Star Control II

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Star Control II is by and large a space adventure game, the sequel to the original Star Control. It was a milestone for non-linear gaming and an undeniable influence on modern space travel games such as Homeworld; many consider it one of the best computer games of all time. The player assumes the role of the captain of a single starship wandering a detailed environment of solar systems, gradually gathering information and resources in order to defeat a mysterious and implacable enemy.

It is difficult to pin SC2 down to a single genre; it contains elements of exploration, scavenging, diplomacy, and combat, blended together seamlessly. Intense, real-time, ship-to-ship melee is sprinkled throughout your interstellar travels. The flagship can be outfitted with various modules to change and improve functions of the ship, as well as bolstering its effectiveness in battle. The meat of the game, however, is the gathering of information and unique inventory items through conversation and exploration to unravel the numerous mysteries of space.

Gameplay is divided into six basic modes:

  • Conversation - Interact with other sentient species; Learn from them, trade with them, and form alliances (or attack them).
  • Solar system exploration - Navigate solar systems with your flagship and contact or avoid other ships in the region.
  • Planetary exploration - Control the Planet Lander to collect minerals and biological data while avoiding earthquakes, hotspots, and lightning.
  • Hyperspatial travel - Travel from star to star in HyperSpace (and later, QuasiSpace) while being chased by gravity wells.
  • Flagship/fleet managment - Outfit your flagship for whatever lies ahead and construct a fleet of up to 12 escort ships.
  • Space combat - The most exciting part of the game! Fly your armada against alien ships in an all-out brawl to the death.

Star Control II was released for the PC in 1992, and later for the 3DO. The 3DO port included remixed music, spoken dialogue, and 3D-rendered cutscenes. The Ur-Quan Masters source code is derived from the 3DO code, as the original PC source was lost.