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Author Topic: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?  (Read 11960 times)
huxley
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Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« on: January 02, 2008, 05:45:32 pm »

I fell upon this site out of some random search and just played through star control 2 for the first time in 10-13 years when I had it on my 3do.  Going back over the complex motivations for the extermination of other species it seems like the ur-quan were merciful just really confused.  The kohr ah were definately horrible and wanted everyone dead but at the end of the game with the ur-quan defeated I still felt bad for them in many ways.  They were inslaved, had to live in pain, had to kill their best and only friends and completely wipe them out as well as who knows what else.

I really wish there would be a real SC3 someday so you could see what happened to them, who knows maybe someday they would be allies ^^
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AngusThermopyle
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2008, 07:33:34 pm »

*SPOILER WARNING*




Yeah, I do a little, actually. After the Kohr-Ah defeat them, the greenies do seem genuinely concerned for your survival. You kinda get the feeling the by losing their war, the Ur-Quan feel ashamed and realize the folly of their doctrine of slavery. Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part though.

Pity, however, does not excuse years of untold warmongering, slavery, and suffering they brought upon the galaxy.
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2008, 09:43:19 pm »

Spoilers, schmoilers, this damn game is fifteen years old.  If you haven't played it through by now, quit reading the forums and get to it, you'll thank me later.

But just to prime the pump for spoilers: King Kong falls off the Empire State Building and dies, Darth Vader is Luke's father, Rosebud is the name of a sled, and Kyuzo is felled by a sniper's gunshot at the end of the final battle.

With that out of the way...

I've never reserved my pity for them until the end of the game -- I feel bad for them once they reveal their twisted, internally-quite-reasonable-but-externally-horrible motivations for what they do.

The Ur-Quan are essentially childhood abuse survivors, and the metaphor is pretty detailed:  the things they were forced to do as "children" still haunt them, and they were permanently altered by their experience (i.e., split into green and black)  They also act accordingly in-game: the Kzer-Za by perpetuating the abuse they suffered (ironically becoming the very thing they hate, and living in abject denial of that fact) and the Kohr-Ah by becoming sociopaths and attempting to isolate themselves from further pain (in this case, by destroying anything they deem a threat without compassion)

If only you could go to the center of their sphere of influence and repeat into the hyperspace caster, "it's not your fault..."  Then both fleets would degenerate into crying messes and head coreward to "see about a girl"  Smiley
« Last Edit: January 02, 2008, 09:57:48 pm by 0xDEC0DE » Logged

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Dakkus
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2008, 11:23:23 pm »

If only you could go to the center of their sphere of influence and repeat into the hyperspace caster, "it's not your fault..."  Then both fleets would degenerate into crying messes and head coreward to "see about a girl"  Smiley

Hey, that sounds like a good plot for a future SC game! Wink
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2008, 12:10:10 am »

The Ur-Quan are essentially childhood abuse survivors, and the metaphor is pretty detailed:  the things they were forced to do as "children" still haunt them, and they were permanently altered by their experience (i.e., split into green and black)  They also act accordingly in-game: the Kzer-Za by perpetuating the abuse they suffered (ironically becoming the very thing they hate, and living in abject denial of that fact)
I think that's pretty far-fetched. Your comparison is broken; the Kzer-Za don't force anyone to do anything. They allow their victims to be restricted to their planets instead of fighting for them. And it's likely that most of the individuals of each species would never leave their planet at all anyway.
So, in your metaphor, the parents were kept on a chain when they were young, and forced to do bad stuff to others, and as parents, what they do to their children is to take away their passports. While at the same time, protecting them from outside harm.

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and the Kohr-Ah by becoming sociopaths and attempting to isolate themselves from further pain (in this case, by destroying anything they deem a threat without compassion)
Do keep in mind that the Kohr-Ah (at least the ones you see in the game) believe in reincarnation. They believe that their action may even turn out for the better for their victims, and they allow them to perform last rites.
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2008, 03:59:14 am »

Not so far-fetched.  From this interview with Paul Reiche III:

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My own take on [them] came from my relationships with people who had experienced significant childhood abuse and how those traumas produced distinctly odd behaviors in adults. [Their] doctrines were the overtly crazy but internally reasonable responses to their treatment by the Dynarri, and the pain they had to endure to win their freedom from slavery.
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2008, 04:49:17 am »

I'm not arguing about the abuse/trauma theme in itself.
But what I think is stretching the analogy is is your one-to-one translation of specific behaviours.
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2008, 05:47:02 am »

To be perfectly honest, I dont pity them. In some part of their tentacly minds they knew what they were doing was wrong.
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2008, 06:19:40 am »

The reason you cannot move them into tears is because they never suffered abuse, their ANCESTORS did. They are just perpetuating the doctrines set forth by the "abused children" with a religious zeal
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2008, 06:28:09 am »

The reason you cannot move them into tears is because they never suffered abuse, their ANCESTORS did. They are just perpetuating the doctrines set forth by the "abused children" with a religious zeal
Yeah, that's a very weak spot in the storyline IMO. It seems rather silly that they're so passionate about something so old. Unless they're immortal?

I liked that psychoanalysis, 067540336. Cheesy
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2008, 02:10:46 pm »

The initial, traumatized generation of Ur-Quan passed over their doctrines to the next generation via education, and it's education which perpetuates their behaviour. As strong as their zeal for their Path/Doctrine is, it's nothing that can't be transmitted through education -- history (and the contemporary world -- e.g. Islamic fanatics/terrorists) has plenty of examples of this.

Quote
I think that's pretty far-fetched. Your comparison is broken; the Kzer-Za don't force anyone to do anything. They allow their victims to be restricted to their planets instead of fighting for them. And it's likely that most of the individuals of each species would never leave their planet at all anyway.
So, in your metaphor, the parents were kept on a chain when they were young, and forced to do bad stuff to others, and as parents, what they do to their children is to take away their passports. While at the same time, protecting them from outside harm.

The Kzer-Za's primary motivation for enslaving others is protecting their own race, not protecting those others. Your "improved" parent-child analogy seems to indicate that the Kzer-Za do what they do primarily to protect others, not themselves -- which is false.

Also, I don't think that the fact that "the parents were [...] forced to do bad stuff to others" was part of what traumatized them.
When Zelnick is under mental compulsion by the neo-Dnyarri to "seek death at the hands of his enemy", his consciousness seems to "turn off" largely (Zelnick has two replies about how he felt during the compulsion: "It was like I fell asleep, or was unconscious." and "I felt like someone had control of my mind and my body."; both of them make the Ur-Quan captain to claim that it is all too familiar. There's also "Kind of like the screen went dark, and then POW! here you were.", which makes the Ur-Quan to say "WHAT DO YOU MEAN?! ELUCIDATE!" -- probably because it's too vague, not because it's an inaccurate description of mental compulsion, as it's in the same vein as the first reply)

My conclusion is that what traumatized the Ur-Quan was using Excruciators to defeat the Dnyarri ("When we discovered that intense pain could block the Dnyarri's mental powers, we were able to destroy them, but it took years. Can you imagine, alien, what it must have been like to wear an Excruciator? To live in endless screaming pain for months on end? No you cannot."). However, when they educated the next generation to continue to uphold their Path/Doctrine, they also told them that one of the reasons they had to cleanse/enslave all threats was that they had been slaves (though this small affront to their nationalistic pride was actually insignificant to the parents, who faced much worse -- i.e. the Excruciators), to increase the zeal of the young.

[that is, the parents were forced to use self-flagellation to free themselves when they were young, so they educated their children to enslave everybody so that the children don't get enslaved themselves, as the trauma suffered by the parents caused the parents to highly value freedom]

EDIT: Shortened reply.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2008, 10:51:22 am by Valaggar Redux » Logged
Resh Aleph
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2008, 02:53:45 pm »

The initial, traumatized generation of Ur-Quan passed over their doctrines to the next generation via education, and it's education which perpetuates their behaviour. As strong as their zeal for their Path/Doctrine is, it's nothing that can't be transmitted through education -- history (and the contemporary world -- e.g. Islamic fanatics/terrorists) has plenty of examples of this.

I don't know... I think fanaticism works so well because of the captivating concept of God. And history shows that even that can be resisted, in spite of tradition. This case is more like the Holocaust, and I can't say I feel the same way about it as my grandparents...

So I don't suppose it's conceivable that the Ur-Quan are immortal? Undecided
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2008, 05:42:12 pm »

You weren't taught by your parents to mercilessly kill all Germans you see, though. And even if they would have done that, you would have had access to outside influences, to alternate views, too -- not your entire species would have felt such a contempt for Germans. The Ur-Quan don't have this luxury. From the very moment the second generation of free Ur-Quan was born, their whole species was already on a holy crusade against all other species.

And the Ur-Quan can't possibly be so long-lived -- the Kohr-Ah line when they first talk to The Captain when he has the neo-Dnyarri is "We sense... something... something ancient... a sickly smell... a chilling wind. My ancestors scream from within their chambers in my mind but I cannot understand their words. This feeling... a memory? It sickens us, and for the first time in our lives, for the first time in generations... We fear."

Obviously, the Ur-Quan may alternatively have a genetic memory, and thus the trauma would be inherited by the next generation. This would also explain their lines when you have the neo-Dnyarri aboard (especially the Kohr-Ah line). But it doesn't make much sense from an evolutionary standpoint, as a species that remembers every unpleasant incident their ancestors went through isn't really prone to survive for long. Alternatively,  if we go by "education transmitted the zeal", it means that the Ur-Quan's vulnerability to mental compulsion makes their subconscious very sensitive to sources of mental compulsion in range, which made them to utter those lines above.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 05:50:31 pm by Valaggar Redux » Logged
huxley
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2008, 10:29:06 pm »

Well I think there are definately some loose plot points.  At no point do we ever find out how long the ur-quan live for or what their manner of teaching is to their offspring so we could never answer the questions how their credo is continued.  I still stick by my original theory, the ur-quan while fighting were a power that needed to be destroyed but after destruction there is definately a sense of tragedy and sadness that it had to end in such a manner.
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Re: Does anyone else pity the ur-quan in the end?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2008, 01:34:19 am »

The initial, traumatized generation of Ur-Quan passed over their doctrines to the next generation via education, and it's education which perpetuates their behaviour. As strong as their zeal for their Path/Doctrine is, it's nothing that can't be transmitted through education -- history (and the contemporary world -- e.g. Islamic fanatics/terrorists) has plenty of examples of this.

That about sums it up... this what I also meant to imply. You could no more reason with an Ur Quan then you could with a Muslim suicide bomber.
It is their religion, it is their faith, it is their creed and doctrine to do so. It was born from being the "abused children" but now it is simply a violent religion
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