The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: John Szczep on January 24, 2006, 04:15:00 pm



Title: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: John Szczep on January 24, 2006, 04:15:00 pm
Hi all

John Szczepaniak here again.

I wrote another article featuring Star Control 2, with an interesting piece of information from Mr Reiche that I've not read before. He very kindly answered some questions during the Christmas holiday season.

Page in question:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/29/6

Article starts here:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/issue/29/3

I also linked to the main SC2 remake front page. :)

Rather an interesting revelation about the Ur-Quan, no?


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Censored on January 24, 2006, 10:28:32 pm
I have to comment on the layout of that website.

very attractive! well designed.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Death 999 on January 24, 2006, 11:11:11 pm
I missed the homosexual repression theme he mentions. Gender, sure... homosexual? Not popping to my mind.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Halleck on January 25, 2006, 01:00:36 am
John, thank you for sharing this article with us. I'm surprised at the aloofness of the critics you mentioned. They make blanket statements about the entire genre of video games without knowing the first thing about its rich lineage. Hopefully, your article will find its way into their hands at some point.

I missed the homosexual repression theme he mentions. Gender, sure... homosexual? Not popping to my mind.

I recall some speculation about this in the past.

It makes sense to me in the context of the story. After all, the Androsynth do wear pink triangles.

I think it's a testament to Paul Reiche's writing that he can work in such mature themes under our noses.  :)


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Deus Siddis on January 25, 2006, 01:58:38 am
"I missed the homosexual repression theme he mentions. Gender, sure... homosexual? Not popping to my mind."

I didn't notice that much on religion either. I don't consider the new aged Pkunk or cultish/satanist Ilwrath to be a real hit against religion as a whole. The Gazurtoid and Tandelou of the Starflight games were much better examples of this.

Come to think of it, I don't think SC2 is so much of a progressive thing (minus the druuge) as it is a simple joking look at the various facets of human nature or maybe just ideology and 'isms in general. Sort of a way to look at a few of the mindsets that people take so seriously from a comical perspective (with the exception of the UQ.) If you get too preachy, you limit your audience.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Matticus on January 25, 2006, 02:51:35 am
I missed the homosexual repression theme he mentions. Gender, sure... homosexual? Not popping to my mind.
Yeah, the Syreen for gender obviously. But consider this: have you ever heard mention of a female Androsynth? Or have you seen a picture of one? Or seen one represented anywhere in the game? =)

Also:
Quote
We intended for the alien races to exemplify human personal and cultural foibles in a focused and exaggerated manner.
To me this doesn't imply an intent to "stick it" to any particular group or foible, merely showing them in a different light and allowing the player to interpret them as he will.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Clay on January 25, 2006, 03:37:01 am
Quote
Yeah, the Syreen for gender obviously. But consider this: have you ever heard mention of a female Androsynth? Or have you seen a picture of one? Or seen one represented anywhere in the game? =)

Not really fair, considering there are few mentions of female ANYTHING in Star Control II.

The only mentions of sex (gender has an entirely different meaning, by the way) I can find are:

A) A few female Earthlings are mentioned in flavor text and in the Earthling pilot graphics
B) The Syreen as a whole, make limited mentions to male Syreen
C) The Melnorme refer to the Keel Verezey as "He/she/they"
D) The female Shofixti, which BTW, we never ever see an illustration of.

So by and large, it's EXTREMELY unfair to say the Androsynth are homosexual based on something like that, any more than any of the alien races are (necessarily) unisex.

Also, I think you kind of missed the boat entirely.  I think the idea behind the article was that the Androsynth are repressed LIKE homosexuals at the time, not AS homesexuals.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Deus Siddis on January 25, 2006, 03:55:49 am
"But consider this: have you ever heard mention of a female Androsynth?"

Maybe the androsynth are just sexists.

I wonder who the Orz represent?


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Shiver on January 25, 2006, 04:19:14 am
No no no. Androsynth do not breed sexually so there aren't any males or females. The ones you see are all "male" in appearance, but I remember reading somewhere that they reproduce by way of cloning vats.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Bongo Bill on January 25, 2006, 05:18:24 am
Well, according to the Ultronomicon,

Quote
Sexual relationships and family structures among the Androsynth were, obviously, normatively "homosexual," as no female gender existed in their ranks. Androsynth revolutionary theory seemed to consciously identify itself with ideas similar to those expressed in the gay-rights movement of the late 20th and early 21st century, as the Androsynth, like homosexuals, had to confront and reject traditional religious and cultural definitions of "humanity" based on one's being part of an unbroken chain of sexual reproduction that defined one's family line. This may be why the Androsynth after the Emigration consciously changed the Androsynth insignia from a black inverted triangle to a pink one, imitating the 20th-century symbol of homosexual liberation.

No idea if it's accurate, but it was there before today.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Zeep-Eeep on January 25, 2006, 01:43:00 pm
I don't recall any homosexual references. I must have
missed those. I do recall noting religion is brought up
a lot. The Spathi "Evil Ones", the Utwig magic device,
the Ilwrath as a whole, the new age Pkunk....to a
degree the Yehat honour system might paralell a
religion. Of course, the whole basis for the Ur-Quan
race(s) in the game was religion. I'd say, in light of
these, religion was painted with a dark brush in
SC2.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Moronic Maria :D on January 25, 2006, 09:01:37 pm
Hi all, I'm just here to answer some questions you have regarding the Androsynth

A few years ago me and some other members at the SCDB were wondering about the whole "gay" thing (mostly regarding the pink triangles), and so I eventually wrote a letter to Paul Reiche via email and he eventually wrote me back saying the following, copy and pasted from the original letter:

Quote
Hi Maria,

Good question!  My initial intention was that, yes, they were gay, or more properly, strictly monosexual.  About the time Fred and I were working on Star Control II, I had my first friendships with openly gay folks.  It always has felt good to me to discard a prejudice and I hoped to share that opportunity in teeny-weeny little way with the people who played my games.  BUT, when I shared this notion with our publisher, some folks took this to mean that they should use stereotypes for humor, as for instance the "fashion designers of space" crap that ended-up in the manual.  I feel like I should have been more courageous getting that comment edited out and if it offended anyone, I feel really bad about that.

Hopefully as the future unfolds, we will find our species more accepting of others and more appreciative of individual expression... either that or we should all get jetpacks.  I'm cool either way.

Sincerely,

- Paul Reiche

Ps.  By the way, now I am not so sure that all the Androsynth are male.  I imagine they might descend from a few clonal lines, so I expect there would be both male and female and perhaps some neutrals.

So in the end Paul himself wasn't even sure what to make of it, since he was uncomfortable about the whole situation.

But mainly, yes, the original notion and/or idea was that the Androsynth are based off of gay culture and were (male) homosexuals. The small pink triangles (which are a common symbol of homosexual community) were a way of showing gratitude to his openly gay friends who played the game.

mmmyep


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Matticus on January 25, 2006, 10:48:46 pm
Not really fair, considering there are few mentions of female ANYTHING in Star Control II.

The only mentions of sex (gender has an entirely different meaning, by the way) I can find are:

A) A few female Earthlings are mentioned in flavor text and in the Earthling pilot graphics
B) The Syreen as a whole, make limited mentions to male Syreen
C) The Melnorme refer to the Keel Verezey as "He/she/they"
D) The female Shofixti, which BTW, we never ever see an illustration of.

So by and large, it's EXTREMELY unfair to say the Androsynth are homosexual based on something like that, any more than any of the alien races are (necessarily) unisex.

Also, I think you kind of missed the boat entirely.  I think the idea behind the article was that the Androsynth are repressed LIKE homosexuals at the time, not AS homesexuals.

The Kohr-Ah Primat. The Pkunk Queen. The Yehat Queen. I think one of the Utwig Proctors is referred to as female but I might be wrong about that. Anyway, how that means he can't consider the point, which is all I suggested, is beyond me but whatever.

btw, I know gender has a different meaning than sex which is why I used it specifically to refer to the Syreen, who have different (seemingly reversed) gender roles than humans.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Chrispy on January 27, 2006, 01:39:41 am
And when a male and a female slylandro meet...


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Hssk on January 27, 2006, 03:30:53 pm
And when a male and a female slylandro meet...
+++


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Death 999 on January 27, 2006, 10:03:24 pm
Interesting. Of all the contemporary specifically identified heads of state in the game, every single one is female.
Yeah, no women in SC2. None... at... all...


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Clay on January 27, 2006, 10:17:11 pm
Okay, okay, so I didn't exactly research that statement first...

I just meant that SC2 doesn't go out of the way to present to us, graphically, members of both sexes of any alien race.

Sheesh. ;p


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Bongo Bill on January 28, 2006, 07:45:33 am
This may be because, except for the Spathi and the ZFP, it doesn't go out of its way to present to us, graphically, more than just one member of any given alien race at all.


Do the Umgah and the Mycon even have sexes?


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Halleck on January 28, 2006, 10:05:02 am
The umgah probably have five or more.  :)


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: fj on January 28, 2006, 11:09:08 am
Thanks for posting that!

I hadn't picked up the sexual orientation commentary with regards to the Adrosynth... so that is interesting to look back on now. I think the fact the Paul and Fred created this game 15 years ago (or so, I don't know for sure) solidifes my respect for them as game designers, storytellers, and human beings.

I definitely recall the religious commentary of SC2. I especially remember some extended dialog with the Druddge (sp?) race where the Druddge go into the details of the "contract" that they had signed with their diety. It was a formalization of the motifs that exist in so many organized religions. Something like "we the undersigned agree to perform acts of fealty and devotion, in exchange God will act in arbitrary and unknowing ways". I can't remember the entire thing, but I remember it was funny and strikingly relevant. Of course I was 13 when I first played the game, and I think that part went right over my head. But when I replayed it, 5 years ago or so (just before UQM came out... had to rebuild a 486 with SB16 to do it) I remember being really taken back by the 2nd and 3rd levels of meaning going on through-out the game.

Anyway, thanks again Paul and Fred. A true work of art.



Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Zeep-Eeep on January 28, 2006, 02:57:05 pm
Interesting. Of all the contemporary specifically identified heads of state in the game, every single one is female.
Yeah, no women in SC2. None... at... all...

I assume you're not including Commander Hayes as a head
of state? Also, I believe Admerial Zex is refered to as male.
Aren't they both leaders/heads of their races?


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: John Szczep on January 28, 2006, 03:51:51 pm
I'm happy to see that people enjoyed the article, or at least the SC2 section, and I'm especially happy that it's encouraged debate!

It's interesting to note that we're discussing a game more than a decade old, and the article touches upon even older games.

Somehow, to me, it feels as if the games industry has taken two steps back and one step forward with regards to narrative, gameplay, etc.

Maybe I'm just too old, but they just don't make games like they used to.


Title: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Deus Siddis on January 28, 2006, 04:30:54 pm
"Somehow, to me, it feels as if the games industry has taken two steps back and one step forward with regards to narrative, gameplay, etc."

I'm not completely sure about that. There were hordes of dumb games before, and there are good games now, like Starcraft or Halo with good gameplay and plotlines.

But the grass seems greener back on the other side, because we tend to remember the good ones and forget those that we dropped after five minutes. When you look at the grass right beneath your feet, you can see the dirt showing between it, and all the weeds, where as a patch in the background just appears to be a green field. In ten or twenty years, few will remember all the dumb clone shooters we have now, just as we can't remember all the dumb RPG dungeon crawls that polluted olden times.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Death 999 on January 28, 2006, 11:06:14 pm
Interesting. Of all the contemporary specifically identified heads of state in the game, every single one is female.
Yeah, no women in SC2. None... at... all...

I assume you're not including Commander Hayes as a head
of state? Also, I believe Admerial Zex is refered to as male.
Aren't they both leaders/heads of their races?

ZEX was a general and is now an isolated pervert, NOT a head of state. Unless you consider his little domain a state. I wouldn't.
Hayes is the starbase commander. This makes him the most important human in space outside of Zelnick, but not a head of state.

But here's my list:

Kohr-Ah Primat
the Yehat queen
the Pkunk queen
Utwig Proctor (might not be head of state)

Can anyone think of any others?


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Draxas on January 29, 2006, 01:34:27 am
Off the top of my head, I think the other species leaders you actually speak to or hear about (Ilwrath High Priest, The Safe Ones, etc.) are gender indeterminate. And of course, the Slylandro Speaker is male.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Bongo Bill on January 29, 2006, 02:19:56 am
Trade Master Greenish always struck me as male, but I think it would be incorrect to assume that he's the head of the Melnorme state.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Zeep-Eeep on January 29, 2006, 07:05:29 am
I suppose with the return of the Shofixi race, the
original male will probably be highly regarded.
Not a head of state, but apparently male.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Censored on January 30, 2006, 10:26:30 pm
If you're trying to find female representatives in the game, you're probably contrasting that with the male ones.
I think it's only right to remember that some species don't have a gender.

Girl on top:
 Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah
 Yehat
 Pkunk
 Utwig
 Syreen

Male control:
 Earthlings (;))
 Shofixti
 Thraddash
 Druuge
 Spathi
 VUX
 Slylandro
 Ur-Quan Kzer-Za

Gender-less:
 Mycon
 Chmmr
 Orz (so I think)
 Supox (I'm quite sure most plants have both female and male organs)

Debateable:
 Melnorme
 Umgah
 Ilwrath (need to check the text, but the spider could be female)
 Arilou (seriously, are you sure that's a male alien?)
 Zoq-Fot-Pik - this is a special case because there're three races. Are they all male? female? maybe tri-gender?


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on January 31, 2006, 12:47:05 am
Male control:
 Earthlings (;))

Someone has obviously never been married...  :P


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Death 999 on January 31, 2006, 08:27:02 pm
As far as the slylandro are concerned, yes, you talk with a male one; but I don't think they have much of a governmental apparatus or hierarchy.

Also, though Kzer-Za himself was male, we don't have any information on whether their current leader is male. Of course, the voice-actor for the Ur-Quan is male, but so is the voice-actor for the Kohr-Ah, and their leader is female.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Zieman on January 31, 2006, 11:28:29 pm
Someone has obviously never been married...  :P
I think that that's the
(;))
all about  ;D


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: kingmissile on February 01, 2006, 08:37:03 am
I believe that, at one point, the one non-frungy loving zoq fot  pik is refered to as female by the frungy loving one.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Death 999 on February 01, 2006, 09:38:52 pm
King missile! Nice nick.

Yes, I suppose that the Zoq, Fot, and Pik you talk to at the homeworld might be heads of state, in which case the Pik is probably male, while the Zoq is female. Okay, one on the list and one more extra-dubious (Fot).


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Draxas on February 02, 2006, 12:01:56 am
How can you tell which is which?

But yes, assuming they are indeed the heads of state, the green one is female, the blue one is male, and the quiet one in the middle is gender indeterminate. However, the ZoqFotPik you speak to never really struck me as anyone important in the hierarchy of their society. I'd say they might be comm officers for the military, tops. More likely (considering how laid back they tend to be), they don't have very much of a formal governmental structure (or at least, can't be bothered to waste time talking about it), and the ones you talk to are just whoever happens to be manning the communications array that day.

Would an actual head of state really be so obsessed with Frungy that it works its way into coversation with anyone who happens to come along? Or threaten to blow a cloud of spores at their colleague?


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Clay on February 02, 2006, 01:27:14 am
Would an actual head of state really be so obsessed with Frungy that it works its way into coversation with anyone who happens to come along? Or threaten to blow a cloud of spores at their colleague?

Not neccessarily disagreeing with you, but if you consider the Star Control universe at large, I'd venture "yes" is not an improbable answer..


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Halleck on February 02, 2006, 04:41:42 am
How can you tell which is which?
It says so in the source code, but i'm not sure that FF/PR3 ever meant it to be certain.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Zeep-Eeep on February 02, 2006, 03:00:31 pm
When you consider how odd the ZFP are and the stuff
that comes out of the mouths of OUR heads of state....
It seems pretty likely they'd wander in conversation.
Besides, you can make an alliance with the ZFP,
that likely means they're heads of state.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Draxas on February 02, 2006, 05:04:06 pm
You can make an alliance with any Orz you encounter (except the ones on the Taalo world). Does that mean they're all heads of state?

Actually, considering some of the speculation on the nature of the Orz, that might not be too far out of the realm of possibility. ::)

Still, how about another bad example: You can begin instructing the Thraddash about Culture 20 with any random spacefaring specimen. Does that make that random starship captain a head of state?


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Death 999 on February 02, 2006, 07:40:49 pm
<excuse type='lame'>

Whichever one accepts your surrender is head of state NOW...

That's why they keep chasing you after they've given up trying to kill you. Each captain wants to be the one!


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Tohoya on February 03, 2006, 01:24:19 am
When they were talking about the homosexuality in the article, I thought they were referring to ZEX, not the androsynth.  I could see it referring to the androsynth too though.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Death 999 on February 03, 2006, 05:06:07 pm
Well, ZEX is not portrayed in a positive light; and he's more XENO than HOMO.


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Arne on February 04, 2006, 12:11:45 am
I thought he meant the Syreen, they're like all... Yuri.

I wouldn't agree with the idea that the game tries to create an serious discussion on moral though, it seems to me they just played on different types of cultures to get some nice variation.

-n


Title: Re: Interesting Paul Reiche III revelation
Post by: Deus Siddis on February 04, 2006, 05:35:31 am
I have to agree with Arne, I don't think this game has any really serious visionary message behind it. It just takes more of a comical look at things (not that that is a bad way to go at all though, don't get me wrong.) I don't think that the UQ dialogue really stands out as something too different from what I've seen in other complex villains. Of course, getting that kind of message across can't really be done in text anyway. That's where acting comes in (unless of course the player can draw on his own experiences, then he can fill in the blanks in your mind.)