Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters

Made by Accolade, released in 1992

The Slylandro



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.




I'm so used to just dropping that first "L" and making it SYlandro. Doesn't that sound a bit smoother? Maybe that's just me tho.

TOO MANY SCREENCAPS for this one. I've noticed that I've abandoned all self-control and am now screencapping every conversation. If anything, when this is all said and done I'll have the world's most comprehensive record of this game on my computer, that's for sure.

I also think I may have figured out a way to screencap the intro. I'll let you know next installment.

All of these portals here in Quasispace correspond to points in Hyperspace. Easy shortcuts, if you know where you're going.

There we go. At this point the music was REALLY wonky so I just decided to restart.

Here's what the copy protection screen looks like! It grabs a random star off the starmap and asks for the coordinates. This was a big problem for me and Alix back when we didn't understand the coordinate system. I think this game taught us how to read those, now that I think about it.

Gas giant!

The Slylandro are a fun, nice race. They don't have ships of their own tho (apart from those stupid probes) and they can't exactly send captains to your Starbase, so you can't really strike up an Alliance with them, persay. They're friendly tho, and know some ancient history. Their music is pretty goofy, but catchy. Upbeat and happy. MARIMBAS.

Here's the MOD
for a limited time, since yousendit is going kind of crazy right now, here's the mp3 on the domain. Very close to the original.
Here's the UQM remix, also on the domain. A little...mellower? Or softer, I guess? Still follows it pretty closely though.

Animated! All their changing colors make the GIFs MASSIVE

I think that's a great way to greet a race. DON'T YOU AGREE?

They live a very long time.

I KNOW the Yuptar are in here. Maybe they just didn't meet up with the Sylandro.

I like the "Yow!" myself.

I'm not sure how that breaks down into our years.

For those curious, Star Control 3 DID answer this question. This is all kinda vague to me after all this time, so some of these details might not be exactly correct. So anyway, accordin to SC3, there were these things called the Eternal Ones (I think they were called that, it definitely started with an E) that, every so often, would come to the universe and devour all sentient life horribly. Sounds like a Spathi paranoid fantasy, right? Well it did happen, and there were only two species, I think, that ever survived this huge purge. The Arilou, because they ducked out into Quasispace, and the Precursors. The way that the Precursors dodge this Eternal One bullet was by developing a way to "de-sentient-ize" themselves. Again, this is kinda vague for me over time. The Precursors invented a way to stop being sentient so as to live "undercover" and avoid the Eternal Ones.

That was part of why the Arilou needed new blood in SC3, it was cause they were just so fantastically old. No wait, I just did some reading up on SC3 again and um...apparently living in Quasispace messed up the Arilou genes (except...you know...they didn't LIVE in Quasispace, they lived in a Truespace eddy that you could only get to through Quasispace, but whatever SC3) so they had all these genetic problems or something. So they were dying out but didn't want to do so (understandably), then came across the humans and were like AHA. WE CAN USE YOU TO SAVE OURSELVES. and began tweaking so they could use our genes or something. In SC3, the Arilou eventually show up and say they want to take all the humans to Quasispace for safety (uh, then why didn't they do this during the first Ur-Quan war? Hello, SC3? SC3?), but intended to use humans as a gene farm for their own ends. The Captain in SC3 tells the Arilou, in essence, to buzz off and that we don't like them anymore cause they lied to us :(, and the Arilou accept this and die.

I just can't reconcile that image of the Arilou with how they act in SC2. It's just so...negative, I dunno. They seem so upbeat and playful in SC2, it's hard for me to think of them as "dying" as a race. They give no hints of that in SC2 at all. Just that they're at a different...what's the word...point in their development than we are (one that's way more advanced). I also just can't see them using their children so callously like that. MAYBE I'M JUST A SAP.

ALso GOD the Arilou puppet in SC3 was horrifying. You want to see what I'm talking about? Okay.

This is from Star Control 2.

THAT'S THE STAR CONTROL 3 ONE. NOW TELL ME THAT ISN'T HORRIFYING.

Now, not that that isn't scary enough, but these things were ANIMATED. They MOVED AROUND. Now picture that thing having a vaguely creepy, soothing voice, never moving its mouth, and that ITS HEAD WOULD RANDOMLY MOVE LIKE SOMETHING WAS TRYING TO ESCAPE. Like these BULGES WOULD APPEAR IN ITS SCALP. The most HORRIBLE ONE was when it would close its eyes and this horrible THING WOULD PROTRUDE FROM ITS HEAD AND IT WAS SO SCARY GUYS. I'M SO NOT JOKING. I dreaded whenever they'd come to talk to me. D:

The Arilou seriously was one of the worst puppets in that game. They all weren't that bad but I don't know what they were thinking with the Arilou. I swear to god.

Edit: I MADE A GIF

AAAAGHHH

A better one is the Orz puppet.

Star Control 2.

Star Control 3. I mean, that LOOKS like an Orz (mostly). It moved like you'd imagine an Orz would move. I don't understand why they have good puppets like these and then INEXPLICABLY HIDEOUS ONES like the Arilou and the Syreen. Another example of SC3's hit-or-miss things I guess.

Where was I going with this? RIGHT. The SC3 explanation is that the Precursors were trying to hide from the Eternal Ones. Considering the fandom has disowned SC3, no one else has a solid theory as to what the Precursor's were worried about or why they left, or at least, not that I've seen. You don't get a lot of info on them, except from the Sylandro and a few other sources.

Fun tidbit: The Orz only talk in present tense. Maybe a side-effect from existing on multiple planes of reality? That's something the Orz can do that the Arilou can't. They exist in more than one place at once, which maybe is why their sense of "time" is kind of strange. JUST THROWIN IT OUT THERE.

Originally, the Rainbow Worlds would lead you to Groombridge, where you would talk to deified versions of the creators of the game. They took that out at the last minute tho, so there's all this alluding to the Rainbow Worlds having some great secret when no not really. Kinda disappointing, in a way.

Mostly, people think that the Rainbow Worlds point in the direction that the Precursors left for, which is waaaay off the current map I have. You never do meet up with them. Well you do in SC3 but that doesn't count.

And in all species, the youngsters are morons! I'm just amused by that.

I don't know why this amuses me as much as it does.

I'm just fascinated with the idea of living on a gas giant.

hee.

And besides, I can't easily picture gas bags fighting.

I just think that's a really neat detail.

Can you imagine how terrifying it would be to suddenly find out you weren't alone in a world like that?

It doesn't surprise me at all that the Precursors found the Slylandro and taught them things. The Precursors influenced EVERYONE in one way or another.

That was another thing I disliked in SC3, what they did to the VUX and their origins. More on that when we actually meet the VUX tho.

I'm so easily fascinated by how a species would develop sentience.

Hee hee hee, this is one of my favorite exchanges.

NO ONE TELLS THE CAPTAIN WHAT TO DO!

Gasp!

I can't do math. Someone else do it.

It's possible.

Tee hee, intercourse.

Hee hee.

Heh, I already explained this for you guys, but you can read along anyway.

I find that interesting. Maybe the Ur-Quan didn't find the Slylandro threatening? It's not like they can leave their planet, after all. And I mean, how scared can you be of a gas bag?

IT'S HAPPENED TO ME. BE CAREFUL.

Done that.

Yeah yeah whatever.

That woulda been rather mean, really, when you think about it.

Thus the song title.

DANG.

I guess since those things coulda been abused, they woulda HAD to be that expensive. But it also suspiciously sounds like the Melnorme took them for a ride.

HMM. WHAT COULD BE GOING WRONG HERE.

You never see these missiles.

"Component compounds" is one of those phrases that is now forever burned into my memory.

Obligatory reference!

I get this image in my head much like osmosis.

Moral of the story: DON'T MESS WITH IT.

THERE we go.

I'd get mad at the Sylandro, but it was an accident.

I love this game.

Heh, and they mention it too.

I like how they always follow it up with its full name.

Didn't see that coming, did you? Thought it'd be more complicated?

HURRAY MY TROUBLES ARE OVER

I like the phrase "fluid sack."

Next stop, the Umgah!

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