Ultima II is a role playing game that was developed for the Apple ][ and released in 1982. It has similar graphics and features to Ultima I. In it you explore Earth from an overhead perspective, explore dungeons from a first person perspective and battle a bunch of monsters. The version I played was released for DOS in 1983. It featured CGA graphics, which were standard for the time. When I tried to play this version through GOG and dosbox, I noticed some screen artifacts. I did some research and found a fan made patch that upgrades the graphics to EGA, fixes some bugs and turns off an autosave feature. I ended up playing the EGA version, which in turn looked much like the DOS port of UItima I, which was released for DOS in 1986.
Ultima II takes place many years after Ultima I. Over the years it is rumored that Mondain (the big bad you beat in Ultima I) had an apprentice named, Minax. After some time, time portals start appearing around Earth followed by monsters and darkness. Over time, the monsters and the darkness end up destroying Earth, so it is up to you to save it.
The first thing you notice when you read the story and play that game is that it does not take place in Sosaria (the location from Ultima I), but rather Earth. This is very bizarre. The game takes place in five time periods on earth. They are called Legends, Pangea, B.C., A.D. and Aftermath. Each period has a different overhead map that you traverse that reflect Earth in those time periods.
You end up spending most of your time in the overhead map battling monsters. There are a few dungeons and towers (another form of a dungeon), but these areas do not add anything to the game and you are not required to go into them.
The whole game is pretty much about resource management. You start with a limited amount of health, food and gold, which you must manage. As you move, you use up food. As you battle monsters, you lose health. The only way to gain more health is by buying it from Lord British. The only way to get food is either to buy it or steal it from some certain stores. The beginning of the game is all about a battle to survive.
After you get a good amount of food and health it is time to collect gold. You spend most of your time battling monsters just to get a little bit of gold. Out of my ten plus hours playing this game, the majority of it was going after gold.
Once you get enough gold, you can upgrade your attributes, get better weapons, better armor, better spells and finally be prepared for the final battle with Minax.
From this point on is SPOILERS. Scroll down until you see “END SPOILERS” if you do not want the game to be spoiled.
As I said earlier, you want to manage your health, food and gold. Your first priority is food, since this gets used up quick. I found the easiest way to get food was to steal it. Once I got enough food, it was time to get a boat.
The easiest way to not use up food is to get a boat. Boats do not use up food. To get a boat, you need to get a random drop of a blue tassel from a thief. Once you get this tassel, you need to wait for a random boat to show up, then you can board it. From here you can use the boat not only for movement, but also for attacks. This is the easiest way to get gold.
Once you can control a boat, the best place to gather gold is in Pangea. Since it is pretty much one landmass, you can just circle the continent with your boat and force the monsters to the shoreline. From there it takes a blast or two from your boat and you gather the rewards.
You will want to keep going around Pangea to gather enough gold (this will take several hours). Once you have enough gold, you can get more health from Lord British. You must also randomly update your stats so you can use the most powerful armor and sword.
Just like Ultima I you need to get the most powerful armor to go to space. Once in space, all you need to do is go to one planet and talk to a man. He does nothing beyond giving you his blessing to get a ring from a man in another time period.
You will also need the most powerful sword to defeat Minax. This can be gathered from a prison in the same time period where you get the ring.
Once you get both the ring and the sword, it is time to travel to the Legends time period to battle Minax. For this final battle, you need a lot of health. After defeating Minax you get a small amount of text congratulating you on defeating the boss. This was a let down compared to the screen of text you got at the end of Ultima I.
Overall this game was tedious and not really rewarding. The only reason to play this game is to say you have played all the Ultima games. I have to say that I did enjoy seeing the progress of the Ultima games. In this game you can see them start developing towns and castles, which they will use to better effect in future installments.
Next Up: Ultima III
Ultima I Review: https://cheerfulghost.com/Will_Ball/posts/3644/ultima-i-the-first-age-of-darkness-review