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Martian Memorandum

DOS - 1991

Alt name Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum
Year 1991
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Adventure
Theme Detective / Mystery, Graphic Adventure, Puzzle elements, Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Publisher Access Software, Inc.
Developer Access Software, Inc.
Perspective Side view
Dosbox support Fully supported on 0.73
4.78 / 5 - 43 votes

Description of Martian Memorandum

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Sequel to cult classic Mean Streets, the second of Access' Tex Murphy games is an interesting point-and-click detective adventure set in 21st century San Francisco.

As with the first game, the highlight of Martian Memorandum is the well-written premise and interesting characters. You are Tex Murphy, a (cough) handsome PI who is down on his luck. You are hired by Marshall Alexander, the owner of Terraform Corp. to find his kidnapped daughter Alexis. You will soon be looking deep into Alexander's past, dealing with thugs and conmen of all kinds in San Francisco. The case will take you to the jungle, and eventually to Mars, where Terraform is terraforming the planet. Here, you will discover what the game's title mean, and why it rests on your puny shoulders to save the Earth... again.

Fans of Mean Streets rejoice-- Martian Memorandum is an unadulterated, 100% pure point-and-click adventure game with no inscrutable flight sim or action portions in sight. Some puzzles do require you to solve them within a time limit, but usually it's quite lenient (once you find WHERE all the items are, of course). The characters you meet, as in Mean Streets are interesting, and advance the game as they would in a real murder mystery novel. You can select several approaches in your conversation, ranging from friendly to threatening, and different characters require different approaches (as well as cash) to cough up the information you need.

In contrast to most other adventure games, you can get irrevocably stuck if you pick the wrong approach for a character, who is so upset with you that he/she won't talk to you again. Typically, you will know when the conversation "fails" (mostly because everyone you can talk to in the game has at least one important clue), but sometimes the signs are more subtle, and you can proceed with other matters for a long time without realizing what you miss. It's a bit annoying, although not difficult to overcome if you use the tactic of "save before initiating a conversation, restore and play again to choose all possible choices."

Other annoyances include extreme pixel-hunting, which requires you to slowly move the cursor all over the screen to find 1x1 objects. And-- die-hard fans take note-- there is a MAZE in this game. A big one. One that will require you to carefully map it, several times over. Fortunately, there is a way to bypass it, which makes it more bearable. There is also a very convenient built-in hint system, although the puzzles generally are quite easy.

Overall, a very well written storyline as well as good graphics and (some) speech make Martian Memorandum a solid adventure. The acting is as campy as ever, but if you like Mean Streets but abhor the flight simulator/action parts, then you'll definitely love Martian Memorandum despite all its pixel-hunting nuisance. Two thumbs up!

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

Ace1000 2016-09-04 1 point

This game was great, the only thing I hated about it was swapping the floppy disk. I played this game back in 1991 on a 386 sx-16, 1 mb of ram, 40 mb hdd, Adlib sound card, and VGA 256 graphics card.

Access Soft was able to emulate human speech with PC speakers. It was a great interactive game, and back in the early 1990s the interactive CD-ROM game was all the craze.

Kurts 2015-11-18 0 point

I followed those instructions on deleting mm.cfg and use adlib, and after i get to Office the screen flashes and does not work further. I used to love playing this game in the 90s

marco 2015-01-18 2 points DOS version

The game may freeze when a dialog is played (it happened to me when I picked up the comlink). This happens because the dialog configuration uses Realsound, which is not supported by Dropbox.
There is a simple fix: delete the mm.cfg file (which contains the original configuration), then run the game, it will offer you the possibility to change the configuration and it will automatically create a new mm.cfg file. Do not select Realsound (choose adlib for example) and the game will work fine (without speech on the dialog, but that's ok)

Fred 2012-02-04 0 point DOS version

Loved this game when it first came out, still have the disks but they have gone bad, This kept me hooked for hours and even had to ask the rest of the family how they got past other parts that I had problems with.
It may not be fast paced but it does keep the interest as each encounter affects what happens next.

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