ULTIMA Worlds of Adventure MARTIAN DREAMS Game Documentation HumbleDox 6591 BEGINNING PLAY

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ULTIMA Worlds of Adventure ][ MARTIAN DREAMS Game Documentation HumbleDox 6/5/91 BEGINNING PLAY To begin play from your hard disk prompt (for example, C:>), type CD\MARTIAN to change to the Martian Dreams subdirectory. (If you selected a path name other than our default choice, change to the subdirectory to which you installed the game.) After selecting the game subdirectory, type MARTIAN< ENTER> to begin. THE MAIN MENU After loading, an introductory sequence begins. The introduction runs automatically, but you can press to skip quickly from one scene to the next. Press if you wish to leave this sequence entirely. Next, the main menu appears, listing four options: RUN INTRODUCTION, CREATE CHARALCTER, CONTINUE GAME and ABOUT MARTIAN DREAMS. To select one of these options, use the arrow keys or numeric keypad to higmight the option you want and then press . To exit the introduction, character creation or credits, press . These sequences will run automatically, but you can move from one screen to the next more quickly by pressing . [Run Introduction] RUN INTRODUCTION tells how you arrived on Mars. Information in this sequence is vital to your quest. [Create Character] CREATE CHARACTER must be selected the first time you play. When you are asked to name your character, a flashing cursor appears on screen. Type your character's name (up to 12 letters long) and then press . If you do not type a name, the game assumes you are using the default (Avatar). Go on to the next portion of the character creation system by pressing . During character creation, you are asked a series of questions. Answer A or B to each question by typing in the appropriate letter. The answers you provide determine the attributes and gender of the character you play. For example, to play a male character, tell Dr. Freud that you identify with your father (A); to play a female, identify with your mother (B). [Continue Game] CONTINUE GAME lets you begin playing Martian Dreams. In future sessions, this selection returns you to your last saved game. You can also continue a saved game directly from DOS by typing GAME at the \MARTIAN prompt. [About Martian Dreams] ABOUT MARTIAN DREAMS lists all of the people who worked on the game. USING THE MOUSE Martian Dreams allows you to use a mouse and/or keyboard during play. All movement and icon selections can be handled using either of these devices. (For the exact uses of each device during game play, refer to the appropriate section(s) below.) If you use a mouse, bear in mind the following general rules: o The left mouse button is the select or "do-it" button. o The right mouse button can be used to select a "shortcut" command, so that a command is activated. whenever the right button is clicked. o The mouse pointer changes shape depending on where it is on the screen. On the Map, the pointer is a hand indicating your direction of travel. In the Status Display and Command Levers sections of the screen, the pointer changes to a magnifying glass. If you select a command that requires a location, the mouse remains a magnifying glass, even on the Map. The mouse changes to a pocket watch in the Message Display. SCREEN LAYOUT The game screen is divided into four regions -- the Map, the Status Display, the Message Display, and the Command Levers. THE MESSAGE DISPLAY At the lower right of the screen is the Message Display. All text describing things you see and hear, as well as the results of your actions, are shown here. When a message is too long to fit on the scroll, a flashing, downward pointing arrow appears at the bottom of the Display. To View the rest of the message, press the spacebar or position the cursor in the Message Display and click the mouse. When the game is waiting for keyboard input from you (when you are asked a "yes" or "no" question, for example, or when you must press to continue), a tiny Mars, orbited by its two moons, appears at the end of the current line in the Message Display. Press Y or N, or press to continue. THE STATUS DISPLAY In the upper right-hand corner of the screen is the Status Display. This normally displays a roster of all the members of your party, along with each character's figure and current health points. A character whose health points are printed in red is hurt badly; one whose health points are blue is suffering from oxygen deprivation; white means a character is freezing; and purple indicates radiation poisoning. If you click on a character's name, you are shown his portrait and statistics. The higher a statistic is, the better. STR (Strength) Strength determines how much a character can carry and how effectively the character strikes with bludgeoning weapons. DEX (Dexteilty) Dexterity determines how fast the character is and how well the character uses non-bludgeoning weapons such as swords, guns, and other ranged weapons. Faster characters get to move and/ or attack more often than slower ones. IMT (intelligence) For characters other than the Avatar, Intelligence determines the ability to anticipate the results of certain actions. (Don't give an area-effect weapon with a wide firing arc to a character with low intelligence.) Intelligence also affects the duration of any psychokinetic powers acquired during the game. HP (Health Points) Health Points indicate the character's current health. This score is reduced by damage from poison and from injuries suffered in combat. Unconsciousness results when a character's HP score reaches 0. HM (Health Maximum) Health Maximum is the maximum number of health points a character can have. If your character's HP and HM scores are the same, the character is perfectly healthy. Lev (Level) Level is an indication of your character's overall prowess. Level increases as the character gains experience points (see below). Each time a character goes up a level, STR, DEX or INT increases. Maximum Health usually goes up, too. The character must rest in a tent (see Use, below)--and dream while doing so--to increase a level. (You will dream automatically when a character is ready to go up a level.) XP (Experience Points) Experience Points increase as the character accomplishes things in the game. Experience Points are earned for defeating hostile creatures. Points are lost when a charater is knocked unconscious. THE INVENTORY DISPLAY To view a character's inventory select one of the figures to the left of the roster by clicking on it with your mouse or pressing F1-F5. [Keyboard] The use of the mouse in the Inventory Display is explained in detail below. To use the keyboard, press the key once. Crosshairs appear in the Map window on top of the active character (the Avatar urdess you're in solo mode with another character). This selects that character. Press again and the inventory of the selected character appears in the Status Display. The crosshairs appear on the character figure above the inventory. Use the arrow keys or the numeric keypad to move the crosshairs within the Inventory Display. When the crosshairs are on the item or button you want to select, press . To the crosshairs to the map window, press . The < PLUS > (+) key moves to the next character's Status Display. The (-) key displays the previous character's Status Display. Pressing F10 returns to the party roster display. The (*) key toggles between a character's Portrait and Inventory Display in the Status Display. The key cancels selections and causes the crosshairs to disappear. [Readied Items] On the left side of the Inventory Display is a figure showing all equipment the selected characber has readied for immedlate use, either held in the hands or wom on the body. (Find clothes on board the space bullet as soon as possible-walking around Mars without any clothes is dangerous!) If you are holding something that requires both hands, the obbject will appear in one hand and an "X" will appear in the other-you will not be allowed to put anything in that hand. To ready or unready an item, click on it with the left mouse button. [Carried Items] On the right side of the Inventory Display are all non-readied items carried by the character. To look inside a container in your inventory, such as a bag, click on it. Click on it again to return to the main Inventory Display. To ready a carried item, click on it with the left mouse button. [Encumbrance] Below the readied item figure and the inventory are two measures of encumbrance: o E shows the weight of items you currently have equipped compared to the maximum weight your character is allowed to have equipped. o I shows the total weight of your entire inventory compared to the maximum weight you could possibly carry. When you view a container in your inventory, only the weight of the items in that container is shown. [Status Display Buttons] At the lower left of the Status Display are several buttons. As many as five buttons may be displayed at one time, depending upon the circumstances. (If you are viewing the last character, there is no Show Next Character button, just as there is no Show Previous Character option if you're viewing your Avatar.) From left to right, the functions of these buttons are: o Show Previous Character o Return to Party Display o Switch between Portrait and Inventory Displays o Show Next Character o Change Combat Mode (for that character) The functions of these buttons are self-explanatory, with one exception Change Combat Mode. You must determine how each character in your party will respond when battle is joined. There are four combat modes: o Attack. In this mode, a character closes with and attacks the nearest enemy. o Command. This allows you to control that characters actions each turn, just as you control what your own character does. o Range. This tells the character to stay at a safe distance and attack with ranged weapons. o Flee. A character in flee mode avoids combat as much as pcssible. A character's current combat mode is displayed in the bottom right-hand corner of the Status Display. To change modes, click the Change Combat Mode button to toggle through the various modes until the one you want is displayed. You can change a character's combat mode at any time, even in the middle of a battle. THE MAP The largest region, on the upper left side of the screen, is the Map. This show the world through which you are moving, with the view centered on you (or another member of your party if you are in his solo mode). Above the Map, the current position of the sun is shown. [Mouse] To move your characters with the mouse, position the pointer over the Map until it changes to a white pointing hand, point it in the direction you wish to move, and click the left button. Press and hold the left mouse button to move continuously, controlling your direction by steering the white hand. Some actions require you to select a location on the Map. (You may have to say where you want to drop an item, for example.) To select a location, click on it with the left mouse button. To pass your turn (doing nothing), position the mouse pointer over your character and click the left mouse button. [Keyboard] Move by pressing an arrow key, or one of the eight keys around the "5" on the numeric keypad. If asked to select where on the Map you want to perform an action, use these keys to move a set of crosshairs on the screen to the desired location and press to initiate the sction. To pass, press the spacebar. THE COMMAND LEVERS Below the map are eight command levers. With the mouse, move the pointer to the command lever you want to use and click the left mouse button. The lever will flip to the 'on," or down, position to show that the command has been activated. Then select the object or person you want to use the command on. To enter a command from the keyboard, simply press the first letter of its name. For frequently used commands, such as Get, Look, Attack or Use, you can click the right mouse button to lock a lever in the on position. Click the right button on a command and the lever will remain down until you click on a different command with the light button. Click the right button on anv person or object (on the map or in your inventory) and the locked command will be executed on that object. You can change the locked command at any time. Attack (A) Attack is used to fight monsters, animals or people, or to attempt to destroy objects. After choosing the Attack command, choose a target on the map that is within the range of the weapon you have ready. The active character can attack at any time, but the other party members only assist in combat when you press B to Begin Combat. Talk (T) Talk lets you converse with the people you encounter in the game. You can also speak with the members of your party, including Dr. Spector and Nellie Bly, who begin as party members, In fact, be sure to ask Nellie for regular updates from her notebook-she keeps track of your major accomplishments and goals during the game. After selecting Talk, select the character on the map you wish to speak with. The speaking character's portrait appears in the Status Display while he or she is speaking, and the conversation is displayed in the map window. You talk by typing single words on the keyboard and pressing . Only the first four letters of a word need to be typed. For example, the word "dreams" can be shortenecd to DREA. Most people will respond to the words NAME, JOB, and BYE (BYE ends a conversation, but you can accomplish the same thing by pressing without typing anything.) Some people also respond to the word JOIN, allowing you to add members to your party. (You can have no more than five people in your party.) If you or your party members are hurt during play, return to the space bullet and Talk with Dr. Blood. He will do his best to restore the injured character(s) to health. During the course of conversation, most people give you an idea of what they're interested in talking about when you begin the game, subjects they want to talk about are highlighted in red. This help function can be tumed off, by pressing -H. However, with this help turned off, you'll have to figure out for yourself the key words in conversations. Be aware that even when help is on, some people also respond to unhighlighted subjects. Look (L) Look allows you to identify anyone or anything at the location you select on the map or in your inventory. When you use the Look command on an object you are adocent to, you will also search it. This reveals the contents of packs, bags, crates and so forth. It also allows you to find hidden items. Get (G) Get lets you pick up an object on the map. If the object isn't too heavy to carry, and you have room for it, it will be put into your inventory. Under ordinary circumstances, you must be standing next to an object to get it. Drop (D) Drop can be used to lighten your load by getting rid of items you no longer want to carry. First, select the item in your inventory, then choose a spot on the map to place it. Select the Drop command and then the object you wish to drop. Select a new location for the object and press enter. Like the Move command, Drop sometimes prompts you to enter the number of items you want to move. Enter the appropriate number and press . You can press alone to move all of them. Move (M) Move is used to push an item or to transfer it between characters in the party. Select the Move command and then the object you wish to move. Select a new location for the object and press . Some items (such as cans of oil, bullets and torches) are represented by a single picture in your inventory regardless of how many you are carrying. (A number below the picture shows how many you have.) When you move these items, you are prompted to type the number you want to move. Type the number and press . You can press alone to move all of them. If you select an item on the map, you can sometimes push it to a position adjacent to where it began. Living things might not let you move them. This command can be used to move things in and out of containers or from one character to another. For example, if you wish to give something in your inventory to somebody -else, select Move, then the object you want to give, and then the character receiving it. Certain heavy, wheeled ob@s can be moved simply by bumping into them. If they become wedged into a particular location, use the Move command to pull the object, then back out into the open. Use (U) In Martian Dreams, most objects have some function. Use lets you operate those objects. Among other things it lets you open and close doors, use a tent to rest, light or extinguish torches, and play musical instruments. To use an object that requires a target, select the target when the word "On" appears in the message window. For example, early in the game you must use a prybar on a hatch. To do this, click on the Use lever and then on the prybar (which can be readied or carried). When the "On" prompt appears in the message window, click on the hatch. Do this and Nikola Tesla will ask you a question to determine whether you are ready to venture forth. Answer his question, use the prybar again, and the hatch will pop right off its hinges. To play a musical instrument, Use it and press the numbers 0 through 9 to sound individual notes. Press when finished. One weapon, the Belgian combine, can be Used as a shotgun, a rifle, or a combination of the two. To set the combine to one of these, Use it and enter S for shotgun, R for rifle, or C for a combination. Two Martian weapons-the heat ray and the freeze rav-can also be used in a variety of ways. For a single, narrow ray, Use these weapons and select the rifle (R) setting; for a wide beam, select the shotgun (s) setting; for a simultaneous ray and beam attack, select the combination (C) setting. Be sure to aquire a sextant early in your adventure---Use it and it will provide you with the latitude and longitude of your current location. This will allow you to return to the spot at a later date. In some cases, characters will tell you to go someplace and give you coordinates--the sextant can help you find those places. Begin/Break Off Combat (B) This switches back and forth between party mode and combat mode. In party mode, the members of your party automatically follow you around. In combat mode, each character behaves according to the combat mode you have selected for them on thier Inventory Display. OTHER KEYBOARD COMMANDS In addition to the mouse/keyboard commands already described, several keyboard-only commands will come in handy during play. Each of these number keys activates solo mode for its corresponding party member. In solo mode, the party member selected can move around and perform actions while the rest of the party waits inactively. You cannot engage in conversation while in solo mode. Characters in solo mode shouldwt stray too far from the other party members. 0 (Zero) This key retums you to party mode from solo mode. The previously inactive characters rejoin the character that was in solo mode. -S -S saves your current game position. Save frequently during play and aluwys save before trying anything -R -R restores your last saved' game. Anything you've done, good or bad, since the last time you -saved will be gone. The game is returned to the exact position you last saved. -Q -Q ends your current play session and retums you to DOS. The game is not saved when you select this option. -A -A toggles the music on and off. -Z -Z toggles the sound effects on and off. F1-F5 Each of these function keys activates the Status/ Inventory Display for its corresponding party member. Escape aborts most game functions. Press if you select a command or press a key by mistake. @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ @ MYSTERIES OF THE RED PLANET @ @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ - FOREWORD - I write these words aboard a colossal bullet rocketing from the Earth to Mars. Wondrous as this is (and it is, I assure you, quite wondrous), I am even more amazed by the fact that it is the year 1895! Tesla - yes, the noted scientist of years pasi, Nikola Tesla! is unsure how long tEe voyage will take, so I have decided to pass the time recordina what mankind (circa 1895) knows of our destination Mars. How I came by this information is a story in itself: Scientists have lono suspected that Mars was capable of supporting intellic,ent life. As early as 1877, Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli mapped nearly eighty "canali" criss-crossing the Nlartian surface - canals that he said couldn't possibly be the work of chance. Among the scientists who followed in Schiaparelli's footsteps was an American, Percival Lowell, who in the early 1890's began sludving the canals and other features of Mars. Remarkably, no late-20th century sources record the fact that Lowell did more than study the red planet from a distance - in 1893 he constructed a giant space cannon to send an expedition there! When the cannon accidentally discharged ahead of schedule (with several notable figures of the day aboard) most observers agreed that the explosion must have vapofized the huge bullet-ship within, killing the passengers instantly. Luckily, the extraordinarily inventive Nikola Tesla, one of Lowell's associates ori the space cannon project, remained optimistic about the fate of those aboard the craft. As planned, Tesla went ahead with ihe construction of a system of reflectors which would allow him to flash Morse code messages to the expedition (which had, in fact, crash-landed on the red planet), Lowell set up a matching system of mirrors and was able to send messages about what he and the other explorers discovered on Mars. Having read through the transcripts of Lowell's messages, I find myself puzzled - the Mars he described in his messages is sovery different than the one we of the late 20th century know. What could have changed the planet so in just 100 years? How could the Mariner and Viking spacecraft have missed such clear evidence of Martian life? I most know the answers to these questions. Perhaps we will uncover them during our explorations. It seems likely that Lowell himself knows the answers, but he is either unwilling or unable to tell us. His Morse code messages ended abruptly not long after the first expedition landed on the red planet. Why they ceased we do not know, but cease they did. The information in this joumal is, therefore, incomplete. Still, I will endeavor to record all that mankind knows of Mars. The facts - if facts they be - may prove invaluable to my fellow space travellers in the days and weeks following our landing on Mars. PLANETARY DATA & GEOGRAPHY THOUGH details have changed, much of what 20th century man knows of the red planet still appears to be accurate in 1895: Mars is the fouilh planet from the Sun. The Martian day lasts 24 hours, 37 minutes. Its year is 687 Earth days long. Iiselliptical orbit takes Mars as close as 128 million miles lo the Sun and as far away as 15@ million miles. Iis distance from Earth ranges from 40 million miles lo 250 million miles. The diameter of Mars is 422L' miles at the equator, but only 4195 miles through the poles. Its mass is significantly lower than that of the Eanh. The gravitational pull of Mars is, therefore, 60 percent lower than that of Eanh. For this reason, Mars loses hydrogen and oxygen, the components of water, at a rate equivalent to 60,000 gallons of water a day. Another interesfing effect of Mars' weak gravity is that escape velocity is only 11,214 mph, far less than the 25,000 mph required to escape the confines of Earth. Basins, Craters & Planitia OVERALL, Mars has suffered neither more nor less from meteor and asteroid strikes than ihe other inner planets. Still, Mars' proximity to the asteroid belt has resulted in periodic bombard- ments that are especially heavy. Sixteen impact craters with a diameter of 150 miles or greater have been clearly identified. These large, flat basins are called "planitia." The Argyre planilia, -approximately 350 miles across. is surrounded by mountains. Passaoe throuah these mountains @s thouoht to be all but impossible. The basin-like areas of central Mars are somewhat different than Hollas, Argyre, and the other larae impact basins the central planitia are believed to be lava plains created long ago by the eruption of the Tharsis voicanoes. Caverns & Canyons The surface of Mars is marred bv countless crevasses, chasms, and fossae (miles-long, trough-like ditches). IT The system of canyons we of the laic 20th century call Valles Marineris is 1550 miles long, 125 miles wide at its widest point, and 2.2 miles deep at its deepest. It @warfs Earth's magnificent Grand Canyon (280 miles long, I 8 miles wide at its widest point, and a little more than a mile deep) - irl fact, the Valles Marineris would extend all the way from Chicago to Califomia. The careless explorer could easily find himself lost in the twisisting passages of this magnificent valley. Noctis Labyrinthus, at the westem edge of the Valles Marineris system. is a complex maze cf interconnecting channels. Three smaller (thouch no less maze-likt) chasms link Noctis Labvrinthus with Coprates Chasma. We must be careful to map these areas carefully should we be forced to explore them in the course of completing our mission. Amazingly, Valles Marinen's is itself part of a system of canyons 2800 miles long, 435 miles wide at its broadest point, and over four miles deep. This canyon system would stretch all the way across the United States! Unlike Earth canyons, which are carved by running water, Martian canyons often appear closed at both ends (meaning water could not have flowed into or out of them). On the other hand, the equatorial regions of Mars are marked by what are gererally agreed to be dry river beds. Many of the canyons of Valles Mar-ine6s spill out into these dried dver beds. No one knows how 'he canyons of Mars were really tonned. Perhaps our expedition can solve this fascinating Martian fiddle. In addition to canyons, Mars is @ddled with underground tunnels and passages, some natural, others carved out eons ago by the sentient Martian race. Some of these tunnels are home to Martian wildlife, while others lead to underground factories (see below). Here again, the watchword for would-be Martian spelunkers will be caution. Accurate maps may be all that stand between survival and certain death. Dust Storms Dust is the most common feature of the Martian surface. Small particles are often waited aloft, while larger particles, picked up by the wind, roll and bounce along the ground. Extreme temperature contrasts. particularly near the poles and in the Hellas region, create violent winds - up to 280 miles per heur and raging dust storms. Tomade-like condifions are common and quite deadly, often whipping the sandy surface of Mars to a stinging frenzy. Flyina dust often blots out the entire surface and blinds the unwary explorer. Lowell repens that the only thing to do if one spots a Martian dust storm is to run away. Seek shelter as quickly as possible. Ice Caps MARS is devoid of surface Water. Most of the water that does exist is locked up in huae ice caps at the poles. The north pole is largely composed of water ice, while the south pole is a combination of water and frozen carbon dioxide. Lowell theorized that the Martians melted small portions of the polar ice masses to fill their canals and irrigate the equatorial region. Gargantuan lowers located near the north pole appear to have been part of an elaborate system for fillinc, the canals, but the rivers of polar exploration stymied the 1893 expedition's efforts to investigate. Mountains & Voicanoes Mars features some of the tallest and most rugged mountains and volcanoes in the known universe. The voicanoes of Mars are note worthy for reasons other than their prodioious Height - they appear to have been formed from iron-rich, basattic lava. The possibility exists that Mars may one day provide much of mankind's iron ore and steel. Just north of the equator is the Tharsis bulge, a raised plain some five miles high and as far across as the United Staies. Tharsis boasts some of the highest points in the solar system. Olympus Mons is the tallest volcano known to exist (90,000 feet h@gh and well over 350 miles across!). By contrast, Mount Everest, the tallest mountain on Earth, is only 29,000 feet high. Three slightly smaller volcanoes - Ascraeus Mons, Pavonis Mons, and Arsia Mons (each "just" six miles high) sit atop the Tharsis bulge in a diagonal line southeast of Olympus. The Elysium buloe rises 2.5 miles above the surface and features somewhat smaller volcanoes than Tharsis. Only ihree of the Elysium mountains are as much as 93 miles across. The tallest of them, Elysium Mons, stands 5.5 miles high. Albor Tholus and Hecates Tholus, nearby, are a bit sinallel. Fortunately for us, none of the volcanoes of Mars appear to be active! HUMAN SURVIVAL ON MARS The hard facts on the preceding pages appear to have changed little during the 20th century. The same cannot be said of other 'Taspects of Mars. Though not as wild and fantastic as Edoar Rice Burroughs imagined in his John Carter books, Mars is far from the dead planet known to modem science. Percival Lowell theorized that Mars was in the process of coolina and losing its atmosphere, but it was not yet completely dead. His trip to the red planet appears to have proved his theories. Mars circa 1895 is capable of supporting life. Native I ifeforrns abound, and mankind can, with difficulty, survive the planet's harsh conditions. Among the dancers we can expect will be intense cold and an atmosphere far thinner and lower in oxygen than Earth's. Cold THE Martian surface temperature varies with the location, the season and the time of day. The astronomers of the late 20th century report IT temperatures as low as -250 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 90, with a typical range of -22 to - 1 12 degrees. Curiously, Lowell found Mars to be significantly warmer, though still dangerously cold. The most hazardous @me is between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. We must be sure to set up camp during these hours and consider remaining in an insulated tent until daylight. We also have a supply of heavy clothing to help keep us warm. Oxygen THE atmosphere of Mars is much thinner than that of Earth. By the 1990s, it was well established that the atmospheric pressure on Mars was just one percent that of Earlh. Hoever, the Mars explored by Lowell seems far more hospitable than modem science would have us believe. Still, we will soon land on a planet just barely capable of sustaining life, We most anticipate reduced endurance, at the very least, when we disembark. The Lowell expedition discovered a substance called oxium that makes life on Mars far more pleasant. The discovery of the gooey, foul-tasting, life-giving substance was pure luck - an o@d miner named Cooter McGee, gaspin- for breath and half mad from lack of oxygen, happened to stumble into a cave littered with geodes emitting air! When he broke open one of the aeodes he found a blue gelatin within. Despite the horrid odor he popped a wad in his mouth and began to chew. The taste was awful, but each bile released a bit of oxygen. He knew in an instant that he held the key to mankind's survival on Mars. He dubbed the substance "oxium," and it quickly became both a necessity of life and the stranded expedition's primary form of currency. It was traded for all manner of foodstuffs, minerals, objects, and Martian artifacts. He who has oxium is assured of both health and wealth. FLORA & FAUNA As recently as the late ' 1800's, Mars teemed with life. As dangerous as the cold and lack 'of oxygen may be, the most serious threat 10 Ahuman life on Mars is the danger posed by these decidebly alien and often hostile creatures. According to Lowell's reports, there is l@ttle difference between those Martian lifeforms described as "flora" and those we would call "fauna." All Martian life appears to fall into one of two categories: There are plant-like creatures (dubbed "plantimals" by Iowell) and worin-like creatures. All plantimals grow from seeds, spending at least a portion of their "youths" rooted in the ground. When seedlings near maturity, pods appear on the plant. Within each pod a new plantimal grows. ne pods grow quite large and eventually burst, releasing fully grown creatures. While the pods are growing, plantimals derive nonfishment from the ground, just like Earth plants, but they also acquire something more plantimals are capable of extracting species specific information from the soil in which they're planted! In other words, the instincts of dembers of the seedling's species that have died in the vicinity become part of the seedling's own makeup. Each youngster acquires the "wisdom" of its predecessors. In the case of most wandering plantimals, little knowledge is passed on. In the case of the sentient Martians, the benefits of passing along multi-generational racial knowledge were dramatic. Note that the red pods growing on some adult creatures are edible seed pods - fruit. The seeds are scattered when a piece of fruit falls from its host creature and bursts, allowing the seeds to be blown about by the Martian winds. Seeds can also be spread when herbivorous creatures pluck and eat the fruit of other creatures (in a curious blurring of the distinction between camivore and herbivore). The indigestible seeds pass through the creature when it eliminates solid waste. Eventually the seeds take root and the cycle begins again. The worm-like creatures differ dramatically from plantimals in appearance, habitat, and behavior. They are often shelled and generally avoid the extreme conditions of the Martian surface, living wellprotected beneath the surface. Worms are almost always aggressive, The unexplained disappearance of some members of the 1893 expedition led to rumors of the existence of mysterious, horrible, and deadly Martian creatures. Whether Mars is home to unidentified creatures and whether they are plant or worm is, as yet, a mystery. Here is a listing of all creatures known to exist on Mars. The list may not be complete and further investigation is definitely in order. Airsquid No Earthly equivalent exists for this, perhaps the strangest and most surprising of Martian creatures. The camivorous airsquid is a remarkable combination of hawk, squid, and jellyfish. It floats. seemingly harmless, through the sky, its body suspended below a distended bag filled with hydrogen gas. Blessed with keen eyesight, it can spot prey at great distances. When it finds a victim, the airsquid drops in vicious, gravity-aided attack. Sharp teeth, a tearing beak, and grasping tentacles make the airsquid a hideous and effective enemy. Not surprisingly, the first expedition reports no siahtings underground. The airsquid seems willing to float anywhere prey is to be found. There is no place on the Martian surface free of these deadly creatures. Ammonoid This primitive, snail-like creature dwells exclusively in the dank, dark Martian underworld. Its spiky, thomed shell provides ample protection against attack. Its tentacles allow it to grasp prey, but the real danger posed by the ammonoids is the buming acid secreted from suckers on the lower tentacle surface. Bushato The plains areas are home to this bison- or buffalo-like herbivore. Herds of bushalo can ,T generally be found near the wandering forests, feasting on the small plants found in and around the woods. Though normally sedate, these massive, hippopotamus-sized creatures are easily provoked. The charge of a bushato. wood-like tusks clacking, is something to behold - from a distance. The best advice that can be given is to leave these creatures alone unless it is absolutely necessary to disturb them. Busbrat Here is a curious anomaly - one of the few plantimals to be found both above and below around. How these rat-like scaveniers survive without the light of the sun so necessary to other plants is a mystery. Perhaps it is akiri to Earth saprophytes non-pholosynthesizing plants that survive on decaying organic matter. Busbrats can be found everywhere, feeding on the remains of dead worms and the kills of surface-dwelling carnivores. Small, quick and blessed with razor sharp teeth and claws, bushrats are surprisingly dangerous when provoked. Canal Worm No human has ever seen one of these creatures, but several circular tapestries found in the Martian cities depict what Lowell believes to have been huge, canal-dwelling worms. Several features are immediately apparent. They had huge maws full of row upon row of shark-like teeth. They must surely have been quite ferocious, attacking anything that moved on or near the canals. And they were large enough to swallow a man whole. Perhaps it is a blessing that the canals are empty and mankind need never fear these awesome beasts. Cave Worm Unlike its distant relafive, the extinct canal worm, cave worms are quite real and quite deadly. These glowing, shelled cave dwellers can grow to lengths up to ten feet, but a spitting attack makes them a threat al far greater distances, Once prey comes with in reach, a cave worm uses graspino tentacles to squeeze the life from its victims Like many Martian creatures, the cave worm secretes a bumino acid throueh its skin. Victims are, in essence, rendered down to liquid which the mouthless worm absorbs throgoh its skin. Creeper This rootless, leafy vine is the above-ground equivalent of the cave worm. Its natural habitats are the mountainous reoions of Mars, though ii will travel as far as necessary to find food. It squirms about the surface and attacks by wrappine itself around its victims and suffocating them. The creeper tends to be shy, attacking only when requiring one of its infrequent feedings, but it can respond viciously to provocation. Creeping Cactus Among the odder Martian creatures, this hybrid of cactus and sea urchin rnoyes by ?,inflating its rear pods and de tating the ones ahead, pushing it slowly across the surface. This is probably a variation on the night mechanism used by the air squid, but the creeping cactus is too heavy to get off the ground. Despite their weight, the strong Martian winds often send creeping cacti tumbling across the plains, like tumbleweed. Unlike tumbleweed, however, the creeping cactus has pointy spines that can inflict surprisingly serious damage. Glow Worm Though similar in appearance to their cousins, the rockworms, glow worms are quite harrniess. Found only in the maze-like IT underground passages of Mars, thes e shy creatures shrink into their shells at the approach of any creature larger than a bushrat. For reasons we can hardly guess, glow worms usually cluster at points where passageways curve or reach a dead end. Underground explorers quickly came to consider the creatures their friends for, as their name indicates, they glow quite fiercely. Whether this display is designed to scare away would-be attackers, to blind underground predators used to the dark, or to accomplish some other, unknown goal is a subje@t worthy of further study. Hedgehog This belligerent, mid-sized camivore fills the ecological niche of Earth wolves. Woody tusks, sharp fangs, and thoms that can be sent flying through the air make the lone hedgehog quite formidable. Unfortunately, they often travel in packs, making them even more of a threat. A group of hedgehogs can take down a bushalo with ease, and can even give a sextelleger a hard time. Be ever alert for hedgehogs - they range far and wide and can be found anywhere on the planet. Jumping Bean The rabbit-like jumping bean looks almost comical as it traverses the Martian landscape with a peculiar hopping gait. Don't be ,deceived by its looks, however, or its herbivorous nature - beans are quite aggressive. In fact, they're just plain nasty, seemingly for the fun of it. (How else do you explain an herbivore that attacks without provocation?) A pack of jumping beans is quite dangerous, giving pause even to the camivores of Mars. Oxy-leech This slug-like under-round life form feeds on oxium. Unfonunately, these primitive creatures make no distinction between veins of oxium ore and travelling adventurers with oxium in their packs. The oxy-leech has a hideous. toothy mouth opening, but does very little physical damaue, preferrin(y to steal oxiuni and flee before victims can react. Generally found near cave entrances and in ravines, the oxy-leech is a disoustina creature, but more a nuisance than a genuine threat. Plantelope The gazelle-like plantelope may remind explorers of its smaller cousin, the jumpino IT bean. Normally docile, it tends to be shy, choosing to flee rather than ficht in almost every case. The plains are its customary feeding grounds, though herds of plantelope have been seen leaping goat-like in the mountainous areas of Mars. Planther Fast, agile, and deadly, the planther is at the top of the plantimal food chain. Though it rarely attacks the larger herbivores, a hungry specimen of the breed can chase down sextelleger (with some difficulty ... ). Planthers tend to be loners, slicking to the mountainous regions they love, but they move into the plains areas and travel in small prides during pollination season. Pod Devil Here is a creature with no Earthly equivalent. Three times during the Martian year, the mysterious pod devil blooms. Anywhere from five to 30 pods appear on each mature adult. Within each pod, a young devil begins to grow. If left alone, the pods drop to the ground and a fully grown pod devil emerges. If the "mother" plant is disturbed before the "babies" reach full [Aatufity, a variable number of pods burst, releasing immature (and quite vicious) devils. The young are bipedal, frog-like whirlwinds of teeth and claws. They have been reported to attack from a distance by hurling small stones, an indication of relatively high intelligence. If one of the prematurely-released young dies, a new pod devil plant grows on the spot. thus assuring the continuation of the species. Proto-Martian Though the sentient Martian race became extinct long before man set foot on the red planet, a primitive relative manaoed to survive. Though nowhere near as intelligent as their ancient cousins, the omnivorous proto-martians are clearly the top of the heap among the remaining plant creatures. (For the sake of comparison, think of protomartians as somewhere between gorillas and human cavemen in intellect.) Alone among plantimals, the proto-martians travel in bands and use crude weapons (sticks, hurled rocks, and so on). They generally live near the bases of mountains, seeking the shelter of caves. They have also been spotted roaming the plains, living in crudely constructed shelters. Be wamed that proto-martians are not intellioent enough to reason with. Consider them clever, dangerous animals. Rockworm HESE gigantic tube worms live coiled up under the earih IT with only a hard, slime-covered tube visible at the surface. The tubes are made of a caustic material regurgitated by the worm. This same acidic ooze coals and lubricates the rockworm's body, allowina it to emeroe with stariling speed from its subterranean resting place. The slightest vibration on the surface draws the rockworm out. The speed of its attack, the caustic ooze, and a horrible thomy maw make each rockworm a threat. Making matters worse, rockwon-ns tend to clump together in colonies and can be vicious when provoked. They are best left undisturbed whenever possible. Sand Trapper These large, pod-like creatures would appear to be easily avoided they are completely immobile. Appearances can be deceiving, however. Like the Earth insect known as the ant lion (or, more popularly, the "doodlebug"), the sand trapper uses the lower portion of its abdomen as a shovel and dias itself a deep, conical pit in the loose sand of the plains. Any plantimal, worm, or human who gets too close loses its fooling in the loo@se sand and falls to the bottom, where the creature waits to devour it. Even potential victims who don't fall within reach of the waiting creature have little chance of climbing out as the sand shifts beneath their feet. Escape is made even more difficult by the trapper's grasping. ropy tentacles. All in all, the sand trapper is a devouring machine - little more than a huge mouth lined with Tazor sharp teeth. A spitting attack can send a man tumbling down the slopes of its trap and into its waiting jaws. Don't be lulled into a sense of false security by its immobility. The sand Trapper is quite deadly. Sextelleger Here is another Martian plantimal with nc) Earthly equivalent. No other creature encountered by Lowell and the others was considered more dangerous or more malevolent. Even the planther thinks twice before attacking o fully-grown sextelleger. The six-legoed beast can only be described as a camivorcus rhinoceros. A lone sextelleger is a menace, but one seldom encounters a lone sextelleger - the creatures travel in herd,,,, killing and devouring anything and everything in their paths. Trees The pod-trees are not true plantimals like the other lifeforms of Mars, but they are, nonetheles, worthy of inclusion in a compendium of Martian creatures. Unlike Earth trees, Martian trees are capable of limited movement. For reasons not fully understood by human explorers, the trees clump together in forests and then wander together across the plains of Mars, usually in the vicinity of the canals. Explorers quickly detemined that it was not worth their time and energy to map either the location of the forests or the paths throuoh them. The next time they reached an area through which they had passed earlier, the paths had changed and, in some cases, the entire forest had moved! THE MYSTERY OF THE BERRIES The 1893 explorers sent many coded messaoes back to Earth. All of them were fantastic, but none were more remarkable than those pertaining to tvlartian berries. Before the messa@es stopped, Geor@e Washington Carver, noted agricuttufist and one of the members of the 1893 expedition, catalogued many species of immobile, non-sentient plants. At leas( three of these bore fruit, specifically beefies. When eaten, these berries reportedly conferred upon the user strange and inexplicable psychic abilities. Some who used the berries claimed to be able to read minds (clairvoyance) or carry on conversations with inanimate objects (psychometry). Others reportedly gained the ability to move and use objects at a distance (telekinesis). Modem science generally deilies the possibility of such powers, but then modem science also denies the existence of life on Mars. Perhaps it would be best to approach the subject of the Martian berries with an open, inquisitive mind. MARTIAN CIVILIZATION The irrefutable evidence of sentient life on Mars leads inevitably to questions about who and what the Martians were. What was their lifestyle? How advanced was their civilization and how was it structured? After the members of the 1893 expedition determined that they could, in fact, surviv@ on Mars, George Washington Carver began seeking answers to these questions. All available evidence ted Carver to conclude that the one-time masters of Mars were sentient plant-creatures - highly evolved plantimals, if you will. The remains of cities and towns called "groves"-and the remarkable artifacts found in these settlements indicate a high level of civilization. Life Cycle Like all Martian plantimals and, for that matter, all Earthly plants, the sentient Martians (to be called simply "Martians" from here on) were born when seeds were planted in the ground, watered, nourished by sunlight and minerals, and protected from worms and camivorous plantimals. However, Carver's study of records left by the Martians indicate that they grew to maturity somewhat different ]y than their non-sentient cousins. First, each Martian plant grew just a sinale pod, and these pods didn't split open naturally when the creature within reached maturity. in fact, if left on the plant, Martian pods would become overripe, killing the young one within. For that reason, the Martians tended their pods carefully and, using a knife-like implement specifically designed for the job, split the pod open at just the right time, releasing the "young" male or female Martian. The new organism was fully aware, but not fully mature. Were it not for the protection and guidance provided within the walls of the Martian groves, the young could not have survived. The Martian life cycle began with an elaborate sexual rituat involving a male, a female, and a species of now extinct flying worm Carver called a "pollinator." The parties involved would gather in a sunny greenhouse in the couple's home grove. The two Martians would kneel across from each other as pollinators fluttered about them. The worms would land on the male, picking up a dusting of pollen, and then land on a rut of flower-like structures about the female's neck and shoulders. The pollinated flowers eventually grew into seeds which ringed the female, like strings of pearls. When the seeds had grown, they were gathered and given to the Cultivator, who planted and tended them in a communal plot. Eventually, the seeds grew into seedlings and then into fully grown plants. The plants crew pods and the cycle was complete. The existence of communal plots was probably the most telling difference between the Martians and their non-sentient cousins - they tended to settle in a few places and buried generation after generation of their dead in a few preciselv defined locations. Seeds planted in these locations acquired knowledge and characteristics not only from the previous generation, but from all generations stretching back many thousands of years. The germ of true intellioence was clearly present in the Martians from the very beginnina - they, alone among plantimals, realized the potential benefits of settling in a sin(,Ie location. Still, given what we know of life on Mars, the resulting concentration of racial memory in a single location surely contributed to their dominance of the planet. Martian Life & Social Structure While Carver studied the Martian life cycle, anthropologist David Yellin began a systematic study of the Martian lifestyle was recorded in scrolls and reflected in surviving Martian groves and artifacts. According to Yellin, the secret of Martian success was rootedness. Once a Martian family (or group of families) settled in an area, it remained there, to the benefit of each succeeding generation. Thus, each grove is found toda on the same spot it occupied at the dawn of Martian civilization. Martian groves consisted of several homes arrayed around a central grave/nursery plot, the whole protected against nomadic plantimals by a stout wall. The homes were, not surprisingly, made entirely of glass or crystal. In other words, the Martians lived in greenhouses, not unlike the marvelous crystal palaces beloved by the Victorians. The rule among Martians seems to have been "one-home, one- Martian." Since all seeds were planted in a communal birthing plot,there were no families - in a sense, all Martians living in a grove were one family- When a Martian died, its body was carned to the birthina, plot and buried there. As the body decomposed, all of its accumulated memories and experiences were, through some unknown mechanism, transferred into the soil, to be soaked up by seedlings planted there. Thus the seedlings acquired the knowledge of all previous generations in that location. Each Martian birthing plot was tended by the community's Cultivator. This Martian held the fate of his community in his threefingered hands. If the plot were damaged, the development of subsequent generations could be set back severely. If the damage were so great that the community had to move and find a new plot, a small amount of dirt would be collected from the plot and carried to a new location. Martian records indicate that this only rarely resulted in success. Needless to say, the Cultivator was held in the highest respect. Assisting the Cultivator was the Gatherer. The Martian who held this position gathered all of the leaf droppings and other plant matter and kept up the community's compost heap. Ile Gatherer was also responsible for bringing the deod to the birthing plot, where their knowledge could be imparted to succeeding generations. Another Martian, the Arbofist, healed the sick and wounded. This involved taking cuttings, healing diseases, grafting limbs, and so on. Coordinating the activities of these key Martians and seeing to the everyday needs of the citizens of each grove was the Agrarian. 'Mink of the Agrarian as akin to a human Mayor and you won't be too far off the mark. In addition to intemal affairs, this Martian negotiated water fights with other groves and took responsibility for inter-grove soil trading. Such trading ensured the widespread dissemination of knowledge and enriched the overall Martian stock. The Agrarian also made sure the underground power plants and facto6es were well-maintained, ensuring the continued idyllic existence of Martians on the surface. Martian records indicate that there were once scores of groves. Today, only four are intact enough to reveal anything of Martian life (to say nothing of sheltering the members of the 1893 expedition). Olympus, Argyre, Hellas, and Elysium are in surprisingly good repair. Other scattered buildings only hint at the tonner greatness of Martian civilization. Factories, Mines & Mechanical Men All of Martian civilization was built on the idea thal the groves were inviolate, edenic, never to be sullied by machinery. The idyllic existence above ground was made possible by moving underground all of the machinery and mining operations that made such a life feasible. Power was generated by scores of hulking steam engines, each as large as the monstrous Corliss engine displayed at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Canvas belts conveyed power to a vast array of machines. The material to build and power these machines iron ore, coal, and other substances - came from colossal mines as grand as any in human history. The steam-powered underground machines must have roared deafeningly in their day, but now they sit idle, waiting for someone to figure out how to restore the power that once drove them. Today, countless years after the death of the last Martian, dirt and grit cover every unprotected surface. And the stench in the factories, powerplants, and mines is nearly overpowering. The underground factories and mines are, along with the canals, the most remarkable displays of Martian industrial prowess. The achievement seems all the more amazing when one considers that, like Earth plants, the Martians required sunlight in order to survive. Ilis made underground work taxing and potentially deadly. The Martians solved this problem in a most straichtforward, yet astonishing, manner. in order to tend the machines, the Martians created metal surrogates, specialized devices that we of the late 20th century would call robots. Lowell dubbed them "mechanical men." The mechanical men vary widely in appearance and, we can only assume, in function. Unfortunately, the underground areas are sufficiently dangerous that Lowell and the others did little investigating. The nature and functioning of the mechanical men remains, therefore, a mystery. Canals Inredible as it seems. Schiaparelli and Lowell were right - the canals on Mars are real. Great causeways once carried water from the poles to irrigate the more arid areas. This alone made it possible for the Martians to settle in on@ place and build their mighty groves. That the canals could also be used to transport Martians and materials from place to place was an added benefit. Their chief purpose was to ensure the survival and continued dominance of the Martian race. Though the canals now stand empty, and many mysteries still remain, Lowell was able to determine quite a bit about them. They are all perfectly straight, with perfect, right-angle intersections. Their depth and width make them impassible when empty. Extensible bridges allow travellers to cross. Unfortunately, nearly all of the bridges are retracted and wilt-remain so until and unless we can restore power tO the Martian cities. Larce switches at the edoes of the canals can be used to extend and retract bridoes. Curiously, there would appear to be a bit of water below the surface near the canals - plants can almost always be found growing in the vicinity of the empty waterwavs. Lowell was able to tell much about the canals by observation, but one question remained unanswered: How A,ere they filled? Robert Peary, noted polar explorer, may have provided the answer. During his trek to the edges of the Martian icecaps, he came across gigantic towers positioned at strate-ic locations alona the edge of the north pole. Atop each tower was a ruby-red lens. It may be that the sun's light, focused by the lens, melted the ice and channeled water into the canals. This is. however, nothing more than conjecture. Needless to say, the empty canals limit movement on the planet's surface and hinder exploration. The non-functioning switches and extensible bridges do little but frustrate would-be explorers. If ihere were only some way to restore power to the Martian machinery! Then. perhaps, mankind could explore Mars more fully. Dream Machines As astoundino as the Martian groves, factories, and canals are, nothing excited the'members of 1893 expedition more than the mysterious dream machines. No one is really sure what purpose these devices served, but users reportedly experienced strange, dreamlike visions (hence the name "dream machine"). Nothin(Y more is known about these devices - among the few machines still functionina when the Lowell expedition arrived on Mars. Shortly after the first reports were beamed to Earth concerning the dream machines. Lowell described a breakdown in communication among various groups of humans. The once united expedition degenerated into several bickering factions. Little more is known about events on Mars. No one knows if there is any connection between the dream machines and the disintegration of the 1893 expedition - shortly after these reports reached Earth, communication ended-The dream machines appear to be at the heart of several mysteries. We must investigate, but cautiously... MYSTERIOUS RED PLANET Having reflected on the messages Lowell sent from Mars, I find myself drawn once again to the remarkable differences between the Mars of Mariner and Viking and the Mars of Percival Lowell. What cataclysm could have wiped all trace of Martian civilization from the face of the red planet? What catastrophe could have caused ihe extinction of so many lifeforrns? We will - we must - find out! GLOSSARY Chasma: Canyon Fossae: Ditches Labyrinthus: Network of valleys Mensa: Mesa Mons: Mountain Montes: Range of mountains Planitia: Plain Planum: Plateau Tliolus: Hill Vallis: Valley (pl., "valles") X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X Another file downloaded from: The NIRVANAnet(tm) Seven & the Temple of the Screaming Electron Taipan Enigma 510/935-5845 Burn This Flag Zardoz 408/363-9766 realitycheck Poindexter Fortran 510/527-1662 Lies Unlimited Mick Freen 801/278-2699 The New Dork Sublime Biffnix 415/864-DORK The Shrine Rif Raf 206/794-6674 Planet Mirth Simon Jester 510/786-6560 "Raw Data for Raw Nerves" X-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-X


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