Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams Soundtrack, Dana Glover / Tom Hollingshead / George Sanger, 1991
Back in 1991, dedicated soundtrack releases for Western game soundtracks were pretty much unheard of. One of the pioneers was Origin Soundtrack, a compilation of music from some of Origin’s high-profile games of 1990/91. Exactly how Origin Soundtrack came about still remains a bit of a mystery. What seems confirmed is that the album is an unauthorised collection of music. Its producer and engineer was veteran composer Martin Galway, who had just finished work on Wing Commander II. His aim was probably to showcase his work and that of other composers at Origin on a stand-alone basis.
Probably inevitably, the album was a mixed bag of offerings. Music from high-profile titles like Ultima VI: The False Prophet and Wing Commander II turned out to be surprisingly bland. On the other hand, Wing Commander’s pioneering symphonic score made its album debut (if only with a six-minute medley). Nestled between these well-known games was a score that deserves much greater attention: Ultima: Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams. Martian Dreams was part of the Ultima: Worlds of Adventure series that allowed Origin to get a bit playful with the venerable RPG franchise. Just look at Martian Dreams’ storyline, set in the Victorian era. Things kick off at the 1893 World Columbian Exhibition in Chicago with a steampunk-inspired rocket trip to Mars. Here, players meet Vladimir Lenin, Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla, Marie Curie, Rasputin and other prominent figures of the era.