Star Control II so whats the big deal?

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Calavera
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Star Control II so whats the big deal?

Post by Calavera » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:55 am

I have just played Star Control II and I am wondering, why does everybody think this game is so great? I just don't understand what is so great about it...
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Post by Austin » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:27 am

Why don't you continue to play it and figure it out for yourself? If you can't see why it's pretty awesome, no one's going to convince you otherwise.

Man, I feel like an ass right now.

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Post by Trev » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:51 pm

What Austin said. :wink:

Let me turn the question on you Calavera ... why don't you think the game is so great? You say "I just don't understand what is so great about it", can you be a bit more specific?
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Post by sneth » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:29 pm

Early in the game it's a lot of resource building and exploration.
Later on you get into some really awesome alien politics and gameplay.

The game is just massive and the alien interaction gets really awesome.

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Post by 3DOKid » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:41 pm

I'm Calavera on this a little. So, how long should I play SCII before it truly kicks in?

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Post by Anonymous » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:52 pm

I havent even played my copy yet.. And i even got a boxed one with map and everything hehe.. I like these types of games but my 3DO gets alot of downtime, so i keep forgetting i have this game.. Maybe now that im actually playing some 3DO atm, i should finally give it a go.

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Post by Trev » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:05 pm

3DOKid wrote:I'm Calavera on this a little. So, how long should I play SCII before it truly kicks in?
1/2 hr?

Or, you could use codes to max out your ship ... that'll get it to "kick in" even sooner. :wink:

Either way, please stick with it. It's an amazing game, and easily one of the 3DO's best! :D
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Post by BryWI » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:42 am

Exploration and building up your ship is fun to me, beyond that... If you aren't having fun with it maybe it's just not for you. The game truly is MASSIVE as previously stated.

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Post by sneth » Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:46 am

Play awhile until you feel pretty tough.
Then
Start getting shitty with the Aliens and see what happens. lol

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Post by Trev » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:01 pm

Don't forget the incredible quanity, and quality of speech! :)
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Post by JohnnyDude » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:03 pm

I certainly love it, but it's possible it's was just great at the time. Few games had that much content. I think the game was remarkably cohesive too, there are very few parts of the game that are needless.

I played it without instructions or a starmap, which drove me insane, especially when I couldn't understand the names of stars or coordinates the aliens were saying. I wasn't able to finish it, either. It wasn't until I bought the "3DO HINT BOOK" that I was able to find the obscure tricks to push the story forward. That strikes me as a bit dated.

There is also no "mission log" or things like that in modern games to tell you where you were in the game if you loaded a game after a few months. We could argue that it's nonlinear, but there's still a relatively linear flowchart we could make to identify the story progression.

I think the other thing that keeps the game from being easy to love to newcomers today is that there are ways to get yourself in a true dead-end without knowing it. You can screw up alliances or lose key items, and there's also an unstoppable time limit. In these respects it reminds me a lot of Fallout. New games don't do this; you usually get a "critical mission failure!" or another big red screen to stop the game immediately. Older games were able to knowingly punish me more, maybe just because it was the norm. For whatever reason, I didn't mind it at the time, but I don't have the patience for games that do this now.

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Post by Trev » Sat Jul 23, 2011 7:08 pm

Hmmm ... when I think of dead ends I think of the old Sierra games. I never noticed that type of sloppy programming in SCII.

The game isn't easy though, and I also used a hint book (which I regret in part) If you must get assistance, I like this site ... http://www.uhs-hints.com/uhsweb/starcon2.php
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Post by Martin III » Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:03 pm

Well, I've been playing this game for just four days and I'm already stuck.

Of itself, this isn't surprising. One of the distinguishing features of Crystal Dynamics games is that they're tough as nails, and though I've managed to complete most of the games by them I've played, I similarly got stuck on the second territory of The Horde.

The difference is, even with the Horde I could see how the game could be beaten; it's just that I couldn't pull it off. With Star Control II, I don't see how it's even possible to progress towards the end credits. First of all, after defeating the Ilwrath avenger and the mystery probe, I seem hideously underpowered in every battle. Enemy ships fly circles around my fleet, especially my flagship, and can fire almost continuously while I'm stuck shooting a pellet or two every ten seconds. All my battleships have low durability with no apparent way to upgrade them. For that matter, none of the upgrades offered seem to do a thing. I've added four thrusters and four turning jets, but my ship remains as painfully slow and stiff as ever.

Moreover, resources seem much too finite. Many planets aren't worth exploring either because they have too much unavoidable weather or their mineral/biological resources are so little that they don't even cover the fuel costs of a single lander deployment. More important, the fuel cost of going beyond the nearest few dozen star systems is obscene, so I'm effectively limited to the local neighborhood for gathering resources. A trip to more distant stars won't even be able to pay for itself, to say nothing of all the tasks I'm sure I'll have to accomplish to defeat the Ur-quan. It's a classic case of unsustainable consumption.

I've read through the whole manual, even the "hint book", but it provides no illumination on these points. I've even stooped to check out FAQs on the game, but none of them provide any general hints, just advice on what to do next, which is the least of my worries; the commander and various aliens have already heaped four different objectives onto my lap.

Any ideas as to what I'm missing here?

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Post by Trev » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:31 pm

Check the link I posted above. It gives hints w/o giving spoilers.

If the time to gather stuff and upgrade your ship is taking too long for you (and I can see that) there is a way to max out your cash (and therefore ship) by finding Rainbow Worlds. If your ship is powered up to the max, you can forgo looking for materials on small planets and just concentrate on the story, puzzles, and exploration. :)

No shame in doing that, in fact I might even go so far as to suggest it. It isn't really cheating, just taking advantage of how the game is programmed. 8)
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Post by zook1981 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:28 pm

I have no never played to story line I always just do battles against the computer. I love this game to death, but only for the matches, I guess after all these years maybe I should try the story line LOL.

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Post by Trev » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:02 pm

zook1981 wrote:I have no never played to story line I always just do battles against the computer. I love this game to death, but only for the matches, I guess after all these years maybe I should try the story line LOL.
It's like the Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes in space! :P

Ok, maybe not exactly ... but it is great. If you have the patience (and clearly you do if you are a fan of the former) Star Control II will pobably quickly grow on you.
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Post by zook1981 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:10 pm

Trev wrote:
zook1981 wrote:I have no never played to story line I always just do battles against the computer. I love this game to death, but only for the matches, I guess after all these years maybe I should try the story line LOL.
It's like the Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes in space! :P

Ok, maybe not exactly ... but it is great. If you have the patience (and clearly you do if you are a fan of the former) Star Control II will pobably quickly grow on you.
I think my biggest issue is, I just love those battles so much. It was engrained in me because my dad used to let me play Star Control one on the PC back in the very early 90s and all I did was the battles and had a blast with it, so I think he got me hooked on those battles. The thing is also I really suck at the battles and the computer beats my ass constantly.

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Post by JohnnyDude » Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:57 am

Martin III wrote:Well, I've been playing this game for just four days and I'm already stuck.

Of itself, this isn't surprising. One of the distinguishing features of Crystal Dynamics games is that they're tough as nails, and though I've managed to complete most of the games by them I've played, I similarly got stuck on the second territory of The Horde.

The difference is, even with the Horde I could see how the game could be beaten; it's just that I couldn't pull it off. With Star Control II, I don't see how it's even possible to progress towards the end credits. First of all, after defeating the Ilwrath avenger and the mystery probe, I seem hideously underpowered in every battle. Enemy ships fly circles around my fleet, especially my flagship, and can fire almost continuously while I'm stuck shooting a pellet or two every ten seconds. All my battleships have low durability with no apparent way to upgrade them. For that matter, none of the upgrades offered seem to do a thing. I've added four thrusters and four turning jets, but my ship remains as painfully slow and stiff as ever.

Moreover, resources seem much too finite. Many planets aren't worth exploring either because they have too much unavoidable weather or their mineral/biological resources are so little that they don't even cover the fuel costs of a single lander deployment. More important, the fuel cost of going beyond the nearest few dozen star systems is obscene, so I'm effectively limited to the local neighborhood for gathering resources. A trip to more distant stars won't even be able to pay for itself, to say nothing of all the tasks I'm sure I'll have to accomplish to defeat the Ur-quan. It's a classic case of unsustainable consumption.

I've read through the whole manual, even the "hint book", but it provides no illumination on these points. I've even stooped to check out FAQs on the game, but none of them provide any general hints, just advice on what to do next, which is the least of my worries; the commander and various aliens have already heaped four different objectives onto my lap.

Any ideas as to what I'm missing here?
I definitely had this problem with the game. I got the game in CD form only (no star map!).

It wasn't until I got the 3DO Game Secrets book that I had any real chance of completing the main storyline. I can imagine that the game is pretty much unbeatable without a guide; I remember thinking the Ultron was just a funny little joke!

So, I think if you want to finish the game your only chance is getting a guide. I still had fun without completing the main quest though:

If you want the same experience that I had, though, I really enjoyed slowly upgrading my ship (and support fleet) like you're doing. I'd get all the turning jets and thrusters first. I did run into races that allied with me pretty easily to help me protect my efforts. The other key part to this eventual upgrade process is meeting the Melnorme and purchasing upgrade "blueprints" through them using "biological data" at 150 credits each. I wouldn't spoil the fun of discovering these upgrades for you, but I assure you they're worth it! These mechanics alone kept me interested for quite a while!

I do feel that the main storyline is too obscure to just pick up and play, though. I notice this with a lot of old games, like Ultima. I'm conflicted on whether or not it's a bad thing. Games nowadays are considered bad if you have difficulty beating it, and as a result I find them dull. Anyway, I reiterate that the fact that you got stuck in Star Control II is probably normal.

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Post by Martin III » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:44 pm

JohnnyDude wrote:I do feel that the main storyline is too obscure to just pick up and play, though. I notice this with a lot of old games, like Ultima. I'm conflicted on whether or not it's a bad thing. Games nowadays are considered bad if you have difficulty beating it, and as a result I find them dull. Anyway, I reiterate that the fact that you got stuck in Star Control II is probably normal.
Yeah, and it's not just the obscure story progression which bothers me, but how poorly it works with the space exploration gameplay. In most adventure games, if you can't figure out one puzzle, at least you can keep looking around until you stumble on something. In Star Control II, too much of the game world is uninhabited for this to be a worthwhile use of your time. Of course you can pick up minerals while you look, but you only need so many for fuel and upgrades; once you've filled those needs, you're just wasting time against a rapidly approaching game over deadline.

But before I rant any further, let me say I do appreciate the input, guys. Though I don't understand why people say the star map is so important, since the game has a built-in star map. The only use I've found for the physical star map is that, if I know the name of a star, I can find it more quickly on the physical map. But that's strictly a matter of convenience.

Anyway, the good news is I realized you can avoid the Spathi, so I was finally able to get the self-destruct code for those obnoxious probes. I also stumbled on two planets with very valuable minerals, so I finished upgrading my ship, putting my resource management issues to rest. Finally, I figured out hot to defeat Lux ships, so I was able to talk to Admiral Zex, and... get another task handed to me. With the only clue being a piece of obvious disinformation, since there's no constellation which is anywhere near as complex as the one Zex describes.

I managed to save the Zoq-Fot-Pic from the black Ur-quan ship, leaving me... with nothing to do. The game gives no indication, not even obscure ones, on how to proceed with regard to either the probes or the threat to the Zoq-Fot-Pic, the only clue to Zex's quest is false, and the Melnome don't seem to have anything new left to tell me. So I decided to break my no-guides rule for this instance and look up the destination for Zex's quest, since I see no sensible reason why the developers would leave you with only a false clue for that.

By the way, my eyes bugged out at the point when you say to the Skylandro "Those probes are attacking ships and I can prove it" and they answer "Show your evidence". Would you all believe that the game I last played before starting Star Control II was Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations? :shock:
zook1981 wrote:I think my biggest issue is, I just love those battles so much. It was engrained in me because my dad used to let me play Star Control one on the PC back in the very early 90s and all I did was the battles and had a blast with it, so I think he got me hooked on those battles. The thing is also I really suck at the battles and the computer beats my ass constantly.
I'm guessing you wouldn't like the story mode, then. In Super Melee, your fleet of ships are roughly equal in power to your enemy's. In story mode, you consistently have to battle massive battleships with a fleet of flying tin cans.

This is still one of my main hangups with the game; while maxing out my thrusters and turning jets has made my flagship fairly decent in combat, the rest of the fleet is more useless than ever. The Zoq-Fot-Pic Stingers have even less durability than the Earthling Cruisers, despite not having any ranged attacks! What the heck were the developers thinking the player was going to do with these things?

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Post by JohnnyDude » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:51 am

Oh I think I see one problem. Looks like the Spathi are attacking you! When I started the game, I made friends out the Spathi. Their ship was my main defense for long time. The earthling and zoqfot ships SUCK! There are more powerful allies for sure.

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Post by zook1981 » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:53 pm

I'm guessing you wouldn't like the story mode, then. In Super Melee, your fleet of ships are roughly equal in power to your enemy's. In story mode, you consistently have to battle massive battleships with a fleet of flying tin cans.

This is still one of my main hangups with the game; while maxing out my thrusters and turning jets has made my flagship fairly decent in combat, the rest of the fleet is more useless than ever. The Zoq-Fot-Pic Stingers have even less durability than the Earthling Cruisers, despite not having any ranged attacks! What the heck were the developers thinking the player was going to do with these things?[/quote]

You are probably correct in that assesment. I usually hate space ship type games. The only ones I ever appreciate usually are for the 3DO and that's this title (but only for the matches) and Shockwave 1 even thought that is on Earth. If I did story mode I probably would struggle with it for sure.

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Post by Martin III » Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:02 pm

JohnnyDude wrote:Oh I think I see one problem. Looks like the Spathi are attacking you! When I started the game, I made friends out the Spathi. Their ship was my main defense for long time. The earthling and zoqfot ships SUCK! There are more powerful allies for sure.
Interesting... I wonder if it's randomized whether the Spathi are friends or enemies? After I finish my first run, I'll have to do a quickie new game to see if the Spathi feel any differently about me.

Good to know that my problems with the combat are largely an unlucky draw thing, anyway! And I did manage to get save the Shofixti race, so hopefully they'll provide me with ships at some point. I know I'd love to have one of those bad boys flying on my side ("Yiiiiiiiiiieeee!!!"). Making proper contact with the Shofixti was a fun and humorous puzzle, probably the most enjoyable one I've encountered in the game.

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Post by Martin III » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:59 pm

Made it to the end of my first playthrough. That deadline really is brutal, and needless to say, I didn't succeed in getting the happy ending. While I've used four save slots for the game, I think I'll be better off starting all over, since I was nowhere near beating the Ur-quan. Now that I understand all the game's mechanics and, more importantly, know where many of the alien homeworlds are, I should be able to get things done much faster in a second playthrough.

For now, though, I'm sick of the game. Time to have some more fun with Night Trap...

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Post by Martin III » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:45 am

And I've started up my second playthrough. Only a year in, and I've already got two of the three pieces of the Ultron! It's looking good for defeating the Ur-Quan this time. Though fuel is still an incredible problem... I've only managed to get as far as I have in this playthrough by using the Melnorme to "gas up", which obviously delays my getting those technological advances a bit!

This game really is more fun once you know what you're doing. I only wish I'd noted the bio-rich planets I discovered during my first playthrough. Obviously I can look up bio-rich planets in the hint book, but surely finding things by yourself is part of the fun of the game.

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Post by sneth » Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:35 am

as another note to this thread, the prices for this game have become reasonable again. This was spiking up to $100 for awhile, but quite a few auctions have ended at the appropriate $35 range. Complete with map.

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Post by Anonymous » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:27 pm

That is nice to hear. More games should drop in price.

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Post by Martin III » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:26 pm

sneth wrote:as another note to this thread, the prices for this game have become reasonable again. This was spiking up to $100 for awhile, but quite a few auctions have ended at the appropriate $35 range. Complete with map.
$100? Wow. Yeah, when I got my complete-with-map copy of the game five months ago, I paid $50 and felt like I might have gotten it a bit cheaper if I'd been more patient. Good to hear that it's reasonable again. The game is so over-hyped that I'll bet a lot of those people who paid $100 for it were pretty disappointed.

Oh yeah, and I discovered the Orz for the first time in this playthrough. Weeeeeiiiiiiiiiird. (I mean that in a good way. :P ) I wonder if there's any point to finding out what happened to the Androsynth. Probably not, but I'm still curious.

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Post by Martin III » Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:21 pm

And... long story short, I'm stuck. Encountering the Druuge by the bomb was quite a surprise, especially since I got the bomb on my first playthrough without this (the Kohr-ah had won the doctrinal war and wiped out the Druuge by this time).

However, just getting this far had brought me over halfway to the game's deadline, and not savoring the notion of spending a 40-hour playthrough on getting the same ending as before, I begin relying on online guides. Trouble is, they all say when I meet with the Umgah at their homeworld they'll be controlled by the Dynarri. Nope. Even after doing everything else the guides say I need to do to finish the game, the Umgah are still their own people. I've tried repeatedly talking to them about the Dynarri, but this doesn't trigger it. And though I wouldn't expect this to trigger it either, the Ariloulaleelay won't say anything about the Dynarri no matter how many times I talk to them. Oh, and none of the guides I've checked say I have to do anything to trigger it; they all seem ignorant of the fact that you can talk to the Umgah before they've restored the Dynarri.

Anybody know what the heck I have to do here?

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Post by JohnnyDude » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:23 pm

I suppose you have to "trigger" the existence of the Dynarri. I think you might have to go to the Arilou homeworld for a lot of the conversation bits. I know that their homeworld is where they tell you about the shipwreck where the Dynarri was found. That might be enough to get the ball on the Umgah rolling.

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Post by Martin III » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:35 pm

Whoops, forgot to update here. Belated thanks, JohnnyDude; that did the trick!

And I finished the game... sorta. After wearying of repeatedly throwing all my ships at the Sa-Matra to no apparent affect, I switched to "cyborg" to see how the developers expected you to pull this off. Unfortunately, though somewhat interestingly, when control is set to "cyborg" the game just skips the fight with the Sa-Matra entirely and goes straight to the ending movie! It is truly a superb ending for its time, with good voice acting as usual.

I did go back and attempt the Sa-Matra one last time on "human" and for some reason, on the very next try I was able to totally wipe out its shield. But once again bad game design strikes: it's obviously impossible for your flagship to avoid the Sa-Matra's attacks, so the only way to enter it is by equipping your ship with sufficient extra HP/crew to absorb the hits, :? which is not what I used my few remaining upgrade slots for. And sadly, I don't have a save anywhere near the point where you leave Earth to attack the Sa-Matra. Oh well, if I ever play the game again...

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