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Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla, from Martian Dreams
Species: Human
Martian Dreams
Location: 1895 Landing Site

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) is a Croatian genius in the field of electric power, and practically the single man on whose theories the modern power grid was built.

Prior to the events of Martian Dreams, Tesla had managed to ignite the "War of Currents" by selling his patents on alternating current—which he saw as the future—to the Westinghouse Electric Company, which then engaged in heavy competition with Thomas Edison's company (which would later be known as General Electric). Tesla himself started a deep personal rivalry with Edison—a rivalry that would be lifelong.

Tesla at his lab in 1895

Ironically, at the very 1893 world's fair where alternating current would prove its superiority, the space cannon was launched. Tesla started to build another capsule for a rescue attempt and was ready to launch two years later, when the Avatar arrived with Dr. Spector.

Once on Mars, Tesla stayed near the capsule in order to supervise the equipment that would enable them to communicate with Earth. His instructions proved to be important in order to repair the red planet's power grid. However, he refused to repair a direct-current motor, saying that Edison should do it.

After returning to Earth, Tesla would make many more inventions in the power sector, but would have little luck with money. At the time of his death in 1943 in New York, he'd amassed a huge debt.


An unsung genius and unparallaled eccentric, Tesla was one of the late 19th- and early-20th centuries' most innovative electrical engineers and inventors. His greatest achievement was the invention of the AC induction motor, which led to the virtual replacement of DC current in everyday life. Despite being responsible for this major technological advance, Tesla is usually remembered more for his failed efforts to broadcast electrical power through the air, like radio waves. His technological expertise made the rescue expedition possible and proved invaluable in understanding and repairing numerous Martian machines. And, of course, it was his time-spanning message that brought us to this place and time.

- from Time Travel (Worlds of Ultima: Martian Dreams)


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