Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams

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Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams
Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2 cover.jpg
Cover art
Developer(s) Origin Systems
Publisher(s) Origin Systems
Distributor(s) GOG.com
Producer(s) Warren Spector
Designer(s) Jeff George
Composer(s) Dana Karl Glover
Platform(s) DOS
Release date(s) 1991
Genre(s) Role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single-player

Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams is a role-playing video game set in the Ultima series, published in 1991. It uses the same engine as Ultima VI, as did the first Worlds of Ultima game, The Savage Empire.

The game has an extensive cast of Victorian Era people, including Marie Curie, Buffalo Bill, Rasputin, Sigmund Freud, Andrew Carnegie and Nikola Tesla.

Story[edit]

After the events in the Savage Empire, the Avatar is visited by a strange red-haired woman that gives a book to him and his friend Dr. Spector. The book will eventually be written by Spector himself, and explains how to use the Orb of the Moons to travel through time. Following instructions, the duo ends up in the Victorian Era, where Percival Lowell has set up a space cannon that will launch some volunteers to Mars.

Through an act of sabotage, the cannon is fired during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, with several dozen famous people and leaders of the time on board. A second cannon is prepared to find and recover the people in the first, who are now stranded on Mars.

It turns out that Mars had an extensive civilization based on plants. Most monsters the player encounters are so-called "plantimals", such as the Jumping Bean and the Planther. Mars has cities and canals, although the civilization is in ruins, so the player's first tasks are restoring the world power station, and melting enough of the polar caps (with a solar lens) to fill the canals.

Some of the people appear to have gone insane after using a device called the Dream Machine. What in fact happened was that, after massive soil poisoning, the original Martians had gone into a sort of alternate dimension called "dreamspace" to preserve themselves. Those people using the Dream Machine found themselves trapped in dreamspace, while the Martians took over their bodies. A large part of the game is spent visiting various people's nightmares and clearing them up.

Eventually, robotic bodies can be created for the Martians, since their plantamal bodies won't grow. After a showdown with the evil Raxachk, who caused the soil pollution in the first place, all Victorians can once more go home.

Reception[edit]

Computer Gaming World liked Martian Dreams's Victorian setting, but criticized travel as "tedious". The magazine stated that the game was really an adventure pretending to be an RPG, with combat almost completely disassociated from the story, and concluded that it would most appeal to those who prefer other activities to fighting.[1] Another reviewer for the magazine was more positive, calling it "an epic adventure ... that has all the depth and complexity of the Ultima series" while accessible to new adventurers.[2]

Easter Eggs[edit]

  • Yellin, Sherman and DuPrey's looks and names are very similar to three of the Avatar's companions from Britannia: Iolo, Shamino and Dupre.
  • In the Avatar's own nightmares, he is visited by the Shadowlords from Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny.
  • If the player asks Spector about spam, he will say that he enjoys eating it. This is in reference to a cheat code in Ultima 6.
  • If the player goes into solo mode with Spector and attempts to make him repair the wiring at the power station, Spector will shout Avon's "I am not expendable" tirade from Blake's 7.
  • A set of Ruby Slippers is hidden within the game, although they are not easy to find. Worn and used, they offer the player the chance to view the ending series of cut scenes out of sequence (followed by a drop to DOS). If the player chooses not to view this, he sees a brief view of a Kansas wheat field. Both the slippers and the wheat field refer to The Wizard of Oz.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scorpia (September 1991). "Scorpion's View". Computer Gaming World. p. 28. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Olafson, Peter (October 1991). "The Angry Red Planet". Computer Gaming World. p. 80. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 

External links[edit]