Ultima II. First released in 1982.
Minax, the apprentice and lover of Mondain, is a bit ticked off that some Stranger from another dimension killed her mentor. Utilizing time gates opened in the wake of Mondain's death, Minax travels back to The Time of Legends and builds a new army, which she uses to take over Earth. Once again, Lord British (who's escaped to Earth from Sosaria) summons The Stranger, who must travel throughout time and space to save the Solar System from Minax's evil. (Later games Retcon this, stating that the events of the game took place entirely in Sosaria, the world of the previous game.)
Ultima II is similar to its predecessor, though it takes the Schizo Tech element up to eleven, and was originally programmed in machine language rather than BASIC. The gameplay world is vast and detailed, though much of it is only for decoration and not required to complete the game. It also started a tradition of including Feelies in the box, in this case a cloth map of the various time doors.
This game had examples of:
- Avenging the Villain: Minax's motivation.
- Canon Discontinuity: The fact that this game takes place on Earth is never mentioned in any of the later games; and they all speak of Minax conquering Sosaria/Britannia instead. Could be The Great Offscreen War, could be a Cosmic Retcon; but even the writers don't talk about it.
- Cool Spaceship: No TIE Fighters this time; you have to search the Solar System for a Blessing from a Priest who lives on Planet X (you have to search the other planets to get the coordinates) that gives you permission to get the Ring that lets you survive the Deflector Shields in Minax's castle.
- Crapsack World: 2112 A.D. The sole surviving city is a Soviet outpost, with everyone else nuked.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The Schizo Tech from the first game is still fully present, and this one makes it worse by modeling the world map after the real world.
- Four Is Death: Hyperwarping a Rocket to coordinates 4-4-4 will send your ship crashing into The Sun resulting in death.
- Guide Dang It!: Ultima II is guilty of this trope on two enormous counts:
- Minax can only be defeated by one weapon in the game: the Quicksword. The game does not tell you this. In order to get the Quicksword, you need to bribe a random man in a prison cell. The game doesn't tell you this either.
- In order to get past Minax's force fields, you need the Ring. To get the Ring; you have to travel to Planet X; get a message from a priest, and then bribe an old man (using a keyboard action not covered in the instructions) under a sign that says "ATREE." And all he says is "I'm an old man". (There's a hint that he has it in the pub messages; but not that you have to go to Planet X). Also, while the game does tell you that you should find the Ring, it doesn't mention that it's for getting past force fields.
- Locked in the Dungeon: Now they have towers too. There's even less reason to go into different ones than in Ultima I. Pick a dungeon and farm it for rocket fuel and Level Grinding. They were possibly intended to be the only source of fuel, but in most versions (FM-Towns being the exception) it can also be dropped by monsters in the overworld.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Minax means "threatening" in Latin.
- Random Drop: Every monster can drop an insane variety of useful items. Keys which allow you to operate airplanes, blue tassles which allow you to captain ships, magic coins to stop time, tri-lithium for spaceship fuel... No, there's not a shop anywhere that sells any of these.
- Stealth Pun: Most of the jesters are located on Uranus...Spoony: I'm guessing they were all exiled there for making too many Uranus jokes.
- Sword of Plot Advancement: One of the goals of the game is to find the "Quicksword Enilno", which is the only weapon that can kill Minax, and which you get by bribing a random guy in prison who has it.
- Time Travel: via Time Portal, to different eras. Time of Legends, Pangea, 1423 B.C., 1990 A.D., and Aftermath 2112 A.D. Garriott was a big fan of the movie Time Bandits, and it was the inspiration for the Time Portals (Which in later games were the seed for Moongates).
- 20 Minutes into the Future: 1990 A.D., which features Earth as a Cyber Punk setting with a nuclear apocalypse right around the edge.
- Whole Plot Reference: The time doors (as well as the map which comes with the game, which shows how they are linked together) comes straight from Time Bandits. Richard Garriot had his team members see the movie repeatedly in theaters so that they could make a copy of the map. He noted that after examining it, he realized it was just a prop and had no relation to the way the gates worked in the movie. He also named the time period that Minax's castle was located in as The Time of Legends, which is where Evil's fortress was located in the movie.