Robert Wm. Gomez's

September 2019

Boxer from Shantung (8/10)

A small-time hood uses his fighting mastery to become the boss of his own gang. Features a fight with a giant European wrestler and a long, bloody finale in which the hero has an axe in his belly half the time. The movie is a bit too long but that final fight really makes up for all the fluff. Like Man of Iron, the lead character isn't terribly likable but I guess he makes a little effort not to be a really bad crime boss.

John Carter (6/10)

A standard, post-LOTR epic movie with clashing armies and English accents. This should be a fun fish out of water tale but the story is structured in a way that kills any mystery and discovery. It has it's moments but no real surprises here. This wasn't the Martian Dreams follow-up I wanted.

The Ettin - Pen and Ink Drawing

Earlier this year I decided to support a Kickstarter campaign for a new Apple ][ game called Nox Archaist. It is going to be an RPG in the style of the 8-bit Ultima games. There are was a call-out for artwork submissions to be included in the manual. I decided to try and produce some drawings for the project. In the end I made about half-a-dozen pen and ink drawings of various fantasy creatures. This one was perhaps my favorite of the lot.

Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2: Martian Dreams on MS-DOS (8/10)

Martian Dreams

Martian Dreams is built on the same game engine as Ultima VI. Much like that game, it is much less of an RPG and more of an adventure game in which you are wandering through the world, talking to NPCs, and combining objects to solve puzzles. You're not really building up and customizing your character here. Sure there's combat and leveling up, but it doesn't really feel like it matters much.

The most important part of this game is the story and the world it's built around. Martian Dreams takes place a fictionalized the late nineteenth century setting in which space flight is a reality. Dozens of historical luminaries from the era have all been accidentally sent to Mars and it's the player's job to find them all and get them back home. Along the way the real-life talents of the characters will come in to play: George Washington Carver knows botany, Louis Comfort Tiffany know glass making, and Sarah Bernhardt knows, um, stage make-up. The only human villains are the evil monk Rasputin and the anarchist Emma Goldman.