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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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1  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: New SC1-Style Ship Info Screens - All Done! on: July 13, 2008, 10:14:16 pm
"X-Ray Laser"? No! What are you doing?! That name is terrible. Who cares if "terawatt laser" is not in line with real life physics? The game is halfway between cartoon and science fiction.

I think we misunderstand one another, so maybe I didn't explain myself clear enough. Both names, "terawatt laser" and "X-ray laser" are equal amounts of technobabble. Neither is more in line with real life physics than the other. Terawatt lasers do exist, as do x-ray lasers, though neither in a form similar to the Avatar's laser. If it were only a question of what sounds cooler, I too would go with Terawatt (actually 1.21 Jigawatts would be even better). But the difference is that "X-ray laser" appears in one canon source (the 3DO video), while terawatt does not - though I'm open to being wrong on this point. Now, if you don't mind, I need to get a new flogging device - the horse blood on the one I'm currently using is making it hard to hold onto...
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: New SC1-Style Ship Info Screens - All Done! on: July 12, 2008, 08:01:30 am
....Maybe the the VUX have a continuous-beam laser and "gigawatt" represent average power, while the Chmmr's is actually a nanosecond-pulse laser which would make "terawatt" merely the peak output? ....No?  *cricket chirps*

Well, you're both right.... though if accurate nomenclature is an issue, then an X-ray laser would technically be invisible (in addition to being a bit of a mouthful). Any nice, punchy name would do the trick, I guess.
(By the way, if it does get added to the game, then the SC1-style info display sequence could probably be controlled by a script, which would mean that the text need not be set in stone.)

It's funny you should mention that - I used to work with femtosecond-pulsed lasers (which got into the terawatt range) to produce coherent x-rays (ie a pulsed, table-top x-ray laser). If we're really trying to be accurate, then we wouldn't be able to see any of the laser weapons (yes, my friends all refuse to watch star wars with me).

But honestly, I fully realize that my previous argument with a rude person has jaundiced me a bit to this debate. Really, I'm not a canon-Nazi ("No SuperMelee for you!!!!"). I truly do love the "flavor text" you've added (the thraddash turning signals - hilarious). Some of the changes to the texts in going from the old images to the new images appeared to me to be a conscious effort to come more in line with canon, and so I suggest this change in that same spirit. I also don't think "heavy X-ray laser" is much more of mouthful than "terawatt laser" - it's only one syllable difference. But regardless of whether I can sway you or not, my concern over this one point pales in comparison to my accolades and praise to you for a job well done.  Grin

Quote from: Elvish Pillager
We don't know exactly what the effects of being hit by a laser are. It could be that a thousandfold increase in power is required to achieve a twofold increase in effective damage.

From my experience with lasers, I'd say it's the other way around since the higher power gives access to a nonlinear interaction regime with multiphoton absorptions (freshman physics classes lie, electrons can absorb more than one photon at a time - under certain conditions) and higher ionization states.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: New SC1-Style Ship Info Screens - All Done! on: July 10, 2008, 07:30:00 pm
Very nice! Excellent work. I especially like the attempt to make these look like the original SC1 ship spec images.
I have only one minor request - mainly it's a little pet peeve aggravated by arguing with one rather obstinate and rude person: Can we please not use the name "Terawatt Laser" for the Avatar main weapon. As far as I know, this isn't found in the canon and seems to only be based on the fact that it's twice as strong as the VUX Gigawatt laser (so then shouldn't it be called a "2-Gigawatt Laser"). There is a canon name that we could use - "Heavy X-ray Laser", from the 3DO spin video.
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Has anyone found the Androsynth? I sure know the Orz haven't! on: June 12, 2008, 07:37:32 pm
Ten bucks says he'll be back by tomorrow. Friday at the latest.

Nah. What's going to happen is that about one to one and a half week from now, he's going to reregister and make a thread about pretty much like this one.

Well you're almost right. Instead of returning to the forum, he has started editing the Ultronomicon, first edit about one week after declaring that the community was too nerdy. <cynicism>Great, now I have do deal him.</cynicism>

5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: IRC chat with Toys for Bob on 2007-06-13 on: June 14, 2007, 04:58:22 pm
Thanks for the logs Meep-eep. I was able to log in, but work kept me from catching most of it - I caught only glimpses of the chat. And in true neophyte fashion, I didn't figure out the log feature of the chat program until later. So thanks again, and thanks especially to the guys over at TFB! Grin
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: IRC chat with Toys for Bob on 2007-06-13 on: June 02, 2007, 12:27:09 am
I have only two questions that immediately come to mind:

1 - Who owns the copyrights for the material (text, images) in the manuals and RPRG? (can we use anything from them like the pictures in a new manual/ultronomicon without getting into trouble)

2 - Which of our guesses in the "Influences and References" are totally off? (I think my ego can handle the response)

Honestly, I'm horrible at coming up with interesting questions, so...meh.
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / SC2 fanmade ship images on: May 13, 2007, 08:35:24 am
Does anyone know/remember who put together the fan-made ship spec images for the new SC2 ships found here? I vaguely remember a thread where these were first posted, but I can't find anything with a cursory search.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: What happened to the Tobermoon in Oort's Cloud? on: May 10, 2007, 05:25:33 am
Just thought I'd add in an interesting thing that I've learned in this last semester at school. Although I don't think it was the Androsynth, I'll give their proponents some support - acid burns. Drop some strong acid (like a nanostripper) on a paper towel and a nice little black burn mark appears, almost like someone took a hot match and singed it. The first time I saw this I was quite suprised. So anyways, the deep burns could have been caused by the acid bubbles of a Guardian, and not necessarily by the blazer-mode. Food for thought. And now back to the abyss...
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Order of events at the end of the War on: April 17, 2007, 07:01:06 am
I need some fresh eyes on a current discussion over on the ultronomicon here. The main crux of the debate is about when  and how the "final defense of Raynet" occurred (where Talana mentions her sister died). But it touches on a much bigger issue of what exactly was the series of events of the end of the War after the events of SC1 (c. 2134). There's a lot of pieces of information in the conversations, but organizing all of it into a coherent story is the hard part. I remember going through all of it over a year ago (so I might be a little entrenched in my interpretation) but I'd like to see how other SC aficionados assemble the pieces to this puzzle.

For reference, this is how I've always ordered the events:
  • Hierarchy breaks the Indi-Mira line
  • Final defense at Raynet - Alliance last ditch effort to reform the Coreward Front
  • Alliance holds at Rigel, but costs the Chenjesu greatly
  • Ur-Quan bypass Rigel, attack Procyon defeating Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm
  • Ur-Quan conquer Earth
  • Arilou bug out, Yehat+Shofixti head for Gorno but prevent Syreen from following
  • Ur-Quan conquer Syreen
  • Yehat abandon Shofixti, Shofixti blow up their sun when Ur-Quan enter system
  • Yehat join Hierarchy as battle thralls

Now it's your turn.  Grin
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: What happened to the Tobermoon in Oort's Cloud? on: March 24, 2007, 05:04:46 pm
Second, and only a minor point, we don't have any evidence that the Kohr-Ah let out a hunting cry like the Kzer-Za. The Utwig, the druuge, and the Burvixese records don't mention it, but one could argue that it is a Ur-Quan thing and no-one but the Kzer-Za would have had the technology to detect or recognize it.

Remember that the only race that was able to detect the initial Ur-Quan hunting cry was the Chenjesu, because of their much more sensitive natural hyperwave receivers. So we really have no way to know for sure if the Kohr-Ah broadcasted a hunting call, since the Chenjesu were already slave shielded by the time it would be relevant. However, if they did, you can be sure that the Ur-Quan would be certain to have their hyperwave receivers tuned to hear it; the Doctrinal Conflict is probably the biggest deal of all to them, and they would want as much advance warning as possible.

Oh frell, I just found one example of a possible Kohr-Ah hunting cry, granted it was after they "cleansed" the ZFP. Hayes relates that "We did receive an alien broadcast however -- it rang through space like an electronic howl. I think the best way to describe it would be exultant." if you don't respond in time to the ZFP call for help. Call me stubborn, but I'm still skeptical of that scenario (Kzer-Za attacker getting distracted by a Kohr-Ah transmission) due to the timing issue - we don't know how close the Kohr-Ah were in 2134-5 or if they wiped someone out in that time frame; and the behavior pattern - we don't know if a Kzer-Za would be utterly distracted by the howl. I'm totally comfortable though with shrugging my shoulders at the whole mess and going "meh".
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: What happened to the Tobermoon in Oort's Cloud? on: March 23, 2007, 07:08:46 am
If the Tobermoon's destruction occurred in 2135, then it's still possible that the "rogue Cruiser" explanation holds up, even without the timely intervention of the Kohr-Ah. I can't imagine that the Ur-Quan's conquest of any race's homeworld means that every colony and combat vessel is out of commission. 2135 means that probably less than a year has passed since Earth was slave shielded, and so I imagine that the Ur-Quan were still finding quite a lot of scattered ships and colonies that were cut off from communications (or perhaps simply refused to acknowledge the surrender). The Tobermoon was likely considered to be just another rogue ship, and the colony at Vela wasn't found because it was small, hadn't really been established yet, and had no telltale signs of its existence detectable from obrit (hyperwave transmissions, a starbase, etc.). The Ur-Quan probably did check the planet out from orbit, but found no anomolous readings and didn't pursue the matter further.

I like the argument that whoever did attack the Tobermoon wouldn't necessarily find the Vela colony since those who stayed behind on Unzervalt hid in the cave for six months after the Tobermoon took off. Also, looking back at the manual, the Tobermoon actually left Unzervalt on Aug 11, 2134 and it looks like earth surrendered 2135, so if it was attacked by Hierarchy, my bet is it was before earth's surrender. In fact, the Tobermoon left soon after the Hierarchy had broken through the mira-indi line, which means that the hierarchy was likely mopping up the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm around this time (they say they took slave status in 2135).

While I like an Hierarchy attacker, either Ur-Quan or Thrall, the mystery still is the derelict ship. Notice that the Ur-Quan destroyed all Cruisers when they subjugated Earth. I have trouble seeing them leaving one behind, especially for twenty years. And the other thralls, VUX wouldn't have taken survivors (unless if it was ZEX, but then why does he want the Captain if he already had some humans...). The 'Synth hate humans too much to take survivors. They operated in hit-and-run squads - not very likely to even let a ship get off a surrender (or acknowledge it if a Cruiser did). And the Mycon, they Void anything not Juffo-Wup. Like Valaggar said, the others like the Spathi, Ilwrath, and Umgah are too out of place, and the Ilwrath is the only one of those three that I would think would take survivors and leave a ship. So if it was an Hierarchy attacker, my money is on an Ilwrath doing a rearward reconnaissance mission.

Also, the Kohr-Ah were not enroute to the Utwig, but the Druuge, as evidenced by the fact that they are always the first to die once the Kohr-Ah win the Doctrinal Conflict. They seem to be pretty keen on completing their unfinished business there, and the Druuge's ruse with their caster probably wasn't complete; the Kohr-Ah simply wanted to pursue the easy target that would be difficult to find again later.

Um, no. The Kohr-Ah were heading from the Gg to our space because of the Druuge, but then the Druuge played their little trick to get the Burvixese destroyed. And then the Kohr-Ah went after the Utwig:
Quote from: Utwig
However, while we are on the subject of evil and powerful species we have encountered a particularly gruesome race that seemed to come from the direction of Arcturus. When we hailed them, they responded with mighty weapons that sent our delegation to their deaths lucky fools.
When the Kohr-Ah started to press towards our homeworld we thought that our deserved punishment was being administered. But then, a mystery? They suddenly became disinterested and veered away. Bah! Confounding frustration!
The reason they probably went after the Druuge first after winning the Conflict is that the Druuge had once again broadcasting advertisements assuming they had successful avoided the Kohr-Ah threat.

And one last thing (really I promise) just so we don't embellish the combat scars - the description of the battle damage is "deep burns along [the Tobermoon's] hull." I don't know if it's significant (it does seem almost as strange as the lack of bodies) but we also know that "most of the important ship systems were intact" - in fact the engineers from The Flagship got her up and running in a few days (dang good engineers), though that might explain why the Probe knocked it out so easily.
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: What happened to the Tobermoon in Oort's Cloud? on: March 22, 2007, 06:12:02 am
The Tobermoon was found and attacked by a Dreadnought before it could leave Vela. The Tobermoon's crew, after being singed by a warning shot, decided they were outmatched and surrendered. The Ur-Quan took them aboard, and was about to prepare to tow the Cruiser away and explore where it had originated from, when its long range sensors detected the "hunting cry" of the approaching Kohr-Ah fleet. The Ur-Quan commander instinctively knew the meaning of this, and abandoned its now unimportant salavge and investigation duties, immediately retreating to Ur-Quan space to prepare for the coming Doctrinal Conflict.

While it may have been this way, I don't think it's such a slam dunk explanation.

First there is still a problem of timing. The Kohr-Ah don't enter this part of the galaxy until about 2145 (they destroyed the Gg in 2142). According to the Thraddash, the Kzer-Za didn't zoom off for the doctrinal conflict until about 2140, and the Kzer-Za certainly didn't have problems visiting earth a couple times to restaff the starbase (Hayes was put in about 2147). So even if they detected the Kohr-Ah in 2135, they wouldn't necessarily have dropped everything that instant to go fight. Also, the Kohr-Ah were in route to the Utwig sometime after wiping out the burvixese before they changed course for the doctrinal conflict.

Second, and only a minor point, we don't have any evidence that the Kohr-Ah let out a hunting cry like the Kzer-Za. The Utwig, the druuge, and the Burvixese records don't mention it, but one could argue that it is a Ur-Quan thing and no-one but the Kzer-Za would have had the technology to detect or recognize it.
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Kohr - Ah Crew on: July 13, 2006, 06:12:29 am
Quote from the Ultronomicon:

"...The other Ur-Quan, meant to serve as manual laborers and soldiers, were optimized for strength and diligence in performing manual tasks, altered to function better as cooperative groups and to remain staunchly faithful to simple orders, with the Ur-Quan's natural tendency to genetically encoded racial memory greatly amplified."

Proof that the kohr-ah were altered to work together in groups...

Ah, but unfortunately the Ultronomicon is not perfect Cry , nor completely inline with canon (but it's getting there). That statement was added by an editor based on speculations and inferences similar to the ones in this discussion. However, the dialogue and manuals give no definite answer on whether they were or were not altered to work together in groups. Cheers.
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Ur-Quan Masters in other languages on: August 04, 2005, 08:34:04 pm
nightshadow: I found this thread through the Ultronomicon - I'd be willing to help with a portuguese translation.  I lived a couple years up in northeastern Brazil, but it's been about six years since I've been back so my portuguese is a bit rusty.  I've made a small dent in translating the dialogue but there are a few phrases and words that I'm not certain of.  Are you interested in a coordinated effort of some kind?
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