Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters

Made by Accolade, released in 1992

The Pkunk



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2006! Still figuring out exactly how in-depth I wanted to go into with these... I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




For a minute I wondered if perhaps all of this SC2 nonsense was boring everyone to tears, then I realized that I could care less. IT'S NOT FOR YOU. IT'S FOR ME. BECAUSE I LIKE DOING IT.

ANYWAY we're off to meet one of my favorite races, the Pkunk! Amusingly enough when I was younger I could not sort out how to say Pkunk, so I pronounced it "Funk" even though there is nothing even close to an F in there anywhere. It's "puh kunk" if SC3 was any indication. To me though they'll always be the Funk.

This here is the Starmap, where you travel wherever you may go. Because of my obscene amount of fuel, the entire thing is light grey. If it were not so, you'd see a limited light grey circle of where I could go within my fuel means. The circles are circles of influence and indicate where various races tend to congregate. for example, if I wanted to see some random Ilwrath ships, I'd park myself in Ilwrath space and wait around, and one would probably show up. There's no human Sphere of Influence cause, obviously, humans are slaveshielded on Earth.

I know where the Pkunk tend to hang out, so it's time to visit! You can see how many units of fuel this costs me on the right there.

Once you choose a destination, the game switches it to AutoPilot, where it'll generally take you there unless something runs into you or stops you. Mostly, a ship in Hyperspace. My ship is so fast tho nothing can catch me. Haha suckers.

Aha, here we have Hyperspace! We spend a lot of time in Hyperspace. Truespace is where stars and solar systems are. Portals to Truespace are represented by those black holes here and there. Hyperspace is all red cause of how light appears on that side of the spectrum, or something. Techtalk.

A lot of time in Hyperspace watching your ship cross the galaxy. Thankfully, the Hyperspace music is AWESOME and I could listen to it for hours, so I could care less. I love the Hyperspace music. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It's one of the great iconic themes from the game I think. If there's a remix for Starcon2, it's probably going to be for Hyperspace.

Here's the original MOD. I recommend listenin to this at least once, remixes never quite capture the same feel.
Here's an mp3 that kind of hypers the original theme a bit, makes it more active
This remix is more chill and mellow than the original.
The RUSH mix is probably the closest to the original.
When I saw OC ReMix I totally about had a heart attack. I couldn't believe that SC2 had a remix that made it to OC. This remix is also fantastic and awesome and I love it to death.
Here's the UQM mix, which wanders off quite a bit from the original but is still pretty neat.
But there's another UQM mix, Lightyears Away! It's much closer to the original.

The radar at the bottom keeps track of where you are and where potential other ships are. You can mess around in Hyperspace if you want but mostly you don't want to waste fuel. Those stars in the background of Hyperspace are constantly moving and exploding and shifting so it's actually rather fun to watch. I don't think anyone's ever made an animated Hyperspace GIF tho, but man that would be neat.

There, see that black spot on the radar? That's another ship. It can be a friendly ship or a hostile ship, depending on what region of space you're in. Could also be an exceptionally irritating Slylandro probe, which we will see later.

You can snap out of Autopilot by touching any key, and thus avoid black spots if you're good. Since I'm so fast, I'll dart on by.

There, you can see the black spot on the screen.

Loser. Into the system!

Aha! Those little butterfly things are Pkunk ships. When you enter another system like this that's inhabited by another race, you'll usually see their ships circling planets, or occasionally darting between planets. Once you get close enough to them, they'll start to follow you.

There's a varying amount of ships circling planets at different times.

Heh, got the whole fleet following me here. WHEE. You can do this with a lot of races, just get huge masses of ships following you. I'm not particularly worried since the Pkunk won't hurt me, but with hostile species this can be a dangerous game.

Woop, got caught by one! One ship on the screen doesn't necessarily mean how many you encounter. It can range to as high as five or six ships if I recall correctly.

Hee. I love the Pkunk. They're big intergalactic space hippies.

The Pkunk ship is a small little thing with six crew, if I recall. However, it's one of the fastest, most maneuverable ships in the entire game. I think only the Androsynth in comet mode (and you can't fight the Androsynth in main game) can match them. Their main gun is a three way little thing that has a pretty short firing duration, which really suits them for blasting someone then running away really fast. Their battery does not rejuvenate naturally, like other races. Instead, that's where their special ability comes in. During battle, your special power as a Pkunk captain is to insult your enemy. Each insult restores your battery by two if I remember right. This is great. Some of the insults are dweeb, worm, dork, moron, idiot, and I think ugly might be in there. For new players, this can be greatly distracting to the Pkunk players advantage.

BEST PART about Pkunk ships is that when they explode, there's a chance that they'll be reincarnated with full crew and battery with a jubilant HAAAAALLELUJAH. This means that when you fight a Pkunk, you might not just be fighting it once. I've had many people go OH GOD NO I THOUGHT I KILLED YOU And hahahaha god I love the Pkunk ships. Sadly, you only get four of them every year, as they never send their captains or plans to the starbase.

Anyway, their music is pretty silly and happy.

Here's the MOD
Here's the Mp3 which is very close.
Here's a weird little remix that mostly moves it into minor key, I think.
The UQM remix, Pkunks Not Dead, follows the original pretty closely, haha

Animated GIF of idling and talking!

The Pkunk are actually fairly useful psychics, so not all of what they say is just silly.

Tho a good chunk of it is.

heh.

That response makes me laugh every time I read it. I think it's the HAR HAR HAR at the end of it.

Anyway turns out I'm at the wrong star. WOOPS. It was Gamma Krueger. Eh, I was close. Off we go.

THIS IS HOW YOU KNOW YOU'VE FOUND A HOMEWORLD.

Every race's homeworld is usually this well guarded. Yes, there are an infinite number of ships. You cannot blow them all up, no matter how you try.

Hee, this is one of my favorite exchanges.

No one ever gives you mineral resources. :< At least, as far as I can remember.

I still use this phrase in places. "Let's continue as if this never happened." or variants on that theme. I blame this directly on this game.

Hee hee, delinquent birds.

I skipped some lines in here.

"Of course we already know the answer to our next question too, but we enjoy conversation"

Hurray!

I can so hear this in my head. "We will give you...our love" in this great voice.

I love this game.

Pffff I'm not done with you birdies yet.

That's really as much of an explanation as you ever get.

The Pkunk are an off-shoot of the Yehat, who we will meet much later.

Hee hee hee.

I like the idea of Pointy Power.

Can you guess what happens to the Pkunk? I BET YOU CAN'T.

Well, I've learned something.

Plarty Fum, hehe.

I love this little glimpse of violence from a Pkunk.

Anyway, having bugged the Pkunk enough for now, it's off to meet the Spathi!

Woops, ran inta another Pkunk.

Hee, Whoopdy Dee and Trolly Bazoo. That is one of my favorite phrases.

AHA they do mention it.

I skipped a bunch of stuff here. Here's the leadup:

Well, not advice exactly, but I can offer you plenty of moral support.
Also, I can tell you about another dream. Yes, perhaps I will tell you
about my dream. In this dream there was a small creature, fragile
and weak. Above it loomed a much larger creature, dark and
foreboding. The large creature was preparing to take the smaller one
into its slavering jaws, when the little one looked up and said,

Hahaha, I just like how matter of fact that is.

Anyway off to bug the Spathi!

But first, some random Pkunk quotes I did not trigger/screencap.

Captain: We are on a five year mission, to seek out new life and new civilizations to boldly go where no... well you get the idea. We're kind of exploring.
Pkunk: I sense a deeper reason, a deeper conflict.
A conflict of immense proportion, a proportion of deeper reason.
A deeper thing that is not too terribly deep.
A conflicting deeper thing.......uh, I'm not really sure what I sense.
Are you sure there isn't something you want to say to me?

Captain: Oh... uh, no reason. We thought we'd just take this baby out for a spin... and here we are.
Pkunk: My telepathic sensors are telling me that you are repressing something.
Repress, repress, repress. What is it? Come on. What is it? I see a smile.
You're smiling. Tell Pkunky the secret. Come on, nasty alien gonna tell Birdy Pkunky big secret?

So fledgling, you have returned for your spiritual training. You seek
to be as we Pkunk are. An admirable if somewhat naive goal.
Of course, as a loving parent I must push you from the nest. Try as
you might to cling to the side, I must step on your fingers and kick
you over the edge. Ah but I cannot. I see those sad Human eyes,
and I must give in. My love gushes forth.

Ah, Captain human! I was hoping you would return. I have great news!
Were you aware that in one of your previous lives, you were Duke Franz Ferdinand?
It's true! And before that, you were the Egyptian god-pharoah Atum-to, the sixth?
This is amazing, Captain, just fantastic. Imagine, having been so many important people!
Well, to be frank, your case is not all that unusual.
It just so happens that almost everyone's past lives were as famous, rich or interesting people.
It seems that if you are a turnip farmer, a salesman, or somehing boring like that
you aren't reincarnated. When you die you just kind of... cease.
Isn't the universe a wacky place?

~One of my favorite theories regarding reincarnation.

Over many long years, we have investigated the mysteries of the Universe
the powers of crystal energy
regression into past lives
the truth behind crop circles
and in doing so we have been Transformed!

Earth Captain. You would be well advised to use caution when traveling in this area.
We must warn you about the presence of a spiritually corrupt and violent race... the Ilwrath.
Ah! I see you already know of them.
The Ilwrath appeared almost eight years ago, following a powerful HyperWave broadcast
supposedly from Dogar and Kazon, the dark gods of Death and Pain.
Ever since, they have ceaselessly attacked our ships and planets.

~I'm not sure if they mentioned that the Ilwrath were following their dark god's orders. It's an important little plot point.

(If you ever attack the Pkunk.)
We welcome you to our space, perversely misguided spirits of hostile intent that you are.
Perhaps it is simply that your species does not comprehend such subtle concepts
as the unification of the inner self child with the universal love stream.
So sad.
Perhaps if we put it in terms you could understand
Killing bad, bad.
Is that better?

Greetings aggressive ones.
We extend our wing tip to you in a gesture of unwarranted compassion.
Open your heart and become one with your happy self.
Let us help you. Let us heal you. Let us love you.
Don't be afraid of love. Are you afraid of love?
Are you afraid of yourself? We love you... friend.

~The next time I get in an argument I want to say this in a totally serious voice. Then hopefully everyone will laugh, and we'll eat Doritos.

Whoopdy Dee and Trolly Bazoo!
This is what I say when I am in a good mood.
Are you in a good mood today?
Please allow me to give you some advice.
Rather than become tense, and fire weapons at other people's ships
simply say, `Whoopdy Dee and Trolly Bazoo!'
You will feel much better and you will be much more popular.

~I LOVE THAT PHRASE seriously try saying it outloud. It's just fun. Like Spathiwa. Spathiwaaaa

Captain: Tell me, why do you transmit insults during battle?
Pkunk: Unlike certain other species, we Pkunk are an inherently peaceful and loving people.
Combat does not come easily to us.
In order to be at all effective, we find it necessary to whip ourselves into an emotional frenzy.

~Thus why Pkunk ships are so much fun.

Captain: Oh heck. Let's just forget it. I couldn't hurt you guys.
Pkunk: When I first looked at you, Captain, I knew that you were an advanced soul.
I turned to my first officer, Chrupp, and said
`Chrupp, would you just look at that creature's aura! It's magnificent!'
`the soft blues... the gentle greens... the unusual shades of chartreuse and ocher!'
`This human must be on the side of Truth and Light, Chrupp, he must!'
And then Chrupp said, `Just in case, I am raising shields and warming up the guns.'
I don't think Chrupp likes you, Captain.

I can only tell you to contemplate the small gobbet stone.
The stone is spewed forth from the gullet of a Wart Wumpet to land in a moving stream.
Does a fish swallow the stone? Perhaps, but that is not the point.
Is the stone round? Yes!
Does it have little disgusting nodules on it filled with slimy viscous fluid?
Only sometimes!
What is the point? The point is clear! Make friends with other species.
Even the nasty Charg beast cannot defeat a pack of Ibids
without the help of 7 or 8 Wrinkle Dogs.
I think you see what I am getting at.

~I love just how weird this is. And saying in an enthusiastic voice, "ONLY SOMETIMES!"

Next, THE EVIL ONES.

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