The initial plot in Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress seems entirely too similar to the major quest of its predecessor, only now it is the evil wizard Mondain's equally powerful assistant that you must vanquish. Aside from that similarity, albeit a rather major one, the two games are really quite different. In Ultima I, your character ran around Sosaria and traveled through time and space, whereas in Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress, your character runs around Earth and travels through time and space. There is, in fact, quite a bit more time travel involved since jumping in and out of Earth's various time periods is a major part of the adventure.
Soon after creating your character using an altered and expanded version of Ultima I's generation system, you find that the major time periods represented on Earth are 300 BC and 1990 AD. Some kind of culture shock should certainly be expected with all this time-hopping but, strangely enough, the structure of the world, including the town graphics and locations, are quite similar -- often identical. It certainly would not have been that difficult to alter the world as seen in 300 BC to make the surroundings look more primitive -- a definite thumbs down on this design aspect.
Lord British unsurprisingly makes an appearance in the game as, of course, his real-life alter ego, Richard Garriott, is the mastermind behind the entire series. His purpose in the game, just as in Ultima I, is to miraculously hand out hit points to characters for gold. You'd think that with that kind of power, he would just go kill Minax himself.
As the quest to locate the dastardly enchantress advances, gameplay can become repetitive. Travelling in time just for the fun of it can enliven the situation, however -- there is just something to be said for the joy of wading through San Antonio while wielding a powerful magic sword. One major drawback in the game is the nagging feeling that you are just reliving Ultima I in a different world, although the worlds are profoundly different.
Much like its predecessor, the mix of magic and technology in this title is quite prominent and the prevalence of time travel at least makes having both advanced futuristic weapons and rudimentary ancient armor in your inventory far more sensible. In addition to the anachronistic variety in weapons and armor, the various types of vehicles are appropriately mixed. Hop on your horse to invade Russia, sail the seven seas near California or casually blast off into outer space from the Cayman Islands.
The extent of the sound is represented by various beeps that accompany some of your activities. Overall, the graphics are an improvement over Ultima I and reflect more detail and are far more numerous. As in the previous title, a large world-screen dominates the upper part of the playing area and you observe the world from a skewed bird's-eye perspective while a small section at the bottom of the screen relays all the other important game messages. Everything looks better with greatly improved CGA artwork and rippling water effects.
The main quest in Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress to locate and defeat the evil Minax requires a great deal of exploring through the ages, as well as (for no real apparent reason) journeys to the planets of the solar system and beyond. Once you figure out the secret of locating Minax's hideout, finding and ultimately killing her is no cakewalk. Persevere, however, and you'll once again receive a well-earned rest from saving the world -- at least until the next sequel appears.
Graphics: The CGA environment of the game is larger and more detailed than that seen in Ultima I and the game compares favorably to other games in the genre.
Sound: The sound actually seems to be a step down in quality from Ultima I -- rather random and sparse.
Enjoyment: Much like its predecessor, Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress provides a fairly decent amount of mindless hack-and-slash action, all taking place in an unusual setting for a CRPG.
Replay Value: It is hard to make much of a case for replaying the game since the overall adventure quest doesn't change.
The sequel to Ultima featured several improvements over the original, such as separate town and world maps, and the concept of traveling through time gates into different eras on Earth. Other than that the gameplay is pretty much the same as in Ultima I, with your single character roaming the land fighting monsters and looking for key items.
In the original Ultima a hero from a certain third rate blue planet orbiting an insignificant yellow sun came to the world of Sosaria and slew the evil wizard Mondain before he could fulfill his dreams of universal domination. Thus peace was brought to Sosaria, and the hero hailed as a champion of the people of all time.
Unfortunately, Mondain happened to have a young apprentice/lover named Minax who is understandably upset over his death. Using her considerable powers, Minax travels through time and space to the hero's homeworld of Earth and instigates a nuclear war, thus serving the dual purpose of working out her frustration as well as erasing the hero from history. Of course, as the hero, this works out rather badly for you, and so with the help of Lord British you must travel through time and somehow find Minax and prevent the events which culminate in the destruction of Earth.
People who downloaded Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress have also downloaded:
Ultima I: The First Age of Darkness, Ultima III: Exodus, Ultima 7: The Black Gate, Ultima 8: Pagan, Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, Ultima 5: Warriors of Destiny, Ultima 6: The False Prophet, Ultima 9: Ascension
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