Having defeated the mad wizard Mondain in Ultima I, you must now answer to his mate -- and Mrs. Mondain isn't happy. Before you can sing "Witchy Woman," the evil sorceress Minax has unleashed Orcs, dragons and other traditional Ultima beasties on every planet in the solar system, and naturally it's your job to navigate moongates and space itself to defeat her plan.
The most bizarre of the early Ultima titles, Ultima II begins on Earth -- or at least a vastly simplified overhead map representing Earth, as the continents are ridiculously small compared to your character, who would need to be about 100 miles in diameter to take up that amount of space on the map. Of course with greater scope and more refined landscape features, Ultima V would've been able to pull this off much better. Perhaps even stranger is Ultima II's somewhat anachronistic inclusion of space travel, catapulting you to other planets in the solar system (Venus, for example, is all poisonous swampland, but apparently perfectly breathable); future games in the series stayed in one place and time. Some necessary refinements did take place between Ultima I and Ultima II, making combat and spell-casting (particularly during a fight) easier. An enjoyable game despite its many quirks, Ultima II's greatest contribution to Richard Garriott's rich game universe may have been to refine the combat system and pave the way for Ultima III and Ultima IV.