It's time for a bit of trivia!
Back in the day of older PC games, early games were distributed on small floppy disks (the small non-floppy kind). As games got bigger and more complicated, the amount of disks needed to install a game got larger and larger. King's Quest VI, for example, needed 10 floppies if I remember right and Chess Maniac Five Billion and One took like 11 or 12. This meant you were screwed if you lost one (which happened a lot).
With the advent of cd technology and cd-drives, game companies were able to save money on costs by putting games on CDs rather than disks. Not only that, they could put more stuff on those CDs as well! I always thought that each game CD used all the space possible. Not true! Various CD-Rom games actually don't use all the space at all.
For example -
The Lost Mind of Dr. Brain is 325 megs.
The Legend of Kyrandia: Malcolm's Revenge is 569 megs.
Space Quest IV is 186 megs. (!)
Torin's Passage is 324 megs.
I just find it kind of interesting that a lot of the space on official game CDs isn't used at all.
On a sad note, I tried to copy Day of the Tentacle, but I think my copy of it is damaged. Sob.
Anyway. Back to Starcon2!
Fixing this ancient artifact will require some delicate handling QUICK PRESS ENTER
The Ilwrath circle grows smaller and smaller.
Anyway let's visit the Supox! You can actually bring them the almost repaired Ultron and they'll comment on it, but I'm lazy and just did it all at once.
Supox: YAAAAY MAYBE THE UTWIG WILL STOP LISTENING TO DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL NOW
As elated as the Utwig get I guess.
Yeah yeah whatever
Sometimes I feel kinda bad for the Utwig.
Purge my what? YOUR WHAT? I MUST KNOW!
Aww, I feel all fuzzy now.
::cough ultron is garbage cough::
Haha sure buddy.
I suuuure will.
Essential service of not annoying other species with your sobbing anymore.
Actually they are, if you know what you're doing.
12 months I think. Pushing it back from 2159 to 2160, I think.
Wooo okay. So then I went and bothered some random Utwig.
Ultron is the equivalent of that kid who wished people into the corn field from the Twilight Zone.
Hee hee Trooba.
::cough cop out cough::
Surprisingly polite for the Captain.
Hehe mutually exclusive.
I don't believe the Captain buys the Ultron's power for a second.
Orange furry what
Haha caught them in midblink.
YOU UTWIG WOULD HUG A BOMB
BUT WHO CAN DO SUCH A THING
I kept bugging them because I like seeing the Utwig happy.
This is pretty goofy but I think it's kind of cute that the Utwig want to make the Captain a pretty mask.
Cause the Ultron doesn't know the Words!
The Kohr-Ah will sadly win said war of attrition.
Ugh god here we go. Time to fight the Druuge. This is gonna SUCK. It's too bad I didn't think of the Earthling Cruiser cause whoever suggested that was right, that probably would have made this a ton easier. Oh well.
Five Druuge ships. OH BOY.
Haha, I just love that as a greeting.
Alright, now we'll get the full story!
Hahaha whined. The Druuge's impression of the Utwig Proctor is hilarious in both english and japanese.
Hahaha something about that really amuses me.
By the power of A PLACEBO!
What? NO I WANNA HEAR MORE
Invaluable services what maybe the Druuge are being sarcastic.
Heh, the way the Japanese voice actor said this is kind of silly. I can't really get into the Japanese Druuge voice actor right now but let's just say they do not sound like what you'd expect.
I'm trying to picture an Utwig either dancing or laughing or possibly doing both and heheheh.
I think it's kind of interesting that the Utwig Proctors are female. Random note.
Where they came from!
The Captain tends to be an unwitting pawn fairly often.
Ledger of Hatred, hmm.
One of Alex's favorite phrases for a while. On a random note, I've never gone back to visit the Druuge homeworld after doing this. I wonder if they'll attack you. Hmm.
Oh man this is going to suck.
Wow that was fast.
He shot me from like ACROSS THE SCREEN arhahgfg.
Not perfect, but still fairly successful! I love the Spathi.
No resurrection that time.
WE HAVE SUSTAINED HEAVY LOSSES SIR
You can kinda see the Zapsats here.
There we go.
My flagship finally went in and finished the job.
Wow did that go badly. I'm really out of practice.
---- REPORT FROM SURFACE ----
WE FOUND A HUGE PRECURSOR DEVICE ON THE PLANET'S SURFACE -- A GIANT BLACK CYLINDER SET WITHIN A SIMPLE DEFENSIVE GRID. WE HAVE ALREADY NEUTRALIZED THE GRID... ACTUALLY JENKINS JUST DROVE THROUGH IT BY ACCIDENT, BUT THAT SEEMED TO WORK. THE ARTIFACT IS COVERED WITH PRECURSOR SCRIPT AND ALTHOUGH WE CAN'T TRANSLATE MUCH OF THE WRITING, IT IS PRETTY CLEAR THAT THE SCRIPT IS A WARNING, REPEATED AGAIN AND AGAIN. THE ENERGY OUTPUT OF THIS ARTIFACT IS SCARY -- IT RIVALS ALL OUR SHIP'S ENGINES AT REDLINE! IF I MAY BE SO BOLD, CAPTAIN, I WOULD ADVISE THAT WE NOT EXPERIMENT WITH THIS DEVICE UNTIL WE ARE BACK AT THE STARBASE. WE SHALL NOW RETURN TO THE SHIP, WITH THE BLACK CYLINDER DEVICE CAREFULLY STOWED IN THE CARGO AREA.
---- END OF REPORT ----
Hey, did you notice the Mycon sphere of influence shrinking?
Oh well BACK TO STARBASE
The Captain, however, shows no fear!
I think it's interesting how they compare it to various current technologies.
Alright, we're near the end-stretch now! I'm going to go do some last minute visits to various species before triggering the endgame.
From the Supox -
Captain: We hope we have repaired the Ultron completely.
Supox: Yes! Yes!
but no... it is still not quite as brightly lit as it once was.
One more repair job should do it!
Captain: We have fixed the Ultron.
Supox: Great! Great!
It is true that you have repaired the Ultron... somewhat
but it is not yet in the condition which so enthralled the Utwig.
Your efforts are valid, merely incomplete.
We fought the Kohr-Ah and, well, perhaps it's better to say that the Kohr-Ah killed us.
Our buddies the Utwig did some pretty serious damage to several fleets, but we mostly just watched helplessly.
The Ur-Quan did not seem to realize that we were helping them, and as often as not they attacked us too!
We may have delayed the outcome of the fight, but it still seems clear that the Kohr-Ah are winning.
~Yeaaaah Supox ships aren't really well-suited for Kohr-Ah ships. Unless you're really good with them.
Heh, the Ur-Quan just don't care, kill everyone they can see.
Hello, Fellow Warriors. We go to uproot our enemies!
Greetings, Garden Guardians. We shall block the Kohr-Ah's sunlight and frost their leaves!
Human! Your presence here is comforting, but perhaps you had better leave the area
our combat with the Kohr-Ah is fierce, and you could be destroyed.
Greetings again, Captain. We hope you thrive.
We fight on bravely, but the course of events does not appear to be moving in our favor.
Ah, our human friend... we are so tired... the battle so difficult...
Hello again, faunal comrade. We are spent, and must grow new bark.
Captain: Tell me more about the battle with the Kohr-Ah.
Supox: At the sides of our Utwig allies, we met the Kohr-Ah.
The destructive power of the black ships was greater than anticipated
however we did eventually develop tactics in conjunction with the Utwig
that were effective against them. We destroyed dozens of their battleships!
Alas, we lost many of our blade-brothers to the spinning blades and the fiery ring.
~The FRIED is nasty for Supox ships.
As dictated by the Utwig, our policy was to focus our weapons on the Kohr-Ah only.
In this way, we would reduce the strength of the black fleet, thus evening the balance of power
between the Ur-Quan and the Kohr-Ah. The plan worked well, save for one slight factor.
The green ships... the Ur-Quan failed to notice our efforts on their behalf
and fired upon our vessels at every opportunity.
~The same thing happened with the Thraddash, if you remember.
Captain: What do you think we should do now?
Supox: We are but humble plants, mere saplings in knowledge of such things.
If you seek wisdom visit the Utwig Proctors.
Captain: So what are you doing?
Supox: Our Utwig allies have instructed us to prepare for combat, and so we make ready!
Our destination is Antares, where we shall face the Kohr-Ah in battle!
We make our way to an epic confrontation with the Kohr-Ah!
Captain: So what should we do now?
Supox: We must defer to the Utwig, who have superior knowledge of such things.
One thing, though... they specifically instructed us to inform you
that you should NOT endanger yourself by joining us in this battle.
Your destiny, they claim, lies along a more subtle though crucial course.
Captain: G'bye plant dudes.
Supox: Wish us luck, human.
Captain: What happened at Antares? Describe the struggle.
Supox: Fearsome, human, fearsome! We have not yet evolved tactics
which are useful against the Kohr-Ah Marauder vessels.
The dark ships launch spinning wheels of metal... we are mown down like
I don't even want to say it... and if we are fortunate enough to close with the ships
ports open up around its perimeter, jetting forth gouts of flaming plasma.
Not only do these flames melt through our hulls like a particularly virulent blight
but they are also an effective defense against our glob weapon.
~Supox: SOB LIKE GRASS SOB
We are having greater success, human, praise the light!
We have learned that we must work in tandem with our Utwig allies
letting them absorb the brunt of the Kohr-Ah firepower on their shields
while we play the role of opportunist, striking only when the Kohr-Ah is de-energized
and then retreating to permit our Utwig allies to renew the cycle.
~Working together, I think the Blade and Jugger could be a formidable force.
Even as we speak, the Utwig and Supox fleets streak toward Horologii
where they hope to strike a major blow against the Kohr-Ah forces.
Captain: Have your fighting forces learned anything I should know?
Supox: No, not as yet. Although the region of space they are fighting in is new to us
our vessels are not engaging in any form of research
reducing the Kohr-Ah's strength is their prime directive.
During the battle, one of our ships intercepted a signal
from an Ur-Quan vessel to a Kohr-Ah ship.
The contents of the message was simple, `Sa-Matra'.
Immediately after receiving the broadcast, the Kohr-Ah vessel disengaged from combat
entered HyperSpace and sped off in the direction of the Crateris stars.
~Another hint for the Sa-Matra.
Captain: So now what do we do?
Utwig: We can only hope that the opposing forces of the Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah
are sufficiently even in power, that they reduce each other to insignificance.
Our hopes that the Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah would destroy each other have been in vain.
Once victorious, the Kohr-Ah will proceed on their grim cruise of destruction.
I believe you and your people are our only hope now.
You must find some way to stop the Kohr-Ah.
Captain: Two leaves pull water from the same root.
Supox: Such wisdom! Your meanings run deep, we ponder their significance...
Ah, yes! You wish us to give you assistance... such as our fighting ships!
Captain: Is there any knowledge which you alone possess?
Supox: Knowledge is the purview of the Utwig. We Supox are but the effectuators.
In truth though, we have learned a fact or two unknown to others
largely because we did not think anyone would care in the slightest, but since you ask, listen.
We have not fared far from our region of space, but we have explored this region thoroughly.
Of all the oddities we have found, from the firefalls of Nalnar to the servants of Mali
the truest mystery was the nature of a world we found at the orange star, Beta Leporis.
As a general rule, we prefer not to dwell in such long-wavelength regions
as the light lacks tang, but we were on a mapping mission. That was when we found the planet.
At first we thought our scanners had failed, for they showed us a world of chromatic aspect.
Then we located the source of our malfunction... the planet itself!
Somehow the planet generates a field of unusual radiations which scramble delicate circuitry.
Though blazing hot, we attempted a landing. Before we were forced off the surface by the intense heat
we registered the presence of huge amounts of processed radioactives.
Strange, is it not?
~Light lacks tang? Okay.
Captain: So how are the Utwig liking their Ultron?
Supox: They are beyond ecstatic, well into the range of rapture or perhaps even pegged on epiphany.
If you wish to learn the true depth of their joy, talk with them yourself.
~I CAN'T HELP IT I LIKE THE UTWIG BEING HAPPY SHUT UP
Captain: Goodbye Leafy Ones.
Supox: Farewell, Friendly Folk!
From the Utwig...
Foolish tricksters! Don't you know the Druuge tried that ploy on us just a few days ago?
You say you have the Ultron, that you wish to return it to us... LIES!
The moment our back is turned, you will sneak down to the surface of this world
and deprive us of our destructive device of dignity.
If you truly had our Ultron, repaired to its state of perfection
you would surely take it to the Proctors at our homeworld at Beta Aquarii.
Speak no more of this subject.
Captain: Whoa there, hold your horses! Look at this! We've got your Ultron!
Utwig: Taunting us buys you nothing except to steel our resolve to end your existence.
In fact, we will humor you in your little game.
You have seconds to show us whatever bric-a-brac you possess.
We will then commence with the cessation of your existence.
I expected no less.
You hold before us nothing more than a reminder of a past mistake that offends us to no end.
We now commence your termination.
I am speechless with rage... and yet, I must speak!
How dare you flaunt the collective embarrassment of the Utwig?!
You will now pay for your severe breach of etiquette!
Why do you flaunt the husk which once was the Ultron?
Can't you see how much we suffer? Is this not enough?
This thing you possess... this husk of lost destiny, it is the symbol of the Ultimate Utwig Anguish!
Do - Not - Tor - ment - Me - So!
AAAHHH!! Stop! I know that I deserve it but I cannot bear it.
Stop, please! To view this thing... I would rather bare my face
and work all of its parts in a grotesque display of self-degradation! Leave now!
The Ultron moans and hums! Matters of significance are being relayed to our brains.
It has been so long since we communicated with the Ultimate in such a manner
but slowly, the truth is revealed!!...
Something dire is afoot in the galaxy
The Kohr-Ah, the dark cousins of the Ur-Quan, have won their Doctrinal Conflict
and are even now moving through the stars on a mission of universal genocide.
The Ultron reveals that our participation is required to stop the Kohr-Ah
before they destroy all life in this part of the galaxy.
We will grant you the boon of our nigh invincible Jugger starship designs
as well as a supply of trained starship commanders.
If our allies, the Supox, are still alive, I am certain they will give you the same assistance.
Captain: Tell us what events have transpired since we last met.
Utwig: We have met the Kohr-Ah in battle, and... well, let me explain.
Initially, when our forces swept to the Horologii stars
they proved effective against the armaments of the Kohr-Ah.
With our shield-absorption technology we were able to sweep clear the Kohr-Ah's spinning blades
and absorb the brunt of their fiery corona, allowing our Supox allies to concentrate on the vessels themselves.
However, the costs were high... very high.
I should don the facial effigy of Remorse For Lost Comrades.
As you know, we were forced to withdraw from the Kohr-Ah offensive.
Although we were able to make good account of ourselves, our casualties were high.
In our attempt to balance the Doctrinal Conflict between the Kohr-Ah and the Ur-Quan
we avoided the Ur-Quan; however, they continued to engage us whenever possible.
We had no choice but to take whatever losses were handed to us.
I can think of no mask that properly expresses how I feel concerning this situation.
Captain: Given what you have learned, what do you suggest?
Utwig: We have done all that we can. There are no others capable of significant intervention.
Certain doom grows imminent for all of us. We lament.
But wait!...listen closely! The Ultron intervenes! There is a solution!
YOU are the solution!
Only YOU may halt the Kohr-Ah's seemingly inevitable advance upon life.
They CAN be defeated and you MUST do it!
Oh, my spirit is lifted! If only my mask of Confident and Lofty Posture had not been burned
I would don it with rash impudence ignoring all etiquette and procedures!
~Hee hee hee.
Captain: We thank you for your aid. We go now to address the matters at hand.
Utwig: Excellent! The Ultron's coruscations indicate that your future actions are laced with great potential!
Proceed with our heartiest endorsement!
~These lines made it into Starcon3! I can still hear them in my head.
Captain: What were the results of your actions against the Kohr-Ah?
Utwig: Ah Captain! The battle against the Kohr-Ah was fearsome.
As we and our allied Supox approached the main force
we found that the Kohr-Ah and the species that you call the Ur-Quan
were engaged in a conflict of fundamental doctrine in which the Kohr-Ah thesis seemed superior.
Acting under the guidance of the Ultron, we engaged the Kohr-Ah in an effort to balance the battle.
We met with some success. We would sweep the mines clear and deplete the energy reserves of the Kohr-Ah vessels.
Then, the brave Supox would dart in and direct their weapons against the black ships.
Timing was critical. Our losses were high.
Battered in the extreme, we were forced to withdraw.
Captain: How is your engagement with the Kohr-Ah going?
Utwig: Even as I speak, brave Utwig and noble Supox launch themselves against the merciless arsenal of the Kohr-Ah.
We continue to refine our tactics.
Alas, the Kohr-Ah are winning their war with the Ur-Quan.
We grow uncomfortable with the success that the Kohr-Ah currently enjoy
so we fight only the Kohr-Ah in hopes of weakening their stand against the Ur-Quan.
The Ur-Quan complicate matters by blasting our vessels with fusion bolts
thus we have made it a policy to avoid Ur-Quan ships whenever possible.
We have discovered that the Kohr-Ah, in addition to their formidable battle vessels
will soon possess an immense ship capable of inflicting destruction on a vast scale.
I do not need to examine the pulsations of the Ultron to know that they will use this instrument
to implement their stated objective: the elimination of all intelligent life besides their own.
~hint SAMATRA hint
Even as I utter these words, the combined military resources of both the Utwig and Supox
proceed toward Horologii to intercept the Kohr-Ah.
Besides the importance of our efforts, the Ultron indicates
all futures which include our survival are contingent on the actions that you now take.
Captain: Anything in the way of new developments?
Utwig: Even now we acclimate to the great power of the Ultron
but are overwhelmed with the resources that the Ultron offers
in effect, we have grown rusty in its use.
As soon as we regain our proficiency, we will be able to accommodate all your requests.
The Kohr-Ah will soon possess a seemingly invincible vessel called the Sa-Matra.
I cannot give you specifics regarding this matter other than its general location
somewhere in the Crateris constellation.
The Sa-Matra is seemingly invincible, able to lay waste to an entire planet in less than an eyeblink.
The Ultron indicates that you must somehow destroy this thing or the Kohr-Ah will destroy all known life.
~Another hint! Like I said, almost every race will point you to the Sa-Matra at some point.
Captain: It seems that you are making good use of the Ultron. Is this so?
Utwig: You ask a question that I hesistate to answer. You see, normally at this point
I would don the mask of Rampant Jubilation and Jumping With Ecstatic Glee.
This mask is seldom worn, for few events merit its complexity.
Since I do not currently possess this mask
let me just say that the Ultron is everything it could ever possibly be and MORE!
Even now I sense that your curiosity is piqued to an extreme.
You wish to ask more questions.
However, these questions are probably best left unasked.
It is through the potent yet harmonious force of the Ultron
that I will now cause you to drop the subject altogether.
~Hee hee hee jumping with ecstatic glee. I'm picturing an Utwig running in circles laughing hysterically and it's making me smile.
Captain: We will now be on our way.
Utwig: It is as the Ultron wills. So be it. We bid you the very best luck.
Although it is true that all possibilities can be realized through proper utilization of the Ultron
we are, as yet, deficient operators of this grand device.
We will, however, make a best attempt to help you from afar.
It is the legendary Earth Captain! A grand celebration is in order!
We prepare now for the festivities!
Many will bow before you and offer their profuse thanks!
Proceed now to our main spaceport and then on to the parade!
The two week celebration of great thanks will begin! Joy!
What? You are too busy? Alas... perhaps another time.
~Aww. No Utwig party for the Captain. Heh. So the Syreen and Utwig both want some time with the Captain but HE IS TOO BUSY
Our spirits are lifted by your visit!
I sense through the Ultron's powers that you are curious
about the status of your well-deserved facial appliance. Fear not!
Even though we currently have no masks worthy of your stature
with the reestablishment of the Ultron within the structure of the Utwig wholeness
we proceed with the design and implementation of what will truly be the pinnacle of Utwig ingenuity.
At long last, you will be able to cover your unsightly mug with distinction!
~Snerk. Unsightly mug. THE UTWIG ARE NOT SWAYED BY YOUR CHARMS, CAPTAIN.
Ah, I see that it is the great Earth Captain honoring my own lowly self with undeserved attention.
Even now my skin prickles with embarrassment since I am unable to don a mask
that accurately indicates my awed and respectful attitude toward you.
I am glad to say, however, that we are in the process
of redefining and restructuring our entire countenance catalog.
The results will be dramatic since the Ultron is now integrated in this process.
In the meantime, I beg that you bear with us while we complete this task.
~Aww prickly skin.
I am honored to encounter your greatness!
Currently, our collective creative force is engaged in a project to honor you.
We are in the process of transforming a planetary body
in a location that will remain secret
into a Great Mask. This mask will be worn by one individual and ONLY one individual!
It is the mask of the great Captain! It is YOU that wears this mask.
When you don this mask, we will see the eyes come alive.
When you speak, all will hear. When you smile, we will rejoice!
I sense your excitement concerning this project!
~Captain: Uuuuh yeah. excited.
Hee hee hee. I DON'T KNOW I FIND IT CUTE HOW EXCITED THEY ARE LEAVE ME ALONE
The Ultron indicates that you must leave the area immediately! You are in extreme danger!
This area is currently controlled by either the Ur-Quan or the Kohr-Ah, we are not sure.
We are currently engaging the Kohr-Ah in an attempt to balance the conflict. Stay clear!
Battle rages in the immediate area. Beware!
The Ur-Quan and the Kohr-Ah are engaged in a conflict of doctrinal extremes.
The Ur-Quan argument seems inferior.
You must clear the area before you become a victim of either the Ur-Quan or Kohr-Ah theses.
Leave now! We shall remain in an attempt to balance the conflict
so that the two forces of evil might more effectively negate each other.
~Victim of a vicious thesis.
We extend our sincere greetings to the remarkable being
that returned to the Utwig the meaning for our continued existence.
We have returned from a conflict of a grand scale with our fleet battered
but our masks of Valor and Derring-Do fitting snugly!
Ah, it is the most recently appointed Ultron Saint -- the Captain from Earth!
We flick our facial appliances collectively in a smart salute indicating both respect and gratitude.
How can we assist you?
~While the Captain causes the large-scale genocide of some races, he becomes the lauded savior of others! Haha what a wacky universe.
The prognosticating harmonics of the Ultron reveal a truth.
We Utwig have done all that CAN be done to aid you.
Our tasks must now be confined to directing the many channels of causation.
Feel confident that we are using the Ultron to this end.
~Oh yeah, I have lots of confidence in the Ultron.
And from Commander Hayes!
SUBJECT: Ultron Device.
DATA: At first we thought this was a piece of junk -- in fact it may still be just that
but when you submitted it to us, we infused it with gamma radiation
and found that the scatter signature was identical to the patterns
recorded from the `Empties', the `Singing Hoops', and `the Big Dud'
which were all found in the Precursor burrows on Procyon.
SUMMARY: We are now convinced that this is a Precursor tool, but it remains dysfunctional.
SUBJECT: Ultron Device.
DATA: The Ultron is partially functional, and we can detect energy emission from the device.
We suspect that the unit requires additional minor repairs before achieving full functionality
and until that time, we cannot make an assessment of its capabilities.
SUMMARY: A single additional replacement part should bring the Ultron to life.
DATA: We have determined that the so-called `Ultron' is in fact the `Appendages of Dawn'
described in the Precursor fragment found on Rigel in 2123.
In the partially translated Precursor text, the device is described as a `Mental Amplifier'
which focuses the mental energies of the holder `for the purpose of discrete change'.
Unfortunately, human brain emanations do not seem compatible with the Ultron
nor do those of the allied species we have tested.
SUMMARY: Perhaps the Utwig, who claim to understand this device, can shed some light
on its true function and power.
~I still think it's a piece of junk.
Anyway, next up - loose ends.