(This is part of my journey going checking out Star Control 2. You can follow the entire series on the Retro Gaming page.)
As I head deep into Spathi space, I’m being pursued by fleets and fleets of Ilwrath ships. As much as possible, I try to avoid combat, because the gain (some resource units) doesn’t seem worth the risk of losing ships and crew (and, by association, lots of RUs). But now that I’m in a fight, we might as well kick off this session talking about Star Control 2’s combat system.
No matter how many ships each side has, the game strictly handles 1v1 fights. You nominate a ship (or flagship) from your fleet to fight the enemy and then can choose to manually control your ship or have the computer (“cyborg”) fight for you. I like the cyborg option myself, even if it is less efficient. Each ship has its own fighting style, weapons, and range, so knowing which to use is kind of important.
For the ships themselves, they have two stats to track. Crew functions as de facto health bars — you lose all of your crew and your ship gets blown up. The battery, which is always recharging, allows you to use your weapons. I really like how you can see your ship’s crew and the enemy ship’s crew fidgeting about on the fighting screen.
Evading the fleets, I dash over to the Rigel system on the tip from Cmdr. Keen about some sort of distress call. Turns out that it’s coming from yet another alien race, the Zoq-Fot-Pik. These guys are my new favorite aliens in this game. They come from a planet where four species evolved sentience at the same time, with the fourth being predatory. The first three — the Zoq, the Fot, and the Pik — banded together, wiped out the bad guys, and stayed in an alliance ever since.
This scout ship reports that two warring alien forces are accidentally laying waste to their colonies to the point where only their homeworld is left unscathed. They need help and heard something about how tremendous I am.
I agree to help. I figure they’d be easy to subjugate later on.
That’s just what I was thinking!
How much fun did the writers of this game have? I’m genuinely excited for every alien encounter because the responses are often hilarious, bizarre, and so unique. Personality oozes from these exchanges.
Anyway, now we’re heading deep into Spathi space to talk with Fwip’s people and see if we can’t work out an understanding.
After a long trip that saw half of my crew perish and most of my fuel used up, I reach the Spathi homeworld. Fwip’s code-phrase, “Huffi-Muffi-Guffi,” brings the leaders out of the darkness. Spathi are complete cowards, if you haven’t figured that out already. Terrified of everything and everyone, including me.
I am going to have to add “Awaken from your dreamy state Hunam!” to my quote book. Anyway, the Spathi are incredibly hard to convince to join the Empire of Syp. They propose “one of those questy kinds of things” to prove if I’m tough enough and nice enough. The quest is to rid their home world of the “Evil Ones” that chased them off the surface and onto this “most uncomfortable moon.”
I accept the quest and the Spathi give me a pep talk.
Remind me why we want these guys as allies? They’re so dang flaky and fatalistic!
NEXT TIME ON STAR CONTROL 2: Captain-Emperor Syp ethnically cleanses an entire planet!