(This is part of my journey going checking out Star Control 2. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
I have to imagine that if exploration — space exploration, no less — is of primary interest to you, then Star Control 2 speaks your language. Other than fuel limitations, there’s nothing holding you back from going where you want to go and seeing what’s out there. Of course, it could totally be your doom, so save early and save often, but at least you have the option to follow your own path.
My path led me to the Pkunk, a bird-like race that’s part Dr. Seuss and part intergalactic hippie. They’re relatively friendly, if somewhat spacey, and invite me to join them at their home system.
Or I could just go ahead and insult them with juvenile jokes. Seriously, how could you NOT choose a dialogue option like this?
The Pkunk can indeed be goaded into open war, which turned out to be a hilarious exercise. As we dueled, the aliens kept calling me names: “Idiot! Dummy! Baby! Dodo!” I’m impressed they even know what a dodo IS, considering that it is (a) extinct and (b) from a planet they’ve never encountered and is currently locked behind a shield. Then again, I’m thinking too much into this.
The Pkunk homeworld is crawling with their ships. Time to build bridges and not burn them! If, y’know, birds used bridges.
Yeah. Go ahead, hit that “attack!” option. I dare you.
Obviously, it’s far better not to get into a conflict, because the “Children of the Stellar Breeze” here are definitely predisposed to being friendly and generous. They give me a precursor spindle that does… something… and then make a bold declaration:
Woo! Totally! I need all the allies I can get, bird-brain!
Talking to the Pkunk is a hilarious experience. Lots of psychic questions-and-answers. They start to offer lots of material goods, then somehow sense that this offends me (uh no, no it does not) so they offer their love — the greatest gift of all! — instead. Yay. Bird love.
At least the alliance and bird love comes with a final gift, four free ships to join my growing fleet. I now have six combat ships attached to my flagship, ready to bring down the thunder on the galaxy.
As goofy as the Pkunk are, their humor and obvious love of Emperor Syp endears them greatly to me. It’s really nice for the game to give you supportive allies instead of making it “you vs. the entire galaxy.”
This guy predicted my future. So 14 kids and death from an early age? I can take a guess at why I died there.
Heading back to Sol, I cut through Ilwrath space and get stopped by one of their battle patrols. Well, crud. Time for a little spider-stomping!
Back at Sol, Cmdr. Keen tells me that there’s been another mysterious broadcast, this one coming from the Rigel system. Does that mean we’re in for an epic crossover with Farscape? Because if so, awesome!