Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters

Made by Accolade, released in 1992

The Kohr-Ah



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2006! I finally just give in and start screencapping everything. I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




So I realized that I really didn't want to deal with the Umgah cause fighting Umgah ships is HARD and I don't feel like dealing with it. So I decided instead to trigger the ZEX quest thing, except I forgot that a bunch of stuff happened in the meantime. So we'll have some detours before we get to ZEX, but it's all in good fun. Man my hands are cold for some reason.

Oh yeah, I managed to screencap the intro! I almost forgot. I took prntscrn caps of this rather than dosbox caps, so they're at a bigger resolution. This is actually the resolution the game plays at, so I don't actually strain my eyes with the small text in the normal screencaps here. If you play the game, it will also play at this resolution! You should go play it yourself. Hint hint.

Again, this goes best with the fabulous intro music. The only intact version of it is the MOD, so I totally recommend listening to the MOD while looking at these cause it's so awesome. I swear.

Not a company you see a lot of, nowadays.

I wasn't fast enough to catch it, but the subtitle "The Ur-Quan Masters" fades in shortly afterwards.

Gotta love that chicks hair, eh?

DUN DUN DUUUUN

There's actually some goofy backstory here that I read in one of the old manuals, if I recall correctly. The Captain, as a boy, loved screwing around with the Precursor computers and stuff, and one day pressed a button that jumpstarted the factory to life. Over time it scavenged resources from the planet to try and build a starship...

Yes, that is why the ship looks so weird.

The Captain was the only one that could interact with the Precursor computer. People have theorized that the Arilou gave the Captain the ability, or tweaked his genes to do it, and I guess that's possible but it seems kind of like a stretch. Who knows though.

And then it bumps you to the copyright screen. So awesome.

Anyway where were we? Right.

HA I've got you now!

That's a lot of dialogue options, now that I think about it.

WOOHOOOOOO

So anyway, off to Delta Gorno, or the nearby vicinity.

The portal spawner is so convenient. Seriously.

There we go. At this point, I realized that actually a different portal would have gotten me closer.

There we go, much closer. Although, did you notice that the Spathi sphere of influence vanished? Time to investigate!

THIS IS WHY I TOLD YOU TO STOCK UP ON SPATHI SHIPS

High Council is gone...

Quick, turn on the Caps-o-monitor!

---- REPORT FROM SURFACE ----

CAPTAIN... THIS IS LIEUTENANT ROBINSON, SIR. WE HAVE LOCATED AN ALIEN ARTIFACT DOWN HERE. PERHAPS MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE HAVE FOUND SOMETHING WHICH I THINK MAY EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED TO THE SPATHI... AND I DON'T THINK YOU ARE GOING TO LIKE IT. WE WERE INVESTIGATING A LARGE BLUE MACHINE WHEN OFFICER TALBOT DISCOVERED A PIECE OF PAPER GLUED TO THE SIDE OF THE DEVICE. SIR... IT'S A NOTE FROM THE SPATHI HIGH COUNCIL. I'LL READ IT TO YOU...

DEAR HUNAMS,

HOW ARE YOU? WE ARE FINE. HOWEVER CAN WE THANK YOU FOR LETTING US STUDY YOUR PLANET EARTH'S SLAVE SHIELD? ADMITTEDLY, IT TOOK US SOME TIME TO REPLICATE THE TECHNOLOGY OURSELVES, BUT WE ARE SIMPLY DELIGHTED WITH THE RESULTS! YESSIREE, WE SURE LOVE THE IDEA OF PUTTING AN IMPENETRABLE SHIELD AROUND OUR PLANET! NOW ALL THOSE EVIL MONSTERS THAT WERE JUST ABOUT TO ATTACK WON'T BE ABLE TO EAT US. THANKS!

I GUESS THIS MEANS WE WON'T BE ABLE TO SEND YOU ANY MORE STARSHIP CAPTAINS... SORRY!

WELL, THEY WANT TO TURN ON THE SHIELD ABOUT NOW, SO WE'VE GOT TO GET GOING. I'M SURE WE'LL NEVER EVER TALK WITH YOU AGAIN, SO... BYE!

THANKS AGAIN!

YOUR FRIENDS,

THE SPATHI RULING COUNCIL

P.S. THIS MACHINE IS THE SUPER-POWERFUL HYPERWAVE `CASTER THAT THE UMGAH USED TO TRICK US INTO BELIEVING THAT THE `GRAND MASTER PLANET EATERS' WERE COMING TO DESTROY OUR PLANET. WE THOUGHT THAT MAYBE YOU'D LIKE TO HAVE IT.

---- END OF TRANSMISSION ----

I love the Spathi. Also, Caster! Awesome! I'm gonna have some fun with this. Thankfully, I've got four Spathi ships in storage, so this doesn't come as a huge loss.

Dropped by the Starbase for fuel, aaaand

Hee hee.

Wooo they CAN be useful, if you know what your doing.

Dang, that puts off the ZEX quest for a little bit. I'll hafta go take care of that immediately.

I HOPE YOU BOUGHT A LOT OF ELUDERS. They're good good ships.

I should check in to Starbase more often.

Dang, and I have to deal with the Pkunk as well. I'll do that afterwards.

Darn it, there was a closer portal. Oh well.

Oh yeah, this is what the savegame screen looks like, if your curious. you can have LOTS of saves, if you want.

Kohr-Ah ship! I already explained what they can do, right? I think I did.

The Black Ur-Quan. While the Kzer-Za are a bit unbalanced, they mostly come off as sane, if misguided. The Kohr-Ah come off as totally crazy. They've just really fallen off the deep edge.

Their music is rather weird. Kind of minimalistic and bizarre.

Here's the MOD
Here's the MP3, pretty close to the original
UQM remix, Cleansing Required, OGG file. Little weird.
And another UQM mix, The Eternal Doctrine, OGG file. Very chill, has that same kind of minimalist vibe as the original.

Animated!

Dem bones dem bones

But I already explained most of that. WOOPS.

While the Kzer-Za go with "be our slaves or we'll slave-shield you forever" the Kohr-Ah go with the simpler "KILL EVERYONE" philosophy.

Although interestingly enough, the Kohr-Ah tell you the most about what happened to them. Well, compared to the Kzer-Za anyway.

This phrase sticks with me even to this day, haha.

It's such a tragic thing. They were so close to finishing their shield.

I thought it was the Yuli and Drall! Score one for me.

I like the "effete" there. I like how the two subraces snipe at each other.

I'd say. It seems safe to say that the Excruciator was a big factor in the Kohr-Ah (and to a lesser extent, the Kzer-Za) going bananas.

Hahaha and I already blew all of this for you before. WOOPS.

Mael-num=Melnorme.
(maybe)

Check any supergiant star, guys!

Never a good idea.

Let's give an Arilou a shot!

All Kohr-Ah ships have captains named "Death [number]", much like how Kzer-Za ships have captains named "Lord [number]". You can see me spinning in circles here, and the blades that the Kohr-Ah shoot as their main weapon.

HAhahaha can't FRIED me! Sucker.

Yeah that didn't go too well. Altho if I coulda focused I think I coulda done better, fighting Kohr-Ah with Arilou is just annoying. In the process of picking my next ship, I saw that hey, my favorite Pkunk ship is with me! That Pkunk ship, Wudstok, saved my butt once at the end of the game a long time ago. Tore through so many Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah ships, kept coming back to life everytime I thought it was over...I owed my victory to Wudstok. Ah, many memories. I remember that Sheena's counterpoint to Wudstok was a Chenjesu captain named Vszszzsz I think. Ah, the long battles of Pkunk versus Chenjesu. Good times. Anyway.

I coulda done better than that. I'm gonna load and redo it later.

If you don't come help them, I think the Zoq-Fot-Pik might actually go extinct. Or at least, be very upset.

Hahahaha.

Yeah I'll get right on that.

SPORT OF KINGS I TELL YOU

Well dang.

Anyway, loading, let's try this again.

There, you can see the BUTT missiles. Those little purple things.

Bam! Victory! You know, Spathi ships work really well against the computer Kohr-Ah AI. They do a FRIED to get rid of your missiles at first, but since that takes half of their battery and a BUTT missile takes like two of a Spathi's, it's easy to just keep pegging them with missiles after they blow their battery like morons. Suckers.

Weird, that makes Spathi ships good against Kzer-Za AND Kohr-Ah! Spathi ships rock.

Anyway, since I don't plan on harrassing the Kohr-Ah at any time soon to talk to them more, I'll grab some of their dialogue for here.

Your death was inevitable, BUT NOW IT IS ALSO IMMINENT!

~Haha it's so rare to see them so clearly upset.

We sense... something... something ancient... a sickly smell... a chilling wind.
My ancestors scream from within their chambers in my mind
but I cannot understand their words.
This feeling... a memory? It sickens us, and for the first time in our lives
for the first time in generations
We fear.

~I know what causes this, but I won't spoil it for you.

We are the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah.
You have evaded our attempts to cleanse.
You are no longer filth. You are a threat.
Threats deserve greater attention than filth.

Captain: What is this madness!? Why are you trying to kill everyone?
Kohr-Ah: We do not kill. We cleanse.
Cleansing is necessary to ensure our eternal freedom and security.
Indeed, you fail to understand: there is no death.
Only termination and rebirth.
Each termination brings around the new chance
the possibility to be born an Ur-Quan.
We merely present this opportunity, make it available to all.

~Like I said, the Kohr-Ah are a little loopy.

Captain: You have no right to continue this genocide!
Kohr-Ah: Our Path of Now and Forever is self-justifying, it needs no confirmation.
We cleanse. That is all. There is no more.

Captain: I cannot understand why you do this.
Kohr-Ah: Your understanding is not necessary.

Captain: Your logic is faulty. How can you have security in the midst of an endless war?
Kohr-Ah: The cleansing ensures our freedom and security.
Threats to this freedom and security are confined to non-Ur-Quan intelligent life forms.
To preserve our freedom and security, we cleanse such threats.

Captain: If you attack us, we will destroy you.
Kohr-Ah: Over five thousand races have made such a claim.
We survived. They did not.
Nor shall you.

~FIVE THOUSAND.

Captain: Resistance is useless. Our victory is inevitable!
Kohr-Ah: It is not.

Captain: You have attacked us before, and we survived! You cannot defeat us. Submit!
Kohr-Ah: We did. You did. Yes we can. No.

Captain: Surrender or die.
Kohr-Ah: Our counter to your statement is simpler
just `die'.

Captain: What are you hanging over?
Kohr-Ah: My trophy bone-pit.
In here is one skeleton from each of the races which I personally exterminated.
I fondle these bones and recall the fine cleansing.
Perhaps your bones will grace this pit momentarily
unless they are accidentally vaporized.

~Hahaha the Kohr-Ah actually seriously answer the question.

Captain: You sure are creepy.
Kohr-Ah: Seeing that I represent your imminent termination
as well as the termination of your entire species
I think your fear is well justified.
Nonetheless, you require cleansing.

Captain: Stop that gross blinking!
Kohr-Ah: The time has come. You require cleansing.

Captain: Please don't destroy this ship. We mean you no harm!
Kohr-Ah: In the twenty thousand years of our Mission
we have heard more pleas for mercy than you can possibly imagine.
Civilizations which saw their doom before them called upon their geniuses to calm us
to no avail.

Actually, I never gave you guys some Ur-Quan Kzer-Za quotes, did I? I'll throw a few up here as well.

Captain: We have just GOT to stop meeting like this!
Kzer-Za: You boldly enter our space! Approach this Dreadnought as though it were a recreation base
and then play the dumb hominid?
Who do you take us for, Captain... Spathi!?

Captain: Hello? Ur-Quan? Are you paying attention to me?
Kzer-Za: In our twenty thousand years along the Path of Now and Forever
we have dominated thousands of species, yes
but we have saved hundreds from extinction.
You imagine the threat of unknown invaders, or alien pestilence borne on the solar wind.
We have seen these. But you do not acknowledge your own worst enemy, yourselves.
We have found dead worlds without number, planets ravaged by atomic fire or gaian collapse.
These planets were not rendered sterile by outside forces.
They bear sad testament to the effects of unrestrained instinct and emotion
or simple ignorance.
We will prevent such mistakes.

~I think it was Skotlex who brought up the point that even if a species was slaveshielded, what would stop us from destroying ourselves anyway? I dunno if I mentioned this before hand, but before they set up the slave shield, the Ur-Quan systematically destroy every artifact or ancient thing that's older than 500 years on the planet, as well as, I think, destroying all weapons. Then again, maybe the Ur-Quan really just keep tabs on everything that goes on and confiscates weapons or something. I dunno. Something with Thraddash and a little with the VUX suggests that the Ur-Quan DO keep an eye on their slave races, but you'll see when we get there.

Captain: You aren't much of a listener, are you?
Kzer-Za: A final command human, but it is more of a plea.
Your insubordination has guaranteed your death, there can be no alternative
but your species has not yet crossed the threshold of disobedience
that would require us to decimate Earth.
You have survived combat with us before. You may survive the ensuing battle.
If this happens, leave! Return to your home. Await our arrival there.
If you interfere with us here, we may lose the Doctrinal conflict with the Kohr-Ah.
If we are defeated, you are defeated as well.
The Kohr-Ah will be unleashed. They will begin a genocidal orgy, cleansing all known sentience.
They will crack the slave shield around Earth and reduce the surface of your blue world to cinders.

Now, if you screw up and linger around, the Kohr-Ah will win the Doctrinal Battle and systematically destroy all sentient life in the universe. So yes you are on a time limit. I tell you this cause if you play the game correctly, it won't happen and you won't see it happen when I'm playing through cause I don't plan on messing up. Basically, it's the worst case scenario, but it does bring up some interesting dialogue with the Kzer-Za...

So... it is the human slave.
How strange. I would have thought your species was extinct by now.
We have a suggestion for you.
FLEE! Run as fast and as far as your ship will take you.

Human? You are a fool! Why are you still here?
Flee!... before the Kohr-Ah find you!

Captain: Why should we run away?
Kzer-Za: Because you are doomed if you remain here!
Our Doctrinal War is over. We, the Kzer-Za, have lost.
RUN HUMAN!
Because if you do not run -- do not find somewhere to hide and nurture your species
you are extinct, and we, who have tried to protect you
are now powerless to stop the killing frenzy of the Kohr-Ah.

~I just find it weird that they refer to trying to "protect" you. It's easy to view the Kzer-Za as your enemies, but it's weird to come across something like this and realize that it isn't that simple.

Next up, taking care of the Pkunk and meeting up with the Shofixti!

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