The Let's Play Archive

Star Control 2

by GrandpaPants

Part 4: Melnorme - Current Events

Here's what our ship looks like as we're leaving the Starbase after we run out our first 3000 or so resource units. I added a couple thrusters, a lander, and a storage bay.

Time to go pillage the solar system!

As you can see, our solar system is a pretty boring place, with a few notable exceptions.

The first is our sister planet, Venus. Note the temperature and weather class, and note what that means when you land. Lightning and fire on a Biblical scale. Just landing on the planet, we lost 3 people immediately.

Fuck Venus, we can always come back to it later.

Pluto shows a blip during the energy scan!

Investigating the energy source caused it to open fire on us, causing us to lose all those brave souls :salute:

!!! Mayday from surface!!!

We have come under fire from an alien vessel we found hiding on the surface of Pluto. Captain! They killed Kowalski, Fritz, Chin, O'Donnell, Luigi, and all three of the Libermann triplets! We have returned fire, but our stunner can't penetrate the ship's hull armor.

We are initating emergency launch procedures.

Fwiffo is to Star Control 2 as Dogmeat is to Fallout 1. If I ever lose Fwiffo, I will reload the game to the previous save just to save him.
Fwiffo (F): Attention big, mean, hostile alien vessel hovering overhead in an obvious attack posture: This is Spathi Captain Fwiffo. I know you are going to torture me, so let's just get this over with right now. The coordinates of my homeworld, Spathiwa, are 241.6, 368.7, and the ultra-secret Spathi Cypher, which is known only by me and several billion other Spathi is "Huffi-Muffi-Guffi."

Sorry about that little mistake with your landing vehicle! I was so startled when it approached my vessel in a threatening manner that my automated defense systems fired on it when it got too close. I hope nobody got hurt!

C: Attention alien vessel: Identify yourself or be destroyed!

F: Of course, of course! As I said, I am Captain Fwiffo of the Spathi voidship StarRunner. Our sensors have tracked your entry into this system, which you are no doubt here to conquer, and while you are certainly welcome to do so, we would be greatly appreciative if you would please just go away and forget this star system ever existed. If you don't, it will greatly complicate our master-slave relationship with the Ur-Quan, who stationed us here to watch over the Earthlings.

C: We understand that sometimes these tragic misunderstandings happen. We grieve, but are not bitter.

F: Whew, thanks! For a minute there, I thought you were going to kill me.

C: What are you doing here on Pluto?

F: About 20 years ago, this region of space was dominated by a loose confederation known as the Alliance of Free Stars, which was composed of the aliens native to these parts who didn't want to be enslaved. They made a valiant effort against the superior Ur-Quan forces, and it even looked like they might miraculously defeat the combined Ur-Quan armada, right up to the point at which the Ur-Quan totally defeat - indeed, annihilated them.

C: So, what ARE you doing here on Pluto?

F: When the Ur-Quan armada entered this system to subjugate formally the Earthlings, the Ur-Quan presented the humans with the standard slave options: join the Hierarchy as combat thralls, and retain some autonomy, including the right to travel through space, or become a "fallow" species and return to pre-atomic savagery on the surface of their homeworld, encased for all time beneath an impenetrable force shield.

The Humans chose the latter option, and so were swiftly imprisoned on the surface of Earth, but the Ur-Quan didn't trust them to obey the chose a small group of Hierarchy combat starships from the Ilwrath and Spathi fleets to creat the so-called Earthguard, and stationed them at a base on Earth's moon.

C: TELL ME what you are doing on Pluto, NOW!

F: Originally, we were stationed on Earth's moon, which made us Spathi feel a bit uneasy, because with each passing day we grew more and more worried about the sneaky Earthlings making a surprise attack, though the Ilwrath kept telling us that was impossible since the Earthlings had no ships or weapons whatsoever.

That made us feel a bit better, but when the Ilwrath left, again we grew fearful, and decided to make a strategic redeployment to Mars. Later on we decided it would be prudent to relocate to Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, the later Saturn's moon, Titan, and finally here to Pluto.

C: What happened to the Ilwrath stationed in this system?

F: The Ilwrath contingent were supposed to be the toughest ridge-crest, er...the most rigid flipper, no...ah yes - the BACKBONE of the Earthguard force; but they departed the system en masse, not long after the last Ur-Quan Dreadnought vanished from this region of space. They claimed to have received a direct order from their Gods of Evil and Darkness, who had grown dissatisfied with the Ilwraths' passivity and wanted them to kill or at least torture someone soon. Personally, I believe they just got bored and went off to have some fun.

C: When do you expect the Ilwrath to return?

F: Well, when they were pushing into Hyperspace 18 years ago, we asked them that very question, and I think they said something to the effect of "Real Soon."

C: What is happening at the base on Luna, then?

F: We decided that if the Earthlings figured out we had abandoned the base on Luna, they would be more likely to try something sneaky. So we rigged up some old service androids and ordered them to drive around on the moon lunar surface in bulldozers, endlessly pushing around the same piles of dirt. In addition, we connected the base's local radio transmitter to an audio Melnorme FunRom called "Winky's Happy Night," hoping that they would think we were still there.

C: What happened to the other Spathi ships?

F: Over the past years, it became necessary to redeploy strategically some of our Earthguard forces to our homeworld in case of a sudden attack by a vicious, unrelenting alien race which we Spathi call The Ultimate Evil!

C: How many crew do you have aboard?

F: Dozens - that is to say, scores and perhaps even hundreds of my brethren stride through the corridors of this specially modified, super-efficient, mass-destruction-oriented starship, which could lay siege to an entire planetary system should we choose to do so, which, fortunately for you, we have decided not to do, today.

C: Hundreds? Come on.

F: I am undone! You are far too clever for a poor Spathi like me, and now I must submit to your superior, alien intellect. I guess I am not revealing any truly important secrets if I tell you that each of my species' Eluder-class Voidships typically hold 30 Spathi crewmen, though at present my vessel, the StarRunner, is not up to full complement due to the needs of my homeworld in their resistance against the Ultimate Evil, and in fact my vessel is somewhat understaffed right now, seeing as how I am the only Spathi on board, which is a bit frightening as I am sure you can understand.

C: The galaxy teems with threatening monsters. Are you happy here - alone and vulnerable?

F: How true, Captain, how true! In truth, just between us, during the past seven years, I have been quite ill at ease, and yet I now find myself enjoying your company, this witty dialogue, and the presence of your huge, powerful, death-dealing starship, which, being my friend, you would certainly feel compelled to use in order to save me from any hostile lifeforms who threatened me with death.

C: Who, or what, is this "Ultimate Evil"?

F: As yet, the Ultimate Evil remains largely unmanifest, and its powers and exact intentions are still a bit obscure, since it lurks just outside the range of even the most sensitive, long range detectors, which we feel gives conclusive evidence as to the Ultimate Evil's nefarious intent.

C: Why are you still here, Captain Fwiffo?

F: Since it was our most powerful and unforgiving masters, the Ur-Quan, who stationed us here, we knew it would be grossly stupid to disobey them completely, but we decided that it would be okay to send just one ship home. We used one of our most ancient and solemn rituals, Puun-Taffy, to pick the lucky ship. Then, some months later, we decided that it wouldn't REALLY hurt if we sent one more ship home, and then later we sent another, and then another...well, you get the idea. Alas, as fate would have it, when the final ritual was performed, I, Fwiffo, was left here alone, for as even the most immature encrustling knows there must always be one Spathi who picks the short Ta Puun stick.

C: Where are the Ur-Quan now?

F: Our masters don't really keep us very well informed about their goings on, so that all we know is that immediately after the subjugation of the last Alliance race, the Yehat, I think, the Ur-Quan gathered their dreadnoughts and departed towards the edge of the galaxy, commanding us to obey the slave laws or face their wrath when they returned.

C: Do you know anything about other alien races?

F: We only know bits and pieces of what happened to each race; for instance, when defeated, the Yehat joined the Hierarchy as combat thralls, while the Syreen chose to be slave shielded on a planet in the BugSquirt star system. No, that's not right - I forget its name, anyway where was I? Oh yes, the Shofixti! They were utterly wiped out in a gigantic "blaze of glory."

C: What do you mean "blaze of glory"? What happened to the Shofixti?

F: The Shofixti were half feral, as you know, having been uplifted by the Yehat just a few decades before the start of the war. Given their habit of detonating those suicidal, so called "Glory Devices" in combat, it came as no particular surprise to me when, upon the arrival of the Ur-Quan primary task force at their homeworld, the Shofixti caused their sun to explode in a colossal supernova, destroying the entire planetary system, and not incidentally dozens of Ur-Quan Dreadnoughts! (Snork-snork-snork!)

C: What about yourself, Fwiffo?

F: Me? You mean me, personally? How nice of you to ask! I was born a poor, green encrustling, the youngest child of a family of 18,487. My male parent had to work hard to support us, very hard, but each of my brothers and sisters and I tried to help out to make ends meet. The female parent was kind and sweet to all of us. Why, she once even called me by NAME; she said, "Fwiffo! Fwiffo darling! Would you please answer the door? I think someone's there." What a treat! A golden memory.

I swiftly matured into a fine example of my species, with my parents assistance, achieved independence. Specifically, they pried me from the doorjamb, and rolled me into the street. Thus prepared, I set out to make my fortune.

I had great dreams in those days, yes, great dreams! I knew that someday I would be vastle rich, wealthy enough to afford a large, well-fortified mansion. Surrounding my mansion would be vast tracts of land, through which I could slide at any time I wished! Of course, one can never be too sure that there aren't monsters hiding just behind the next bush, so I would plant trees to climb at regular, easy to reach intervals. And being a Spathi of the World, I would know that some monsters climb trees, though often not well, so I would have my servants place in each tree a basket of perfect stones - not too heavy, not too light - just the right size for throwing at monsters.

I was thinking about what color the stones would be painted (aqua, mauve, or magenta), when a vegetable cart came careening down the street outside my house and knocked me unconscious. When I awoke, I was aboard the voidship StarRunner, headed for Earth. Apparently I had been out of my head for quite some time after the accident, and with the assistance of some kind strangers, had been relieved of my funds and convinced to join the navy, where I have been unpleasantly employed for the last 25 years.

C: I'm sure you'd feel a lot safer if you were with us. Come on, Fwiffo, join our fleet!

F: Happy days and jubilation! I discard all prejudice and hesitations and accept and celebrate your offer of protection, and your undying commitment to my well-being! I must wax melancholy for just a moment though and make sure you understand that any other Spathi ships we meet at large in the galaxy are not going to be quite so responsive to your friendly gestures as myself, since they bear more heavily the yoke of Ur-Quan enslavement and are also apt to talk themselves out of allying with a totally unknown alien which I, having been left here alone, cannot do.

Welcome me aboard, Captain!

Fwiffo joins us, obviously, and with him comes his Eluder, perhaps my favorite ship model in the game. It's fast and maneuverable, and although its primary kinda sucks (just a quick stream of pellets shot in front, nothing fancy), its BUTT missile secondary more than makes up for it. Although, I do have to say, Spathi vs. Spathi matchups in melee mode suck ass. It's pretty fun to spend a shit ton of time trying and outrun each other.

Well, that's it for the solar system. I buy more thrusters and turning jets and resupply our ship with fuel and crew before making the big dip into the wide expanse of unknown called Hyperspace.