Martian Gothic: Unification

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Martian Gothic: Unification
Martian Gothic - Unification Coverart.png
Developer(s) Creative Reality
Coyote Developments (PSX)
Publisher(s) TalonSoft (PC)
Take-Two Interactive (PSX)
Programmer(s) Neil Dodwell
Martin Wong
Artist(s) David Dew
Julian Holtom
Paul Oglesby
Writer(s) Stephen Marley
Composer(s) Jeremy Taylor
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation
Release date(s) Microsoft Windows[1]
EU 2000
NA 20000430April 30, 2000
EU 20011005October 5, 2001
NA 20011104November 4, 2001
Genre(s) Survival horror
Mode(s) Single-player

Martian Gothic: Unification (also known as just Martian Gothic) is a survival horror video game developed by Creative Reality for Microsoft Windows and Coyote Developments for the PlayStation and published by TalonSoft for Microsoft Windows and Take-Two Interactive for the PlayStation. The PlayStation version was one of a number of "budget titles" released near the end of the system's lifespan.


A unique feature of this game is that if any of the characters meet face-to-face, they are lost. Because the characters cannot meet face-to-face, they can trade items using a system of "Vac Tubes," which can transport four items to other Vac Tubes at a time. When the player needs to leave an item behind, they may do so by leaving the relevant item into various hatches, which can hold between four and six items. Using the hatches may leave the player confused about where they left the item, but the player can use any in-game computer to bring up a list of the contents of every hatch, including ones that have not been accessed yet. In order for the character to unravel the events before their arrival, they may search dead bodies for letters or micro-recorders which may contain information about the character, plot, passwords, and the method in which they might have died. Many recordings have been stored on some of the base's computers, which also contain information about the person or the storyline, to provide information that can further the player's progress through the game setting.

Another unique feature of the game is the fact that the zombie enemies, known as Non-Dead, cannot be permanently killed. Shooting an enemy enough times will incapacitate it temporarily, but it will reanimate if the player re-enters the area later and comes too close to the enemy's fallen body.

In terms of player control, Martian Gothic is very similar to the early Resident Evil game titles. The Vac Tubes function the same way as Item Boxes, and the control of the characters and the camera angles are almost identical (often called the 'Character Turret' or 'Tank' system of control).



In Martian Gothic, the player is able to assume the roles of three characters sent from Earth to a Martian base called Vita 1 to examine why it has been silent for 10 months, after a base member broadcasts a final message of "Stay alone, stay alive." Upon arrival the player finds that all the residents are apparently dead and must gradually uncover the secrets and nature the last undertaking by Vita 1's crew; the discovery of ancient Martian "Pandora's Box" which, when opened, started a chain of chaotic events that led to the base's downfall, and death of almost all of its inhabitants. However, during the player's progress of uncovering the truth, searching for any possible survivors, and solving Vita 1's many mounting problems, the player finds that the dead crew have become re-animated like zombies who wish to feast upon the team of three's flesh.

The Vita 1 base was constructed in 2009 by the Allenby Corporation, implied to be Earth's most powerful megacorporation, to research potential alien life from microfossils on Mars, after discovering in 1996 that a Martian meteorite found in 1984 contains ancient bacteria which had crashed in Antarctica in 11,000 BC. Vita 1 is situated very close to Olympus Mons which can be partially visited by the player upon access to the underground "Necropolis" zone - the human-excavated ruins of an old Martian city - of Vita 1.


Taking place on June 17 of 2019, ten months after Vita 1's last contact to Earth with the message "stay alone, stay alive" on August 8 of 2018, the investigative team of Kenzo Uji, Martin Karne, and Diane Matlock approach Vita 1 on Mars in their spacecraft. Vita 1's main computer, MOOD, seems to sense their arrival. Whilst Kenzo, as pilot of the spacecraft, is forced to make a crash landing on the Martian surface and its crew depart into different airlocks of Vita 1 base, MOOD apathetically predicts that, although three have entered, only two will leave alive. Now separated into different airlocks, the three take radios from their spacesuits to stay in verbal contact with each other. All three go through decontamination, but each notes something is "wrong, something very wrong" concerning the decontamination gas they are exposed to. Initially, only Kenzo can enter the base, as Karne and Matlock's airlock doors have been locked. Kenzo stumbles upon various dead bodies in the silent hallways, including the corpse of the base's leader, Antonio Fellicci. By listening to his recorder, Kenzo discovers that the base's downfall came about when people started shooting at each other in the base hallways. Kenzo finds Fellicci's room, but finds a dead man supernaturally levitating in the hallway. Using Fellicci's computer, Kenzo manages to unlock the door to Karne's airlock. However, after using the door controls, the dead body of Fellicci's girlfriend suddenly comes back to life, and tries to attack Kenzo.

Karne exits his airlock and enters the base in a different area than the one Kenzo has explored. Not long after traversing the hallways, Karne notices that his watch now displays the impossible time of "48:62", a passcode to a nearby hatch - this, along with various other small details, are the work of MOOD trying to help the three survive. Using a passcode discovered by Kenzo, Karne enters the arboretum, obtains a gun form a corpse, and encounters a Trimorph; a mutated zombified mass of three people, which blocks the way to the recyc oxygen treatment room.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (PS) 64.75%[3]
(PC) 58.65%[4]
Metacritic (PS) 64/100[5]

Martian Gothic: Unification was met with mixed reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation version 64.75% and 64/100[3][5] and the PC version 58.65%.[4] One of more positive reviews came from PlayStation Illustrated, who gave the game 8 out of 10.[6]


  1. ^ "Martian Gothic: Unification Release Information for PC". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  2. ^ "Martian Gothic: Unification Release Information for PlayStation". GameFAQs. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  3. ^ a b "Martian Gothic: Unification (PlayStation) reviews at". GameRankings. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Martian Gothic: Unification (PC) reviews at". GameRankings. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  5. ^ a b "Martian Gothic: Unification (PlayStation) reviews at". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 2013-04-05. 
  6. ^ "Martian Gothic: Unification review by PlayStation Illustrated". Retrieved 2014-02-19. 

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