Ultima Ratio Regum

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Ultima Ratio Regum
Beta Project
Developer Mark Johnson
Theme Strategy Games
Influences Dwarf Fortress, Civilization, Total War, Nethack, Supreme Commander, Tomb Raider
Released ~Summer 2012 (alpha)
Updated 31 December 2021 (0.9)
Licensing Closed Source
P. Language Python
Platforms Windows
Interface ASCII, Keyboard
Game Length Hour or two (currently)
Official site of Ultima Ratio Regum


A semi-roguelike game inspired by the literature of Jorge Borges, Umberto Eco & Neal Stephenson, and the games Europa Universalis and Dark Souls.

Where to find Ultima Ratio Regum

The latest build can be downloaded at: "Mark Johnson Games".

Developer's Goals

Ultima Ratio Regum ("the last argument of kings") is a game which aims to integrate thematic content on historiography, philosophical idealism and the rise of modernist grand narratives, with the deep, complex and challenging gameplay one expects from a "classic" roguelike (and, of course, an ANSI display and permadeath). Set approximately around the Scientific Revolution, the player is tasked with discovering a conspiracy via identifying procedurally-generated clues hidden throughout the world's cultures, religions and societies; the game features extensive procedural generation of everything from tombs and religious altars to (in the future) paintings and sculptures, any or all of which may contain the clues required in a given playthrough.


“Ultima Ratio Regum is one of a few ambitious, long-term projects which I think represent the most exciting things about indie game development, about PC games, and about what technology can do for the games of tomorrow.” - Graham Smith, Rock Paper Shotgun