The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => General UQM Discussion => Topic started by: Alvarin on January 22, 2010, 01:50:01 pm



Title: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Alvarin on January 22, 2010, 01:50:01 pm
One of things in the story I still don't understand is the survival of Syreen.
Their ability of mind control, even so small compared to the Dnyarri, should have lit all the red lights to the Ur-Quan.
It amazes me how the Syreen weren't eradicated and even were given the coice to become thralls - to serve on 'Quan's ships and have mobility...
Why do you think Ur-Quans did that ?


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Angelfish on January 22, 2010, 02:15:56 pm
The Ur-Quans did that because the creators were inadequate in writing some parts of the backstory.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Alvarin on January 22, 2010, 03:25:49 pm
Being "canon" means it is as it is, so every "loophole" has to have explanation. This thread is just for that - discussion to find possible reason, even if in fact it was writer's oversight.

My only idea so far is Syreen's mental powers are not affecting the Ur-Quans at all, so they were concidered no danger to them.
Drawback of this idea is that Syreen could have mind-controlled other thralls to rebel and weaken the Hierarchy from within.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Lukipela on January 22, 2010, 03:49:47 pm
Well, it is possible that the Syreen simply have a really weak latent ability of some sort that do not affect others without significant enhancement by whatever the Penetrator contains. Of course, then there's the question of why they saved those ships...


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Angelfish on January 22, 2010, 07:27:50 pm
Being "canon" means it is as it is, so every "loophole" has to have explanation. This thread is just for that - discussion to find possible reason, even if in fact it was writer's oversight.

The problem is that such 'possible reasons' are often so horribly ridiculous, that while they are logical and possible and explain the issue at hand, they also destroy the magic and mystery that surrounds Star Control. It's like telling kids that santa doesn't exist.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Tiberian on January 22, 2010, 08:33:48 pm
The Syreen's mental powers are nothing compared to those of the Dnyarri. The Syreen could not control the whole Ur-Quan species. That's why the Ur-Quan don't see the Syreen as a special threat - which they aren't.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Draxas on January 23, 2010, 12:42:47 am
Well, it is possible that the Syreen simply have a really weak latent ability of some sort that do not affect others without significant enhancement by whatever the Penetrator contains. Of course, then there's the question of why they saved those ships...

I seem to recall seeing an explanation similar to this in the SC1 manual. Of course, I don't actually have a copy of said document for reference, but that's where I put my vote nonetheless.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Dakart on January 27, 2010, 11:32:17 am
The way I see it the Syreen either lullied the Ur-quan with all their ability to convince them to keep them alive or hide their skills completly not to be detected. Either way the psychic amplificatons on their shps would have given them away.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Mugz the Sane on January 27, 2010, 12:38:57 pm
Perhaps it was the presence of the psychic amplifiers that made the Kzer-Za think the Syreen psych abilities were not enough of a threat to warrant extermination. Remember that the Dnyarri psych powers were potent enough to be used natively - i.e. without any form of amplification. Also bear in mind that the neo-Dnyarri has psych powers potent enough to actually penetrate the Taalo shield enough to persuade the Captain to talk about something else.

Also remember that the Doctrinal Conflict started in the first place because the Kzer-Za attitude was 'Enslave, yes. Never destroy' while the Kohr-Ah attitude was to just kill anything that wasn't Ur-Quan of either type. (The Kzer-Za seemed like the saner of the two - but maybe that's just me.)

As for why the Syreen Penetrator fleet wasn't destroyed after their subjugation... according to Talana the 'Ur-Quan never throw anything away'. Then again, that could have just been thrown in there to explain why they were stored in the vault. So I wonder where all the Broodhomes, X-forms, and other slave-shielded race ships were stashed...


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Simon K on January 27, 2010, 01:43:32 pm
The Syreen were given the option to function as battle thralls as a pure formality. The Ur-Quan Lord who negotiated their surrender was well aware of the Syreen history and psychology (Ur-Quan are many things, but stupid or ignorant aren't among them), and knew that if they were offered a planet sufficiently like old Syra, they'd accept it without a fuss --- even with gratitude --- and that the Syreen were basically a peaceful people who wouldn't want to fight, especially against their former allies.

As for why they weren't completely destroyed? Well, what if slave shields block psionic powers?


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Death 999 on January 29, 2010, 04:37:06 pm
I think that the Syreen fleet might have been the only one taken substantially intact.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Draxas on January 29, 2010, 06:55:04 pm
As for why they weren't completely destroyed? Well, what if slave shields block psionic powers?

The the 'Quans would panic every time they had to resupply the starbase, since they would have to get new crew from the surface. There must be more to it than that.

I think that the Syreen fleet might have been the only one taken substantially intact.

This is true. All of the other Alliance members either fought to the last, surrendered and became battle thralls, or just plain ran to where they weren't likely to be found.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Mugz the Sane on January 30, 2010, 10:19:23 am
Yeah, by the time the Kzer-Za got to them, the Syreen had no allies and were in no shape to fight. Their only option was to surrender.

And, to be fair, their surrendering actually improved their lot by quite a margin - they got a planet similar to the one that had been destroyed for them, and they could live (more or less) in peace. Perhaps the Kzer-Za realised this and felt that they were no threat. Hence, no extermination.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: CelticMinstrel on February 11, 2010, 05:20:50 pm
True; the Dnyarri were malicious in addition to possessing strong psychic powers, while the Syreen only have incredibly weak psychic powers and only want to find a home.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Alvarin on February 11, 2010, 10:13:25 pm
While all true, the Ur-Quan of both doctrines seek permanent  solutions. Once this sector of space would have been "dealt with" the Kzer-Za would have moved on, leaving the Syreen to potentially evolve higher psychic skills and in possible remote future develop malice and appetite for conquest, endangering the Ur-Quans of the future.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: q_3 on February 12, 2010, 01:01:37 am
Well, given that they let the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm share a slave shield with virtually no oversight, it seems the Ur-Quan were not particularly cautious when dealing with newly conquered species.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Draxas on February 12, 2010, 01:08:58 am
They were in a rush to confront to Kohr-Ah with as strong a fleet as possible, and were rushing to crush the Alliance. That's why they sunk to the level of having to use the Sa-Matra to speed things up. They weren't really in the right frame of mind to consider what the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm might be cooking up together, and figured they were dafely out of the way and unable to accomplish anything of importance under a slave shield before one of the Doctrines emerged victorious and was able to deal with them properly.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: psydev on February 15, 2010, 07:23:04 am
Keep in mind that the Syreen could not use their psychic weapon against the Captain of an enemy ship. This is because they are disciplined and not as prone to panic or whatever method of manipulation the Syreen use to get people to respond to their suggestions.

So theoretically one could resist the Syreen with training.

I also don't know how well the Syreen are at controlling people (especially large numbers of them) permamently. I doubt they can do it with the ease or scaling ability (over billions of people) of the Dnyarri, and they would require special equipment. Even then, it's not as complete a form of mind control, more like a hypnotic trance of high suggestibility.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Alvarin on February 15, 2010, 09:48:32 am
You all are missiing the point of future evolution...


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: jucce on February 17, 2010, 07:14:39 pm
You all are missiing the point of future evolution...
Maybe they prefer that risk to becoming mass murderers? I think mass scale genocide can change the culture and future of the people carrying it out too. Perhaps they realize that.

Or maybe they are naive and haughty.

Maybe they manipulate the inhabitants via the water/food or via radiation from the shield to "guide" their evolution? In fact maybe their plan is to quietly lower the nativity of the various species until they just die out (like that Stargate episode).


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Mugz the Sane on February 22, 2010, 09:09:29 am
The Kohr-Ah would've wiped them without a second thought.

The Kzer-Za, though, were probably enacting their (ethical? moral?) viewpoint as they expressed it over the Mael-Num homeworld, which they explained to the Kohr-Ah as something like 'Enslave, yes, subjugate, yes, but never destroy'.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: jaxgaret on March 02, 2010, 07:13:02 am
Sometimes people overlook the simplest things...

The Kzer-Za didn't even exterminate the DNYARRI, they enslaved them, and you're wondering why they didn't exterminate a race with insignificantly weak psychic powers in comparison - they have never affected one Kzer-Za (on Kzer-Za ships, there is only one Kzer-Za present, the captain, and the Syreen Song never affects the captain of the ship, therefore the Syreen Song has never worked on a Kzer-Za).


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Alvarin on March 02, 2010, 07:43:35 am
That's, actually, the best point so far, I think. Even thought they kept the Dnyarri alive as a punishment, but still...
In their "downgraded" form the talking pet could potentially evolve and pose a danger, just as Syreen, but they are also under control.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Mugz the Sane on March 04, 2010, 02:42:31 pm
Until a Dreadnought's self-destruct circuits fail to engage, resulting in a crash, and someone recovers the Pet, and someone else unlocks it's potential, and someone ELSE again... but that's highly unlikely...

...or is it?


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Alvarin on March 04, 2010, 03:03:14 pm
Might be unlikely enough for Kohr-Ah. Kzer-Za on the other hand, should have thought about that. Could be one of Arilou *time tricks* as being mostly brains Talking Pet should have sustained most damage of the crew.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Death 999 on March 05, 2010, 08:32:43 pm
On the other hand, it's small. That really helps when you're trying to survive large accelerations (If you drop a mouse out of an airplane it will walk away from the landing)


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Alvarin on March 05, 2010, 10:33:24 pm
That is in open air, when air resistanse slows objects down, as in smaller creatures/objects the ratio of wight to surface area yields lower final energy. On the enclosure inside a crashing ship there is really not enough room for plausible desceleration. (I watch Mythbusters too much)


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: jucce on March 06, 2010, 11:27:51 pm
Since they know the creature is fragile perhaps it was already housed in some sort of protective container. Space travel in general might be pretty bumpy, especially in combat.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Draxas on March 07, 2010, 06:09:57 am
All things being considered, I don't think the Ur-Quan would be taking any special precautions to stop talking pets from being hurt.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Alvarin on March 07, 2010, 06:54:47 am
Again, Kohr-Ah - probably. But Kzer-Za, as stated, never throw anything away and being improtant tool, the talking pet should have been somewhat preserved.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Draxas on March 07, 2010, 09:07:09 pm
That's probably counteracted by the cathartic feeling they get when their former enslavers actually get hurt. Besides, while the Ur-Quan don't like to waste things, all other races are considered beneath them, and thus, expendable.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Death 999 on March 08, 2010, 05:08:50 pm
That is in open air, when air resistanse slows objects down, as in smaller creatures/objects the ratio of wight to surface area yields lower final energy. On the enclosure inside a crashing ship there is really not enough room for plausible desceleration. (I watch Mythbusters too much)

Part of it is from what you describe, but a great deal of it is from the square-cube law. Mice can tolerate much greater accelerations than people. Bacteria barely notice accelerations less than a thousand Gs.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Steve-O on March 10, 2010, 04:49:17 pm
I think the main reason the Kzer-Za didn't exterminate the Syreen is, as others have said, because of their morality.  The Kzer-Za decided to give other races a choice - be slave shielded or become battle thralls.  They decided to offer this choice because they could not condone the Kohr-Ah doctrine of unilateral extermination.  They do have a code of ethics, however harsh it might seem to us.  That fact that each race in the StarCon universe has a complex rationale for their behaviour is one of the things that makes this game such an undying classic in my mind.  It's not just good and evil, black and white.  And sometimes the logic is very alien-minded, not the sort of thing a human being would come up with, but it's always there.

If the Kzer-Za exterminated the Syreen, they would be no better than the Kohr-Ah.  They've already shown they're willing to enslave the Dnyarri instead of killing them - if they can show that much restraint with the very race that held them in thrall for so many years then letting the Syreen survive under a slave shield is small potatoes.

They obviously aren't concerned about the question of future evolution of the Syreen, nor are they concerned about the future evolution of the Dnyarri.  Maybe this is borne of an overconfidence in their technology, maybe it's borne of a moral high ground attitude ("perhaps they will evolve, but the potential for future threat does not excuse killing them in the present.  The ends do not justify the means.")  Maybe the Kzer-Za are just generally too short-sighted to foresee that outcome (highly unlikely, imho.)  Whatever the reason for their mercy, the fact stands that they are obviously not willing to exterminate races simply for displaying psychic compulsion abilities, despite their past.  The fact that the Dnyarri still survive - in whatever limited form - is the most potent evidence of that fact, I think.  Does this compassion leave room for future problems?  Yes, it probably does.  In my mind that just goes to show that not even the mighty Kzer-Za are infallible.  It's easy to sit back and nit-pick story elements as a player, but in the real world people do make mistakes, based on pity or compassion among other things.  I don't see it as a plot hole that the Kzer-Za are equally capable of making such mistakes.  I would be more disappointed in the game if the villains were completely infallible, remorselessly evil scoundrels who anticipated every possible error and corrected for it.  That universe would seem much less real to me than the one that has been created here, and that would certainly influence my desire to continue thinking about this game nearly two decades after it was first released.

As for the question of what happens when they move on to a new sector of space - what new sector of space?  The Kzer-Za left their home region going one way around the galaxy, the Kohr-Ah went the other way.  They met again in our sector of space.  That means everything in our galaxy has been covered by one race or the other by the time this game begins.  Even if the fleets are moving at different speeds and thus this sector of space is not exactly opposite their home space, they've still covered the whole galaxy between the two of them by the time they come together again.

If the Kzer-Za had come out on top in the conflict, they might have sent a few scouts to make sure the Kohr-Ah didn't miss any races in their path around the galaxy, but they can reasonably expect to find little if anything left alive in the area the Kohr-Ah moved through.  And everything in the area the Kzer-Za covered is now enslaved, one way or the other, so they're done.  They would just need to set about occupying whatever remains of the galaxy, including our sector of space, so they wouldn't be turning their backs on any potential threat from the Syreen.  If anything they'd be bunkering down and watching them closer after the Kohr-Ah were dealt with, if the Syreen were really that much of a concern to them.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: SuddenDeath on March 10, 2010, 08:03:23 pm
Whatever the reason for their mercy, the fact stands that they are obviously not willing to exterminate races simply for displaying psychic compulsion abilities, despite their past.  The fact that the Dnyarri still survive - in whatever limited form - is the most potent evidence of that fact, I think.  Does this compassion leave room for future problems?

The Kzer-Za (and Kohr-Ah as well!) did not leave the Dnyarri alive out of compassion or a sense of morality. They did it because they thought death was too small a punishment for the Dnyarri. So they stripped them of their intelligence and made them their translators, which is a fate the Ur-Quan considered rather demeaning, and thus deserving for what the Dnyarri did.
(these things are part of the Ur-Quan races' dialogue (or was it Melnorme?))


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Draxas on March 11, 2010, 04:09:53 am
Both, actually. Which is why I said they wouldn't be too broken up about the talking pets getting hurt.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: jucce on March 11, 2010, 02:49:47 pm
That's probably counteracted by the cathartic feeling they get when their former enslavers actually get hurt. Besides, while the Ur-Quan don't like to waste things, all other races are considered beneath them, and thus, expendable.
Well it would really disturb the operations of the ship if the creature would be injured. I don't think they would risk that, especially during an important conflict.

Obviously they consider reducing its intelligence and having it serve them as a better punishment than starving or killing it which they easily could do. I mean they have to feed it on the ship. To some torturing and killing your former enemies might be the most satisfying method of punishment but they aren't human and may have a different view on things.

Wouldn't it be pretty petty just to let it be injured and abuse it if you have decided to go the route of intelligence-reduction. I mean they are the ones who have to clean up its corpse and replace it, which is a hassle.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Draxas on March 11, 2010, 03:51:32 pm
Well it would really disturb the operations of the ship if the creature would be injured. I don't think they would risk that, especially during an important conflict.

Actually, I'm pretty sure it's stated somewhere that the Ur-Quan don't actually need the talking pets for translation, and can use mechanical means like all the other races if they chose. They just find speaking directly to lesser races demeaning.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Matticus on March 14, 2010, 12:45:52 pm
I think the Ur-Quan didn't kill the Syreen because their inflexible bureaucracy didn't allow for it. It's the same reason they wouldn't let the Spathi change their slave status once the decision was made even though it wasn't the Spathi's true decision.

The Ur-Quan are quite advanced but they're not perfect and neither is their system.


Title: Re: Ur-Quan and Syreen
Post by: Death 999 on March 17, 2010, 05:17:14 pm
Kohr-Ah also use talking pets, so mercy is at most an unnecessary contributing factor.