Star Control 2 - going to play it for the first time.

I’ve heard about this game for 15+ years it seems like, and it has quite a fanbase for a game released in 1992. I’m pretty sure I’ve played SC3, but a lot of people seemed to not like it, especially compared to SC2. (For the record, I liked it quite a bit).

Anyway, I’m going to give this one a shot… but, holy hell, the manual is 100 pages, there’s a 50 page “guide” full of stats, and a star map with about 100 constellations! Last time I played a game like this was Stars!, which was more Spreadsheets in Space! than anything else.

It’s been a while since I tackled a game like SC2, anybody want to share their experiences, tips and tricks, etc?

Write down the coordinates and other info you learn/hear from people. Otherwise you’ll end up having to go to walkthrough sites to complete the game or else reloading old save files - there is not a diary feature like you find in more recent games.

Don’t try to ‘win’ the game, at least not at first. You won’t. Just learn how to play, how to fight the various other races, and where the good stuff is. Enjoy meeting the different species, enjoy the story (Deep!) and the gameplay, enjoy the vast size of the galaxy and the thought and effort that went into making this game. Then, when you’re finally getting frustrated and/or bored (HA!) with it, go find a walkthrough to help you win if you need it.

I envy you; this is one of the all-time great games ever and I still remember the first time I played it (On the Sega Genesis of all things) with my friends.

I never ‘won’ the game until… about five years ago? And that was only with the help of the walkthrough and several failed attempts.

I should go re-load it, now that I’m thinking about it!

Good luck!

I played this game for more hours than I’d like to have to count. I could not believe how awesome Star Control 2 was.

For what it’s worth, you really don’t need that manual and guide. It’s very much an adventure game, something you learn by doing. The actual controls themselves are pretty simple.

I do find it helps to have a few hints on where to go, but that depends on how hardcore you are about finding the solutions yourself in-game.

Not too hardcore. :wink: The guide has pages of stellar coordinates - might be worth printing those as to save me a lot of writing. But if a lot of the quests are “go to X to beat up on Y as to bring me back Z”, then I probably won’t bother with a walkthrough.

No diary, huh? That really is playing it old school, isn’t it?

FYI, the version I have is the one I bought on GOG (along with SC1.) Is this different from the Urquan masters version?

It sounds like I can somewhat ignore the story aspects and just play SC2 as a 4X game… or am I wrong about that?

Not exactly. You have to pay attention when NPCs tell you coordinates or they’ll blow right by you, and sometimes they don’t even tell you coordinates, just general areas, and it’s up to you to discover things by visiting as many solar systems as you can. There’s not a quest system the way modern RPGs understand them, like WoW or Fallout or Elder Scrolls; NPCs just tell you what’s where and it’s up to you to seek them out and push the plot along.

Alternately, there’s plenty of walkthroughs out there, both under the Star Control 2 and Ur-Quan Masters names, so if you ever get really stuck hints are readily available.

Get ready to be immersed in sensual delights that most people dare not dream! This game is what sex would be like if it was a game! I’m getting a boner just thinking about playing this again. I desire it, I crave it, I want to cover my naked body with Mycon spores and grow turgid with excitement

Hmm…oh what? Oh yeah, tips uh…write down coordinates. Sometimes, clues won’t be specific coordinates but a direction, write those down too. Pretty much every where that people tell you can be explored and has something.

Also, play the super melee, learn which ships are good against which other ships. There are times when you will be weak with only a few weak escorts and you have to face a really tough alien, be prepared.

You may want to start by just memorizing how each ship handles, then go up against the computer on easy difficulty (they’ll fire at you, but won’t use their special weapons. For some races, that completely cripples their ship).

Oh, learn how to gravity whip and work on your aiming. For example, use a Thraddash vs. VUX and beat it only using your little blaster and not the special weapon. You’ll thank me for it later.

You can ignore the story, but I wouldn’t the dialogue and music are some of the best and more hilarious ever set down by mankind. A pox on thee if you ignore the story!


Oh . . . um. Nevermind. You’ll find out soon enough.
(love the backstory on those guys, the wheel, fire and religion in the same day. wow)

Possible problem…?

I leave Earth system for my first venture into hyperspace. An alien comes, absolutely kicks my ass. My ship is extremely unresponsive, both manual and on automatic (where the computer fights for you.) Is this normal and I just haven’t found the right path out of Earth system, or is the ship supposed to turn smoothly and quickly while in combat mode? Or do I have to get a joystick to play this game?

I have both SC2 and Ur-Quan Masters on this computer and they both show the same issue, which indicates (hopefully) that this slow ship movement is designed. Right now the ship can go in eight directions, and it takes about 1.5-2 seconds to turn between each interval.

I just started playing it myself as well. Brilliant game. I do have a quick question: is it worth doing the combat yourself? I’m into the story and exploratory elements of the game, and the combat just gets in the way. Am I missing something by letting the computer fight my battles (like, does the computer seriously underperform in battles?)

As for JohnT’s last question, I remember the ship being sluggish, but I explored a few planets, mined, and upgraded the side thrusters (or whatever it is that makes you turn faster.) I also don’t remember aliens attacking me right away until a couple trips out of the star system.

Oh, yeah, one more question: Is there a way to zoom in on the star map? The manual that came with Ur-Quan Masters seems to say it’s the plus and minus key on the keypad, but I’m playing on a laptop. There’s a way to setup your keys in the opening menu, but I don’t see any keys corresponding to star map zooming. Any ideas?

Oh, never mind. :smack:

Btw, since the “problem” mentioned above, I switched to Ur-Quan Masters and not SC2. For all intents and purposes, they seem to be the exact same game.

They more or less are; the guys who publish Ur-Quan Masters got the rights to everything about the game except the title, thus the name change. IIRC the UQM version does differ in having a few improvements from the 3DO version of the game included.

Does your version include the voice acting? For Ur-Quan, it was a separate download and install. I think the voices add a lot to the game, but there are those (at least from what I’ve seen online) who thinks it ruins it. I have no idea how they could come to that conclusion, but to each their own.

I don’t have the manual, but I can’t remember anything of any particular value in it. The starmap is useful for names and coordinates because sometimes people will tell you to “go to Alpha Draconis 3” or something, and if you have no idea where on the starmap the Draconis cluster is, it’s going to be pretty tedious to find the place.

There are basically no “Go to X beat up Y, bring back Z” quests - “quests” (There’s no formal “quest system” at all, so when I say “quests” I mean “things you’ll probably decide you want to do”) are more along the lines of “Find out why Z is doing Q, and make it stop!” or “Persuade Y to help me out.” There’s no “diary” because as you yourself pointed out, the game was made in 1992. :stuck_out_tongue: It’s not just “playing” it oldschool. It IS oldschool. You’ll need to keep track of your own notes so that when someone tells you that you can get a HyperSpace Quadmodulator out a wrecked Flumph vessel on Zeta Orionis 6, you’ll actually remember that the next time you sit down.

You could, in theory “ignore the story aspects” of the game, but it’s NOT a 4X by any stretch of the imagination, and ignoring the story is rapidly going to leave you wondering what you should be doing since you’ve already done all the stuff. It’s not that the story “gates” content precisely (Though it kinda does, in logical ways, since you can’t build different ships before you find out how, and suchlike) but that there’s just not really that much to do if you don’t pursue the “story” goals. (As fun as it is to harvest minerals and blow up random enemy ships, you’ll fast run out of useful stuff to DO with said minerals, and the enemy ships will lack variety. :stuck_out_tongue: ) As someone else pointed out, it’s more like an adventure game, and though I personally would equate it more closely with a sort of space RPG, the lines are pretty blurry. It really doesn’t have any meaningful 4X elements at all though, so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ve got the wrong game.

Re combat: You probably don’t want to be entering battle with your “flagship” until it has secured several upgrades, and honestly, against most enemy vessels, you’re better off not using it until you reach a very late game state (at which point your flagship becomes hilariously strong). You’re much better off using your “escort vessels” (you start with a single human cruiser, and can build more of those, and additional ship types are unlocked via “story stuff”) which are generally more suited to combat. They also carry fewer crew, which sounds like a disadvantage until you realize that it’s probably better to get an escort vessel with 12 crew blown up than it is to lose 50+ crew from your flagship if you do badly in a battle but still somehow win. In terms of letting the computer do the fighting, I don’t think it’s super terrible, but the ship to ship combat is actually what the game grew up from, and is pretty darn entertaining, so you should probably learn it, or you’re going to be spending a LOT of time watching the CPU fight itself. And, frankly, you’ll probably end up being a lot better than the CPU with most ships - some vessels are outright abusive in the hands of a human player, whereas the CPU doesn’t really exploit their capabilities.

And I always found the ones that are (more specifically, the most broken one) supremely and delightfully ironic.

You don’t even need it for that. Type a forward slash ("/") in the starmap view will let you type in the name of the star you want to go to, and even do partial searches. That’s how I always navigate unless I’m just exploring, in which case I’ll use the crosshairs to point my ship to where I want to go.

Okay, wow, I never knew that feature existed.

Have a cigar?

That’s how I met and got killed by an Ur-Quan within the first two hours of playing the game. :slight_smile:

I don’t know if it’s worth spoilering, but just in case:

After reading some early dialogue, I got curious: Hey, where’s Vega? Type in “/Vega”. Oh, hey, it’s really close, let’s go there! Oh, what’s that other star really close to Vega that doesn’t seem to be visible on the star map? Let’s check it out. Oh, look, there’s a ship there orbiting a planet. Let’s say hi! :smack: