Once you first finished the Star Control II game, you may like to play the game in another way. This page will describes various challenges that may make it interesting to replay the game.
Complete the optional quests
Some quests are optional. You may already have solved these quests when you first finished the games, but if you haven't, it's worth another play. Things you may want to do:
- Start the Yehat civil war
- Take care of the Slylandro Probe plague
- Rescue the Zoq-Fot-Pik
- Get all items you don't necessarily need (Portal Spawner, both HyperWave Broadcasters, all the Utwig relics from Druuge...)
- Ally with everyone you can (Orz, Pkunk, Shofixti, Syreen, Supox, Thraddash, Utwig, Yehat (rebels), Zoq-Fot-Pik)
Try to finish the game in as little time as possible. The best reported time so far is September 27 2155 1, without any optional quests.
Be the bad guy
The game gets significantly more difficult without your friends (particularly the Melnorme). Piss off everyone you meet, or attack at sight. To stay into character, name your "alliance" "The Empire of ...", and sell your crew to the Druuge. The game will still be completable this way, and you will see more funny lines of dialog you wouldn't see otherwise.
A very difficult challenge, and it requires a lot of patience. Until you have access to the StarBase, every day in HyperSpace a Slylandro Probe will show up (even after you've acquired the self-destruct code). As you've got no way of upgrading your engines (until the Chmmr refit your ship), you can't outrun them, so be prepared to fight a lot, at least until you can get them to self-destruct. You will end up with mountains of money, but you've got nowhere to spend it. Among other problems are: you can't replenish your crew (at least not without abusing the reincarnation gift of the Pkunk), so you're dependent on your good fighting skills and gifts of other races; you have no Emergency Warp Escape Unit, so you cannot run away from a fight in progress; and no slave trading.
Tip: To get started, after leaving Sol, aim towards a good nearby biological planet, and collect enough biological data so that you can keep getting fuel from the Melnorme. With careful planning, you can take care of all of your fuel problems for the rest of the game relatively early. You can also buy some technology from Melnorme, but the only kind of technology that you can utilize are the ones concerning the Planet Landers. Getting all upgrades (11 of them) costs 1650 credits.
The only escorting ships that you can acquire are:
- 1 Earthling cruiser at beginning of game; for a total of 17 transferrable crew.
- 1 Spathi (Fwiffo) (if you rescue him from Pluto), for a total of −8 transferrable crew (you lose 8 landing crew members, and the ship comes with just a captain).
- 4 Pkunk ships once per year. You can get a total of 16 ships from them by following a careful plan; for a total of 112+infinite transferrable crew. Their resurrection ability can be abused for an endless source of new crew: if the ship enters the battle with just the captain, and gets destroyed and resurrects, it gets a full complement of 8 crew.
- 4 Zoqfot ships after rescuing them; for a total of 36 transferrable crew.
- 1 or 2 Druuge ships (13 or 26 transferrable crew), if you sell them up to two Mycon Eggcases and refuse to take the Rosy Sphere. You can sell one case for a ship and the other for the Rosy Sphere. If you sell both cases for ships, you will then need to rely on the Kohr-Ah massacre in one way or another in order to acquire the Bomb.
- 3 Druuge ships, if you sell them the Portal Spawner; for a total of 39 transferrable crew.
- 6 Druuge ships, if you sell them the Shofixti Maidens; for a total of 78 transferrable crew.
- 4 Utwig ships, if you give them the Ultron only after the Kohr-Ah death march has already began (i.e. 17 February 2159 or later); for a total of 76 transferrable crew. If you do this, the Druuge and the Mycon will be exterminated before the end of the game; your flagship just isn't fast enough to perform all the remaining tasks in 24 days (including the 14 day wait imposed by the Chmmr), or even 44 days if don't care about the Druuge but want still to save the Mycon. You'll be hard pressed to finish the game before the Vux get exterminated, too (53 days).
- 4 Supox ships, if you give the Utwig the Ultron only after the Kohr-Ah death march has already began; for a total of 44 transferrable crew.
There are a few other races that give you ships that you don't need to build in the shipyard, but they are unavailable because:
- 4 Umgah after rescuing them (cannot escape inevitable ensuing battle with infinite fleet).
- 4 Yehat ships from Yehat Rebels once per month, and up to 8 Yehat and Pkunk ships right before the last battle (rebellion starts when they see a Shofixti escort, and you cannot build Shofixti ships).
- 3 Arilou (though it is a free gift, they are sent to the starbase).
Ships of Chmmr, Orz, Shofixti, Syreen and Thraddash can only ever acquired by building them at the shipyard.
You can also buy fuel from the Druuge, 10 crew for 10 fuel, but it is hardly worth it, especially considering that it is nearly impossible to replenish crew. They also give you a maximum of 60 fuel (all tanks full), if you sell them the Burvixese Caster.
Collect the absolute minimum number of items and ships. This relies on using the Kohr-Ah death march to exterminate a number of species, so you don't need to deal with their respective petty problems. Technically, you will only need the Sun Device, the Talking Pet, and the Utwig Bomb.
- If you wait until the Kohr-Ah exterminate the Mycon, you can acquire the Sun Device without dealing with Eggshell fragments or any related sidequests.
- If you wait until the Kohr-Ah exterminate the Umgah, you can acquire the Talking Pet without possessing a Taalo Shield.
- If you wait until the Kohr-Ah exterminate the Utwig, you can acquire the Utwig Bomb without dealing with the Ultron or any related sidequests.
- After the Utwig have been annihilated, you will have 97 days of time to beat the game before the Kohr-Ah scorch the Earth (81 days if the Pkunk have migrated). Without the Portal Spawner, it will cut very close even at full thrusters.
- If you must have an Utwig vessel, the least-effort way is to get the Clear Spindle from Pkunk homeworld, loot the Rosy Sphere for free after the Kohr-Ah exterminate the Druuge, and loot the Aqua Helix after the Kohr-Ah exterminate the Thraddash. Talk to the Supox to receive Ultron (or loot it after the Kohr-Ah exterminate them), fix it, and hand it over to the Utwig. Ask the Utwig for help at their homeworld, and they will give you four ships. This option is only available when the Death March has already begun. Helping the Utwig will still get you a Bomb without having to deal with the Druuge, because the Druuge were already exterminated, but it hardly counts as minimalist.
- If you wait until the Kohr-Ah exterminate the Ilwrath, you can talk to the Chmmr without being intercepted by the Ilwrath. However, you would only have 10 days to complete the game, and the Chmmr steal 14 days from your schedule. Therefore you must acquire one of the Casters and trick the Ilwrath. Interestingly enough, the Ilwrath can still be sent to fight the Thraddash even after the Thraddash have already been annihilated.
You will also need one Planet Lander and at least one crew member, to pick up the Bomb and the Sun Device.
If you have minimal thrusters, and do not pick up the Portal Spawner, you will need to fight the Kohr-Ah ships, which can now be found all over the galaxy as their influence spheres move around. The Probes will only have a maximum of 8% encounter rate, unless you never visit the starbase (in which case it is 100%).
In an ideal minimalist challenge, you might have no escorting ships at all, but it is probably impossible to survive the various enemies you encounter using the SIS ship alone. Realistically, you might still want to get Fwiffo, collect a single 13 unit Uranium deposit of radioactives from Mercury, and sell the Cargo Bay, the Earthling Cruiser, and the Ion Bolt gun, to get enough RU (6553) for a full set of thrusters and three extra turning jets, so that you can at least outrun any ship in the Hyperspace. Fully crew the SIS (as backup crew for Fwiffo) and Fwiffo's ship as well. You can afford a few units of fuel too. Alternatively, you might want to get a few extra fuel tanks instead of turning jets, so you are less often vulnerable while waiting for the Melnorme to show up. All of these (except the radioactive deposit and Fwiffo's ship) are resources that the game gives to you in the beginning. You must pick up a radioactive deposit, unless you want to avoid the Starbase alltogether (see No-starbase challenge). You cannot sell the Crew Pod (worth 2150, including the crew), because you need to be able to crew Planet Landers. Harvest enough lifeforms from Delta Centauri II-A, and thus you can have the Melnorme resupply you with fuel. Alternatively you collect nothing, and hope that the Melnorme strip anything but your planet lander (hopefully one of the spare turning jets). Then just idle several years. If you want to minimize fuel consumption, you need to idle in a star system for 10 hours of real time (4 years of ingame time). The faster way is to head enter the quasispace portal. Time passes in quasispace as fast as in hyperspace, but you will not get encounters. This choice will cost you 13.2―20.5 units of fuel depending on route, but the death march begins much sooner: only two hours of real time waiting are required.
Approximate total need of fuel in the challenge from begin to end: 270―300 units depending on route (assuming the Portal Spawner is not acquired). This estimate relies on using the naturally occurring Quasi-space portal from time to time. If you used the Portal Spawner, you might want to substitute Alpha Wolf for Delta Centauri, and the total amount of fuel needed becomes around 170 units.