This is only THE best game ever made. It was released for the IBM PC by Accolade. Everyone with a computer should own this game. It is a combination of space exploration, diplomacy, role-playing, and space combat all in one. Its prequel (Star Control) was nice but much more simple, and its sequel (Star Control 3) was possibly the most hideous butchering of a good series I have ever witnessed.

As with any truly good games, there's an entire subculture revolving around SC2. Its surprising to find a game that's 8 years old and still has a small, but fervent fan base. There's even a clone called TimeWarp that's being very actively developed, and within the last month or so started supporting multiplayer over TCP/IP; a feature that has never been seen in any Star Control game. There's even an IRC channel on EFNet (#starcontrol) that actually does occasionally talk about Star Control (though that's largely due to the development of TimeWarp.

You should be able to find links to anything and everything that's significant in the Star Control community by going to the Pages of Now and Forever at

The bad guys in Star Con were called the "Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah", giant black and purple space aliens who used blobby geneticly modified creatures called talking pets as translators.

Hundreds of years ago, the "talking pets" (dyanari) had managed to enslave most of the galaxy, including the once peacefull ur-quan, but one day an ur-quan discoverd that excruciator pain would cause their slave masters to disconnect, they revolted... but continued their revolt attempting to destroy most of the races in the galaxy in the process.

In the process of this revolt, a dispute amongst two factions of the ur-quan emerge. In order for the Ur-Quan races never to become enslaved again should they destroy all other races in the galaxy or meerly enslave them behind impenetrably planet sized slave shield? The enraged Ur-Quan factions decide to solve this dilemma once and for all with yet another war: A doctrinal conflct.

Definitely a classic, no one would dare deny that. To me it is more. My first experience with Star Control 2 literally changed me, giving me a greater appreciation for science fiction and introducing me to a new kind of humour. It is truly an awesome game. It's one of those things where everything just works, and the final product is more than the sum of its parts. The story, the music, the comedy, the gameplay, all bang-on.

At times Star Control 2 is very much an interactive book. A choose-your-own-adventure, if you will, but way more complex and fun. It's quite successful at making you feel in control of things; the decisions you make can and will change the universe. But this is only half of the game. The other important part is the hyper melee, the ship-to-ship space battles. There's strategy here. Pulling off that successful gravity whip, bringing the previously invincible Chmmr Avatar within firing range of your Kzer-za Dreadnought, and then pulverizing it with blast after blast of undodgeable (because you're that good) flaming space death. It gives you that feeling of accomplishment and rightness in the pit of your stomach. Or, you fail and get repeatedly slammed into the planet surface by the Avatar's tractor beam, and must sit mostly helpless while the enemy slowly makes its way over and cuts you in half with its laser, execution style, royally pissing you off.

The music. Egad! The music! So awesome. It totally makes the game, setting the mood for each scene and always complementing the dialogue. How creepy is the damned VUX theme? It seriously creeps me out to listen to it. And the Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah music, it just unsettles you. You lose all hope. When the monstrous catterpillars talk trash to you, you're saying to yourself, "Garsh, they're right. I'm toast. I haven't got a snowflake's chance in Satan's hell." The Orz theme, of course, is hilarious. I'm going to demand that it's played at my funeral; I'll put it as a condition in my will or something. Another cool piece is the background for normal space. There's nothing much to it, just the sort-of quiet lonely noises you might hear in space if sound actually worked there. But it still makes you feel small. I'd go on, but I don't have the adjectives and would start repeating myself. Anyways, it's fantastic.

The setting is standard science fiction fare. I won't get into that, or the story, except to say that it is very well done. If you have never played any Star Control games before, it would probably be best to not know much before starting. But please, you must give it a shot. Lie, cheat, steal, you'll likely do at least one of these things since you can't buy it in stores anymore, but it's worth it. Remember to support Toys for Bob.

There was also a version of Star Control 2 (a.k.a. SC2 or StarCon 2) released for the ill-fated 3DO system. In addition to some very minor graphical improvements, as well as laughably awful voice acting. This version would have faded into obscurity, if not for...

In August 2002, Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III (a.k.a. Toys For Bob), the original developers of Star Control 2 and also the owners of the design, art, and scenario copyrights, released the source code for the 3DO version of SC2 to the fan community, along with all of the original art, voice acting, and music (the last had been released already). While the PC source had been lost, the 3DO files included voice acting and art not in the PC version, and was designed for a screen resolution more easily scaled to modern monitors (320x240 vs 320x200). The only thing unreleased, sadly, is the trademark on the name "Star Control", still held by Accolade.

The current projects using the SC2 source code:

  • The Ur-Quan Masters - - This is a project to port SC2, unchanged, to Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and a handful of other platforms that support SDL. (BeOS and older versions of the Mac OS have been discussed.)

  • Free Star Control Project - - An ambitious project to revamp and expand SC2 (planned for a Windows and Linux release), this project seems to be defunct.

Bear in mind, creating clones of SC2, either of the whole game or of certain aspects, is not uncommon. Most of these projects are "look and feel" clones, usually not based on the original source, nor even based on reverse engineering the SC2 engine.

Star Control || Star Control 2 || Star Control 3

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