The Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress wiki last edited by Jagged85 on 11/27/13 04:52PM View full history

Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress continues with the first Ultima's combination of fantasy and sci-fi elements and adds something new - time travel. Like its predecessor, Ultima II predates the foundation of Origin Systems Inc and was published by Sierra On-Line. Unlike the first Ultima game, Ultima was never re-released as a stand alone game by Origin, although it was republished several times in various Ultima collections, although because these versions were missing map files, they were never winnable without patching.

Gameplay

The gameplay in Ultima II is very similar to Ultima I. The game is still split between a 2-D world map, 2-D towns on separate maps, and a simple space simulation. Unlike Ultima I, however, the 2-D town maps can occupy more than one screen, and there is more than one world map. The different world maps represent different time periods (accessed through time gates) or even different planets. Furthermore, there is no space combat in Ultima II. The player character still moves in the four cardinal directions, and all of the letters of the alphabet are used as commands. Weapons, armor, vehicles, and spells are still purchased, although they can also be found in dungeons and towers (dungeons that go up rather than down). Space gameplay is much simpler than in Ultima I. As mentioned above, there are no enemies to fight nor any 2-D screen. Once the player blasts off, he simply sees the classic "flying stars" screen and has the option to "hyperjump" to other planets. All of the planets of the solar system are accessible, and each offers a different 2-D world map, although some planets cannot be landed on. Each "hyperjump" consumes a "trilithium" crystal (that's one more lithium than in Star Trek!) which can be found in dungeons. Other than the Planet X, there is no real reason for the player go to any of the other planets, however. Likewise, other than collecting trilithium, there is no reason to go into the dungeons. Special items like "Blue Tassels" "Brass Buttons" and "Coins" can be acquired by defeating enemies and are required to sail frigates, fly the airplane, and stop time, respectively.

Story

The story of Ultima II takes place on Earth rather than Sosaria, the setting for most of the other Ultima games. The premise is that Mondain's apprentice, Minax, used the mastery over time discovered in Ultima I to create a series of silver Time Doors connecting different places and eras. Garriott later commented that the concept of Time Doors was taken from the Terry Gilliam film "Time Bandits". Minax's realm was the Time of Legends, the most ancient era which consisted of a single continent and very difficult enemies. The other eras were "Pangea", "BC", "AD", and the "Aftermath", a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by the wars unleashed by Minax's millenial machinations. The protagonist must travel to the post-apocalyptic world and get an airplane to fly to Russia and get the rocket. Once in space, the protagonist must fly to Planet X and get Enilo's Quicksword and Father Antos' ring. Then, when sufficiently leveled-up, the player can travel back to the Time of Legends, find Minax's castle in the center of the map, and chase the enchantress around, attacking her with the Quicksword and surviving her force-fields unscathed because of the ring. When she finally dies the game is over.

Legacy

Because of the simplistic plot and gameplay, Ultima II is widely considered the weakest game in the series. It is also the hardest of the nine main games to fit into the overall continuity because it takes place on Earth, although since it involves time travel, it is possible to say that the events of Ultima II (other than the protagonist showing up in the Time of Legends and killing Minax) simply never happened in the timeline created after Minax's death. After Ultima II, Garriott moved the game towards a more solid fantasy setting in Ultima III, eliminating the laser guns and space ships.

One concept that was carried on, however, are the Time Doors, which are predecessors of the iconic Moongates of the later games.

Commands

In addition to the four arrows moving your character in the specifed direction, the follow keys are used:

  • A - Attack (Direction)
  • B - Board
  • C - Cast
  • D - Descend
  • E - Enter
  • F - Fire
  • G - Get
  • H - Hyper
  • I - Ignite Torch
  • J - Jump
  • K - Klimb
  • L - Launch
  • M - Magic Spell Ready (#)
  • N - Negate Time
  • O - Offer Gold (Direction)
  • P - Pass
  • Q - Quit and Save
  • R - Ready Weapon (#)
  • S - Steal (Direction)
  • T - Transact (Direction)
  • U - Unlock (Direction)
  • V - View
  • W - Wear Armor (#)
  • X - X-it
  • Y - Yell (text)
  • Z - Inventory

Compatibility

This game can be played on modern Windows operating systes with an emulator like DOSBox.

Availability

The game is available on gog.com as part of the package Ultima 1+2+3.

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