Ultima: Runes of Virtue II
Like its predecessor, Runes of Virtue, this is mostly an action-adventure game similar to the Legend of Zelda and offers basically the same gameplay. The land is however much bigger this time, with actual cities to explore and more NPCs to see, and longer dungeons.
Like the first episode, this game is again capable of multi-player.
Ultima: Runes of Virtue II was well received when it was released on the Gameboy, with the handheld version receiving a 3.525/5 from Nintendo Power on 11/01/93, with 3.0/5 for graphics and sound, 3.3 for play controls, 4.0 for challenge, and 3.8 for play and fun, praising the game's story, cutscenes, and plot, while stating the graphics were small and the gameplay was overly complex for some players.
The SNES version received a dismal 2.525/5.0 from Nintendo Power when it was released in late 1994, with 2.8/5 for graphics and sound, 2.8 for play controls, 2.5 for challenge, and 2.0 for play and fun, praising its story, graphics, and plot, while criticizing its controls and game view.
Included with the game
The GameBoy version only comes with an instruction manual, and nothing else in the box. The SNES port additionally has a paper map of Britannia
Differences between the ports
The Gameboy version of Runes of Virtue II features multiplayer, character portraits, and a somewhat larger play area than the SNES version, which sacrifices these features for a superior graphics and sound support
Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.
After his defeat by the one of the Avatar's Companions in Ultima: Runes of Virtue, the Black Knight returns to kidnap the mayors of the eight cities of Virtue of Britannia. Lord British summons the Avatar to deal with this threat once and for all.
Spoilers end here.
- Ultima: Runes of Virtue II was released in Japan as Ultima Gaiden.
- While the player is clearly identified as the Avatar and summoned through a blue moongate by Lord British, he still get to play one of the Avatar's companion that he choose at the beginning of the game. Interestingly enough, the companions are depicted with a visible ankh on their clothes, as if they indeed were the Avatar.
- The game most likely takes place 10 or 15 years prior to Ultima VI given that it shares many NPC names (including the mayors) with that game. Specifically, Quenton is still alive in Skara Brae, and his daughter Marney is only a child.
- In the SNES version you will find a sign that says "Welcome to Origin" if you go down the well in Jhelom. This is the "secret" Origin headquarters located under the town of Jhelom. Here you'll meet several staff members of Origin who worked on Runes of Virtue 2; Raymond, Marc, Heather, Alan, Scott, Martin Galway, Sam, Gnu Gnu, Terry the Adventurer, Karl and Nathan.
Other box art:
- The Notable Ultima-Runes of Virtue II
- YouTube - Runes of Virtue II SNES Introduction
- YouTube - Runes of Virtue II Gameboy Introduction
- YouTube - Runes of Virtue II SNES Gameplay Video
- "Now Playing". Nintendo Power (Ultima: Runes of Virtue II). Nov. 1993. Pages 106-107.
- "Now Playing". Nintendo Power (Ultima: Runes of Virtue II). Oct. 1994. Pages 105, 107.