Many people who grew up playing science fiction games will at one point or another have come across the Star Control series. Those who havn’t can get Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters for FREE here! Don’t worry it’s 100% legal and completely endorsed by the people who made it! If you’ve never played it, you’ll not understand the sheer enjoyment I have knowing the next part of the story is coming soon!
In order to understand the love people have for the Star Control games, we have to take a little trip down memory lane…
The original Star Control, Famous battles of the Ur-Quan Conflict was a game that combined real-time ship warfare with tactical elements. The turn-based strategy being based on Paul Reiche III’s 1983 game Archon, while the ship combat is based on the classic game Spacewar! Players had the option of choosing from a plethora of different scenarios in which competing fleets would battle to the death on a cool rotating star map, which was an incredible feat of programming.
Once ships entered combat with each other, they entered into an arcade style battle involving two ships, duking it out for dominance in the cold void of space.
The ship to ship combat was brilliant and innovative, with the ships growing in size as they got closer to each other, each ship using energy to fire and use abilities, with a depleting crew compliment every time they are hit. Once all crew are killed, the battle is over, and the victor moves on, deeper into the conflict…
This beautiful and remarkable game was followed by: Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters, which removed the turn based strategy elements and replaced them with an adventure in which you pilot a service vehicle which you upgrade, and other ships you build using resources you can find on planets. You also get given some ships which is very useful, as resources are a nightmare if you’re not glued to a walkthrough. (*I don’t recommend reading them, just play the game, you’ll love it more!)
Star Control II featured astounding dialogue, fantastic aliens, and a beautiful story all wrapped up in a game that was both challenging and highly entertaining.
It also had a little adult content in the amusing dialogs with Admiral Zex, who wants to add you to his intergalactic zoo, and possibly marry you. (I don’t know if the VUX believe in matrimony, but we can only hope!) – You also get to spend a night with Talana of the Syreen, if you’re exceptionally skillful and lucky. Both these scenes remain some of my favourite in video games, and your dialog options are astounding.
Following Star Control II, we had Star Control III (Oh god no.) A largely misunderstood game, that tried to do too much and couldn’t live up to it’s predecessor, and recently Star Control Origins, which was made by Stardock. Origins was a nice attempt to get back what The Ur-Quan masters had, however ultimately was lacklustre, and being molested by the Tywom wasn’t as fulfilling as being molested by the VUX. (They are inferior lovers and VERY clingy.)
Now onto the GOOD part! Pistol Shrimp Games are working on making a new Star Control game… Though it’s using the name The Ur-Quan Masters II or UQM II, rather than being connected by Star Control. It appears to be in a similar, beautiful style to the original UQM which is really inspiring for me. It’s being made in Simple, which is a new tool Pistol Shrimp are developing for game makers. One that I’ll be sure to use at some point, as RPG Maker can only get one so far!
So why does UQM II make me itch and curl my tentacles in anticipation?
Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III are working on it. It has Damon Czanik who worked on The Ur-Quan Masters HD and Project 6014, both which have AMAZING art. Dan Gerstein is also part of the team, who’s work on the Skylanders games was incredible. He even has his own personal Yehat army who peck and abuse him relentlessly in his Twitch Videos.
The team at Pistol Shrimp is solid, experienced and full of great content creators, and when the new game comes, and it will. It is going to blow everything out of the water. Just remember, danger lurks in the stars above, and you’re going to be needed to help save the universe again!