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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 / Starbase Café / Re: Who runs this place on: May 02, 2024, 01:48:24 am
There appears to already be a pretty comprehensive backup of these forums on the Way Back Machine. I had the same concern as often only a tiny fraction of dead forums can be found on archive.org, but when I checked some of the very old threads I participated in, they were all already archived years ago. Additionally, here's a small sampling of pages I just checked:

Random thread from 2002 w/ one reply, first archived in 2020: http://web.archive.org/web/20200804170911/https://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=160.0

Random thread from 2005 + page 94 of General Discussion w/ zero replies, first archived 2022: http://web.archive.org/web/20220818014643/https://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=2458.0

Random thread from 2003 + page 49 of Technical issues, first archived 2022: http://web.archive.org/web/20220813052348/https://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=784.0

Random thread from 2004-2007 + page 24 of the Starbase Café, all 6 pages have been archived (the Way Back Machine is sometimes really bad about archiving multi-page threads): http://web.archive.org/web/20211203223342/https://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=1560.0

Your thread, first archived a little more than a month after you posted it: http://web.archive.org/web/20231206105722/https://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=8036.0

The newest thread in the General Discussion (posted April 24, 2024) has not yet been archived (
http://web.archive.org/web/20240000000000*/https://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=8040.0), but the second newest (posted October 24, 2024) has been (http://web.archive.org/web/20231203181321/https://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=8035.0).

Here you can see that more than 10,000 pages from this forum are already on the Way Back Machine: http://web.archive.org/web/*/https://forum.uqm.stack.nl/*

My sampling included a few more very old, middle aged, and new threads and everything I checked that was more than a few months old had already been archived.

In contrast, I found a fair number of gaps in the forums over on the Pages of Now and Forever. Examples:

http://web.archive.org/web/20240000000000*/https://www.star-control.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=1196

http://web.archive.org/web/20240000000000*/https://www.star-control.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=937
2  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: UQM Ship Scales: Question for Paul and/or Fred on: April 27, 2024, 09:40:20 pm
But, in-game, the scout has a crew compliment of 6 and Commander Heyes did mention that he traveled aboard a Scout before.
No mention how exactly he fit on-board, given that the Shofixti are smaller than Humans on average and their ships would more match their physiology, only that he was worried about the Glory device.

Commander Hayes said he "once flew as an observer aboard one of their ships" and that it had a "Glory Device' ... strapped to the bottom of its hull," but he never specifically referred to the ship as a Scout.

Looking at how much space the visible Shofixti takes up in relation to the rest of the ship in the large view, it would be pretty impossible for Hayes to fit in there.


The engine for the rear thrust very likely extends to or just before the cockpit's rear wall. If the Shofixti can ball themselves up real good and remain like that for prolonged periods of time, you could maybe fit 1-2 in the area between the pilot's seat and the cockpit wall that the control panel blocks from view, and if there's some empty space between the external glory device and paws and another small compartment between the engine and cockpit wall, perhaps another 3-4 balled Shofixti could fit in there. In which case, they wouldn't be onboard to actively man their own stations, but so that one of them can roll out and take over flight control if the pilot dies.

(Another option is the Captain's Window is simply representative of what the cockpit looks like when most of the crew have perished, and if you actually looked into a fully crewed Scout, you'd see a wall of hair behind the pilot with the odd hand, snout, or ear sticking out of it because there's only enough space below and/or behind the cockpit to fit more than a couple Shofixti. If so, perhaps Pistol Shrimp can fix this for the sequel.  Tongue).

In any case, I can't see Hayes being able to fill a comparable amount of space, even if you cleared out all the Shofixti, save the pilot. He wouldn't fit crouched behind the pilot and even if you could shove him in an empty space near the glory device/engine, he's no longer an observer; he's dead weight. He couldn't see anything, get into the cockpit to take over should the need arises, and it would be a very tight and uncomfortable fit for him.

It would make more sense if he was simply aboard a larger, never before seen Shofixti ship. For example, they had to have cargo ships, troop transports, etc, and it feels very in-character for them to strap a Glory Device onto anything that flies, even if we have nothing in canon to tell us that they did. With a war raging, occasionally repurposing civilian and/or military transport vehicles for patrol missions makes sense, especially if you have a habit of blowing up your main fighter class with wild abandon and you need to occasionally accommodate larger Alliance members who want to participate in an observation exchange program.

As an aside: I'd love to know where the life support system, water filtration system, and ration storage area(s) are supposed to be stored on a Shofixti Scout. Captain Tanaka (and his brother, Katana) took a pretty long time to get home from Mycon space and then remained in orbit around Delta Gorno for a bit with no mention of food, water, or oxygen being a problem, as far as I can remember.

Re the Ur-Quan fighter craft:
A number of factors make me think they would be at the most 50% the size of the Shofixti:

- They have only a single crew member on-board
- They are so fragile that meteors destroy them (ie, basically no hull armour/mass)
- They actually have a limited fuel reserve (need to return to Dreadnought or they die)

All of those suggest that they are missing a large number of 'basic' systems that even the tiny Shofixti scout has.  I think they literally are just a pilot seat, basic thruster system (with small fuel/life support tanks), encased in paper-thin hull and with a tiny swivelling laser gun, and not much else.  I'd be inclined to think this is all to make the fighters smaller, so the Dreadnought can carry more of them.

The range issue may be by design. Restricting autonomy may be the best way the Ur-Quan found to ensure the compliance of their enslaved alien fighter pilots. If you don't have the ability to fly beyond the scope of the immediate battle or enter hyperspace, you have little choice but to engage the enemy and try to return to your Dreadnought for refueling. This would also...

A) Motivate pilots to fight with as much fury and gusto as they can muster as they'd likely be punished if they hesitated in battle and they can't try to escape the consequences of such mistakes by making a run for it.

B) Prevent enslaved aliens from escaping with Ur-Quan secrets. A Dreadnought's alien crew members would have access to technology and battle plans beyond the scope of what Battle Thralls are given. Fear of annihilation would likely prevent a defector's species from taking them back, but an alliance of free aliens or individual free aliens still engaged in active resistance against the Ur-Quan would probably welcome defectors. The threat of retaliation against their species can't be used to keep Dreadnought crews in check in this case as wiping out an overall loyal Battle Thrall over the actions of a few Dreadnought crew members would reduce the Ur-Quan's combat effectiveness to a greater degree than tolerating defections, and it would ultimately prove to be a hollow threat anyway as the Ur-Quan are motivated to take great care to avoid going to such extremes (only reaching the Sa-Matra in a Precursor vessel with the help of a re-evolved Dynarri resulted in them promising to annihilate humans completely). Thus, keeping a tight leash around Dreadnought crews may be their preferred solution to the problem of potential defectors.

The crew disparity issue makes sense to me as, per my previous comments, I struggle to see how a Shofixti Scout has room for more than a single crew member. That this isn't the case seems to be a joke related to how small the Shofixti are or an oversight with how the large image was drawn for SC1. Below is a larger view of the Ur-Quan fighter from SC1.


It seems like it has a larger cockpit than a Scout due to the rounded front and possibly reduced engine size (a thinner hull may also add a bit of room), but you would need more space if you wanted to comfortably fit a single Ilwrath or Mycon in a ship comparable in size to a Shofixti Scout. That means you could probably load up a fighter with more than one of their smaller fallow slaves, like the Umgah, but the limited strength + range of a fighter versus the impact on a Dreadnought's "health" + the reduction in the overall number of fighters it can launch probably makes giving some fighters the ability to take more than one hit a poor trade off, as far as the Ur-Quan are concerned.

The asteroid issue does present a problem. Sure, they could have paper thin hulls, but I think it would've made more sense for a planetary collision to continue to damage them (as was the case in SC1), since hitting a planet always takes out at least 1 crew member, and for fighters to instead bounce off asteroids, since they're apparently supposed to be similar in size to Shofixti Scouts. Of course, the decision to do the opposite made it a little harder to kill a Dreadnought as it was always easier in SC1 to lure fighters into a planet than into an asteroid, and I appreciate that the most logical solutions don't always make for the best game mechanics.
3  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: May 04, 2012, 05:13:37 pm
I think it depends on how much of a threat Lurg and co. end up being. The Alliance isn't in the best shape after fighting two wars in recent memory and if their borders are immediately pounded by superior numbers, they could not only have much bigger problems to deal with, but they could find that this area you're in is now the heart of new Lurg space. So sending ships to search for you may be incredibly problematic and, while you're a super great guy and all, diverting a massive fleet to break through their numbers and go to a planet that is probably heavily defended in and of itself is not a very good strategic move as it's a high risk, low reward scenario that leaves their defenses weakened. Thus, while the Alliance is diverting ships to this attack, the Lurg could be making serious inroads into Alliance territory.

But regardless, you could always add a plot point that makes it seem more likely that you died - The Lurg could collect some of the space debris from your ship and dump it somewhere else as a decoy, they could tow the Precursor ship out of there and force you to work on it elsewhere so when the Alliance sends ships to look for you all they find is the debris of your ship, etc.
4  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Project 6014 – Ur-Quan Masters mod on: May 03, 2012, 06:52:56 am
I can't wait to find out how Zelnick gets out alive!  Arilou jumping in and saving them?  Orz pulling them *below* (caring for the humans more than the Shofixti)?  Or maybe...
  Grin

Personally, I'd love to see him not get out of it... at least not right away. Instead, the Lurg could capture him and force him to use his expertise to help them get that Precursor ship operational. After years of imprisonment and forced capitulation the badly damaged ship is finally operational and ready to be launched against the Alliance, but the good captain had been secretly planning for this day and manages to commandeer and escape on the ship. He returns to the people who thought him dead (including a certain love interest) and just in time because the war is already fully under way and it has not been going well.

Anyway, that's just my own fantasy scenario. It would allow for the recreation of the fish out of water aspect of Star Control II as the captain catches up with everything that has happened during his imprisonment and it would allow you, as the player to skip the early stages of the war and instead jump right into the action.
5  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A Modest Proposal on: July 05, 2004, 06:01:19 am
Personally I think the new players should just start off as standard (weak cyborg) and work their way up like the rest of us. I worked very hard since a young child to master SCI melee and even with the 7 hierarchy ships I can defeat the entire alliance fleet (Arilou included) with 2 or 3 ships to spare (i usually have 4 to 5 alliance ships against the hierarchy though ). So the Arilou isn't as hard as you think, especially when you consider that there are SCII ships like the Chmmr that can destroy them in seconds. To me the Arilou is the hardest ship out there and the others you mentioned are much easier but to be perfectly honest I would like a harder Arilou AI. I do so much better with the ship than the computer does at it's best. If you play enough you can guess it's movements and know how to counter them. They're obvious things like aiming your weapon at it to keep at bay (which was already pointed out) and I hate that they don't use the planet to their benefit. To me that's their strongest weapon. A favorite tactic of mine used to be to camp out by a planet, wait for the enemy to come after me, and as they're passing (assuming they're smart enough not to crash) jump out and blast them before blinking away.

Heck if you work hard enough even an Ilwrath can defeat them but it is such a pain. In SCI there was a mission in campaign mode where it informed you that they had discovered that certain ships were better at certain other ships. Basically they expected you to use the Ilwrath against the Arilou and another hierarchy ship against an alliance one. Well let me tell you anyone who thinks the Ilwrath has more of an advantage against the Arilou than the Umgah are sadly mistaken but it's possible to do with some work. The joy of Star Control, to me, was mastering each ship and being the best I could be with each, even trying silly things like defeating a Yehat with a Mycon (which I did, thank you very much - it's a lot of luck and depends on you getting a gravity whip and having a good hour or so to waste lol). *shrugs* Maybe it's just me but being able to actually beat that ship which is so hard you're trying to convince people to tone it down is a lot of fun - goals = good.  Smiley
6  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Conversation with subtitles on: December 30, 2002, 03:51:40 am
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And all I did was tell you that I feel differently than him about that.  You didn't think I was talking about you, did you?  Smiley


Well the thing about that is that if he didn't think he could do it, it probably won't be done and I figured you understood that, so you probably misunderstood me for having that idea myself. Ah but whatever. As long as I'm not the only one who can understand my twisted way of viewing the world I'm happy.  Grin
7  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Conversation with subtitles on: December 30, 2002, 01:24:35 am
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I feel quite the opposite.  I figure someone will eventually volunteer to do lip-syncing!
Really, I think by allowing you to press a key to skip to the next line and recording the timestamp, you could sync pretty good, probably near perfect.
And we could probably get pretty good results without any timestamp info by making sure the subtitles pass at the appropriate rate so that they end at the same time as the speech.

Speaking of voice/caption syncing problems, has anyone seen Starfox Adventures?  With some of the unimportant NPC's, they just play the voice and let you advance the caption manually with the A button. (Surprisingly, it's still lip-synced)  And in some of the cutscenes, the captions and voice are way off in timing and often don't quite say the same thing.

So at least it will be better than that.


What is there to disagree about? All I did is tell you what a mod said, not give my personal opnion on the situation.
8  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Conversation with subtitles on: December 29, 2002, 12:11:38 pm
A mod said awhile ago, that he doubts they'd ever get the two to match up prefectly. But, I'm pretty sure they'll be able to do much better then how it is now.
9  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: A horrifying SC2 story! on: December 29, 2002, 12:00:45 pm
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ebay is a SC fan's salvation.
I found a good condition SC 1+2 combo with everything a while ago for cheap. (got my dad addicted to ebay too, go me)


Why do you keep bringing old threads back up?
10  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: What question about SC do you most want answer on: December 29, 2002, 11:57:34 am
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Does TFB endorse the Accolade SC3 plot?
We've never really heard from them as far as THEIR opinions on SC3. (Paul, Fred, that's your cue! Answer, dammit!)


All they said, so far, about that was that it wasn't what they had in mind.

Quote


Fight the Mycon for about 12 rounds of the traveling ship groups....you will get the *everything story*, except for who "the creator" is...

And my question: How exactly does your Dynarri know the weaknesses of the Sa-Matra so it can tell you how to attack it?


Well that wasn't my question, it was an answer to someone elses. And what that had to do with the Umgah saying that the Mycon were created by someone is beyond me (they don't tell you that if you keep fighting them).

As for your question, the Dynarri know that because they found the Sa-Matra and the Ur-Quan took control over it after the slave-revolt.
11  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Arilou and the Orz: What's the Deal? *spoilers on: December 13, 2002, 03:02:40 pm
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Yeah ZeroArmy, that's kind of what I meant yesterday when I said:


Speculation on them being in other dimesions, just as likely.


Oh sorry, I must've read past that.

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Oh, and about the excessive quoting.  Sorry about that.  I think it's obvious I love to analyze things to death (why else would I be on a forum?),  I mean, after all, I am the guy who had made an attempt at an Orz dictionary 8 years ago.

-PsiPhi


heh, don't feel bad I'm the king of quotes. Wink But, anyway, at least you don't quote things incorrectly (remember the Ultron thing?).  Grin

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Yep, seems that *nggn* aren't the Orz. You have me convinced. Smiley


Happy days and jubilation! My endless ranting and re-reading things, from the game, finally payed off!   Wink

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I think that Taalo didn't *slide* to Orz's dimension but something else. When Orz arrived to truespace they found about Taalo.


Oh ok, I wasn't sure exactly what you meant before. Anyway, it makes sense, but I still don't get that what they mean by *time tricks.* It seems as though it would mean that the Taalo did something to them at one point or another and since the Taalo aren't in True-space anymore, it would have to mean that it happened in another dimension. Then again the Orz aren't known for making complete sense, so who knows.  :-/
12  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Arilou and the Orz: What's the Deal? *spoilers on: December 13, 2002, 12:02:18 pm
Ah the conversation turned to alien speech.  :-/ I always hated talking about it as it seemed that some get too sucked into it for my taste (ie: the translater does so and so therefor it should've put a better world in the place of *smell*). To me it's less of a translater and more of a script, it doesn't have to make complete sense (as long as it explains the game well enough, like it does, it's fine by me). Anyway, that said, I'm not even going to bother trying to respond, but I do have something new regarding "easy places" PsiPhi....

I was talking to the Arilou again and I realized something new. They said that there is only one naturally accuring portal from "hyperspace to quasi-space." So I was thinking that maybe there were 9 other, natural portals, which are based in different dimensions and that those are the Arilou's easy places. Ah well. I doubt we'll ever fully understand what an easy place is (besides that one time the Arilou never bring it up again).  :-/
13  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Arilou and the Orz: What's the Deal? *spoilers on: December 12, 2002, 02:12:46 pm
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I always took "easy place" to mean a natural occurence of interdimensional fatigue, that being the Quasi-space portal that appears for 3 days starting on the 17th of each month.


See that's what I was thinking, but the Arilou said that there is only one natural occuring portal to Quasi-space, while they said that there were 10 total "easy places."

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Frankly, I think the Nggn are like that little pixie the Pkunk says sits on your shoulder and makes funny faces at him ... it's just something quirky added to the game to enhance the fact that these are aliens to which you are speaking.


lol. Call me crazy, but I like the idea of the *Nnngn* being pixies.  Grin

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Nggn are not Orz.  The Arilou's attitude towards Nggn is quite jovial and relaxed.  Hell, he releases them after he catches them, like it is some kind of game.  Maybe its the Arilou version of Frungy.  I don't know.  I'm not going to kill myself trying to read into something that was mentioned once as an obvious joke.  By contrast, the Arilou attitude towards Orz is quite cautious and unfriendly.


It's funny you say that because, while editing my post above yours, I was thinking that it maybe the Arilou's version of Frungy. And probably wasn't thought out in detail, like Frungy probably wasn't.

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If you make that connection, then you may as well start making outlandish connections like the Ultron is just a hyperwave receiver/converter and someone like the Umgah are behind some other farcical prank to mislead the Utwig culture.  Or that the Spathi Evil Ones are really just the last of the ZoqFotPik's Zebranky, that were transported by the Umgah to Spathiwa for a few laughs.  Actually, I'd believe THAT before I'd ever believe that the Orz are the Nggn, simply because they grunt "Nnnngggaaahhhh" whenever they are mad.But if you choose to believe that, well, I've got a real good deal for you on this powerful artifact called the Trident of Wimbli.

-PsiPhi


Aww, how cute, you're turning into a ranting maniac, just like me. Wink
14  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Arilou and the Orz: What's the Deal? *spoilers on: December 12, 2002, 01:28:41 pm
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Arilou talking about *Nggn* are flying around in hyperspace. They don't reveal you much, because it's arilou policy to protect humans from too much information. After you reach their homeworld, they decide to tell you more.


Well that could be so, but it seems to be that the hyperspace Arilou aren't trying to hold anymore information then those at their homeworld (according to the base commander they didn't give us any information before because we were too busy fighting to ask). And even if they were trying to why wouldn't they simply tell us about the Orz so we could avoid them? I mean it's one thing to not tell us about creatures from another dimension, that way we won't even try to find them, but it's another thing when someone, who the Arilou think might harm us, enter our space.

EDIT: Ok I opened up a old saved game (one before I ever talked to the Arilou) and flew up to their space. After asking "I am confused about our relationship. Please elaborate" several times, (this is to the hyperspace Arilou) they said this...

"You know, we never revealed where in the galaxy one could find our homeworld. There was a good reason. We are not from your space, or your... *time*. Some of your more broad thinkers refer to such realms as other dimensions. Though trivialized, this is a suitable metaphor for your intellect.
Perhaps you know of the Orz. Like us, they are dimensional travellers but that is where our similarity ends. Do not trust the Orz, my Human Captain. They are dangerous. But as to your question... our relationship. To call our interaction with your kind an experiment would be much too simple and impersonal. Let us just say that we have a vested interest in your... development. You are one of our... extended family, just as other sentients in other dimensions have their extended families. We are proud of you as you would be of your children, and some day well, I have said too much already."

Notice the part that I bolded. The Arilou have no problem calling the Orz by their name there, (which means your idea as to why is voided) so why would they call them the *Nnngn* later?

Orz weren't in *heavy space* 22k years ago, so they must have slid to taalo's new dimension, and met them there.
[/quote]

Did you read what I said? I was saying that the Taalo entered the Orz's dimension themselves (in a post before I explained why I thought the Taalo could enter quasi-space when they met the Milieu). There was no way the Orz could've dragged the Taalo into their dimension 22 thousand years ago. For one they'd have to be friends with the Taalo to save them from the Ur-Quan (the Orz only make alliances when it suits them) and they'd have to KNOW about this space (remember they didn't even know it exsisted until the Androsynth's experements).
15  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release / General UQM Discussion / Re: Arilou and the Orz: What's the Deal? *spoilers on: December 12, 2002, 11:01:19 am
Ah another day went by and so did the discussion (PsiPhi knows what I mean Wink ). Anyway, I have a few extra points to add...

1. For those of you who think the Orz and *Nggn* are one in the same can you explain to me why the Arilou would say that they were trying to catch the *Nggn* and then tell us not to trust the Orz? Is it just me or does it seem a little silly for them to call the Orz two different things?

2. Does anyone know what exactly an *easy place* is? I went to the Arilou, to check to see what they said about the *Nggn,* again, and after asking why they are in this area of space, they said that this is an *easy place.* Then if you ask why they are in this *easy place* they say it's to catch *Nggn.* So, I figured instead of arguing about the *Nggn* and Orz thing we could try and figure out what it is because if it's just referring to the Arilou's sphere of influence then they can't be the Orz.

3. And for three we move on to the Taalo. The conversation was shut down by what Paul and Fred said so I thought it best to explain why I think they're alive (it seemed people were still finding it hard believe it).

Ok well let's pretend Fred and Paul didn't say the Taalo were alive. Now, before this statement, it was believed, by most, that the Taalo weren't alive even though the Orz brought them up in conversation. This was of course because the Orz talk in present tense. But, the thing is that even if the Orz can't understand time, and all this *sliding* and playing *time tricks* on them may have happened 22 thousand years ago, doesn't it stand to reason that they're still alive now? After all, everyone was saying that they agreed with what the Orz said, but they didn't think they could understand time. So, anyway, by what the Orz said, the Taalo escaped the Ur-Quan attack and *slide* into another dimension. Then, (the following is my view on what happened) being that the Taalo were more advanced then the Chenjesu and were able to annoy the Orz by playing *tricks* on them (they must've been much stronger then the Orz) they should've easily been able to survive 20 thousand more years.
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