Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2 - Martian Dreams

Moby ID: 1625
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Description official descriptions

Following the events depicted in The Savage Empire, the Avatar and his friend Dr. Spector receive a book that contains the knowledge of time traveling. They are taken to the year 1893, witnessing Percival Lowell prepare a space cannon not unlike the one described in Jules Verne's works, with the intention of sending humans to Mars. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, the cannon is fired during the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, with several famous people of the time on board. The Avatar and his companions follow, only to be transferred into the mysterious and dangerous world of the Martian civilization.

The second entry in the Worlds of Ultima series is very similar to its predecessor visually and gameplay-wise. Like the first game, it utilizes the Ultima VI engine, and is a top-down role-playing game set in a seamless graphical environment and featuring turn-based party combat. Conversations with characters, interaction with the game world, and acquiring crucial items occupy a significant portion of the gameplay. Many supporting characters are famous real-world figures from the depicted time period, such as Marie Curie, Sigmund Freud, Nikola Tesla, and others.

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Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 9 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 33 ratings with 6 reviews)

An Epic, Out Of This World Rpg Adventure!

The Good
This game, puts you - the Avatar, and your friends in Mars, Ultima style! . You get to meet many people who made history and the game gives you the ability to engage in meaningful and informative conversations with them. Each character comes alive in Martian Dreams and your involvement in the game is profound. The innovations in technology, and the ability to use various tools and machines in the game world is tremendous.

The graphics are cool, reflecting the craters and imaginary plants and canals, ridges and cliffs, which all look convincingly original. You get to experience what Percival Lowell's idea of how the "martian canals" all look like. And when you get to melt the polar caps (using a lens from a tower) and direct the water into the canals, it's an absolute beauty to watch the water filled canals. The whole Mars comes alive!

The music is fitting for the given atmosphere, and the mood changes according to the situation. The music right from the Intro and Character generation is absolutely brilliant, though at certain places, things could have been better.

The game uses the Ultima VI engine, with slightly modified graphics engine to suit the new Mars world, and as in the Ultima of Britannia, you get to use any (or almost any) little item that you see! The extensive level of game-world-item manipulation is right there!

I and my best friend played this game those days and completed this game, using nothing but the manual and the provided map. No walkthrough whatsoever! (Those days, internet was in it's infancy and walkthrough are difficult to come across.) And the whole adventure was such an epic that we celebrated the ending of the game cheerfully with a sense of great accomplishment!

The Bad
The RPG elements could have been better utilized. (But this game is more about adventuring anyway). The dream world while using the "Dream Machine" could get a bit annoying or confusing at times.

The Bottom Line
Guys, this is Quality Adventuring! The whole game just shouts quality all the way from the intro till the very end. Follow the pace of the game and live the experience to it's fullest!

DOS · by sfdf (6) · 2004

One of the best (and most overlooked) games in the ultima series

The Good
One of the most important parts of an RPG is the plot and this game has one of the most original and well constructed of any game I've ever played. It develops well as you get further into the game and you even get the re-appearance of some your old adversaries from Ultima V.

The dialog is well written and all of the characters in the game have lots to say. You type in conversation topics rather than just selecting from a list and this gives you more of a feeling of control than later ultimas.

Although there are plenty of creatures to fight, the emphasis of the game is on exploring and adventuring rather than hacking and slashing.

The Bad
There isn't much to dislike about this game. The biggest criticism I'd have was that some of the distances you had to walk early on in the game were a bit too much. Various shortcuts open up after a while but until then you may find yourself doing a LOT of walking from one end of the planet to the other.

The Bottom Line
This is definitely one of my favorite games in the Ultima series and a welcome change from wizards, orcs etc... Unfortunately, at the time it was released the Ultima 6 engine it used was too old to attract new fans and the plot too far off the mainstream ultmas to attract many of the old ones. It has never been rereleased and its not exactly easy to get a copy of. If you do find one though I would recommend you pick it up immediately as this is one of the finest examples of adventure/role playing ever made.

DOS · by Pix (1172) · 2000

Edutainment! GOOD edutainment! (did Sid Meier take part in this game?)

The Good
The plotline was very well-inspired. The concept of meeting the famous men of the Victorian Era, from Carnegie to Tesla to Freud gave an extra kick (asking Freud about your mother gets you a very interesting response) and even made me more interested in the history of the Victorian Era, and taught me about famous figures I never heard of before, such as Sarah Bernhardt and Louis Comfort Tiffany. They even provided a tiny booklet that gave little biographies that described these famed men and women.

The idea of dreams and psychological ideas were all equally interesting, where you would find yourself facing your own and others' nightmares, and it was also the only way you would gain levels (reminiscent of Ultima V).

Finally, I loved the easter eggs. What better easter egg can you get than having Warren Spector in your party?

The Bad
If you did not understand what you were doing, you could die very quickly and until you get a reasonable supply of oxygen, ammunition can become fairly limited.

This game almost REQUIRES the map unless you understand how to use the sextant (which you can not find until a little later). Some things you must realize doing or else beating the game becomes impossible . There is not much you can get out of killing monsters aside from the experience and one monster in particular can steal your valuable oxygen (and, no, you don't get it back when you kill it). Finally, there is the character creation mess-up, which happens simply because of the way it is presented. I love the Freud psychological analyzing idea, but I have seen way too many people end up making female characters by accident with stats they did not want.

The Bottom Line
Before the concept of steampunk entered our common knowledge with such games as Arcanum, there was Origin's Martian Dreams. Not only did this game use the classic Ultima VI engine, but intertwined historical figures and the mythos of the times for a plot that helped carry you away in the world of gentlemen gunslingers, women who could fire a deringer like any other man, and the many fabled tales of the red planet and its inhabitants...

Unlike the old Ultimas and even its previous alternate universe, "The Savage Empire," armor is replaced by clothes, which provide help against the ravages of the cold half-dead planet and its even colder nights... elegant firearms and dueling sabers replace longswords and crossbows and even the concept of coined money is non-existent, replaced instead by an odd-tasting blue globular sort of thing that saves you from the thin oxygen levels of the red planet.

For any die-hard Ultima fan, there is the cameo of the Avatar's favorite three sidekicks (no spoilers here). For those that played the previous alternate universe of Ultima, there is the recurring character Johann Spector (obviously inspired by Origin's Warren Spector, one of the brainchilds behind Looking Glass Studios and the famed Ultima Underworld games) and easter eggs that one can find including a certain pair of slippers that could grant your one wish true...

DOS · by Don Lee (8) · 2001

[ View all 6 player reviews ]

Trivia

The Worlds of Ultima (or Worlds of Adventure) series was originally intended have more games than just two. Some planned settings for the games were King Arthur's Britain and ancient Greece complete with the local gods.

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Related Sites +

  • Crapshoot
    A humorous review of the game
  • Nuvie
    If you have an original copy of "Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams", you can use Nuvie to run it on modern systems.

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Old man gamer.

Windows added by Picard. Macintosh added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Timo Takalo, Apogee IV, Patrick Bregger.

Game added June 16, 2000. Last modified February 18, 2024.