The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Zenoe on May 24, 2009, 02:16:16 am

Title: How do you Start?
Post by: Zenoe on May 24, 2009, 02:16:16 am
The first thing I did was reconfigure the keys for a laptop. Then I went to some star system on the star map and got zapped by some ship that needed to assimilate the ship and all occupants. THEN I looked at the hints files. Is the system in the first window Sol system? I thought you had to explore to find it. I tried to read the manual but it's full of changes. I just now found the manual bit at the very end. I cut and pasted that part into a new text file. I'm writing this at the library. I'm homeless and it's my only access to the net.
I had a bit of trouble installing the game too. There were the three content files that needed to be installed from the same directory. This was not clear to me. I got an error message about a missing key.cnfg or something and finally figured it out. It's not quite apparent how to actually PLAY the game. When the getting started tips mentioned searching sol system after reading that they start from a colony where they built the ship it threw me. I'm very literal minded and such transitions are illogical.
I once played Starflight II from the same era of gaming and wasted my time landing on planets and mining resources when I was supposed to be finding critters to trade with. Then I found a hint book and saw my mistake. I've heard about Star Control and jumped at this opportunity.  I've checked the FAQs and nothing seems to address my problem.  Thanks for reading this.

Title: Re: How do you Start?
Post by: Mormont on May 24, 2009, 03:05:26 am
Well,  the manual file with this version isn't the original manual. The original is long and detailed, you can probably find it somewhere online though you don't need it to play (a lot of it is story background that is interesting but not too important), most of the game mechanics are pretty intuitive.

You watched the intro right? You seem a little confused about the story, so be sure to watch it if you haven't already (just start a new game and don't press anything). The ship you're flying was built at a colony at Vela (you can go back there later) and just left it recently. Some people went on a science mission to Vela in the middle of a war and got stranded, so they started a colony there.  But now twenty years later the partially finished ship built at the factory they found can finally return home to earth to see what has happened...the intro explains all this better.

Sol is the system you start in. It's our star system, with our sun and earth. You want to head to earth first, to find out what has happened. You'll find a few unusual things when you reach earth, check them out. The human you meet there will give you three simple early missions (I reccommend saving after you complete the second task he gives you before you go to see him), then you gain access to the starbase. After that the game opens up and really begins.

A lot of the basic gameplay is pretty simple. Conversations are self-explanatory.  Being nice is usually a good idea, but  you can often get away with being mean as long as you don't take it too far (and it sometimes opens up funny or interesting dialogue) and there are times you have to be harsher to get things accomplished. Be sure to take notes! If someone gives you the name of a star or coordinates or anything else that sounds important, write it down. Commander Hayes can give you a lot of advice to help get started and understand what's going on, ask him everything you can.

Combat is simple, but fun and does have a good amount of depth (especially if you play multiplayer Melee). You should practice some against the computer in Melee to get the hang of it. Try to start out on "Good" difficulty and upgrade to "Awesome" when you get the hang. If you really have a hard time getting used to it you can play "Weak" but try to move up from that soon because the computer never uses its special (with a few exceptions) there.

Planetary exploration. Well, you should be careful about planets hotter than 100 degrees or with lightning/tectonics higher than 3, though sometimes you have to land on dangerous planets and sometimes you don't have to but the risk pays big. It's nice to have a backup lander or two available. Some minerals are more valuable than others, you can see the color coding for each type under Cargo -> Manifest in the menu. Scan every planet and moon in the systems you visit, but you don't need to land on all of them.

Be careful about the fuel costs of where you land. Do not try to mine every planet, that's a beginner's mistake that leads to frustration on spending so much time mining. Common (teal) and corrosive (red) minerals aren't worth picking up. Base metals (gray) are sometimes worthwhile, but don't be afraid to dump them if you have room for more valuable stuff.

Shoot aliens you find on the surface and pick them up, or run away if they seem too dangerous for you. Data from captured aliens will be very useful later, get as much as you safely can. Once you get more ships, you can supplement your income by destroying enemies (the VUX aren't very difficult and aren't too far away, though don't seek combat until you feel strong enough). ALWAYS check out a planet that has energy on it, it's always something interesting.

When upgrading your ship, try to max out on thrusters and turning jets early on, and get one or two more storage bays and maybe an extra lander soon too.

For where to go, this starmap could help you some, I reccommend saving it. Keep in mind that it's more than twenty years old (in game time), it was made in the middle of a war, and a lot of things have changed since then. This is a good map because it helps people get started without giving too much away.

On a related note, make sure you have enough fuel to get home. The grey circle lets you know how far you can travel with your current fuel supply. When leaving the starbase, remember that you need not only enough fuel to get there, but also enough to get home. And you should also have some extra fuel for landings, going to nearby stars, and warping out from battle. There's another way you'll find to get fuel too and it can be useful, but it requires a resource that is better spent on other things.

Save often. And use multiple save slots, sometimes you may want to go back to earlier.

Also, the game does have a time limit, for reasons that are closely tied to the story. Unfortunately, a key piece of dialogue near the beginning that alerts you to this was removed for some reason from the 3DO version which this is an enhanced port of (hopefully it'll be added back in eventually). A certain cataclysmic event will happen early in 2159 (the original version lets you know early on something bad will happen then), though you can delay that some and you still have some time to win the game after that.

As I said before, it can help to use multiple save files. To save time, make trips from the starbase with a goal or destination in mind, like to visit a certain location or talk to a certain race. Don't make trips just to mine planets (except very early when you're just getting on your feet) or blow stuff up, do that while you're doing something that you think will help you progress. There's also a certain item you can get that can really speed things up for you...just pay attention when races talk about an anomaly they saw in space.

Title: Re: How do you Start?
Post by: Lukipela on May 25, 2009, 06:48:38 pm
I'm writing this at the library. I'm homeless and it's my only access to the net.

That's one dedicated SC player.

Title: Re: How do you Start?
Post by: Huggybaby on May 25, 2009, 08:36:03 pm
You can get all the guides, maps, etc here:

Title: Re: How do you Start?
Post by: Mormont on May 25, 2009, 10:17:01 pm
Don't use a walkthrough or an overly spoiler-y starmap the first time through (the one I linked to is good, the "deluxe starmap" that came with some versions gives everything away)...I use a walkthrough the first time I beat the game many years ago and I still wish I hadn't.

Title: Re: How do you Start?
Post by: jaychant on May 25, 2009, 10:41:00 pm
Walkthroughs ruin any game. Never look at a walkthrough.

Title: Re: How do you Start?
Post by: SuddenDeath on May 26, 2009, 12:52:40 pm
This is a relatively safe to use map:

Such a map (an older version, and on paper) came with the SC2 box when you would buy it.

Edit: here's the older version. And I see Mormont already linked to it in his post...

Title: Re: How do you Start?
Post by: jaychant on May 26, 2009, 10:43:06 pm
This is a relatively safe to use map:

Such a map (an older version, and on paper) came with the SC2 box when you would buy it.

That map is an excellent idea. Having such a starmap will also help you during the game in a specific way.