The Let's Play Archive

Star Control 2

by GrandpaPants

Part 2

Well I got a head start on the plot, because I remember there was a shit ton of exposition, but I had actually forgotten how wordy this game was. Keep on voting for that Captain (the smell of mutiny is in the water...of space) and ship name, though. I'll finalize it before we head off to Hyperspace for the first time.

Hope you guys like words (for the record, 486 screenshots taken for this update).

We begin by making a beeline for Earth, because, well, why wouldn't we? We've been stuck on some godforsaken rock of a planet to make a fucking ship that looks anorexic just so we can leave said godforsaken rock. Oh well, at least it looks like Earth is still in one piece, so I guess we won the war. Home sweet...


What the hell is that?

And why is that red blob of (presumably) death heading right towards us? I'd like to point out that when they said this ship was a skeleton, they meant it. This thing moves and maneuvers like shit. Imagine playing an ice level on a platformer, and you have a good idea of how crappily this thing moves.

Oh, right, first contact (sorta)!

Attention interloper - heed this recorded message!

This drone vessel speaks with the voice and authority of the Ur-Quan. You are trespassing within Ur-Quan space. This world, Earth, may not be approached for any reason. Nor will hostilities against our orbital platform be tolerated.

In addition, your ship does not response to standard Hierarchy identification transmissions and is therefore deemed to be...independent. This is not permissible - only subserviced shall be tolerated.

This drone now leaves to inform the Ur-Quan of your transgressions. You are commanded to remain here and await the arrival of the Ur-Quan. Disobedience will be punished.

The drone leaves, and we go towards the space station. Because the drone told us not to fuck with it, so naturally we fuck with it. Ancient technology HAS to be able to kick copious amounts of Earth tech, right? That's just the way sci-fi works.

Attention unidentified space vessel! I am Starbase Commander Hayes of the slave planet Earth. Our hyperwave broadcasts - extremely weak...

...situation critical-energy cores exhausted...

...scanners and deep radar are non-functional...

We cannot identify your vessel...are you the scheduled Hierarchy resupply ship? Repeat, are you the resupply ship?

Captain (C): No, this is the starship Doomtrain, but we stand ready to assist you.

Starbase Commander (SBC): Look, I don't know who you are or why you're here, but right now the only thing I'm worried about is saving the lives of the 1900 men and women aboard this starbase, and right now you're our only hope. I can't keep the transmitter on too much longer - we need the power for heat and air, so if you don't have any radioactive on board your vessel, please get some and bring them back here before it's too late.

C: Where can we find the radioactive elements you need?

SBC: The fastest way to get radioactives in this system would be to land on Mercury and scour the surface for deposits of radioactive elements. But be careful. Mercury is a pretty inhospital place! Watch out for earthquakes and those high temperature areas!

C: We will leave now to find the elements you require.

SBC: Thanks! I'll mention this the next time I talk with our masters. I'm sure they will reward you.

So we head towards Mercury. If you didn't pay attention to your elementary school astronomy lesson, this is pretty much the end of the line for you. However, if you got lost within the solar system during this period like I did when I was in elementary school, boy did you learn the planets quickly! You also get the added bonus of learning that Venus fucking sucks.

See, there're edutainment games worth playing that aren't named Oregon Trail or Number Crunchers!

Here's a planetary screen, post scan. The only scan worth a damn for Mercury is the mineral scan, which pops up all sorts of shinies for us to harvest. There's no life on Mercury and the "Energy Scan" is used to detect random shit, which isn't on Mercury either. The planetary stats actually give you a fair bit of information too, particularly Temperature, which dictates the amount of fire you see, Weather, which I think dictates the amount of lightning, and Tectonics, which dictates the amount of earthquakes.

Why might this be important, you may ask? Well, let's send our chipper little lander manned with a crew of 10 and costing us a whopping 1 fuel to send down.

Moneyshots of both fire and earthquakes. This is relatively tame compared to certain other planets, but it's still a pain in the ass to avoid. You can see the earthquakes start forming, so you can avoid those easily enough, but fire's a bitch because it can just spontaneously form anywhere.

The planetary portion of the game consists of you going around dominating nature and raping the resources from her lands. Y'know, for freedom.

Unfortunately, this expedition also cost us 5 crewmen, brave souls that died before the adventure even really started. Rest in peace, nameless NPCs.

I'm sure somebody's gonna ask what Earth looks like, so here it is. Nope, you can't scan it and you obviously can't land on it. It's pretty useless except as a plot device/quest item. Although you can still see ice caps, so take that Al Gore!

SBC: Did you find any radioactive elements for our power cores?

C: We are ready to transfer radioactives.

SBC: We are initiating transfer of radioactives, Captain. Now, as soon as our engineers can refit the energy cores...

...there, that's much better. Power ratings are climbing, life support is coming back into the green. Deep radar systems and sensors are now online and I can scan your vessel.


Just who ARE you, Captain?

C: I am Captain Spiff of the starship Doomtrain. We are survivors of a Star Control science research team to the Vela star system.

SBC: Star Control science mission, eh? Captain, I served as a Star Control officer during the war, aboard several cruisers in the Coreward Front, and if there had been any "scientific mission" to Vela, I would have heard about it.

C: The mission was highly secret.

SBC: know, come to think of it, there were some rumors that Corridor Nine, the special operations division of Star Control was directing some hush-hush operation near Androsynth space. The Vela star system...yes, that would be the right direction...

So, Captain, if you say it's true, how do you explain that huge, alien starship you're flying and why are you here? What do you want from us?

C: We have returned from Earth to give you the technological secrets of the Precursors, and to help you fight the Hierarchy.

SBC: Ahh...fight the Ur-Quan! Win back our freedom! I remember having such thoughts myself...once, a long time ago. But that was in the first years after the defeat, when it was terrifying to look up and see the bloody glow of the pulsating slave shield overhead. Through day and night we gazed up at that impenetrable wall as though the sheer power of our hatred would pull it down. But over the years, I spent so much of my time struggling down on the surface under the shield and then later up here, trying to keep this station alive, that I'd forgotten what it means to be hate our Ur-Quan masters!

And now, here you are, in an alien ship of unknown power, offering me your assistance to fight against the Hierarchy again, after all these years. Captain, your offer is intriguing. It's tempting to think with your advanced Precursor technology, we can somehow crack Earth's slave shield and reassemble the Alliance to attack the Hierarchy, and THIS time win the damn war!

But...consider the consequences if we should fail. The Ur-Quan won't just punish us here on the station. They will exact a gruesome retribution on the surface below as well. Before I can commit this station to helping you attack the Ur-Quan and accepting the risk of annihilation if we are defeated, I have to make sure that you and your ship have what it takes to oppose the Hierarchy.

I'll make you a deal. If you can eliminate the alien base on the moon, and get rid of that threat, at least, I will seriously consider your offer.

C: What details can you give us about the base on the moon?

SBC: After the Ur-Quan erected the slave shield around Earth, and established this space station, they decided to leave a contingent of combat ships close to the Earth to keep watch on our planet and confirm that we were obeying the Ur-Quan slave laws. I'm certain they're still out there on the surface of the moon because we can pick up a constant stream of alien broadcasts.

C: We shall go now and neutralize the base.

SBC: Be careful, Captain. There are probably a dozen Spathi Eluders and Ilwrath Avengers down there on the lunar surface. I don't know why they haven't come after you yet, but when they do you'd better have your weapons armed and your thrusters burning hot.

The moon is apparently a pretty tame place, but a tame place means shit for minerals. Those green dots are biologicals, but as you'll soon see, "biological" is a fairly loose term.

You can't really see it, but there's also an energy blip in there.

Here's a shot of me using the lander's little pew pew gun to shoot the shit out of that roving death tank. If you're new to the game, this is neither the Spathi Eluder or Ilwrath Avenger that the Commander was alluding to. You'll see examples of both soon enough.

So after I rocked the shit out of these guys, I made my way to the energy site (collecting minerals along the way), and discovered...

--Report from Surface--

We have discovered an alien base and have explored its interior. The installation must have been abandoned many years ago, but great care has been taken to make it appear active. Life support systems are functioning, fusion generators are at full output, and robot construction vehicles have been programmed to roam the lunar surface, bulldozing moondust into random piles.

In addition, we have found the installation's hyperwave locked in transmit mode, endlessly playing the same recording. Although we cannot translate the language, our xenotech, Ensign Rigby, believes the message is some kind of alert or mayday broadcast.

The base is filled with useful materials and equipment, we will scavenge as much as we can and bring it onboard immediately.

We head back to the Starbase...

SBC: Have you dealt with the base yet?

C: We found the base, but it was abandoned years ago.

SBC: I'll be darned! All these years we've been listening to their incoherent broadcasts, and we never even guessed.

Captain, listen closely! Long range sensors show a ship closing on this station, fast! Our computer identifies it as an Ilwrath, Avenger-class. I think you've got a fight on your hands, Captain. Your best bet is to wait until you have point bl-nk r-nge...

...C-pt-in! It's ja-min- ou- s-gn-l!

Ilwrath (Ilw): By the fetid breath of the dark twin, Kazon! A Hu-Man in an alien fascinating! When I intercepted that Ur-Quan drone, and I learned that an unidentified starship had approached Earth, I never expected to find such a remarkable vehicle in the hands of a Hu-Man. Hu-mans are prey animals - weak and helpless - but here is a Hu-Man in an armed starship! And therefore in direct violation of the oath of fealty. I am sure our masters, the Ur-Quan, will punish Earth most severely for this treachery when I present them with the twisted wreckage of your ship and your many charred corpses.
C: It will be a pleasure blasting your ugly face out of the stars.
Ilw: I have no fear of you, feeble mammal. Though my ship lacks a functioning cloaking device, and many of our crew are already dead, my gods, Dogar the Black and Kazon the Unseen, have personally confided to me that they despise you Hu-Mans, and that they will help us to kill you all!

Selecting the Earthling Cruiser, because it's better for this fight than your capital ship. The Earthling Cruiser's primary weapon are homing missiles, with excellent range, speed, and homing capabilities. Their secondary are point defense lasers that kinda suck because they're a huge battery drain, but I guess they do their job. Just don't rely on them for damage. The ship is also slow as hell, but can turn on a dime. Its recharge rate kinda sucks too.

The Ilwrath Avenger is a much better ship. It's strictly close range, VERY close range, but as the Ilwrath says, it can cloak, which is pretty awesome. Or it can normally cloak, if this fight weren't gimped. Average speed and above average turning rate and recharge make it a pretty deadly ship. It also looks fucking cool and makes a neat noise when it breathes fire.

Normally, the Avenger should win, but it's gimped, so we send two of our rockets, which uses up our entire battery, but takes out the Avenger

Back to the base...
SBC: What a beautiful sight, Captain! I haven't seen an Avenger blown away like that since the Battle in Draco. I guess you've shown that you can handle yourself in battle, Captain, so my last reservation about helping you has dissolved. I will commit the station to helping free Earth and defeat the Ur-Quan. We may get our atoms rearranged in the process, but by God, Captain, we're going to try!

So, the obvious first step is to get your precursor equipment and software over here so that we can make it work with our ship repair fabricators. But then what, Captain?

C: We will slowly build our strength, unify an allied starfleet, and bring the Ur-Quan to their knee-equivalents.

SBC: A sensible plan, Captain, let's get to work. By the way, Captain, I think we need a new name for this new alliance we're going to forge. And since it was your idea, I think it's only fair that you get the honor of naming it. So, what will it be?

C: The New Alliance of Free Stars!

SBC: Okay, that sounds pretty inspiring. So be it - The New Alliance of Free Stars!

Now, Captain, I expect the configuration process for the starbase to take at least 2 weeks, so let's get to work...

This update's getting long, so I guess I'm just gonna stop here. Do you guys care about the other options in the dialogues, because I'm just picking the most diplomatic ones. I'm not sure if it actually matters in the end, but I'm going for Lawful Good style here just in case.

The next update will be incredibly, incredibly wordy.