Star Control II 3DO


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Star Control II takes place in the mid-22nd century, 20 years after the conclusion of an interstellar war in which Earth and its allies were defeated and enslaved by the Ur-Quan Hierarchy. The final hope of mankind lies with the survivors of a secret mission stranded on a little-known planet during the last days of the war who avoided being locked beneath the Ur-Quan slave shields. After discovering technology of an ancient race known as the Precursors, they build a new starship and, under your leadership, leave the planet to investigate post-war conditions and, hopefully, free the races enslaved by the Ur-Quan.

Combining elements of strategy, action and adventure, the game spans a universe of 500 star systems, more than 3,000 planets and 21 races. The main storyline revolves around a battle for supremacy between two factions of the Ur-Quan. The Kohr-Ah wish to exterminate all other sentient beings while the Kzer-Za believe enslavement or all other races will prevent any threats to the Ur-Quan.

Success relies on a mix of skills including creation of alliances with a number of alien races (performing side quests for them), collecting mineral resources to build a combat fleet, trading captured alien life forms for advanced technology and information and winning battles. Interaction with aliens is based on selective response dialogue. Effective conversational skill results in new alliances, acquisition of useful devices and additional side quests while diplomatic errors, though rarely fatal, can impede progress significantly.

Action is conducted via a sub-game known as Super-Melee, a direct descendant of the action game Spacewar, with only one ship from each side involved in the battle at any given time, regardless of the relative sizes of the fleets involved. Each race has its own ship design, equipped with a unique weapon and special power ranging from the Earthling Cruiser's point-defense laser and the Orz flying space marines to the Druuge Torch ability to restore its ship energy batteries by burning its own crewmembers.

Combat takes place in a wrapping area of space, which may contain a planet and its gravitational field. When one of the combatants' ships is destroyed or flees, another replaces it until all ships on one side have been eliminated. If the flagship escapes, the entire fleet leaves the battlefield but the game ends if it is destroyed. Super-Melee can also be played as a stand-alone game where additional ships become available and teams can include any combination of ships without regard for the main game's political alignments. Two players can engage in battle by sharing the keyboard.



In the last phase of the war between the Alliance of Free Stars and the Hierarchy of Battle Thralls, the Tobermoon, an Earthling ship, discovered an ancient Precursor subterranean installation in a cave on the surface of an uninhabited planet in the Vela star system. The Alliance hastily sent a secret scientific mission to study the relics, but a massive Hierarchy's offensive forced the Alliance fleets to retreat beyond Vela; the mission commander, Captain Burton, decided to go into hiding on the planet and sent back the Tobermoon, her only starship, asking for help. Though the Ur-Quan forces didn't find the Earthlings during their sweep of the system, relief never arrived. Years later, with the help of a genius child born on the planet, the colonists activated the Precursor machinery and found out that it was programmed to build a starship. Using the limited store of raw materials available in the planet, in ten years the Precursor factory built a (barely) functional ship, which could be piloted only by the now grown genius child, who alone could interact with the Precursor central computer. In the first test flight, it was discovered that the ship Burton had sent for help had been severely damaged by the Ur-Quan and was orbiting unpowered in the outer solar system: the Alliance had never known of the mission's discoveries. The colonists decided to fix the recovered ship, train new crew members for both the Precursor ship and the Tobermoon and send a mission back to Earth, eager to know how the war had ended. Shortly before reaching Sol the little fleet was attacked by an unknown ship; Captain Burton, commanding the Earthling ship, intercepted the alien ship before it could damage the defenseless Precursor starship, but was killed in the short fight, leaving the genius young man in command.
The player begins the game as a commander of the Precursor starship, who returns to Earth to find it enslaved by the Ur-Quan. It is discovered that the rest of the humans' allies in the war against the Ur-Quan have either been eradicated, put under a slave shield, or put into service as Ur-Quan battle thralls. As the player progresses, it is revealed that the Ur-Quan are fighting an internecine war with the Kohr-Ah, a subspecies of Ur-Quan who believes in eradicating all life in the galaxy, as opposed to enslaving it. The winner of this war gains access to Sa-Matra, a Precursor starship with unparalleled power. The player eventually destroys the Sa-Matra and escapes at the last moment, unconscious. When the player awakes, he finds that the enslaved Earth is free again. At the end of the game, it is revealed that this is all a retelling from the player to his grandchildren.


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