About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

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Tormuse
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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Tormuse » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:48 pm

One thing that can be said about fighting Ilwrath ships: They really make you realize just how many of the ships in this game have homing weapons when they suddenly don't work any more. I suddenly feel like compiling a list, so I hope you don't mind me putting it in your thread, Trog. :) (Lifted from Super Melee)

Androsynth Guardian: The bubbles move fairly chaotically, but they move vaguely in the direction of the other ship
Arilou Skiff: Homing laser
Chenjesu Broodhome: Homing DOGIs
Chmmr Avatar: Homing tractor beam
Druuge Mauler: No homing
Earthling Cruiser: Homing missiles and homing point-defence lasers (the Earthlings are screwed if they face the Ilwrath!)
Ilwrath Avenger: At first glance, it looks like they have no homing, but if you decloak by firing, you automatically, instantly turn to face the other ship. (Tested in Super Melee)
Kohr-Ah Marauder: Once released, the spinning blades (slowly) home in
Melnorme Trader: No homing
Mmrnmhrm X-Form: The fast-moving form has homing missiles
Mycon Podship: Homing plasmoids
Orz Nemesis: Homing marines
Pkunk Fury: No homing
Shofixti Scout: No homing
Slylandro Probe: Homing lightning bolts
Spathi Eluder: Homing BUTT missiles
Supox Blade: No homing
Syreen Penetrator: Well, arguably, their ability to steal crew could be considered homing, but it seems to work through the cloak, so I guess it doesn't count?
Thraddash Torch: No homing
Umgah Drone: No homing
Ur-Quan Dreadnought: Homing fighters
Utwig Jugger: No homing
VUX Intruder: Homing limpets
Yehat Terminator: No homing
Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger: No homing

So, the final count is 14 out of 25 ships, or 56% have homing ability of some kind! (And mostly earlier in the alphabet!) :P

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The Troglodyte
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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by The Troglodyte » Fri Dec 22, 2017 3:47 pm

Wow… I didn’t realize how many ships the cloak actually affects. Nice obervations Tormuse! :)

By the way, in regards to the cloaking technology itself, did the Ilwrath develop the cloaking technology on their own, or is this generally believed to have been bestowed upon them by the Ur-Quan? If so, why don’t the Ur-Quan use cloaking devices on their own ships? (or any or all of the Hierarcy ships?)
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Quasispatial » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:12 pm

The Troglodyte wrote:By the way, in regards to the cloaking technology itself, did the Ilwrath develop the cloaking technology on their own, or is this generally believed to have been bestowed upon them by the Ur-Quan?
The Ur-Quan gave it to them. The Ilwrath were very technologically inferior prior to being conquered, and were given technology suited to their style of combat by the Ur-Quan upon their subjugation, allowing them to match the technological level of the other civilizations in the local area, making them useful as battle thralls. So yes, the Ur-Quan gave it to them, and since that's pre-war knowledge, I see no reason not to share it with you.
The Troglodyte wrote:If so, why don’t the Ur-Quan use cloaking devices on their own ships? (or any or all of the Hierarcy ships?)
Well... suffice to say that, as you may have noticed, the normal Ur-Quan modus operandi is not exactly stealthly. They're more for big, imposing fleets than smoke and mirrors. Although I suppose, if the Ur-Quan were using stealth ships that's a very good reason for why you haven't found any.
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by The Troglodyte » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:55 pm

Quasispatial wrote:The Ur-Quan gave it to them.
Not that I don’t believe you or anything, but is there anywhere in the game that this is implicitly stated or this just a summation of evidence? This is the only reference I could find:

CAPTAIN ZELNICK – “How did you get so scr… er, end up like you are?”

ILWRATH – “For Eons We Lived Appendage To Mandible. Then, Many Millennia Ago, We Received The Guidance Of Dogar And Kazon. This Enabled Us To Move Beyond The Simple Existence Of Tranquil Hunter-Gatherers, To Become World-Striding Avatars Of Death And Destruction. Over The Many Years, We Advanced Our Technology -- Always In The Name Of Dogar And Kazon… Always In The Development Of More Sophisticated Tools For Murder. Then, The Gods Gave Us The Means To Go Forth And Commit Even More Glorious Acts! This Was 29 Years Ago, When The Ur-Quan Improved Our Starships And Weapons. The War Against Your Alliance Was Glorious! But Alas, All Good Things Come To An End. You Lost. We Honored The Wishes Of The Soft And Merciful Ur-Quan And Stopped Eating You Hu-Mans. To Continue Our Festive Ceremonies Of Death We Began Employing Our Native Species For Ceremony. Things Seemed To Be Going Well Until We Accidentally Exhausted Our Supply Of All These Life Forms. We Became Distraught And Called To Our Gods For Guidance! Then, Eight Years Ago, Dogar And Kazon Responded To Our Wails Of Dismay By Directing Us To Devour Feathered Bird Beings -- The Pkunk! We Now Penetrate Deeply Into Their Home Space! When We Complete Our Mission Of Genocide… We Are Certain That We Will Once Again Hear From Dogar And Kazon.”

I’m also wondering, what is Zelnick almost about to ask them before he corrects himself? Was he going to ask how they got so “screwed up”? That was the only thing that seemed to fit.

Also, even after using the ’Caster and convincing the Ilwrath to eradicate the Thraddash, this dialogue still persists, which seems strange, considering their last statements about killing Pkunk and patiently waiting to hear from Dogar and Kazon.
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Death 999 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 5:55 pm

From the SC2 manual:
Ilwrath: Before the arrival of the Ur-Quan, these violent, religious insectoids were of little consequence to their neighbors, the Chenjesu and the Mmrnmhrm, because they possessed little in the way of advanced technology or raw resources. However, when the Ur-Quan conquered their species, the spider- ish Ilwrath became dangerous indeed. Now, with modern weapons and drive systems, the Ilwrath revel in their opportunities to deceive and destroy other forms of life, as is required by their twin gods of evil, Dogar and Kazon.
So, I would guess that the Ilwrath made the cloak themselves, though they did not have modern propulsion or weapons. Not sure what's quite so modern about the flamethrower, though I guess the sheer scale would count.

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Quasispatial » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:00 pm

Death 999 wrote:So, I would guess that the Ilwrath made the cloak themselves, though they did not have modern propulsion or weapons.
Huh. I've always interpreted it so that the Ur-Quan "improving" the Ilwrath's ships included adding the cloaking device. The text in the manual would get too lengthy if it went into every little detail, which would be why the cloaking device in particular wouldn't be mentioned. Remember - they posed "little threat", but if they had a cloaking device, they would still have been dangerous through being able to launch sudden, unexpected boarding actions if nothing else - and the Chenjesu surely wouldn't enjoy engaging in melee fights with the Ilwrath, making the race of 'some' concern rather than 'little' concern. Ergo, they did not have a cloaking device, which means that they must have acquired it from elsewhere. That would be the Ur-Quan, at the point of conquering them.

Admittedly there aren't any direct statements for either side; not official ones. Still, I've always thought the cloaking device was a product of Ur-Quan engineering. As it would seem, we have simply drawn different conclusions from the same text.
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Death 999 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:40 pm

'Modern propulsion' could include little things like hyperspace and whatever it is that lets ships fly around planets in seconds. If Ilwrath had ships that were only as fast as our ships today - or within three orders of magnitude of it - , then no amount of cloaking as good as they have in-game would be enough to make them dangerous.

On the other hand, there may be more information on the subject elsewhere which shows that they did get the cloak from the Ur-Quan.

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Quasispatial » Sun Dec 24, 2017 5:39 pm

Possible, yes. You may very well be correct. I do remember reading somewhere that the Ur-Quan gave the Ilwrath "technologies suited to their unique combat style", including the cloak. However, since I cannot remember the source nor, consequently, affirm its trustworthiness, I have refrained from utilizing it in my arguments.

We are, however, getting a bit carried away; perhaps this discussion should be brought to a halt lest we drown out Trog's own progression posts with a too-long discussion about the source of the Cloak of Darkness?
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by The Troglodyte » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:13 pm

Yes, I agree we are edging nearer towards split topic territory, but I find your two compelling different points of view very intriguing (plus I’m also in somewhat of a holiday hiatus) so I can’t help myself from inserting some more contemplations…

Death is right, the Ur-Quan aiding their technology in the form of propulsion and weapons is clearly stated, so for space travel purposes it would make sense that the Ur-Quan may have given them the HyperDrive engines in the same way that the Taalo and the Sentient Milieu uplifted the Ur-Quan’s technology, as inferred by the Melnorme:

“The Ur-Quan evolved on a harsh planet orbiting a star outside this region of space. They were solitary predators, like your praying mantis, Captain, or polar bear, who has a similar limited set of social behaviors, most of which dealt with sex. Since they had to compete for survival against many physically superior species, the Ur-Quan evolved intelligence and tool use, in much the same way as your own species. The Ur-Quan also learned to master their fierce territoriality to build a cooperative planetary culture. When the Ur-Quan were discovered by the Taalo, they had just begun exploring their solar system in crude atomic vehicles. Although the Ur-Quan attacked what they thought to be an invader, the Taalo were patient. They explained the purpose of the Sentient Milieu, and offered the Ur-Quan membership. The Ur-Quan recognized the benefits that such a system provided, and once more conquered the hunting beast within themselves to become cooperative, productive members of the Milieu. This lasted for several thousands of years.”

The creation of Avenger’s weapon systems may take more guesswork to explain, but I feel the cloaking technology may have gone hand-in-hand with the flamethrower weapon, since the Ilwrath’s former technology may have been much simpler such as, for example, unguided rockets or short-range lasers, or seeing the Ilwrath’s disposition, may have even preferred to forego weaponry altogether and board opposing ships to capture the day’s next sacrifice for Dogar and Kazon, focusing their efforts on hand-to-hand (claw-to-claw?) combat like Quasi suggested, since there’s sufficient cause to believe the Ilwrath may be very formidable fighters in these circumstances.

Back to the Ur-Quan, they have somehow retained much of the Milieu’s position of cooperation and affiliated established government (unfortunately from the standpoint of being conquerors) but we have been shown that the Ur-Quan are willing to make appeasements amongst their subjects, as displayed with finding an ideal home planet substitute for the Syreen.

In the same manner, the Ilwrath may have already had a form of cloaking technology, but perhaps it was more like a visual camouflage or something to that effect, and the Ur-Quan, being more scientifically inclined and understanding the Ilwrath’s desire for invisibility, may have enhanced their technology for them, thus perfecting the way the matter concealment device performs, which is now capable of refracting more forms of energy waves on the electromagnetic spectrum, hence making it impervious to sensors or any homing-associated technology (see Tormuse’s list above) instead of just the simple visual context.

The flamethrower would follow suit, since it would be more conventional to use some kind of plasma transference sci-fi gobblety goop apparatus to create enough energy to manifest the cloak itself, and, as is the same on a bird-of-prey or warbird, its power would then be transferred to weapons upon decloaking, which would explain why they must uncloak to fire, and if the plasma is then being expelled as a form of weaponry, it would also help explain how flame puffs can exist in space. Just my theory anyway.

“Necessity is the mother of invention” – Aesop, “The Crow and the Pitcher”; Aesop’s Fables*

*Often credited to Plato, although the original author is actually unknown, so many have used the quote, but my personal favorite is from “The Crow and the Pitcher”, even though tossing pebbles into a pitcher to retrieve water hardly seems like invention.
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Draxas » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:07 am

That more or less sums up what I was going to say, especially in regard to this:
Death 999 wrote:Not sure what's quite so modern about the flamethrower, though I guess the sheer scale would count.
The advanced part, presumably, is the ability to use a flamethrower in a vacuum, which I believe is due to the fact that it is plasma based "fire" as stated... well, somewhere, maybe the SC1 manual? This very well may be something the Ilwrath hadn't figured out before their enslavement.

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