Worlds of Adventure ][
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
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,
These sequences will run automatically, but you can move
from one screen to the next more quickly by pressing .
RUN INTRODUCTION tells how you arrived on Mars. Information
in this sequence is vital to your quest.
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 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
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.
The game screen is divided into four regions -- the Map, the
Status Display, the Message Display, and the Command Levers.
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.
Strength determines how much a character can carry and how
effectively the character strikes with bludgeoning weapons.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
The (-) key displays the previous character's
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.
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
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
To ready a carried item, click on it with the left mouse
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
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
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
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
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.
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
To pass your turn (doing nothing), position the mouse
pointer over your character and click the left mouse button.
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.
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
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
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
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 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 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 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.
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
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
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
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
OTHER KEYBOARD COMMANDS
In addition to the mouse/keyboard commands already
described, several keyboard-only commands will come in handy
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.
This key retums you to party mode from solo mode. The
previously inactive characters rejoin the character that was in
-S saves your current game position. Save frequently
during play and aluwys save before trying anything
-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 ends your current play session and retums you to
DOS. The game is not saved when you select this option.
-A toggles the music on and off.
-Z toggles the sound effects on and off.
Each of these function keys activates the Status/ Inventory
Display for its corresponding party member.
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
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
possibly be the work of chance.
Among the scientists who followed in Schiaparelli's
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
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
within, killing the passengers instantly. Luckily, the
extraordinarily inventive Nikola Tesla, one of Lowell's
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
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
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
will be caution. Accurate maps may be all that stand between
survival and certain death.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
extinction of so many lifeforrns? We will - we must - find out!
Labyrinthus: Network of valleys
Montes: Range of mountains
Vallis: Valley (pl., "valles")
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