So I'm noticing that the "days" of my titles have little to do with the amount of time actually spent playing the games in question--For example, finishing "day 2" of Ultima II has finished about 6 hours of playing, whereas the same time was spent in all three days of Ultima I. So In terms of how long it takes, to finish the games, you should note the hours rather than the days. My hypothesis is that the time for each game will be approximately exponential until ultima 6, and that and the rest of the games will take the same amount of time to complete.
Ultima II continues apace. Yesterday I rised my stats and I explored the solar system--with shocklingly little point. Much time was wasted trying to raise my strength, only to realize that there is a bug in Ultima 2 that prevents strength from ever going up! Oh well. I will get to some of the particulars of flying in space in Ultima II in a moment, but I believe they solidified my belief that Ultima II is a significantly inferior game to Ultima I. The reason I claim this is that Ultima II is almost completely devoid of goals. In its predecessor, you were assigned quests to fulfill, and clues pubs led to other particular quests. Granted, some of the quests were not related to Mondain really, and they could be fulfilled multiple times. Ultima II's major flaw is there is almost no direction, and there is really only one plot element: You have to get Father Antos's blessing. Well two, if you count "go kill Minax" as part of the plot. The remainder of Ultima II is about sailing around and blowing up monsters to earn gold and raise your stats and hit points--the screenshot shows me doing just that, blasting a long row of beasties in the Time of Legends in which Minax resides.
Beyond emptiness of the plot, the other big flaw of Ultima II would be its superficiality. There are lots of aspects of the game that could be used to make some cool quests or clue-giving devices or even just immersion, but they are unused. Outer space is the prime example. I explored all of the planets, wandering through whatever towns are there, and I was sad to realize there is absolutely no reason to ever visit any of them, aside from Planet X. Now, I did encounter some interesting things, but they are only in-jokes or only matter due to subsequent games. For example, on Venus I believe you encounter Dupre, whereas you encounter piles of other names that probably would mean something were I familiar with the video game personalities c. 1982. THose you generally find in "Computer Camp" on...Neptune?
The most insanity can be found on the town of New Jestre on Uranus, from which the screenshot on the right comes featuring me being surrounded by a swarm of violent clowns trying to kill me. What...? Planet X fares a little bit better, featuring Castle Barataria (reminds me of Ultima I) and Father Antos, who as far as I am concerned sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of his goofy suroundings. Father Antos' blessing is needed to get the ring from an old man under "a tree" in a quite literal fashion (see the screenshot), as described by the poem "Seers" in the town tell youwhen paid. I'm not sure exactly how you are supposed to know to bribe the old man with 500 gold before he gives you the ring, though. My guess would be that you are told to get the ring from him, and previous experience with the hotel clerk at Hotel California (gah!) teaches that giving money to people can be useful. I could say the same about Sentre, who gives you the quicksword, Enilno (Online as in Sierra Online spelled backwards...gah again); no plot point tells you to offer him money for the sword, but you see "quickswd" as an option for readying when you press R to ready a weapon, and he says "I have a quick blade." So I suppose that would be enough had I not already known what I had to do. In any case, I now have both of those items and once I raise my hit points I can go kill Minax.
I expect I will finish the game tonight, after another hour or two of play. The next step is to move on to a game I have never played, Escape from Mt. Drash! Will it stink? Almost certainly. After that game I will play Ultima III, which I have neer finished. I expect it will take much longer simply because combat is much more tedious in that game. I will close with a screenshot featuring a notable character in the game, who mentions the time constraingts that might suggest why Ultima II does not seem fully fleshed out...