Ultima II: Revenge of the Enchantress Game Systems


For some reason, while your statistics appear to be normal decimal numbers with a range from 0–99, they are actually used as hexadecimal numbers. In layman's terms, the actual value of your statistic is the tens digit times 16 plus the one's digit. Thus, if the game says you have 56 strength, you actually have 5*16 + 6, or 86 strength. This has a number of important consequences that you should be aware of.

The first thing you should know is that changing the tens digit of a stat is much more significant than it should be. Going from 49 to 50 actually increases your stat by 7, not 1. Because of this, and because your stats are increased in increments of 4, even stats are better than odd stats.

A very specific consequence of this system is a bug in how shop discounts are calculated. Discounts are based on the sum of your charisma and intelligence scores. If this sum is larger than 255, it wraps around and starts over from zero. Since 99 in a stat is internally represented as 153, having very high scores in both charisma and intelligence will actually result in higher shop prices—potentially drastically higher. Since charisma doesn't have any other effect, and intelligence does, the simplest solution is to keep your charisma below 66. This value (actually 102) combined with a 99 intelligence (actually 153) will result in a sum of exactly 255.

In practice, you don't need your charisma + intelligence to be anywhere near this high for the best discounts in the game. There are only three price tiers you can hit without hacking your save file (and the rest are more expensive anyway). The middle tier is achieved when your charisma + intelligence is at least 64 internally, and gives about a 40% discount. Having 20 of each displayed in the game will suffice (since 20 is actually 32). 10 and 30 works just as well. If one stat is in the 10's and the other is in the 20's, you'll hit this tier as long as the ones digits add up to at least 16 (e.g., 18 and 28). The cheapest tier requires double that sum – 128. 40 and 40 will work, as will 30 and 50, or any combination where the tens digits add up to 8. Combinations where the tens add up to 7 and the ones add up to 16 also work. This tier offers another near-40% discount over the middle price tier.

Increasing Your Stats

There is only one way to increase your statistics past their starting values, and it is both secret and somewhat random. You need to travel to the town of New San Antonio and find the merchant at the desk in the hotel. Offer the clerk any amount of gold, and he will randomly raise one of your stats by 4 points for each 100 gold offered. Sometimes he'll just take the money (you can tell because he'll thank you instead of saying "Alakazam!"). Because this process is random, it can be a bit frustrating. Unless you're filthy rich, your best bet may be to enter the town, give him some money, and then reload if you don't get a stat you want. In this case you should Offer the maximum amount you can spare each time to speed the process.



The combat rules are surprisingly simple. The amount of damage you deal is a static value based on your strength and weapon. Your base damage is 1/4 of your true strength score. This comes out to be 4 damage for every 10 points of strength displayed, plus one for each extra 4 points. Each weapon adds double its ready number in damage (so the Bow, which is readied with 4, adds 8 damage to your attacks). Your maximum damage with 99 strength (which is actually 153) and the Quick Sword is 56 per hit. Note that the frigate's Fire command deals a random amount of damage. This can have no effect or one-shot a powerful foe, and you never know until you try. However, this is more effective than any other weapon in the game on average.

Your accuracy is directly based on agility. An agility of 99 gives you a 100% hit rate, and lower scores give linearly less accuracy. (If you had an agility of 0, you would never connect with any attacks.)

Enemy Attacks

Enemies always approach you on the most direct possible route. They won't go around obstacles, and you can sometimes use this fact to trap them and throw off pursuit. If an enemy's HP is reduced to 15 or fewer, they will run away in a direct line, though if they can't get further away from you, they will continue to attack. Monsters in dungeons and towers will never return, but monsters on the world map or in other locations regenerate one hit point per turn while running. Once they reach 16 HP, they'll stop regenerating and attack again. Thus, having a damage value of at least 16 will save you a lot of enemy chasing.

Some enemies have special attacks. They perform these attacks in addition to normal attacks, sometimes even at range. Since you have no ranged attacks in Ultima II, this can be a bit unfair. Diagonals are the same as adjacent squares as far as enemy movement or attack/ability range, even though you can't move or attack on diagonals, another disadvantage of being the hero.

When an enemy is defeated, you will gain some gold and experience. The actual values are random and don't seem to be based on anything in particular.


Contrary to what the game manual would have you believe, your defense is very simple: it's entirely based on your armor. Although I can't honestly say I know the precise mechanics behind defense, I have a pretty solid guess. When unarmored, enemies tend to hit about half the time, and that rate falls by 1/16 for each level of armor you have above skin. Therefore power armor, six levels above skin, prevents 14/16 of attacks, allowing only 1/8 to connect. Not bad! Armor is hideously expensive, but well worth the cost. You can survive four times as many attacks in power armor as in skin. Before you can afford the good stuff, don't hesitate to buy, steal, or try to find something halfway decent. Every little bit helps.

Overworld Damage by Creature HP
Current HP Damage
1–59 1–8
60–123 1–18
124–187 1–28
188–251 1–38
252–255 1 or 41

If stamina doesn't affect your defense rate, surely it must mitigate damage, right? Well, no. Stamina, as far as I can tell, doesn't do anything. Bizarrely, enemy damage on overhead maps is based on the enemy's current HP. Depending on the exact current HP total of the creature, they have a base damage that can be as low as 1 (for all hits) and as high as 8. At 60 HP and every 64 thereafter, the maximums increase by 10. Damage is not distributed randomly within this range, however—the exact possible damage numbers are quite strange. However, the listed ranges should suffice to get you through the game. (You'll notice that creatures near maximum HP only deal 1 damage or 41 damage on a hit, which is a symptom of the formulas that determine possible damage numbers.)

Creatures in villages, towns, and castles use the same damage formulas, but always deal 200 bonus damage in addition to their usual amounts. Yes, it may seem like Guards are tough, but in truth everyone in town is capable of destroying a low-HP character. The most damage you will ever take from a hit is 241. Note that invincible creatures are treated as having 255 HP for the purposes of damage. (The magic missile ability of enemy wizards also deals damage based on 255 HP.)

Monsters in dungeons and towers have an entirely different damage formula. Their damage has a wide range, dealing as much as 77 damage (or as little as 1) per hit on the very first floor. These totals are slightly higher on odd-numbered levels, and gain a +10 bonus for each four levels of the dungeon or tower. For specifics, see the Monster Damage and Treasure Contents table.

Town Combat

For the most part, towns, villages, and castles behave just like world maps. The main difference is that all the creatures on world maps attack on sight, and more can spawn at random. Some creatures in town will attack, and others will follow you as if to attack but without taking aggressive action, but most either stand in one place or wander randomly. However, once you begin fighting in town, things quickly change.

You can attract the attention of the Guards in one of two ways. Either attack and hit any creature in town (including one that's already attacking you), or be caught stealing. Either way, every Guard will make a beeline for you, and they're tough customers. The creature that you attacked will also attack you back. If you are caught stealing, sometimes nearby creatures will attack as well. Finally, any creature that was already following you will start attacking.

Usually if you are going to do something that might attract the Guards, you'll want to have a planned escape route. However, in some cases you are left with little choice. Aggressive thieves will rob you blind if you don't defend yourself, and there are often Guards near vehicles you might want to take. If you can't deal with the Guards in these cases, don't do anything that's going to make them mad!



Food Used per Action
Action Food Used
Spacebar/Pass time by waiting 0.10 food
Walking 0.19 food/tile
Riding a Horse 0.38 food/tile
Taxiing on a Plane 0.38 food/tile
Any Other Action on an Overhead Map No food
Any Action or Move in a Dungeon 0.10 food

Food is perhaps the most annoying aspect of Ultima II. You have to always make sure you have food, because if you run out, you die. If you save when you don't have enough food to get to a town to buy more, tough luck—your game is over! Understanding food consumption is important to Ultima II. Follow this handy chart to determine how much food various actions will consume.

In dungeons, food consumption is simple: every 10 actions you take consumes 1 food. Actions include moving, turning, attacking, picking up treasure, casting spells, or even passing (via any method).

On overhead maps, things are a bit different. Most key-based actions use no food. It's well worth noting that the Pass command uses no food, while using the spacebar does. The effects are otherwise identical. Waiting until the game passes for you uses food just like the spacebar (specifically, 0.10 food per passed action). Aside from passing, food is consumed only by movement. Your food usage rate is 0.19/tile when walking, or double that if taxiing in a Plane or riding a Horse. Flying a Plane requires no food. Piloting a frigate also requires no food, and combined with the frigate's cannons this makes it the best overall means of transport. Rockets do not use food because they don't move (Launch is an action and uses no food).

Food can be purchased in villages in multiples of 100. The base price of food is 52 gold/100 food, but if your charisma and intelligence are high enough you can knock this down to 32 or 20 gold per 100 food. If you have 9,900 or more food already, don't buy more, because your amount will wrap around and you'll lose it all. You can also steal food. Food is stolen in increments of 100.


Ultima II uses 64 different tiles for its maps, but terrain rules are pretty easy to figure out. You can walk on grass, forest, and brick tiles with no problem. You can also walk on swamp tiles, but you take 5 damage per step. Force fields are similar, though thankfully rare, because they deal 1,000 damage per step. (This is prevented if you have the ring.) You can't walk on water or mountains, or on walls in towns.

In different vehicles, things work a bit differently. Frigates can only travel on water tiles. Planes can only taxi on grass or bricks, but once in flight they can cross any tile at all. They can only Land on grass, though—the command will not work on any other terrain. (Rocket have similar rules, except if you attempt to land on the wrong terrain, you immediately die.)

Horses have the most specific rules. You can ride a Horse on any terrain you can walk on, with the exception of swamps. You can only dismount on grass, however. Also, on overworld maps, you can move two tiles for every one tile enemies can move. Note that this only applies to movement, not other actions, and doesn't affect Sea Monsters or Frigates. This effect also does not function in towns or villages. Being able to outrun your enemies is a valuable ability, but it comes at a cost—Horse travel uses twice as much food as simple walking.

Time Doors

Time doors, the precursor to the later series games' Moongates, make their debut in Ultima II. Instead of having huge continents you need to traverse manually, Ultima II divides the world into five basic maps connected by time doors. Their operation seems mysterious at first, but it's actually pretty simple once you figure it out.

Each era has four time doors, one leading to each other era. Because of how the game determines which time door you arrive at, there are far more time doors than actual destinations. In fact, in most eras every time door will lead you to the same general location. The only exception is A.D.. Most time doors lead to England, which is cut off from the rest of the world (though once you have a Blue Tassle you can steal a Frigate in Port Bonifice). However, the time door from Alaska in the Aftermath leads to South America instead, allowing you to explore the major continents and the town of New San Antonio without a ship.

To open a time door, simply pass time (preferably with the Pass command so as not to waste food) until they open. There is always exactly one door open on the current map, and they change once every 8 turns that pass. Time doors won't open if you or any object (a monster or a vehicle) is on the tile where it will appear, or if you've just arrived from it. The maps indicate the location of every time door, as well as its destinations and which other time doors lead to it.

Keep in mind that you can enter a time door with both Horses and Planes, assuming they can reach the door. These are the only methods of transportation that can be taken between different eras.

Dungeon Delving/Tower Climbing

Monster Damage and Treasure Contents
Dungeon Level Chest (gold) Monster Damage
Level 00 0–17 gold 1–77 damage
Level 01 0–20 gold 4–81 damage
Level 02 0–23 gold 1–77 damage
Level 03 0–25 gold 4–81 damage
Level 04 0–27 gold 11–87 damage
Level 05 2–27 gold 14–91 damage
Level 06 4–27 gold 11–87 damage
Level 07 6–27 gold 14–91 damage
Level 08 10–27 gold 21–97 damage
Level 09 10–31 gold 24–101 damage
Level 10 10–33 gold 21–97 damage
Level 11 10–35 gold 24–101 damage
Level 12 10–37 gold 31–107 damage
Level 13 12–37 gold 34–111 damage
Level 14 14–37 gold 31–107 damage
Level 15 N/A 34–111 damage

You aren't actually required to enter a single dungeon or tower (both hereafter referred to simply as dungeons) in Ultima II. Each of them consists of 16 levels, and the ultimate prize is a cache of tri-lithium of varying size depending on the dungeon. All chests on the final level contain tri-lithium, and there are usually a large number of them. You can also collect general treasure in dungeons. Unlike in Ultima I, you won't gain any bonus upon leaving a dungeon. Dungeon delving consumes a lot of resources, so it's generally better to try to get all of your dungeon exploration done at once. It's also worth noting that spells only work in dungeons in Ultima II, which gives Wizards and Clerics a distinct advantage (but also means they're a bit behind during the required portions of the game).

Your first need in a dungeon is light. You can Ignite a torch or use the Light spell to generate light. Either will last for 148 turns or until something ends the effect. Ghosts can do this in addition to their regular attack. A trap will also end your light (and your life, if you have no tools). Unlike most items (which are dropped by thieves), torches are dropped in bunches of 1-4 by fighters.

Traps become increasingly common as you delve deeper into a dungeon. They are randomly placed—any given square may be a trap, even if it wasn't the last time you stepped on it. If you don't have tools, a trap means instant death. Even if you have them, you'll still lose your light and one set of tools is consumed. Tools can be won from thieves in addition to their usual drops.

Monsters will appear in random locations on each dungeon level. There can only be two monsters on a given level at one time, but when you defeat one another can immediately respawn. The variety of monsters that may show up depends on the individual dungeon level. At first you'll see only Orcs, but by level 12 you'll be seeing monsters as nasty as Balrons. All monsters' basic attacks deal the same range of damage, as indicated on the Monster Damage and Treasure Contents table. Their special attacks and hit points vary by specific monster and level (see the appropriate creature page for details).


Traveling the solar system is not an action game like it was in Ultima I. To enter space, you'll need a Rocket, an Ankh, and a supply of Tri-Lithiums. The only place you can initially find a Rocket is in Pirates Harbour, in the Aftermath era. You can re-use your Rocket after landing as well. Ankhs are sometimes dropped by Thieves, as are Tri-Lithiums. A surer way to get a large stock of Tri-Lithiums is to explore level 15 of any dungeon or tower.

Once you Launch your Rocket (using up a Tri-Lithium), you'll find yourself in space. Usually you will be orbiting the planet you just took off from, but sometimes you'll end up off course and in deep space. This can also happen when you Hyper-jump to different coordinates, which is how you travel to other planets. You will end up off course whenever you Hyper-jump when your store of Tri-Lithiums ends in 4 or 8 (e.g., at 4, 18, or 28 Tri-Lithiums). The coordinates of the known planets are listed in the manual as well as the Worlds list. Every planet can be explored, but you only actually have to travel to the hidden planet, X.

Because you need Tri-Lithiums to both Launch and Hyper-jump, you need a minimum of four to complete a round trip. Exactly four Tri-Lithiums will suffice since only the first launch will end up off course. Fortunately (?) you can't save on other planets, so you can't ruin your game by saving with no way home.

The toughest part of space exploration is sticking the landing. Your Rocket will rapidly move across the landscape, and you can attempt to land by pressing any key. If you land on any terrain but grass, though, you will die. This can be especially disheartening when returning to Earth after a long trip. If you're using an emulator with speed controls, such as DOSBox, it helps to lower the speed while trying to land. The best advice I can give is to be patient and wait for a safe landing area.

Note that because the game does not save data while in space, all non-Earth world maps will be reset whenever you enter any location on them. In practical terms, all enemies will be erased each time, though new enemies will begin spawning immediately once you return to the map.

Gaining HP

HP Given by Kings
Current HP HP gained Cost
1–4,999 HP +300 HP 50 gold
5,000–7,499 HP +200 HP 50 gold
7,500–9,899 HP +100 HP 50 gold
9,900–9,999 HP +0 HP 50 gold

There's only one way to gain HP in Ultima II: Transact with a king. Lord British is usually the king to go to, though you can also get HP from Ozy in Castle Barataria when you're exploring the solar system. Each time you Transact, it will cost you 50 gold and you'll gain up to 300 HP. Exactly how much HP is gained is dependent on your current HP total, as indicated in the table.


There are many ways to get gold or free items in Ultima II, from defeating monsters to finding treasure chests to stealing. Here is a breakdown of the available methods.


You can steal from weapon, armour, and food shops. To steal, stand where you would normally Transact with the shopkeeper, but use the Steal command instead. There are three possible outcomes. On a success, you will steal 100 food, any weapon the shop sells, or a suit of armor up to and including Plate Armour, depending on the shop type. If you simply fail, you gain nothing. However, if you fail and are caught, you will attract the attention of the Guards and possibly other townspeople as well. The message is the same when you fail whether you're caught or not, so be on the lookout for Guards. Once you're caught, further attempts to steal will always fail.

Dungeon Treasure

Chests in dungeons can contain gold, weapons, or armour. (On level 15, all chests instead contain tri-lithium.) The exact contents are random, however. Around 3/4 the chests contain gold. You'll start getting an average of less than 10 gold on level 00, up to more than 25 gold per chest on level 14. For specific ranges per level, consult the Monster Damage and Treasure Contents table. The rest of the chests will contain weapons on even-numbered levels, or armour on odd-numbered levels. The weapons are equally likely to be anything up to a Light Sword or nothing at all (1/8 chance of each). Armour is equally likely to be anything up to Chain Armour or nothing at all (1/4 chance of each).

Town/Castle Treasure

In towns and castles you will sometimes see swords or shields on the ground. You can stand on these and Get them like a treasure chest. The swords may be anything up to a Light Sword, while the armour can be anything up to Chain Armour. There is also a chance that you will find nothing at all.


Gameplay Bugs

A number of gameplay "bugs" in Ultima II are more accurately described as system limitations. Either way, they are things you should be aware of.

  • Frigate Duplication Bug: This famous bug can be exploited to your benefit. When facing an enemy frigate, you can walk right onto it and Board it. After moving away, though, you'll see that the original frigate is still there. If you want, you can X-it the first frigate, move on top of the enemy, and then Board the frigate again. In this way, you can get any number of frigates, which is useful for creating bridges between landmasses (such as between North America and Russia in the Aftermath). Don't forget to kill the enemy frigate when you're done. What's interesting about this bug is that the implication is that you aren't supposed to be able to Board enemy frigates at all, but rather you can do so as a consequence of the game's tile system. It is possible to complete the game without obtaining any frigates in this way, and it can be a fun challenge to do so.
  • Up Ladder/Down Ladder Bug: Whether or not the ladder spells work can seem pretty random, but there is a method to the madness (albeit not a method that makes any sense). Rather than check if your destination square is open, these spells check if the square behind your destination square is open. This means you can easily end up inside a wall, though you can freely leave (and you'll always be able to go backwards if nothing else!).
  • You cannot attack or be attacked across the edge of a map. This bug is most often seen when fighting monsters on the land bridge between Alaska and Russia in B.C. or A.D..
  • You can be caught stealing even if you're not using the Steal command on anything that can be stolen.
  • Stats that are increased past 99 wrap around to 1. Thus, if you have 93 strength and gain 8 more, you will end up with 3 strength.
  • If you have 99 of an item and obtain another one, your total drops to 0. Similarly, if you get another experience point or gold piece when you're at 9,999, your total drops to 0. You can't gain HP over 9,999, but if you buy food that will also wrap to 0.
  • If you repeatedly "buy" more rings or Quick Swords when you already have them, your total remains at 1. (The issue here being that the NPCs tell you they're giving you another one when they don't.)
  • Contrary to what the manual says, flying into a wall in town in a Plane will not automatically transport you to the world map. Flying to the edge of town will, however.

Map Bugs

There are a variety of bugs in the mapping of towns and dungeons. Many of these are due to a mismatch between the map and monster files as far as where creatures should be placed. None of them really impact the game in any way, though all could be fixed fairly easily.

  • The Greenland Dungeon entrance is missing from Pangea. There are well-known patches for this issue, but since that dungeon is terrible anyway, it's not a big deal. It may not even be a bug, for all I know (though the dungeon maps are included for the dungeon).
  • On level 10 of the Tower in South America (B.C.), there is a ladder leading up to the corner of level 11. There's no real reason for this ladder to exist, and it doesn't connect to a down ladder, so it looks like a bug.
  • The corner of the map of level 03 of the Dungeon on Mercury is open when it should probably be a wall. This causes some very interesting wrapping issues, but nothing that really affects your exploration of the dungeon.
  • There are four NPCs in the Village on Jupiter that do not appear correctly. Their creature icons are still there, but they don't move or respond to Transact attempts (except the shopkeeper, which apparently doesn't need to be "real" for the game to work correctly). These NPCs are the seer, the wizard near the western bridge, the cleric just southeast of the cross-shaped building, and the top left thief in the yachts building. None of them have anything interesting to say, and all but the seer are simply supposed to wander randomly.
  • The Tower on Jupiter has an issue on level 15 where a section of wall is replaced by a Tri-Lithium. Due to the strange way dungeons wrap, this appears to be a bug. It may also be a bug, or perhaps just bad design, that there is a 3x2 area of open walls in the lower right corner of this floor, because the dungeon display doesn't handle hallways that are more than a single square wide correctly.
  • The Magic is Fun shopkeeper in New Jester is supposed to follow you, but will just stand still. The rightmost jester near the "Visit Fools Island" sign is also fake, as he is doubled up as one of the other five. The six seers that don't move, as well as the fake jester north of the Magic is Fun shop, are all placed intentionally.
  • The orc in cabin nine in Computer Camp is probably supposed to be where the fake orc in Poor Debbies Pool is, which also explains why he's standing on grass even though the building has a brick floor.
  • A similar issue exists in Tommersville where the top left corner of the town is a tile of water. However, this may have been put there intentionally as a hint that the navigable area of town stretches past the visible wall.
  • The Dungeon on Pluto has all of its ladders on levels 14 and 15 inverted. (Come to think of it, levels 02 through 13 only have double ladders, so maybe they're all inverted—could be this dungeon was originally a tower.) This isn't a problem on level 14, though it is weird, but there's no ladder to return from level 15. I've never managed to get the Up Ladder spell to work, either, so unless you're a Cleric, it's probably best to avoid this dungeon entirely.
  • There is only supposed to be one bartender at Ozys in Towne Basko, but he is doubled and the one on the left won't move. The bricks under the starting point of the Transport merchant should probably be grass. The fake Guards near the main entrance are likely intentional, but I'm not sure about the water in the top left corner of the wall.