Starcon title

StarCon

StarCon, which was the title for Star Control 4, was Accolades final attempt at the franchise. They contracted a company called Starsphere Interactive to produce the game for PS1, but handled the PC development themselves. When the game was about 70% done, it was cancelled and thus never released. For a long time very little was known of the game, save a few pictures that had been leaked during development. Recently, things have changed. A protype disc has been released to the community by forums member dreamer, which means that anyone with a ePSXe can now play the game at home.

The game is very different from the rest of the series, it is much more remniscient of StarFox and other such games. It pits you as a Captain  working for the Hyperium, which apparently is what the Alliance of Free Stars has turrned into. They are fighting the Crux, a group of aliens defeated in SC3 but apparently back for more. No Crux are identified by other than name, so we cannot say which races are part of this organisation. You begin by selecting a mission on the mission selection screen, which is a 3d field of stars. This may or may not be homage to SC3 and SC1 and their 3D maps. The prototype only contains two levels.

Level selectionLevel information   
Picture 1: To the left the player can select his missions on a 3D field, this is followed by a briefing by Ra-Gar, apparently an Ur-Quan Hyperium Commander.

After that, you are taken into battle. You navigate a single ship and your weapons are a beam energy weapon and some from of auto aiming cannons. Below are a few images of how this looks. While the 3D may seem dated now, remember that this game was originally supposed to be released around 1998. The missions available are simple shoot and kill mission, requiring nothing other than the destruction of key enemy vessels, sometimes within a time limit.

combat   more combat

The gameplay is rough, as this is only a prototype. Most of the users who have tried it out to date have not found it very enjoyasble. It is of course very different from the original SC games, containing no adventure game whatsoever and being full 3D. Still, despite not being very enjyoable it is an important part of the SC series history, a thing that never was.

PNF does not currently host the ePSXe image for StarCon, but it is floating around in the community. StarController has written several in depths articles about Starcon, such as this, this and this.

Star Control I

Star Control II

Star Control 3

StarCon (SC 4)

Next Star Control (SC5?)