The Ur-Quan and their home world

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Dragon
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The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by Dragon »

I was wondering, what would the Ur-Quan's home world have been like? From the Ultronomicon: "The Ur-Quan evolved on a harsh, hostile world... a world populated by a variety of species physically superior to the Ur-Quan" but that doesn't really say very much.

The Quanies are big so there must have been a lot of energy available to them. This makes me think that whilst it was a harsh environment it was probably quite a pretty environment - rather than barren the planet was probably densely populated by both plants and animals. It looks like they have some sort of carapace which would imply an exoskeleton but they must have some sort of internal support skeleton too. I'm guessing they're fairly far down an alternate evolutionary path, not just giant insects. They're intelligent and must be physically stronger than their thralls (or they'd mutiny) - an earth caterpillar scaled up wouldn't have the musculature to move, let alone fight anything.

So if they've been evolving for a long time in an energetic environment then there is probably also a huge diversity of smaller critters. Maybe these are what the Quanies prey on as there mouth parts don't look like they could deal with anything big. But, they can't be simple insect analogues because an exoskeleton isn't going to help if you're being eaten by an Ur-Quan.

Thoughts?
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Death 999
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Re: The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by Death 999 »

I understand that the Ur-Quan like to hang from the ceiling, which suggests either subterranean or arboreal dwelling.
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Re: The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by Alvarin »

I'd say arboreal lifestyle is more likely. It makes sense with bigger and stronger predators to move out of the way.
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Re: The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by Lukipela »

It could be both really. If there are bigger and much meaner things around, being an arboreal creature in a dense lush jungle means you can avoidsome of the bigger killers and trap the smaller ones by attacking from above. But if you need to rest and raise young'uns, having an underground nest where you become nigh-on invincible isn't a bad idea.

I agree that the environment must be pretty lush, all those big creatures need loads of smaller ones to eat.
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Re: The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by Draxas »

I imagine their homeworld probably resembled something like Warhammer 40k's Catachan: A planet that looks green, bountiful, and beautiful from orbit, but once you hit the surface, everything (plant, animal, insect, you name it) is trying to kill you. Hence, there's probably a vast amount of highly dangerous life, and the Ur-Quan prey on them from the jungle canopy, possibly catching creatures dwelling at lower heights in a literal death-from-above manuver. As implied, I suspect the Ur-Quan are probably ambush predators, which both helps catch their prey and keep them away from the notice of the aformentioned physically superior competitors. They probably really only started getting a leg (tentacle?) up on their food chain once they evolved tool use.

While the Ur-Quan don't seem to have mouth parts as we would expect from an insect (or anything else, really), those could just be hidden by the feelers. If they're there, they're probably rather insectile, designed for gripping prey while swallowing it whole. As such, their typical prey is probably much smaller than they are, though considering the size of an Ur-Quan, that could be the size of a medium dog (and a similar creature is what I imagine their favored prey might be like; fleshy on the outside, and though vicious, there's not much it can do once its claws and jaws are pinned and being dissolved in an Ur-Quan's digestive juices).

As Dragon mentioned, there's no way an Ur-Quan could be an upsized version of an Earth caterpillar. There would have to be some serious musculature at the very least in order for it to get around, let alone become a top predator.
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Re: The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by Alvarin »

About plentifull life - I think that it is not the case. The Ur-Quan are said to be extremley territorial, usually that means lack of sufficient prey. That, or they need very specific type of prey, which is less likely.
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Re: The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by Draxas »

Why is that less likely? It seems like they, at least according to my analysis, would need something small, perhaps less able to defend itself, and not so well protected that it can be digested whole without injuring the Ur-Quan trying to tear its way out. That sounds fairly limiting to me. Of course, being highly territorial could also stem from having to always be on edge, since they're not the top predator and thus always in danger of becoming a meal themselves. If they were not above cannibalism in their formative years, that could be a third reason (which would interact well with the second one).
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Re: The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by dczanik »

I don't like it when people think in Earth terms or get trapped in one-note thinking. Like in Star Trek all Klingons are warriors, all Ferrengi are greedy, etc. Yes, they may look like giant space caterpillars but look beyond the one note premise. They obviously have technology by looking at their ships.

Given the fact I always see them hanging, I'd say they live high up and not underground. Earth Trees provide safety from lots of predators, the Ur-Quan probably started off that way too. I could see them moving very quickly, and silently. Evolving into predators they could use a "Death from Above" approach. The penchant for hanging may also come because of a camouflage instinct. Maybe they have trees with leaves that hang like the Ur-Quan.

They have no visible teeth, but their 'arms' could be used to constrict their prey like a snake. I can see them feeding like a snake by swallowing their prey whole (doesn't it look like their mouths can open wide?). They could also feed like a spider. Rather than chewing, inject the insides with an acid, and slurp up the rest with their 'tongue'.

Intelligence just doesn't happen. Evolutionary processes take place that makes it advantageous to have larger brains. So either their prey was intelligent, or their planet is dangerous and they had to be smart to stay alive. I think their planet was at one time very dangerous to them, but this is not the case now. If they have time to develop interstellar space travel, they're not worried about predators anymore.

They've also evolved into a couple different species. That doesn't happen overnight.

Here's a question. Do they have guns? My feeling is most here would say, no. But why? There are advantages to projectile weapons. And their ships fire projectile weapons. Obviously by looking at their ships, they're tool builders like us. They use technology to extend their abilities.

So here's my guess. They probably live on a lower gravity world. There's a bunch of really tall trees that look similar to them. They don't need to live high up, but it probably makes them feel comfortable. Evolutionary throwbacks to more primitive times. They're fast when they need to be. They have cities because cities are better than caves or holes in dirt. Again, their cities might be a greenish in color because they are more comfortable if they can blend in to the environment a little. The instinctual need to blend into their surrounding. And would also explain why their ships are bright green.
Both Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah have ships that match their skin color.

Kohr-Ah are probably diverged as they became more night based creatures or moved to planet with lower light than the Kzer-Za.
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Re: The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by Alvarin »

Your theories contradict some of the canon- the 'Quans were brown, before conquered by Dnyarri. Only then they were separated into green and black. They couldn't have cities, because of their instinctive aggression towards each other. They have feeding tentacles, so most likely they swallow their constricted prey, rather than injecting them with digestive juices beforehand. The interstellar travel was given to them by the Milieu, the Ur-Quan didn't develop it themselves at first.
About the guns I believe they were developed and then banned from use, as it would diminish the population horribly. Once they developed their society enough, I think the projectile weaponry would return, but governed harshly.
The blackness of Kohr-Ah ships helps them attack and destroy enemies easier.
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Re: The Ur-Quan and their home world

Post by Draxas »

dczanik wrote:They've also evolved into a couple different species. That doesn't happen overnight.
As Alvarin mentioned, the original brown Ur-Quan were separated into green and black through genetic manipulation by the Dnyarri.
Here's a question. Do they have guns? My feeling is most here would say, no. But why? There are advantages to projectile weapons. And their ships fire projectile weapons. Obviously by looking at their ships, they're tool builders like us. They use technology to extend their abilities.
Of course they have guns, but presumably this discussion was about the sort of conditions that made them evolve into the species they became. Before they had firearms, they had to develop simpler tool use, and before that, they had to start somewhere. I think that's more of the focus here. Presumably once they developed guns, they were easily able to become the dominant species on their homeworld, if they hadn't already done so using simpler tools. They also probably had quite a die off as they started turning those guns on each other; the Ur-Quan explicitly state that thei battle for civilization was hard won against their instinctual desire to "kill the interloper and rip out its life."
They probably live on a lower gravity world.
I was considering this idea, but liked the idea of them being incredibly strong in order to support their massive frames instead. Seeing an Ur-Quan in its entirety should say "immensely powerful," not "big fat slow caterpillar."
Alvarin wrote:Your theories contradict some of the canon-
Sadly, so do some of your remarks, sorry.
They couldn't have cities, because of their instinctive aggression towards each other.
Kohr-Ah: "We evolved on a hostile world, the descendants of solitary hunters.
In a world where one species is the dominant killer
one's only threat is one's brother, one's sister, anyone of one's species.
Civilization did not come easily to us, we earned it.
We mastered our hatreds and murderous desires to form a mighty culture."

Which contradicts some of my statements as well about them not being the dominant predator, but hey, I'm not perfect either. Or perhaps that's exaggeration on their part, just a bit, since...

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 had a very 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."

Which backs me up instead. Perhaps the Kohr-Ah are not beyond just a bit of pride.
The interstellar travel was given to them by the Milieu, the Ur-Quan didn't develop it themselves at first.
Kohr-Ah: "In those ancient days, there was no Kohr-Ah or Kzer-Za, only the Ur-Quan.
We explored our world, and then the space beyond.
Here we met the six races of the Sentient Milieu
here we met the Taalo... the only species we ever called `friend'."

Kzer-Za: "We explored our world, and then the space beyond.
Here we met the six races of the Sentient Milieu, which we joined as partners."

Melnorme: "When the Ur-Quan were discovered by the Taalo, they had just begun exploring their solar system
in crude atomic vehicles."

All game quotes, as always, were pulled from the always excellent quote resource at:

http://www.sa-matra.net/quotes/
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