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

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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 » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:23 pm

Death 999 wrote:The hypothetical pools of molten metal tagged as a location :D
Yeah, I had a lot of fun with stuff like that when I would go back though it (multiple times), checking for anything I missed! ;)
“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 krulle » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:56 am

Indeed. Very well done.

Edit: yes, I can back off.
Last edited by krulle on Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Death 999 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 12:17 pm

Can you back off? I like his exposition of his reasoning better than your exposition of his possible reasoning.

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

Post by Tormuse » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:48 pm

Quasispatial wrote:Question: Is there a summary? That's quite a... substantial amount of text you've got there. I might read through it if I get the time, but I don't really have a sufficient quantity of it right now.
I just skimmed it; all the coloured stuff is in-game dialogue, so if you've played the game before, you're not missing much by skipping it.
Quasispatial wrote: Also,
Did you actually get a program to check through it, or have you been doing all this by hand? Kudos for your effort if it's the former, kudos for neat programming if it's the latter.
You mixed up the words former and latter. [/OCD]
Death 999 wrote:The hypothetical pools of molten metal tagged as a location :D
Or the "Squishy Bone-bag Hu-man" tagged as an alliance member. :D (or any of the other of the Ilwrath's descriptions)

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

Post by Quasispatial » Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:56 pm

Well actually, if you have a dialogue database it wouldn't be exceedingly difficult to program something like that. Albeit the result wouldn't be perfect, but here's how I'd do it.

1:Locations, tag anything which is coordinates or which is of either the form 'the [not race/alliance/faction/device name]' or preceded by something like 'at' or some other locational modifier.
2/3:Alliance and non-hierarchy, just need to have a list of the races, ships et cetera in question and colour anything which contains any of those. Same with the hierarchy races, 'cept different colour.
4: Umgah references would be... a tad bit more difficult. There's not really any specific, Umgah-unique statements save for their race name and 'Har Har Har', so the algorithm would fail here, I reckon, missing a lot of important stuff or colouring way too much.
5: Most Ilwrath dialogue seems to be directed in one religious way or another, so just colour any sentences where two words which start with a capital letter but aren't separated by punctuation exist in direct sequence to one another, excepting if either word is entirely in caps to avoid false positives from races like the VUX. Looking for keywords like 'twins', 'darkness', 'evil', 'Dogar', 'Kazon', 'worship' et cetera could help sort some of the babble.
6: ...It's probably best we shut down the program now before it starts to get... ideas.

Right. Sorry. Programmer in me got ideas there.
Tormuse wrote:You mixed up the words former and latter. [/OCD]
Whoops. Editing that now.
"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 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:22 pm

krulle wrote:Indeed. Very well done.

Edit: yes, I can back off.
Death 999 wrote:Can you back off? I like his exposition of his reasoning better than your exposition of his possible reasoning.
I’m going to be frank and honest here krulle. I want your input, I like your input, and I encourage your input, but here recently the anticipation of your input sometimes gives me pause. In fact, (again, just being honest), I’ve found myself waiting while letting your response posts go through what I like to call a “Death filter”, and I think we all know what I’m inferring. Death 999 made his response, voicing his opinion, but didn’t make any changes, assuming because there were no specific discrepancies of spoilery, and thereafter I managed to read your post before you edited it.

This being the case having read it already, let me just project the point I believe Death is trying to make. Whenever you start pointing at one dot and casually bring up its obvious counter connector, you’re in no position to draw any conclusions, simply because you already have the solution, so you may be clarifying something that is still somewhat of a mystery to me, and this could inadvertently interfere with my potential new discovery. Therefore, even when you’re trying to be vague in dropping a few hints, the end result is it starts coming across like scattering numerous breadcrumbs all throughout space, and then my mind gets tugged, and I think the mind-tugging effect is what we’d like to diminish.

And speaking of minds, yours is fascinating, and I implore you to continue with your interactions, but let’s just say that you exhibit a certain “Woody Woodpecker” quality at times, and this side of your personality is prone to pushing the envelope as to what’s appropriate to contribute.

Image
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“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 The Troglodyte » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:23 pm

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Captain’s Log - Nov 5, 2157 – Epsilon Volantis - Yellow Alert

I brought up the time portal records and used it to place us back in Procyon the last time we were there, but I had forgotten that our very last time out was when we had encountered the massive fleet of Ilwrath Avengers, so we were immediately confronted by them, but I did as before and used the emergency warp-out to escape.

Then, after we were at a safe distance we activated the Umgah ’Caster, but… all it did was make a bunch of fart noises. We returned to the planet and escaped pursuit and tried again… same results. We went to the orbital platform… same report from the away team and again, more flatulence from the ’Caster. We left range of the 2nd planet and tried out in full system view… nothing but raspberry tarts.

Then I began to grow a little paranoid, contemplating that maybe since we had already contacted the Ilwrath, then maybe they suspected we were trying to fool them and weren’t falling for it, so I used the time portal again, but this time I went back to when we had first entered the system but before making it to Procyon II and meeting up with loads of spiders. We sounded the Umgah ’Caster again… Squish, squish. We even went to each and every planet but found nothing, not even any Ilwrath ships in the vicinity.

I paced the bridge back and forth, thinking to myself, and I started wondering that since there weren’t any of the normal Ilwrath squadrons roaming around the system, then maybe there aren’t any legitimate targets to receive our transmissions, and the large mass of Avengers circling Procyon II could be running on radio silence or something, since they are sitting in the web they’ve spun, waiting for an unsuspecting fly which is us… except that we ARE suspecting… (and we’re not flies.)

Undeterred, I ordered us to leave the system and reenter, hoping in anticipation that there would be some Ilwrath out patrolling, perhaps a few strays from the Procyon II armada, but no dice. We tried a few more times by leaving and returning to the system, but with each additional attempt, some Ilwrath outside of the system started noticing our frequent reoccurring HyperSpace signature, and patrol groups began approaching from all sides.

We circled around Procyon for a few days, gathering the Ilwrath bogeys until they were all clumped together, and then after leading them a fair way away from Procyon, we headed back for a few more attempts at finding any Ilwrath on long-range sensors when we reentered the system, but alas, there were none and the ’Caster kept right on farting.

Unfortunately, one of the times when we had reentered we allowed the Avenger cluster to get too close, so when we ventured back into HyperSpace, we were met by an overwhelmingly large mass of Ilwrath ships. Yikes!

Image

Retreat was impossible, but the Arilou were resilient. We kept sending in the Skiffs to handle each patrol group, and they only suffered minor casualties and the only thing we ever had time for between battles were crew replacements (as long as we hustled!), but each time the battle was over, we never had enough time to form our HyperSpace warp bubble and get out of range from the next encounter, and it became obvious (especially with more Ilwrath reinforcements arriving) that attrition was eventually going to catch up with us, so I pressed the magic time machine button.

Then I opted for a different approach: If the Ilwrath at Procyon weren’t going to be cooperative, then maybe others in a different system could be more easily inclined to hear our ’Caster’s call, so we headed downspin and entered the Epsilon Volantis System.

Image

Bingo! There were several Ilwrath patrols on long-range sensors, but they hadn’t detected us yet, so we activated the Umgah ’Caster. Woooooooooooo!!! The high-pitch shrill coming from the specialized artifact was a delight to my ears, and it was immediately followed by the appearance of the Ilwrath on our screens.

However, even though my 1st Officer had quickly brought me a big spider monster suit to wear (from the Halloween costume supply closet down in Cargo Bay 1) to fool them into actually believing I was either Dogar or Kazon (he was trying on a separate outfit, by the way) it became swiftly apparent that our ’Caster had tapped into their communications and accessed their viewscreen, but only from our one-way vantage point.

The captain of their ship was clearly flabbergasted and couldn’t believe his ears (or leg hairs, whichever properly applies to their anatomy) but then suddenly concluded that we had to be Dogar and Kazon, since he always keeps the dial on channel 44. He proclaimed over and over how unworthy he was and begged for us to seek out the Ilwrath leaders at their homeworld… and that’s exactly what I intend to do!

Image

On a separate note on news elsewhere in the galactic region, the Mycon are currently getting their frilled blue-glowing keisters kicked in, and the front section of the Pkunk flock is arriving at Gamma Krueger.

We will set course for Alpha Tauri. Captain out.
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“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 The Troglodyte » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:05 pm

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Captain’s Log - Nov 16, 2157 - Alpha Tauri - Yellow Alert

We’ve spent the last 11 days travelling in HyperSpace heading towards the Taurus Constellation on auto-pilot, but our helmsman had to take over the controls and steer us clear of the cluster of ships as we moved past the Olber Constellation that had converged on us while we were still at Procyon when we were trying to find some stray Ilwrath ships on which to use the ’Caster.

Once we made it past Boötes, the Avenger ships that lagged behind approached the edge of their sphere of influence and dropped their pursuit, and it made me wonder why the Ilwrath’s home star would be so far removed from their SOI, but then I recalled that the Ilwrath were sent down to attack the Pkunk by the Umgah’s heinous trickery, so they probably sent their main fleet to embark on this vicious onslaught of birds that are going extinct faster than dodos!

We have now just arrived on the outskirts of the Alpha Tauri System, and it is the centrally located green dwarf star of the 5-star grouping of Taurus (which means “the Bull” in Latin) but the Ilwrath regard this star as being denoted as the “Eye of Dogar”. This system also has 5 planets, where all but the 2nd planet is currently being occupied by Ilwrath patrol groups:

Planet 1 - Medium Green (temperate zone) (1 Ilwrath)
Planet 2 - Small Yellow (cold zone begins)
Planet 3 - White Gas Giant (1-2 Ilwrath?)
Planet 4 - Green Gas Giant (1 Ilwrath)
Planet 5 - Red Gas Giant (1 Ilwrath)

Image

We placed a time portal and began scanning the system while monitoring the Ilwrath’s movements as they circled their respective planets. No sooner than we had finished up with our system-wide preliminary long-range scans than another Ilwrath contingent emerged from one of the gas giants and flew towards the innermost planet, whereas it disappeared from our sensors as it reached a closer distance. I doubt their home would be on a moon like the Spathi had there for a while, and the 2nd planet doesn’t seem like a likely contender, so that first world must be the location of the Ilwrath homeworld!

Just as was the case in Epsilon Volantis, as soon as we sounded the ’Caster, the scary-looking arachnids were on the screen, but unaware of our presence, thinking that the broadcast we were transmitting was coming directly from their gods, Dogar and Kazon… Well, come to think of it, I’m only assuming they can still be classified as arachnids as opposed to decapods, considering they have 10 legs instead of 8 (even though on the battle screen window it seems like they only have 5… and are black instead of red for some peculiar reason), but the 8 total in question is not technically an indicative prerequisite for something being an arachnid; that term actually comes from the Greek word ἀράχνη (aráchnē), and is attributed to the weaver Arachne who was turned into a spider, so I suppose “spider-looking” is reason enough to still call them arachnids, not that it really matters that much right now, so I don’t really know why I even brought it up in the first place.

Anyway, Greek mythology stuff aside for the moment, the Ilwrath were all bowing down towards the emanations in a prostrated position, asking in a lowered, respectful and humble tone what they could do for their gods. I paused, looking around in confusion for a few moments, and with a cutthroat gesture I ordered the communications officer to mute the transmission momentarily.

The channel was silent but still on for listening purposes, and we could all hear the Ilwrath leaders and such softly yet persistently groveling in a sprawling fashion with low, barely heard groans of reverence, as if they were chanting a shared prayer. I asked for recommendations of how we should respond to the Ilwrath, and we began to brainstorm, and from the present indication of the Ilwrath’s contentment in their recumbent state, it was clear we could take our time if we wanted.

Some suggested that we tell them to continue to worship us, and others said we should play some tricks on them and see how they’d respond, but the more level-headed officers insisted that we somehow get them to move away from Procyon… but how? We couldn’t just say, “Your gods Dogar and Kazon demand you move away from the slave-shielded world of the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm because… uh, well… because we said so, that’s why! Obey us!” My first officer recommended that we tell them to seek out new prey, and in that way we could accomplish the goal of getting the Ilwrath to vacate Procyon II, while simultaneously ceasing their hostilities towards the Pkunk, essentially killing two birds with one stone! Er… I mean, kill one bird and save another with one stone!

Unfortunately, before we could suggest an appropriate race for them to target, such as the Ur-Quan or better yet, the Kohr-Ah -- the Ilwrath contemplated the notion and took it upon themselves to decide to travel towards Draconis and kill every Thraddash they can find! Yikes as well as ooops! Yeah, this is probably bad. I will not take part possibly in the genocidal destruction of another race, even if they are reported to be part of the Ur-Quan Hierarchy. There must be another way! I know I can revert things back to the way before, but for now, what’s done is done, and there is still much more we can learn, so we continued to examine our options.

In a moment of weakness (along with the constant pestering of my bridge crew) I instructed the Ilwrath that they would be doing things differently from now on, and I was thinking something along the line of them being nicer to folks and making contributions to charitable organizations, going door-to-door selling cookies and other mutually beneficial things along those line, but some of my officers had other ideas…

Before I knew what had happened, the Ilwrath had replaced many of their words for others, substituting the word ‘worship’ with ‘warship’, and ‘we’ with ‘dwe’, and ‘you’ with ‘youbuu’, and now they no longer call themselves the Ilwrath, but rather the Dill-Rats:

Image

However, as the conversation continued, Lieutenant Thompson became irritated when they immediately changed back to saying ‘we’ and ‘you’, and not ‘dwe’ and ‘youbuu’, along with the other newly formed stand-in terms. Commy, the comm. officer, explained that Ilwrath don’t speak our language or even anything close to it. In fact, their language may not even have an actual alphabet, but is more about sending audible sounds through clicking their mandibles and making slurry, screechy, whistling-like sounds with other mouth parts together to transmit waves that can be picked up, or listened to, via their leg cilia.

Therefore, asking them to substitute the word ‘warship’ for ‘worship’ merely makes it a homonym of the former word in their vocabulary, or whatever the closest equivalent phrasing is in their vernacular, or adding an additional specific clicking sound or something as a prefix in ‘we’ or suffix in ‘you’. So, it’s not as if they are actually saying the word ‘youbuu’, even though I must admit that it does sound funny coming over our speakers. Hence, the Precursor translation computer re-analyzes their speech and replaces their word being said as ‘dwe’ to become ‘we’ for our translation, since we don’t use the word ‘dwe’ or ‘youbuu’ in common speech.

“Basically,” our comm. officer continued, “It would be more like singing an old church hymn, but replacing the word ‘worship’ with ‘battle cruiser’ or something like that.” Commy then said she could always fill in the dialogue manually, but the Lieutenant was thoroughly perturbed by this point.

But then Thompson persisted, “Ok, then what about ‘Dill-Rats’? Explain that!”… “Well, their name Ilwrath would become substituted with whatever comes closest to describing a small, furry animal sprinkled with an herbal seasoning!”… “Yeah, and they probably like that!”

We have ended communications and will rethink our current situation, but I’ve already implemented and added a time portal entry point, so we’ll set a course for the innermost planet to see what else we can learn. This might be a mistake; I hope I don’t regret this. Captain out.
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“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 Tormuse » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:59 pm

Regarding the Ilwrath's appearance, it could simply be that they are black on top and their underside is red. As for the lack of limbs in combat I don't know how much of the Ilwrath's dialogue you've gone through but I seem to recall talk of religious rituals that involve the grinding away of appendages. Maybe it's a required ritual for becoming a helmsman (helmspider?) of a ship.

As for the whole Thraddash thing, I can't help thinking it would be all the more fitting to send the Ilwrath after the Umgah; give them a taste of their own medicine so to speak. (Although, now that I think about it, the Umgah might be able to use the same technique to send them away again)

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

Post by Draxas » Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:07 pm

The Troglodyte wrote:Unfortunately, before we could suggest an appropriate race for them to target, such as the Ur-Quan or better yet, the Kohr-Ah -- the Ilwrath contemplated the notion and took it upon themselves to decide to travel towards Draconis and kill every Thraddash they can find! Yikes as well as ooops! Yeah, this is probably bad. I will not take part possibly in the genocidal destruction of another race, even if they are reported to be part of the Ur-Quan Hierarchy. There must be another way! I know I can revert things back to the way before, but for now, what’s done is done, and there is still much more we can learn, so we continued to examine our options.
Spoken like someone who well and truly has never met the Thraddash. Just you wait. ;)-smf
We have ended communications and will rethink our current situation, but I’ve already implemented and added a time portal entry point, so we’ll set a course for the innermost planet to see what else we can learn. This might be a mistake; I hope I don’t regret this.
It's the Ilwrath homeworld. How bad could it possibly be?

...Whatever just came to your mind, it's definitely worse.

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