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 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 8:49 pm

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Captain's Log - Jul 10, 2155 - Gamma Centauri, Planet 1, Moon 1

We've entered orbit of the moon, and sensors reveal it to be called a Cyanic World. I'm assuming the common minerals below will be ammonias or other cyanic acids. Some HOCN's are pretty simple, but they can be useful. I've also added the planetary information to the database.

We will send the Lander to the surface to gather the minerals. Zelnick out.

Supplemental:

Of course, cyanoacetalenes…I forgot all about cyanoacetylenes! I should have remembered, considering just the other day, cyanoacetylene was 4 across on my crossword puzzle!

We will set a course for the Alpha Centauri System, the supergiant red star that Commander Hayes said where the Melnorme were waiting for us. Let's not keep them waiting! Captain out.
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Captain's Log - Jul 12, 2155 - Alpha Centauri

We have just arrived on the outskirts of the Alpha Centauri System. Now THIS is a solar system! Wow:

Planet 1 - Medium Green
Planet 2 - Red Gas Giant
Planet 3 - Medium Red
Planet 4 - Blue Gas Giant
Planet 5 - Small Blue
Planet 6 - Small Red
Planet 7 - Yellow Gas Giant
Planet 8 - Medium Red
Planet 9 - Small Red

The closest planet from our position is the yellow gas giant, so we'll head there first. Zelnick out.
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Captain's Log - Jul 14, 2155 - Alpha Centauri

As we approached the yellow giant, short-range sensors have detected what appears to be a Melnorme Trader orbiting the planet. The planet also has two moons: a red and a purple.

We will set an intercept course with the Melnorme. Strictly precautionary, since we have never had any dealings with their race before, we are now going to Yellow Alert. Captain out.
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Captain Log - Jul 15, 2155 - Alpha Centauri, Planet 7

Very peculiar. When we were almost in range to hail them, their ship suddenly flew away. For somebody so eager to meet us, they appear to prefer the "hide and seek" approach, and I guess we're "It". I always hated being "It". Instead of pursuing, which could be misinterpreted as hostile, we changed course and entered the planet's orbit. Big yellow gas giant, nothing to see here folks.

We will set course for the 1st moon. Condition: Green. Zelnick out.
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Captain's Log - Jul 15, 2155 - Alpha Centauri, Planet 7, Moon 1

This Dust World has a high surface temperature (626° C) and class 4 weather. I'm thinking it's probably not worth the visit, but I can't resist.

I'll activate a time portal and send down the Lander anyway. Captain out.

Supplemental:

Yeah, probably not the best decision I've ever made. The second the Lander touched down, it was immediately struck by lightning, and engulfed in lava, and exploded into flames before I could press the emergency liftoff button! Yikes!

I used the time portal and we'll set course for the 2nd moon and try to forget that ever happened. Zelnick out.
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Captain's Log - Jul 16, 2155 - Alpha Centauri, Planet 7, Moon 2

Super-Dense World...grrrr.

We will set a course for the 4th planet. Captain out.
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Captain's Log - Jul 17, 2155 - Alpha Centauri

While on course to the blue gas giant, interplanetary sensors detected the Melnorme ship coming from the direction of the inner planets and enter the blue gas giant's orbit, which is where we're heading. Maybe they'll stick around this time!

We will continue towards the 4th planet. We are now at Yellow Alert. Zelnick 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 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 4:52 pm

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Captain Log - Jul 18, 2155 (Save Game 24) - Alpha Centauri

Right after laying in an intercept course, I placed a time portal and we approached the Melnorme vessel with caution.

We were able to successfully make contact with the Melnorme! Their captain, Master Greenish, of the confidently named ‘Inevitably Successful in All Circumstances’, greeted us and said they looked forward to a good and profitable relationship. They are obviously space merchants and are very mysterious, both of which they admittedly value greatly. They have one, large strange eye and one mouth with lots of teeth, and plump facial distinctions.

I'm still a little uneasy about them, in part because of their speech, a deviously cunning voice which gives their pleasantries and friendly posture an eerie tone surrounding it; almost as if they purposefully emphasize certain words to imply an underlying warning of warranted discretion. Salesmen have always kind of creeped me out a little bit, but these guys take it to another level.

Besides that, what really bothers me though is that they obviously have us at a disadvantage; they have much knowledge about us, our ship, our mission to free Earth, and who knows what else. The promising part about them is that they are not hostile or ill-tempered; they seem to be a friendly, sensible race who say they are relatively new to this region of space. I seriously doubt if we could ever persuade them to become true allies at any point in the near future, but they still seem friendly enough to aid us in our mission, albeit simply for profit and self-interest from their perspective.

They also claim to have much information that would be invaluable to us, and they obtain this information through trade with their many undisclosed sources, using a credit system. If we want for them to share any of this information, as well as fuel or helpful technology they possess, we must earn Credits by providing them with biological data of alien life forms and coordinates for rainbow-looking worlds, whatever those are.

It's quite apparent that when they are about to commence trade, their bridge turns purple. But when I asked why it did indeed change to purple, being curious and seeking verification, they explained that even this is a mysterious secret that would cost us 12 million credits!

I didn't have anything they wanted, so we departed ways. But I’m not done with them yet…not by a long shot. 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 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 9:21 pm

I hope you'll forgive this OOC post; I just wanted to say that I'm enjoying this thread! :D It's great to see a newcomer to the game with such enthusiasm for it; it makes me want to play it again. :)

A couple of tips, if you don't mind: (no spoilers) I don't know if you're aware, but each time you send down a lander, it uses up some of your flagship's fuel. It shows how much whenever you push the "Dispatch" button. (It varies depending on how high the gravity is) I mention this because you said that you made six or seven trips on some of the planets and depending on how valuable the resources are, you might be using more resources than you're getting back! :o Incidentally, this means that super-dense worlds are extra not worth it, since they always have high gravity. :|

Also, I'm curious to know what you think of the in-game voices. I grew up playing the original version of Star Control 2 from the 90's which didn't have voices, so I had to use my imagination about how the aliens sounded. So now, I find it hard to get used to the voice-acting, since none of them sound like they did in my head. :P

One last thing: In my opinion, Commander Hayes gives kind of silly advice about what to put on your ship. Two ion bolt guns? Really? :roll: They fire in a spread, so only one of them is going to hit anyway and having the extra one just drains your batteries faster. If it was me, I'd prefer just one ion bolt gun in the nose and have a dynamo unit to make it recharge faster... or possibly... get rid of all weapons and rely on your escorts and use the resources you saved to get other stuff like extra thrusters, storage bays, or fuel. Again, this is all just my opinion; it really all depends on your playing style.

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

Post by The Troglodyte » Sun Jul 12, 2015 11:42 pm

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Captain’s Log - Supplemental:

After terminating communications, I placed a time portal and activated the previous one, placing us right before we initially met the Melnorme. It’s amazing how seamless the time-travelling capabilities of the Precursor technology handles time travel mechanics with precision, handling issues like causality, time loops, duplicity, and other temporal problems, with the greatest of ease. The only constant is that I alone retain all knowledge of the past (or alternate future) experiences, but I wonder what affect this has on my aging process.

Anyhow, I changed my dialogue approach when the Melnorme hailed us this time, seeing if I could gain any beneficial information by acting more inquisitive right from the start, sending the message that we are wary of them and I was hopeful it would persuade them to be more forthcoming with any relevant material. Instead of gaining any free clues, they explained how their culture is adamant on their unbending position to never give away anything, especially valuable information, for free.

Knowing how important it is to obtain information by almost any means necessary in our effort to fight the Ur-Quan and free Earth, I decided a different approach. Hoping they would tremble in fear and cooperate, I began threatening Captain Greenish, but I quickly learned how the Melnorme don’t intimidate so easily. In response, their bridge turned blue, they gave a stern warning, and locked weapons. I guess it’s safe to say that they went to ‘Blue Alert’! Then the “free” information began to be revealed, but mostly for intimidation purposes.

For example, when I asked why their bridge turned blue, they responded how it allows them to see their weapon consoles much easier. They also informed me about their clients, the Keel-Verezy, who sold them the weapons currently pointing at my ship, and also mentioned another race who are - I mean were - called the Dramya, who had also attempted to gain information by force, and are no longer around, which the Melnorme implied they themselves are the reason for the Dramya’s disappearance.

When it seemed that all of my bully tactics were going to be met with direct opposition, and if I continued this line of communication, things would soon escalate towards conflict, I began to 'back-pedal'. Captain Greenish was perplexed by our sudden change in attitude, and he didn't trust me right away when I used the excuse that we were just testing them. After I reassured him that everything was okay, they disengaged their weapon systems. Looking back on it now, I realize how reasonable the Melnorme actually were during the entire tense ordeal.

I believe there is still more I can learn from the Melnorme, so I will re-enter the same time portal prior to our initial contact once again. Zelnick 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 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:40 pm

Tormuse wrote:I hope you'll forgive this OOC post; I just wanted to say that I'm enjoying this thread! :D It's great to see a newcomer to the game with such enthusiasm for it; it makes me want to play it again. :)

A couple of tips, if you don't mind: (no spoilers) I don't know if you're aware, but each time you send down a lander, it uses up some of your flagship's fuel. It shows how much whenever you push the "Dispatch" button. (It varies depending on how high the gravity is) I mention this because you said that you made six or seven trips on some of the planets and depending on how valuable the resources are, you might be using more resources than you're getting back! :o Incidentally, this means that super-dense worlds are extra not worth it, since they always have high gravity. :|

Also, I'm curious to know what you think of the in-game voices. I grew up playing the original version of Star Control 2 from the 90's which didn't have voices, so I had to use my imagination about how the aliens sounded. So now, I find it hard to get used to the voice-acting, since none of them sound like they did in my head. :P

One last thing: In my opinion, Commander Hayes gives kind of silly advice about what to put on your ship. Two ion bolt guns? Really? :roll: They fire in a spread, so only one of them is going to hit anyway and having the extra one just drains your batteries faster. If it was me, I'd prefer just one ion bolt gun in the nose and have a dynamo unit to make it recharge faster... or possibly... get rid of all weapons and rely on your escorts and use the resources you saved to get other stuff like extra thrusters, storage bays, or fuel. Again, this is all just my opinion; it really all depends on your playing style.
Thank you so much for your comments, compliments, and advice! It's all very much appreciated! And I will also need to go out-of-character for a moment:

I was aware of the the Lander's fuel consumption versus gravity, but thanks for a good reminder; I do tend to forget that sometimes in the moment. Most of the time, however, I'm using the extra trips to avoid crew losses and save my progress before being struck by lightning or an earthquake.

I weighed my options last time at starport, and decided I wasn't ready to build a new ship just yet, and I’m still experimenting so I’ve been wanting to see what the spread fire of the 2 ion-bolts can do, since I've had much difficulty using the Vindicator in battle. I keep thinking that if I put enough firepower on this ship, sooner or later it will actually start living up to its reputation as the supreme awesome powerful ship everybody (including the Melnorme) keeps calling it!

As for the in-game voices, so far the ones I've heard are the Ur-Quan (Drone), Hayes, Ilwrath (Uncloaked), Spathi (Fwiffo), Slylandro, and the Melnorme (Captain Greenish), in that order, and I've enjoyed all of these voices I've heard thus far. Especially Fwiffo! That whole encounter with him was very amusing and entertaining! Both the Ur-quan and Ilwrath sound very sinister and evil; they were both quite intimidating when I heard them for the first time! Commander Hayes' voice reminds me of Buzz Lightyear to some degree, but it gives a really good 'feel' to his character, making his demeanor very trusting and confident. And I'm still trying to figure out the Slylandro and Melnorme, but the Melnorme have a way of talking that keeps me hanging on every word, and I think that's how they prefer it!

In my opinion, so far anyway, the game has done a fine job of presenting likeable friends and villains alike, while still allowing the player's imagination to enjoy the experience without having everything they do forced into the typical linear progression. This is accomplished, while all the while, not taking itself too seriously, which keeps the game enjoyable, always colorful, and light-hearted. And somehow, some way, with some help from some fantastic music I've enjoyed thoroughly as well, it's also managed to capture the romanticism of space exploration. To me, that is its greatest achievement.
“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 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:42 pm

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Captain's Log - Supplemental:

I made a decision before entering the time portal to not take 'No' for an answer this time, no matter the consequences. I felt that a bold, daring approach might just be enough to instill fear in the Melnorme to give us at least some information to avert an actual conflict. In other words, I decided to 'call their bluff'. After I threatened them repeatedly without backing down, I tried my own hand at intimidation by pointing out the magnitude and sheer power of our ship. Once again, the Melnorme demonstrated their strong-willed resolve; Captain Greenish didn't even flinch when he responded that it is only one ship. I challenged their solidarity and inquired if they wished to test their newly acquired weapons in combat. Unfortunately, they were not bluffing, and they engaged us in battle, stating we had given them no choice.

The Vindicator was able to accelerate and turn much more quickly now that it had more maneuverability with the extra engines and jets. I ordered the helm to engage them in a frontal assault, hoping I could disable them and acquire some useful information if they surrendered. I had indeed underestimated the Trader's potential in battle against our large mass of a target. As we closed in, the Melnorme vessel fired its Confusion Ray and helm control went completely haywire, turning the ship in circles as we helplessly watched the Melnorme ship charge up its Power Blaster and repeatedly fire on us, which inflicted much damage to the Vindicator’s hull! As I watched the bridge fall apart as casualty and damage reports began streaming in, I realized the situation was hopeless and activated the previous time portal.

At first, as the Melnorme ship approached, I thought for a moment they were going to open fire. I had forgotten that they had no recollection of the prior events, and this was first contact...well, first contact for everybody but me.

This time I actually learned some valuable information. Instead of negotiating with them, I gave them the 'cold shoulder'. As soon as they hailed us, I'd explain that we couldn't continue the conversation, and terminate communications. Finally, I hit a sensitive spot! They clamored for our attention while expressing a deep desire to open up trade discussions with us. What was most significant is that each time we would depart ways they would point out that if we changed our minds, they could be found at any supergiant star system. Excellent. This means I can find the Melnorme in any of these systems (listed from closest to farthest from our current location):

Alpha Centauri
Zeeman (near Vela)
Alpha Vulpeculae (in Androsynth territory)
Alpha Illuminati (in Spathi space)
Alpha Octantis
Alpha Apodis
Beta Arae
Alpha Eridani
Alpha Aquilae

These locations could be very beneficial in the future, if nothing less, to be used as fuel depots for long voyages, provided I've earned enough Credits to utilize them as such.

Afterward, I made appropriate trade relations and I began to follow the 'Inevitably Successful in All Circumstances' from planet to planet, making contact with them every couple of days, basically to see if they'd ever get annoyed by my persistent pestering, but Captain Greenish was only happy to oblige. He'd greet us heartedly every time, sometimes making a funny comment, which often times eluded to having premonitions of our impending visit. On several occasions, he'd bring up the Keel-Verezy, one time commenting about how the Keel-Verezy were very interested in us, but hadn't made contact for not wanting to frighten us. During a separate encounter, he opened hailing frequencies, exclaiming that our ship had come dangerously close to colliding with a Keel-Verezy ship! We never saw anything, nor did our sensors detect any other ships in the vicinity! Pure craziness.

I’ve made my own assessment of the Melnorme, and I feel that they’ve conducted themselves during these encounters quite admirably; they are a mysterious, yet friendly species who have taken an interest in us and our cause, they also didn’t attack until there was no viable alternative, and they’ve even demonstrated some degree of humor. I’ve concluded that they should be considered potentially useful, as long as it benefits them as well.

After days of dialogue experimentation, I'm now convinced I've learned as much as possible without earning Credits, something I'll be making a concerted effort towards henceforth. I will activate the time portal to return to July 18, just after our first contact with the Melnorme. 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 Draxas » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:30 pm

Hmph, so there is still dialog from the DOS version that is missing. I thought this had been fixed years ago, but apparently not.

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

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:00 am

Draxas wrote:Hmph, so there is still dialog from the DOS version that is missing. I thought this had been fixed years ago, but apparently not.
Is this something I should be concerned with? Is there some important dialogue that I probably would have mentioned had I heard it?

I downloaded this a while back because I wanted to play Star Control 1 again. The download for this game (SC2/UQM) was available for free as well, so I went ahead and downloaded it too, but I hadn't played it, assuming it was similar to its predecessor. It wasn't until recently that I stumbled upon SCDB that I realized its value, and began playing.

I don't want any spoilers, but I also don't want to miss out on any pertinent information. Is there anything I should know that might be missing from my version? If so, is there other stuff that might be missing too?
“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 Maloo Oture » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:15 am

Draxas wrote:Hmph, so there is still dialog from the DOS version that is missing. I thought this had been fixed years ago, but apparently not.
Perhaps The Troglodyte is playing on an older build?

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

Post by Tormuse » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:26 am

Draxas wrote:Hmph, so there is still dialog from the DOS version that is missing. I thought this had been fixed years ago, but apparently not.
I grew up on the DOS version and I don't know what dialogue you're talking about. Nothing seems amiss in Troglodyte's description; is there some joke that I'm missing?

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