Martian Gothic: Unification
) is a survival horror game
for the PlayStation
. It was developed
by Creative Reality and
by Take-Two Interactive
. Programmers Neil
Dodwell and Martin Wong, designer Stephen Marley
, animator David Dew,
modelers Julian Holtom and Paul Oglesby, and music & sound
effects by Jeremy Taylor (aka firq) .
In Martian Gothic
, the player is able to assume the roles
of three characters sent from Earth to a Martian
base to examine why it has been silent for 10
months, after a base member broadcasts a final message of "Stay
alone, stay alive." Upon arrival the player finds that all the
residents are apparently dead and that the base hides a horrible
A unique feature of this game is that if any of the characters meet
face to face, the bacteria that has infected them draw all three
characters into a 'Trimorph' at which point the game is lost.
Because the characters cannot meet face-to-face, they can trade
items using a system of "Vac Tubes", which can transport 4 items to
other Vac Tubes at a time. Also, when the player needs to leave an
item behind, she/he may do so by leaving the relevant item into
various hatches, which can hold up to 4-6 items. Using the hatches
may leave the player confused about where she/he left the item, but
the player can use any PC to bring up a list of the contents of
every hatch, including ones that have not been accessed yet.
In terms of gameplay and control, Martian Gothic
similar to the early Resident
game titles: the Vac Tubes function the same way as
Item Boxes, and the control of the characters and the camera angles
are almost identical.
Uncovering Past Events
In order for the character to unravel the events before their
arrival, they may search dead bodies for letters or micro-recorders
which may contain information about the character, plot, passwords,
and the method in which they might have died. Many recordings have
been stored on some of the base's computers, which also contain
information about the person or the storyline.
- Kenzo Uji: Kenzo, looked upon by some as a
"techno-zen hippy" is an infomesh expert.
- Martin Karne: Martin, the "security escort" of
the crew, arrives by his own free will in search of his ex-wife,
Judith Harroway, after losing his son.
- Diane Matlock: An advanced scientist who has
been enlisted should the cause of the radio silence be somehow
related to a bio-hazard. She has some friends on Vita 1, which
might have contributed to her decision to join the crew.
- MOOD: The computer of Vita base. She has her
own personality and reacts differently to each character. MOOD
knows everything on the base and will usually give passwords to
Kenzo. At the end of the PC game, in a cutscene which is not
included in the Playstation version,
MOOD reveals that she "is free of her network of circuits" and
released from her "cage of wires". This may imply and speculate
that she is not actually a computer program. This theory would also
be backed-up by the fact that, maybe even in the year 2019, current
technology cannot possibly give a computer a free will and personality.
- Ben Gunn / Dr. John Farr: Dr. Farr, an
experienced biologist, was working on a
vaccine should ever a biohazard arise.
However, he abandoned the experiment and decided to hide in the
Kitchen during the outbreak, where he seems to have become
completely insane. At times, he can become possessed by the "cold spirit of
- Judith Harroway: Judith Harroway was the Vita
project director. Towards the beginning of the game, the player
hears her emergency transmission, which ends in her saying, "STAY
ALONE! STAY ALIVE! AND FOR GOODNESS SAKE...", the transmission
being cut off there. On some of the other computers around the
base, the player can choose to listen to her pre-disaster day logs,
in which she speaks of some type of technological
- NonDead: The dead Vita Base 1 crew and
colonists have all been revived by an ancient martian strain of
bacteria. However, it is unknown how Rigor
Mortis has been avoided. The NonDead are the bloody mouthed
creatures which would be zombie corpses.
- TriMorph: Varying in size, these creatures
contain faces of the deceased on their skin and seem weak against
hydrochloric acid. The TriMorphs
can produce offspring when exposed to hot and humid climate
conditions, to create large spider-like
creatures, known as Extrudes. The TriMorphs are huge animals with
big claws, and generally pounce after the player. The Trimorph has
in his body the faces of the three persons who were assimilated to
form it, hence the name TriMorph.
- Extrude: Large spider-like beings. They are
very fast and attack by using their front legs to stab. They can
also spit poison. The Extrudes are the result
of Tri-Morphs being exposed to hot humid conditions.
- Ghost: Months before the events of the game, a
Vita 1 base member died and was buried on the Mars surface.
However, his spirit had been brought back, by the "cold spirit of
Mars". He seems to be harmless and does not attempt to hurt anyone;
he just hovers in front of doorways, blocking the path to several
places. There are 3 other ghosts which have also been
- Kurakarak / The Sovereign: The Kurakarak, who
also call themselves "The Sovereign", are the ancient race who once
occupied Mars before becoming extinct.
However, some Martian DNA strains managed to
survive for billions of years in an underground tomb, referred to
as "Pandora's Box" by Judith Harroway,
which had been opened by the Vita 1 base crew. The martian bacteria
strain then invaded the base, killed most members of the crew, and
re-animated the bodies to transform them into NonDead, or mutate
some into TriMorphs.
- Queen Mab: Although its actual gender and real
name are not known, Queen Mab is the very last of the Kurakarak
species. It has survived by sealing itself away in an organic
cocoon, which has widely been mistaken by the crew as a tomb, which
they dubbed "The Regal Tomb" or "Pandora's Box". When the organism
awoke, it released Kurakarak DNA strains from its ancestors.
- Vita 1: A research base developed and
constructed by the Allenby Corporation and Earth Control. The crew
of Vita 1 was organised to research alien life and microfossil
bacteria after discovering a meteorite from Mars that actually
contained living bacteria. Vita 1 is located on the Mars surface,
near "Olympus Mons". The crew had drilled into the Mars crust,
where they discovered an ancient Kurakarak city, laid in ruins,
which they named "Necropolis".
- Necropolis: Under the constructed Vita 1 base,
the old Kurakarak city of Necropolis is laid in ruins. The
Necropolis resembles a maze which has 4 areas; "The Pit", "The
Dome", "The Altar" and "The Regal Tomb".
is a volcanic vent sculptured by the Kurakarak,
which ventilates gases from the biggest volcano in the Solar
System; Olympus Mons.
is a large room which looks like an indoor arena,
with a dome-shaped roof. The crew of Vita 1 set their main
Necropolis base here.
, also described by Matlock as a "Martian Gothic
Cathedral", is a large sculpture with an unknown purpose. However,
it is known that it produces music when activated, can electrocute
anyone standing on it, emits a strange form of light energy, and
can change things.
The Regal Tomb
is beyond the giant pillar, Obelisk, where
Queen Mab of the Kurakarak lies in her own organic shell.
- Mars Surface: The surface of Mars isn't explored much; but the Vita 1 crew created a
small cemetery where the ghosts originate from.
- Olympus Mons: Although
Mons is the biggest volcano in the Solar System.
It is reported to be three to four-times bigger than Mt. Everest of Earth.
It is not accessible, but a volcanic vent releasing gases from
Olympus Mons is.