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

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NamelessPlayer
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Now I realize why everyone loves Star Control...
« on: December 22, 2005, 10:20:10 pm »

I've actually been playing for a few days now, but I guess I can add this to the "oldies-but-goodies" list. I could say this for so many games, but by the time where my gaming tastes were refined, it was all about the new 3D FPSs and such, loaded with shaders and requiring even more demanding hardware...Originally, I strayed away from The Ur-Quan Masters in fear that it might have modified the plot, races or whatnot because of IP concerns, but when I learned that it's basically Star Control II wrapped up in a new engine, I dove in-and have yet to regret it.

Anyway, I've wanted a game like this-I knew similar games existed, even back in the old pre-Pentium days, but I don't remember any of them having the charm of, say, Spathi Captain Fwiffo just blurting out the Cypher for no particular reason, as well as his dreaming about having a large mansion with lots of trees, each with baskets of round stones of just the right mass, size, and color(aqua, mauve, or magenta-that still remains unanswered, though)just in case there are any monsters to be found. Next thing I know, I'm wondering what the hell Frungy is as I'm expending precious fuel(didn't have the QuasiSpace portal generator yet)to head over to Alpha Tucanae I and add the ZotFoqPik to the New Alliance of Free Stars...and also learn about how flaming wheels can give a confederation of three races the wheel, fire, and religion simultaneously...Then you have those barbaric Thraddash, who redefine your meaning of "brutal" when you learn of Culture Three and how they hack off their OWN limbs in order to freak the hell out of their foes.

Oh, and you can't forget the Melee duels-easily one of the things that define Star Control. I found the first duel with the Ilwrath at the space station a bit difficult due to the lack of speed on the Cruiser or the flagship...though I later lucked out when I managed to serve up some torpedoes and emerge unscathed. After that, you have to deal with many other annoying craft-but this is where Fwiffo and his/her/its(unsure of gender here)Eluder comes in, with its high agility, ability to take a fair amount of punishment, and homing B.U.T.T.s to harass your foes(the only complaint being its rather illogical design-I wouldn't quite say "ugly" after seeing a Vogon ship-and just in case you're confused as far as the existence of Vogons in Star Control, well, they're not. Consult your nearby Hitchhiker's Guide.). Locating the Ariloulaleelay(isn't that a mouthful?)in QuasiSpace also leads to three handy Skiffs-sure, if you get hit, you're screwed, but their unrivaled agility comes in handy against Thraddash Culture Nineteen, not to mention their auto-tracking laser.

Alright, I think that's enough on my rant on the awesomeness of Star Control II(at least in the form of The Ur-Quan Masters). Besides, if I waste all of my time here on the forums, I won't have time to play!

Side note: Where am I supposed to get the broken Ultron? I've stopped by Zeta Hyades VI-B and Beta Aquarii I(if that is indeed the Utwig homeworld), but no luck as far as getting the Utwig to fork the thing over so I can repair it(and yes, I have the parts needed).
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Re: Now I realize why everyone loves Star Control...
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2005, 10:51:09 pm »

Being so terminally depressed about having broken their Ultron, the Utwig could no longer stand to even look at the device, and so gave it to the Supox for safekeeping. It is, rather conveniently, in the hands of the first member of that race that you happen to encounter. Their SOI is a short ways westward on the starmap from the Utwig.

I know exactly where you're coming from. SC2 was one of the games I consistently played all through high school on ye olde 486, and really defines what an excellent game is all about for me. You can't imagine how ticked I was when I tried to reinstall the game years later on a Win 98 machine, and discovered that my disks had been corrupted at some point. That's at least part of the reason I consider UQM one of the most significant finds I've come across on this here Intertron; I thought I was never going to be able to play SC2 again, and I can't thank the folks who worked on UQM enough for allowing me to do so, and on my nice shiny computer without a rediculous DOS emulator, no less.
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Re: Now I realize why everyone loves Star Control...
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2005, 02:35:52 pm »

Don't forget there's a Wiki database for SC2 answers to all your questions (and more!).


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Re: Now I realize why everyone loves Star Control...
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2005, 07:27:06 pm »

At around 2:00 AM EST today, I set up the Su-Matra the bomb...

Now I'm still left with a few questions:

-Okay, so we have an ending with comments from various races(such as the ZFP arguing about Frungy again, a soft-hearted Thraddash, and Talana's actor worried about wearing something EVEN MORE REVEALING-can you get any skimpier than that?), but NO SPATHI? Come on, they're only the most charming race in the entire game, even though it may be in a somewhat moronic manner(I think most of it has to do with the voices and Fwiffo, though).

-Where the hell did he get the Mark II? I've heard that Star Control 3 doesn't continue the plot as planned, so that probably won't answer my question. StarCon was cancelled(and probably even less likely to follow the plot properly than SC3), so we can forget about that too. I guess all we can do is hunt down one of the game devs and ask them to cough up the rest of Zelnick's story.

Yes, I know that there's a thread on this here. Too bad there isn't a REAL sequel to SC2.

-Not ending-related, but why the hell is the Ilwrath homeworld OUTSIDE of their SOI(provided you haven't pointed them toward the Thraddash? Now if you could get them to fight the Ur-Quan under the guize of Dogar and Kazon...)?

-...err, I think I ran out of questions, or forgot the rest. Don't know which.

Anyway, I must be one of the few new-generation gamers who enjoys the usual classic...I still have fond memories of Magic Carpet, tried to play a bit of System Shock 1 a few years after picking up the sequel when it was still new, and now I can proudly add SC2 to my list of classic games-particularly ones that I've NEVER played before(note that I was a whopping 2 Earth years old or so at the time SC2 was released-provided it was A.D. 1992, of course).

Now I'll just decide what game I want to play as I browse random forums, Internet sites and such while also debating whether to enlighten a new generation about the awesomeness that is Star Control 2(or at least Fwiffo's hopes of having a mansion with trees everywhere, and said trees having baskets of stones of just the right shape, size, and color for throwing at monsters).

Side note: What do you consider the definitive version of SC2? I know that there's some major differences between PC and 3DO versions, as well as the fact that some crucial tidbits of info were missing in the 3DO version due to lack of space and that UQM is based on the 3DO version's source code. I'm also wondering if there are any decent old 3DO games for me to make hunting down a 3DO Blaster worthwhile.

...I put way too much random stuff into my posts...
« Last Edit: December 23, 2005, 07:41:22 pm by NamelessPlayer » Logged
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Re: Now I realize why everyone loves Star Control...
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2005, 07:57:41 pm »

The Ilwrath homeworld is outside their sphere of influence because they moved the SoI south to pester the Pkunk.

I would say the PC version is more definitive because it doesn't include conversation bugs -- it includes the metachron, mentions the location of Syra, mentions the difference between the Sun Device world and the Mycon homeworld, etc.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2005, 08:00:44 pm by Death 999 » Logged
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Re: Now I realize why everyone loves Star Control...
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2005, 10:49:43 pm »

The fact that the 3DO version was missing some things wasn't due to lack of space. The most important things were missing because TFB forgot to record some lines.

3DO blasters are really rare (and hence expensive if you can find them), they're not going to work on modern PCs, and you'll need a specific CD-ROM drive. You're much better off buying a regular 3DO.
That said, you don't have to do it for SC2. UQM has everything the 3DO version has, and more.

I'd go for UQM instead of either versions We've tried to include the best of both worlds, giving you the choice when this is subjective. You'll miss a few things from the PC version, but if someone tells you where the Mycon homeworld is, you've got the most important omission.

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Re: Now I realize why everyone loves Star Control...
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2005, 01:56:22 am »

Well, of course I'd stick with UQM for my SC2 needs-I wouldn't have to cough up currency(aside from the cost of the PC hardware and my cable Internet connection).

My main reason for wanting a 3DO Blaster just in case there's a 3DO game that's not Star Control II instead of a normal 3DO console is that VGA simply beats the pants off of S-Video and composite-don't even bring up RF. That, and my legacy PC has 2 free ISA slots-one would be good for the 3DO Blaster, and the other could be used for an AWE64 to increase potential legacy compatibility. Now if the damn thing wasn't restricted to a certain CD drive...

-AMD K6-2 350 (366 MHz)
-128 MB PC-100 SDRAM
-SiS 530/STB Voodoo 2 12 MB
-Creative SB Live! Value
-Windows 98 SE/Windows 2000/Mandrake Linux 9.0 (can't access Linux right now)

If my stepdad didn't rip out the ATI Xpert 98 he used to have installed, I wouldn't have to rely on the SiS graphics decelerator for 2D work(video footage is desynced with sound, MDK shows up to a 4x performance increase between software and Glide-that's how awful it is)...but alas, there isn't an AGP port, and only one of the three PCI slots had enough room for the V2(the others would have the CPU HSF in the way), thereby shooting down most of my hopes of finding a 2D card that may fit(one that's good with Direct3D would be even better to compensate for the V2's lackluster D3D performance).

Anyway, enough about my legacy PC...what else is there to talk about?

As far as UQM missing certain information(such as homeworld locations, which had me resorting to the Internet and stumbling across plenty of spoilers along the way), I'm sure that such a thing could be added with ease-albeit with a lack of voice to accompany the caption.

On that note, though, I remember that a good friend of mine used some voice-changing software in conjunction with his headset. Maybe such software could be used to fill in those blanks, though the result obviously wouldn't be perfect...but how else could a human gain that strangely-charming Spathi accent?
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Re: Now I realize why everyone loves Star Control...
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2005, 03:45:01 am »

I should point you to FreeDO too.
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Re: Now I realize why everyone loves Star Control...
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2005, 07:13:27 am »

I should point you to FreeDO too.

D'oh! I forgot all about emulation! No more having to hunt down old hardware!...though the results aren't always perfect(such as HUD overlays in N64 emulators).

Note to self: check Zophar's Domain or another major emulator site when the hardware to play a desired game is absent from inventory.

Anyway, the only reason I really brought the 3DO up was because it might have more value than being the only other platform aside from the tried-and-true IBM-compatible PC to have SC2...as in more exclusive games that actually might be worth playing.

But that would sort of de-rail the topic, which is concerning how I delved into another classic game in an era where games have 3D models chock-full of polygons and shaders, and therefore contribute myself to the niche(sp?).

Now, to get some sleep and wake up later this Christmas Eve...and possibly convince more people to play Star Control, even if I have to hold a Dnyarri hostage to do it! Everyone must know of Fwiffo, Frungy, and all of the other weird things that contribute to SC2!

...Damn it! What's this strange obsession I'm starting to get when it comes to the Spathi? They are indeed charming, in a somewhat moronic manner...but now, having witnessed what became of the Vindicator after the Sa-Matra skirmish, I keep wondering if Fwiffo escaped(yes, I still had his Eluder along with the three Arilou Skiffs, as well as a bunch of other vehicles)...it's creepy. Maybe it's a hidden Dnyarri for all I know...
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