I will admit that i did cheat just a tad.
In the second game I did hex edit the gold so i could buy the power armor wich for some reason even with my stats maxed out cost 3500 gold. Im sorry Im not going to kill the same thief for HOURS to beat this game completely.
Oh man! I remember doing that for HOURS, just to get to the end to find that it was a cakewalk v. the HOURS of grinding to get fully geared up...
I don't recall what exodus was like, though... U3 was quite different from U2 still not alot of story, but more than U2 plus party(and all the weird races(for Ultima) to make their first and only appearance sadly). U3-4 was an even bigger jump(even more story, world improvements, quest improvements, etc.), then 4-5 was basically refinement on 5's part of 4.