Before the greatest minds of his day, he proposed a Mission to Mars.
But disaster struck!
The cannon discharged a day early!
With the leaders of the Victorian Era on board.
Now YOU must rescue them from the Red Planet!
Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams is the second game in the Worlds of Ultima series by Origin Systems, again using the same engine as Ultima VI. Whereas The Savage Empire sent you back in time to a prehistoric era, this game is set during the Victorian Era and sees you traveling to Mars.
Following the his adventure in The Savage Empire, the Avatar receives a book written by his associate Dr. Spector, only the good doctor hasn't written it yet. Following the instructions of a red-haired woman, the pair travel back in time to the Victorian Era and find themselves at the Columbian Exposition, where scientist Percival Lowell is showing off his new Space Cannon. Unfortunately due to an act of sabotage the cannon is fired with the foremost thinkers of the era on board, leaving them stranded on Mars. Now the Avatar must journey to Mars via Lowell's cannon, locate the stranded men, and find a way back to Earth. But when he arrives on the red planet the Avatar finds the ruins of an ancient Martian civilization...
This video game provides examples of:
- Aluminium Christmas Trees: Dr. Blood was a real person, who promoted a treatment of his own invention called "oxygenized air". Most likely he was not a real doctor, though.
- Artistic License History: Aside from the premise, a few details are ignored so that the player can meet someone who's eventually famous. For instance, Lenin was a relatively minor political theorist at the time of the game, and unlikely (to say nothing of unwilling) to be in the same tour as Andrew Carnegie.
- Author Avatar: Dr. Johann Schliemann Spector is based (especially visually) on Warren Spector.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The martian rayguns. While they do provide good damage output, the ammunition is what makes them trouble than they are worth. They require radium chips for power source, which can only be found in very few specific spots, and unless you handle the radium precisely correctly, it immediately causes radiation poisoning. The rayguns also have to be manually loaded by using the radium on the gun. It is far more convenient to use plain old Earth-made firearms, which automatically use the ammunition you have in your inventory.
- BFG: At the very end of the game, the Big Bad taunts you in the Dream World that he has surrounded himself with a dome completely impenetrable by any weapon existing at the time. Little does he know, you come from a century into the future and use dreamstuff to conjure up an M60...
- Developers' Foresight: In the game it was possible to bury items in the Martian soil by using a shovel onto the ground to dig a pit and create a pile of dirt, then drop items into the pit, then using the shovel on the pile of dirt to cover the pit and the items again. Items did not have to be in the characters' inventory to be used - an item on the ground could be used onto other things as well. So it could have been possible to bury a shovel by using itself, potentially making all shovels and buried items inaccessible. Only that when you tried to do this, the game responds with the message: A thing cannot be buried by using itself!
- When repairing a power line you need to wear rubber gloves to stop from electrocuting yourself. Spector is already wearing these gloves.note If you put Spector into solo mode and have him try to fix the power line, a dialog window will open, and he'll yell at the Avatar (and the player!) for ordering him to do something so dangerous. "I'm not stupid, I'm not expendable, and I'm not doing it!"
- Dream Land: When Mars began dying the Martians moved to the Dream Realm to escape the dying planet.
- Grand Theft Me: One of the Martians, an evil overlord named Raxachk, wants to escape from the Dream Realm, but needs a body to do so, hence the sabotage that brought suitable hosts to Mars.
- Infinity -1 Sword: The Martian freeze ray is the most useful weapon in the game that you can carry with you, with good damage, option for spread shot and a chance of freezing (paralyzing) any enemy it hits. The biggest drawbacks are that only two exist in the entire game, and they require radium chips for ammunition. Radium is not only rare to find, but also proper handling of it to avoid poisoning takes up several turns during combat.
- Historical Domain Character: As noted in the main description, the whole game revolves around getting important historical figures back from Mars. In total, there are about two dozen real historical people in the game.
- Once-Green Mars: Mars used to be a pretty nice place, but the soil became poisonous and life faded.
- Plant Aliens: Turns out the Martians are derived from plants.
- Shown Their Work: The game contains a lot of information about the time period and the historical characters, including some very obscure details. (For example, see Dr. Blood above.)
- Title Drop: In a piece of Martian poetry you can read.The Blue-white Planet smiles upon you.
The sun, it warms you and gleams.
The two moons above
Give their blessings as well,
And I drink to your Martian Dreams.