Mars is a planet within the Terran Solar System, located at coordinates 6,2,3. It occurs twice within the Ultima series, in what are likely instances of separate non-continuous realities.
Its first appearance is in Ultima II, where it is possible to visit Mars using a rocket ship in the year 2112 A.D.. It should be noted, however, that due to shifts in the time stream, the reality in which this Mars appears likely vanished with the death of the enchantress Minax.
Its second appearance, in Martian Dreams, takes place during 1895 A.D. - in what should be considered canonical reality. In this incarnation, Mars is shown to be home to various species of fantastical plant-derived creatures and was once inhabited by a civilization of intelligent Martians.
In Ultima II, the Martian surface is a rocky, mountainous terrain, with canyons and valleys (perhaps the fabled canals of the red planet) crisscrossing across it. The famous icecaps of Mars are absent, although water can still be found in the form of a solitary lake.
A settlement known as Towne Mary can be found in the largest crater of the Martian surface, with scant vegetation growing nearby. Given reports that Earth's people knew of viable life on the planet, and observations that Lord British's initials had been engraved into Mary's town square, it is not impossible that this city was a Terran colony, which would make its presence compatible with the earlier historic record of Martian civilization.
Regardless of this possibility, it is quite probable that Towne Mary vanished from reality when temporal norms were restored. It has been established that the Earth of the "normal" time stream took a different historical path regarding the common knowledge of life on Mars, and that no evidence of Mary or the civilization which preceded it was found by Terran astronomers.
Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams
In Martian Dreams, the red planet is the center stage for the games unfolding action. After traversing back into the year 1895 through a time gate, the Avatar and Dr. Johann Schleimann Spector accompanied a mission to Mars with scientific genius Nikola Tesla to rescue the crew of an accidental 1893 launch headed by Percival Lowell.
In this reality, at this point in history, the Martian surface was solid and its atmosphere breathable - although not ideal for human oxygenation. Contrary to later observations which would be made by the Mariner and Viking probes, the nineteenth century explorers found that Mars supported a plethora of plant-based life forms, and that it was formerly home to a technologically advanced civilization, which had left a network of canals and cities dotting the planet.
It was eventually discovered that the Martian people - bipedal, humanoid plant race - had all perished in a great plague which had permeated the Martian soil. In order to save themselves, the Martians had transferred their consciousness to the metaphysical plane of dream space, awaiting a means to return to the material world.
The Avatar eventually was able to secure new bodies for the people of the red planet. However, due to the machinations of the wicked Raxachk, the phlogistonite fuel for the Terran space vessel was transported into the realm of dreams. In the process of returning it to the waking world, the hero triggered catastrophic storms which would eventually strip the Martian surface of all evidence of life. In the opening stages of this cataclysm, the Terran exploration teams and the newly returned Martians were able to escape the dying planet to Earth.
- Argyre: a Martian settlement which served as the stronghold for the possessed Rasputin while he was under Raxachk's influence
- Elysium: a Martian settlement in which the former inhabitants possessed the bodies of human explorers in the hopes of securing their return
- Hellas: a Martian settlement in which the former inhabitants remained in the dream realm, objecting the methods of the Elysians
- Olympus: a Martian settlement which held the bulk of the human populace during their time on the red planet
Other Areas of Interest
- Abandoned City: a long abandoned Martian settlement, empty since before the plague
- Coprates Chasma: a series of tunnels, connecting to Noctis Labyrinthus
- Landing Sites: the impact points of the two Terran space cannons
- Lens Towers: the devices used to melt the polar ice caps that water might be provided for the Martian canals
- Noctis Labyrinthus: tunnels of oxium mines, where Cooter McGee was making his living
- North Pole Lab: a research facility which was developing mechanical bodies for use by the Martians
- Power Plant: a coal-powered facility providing electricity to the planet
- Pumping Station: the machinery necessary for filling the Martian canals
- Syrtis Major: a series of mountains and caverns housing an abandoned Martian iron mine
- Trading Post: a spot for bartering supplies and equipment, set up by Terrans Martha "Calamity Jane" Cannary Burke and William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody
|Locations on Mars|
|Cities||Argyre ☥ Elysium ☥ Hellas ☥ Olympus|
|Other Locations|| Abandoned City ☥ Coprates Chasma ☥ Landing Sites ☥ Lens Towers ☥ Noctis Labyrinthus |
North Pole Lab ☥ Power Plant ☥ Pumping Station ☥ Syrtis Major ☥ Trading Post
Face on Mars
|Terran Solar System|
|Planets||Mercury ☥ Venus ☥ Earth ☥ Mars ☥ Jupiter ☥ Saturn ☥ Uranus ☥ Neptune ☥ Pluto ☥ Planet X|
| Non-Earth Cities
| Towne Mary (Mars) ☥ Village of the Preppies (Jupiter) ☥ New Jester (Uranus) ☥ Computer Camp (Neptune) ☥ |
Tommersville (Pluto) ☥ Towne Makler (Pluto) ☥ Towne Basko (Planet X) ☥ Castle Barataria (Planet X)