Star Control II: Won!

From The CRPG Addict


There’s no one “congratulations” screen. This is the final screen of the game.
The final chapter commenced with a re-visit to the Syreen. After clearly telling me to “LEAVE” in our last encounter, I had thought that the Syreen commander was going to do something without my participation, but it turns out she was just formulating a plan. When I returned–which I imagine I could have done right away–she asked for my help in punishing the Mycons.
This was a multi-part quest. It began with the recovery of the mothballed Syreen fleet. When they had surrendered to the Ur-Quan, the Syreen had to fly their fleet to an unknown planet. All she could tell me was that it was within 200 hyperspace units, and the sun was red or orange. Betelgeuse is at 412.5, 377.0, and 200 units constitutes a fairly large radius. However, I suspected the planet would be in Ur-Quan space. I got Irene’s help with the colors, and she pointed out that the Camelopardalis constellation had quite a few orange and red stars. I started exploring them starting with the closest one to Betelgeuse, and I found the ships in the second system I explored. That was a bit of luck.
There were lots of Ur-Quan in the system, but I dodged them and delivered the Syreen pilots to their ships. I returned to the Syreen station and, largely because I was ensuring that I exhausted dialogue options, had sex with the Syreen commander.
             

The developers tactfully cut to black.

            

Afterwards, she explained her plan to lure the Mycon fleet to a carefully selected world and ambush them. I just had to tell them about it. I delivered the information to the Mycon and watched as the Syreen fleet left its world, engaged the Mycon fleet, and significantly reduced the latter. For the rest of the game, the Mycon territory bounced around the map, steadily shrinking. Later, in a visit to the Syreen commander, she reveled in the success of the mission but said there wasn’t much else she could do until we brought down the slave shield.
           

Not quite shambled enough, as we’ll soon see.

          

In the meantime, on the star map, the Ilwrath and the Thraddash were complete gone, the Pkunk were heading towards Yehat space again, and the Supox and Utwig had invaded Ur-Quan space. The Ur-Quan space, I should note, never got any smaller despite an internal civil war and an external war with me.
           

The state of the galaxy towards the end.

            

My next visit was to Umgah space, where I had forgotten to follow up on the Arilouleelay’s request to look in on the injured Talking Pet they’d entrusted to the cosmic otyughs. When I arrived and met with an Umgah vessel, it was clear something was wrong. They were talking robotically, had lost their sense of humor, and attacked when I kept questioning them.
            

Not all is right with the Umgah.

           

I didn’t mind. I don’t find the Umgah ships very hard, and I wanted to practice with my new acquisitions. The Syreen ability to lure enemy crewmmembers to their deaths (they space themselves) is cool in a horrifying way, but it takes too long to significantly damage the enemy and the Syreen primary weapon isn’t very good. I couldn’t do anything useful with the Supox ship. The Utwig ship, on the other hand, was fantastically useful. Its secondary attack raises a shield that absorbs energy damage and recharges the battery with it. Its primary attack is a widespread blast, though somewhat weak. Against the Umgah, I just had to hover outside their short range and blast them with the primary weapon, activating the secondary weapon to recharge the battery when they got within range.
             

The Umgah ship isn’t much of a match for the Utwig ship.

           
Eventually, I reached the Umgah homeworld, where I found myself speaking to the Talking Pet. Apparently, the Umgah experimentations had restored both its intelligence and psychic abilities, allowing him to dominate the Umgah. He tried to control us, but we had the Taalo Shield, protecting us against psychic interference. Enraged, he sent a fleet of 10 Umgah ships at us. Destroying them wasn’t too hard, but 10 is still a lot of ships. When we were done, the cowed Talking Pet agreed to come with us to help defeat the Ur-Quan.
           

But only after trying to trick me first.

        
Meanwhile, the feed Umgah expressed gratitude and gave us 500 units of biological data. Then, they decided it would be funny to attack me, so I had to fight a bunch more Umgah ships.

With the 500 biological data units, I returned to the Melnorme and purchased the rest of the technological upgrades that they had to offer, including auto-tracking modules to improve the aim of weapons, protection for planetary landers, and “hellbore cannons” for the flagship, none of which I ever actually used.

I was out of clues at this point and had to search deep in my notes and screenshots for what to do next. Finally, among some shots of dialogue with the Shofixti, I found reference to the Mycon testing some powerful device on Beta Brahe. Since the Syreen attack, Beta Brahe was outside the core Mycon territory, although when I arrived I still had to defeat 5 Mycon ships in a row. Fighting them was no easier than the last time I tried. They spammed their homing spores faster than I could destroy them, and I lost several ships while fighting them.
               

The Utwig shop absorbs the Mycon bombs, but I had a tough time getting it close enough to the Mycon ship to blast them.

           
When it was over, I recovered a “Sun Device” from the surface of Beta Brahe. This turned out to be the artifact necessary to give extra power to the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm unification ritual.

When I returned to Procyon, I didn’t get any additional dialogue options, so I just used the device. After a blinding flash, I was contacted by a grateful Chmmr, the name for the combined race. They did something to finish “installing” the Precursor bomb on the flagship and also gave me plans for a new fighter called an Avatar. I thought they were going to give me a way to pierce the slave shields, but there was no dialogue to that point.
          

I’m having flashbacks to my honeymoon.

        
Returning to starbase, I found that the Chmmr alliance had made us so rich, I no longer had any limit to the resource units I could spend. I restocked my fleet with Chmmr Avatars and some other ships, then tried to figure out what to do with my flagship. The bomb took up more than half the available module slots, so I had to greatly reduce crew and fuel capacity in order to keep any weapons at all. It turns out that I probably should have just ignored weapons entirely (since I never fought with the flagship again) and maximized crew and fuel. Either way, it worked out.
            

The Precursor ship is basically just a flying bomb at this point.

          
It was time to take on the Ur-Quan Sa-Matra platform, I guessed. I had no idea where it was, but I had a few hours to kill and several episodes of Dead to Me to watch in the background. I headed for the center of Ur-Quan space and started probing stars in the Crucis and Crateris constellations.

This brought me into battle with a lot of dreadnoughts, and I found the Avatars suitably powerful against them. The Avatars’ primary laser attack is cataclysmic–if you can aim it. I was less enamored of the secondary attack, which seems to hit the enemy ship with a tractor beam–although once I managed to get the timing just right and use the tractor beam to sling a dreadnought into a planet. Mostly, though, it was the same story: My clumsy fingers couldn’t evade the Kor-Ah throwing stars nor aim worth a damn, and I generally lost one Avatar to each Kor-Ah ship. (And here’s something else: I am thoroughly sick of bonking into planets while trying to maneuver around enemy ships. I don’t care if it’s “realistic.” The way the screen wraps is not “realistic,” nor intuitive, and both had me hating combat by the end of the game.) After the first one, I generally evaded the dreadnoughts and reload when I couldn’t.
          

The Avatar destroys a dreadnought just before its hit points run out.

          
Eventually, I found the Sa-Matra orbiting one of the planets of Delta Crateris, immediately noticeable because it had a ring of Ur-Quan dreadnoughts around it. At my word, the Talking Pet confused them and they wandered off, allowing me to approach the battle platform.
            

Without the Talking Pet, I would have had a heck of a fight–but can you even get here without the Talking Pet?

           
The final battle consisted of two stages. The first required me to defeat six Ur-Quan dreadnoughts, two regular and two Kor-Ah. If they’d let me fight all three of each kind in a row, it would have been a lot easier. The regular dreadnoughts are easily defeated by the Utwig ships: you just absorb their energy attacks until they run out of battery power, then hit them with your cannons. But since the Kor-Ah use a physical attack, the Utwig ship is no good against them. And you can’t alternate your own ships; once a ship warps out of combat, you can’t employ it again in the same battle.

In the end, I lost 7 ships, including all but one of my new Avatars, to the six dreadnoughts.
             

Things are not going well for my fleet.

         
Fortunately, the moment I defeated the ships, the Yehat suddenly appeared, the rebellious faction having overthrown the queen. The Pkunk had unified with them in the meantime, and the new queen was Pkunk. They replaced 6 of the 7 ships I lost with 3 Pkunk Furies and 3 Yehat Terminators.
           

I was wondering why the Yehat civil war was taking so long. They couldn’t win until the right moment.

         
The next phase required me to attack the battle platform itself. It had six shield generators on its perimeter, generating a shield and preventing me from flying my bomb into it. Also protecting it were these flying “repulsor globes”–that’s the best I can’t describe them. They didn’t do much damage, but they knocked my ships off course and made it difficult to approach the platform. It was also protected by these ships that looked like fireballs.

Most important, the platform itself seemed to have some kind of natural repulsing capability–or perhaps it was just the draw of the nearby planet. Either way, the end result was that most of my ships couldn’t get anywhere near it, nor outrun the devastating fireballs. The only ships that I could even begin to use were the Pkunk Furies. I had to use them to circle the platform, slowly diminishing the shield generators while avoiding the many repulsor globes and fireballs.

It took me five tries. I only had three Furies and if they were all destroyed, I was out of luck with any of the other ships (the Yehat Terminators could almost make it, but not quite). I’m curious how other people do it, particularly if they don’t lose as many ships as I did to the dreadnoughts and thus not have enough space for the multiple Pkunk and Yehat replacements.
             

My nerves were too frayed to get a lot of screenshots during this section.

          
After I finally destroyed the shield generators, I figured it was time to make a run for the center of the platform with the flagship and the bomb. Big mistake. My cumbersome flagship stood no chance against the still-active repulsor balls and fireballs. I had to reload and defeat the damned shield generators again, and it took me three more tries.

This time, I employed the rest of my ships to destroy the remaining globes and fireballs before, finally, sending my doomsday flagship into the maw of the platform. At this point, the game took over and commenced the endgame sequence.
            

“Goodbye, loyal crew!”

          
The sequence showed my captain escaping in a pod that seems much too small for the entire crew. In the escape pod’s viewscreen–where he is suspiciously the only one present–he sees a huge explosion and goes unconscious. He wakes up to the beautiful Syreen commander, Talana, watching over him. Talana relates that the Sa-Matra was indeed destroyed and that the rest of the Ur-Quan fleets were destroyed by the New Alliance. The captain has awoken just in time to see the slave shield disappear on Earth.
         

Yes, the planet is definitely what I’d be looking at right now.

          
The narrative then shifts to the captain as an old man, relaxing on Unzervalt (the Precursor planet from the backstory), telling the story to his grandchildren. It is clear that he married Talana shortly after the events of the game. The children demand to know what happened in the five-year period after the Ur-Quan destruction, and how their grandfather found the “Mark II.” But the captain simply says that those adventures are “an entirely different story,” clearly setting up a sequel.
           

Perspective dramatically shifts in the final shots.

         
As the end credits roll, the player gets little humorous vignettes of the various races. The Zoq-Fot-Pik continue to debate about Frungy; the Shofixti male has run away for some much-needed recuperation; the Utwig manage to break the Ultron again, and so on. Many of them make allusions to being featured in the sequel. The entire sequence (which you can watch here) is cute, but it also serves to emphasize that the game’s races are fundamentally silly, which more than slightly undermines the plot.
          

The Druuge makes demands for Star Control III.

         
So . . . I don’t know. I was hoping for more of a twist in the ending, along the lines of Starflight. I feel like the only major twist in the game was in the relationship between the Ur-Quan and their Talking Pets, and that happened in somewhat banal dialogue comparatively early.

There’s lots of external material for me to read before the final entry. I’m particularly interested in what elements of the game truly had alternate paths and which ones just seemed like it at the time. I’m also interested in any other side-quests or Easter eggs that I missed. The spoiler embargo is lifted, so please discuss liberally.

Final time: 47 hours



Original URL: http://crpgaddict.blogspot.com/2019/05/star-control-ii-won.html