The Let's Play Archive

Star Control 2

by GrandpaPants

Part 9

Well, Spathiwa was closest, so let's go there and see what the hell happened to those lovable cowards.

What the hell? Did the Ur-Quan get to them? Did they abandon their ritual combat to show an example of what happens to traitors?

We take a lander to the moon and see:

Captain, this is Lieutenant Robinson, sir. We have located an alien artifact down here. Perhaps more importantly, we have found something which I think may explain what happened to the Spathi...and I don't think you are going to like it. We were investigating a large blue machine when officer Talbot discovered a message glued to the side of the device. Sir, it's a message from the Spathi High Council. I'll read it to you.

Dear Hunams,

How are you? We are fine, however can we thank you for letting us study your planet Earth's slave shield?

Admittedly, it took us some time to replicate the technology ourselves, but we are simply delighted with the results!

Yessiree, we sure love the idea of putting an impenetrable shield around our planet! Now all those evil monsters that were just about to attack won't be able to eat us - thanks!

I guess this means we won't be able to send you any more starship captains - sorry! Well, they want to turn on the shield now, so we've got to get going. I'm sure we'll never ever talk with you again, so goodbye and thanks again!

Your friends,
The Spathi Ruling Council

P.S. This machine is the super powerful hyperwave caster that the Umgah used to trick us into believing that the "Grand Master Planet Eaters" were coming to destroy Spathiwa. We thought maybe you'd like to have it.

Well, that sucks. So no more Eluders for the REST OF THE GAME and these three bastards are stuck with us until forever. It must kinda suck for them that they're stranded out here with genocidal...whatever the Kohr-Ah are and extradimensional Lovecraftian retro fish. Also, the Umgah Caster lets you summon a Melnorme in hyperspace. It's pretty handy if you want to upgrade your stuff right then and there, or run out of fuel.

Now onto to the Zoq-Fot-Pik!

I got a bit lax and forgot to take pictures of the fact that when I entered their homeworld, the red alert sound effect came on and I had to kill a Kohr-Ah. No new dialogue there, just a load of ass-kicking by Fwiffo's posse.

Spathi vs. Kohr-Ah, with grateful Zoq-Fot-Pik.

Zoq (Green): Our Savior! Our Savior! You have rescued us from certain destruction!

Pik (Blue): Howee-Baby! That was a close one!

Z: The black ship appeared in orbit several days ago and began raining down bolts of destructive energy on the surface of our planet!

P: Fortunately...

Z: ...we were able to focus our planetary shields to deflect the energy blasts away from our cities.

P: Unfortunately...

Z: ...large sections of our planet's beautiful wilderness have been annihilated. Entire ecosystems destroyed.

P: Oh! That makes me REALLY mad! I mean, attacking helpless, intelligent, alien species, that's one thing, but toasted our cute little wood Jukes and tree Narfs, that is really low!

Z: If the black ship had been accompanied by others of its kind, we wouldn't have been able to stop the rain of destruction. They would have killed us all.

P: Well, in that case, better those Jukes and Narfs than us, right?

Z: Captain, it is clear that in matters of war, you are more capable than ourselves. With this in mind, we would like to give you our four finest starships and crew. I hope they bring you many victories.

P: Try not to lose them all right away.

Well, uh, like I said, Stingers kinda suck, so I read that as "Thanks for saving us, here's 2800 RU"

I didn't transcribe the various rumormongering lines of conversation, but one of them with the Zoq-Fot-Pik talked about a star that mysterious appears near the Circini system, like here. I think someone else mentions this as well, but I forgot who. Anyway, the star only appears on the 17-20th of a given month, but luckily we get there just in time, enter the hole, and pop out here:

Welcome to Quasispace, the place with the greatest music in the game. It's so peaceful and calming and if the galaxy weren't going to come to an end at some time, I'd stay here forever.

A few words of Quasispace before we go on. First of all, traveling here doesn't take up any fuel, which kicks ass because fuel's expensive. Secondly, all those systems you see on the starmap are portals to Hyperspace at various parts of the universe. Yes, it sucks ass to play this game the first time and having to plot out all the corresponding exits. This was before Gamefaqs, too.

I also like the small touch that Quasispace is colored the opposite color of the spectrum from red. I'm not sure why I find it neat, but it is.

Anyway, we head to that outlying system, because I have a sixth sense about these kinds of things.


Arilou: Ha-ha! Our clever ward has found our nook in *time*! You are the first, brave human! No others have made the trip. This is our homeworld, Falayalaralfali, nestled safe in this Truespace eddy. The portal you passed through is a rarity, a natural point of interdimensional fatigue. We use these phenomena to speed our transit through the realities. We are wondering, have you met with the Umgah recently? We entrusted an injured Talking Pet into their care, and we were curious about its progress.

Captain: You sound as if you know me. Have we met?

A: I forget myself. Of course you don't know me. You are from Unzervalt, not Earth. We are, however, how shall I say, related.

It has been many of your years since I have been to our planet Earth. We are known among your kind by many names...some of them flattering, some of them not. The one we use most often was given to us by the children of the Celts. A wonderful culture! They called us the Arilou, the Arilou Lalee'lay.

More recently, we were part of the Alliance of Free Stars, along with your kind, until we decided to return to our own, oh, how would you say...reality, when it became clear that your people would be safe under the Ur-Quan slave shield.

C: I'll be. It's the Arilou. Why the hell did you run out on the Alliance of Free Stars? What happened?

A: You're annoyed. How interesting. It has been so long since dealt with Humans. I had forgotten what it was like. Now, let's see, how shall I appease you? Yes, if I remember, an honest answer would help.

We didn't exactly "run out" on the Alliance. We chose to leave when there was no longer a reason to stay. You human seemed safe enough under the Ur-Quan slave shield. In fact, we rathed liked the idea and wished we had thought of it ourselves.

For your safety, of course.

C: So what DID happen at the end of the war?

A: Forgive us if we forget the importance you attach to such events as this. Our...context, is infinitely broader thans yours in scope, both in space and *time*. Nevertheless, to please you I shall try to recall...yes, now I remember. Here is the sequence...

...the Ur-Quan fleets have moved through your solar system and you are defeated, your people make the choice not to fight with and for the Ur-Quan, a shield is cast about your world. Your people are safe. This makes us happy. The Armada departs your star system and moves toward the remaining Alliance members: ourselves, the Syreen, the Yehat and their adopted Shofixti. The Yehat and Shofixti withdraw to Delta Gorno, but they do not permit the Syreen to follow. We are content with the flow of events and leave the area to return here. From our perspective, this sequence of events ends here.

C: Well what about the Ur-Quan? What are they up to?

A: Soon after the Ur-Quan defeated the Yehat and imprisoned the Syreen in Betelgeuse, their siblings arrived to initiate the Doctrinal Conflict. Their battle continues as we speak.

C: What, exactly, have you been doing on Earth?

A: You desire honesty. It is given. We have visited your world for many thousands of years into your species' past. We have changed things...made modifications.

C: What did you change and modify on Earth, AND WHY?!

A: Our motives are multiple, our desires complex. Part of what we do on Earth is for your own protection. There are parasites. Creatures who dwell Beyond. They have names, but you do not know them. They would like to find you, but they are blind to your presence, unless you show yourselves. The Androsynth showed themselves, and something noticed them. There are no more Androsynth now. Only Orz.

C: This sounds creepy. Please go on.

A: No. In a way, ignorance is your armor, your best protection. They cannot see you now. They cannot smell you. Much of our work with your people involved making you invisible, changing your smell. If I tell you more, you will look where you could never look before, and while you are looking you can and will be seen.

You do not want to be seen.

C: You said you had much to give my people. Can you be more specific?

A: As you know, we live in a dimension adjacted to Hyperspace which we call Quasispace. Our ships move between these dimensions through weaknesses in the inter-dimensional fabric. Although many such weaknesses, or Portals, exist which lead from our dimension, Quasispace, to various locations in Hyperspace, there is only one naturally occurring Portal, which will transport a ship from Hyperspace to Quasispace.

We therefore find it convenient to generate our own Portals artificially with focused dimensional fatigue rays. As a sign of our long-standing relationship with your species, we would happily fit your vessel with a Portal spawner of its own, but your ship is so massive, our units would be ineffective. However, we suspect you may find a sufficiently powerful warp pod, the key element in a Portal spawner in the wreck of of the Ur-Quan Dreadnought on the seventh world at Alpha Pavonis. Bring that warp pod here, and we will prepare a Portal spawner for your vessel.

C: You mentioned a Talking Pet. How did you find one?

A: We are an endlessly curious species, and we spend much of our time on, how should I say, reconnaissance missions. During one such trip, we witnessed the crash landing of an Ur-Quan Dreadnought on the surface of Alpha Pavonis VII.

Normally, when an Ur-Quan vessel is disabled, it automatically engages self-annihilation circuits to prevent other species from learning the Ur-Quan's technological secrets. In this case, these circuits must have failed. The Dreadnought did not disintegrate on impact. We landed to explore the wreckage, and were amazed to find a survivor, a Talking Pet!

As you may know, the Ur-Quan use these non-sentient creatures for the task of inter-species translation, a task the Ur-Quan find ultimately demeaning. The Talking Pet was severely injured, and we did what we could for the poor creature, but it grew clear that without superior measures, the Talking Pet would die. We turned to the Umgah, whom we have known for many centuries. Their bioscience skills are far superior to our own. The Umgah promised to do what they could, and let us know how the Pet fared.

We have not heard from the Umgah since. Perhaps if you are traveling through their stars, you can ask them for us.

With that, we say good-bye and head to Alpha Pavonis VII.

As you can see, the world is essentially one giant fireball, and I don't have the anti-fire technology yet. Fire is basically one of the worst disasters in the game, because if you get caught in a fire wave, you can get one shotted to oblivion. So it's basically a pain in the ass to harvest all the biologicals, but how sweet they are.

After farming this planet, we could afford the anti-fire technology, which does us no good because those Melnormes are bastards and don't think we're good for our tab.

Onto the wreckage:
Captain, we have located the wreck of an Ur-Quan Dreadnought.

The fact that there is anything but a hole in the ground indicates that the vehicle had some engine power left to soften its crash.

Most of the dreadnought is just so much alien junk. We have made holos of everything, but I don't think it will be much use to anyone but those egghead xenotechs back at the base.

We have found one piece of equipment which is relatively intact. It is a huge hyperspace warp pod, the starboard unit, I think. We will bring it aboard.

And back to the Arilou, waiting for half a month this time because Alpha Pavonis was fairly close. Tick tock, tick tock.

While we were waiting, an Arilou came up to us in a patrol ship.
Captain: What are you doing here, in this region of space?

Arilou: We are many places, at many *times*. This place is an easy place, one of the ten easy places. At different times, we explore different easy places. That is our way.

Oh! I can see from the look in your eyes that I have confused you. I am silly. Please disregard my words.

C: What are you exploring for in these "easy places"?

A: We seek to trap *Nnngn*, but they dart and leap. YOU cannot trap *Nnngn*, do not even try. I do not think you can even touch them; you are not quite solid enough.

C: Okay, you trap these nungy things. Then what?

A: Why we let them go, of course! *Nnngn* do not like to be confined! Captain, these things we talk about, they are unimportant to you, they are as dreams. Our words should address your universe, not ours.

C: What exactly IS your connection with Earth and Humans, anyway?

A: You are curious. That is a promising quality. How can I describe our relation to Humans? Never doubt our motives, Captain. Your well-being is of paramount concern to every Arilou. Surely you know, that it was the day after Humanity joined the Alliance of Free Stars that we appeared in the open for the first time. This was no coincidence.

We wanted to protect you. One we saw that you were, well, safe, we decided to tend to other business for a short while. Believe me, Captain, we have known each other for a very long time. You might even say that we knew the first human.

C: We still struggle against the Ur-Quan. Can you help us?

A: With ships and weapons...blood and Too many shipmates were forcibly...discorporated in the last conflict. Our cooperation is not necessary. You are the foucs. However, knowledge transcends reality perimeters, and this we can share with you. An example: to discover the nature of the red probes, seek creatures who inhabit a world with no surface.

Back on the Arilou homeworld:

C: I have obtained the Warp Pod unit from the Ur-Quan wreck.

A: What a surprise! As we have always said, Humans are a MOST resourceful and clever species. We are so proud of you! But don't worry that you shall have to wait. We are prepared, even now our technical personnel are equipping your ship with a custom version of our Portal spawner device. The device is useable only in HyperSpace. Whenever it is activated, the spawner will focus several inter-dimensional fatigue beams adjacent to your vessel, opening a temporary hole into Quasispace! Move quickly through the Portal! After your ship has passed into Quasispace, you can choose any of the nearby Portals, which lead back into Hyperspace, thus saving you transit time. Be keenly aware of this fact! The Spawner requires a great deal of energy to function. We estimate that each time you use the device, it will consume ten of your fuel units.

Back to base. The Commander tells us that the Arilou dropped off three of their Skiff ships. I don't personally like the Skiff because they're one of those ships that require a short range, but are terribly fragile. However, they're ridiculously fast, for better or worse are immune to inertia, and their secondary of a jump teleport (think Asteroids) is terribly annoying. They may have shit for crew, but those crews go a long way when you can't him them worth shit. You practically need to be up close, force them to laser you and drain their batteries, and then take your shots. The computer, of course, has better reflexes than any human.

We tell the Commander to analyze our new devices:
SUBJECT: Quasispace Portal Spawner.

DATA: Device is a hybrid of different alien technologies, including Arilou and Ur-Quan elements. Our tests show that this device temporarily creates a weakness in the fabric between Hyperspace and a different, unidentified dimension. The energy cost for this process is extreme and since the unit's power supply is self-contained, we cannot estimate how long it will remain functional.

SUMMARY: Use of this device will permit a starship to make transit to a different dimension. The hazards and benefits of this process are impossible to gauge without field study.

SUBJECT: Hyperwave Broadcaster - Umgah Design.

DATA: This unit is capable of generating extremely intense Hyperwave transmissions, though it is otherwise similar to our own 'Casters.

SUMMARY: This thing would be great for practical jokes. You could scream "Boo!" from an Oort Cloud and scare the pants, or whatever, off everyone in the system. If you used it in Hyperspace, there's no telling who might hear you and come running.