Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters

Made by Accolade, released in 1992

The Melnorme



Current Zar note: I did this LP in 2006! Starting to do more and more caps for each section, haha. I left my write-up mostly unchanged.




Heh, I was totally planning on hitting the Arilou with this installment but it looks like I took way too many screenshots, so they'll be in our next one.

I knew I was gonna visit the Melnorme and what they'd want from me, so I decided to hit up some Rainbow Worlds before I went. What are Rainbow Worlds, you ask?

Just what it says. There are only ten of these in the game and the Melnorme love them, mostly cause they've got a big honking eye, as we'll soon see.

I don't think I ever did any screenshots of mineral gathering. Minerals are sorted by color (I can't remember exactly what corresponds to what, except blue, purple, and red minerals are good stuff) and appear on the surface of the planet with varying sizes depending on how much is there.

You just run your Lander over it and it picks it up. I'm sure the minerals are all real minerals and stuff but hahaha I'm rich I don't have to mine planets. IN YOUR FACE, LOSERS. It's kinda hard to resist tho when you find a planet loaded with red or purple minerals to stop from mining it just out of habit.

Next Rainbow Planet please! No I haven't memorized where they all are what are you talking about cough cough

Huh, this one has bioforms on it! That's weird.

Anyway, back to Starbase.

Actually nah, Melnorme first, then Starbase.

That black guy frigging stayed right on my tail the entire flight there. Probe no doubt.

He's still RIGHT THERE!

See that very tiny star next to Zeeman? That's Vela, where the Captain is from.

Melnorme ships are always in Super Giant systems. They circle random planets. They can be tricky to find sometimes, cause they travel between planets sometimes like they're DELIBERATELY AVOIDING YOU but they're always there.

The Melnorme! The Eyeguys. If I remember right, I think the Melnorme's huge eyes give them a huge amount of Rods and Cones, so that colors are a lot more important to them than they were to us. Thus their fascination with the Rainbow Worlds, and the fact that all their captains are named after colors.

Their music is super great. It gets stuck in your head for days. It's just so catchy.

Here's the Mod
Here's the Mp3, which is very close to the original
Here's the infamous Potato Juice, the Melnorme song with incredibly silly words.
Here's the UQM remix which is SO GREAT, it has cash registers going off and everything, I love this

Animated!

Can you have a better ship name than that? NO YOU CAN'T.

Melnorme ships are fun, tho you can never fly them in-game. Their primary weapon is a color blast that you can charge. If you hold down the fire key, it holds the blast at the front of the ship and it cycles through colors and sizes. If you wait until it's Purple, you're set. You can also charge up colors this way and just ram other ships, which does TONS of damage. Their secondary weapon is fun and is a disorienting blast. If it hits another ship, they automatically start spinning helplessly in circles. After getting hit by one of these blasts, me and Alix were so amused by it we'd usually just keep accelerating going "WHEEEEE" and spinning in circles until we crashed into a planet.

I like to picture the Captain saying that with a :D face.

Hehe.

You can buy everything!

It's true, they're VERY helpful.

Basically, bioform information or Rainbow World locations.

I like this exchange.

I just like the idea of a culture entirely based on trading like this. It's neat.

I love the random things the Captain can say. You can imagine that the Melnorme don't take kindly to him saying that.

This is important. Have you wondered what would happen if I ran out of fuel while wandering in Hyperspace? Well, apart from being a sitting duck for whatever race I'm closest to, the Melnorme will come visit you. If you have anything they want, you can buy fuel from them. If you're really desperate, you can also sell bits and pieces of your ship to buy fuel. If you're really stuck far from Starbase, the Melnorme are a valuable source of fuel. Them and the Druuge, but we'll see them later.

These are EXTREMELY useful and, in my opinion, the first things you should buy off the Melnorme. They sell improvements for your main ship AND your Lander, and even tho I don't need to mine, I'm going to need them later for ZEX's Beauty and for finding the Deep Child case fragments. If you have to mine, these enhancements are essential, particularly the ones for weather and tectonics because if you set one Lander on a planet with say, Level 5 Tectonics (like a Shattered world cough deep child fragments), it will blow up in seconds.

You can beat the game without them, I think, but it would be really difficult.

As I just mentioned.

The information can also be vital in triggering various quests. I know basically how to do everything, but it can be tricky sometimes to trigger the right dialogue that'll get something going correctly. The Syreen in particular come to mind for this.

You were JUST ABOUT TO ASK THAT weren't you? Hehehehe.

No, you can never make that many credits in the game. YOU WILL NEVER KNOW.

From the Evil Ones and some other random stuff I found, probably on the Androsynth homeworld and that one Rainbow World.

Rainbow Worlds are where the money is at.

I love that. It makes them sound like those TV informercials.

YOU NEVER KNOW!

Eh, that's not so bad.

Normally you want to avoid fighting with your flagship, or at least I did. I didn't want to risk losing it. But properly pumped, your ship can mess things up. The Melnorme will also sell you (eventually) new dynamos that are more efficient than my current ones.

That's kind of useful.

Eh, I guess that's useful.

Oh SNAP YES

Hehehehehe.

More useful if I was actually mining stuff.

OH GOD YES

Yes yes yes alright this is awesome.

That'll be useful later.

Heh, unless they make you sign a waiver. More on that later.

Frick, I coulda used that. Ah well. I'll hafta find another Rainbow World or two.

Darn, that's no good either.

I went and jumped into Veela, but you can see the black dot there just waiting for me. I am going to get jumped by that probe so hardcore when I leave the system.

How are things at home!

C'mon, you saw this coming.

I like that it's in all caps. JUST A LITTLE EXCITED THANKS

Spoor?

I'm surprised they didn't crack down on the Humans back at Earth but hey whatever.

WHY NOT

Wow that did not work. It was during this process that I found out just how difficult it is to take screenshots (ctrl-f5) and battle (arrow keys, enter, space) at the same time. I have fairly long fingers but it's still kind of hard to juggle both things, especially since the AI in Starcon2 is very good. Frigging Umgah.

You can see one of the explosions of death from their fireballs here. I wanted to get a goodshot of the fireballs the Ur-Quan fire out, and Belt and Decker were the victims. I didn't even get a good shot with them either.

SPATHI COME TAH MAH AID

Those little red dots following my Spathi ship are the Fighters I mentioned before.

Woah I dunno what happened to the Ur-Quan ship here. You can kinda see the fighters a bit more clearly. The Spathi ship's speed and maneuverability makes avoiding and dodging the Ur-Quan's blasts do-able, even when distracted like I am with taking screencaps. Their BUTT missiles also work great.

There, you see how Batt is highlighted? That means that the Ur-Quan is trying to do something (fire a blast at me I assume) but they don't have the Battery to do it. Sucker.

Oh yeah, when you accelerate, you leave a small trail of red dots. I'm not being swarmed by Fighters here.

There, you can see I got zapped once by a Fighter as I was trying to get a shot of the fireball. I got one though! As you saw what happened to my poor Earthling cruisers, it doesn't take too many shots with those to wipe out a ship. Their range though is kind of limited (they can't go much further than you see here) and it does take a lot of battery to fire.

Ha, Thintho saves the day! Man Spathi ships are awesome. BUY A LOT OF THEM. I'M WARNING YOU.

I really love how the Spathi just hide in the corners of their little screen. I love the Spathi.

What that gave me less than one of those frigging Probes. LAME.

You can't scan slaveshielded worlds or anything, or land on them.

When I find all the races I'll have to blow up some of these shots so you can see what's happening.

DARN IT.

We'll find out what's wrong with them later.

Probes versus Spathi is a tricky matchup. Probes move faster than Spathi ships (faster than any ship, I think) and they're smart enough to move out of the way of the BUTT missiles. Annoyed, here I'm trying to zap Thintho out. You can also see the Lightning attack that the Probes use.

Flagship gets its own special screen! Oooo.

While trying to get screencaps and kill the fastmoving Probe, I managed to bash myself into a bunch of planets, not to mention get nailed by the lightning a few times. THANK YOU THANK YOU. You know your in trouble when you see that one blue dot in the crew for the Flagship. That blue dot is you.

Did you notice that the Probe's crew are gray? They're robots! I think there might be another race that has gray crew but I can't remember offhand. The Mmrnmhrmm I think.

I did eventually make it back to Sol but that battle was embarrassing jeez. Oh well. FUEL TANKS.

Yaaaay Zoq-Fot-Pik!

I'm assuming cause the Orz breathe some kind of liquid, guessing by their talking screen. Who knows tho.

My Spathi ships'll do.

You can ask the Starbase Commander for input on lots of neat stuff. Most of the time it's pretty helpful.

Taalo + "time joke" = Chenjesu? I think about this stuff too much.

Aha, that'd explain why the shield wasn't finished, you're only MOSTLY immune. Well, it almost works.

Anyway, Melnorme quotes! They have some important info.

Captain: `Trade' is for the weak. We TAKE what we want!
Melnorme: We reel with inchoate fear, and are thrown into a sudden panic.
Being peaceful by nature
we would no doubt be unprepared for your sudden hostility
were it not for the excellent weapon system we bought from the Keel-Verezy just last month.
A weapon system which is fully locked on your command bridge, by the way.

How nice to see you again, Captain.
Before we go on, I have a small announcement.
As you may know, in our travels throughout the galaxy
we Melnorme have found many strange and interesting alien artifacts.
One of these devices is the MetaChron, a kind of trans-time alarm system.
In a nutshell, it warns me of future dangers by predicting its own demise
which is most likely linked to my own well being, since I keep it under my pillow.
The unit is a small pyramid and, when all is well, white in color.
But if we are proceeding along a timeline which will eventually result in the destruction of the MetaChron
the unit slowly darkens. Presumably, it will be destroyed at the same time as it turns completely black.
When we first entered this region of space, the MetaChron was white.
Now it is light gray.
At its present rate of change, something will destroy the MetaChron
in the early part of the year 2159.
In order to avoid this unpleasantness, we may be leaving just before this time
so if you have business you wish to conduct with us
I suggest you do so before January 2159, or February at the latest.

~You didn't think that date on the side there, underneath the flagship and accompanying fleet, was just there for nothing, right? You're on a time limit.

What a coincidence! I was just talking about you with a Keel-Verezy captain.
He/she/they expressed great interest in your explorations and struggles against the Ur-Quan
but, like all Verezy, I'm afraid he/she/they were hesitant to introduce themselves for fear of
well
frightening you.
In any event, it is our pleasure to meet you once again.

~Keel-Verezy might reside on another plane, maybe related to the Orz. Who knows. Maybe the Melnorme are just messing with you.

This very morning, I was just saying to subordinate Ochre
`Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum! I smell the feet of a Hu-Hu-Man!'
We laughed and laughed. What a synchronicity!

LOOK OUT!
Hoy! What a close call!
Captain, why did you try to run down that Keel-Verezy vessel!?
You almost smashed it into flinders!
What!? You didn't see it? Surely you -- oh
Never mind.

~Hee hee, flinders.

Captain: Can we discuss establishing an alliance?
Melnorme: Your question reveals a certain lack of understanding
about the nature of friendly, inter-species relationships.
We shall clarify the situation.
If you wish to be friends with someone
never
EVER
shoot wads of super-heated plasma at them.
Is this clear?

~We can all learn something from this.

Captain: Look, mistakes happen. Don't get so bent out of shape!
Melnorme: The Spathi once used a similar excuse
after an unfortunate incident at their base on Algol IV.
They didn't like the climate there
so they decided to make `just a few minor, climatic adjustments.'
Their equipment went haywire, they panicked and fled
and the entire atmosphere was stripped off the planet
much to the native Algolites sincere
though short-lived
regret.

~I love the Spathi. I can totally see them doing that.

Captain: I apologize. I'm sorry. Please forgive me, I beg you.
Melnorme: Well
since you put it so nicely
you seem so genuinely repentant
we'll give you another chance to become trading partners with us.
But don't ever attack us again
Or the next time we won't be such nice guys.

Captain: This seems like a great opportunity to attack you again.
Melnorme: Deceitful human!

~I just love how fast that happens. I can totally picture the Captain a kind of >D face

Captain: Die, eye-freak!

~I just think that's a great insult.

According to our scanners and other sensitive devices
you are immobile in HyperSpace with no fuel reserves.
This is a serious situation.
Without fuel you shall drift here until your batteries exhaust themselves
then your life-support will fail
and you will expire
unless, of course
a hostile alien vessel finds you here helpless
and annihilates you mercilessly.
This has been known to happen.
However
as a gesture of good will, and in the spirit of friendship, we offer our assistance!
For a nominal fee.

Once more we find ourselves in a position to help you.
How wonderful.

Have you ever considered buying more fuel tanks?
Just a friendly suggestion, Captain.

~I like this one.

We MUST stop meeting like this, Captain!
Ha, ha, ha
Har, har, har
snicker

~I just love the "snicker" at the end.

Captain: Why did your bridge just turn blue?
Melnorme: To us, blue ambience signifies a response to an unexpected threat
it shows that we are under emotional distress
and not incidentally
it also lets us see our weapon consoles more clearly.

Captain: Why shouldn't we just take what we want from you by force?
Melnorme: Because it's against the law, and besides
if you steal from us, the other Melnorme ships will have to raise their prices
and other innocent space aliens will have to pay for your wrong-doing.
Now that's not fair, is it?

While you probably believe that the Shofixti are extinct
having caused their sun to flare with a device identical to the Utwig's super-bomb
the truth is not so simple.
There yet exists a chance to resuscitate this meta-marsupial species, though it will not be easy.
The problem at hand seems simple: bring together two Shofixti of different sexes
and the carnal gymnastics proceed. Given the short gestation and maturation time of the Shofixti
you will have thousands of the creatures in ten years, and millions in twenty.
Finding a male of the species is easier than flup
simply visit the Shofixti's blasted star system at Delta Gorno.
Captain Tanaka or its sibling Katana shall greet you on your arrival.
A warning! -- These warriors are old and fly in barely functional ships.
If they mistakenly identify you as the enemy, do not return fire!
Retreat and try to talk with them on their own level.
The females of the species will be more difficult to obtain.
The only supply of such remaining in the galaxy is at Alpha Cerenkov I
included as part of Admiral ZEX's bizarre and beloved menagerie.
Fortunately for you, Captain, ZEX is considered... well... perverse, by his fellow VUX.
This is because ZEX actually enjoys the presence of human beings.
To acquire the Shofixti females, you will have to appease ZEX
because, I fear, killing him will be virtually impossible
due to his exceptional battle skills and the huge personal fleet he possesses.

~ZEX loves humans. :D We'll see him soon.

You may have noticed the presence of an increasingly large number of red probe vessels
which move with great speed and attack relentlessly.
We are sorry to say that this is our catalog item 2418-B.
Do not blame us! We are not responsible for this violent folly!
The product is not being used in a correct manner.
Should you wish to confront the actual wrong-doers
we suggest you search the planets in Beta Corvi for the probes' owners.

~Oh I'll track them down alright. The Probes are driving me crazy.

The creatures presently fighting the Ur-Quan are called the Kohr-Ah.
They are an Ur-Quan sub-species that split off from the main species many thousands of years ago.
Their present fight is a ritual reenactment of a major difference of opinion
between rival Ur-Quan leaders after the Ur-Quan overwhelmed their slave-masters, the Dnyarri.
The Kohr-Ah are immune to reason, having long ago lost the ability to see their situation objectively.
They live in a self-maintained paradox: to ensure their safety and security
the Kohr-Ah fight an endless battle against all other sentient species.

I must warn you about some very bad people.
`Is this worth so many credits?' you ask yourself.
I assure you, it is!
The creatures are called the `Druuge' and they are a callous and evil race.
They care for nothing but profit and personal gain through unfair mercantile exchanges..
why are you looking at me like that, Captain? It is not appropriate.
As I was saying, these wicked creatures will try to sell you commodities at unreasonably low prices.
Hoy! -- they almost give away fuel!
Do not fall for their tricks! There are hidden costs -- secret tariffs!
So that you may avoid them, I will tell you that their main trade world is Zeta Persei I.
Why are you smiling, Captain?

The Burvixese race evolved on the planet Arcturus I.
They lived there in a relatively benevolent manner
until the Kohr-Ah came and destroyed them during the course of 2 or 3 unfortunate days.
The Druuge were largely responsible for the Kohr-Ah's finding the Burvixese.
You see, the Burvixese were in long-distance HyperWave contact
with a race known simply as the Gg.
For decades the Gg and the Burvixese traded much valuable information
until the Gg came under attack by an invading race who you may know as the Kohr-Ah.
The Gg warned the Burvixese that the Kohr-Ah located races by their HyperWave transmissions
and that they had already discovered the radiations from the Druuge.
When the Burvixese were kind enough to warn the Druuge that a hostile alien race
was homing in on their HyperWave's radiations, the Druuge shut down all their transmitters
and erected a powerful HyperWave beacon on the surface of the Burvixese moon.
The Kohr-Ah changed course, attacked the poor Burvixese and sadly, destroyed them all.

~Despite how the Melnorme dislike the Druuge, this is true.

Following the end of the War, the Androsynth began experimenting with Inter-Dimensional Fatigue
a process which is related to your faster-than-light drive
but involves dimensions far more alien than HyperSpace.
They had just made a major breakthrough when they were suddenly wiped out by a race called the Orz
who appeared seemingly out of nowhere.
Actually, we don't know what the Orz did to the Androsynth -- they're just all gone.

~More clues about the Orz.

The Ariloulaleelay are a mysterious race of IDF beings
IDF meaning, Inter-Dimensional Fatigue
who do not reside in this galaxy, or in fact, anywhere in this universe.
While it is true that the Arilou are rarely seen far from the Columbae star group
they do make regular, secret visits to your world, and have done so for centuries.
Ever since Earth was slave-shielded, they have focused their attention
on the humans aboard the starbase, many of whom are now members of your crew.
Though the Ariloulaleelay always smile and are never overtly hostile
we believe that they have a secret agenda which somehow involves your planet, Earth.
These secret plans may or may not cause grief and woe to you Earthlings.

~One of the things I don't like about Star Control 3 is what they did to the Arilou (who were hideously, hideously frightening looking) and their motives. While in SC2 their motives are shadowy, they come off as parental, in a way. They care about the Captain and their adopted human children. In SC3 they came off more as manipulative parasites, which to me seemed kind of harsh, in a way. I liked the Arilou, and while I'm sure they don't tell humans everything, I can't see them hurting humans or using them as glorified breeding stock. They like humans for their own merits. It's hard for me to see them as villians. I dunno. This'll make more sense when we meet the Arilou.

The Slylandro are a mostly non-solid, sentient race who live in a gas giant at Beta Corvi.
We recently sold them a self-replicating exploration probe
which has somehow turned hostile and attacks everything it detects.
If such encounters have angered you, Captain, please do NOT address your concerns to us.
We possess a formal Waiver of Damages, authorized by a Slylandro Speaker
and are in no way responsible for the situation.

~::shakes fist::

The cowardly Spathi live at the single planet orbiting Epsilon Gruis.
They do not actually live on their world, rather they reside on its solitary moon.
The reason? A xenomorphic species, which craves the sweet-flavored flesh of the Spathi
has been transported to the surface of their planet
and makes every attempt to devour the poor Spathi.
I am certain that the Spathi would be forever in your debt
if you were to eliminate these creatures from their planet.
What? You fear the alien creatures will find you a treat also?
Fear not. Our data reveals the beasts are not interested in your species.
Should you wish to consult with the Spathi Ruling Council
you will need to know the Secret Spathi Cypher -- a password, which is
`Huffi-Muffi-Guffi'.

~I don't know why you'd need the Melnorme to tell you this, unless you maybe didn't run into Fwiffo on Pluto. Hmm.

When the Ur-Quan entered Gamma Serpentis -- the home star of the Yehat
the Yehat Queen suddenly switched allegiance to the Ur-Quan Hierarchy
converting the Yehat by royal fiat into Ur-Quan combat thralls.
This act was viewed by most Yehat starship officers as ultimately dishonorable
the desperate act of a corrupt regent to maintain her throne.
The Yehat shame was greatly magnified by the Shofixti's show of courage
when they destroyed their own star system to slow down the Ur-Quan Armada.

~I don't know, I just find that such a sad image. The Yehat loved the Shofixti and kind of "adopted" them, giving them technology and that kind of thing. The Yehat thought of the Shofixti as their children. The image of the Yehat having turned to the Ur-Quan and then having their children sacrifice their entire species in an effort to help the cause rather than do such a thing... it just strikes me as such a poignant image.

The Ur-Quan evolved on a harsh planet orbiting a star outside this region of space.
They were solitary predators, like your praying mantis, Captain, or polar bear
who had a very limited set of social behaviors, most of which dealt with sex.
Since they had to compete for survival against many physically superior species
the Ur-Quan evolved intelligence and tool use, in much the same way as your own species.
The Ur-Quan also learned to master their fierce territoriality to build a cooperative planetary culture.
When the Ur-Quan were discovered by the Taalo, they had just begun exploring their solar system
in crude atomic vehicles.
Although the Ur-Quan attacked what they thought to be an invader, the Taalo were patient.
They explained the purpose of the Sentient Milieu, and offered the Ur-Quan membership.
The Ur-Quan recognized the benefits that such a system provided
and once more conquered the hunting beast within themselves
to become cooperative, productive members of the Milieu. This lasted for several thousands of years.

~More detail on the Ur-Quan.

I didn't put all their stuff cause some of it we'll discover later. Okay NEXT UP the heavy space Slide and the Arilou!

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