Britannia! as the Commodore port of Ultima 5.

Stanley: The Search For Dr. Livingston (NES)

Platform - NES.png
Stanley: The Search For Dr. Livingston (NES)
Stanley - NES - Map.png
Arranger Paul Webb
Released 1992-02-10
Length 0:05
Format NSF
Loops ?

The first ten notes of the song are played at the map screen.

Ultima VII: The Black Gate (DOS)

Platform - DOS.png
Ultima VII: The Black Gate (DOS)
Output - Roland.svg
Output - OPL2.svg
Ultima 7 - DOS - Rule, Britannia!.png
Arranger Dana Glover
Released 1992-04-16
Length 1:15.65
Format MIDI
Loops No

Rule, Britannia! plays all over the city of Britain.

The song is track 23 in the game's data files.

Ultima VI: The False Prophet (SNES)

Platform - SNES.png
Ultima VI: The False Prophet (SNES)
Arranger Unknown
Released 1992-07-03
Format SPC
Loops Yes


Ultima VI: The False Prophet (AST)

Platform - AST.png
Ultima VI: The False Prophet (AST)
Arranger Matt Furniss
Released 1992-??-??
Format SNDH
Loops Yes


Ultima: Runes of Virtue II (SNES)

Platform - SNES.png
Ultima: Runes of Virtue II (SNES)
Arranger Unknown
Released 1994-06-17
Format SPC
Loops Yes


BreakThru! (GB)

Platform - GB.png
BreakThru! (GB)
Arranger Greg Turner, Eric Nielsen
Released 1995-01-??
Format GBS
Loops Yes


Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny - Exodus Project (DOS)

Platform - DOS.png
Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny - Exodus Project (DOS)
Arranger Unknown
Released 2001-08-21
Format XMI
Loops Yes


Sheet Music

Lyrics

This song has lyrics, though no game uses them.

When Britain first, at Heaven's command
Arose from out the azure main;
This was the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:

"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."

The nations, not so blest as thee,
Must, in their turns, to tyrants fall;
While thou shalt flourish great and free,
The dread and envy of them all.

"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."

Still more majestic shalt thou rise,
More dreadful, from each foreign stroke;
As the loud blast that tears the skies,
Serves but to root thy native oak.

"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."

Thee haughty tyrants ne'er shall tame:
All their attempts to bend thee down,
Will but arouse thy generous flame;
But work their woe, and thy renown.

"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."

To thee belongs the rural reign;
Thy cities shall with commerce shine:
All thine shall be the subject main,
And every shore it circles thine.

"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves."

The Muses, still with freedom found,
Shall to thy happy coast repair;
Blest Isle! With matchless beauty crown'd,
And manly hearts to guard the fair.

"Rule, Britannia! rule the waves:
"Britons never will be slaves." 

Links