Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters

Made by Accolade, released in 1992

The Birth of the Chmmr



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2006! I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




As is the grand tradition for the Captain, it's time to go royally screw another race over! Interestingly enough, I do believe this is the last alien race we'll encounter in the game. I'm too lazy to count up how many there are in total. Someone else do it.

Let's go visit Starbase!

This is rather vague, but it applies to the Pkunk's sphere of influence disappearing if you're curious.

Croggling is one of those new future terms.

Which I'm sure is actually quite a lot really, considering our sun's power.

WHO KNOWS WHY IT WORKS THAT WAY IT JUST DOES

I know exactly what to use this for, but then again I've played this game quite a bit. You'll see very shortly.

Anyway, it's about high time I got into these. The Penetrator is a ship with I think the same crew capacity as a Spathi ship (30 I think) but with an interesting handicap. The Penetrator always starts at 12 crew. That's also as much crew as you can give the Penetrator in starbase.

Now, this may sound stupid but stay with me.

The Penetrator's main weapon is a fairly long-ranging shot from its tip that does two damage, mostly. Not very effective. The key to the Syreen though is their second ability, the Syreen Song. Basically, just get your Penetrator close enough to an enemy ship and sing away. The enemy's crew will jump ship in the form of green dots and start to make their way to the Syreen ship. This means that the Syreen have one of the few ships that can come out of battle stronger than they went in.

Of course, this can be tricky. Small ships don't have that much crew and can be hard to catch with the Song, since you have to be fairly close. Other ships have precautions against anyone getting very close (like, say, the Kohr-Ah) and because the Syreen only start with 12 crew, they can be killed before they can pick up the crew that the other ship dropped.

Also, the other ship can pick their own crew back up, if they're fast enough. The basic strategy for a Penetrator is to steal all your opponent's crew, then zap em with you're blaster to finish em off.

I think I remember reading a description for the Penetrator's crew, where under the compulsion of the Syreen, all species work side by side in harmony. Well, harmony being an operative term. On a Syreen vessel it wouldn't be unusual to see a VUX working pleasantly with an Earthling, for example, or an Androsynth.

Anyway, I used to fly Syreen ships when I got bored. Their pilot icon is a little odd. Let's see if I still have it around here...

Aha

Sometime I should just go through and take a screencap of how the captains move whenever you press a direction and stuff.

So anyway OFF TO PROCYON

Another slaveshielded world with a starbase! HMM.

Basically, if you don't feel like reading it, the Starbase is abandoned. The Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm threw up some robots to take care of the Starbase then went BACK under the shield somehow. They never really explain how. Also, the Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm were trying to figure out a way to synthesize their two species into one.

Pretty strong tectonics. Hmm.

You can try this with other slave shielded races and it doesn't work. I think it's due to the Chenjesu's crystalline bodies that give them a heightened sensitivity to hyperwave transmissions. At least, that's what the Starbase Commander said.

There we go!

I should probably give you guys some background on them. I'll try and keep it short.

The Chenjesu were the creators of the first Alliance of Free Stars. They and the Mmrnmhrm were the leaders and backbone of the Alliance during the first Ur-Quan attack. The Chenjesu are silicone based, I believe, therefore their sun is far stronger than our own. They mostly survived off of chemicals and light and, considering they're sentient living crystals, they have no predators. They evolved alone and developed their culture relatively without incident. The Chenjesu were very intelligent, long-lived, patient, honest, and perfect diplomats. They were the unquestioned leaders of the Alliance. Most races regarded them with respect. It was the Chenjesu who first detected the Ur-Quan's advance into the sector, who organized the Alliance, and asked the Humans to join.

Chenjesu ships, the Broodhome, are lots of fun. They're big crystalline things with lots of crew, but slow maneuverability. Their main weapon is a huge crystal that they can fire as long as you hold down the primary weapon button. When you let go, the crystal explodes into many shards letting you damage anyone nearby. Their secondary ability is a DOGI, which...I can't remember what that stands for off-hand, but it's a fast little probe type thing that goes after the enemy ship and drains all their battery. This can be REALLY annoying for ships who depend on battery, like the Druuge, the Pkunk, the Utwig, the Umgah...

The Broodhome was Sheena's favorite ship. Heh. They're fun to fly as.

The Mmrnmhrm, the second part here, were good friends of the Chenjesu and very polite. Not much is known about them though. They were a race of sentient robots created by one giant Precursor (according to SC3 anyway, and I think it's probably right on this point) factory that the Earth press called the Mother Ark. The Mother Ark churned out millions of Mmrnmhrm then broke down. The Mmrnmhrm are unable to create more of each other, so basically after the Mother Ark conked out they were screwed. This is probably why the Mmrnmhrm were receptive to the Chenjesu's suggestion that the two races "fuse" together. The Chenjesu's culture had become stagnant and the Mmrnmhrm were going extinct.

The Mmrnmhrm's ship was called the X-Form. I had lots of fun flying these. Sadly you can't get these or Broodhome's in game, just in Super Melee. Anyway, the X-Form's ability depended on its ability to change shape. The special key would shift the X-Form between two different ships. A very slow ship with a powerful laser that had fantastic turning, and a very fast ship with two auto-seeking weak missiles that had horrible turning. Basically, flying an X-Form was learning how to balance these two forms. It was tricky but fun. The X-Form's fast shape (the Y form I think it was called) was really pretty speedy, but I think the Pkunk Fury still outpaces it. There is very, very little that can outrun a Pkunk Fury.

Mmrnmhrm is fun to say.

ANYWAY I think that should do it for history for now. The Chmmr music is frigging awesome. It's one of the better tracks in the whole game. I really highly recommended the Yehat music, and this time I also recommend the Chmmr. It's just great, in-your-face kind of music. The Chmmr's theme has to be one of my favorite tracks from the game.

Original MOD
Mp3, which follows the original very closely
The UQM Remix Photosynthesis, which is totally awesome

With the help of this caster and Chenjesu biology, that's how!

Captain gets right to the point.

All of this is probably true, by the way. Not just the Chenjesu/Mmrnmhrm making idle boasts.

No good, the Kohr-Ah come and kill everybody by...what was it...2159 I think.

GUESS WHAT I'M GONNA DO

I like picturing the Chmmr being really reluctant to say that it IS even possible.

Captain: DON'T CARE

Captain: STILL DON'T CARE

If you were curious about why it's called that.

It's about the size of a small moon, if I remember right.

Most theories go that the Ur-Quan feel weird about using the Sa-Matra in general battle and only use it in emergencies since they view it with so much honor.

And that was when the humans knew we were SCREWED.

I KNOW HOW

WHERE ON EARTH COULD I GET THAT

Heh, I think I've got somethin that'll work for that.

It will indeed!

Hahahaha I'm going to screw you up

Painful, hmm

You know, if any of us are alive at that point.

SO HEY LET'S KICK THE PROCESS UP A NOTCH

There you go, now you can see em more clearly.

Animated! Love the little electricity crackles.

The impression I always got from this (the "the process is incomplete, yet we emerge") is that the Captain really screwed things up by using the sun device. Kind of like...the Chmmr had the capability to become really hardcore, super Ur-Quan killing ultrarace, but the Captain hurried the process along so quickly that, while the process was completed, they definitely didn't end up the way they expected. Like horrible mutants, kind of. From the way the Chmmr act, I always thought they seemed kind of angry.

Heh, makes me wonder what the Chmmr were REALLY going for before the Captain hurried them up. Eh, guess no one woulda seen it anyway, since the Kohr-Ah woulda slaughtered them anyway.

Captain: HURRAY CHMMR :D

Chmmr: OAFJAJFGAHAAHGHAFH OH GOD WHAT ARE WE THIS IS HORRIBLE AAAGAHAHAA

Side note, I always pronounced it with a soft c. Like Shmmr. SC3 disagrees with me tho. I don't think the pronunciation is consistent with the english SC2 voices so I can't say for that.

Captain: :D

The entire EXTINCTION OF BOTH THE CHENJESU AND MMRNMHRM

Chmmr: D:

Chmmr secretly plots the Captain's death.

Not like the Chmmr have much of a choice.

Uh huh yeah I think we've made that clear.

Man everyone can just scan the ship's databanks whenever they want. Nice security, Captain.

I KNOW WHERE IT IS

There are a LOT of hints to where the Sa-Matra is from practically every race in the quadrant. Maybe I'll get them all together for you later.

Yeah yeah

KNOW WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN YET

So pick up the Utwig bomb, got it.

This is up for debate but generally yeah.

Pretty much, yeah.

Non-hostile emo race, you mean.

The Chmmr voice in Starcon3 was done pretty well. I mean, as well as you can do a voice for the Chmmr. It was kind of crackly and broken, if I recall. So it wasn't entirely robotic, but not entirely human either. It was interesting. I remember how they said "we await your return" very clearly tho.

The SC2 Chmmr voice is just boring in english, mostly. Same in Japanese, if you're curious. But I mean, how interesting can you make a Chmmr's voice, really?

That's it? Huh, okay.

Alright, the Chmmr Avatar, heh, corrupted how I looked at the word avatar probably forever. Ever since this game, Avatar has this immense connotation of power and force behind it.

The Avatar was one of the ships that me and Alix banned in Super Melee because we thought it was cheap, along with the Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah ships. The Avatar you can see there has a full 42 person crew and fairly good speed and turning. Not amazing but not bad. What really helps the Avatar are three small satellites that are constantly in orbit around it called ZapSats. The ZapSats have a certain amount of HP and will zap anything that comes near the Avatar. What this means is that smaller projectiles are completely useless against the Chmmr. Spathi, for example are sitting ducks because their BUTT Missiles are totally destroyed by the ZapSats. Also, if you get close enough, the ZapSats will gladly zap you for damage as well, meaning small ships with short-range weapons are totally screwed (the Arilou, the Pkunk, the Zoq-Fot-Pik for example). Of course, this again depends on your skill...

Amusingly enough, the Thraddash Torch actually does quite well against the Avatar because its afterburner trail can take out its ZapSats really quick, and also fights against its tractor beam.

Speaking of which, I haven't even talked about what the Avatar's actual weapons are. The ZapSats are there by default. The primary weapon for the avatar is a huge terawatt laser with a greater range than the VUX laser and does twice the damage. Basically, if you go in against that laser you are going to die. It does a ton of damage REALLY fast, thus why head-on fights with Avatars are not a good idea. The secondary ability for the Avatar is a tractor beam. This beam will drag other ships towards the Avatar. It works better with some ships rather than others, altho you can whip smaller ships around with it to get them to ludicrous speeds. You can also whip people right into planets which is great. Oh yeah, the Avatar has a full 42 unit battery that regenerates very quickly.

So you can see why we outlawed Avatars. Of course, if you know what you're doing, you can take an Avatar (The Androsynth Guardian, the Kohr-Ah Marauder, the Druuge Mauler, and the Utwig Jugger can take a Chmmr Avatar.) but most of the time, they're not to be messed with.

At any rate, time to give the Utwig back their reason for living!

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