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Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters
Occasionally I don't chat online for a couple of days because I'm focusing on something. This last week, it was because of Star Control II, an old DOS game that game out in 1992.

It's one of my favorite computer games. Your character is from a scientific investigation team that made an amazing discovery, only to be cut off from Earth during an interstellar war. You're returning to Earth after a long absence to find out what's happened, and to help fight in the war, if it's still going on. What makes this game special is its rich internal history, its well-paced narrative, and the conversations you have with aliens. It's sometimes called one of the best games of the 1990s (with good reason) and has a large number of fans.

I've wanted to share this game with friends for a long time, but the DOS version never worked well in Windows. The music failed and the space battles moved too fast. Happily, it's been ported to Windows! The folks doing it have the rights to everything except the name, so they've re-named it "The Ur-Quan Masters".

The Windows release is still in development, but it's far along enough to play. What have I been focusing on for the last week? Adding to the manual, providing background materials, and preparing general game tips and advice.

I realize a lot of you have really busy lives and value what free time you have, but I really think you'll enjoy this game. The beginning part is the slowest - hopefully my files will speed it up for you. After you've gathered enough resources for fuel to take you longer distances, it gets much more engaging!

You can download the online installer here. Once activated, it downloads the game files for you.

If you have a slow Internet connection, the download size is about 12 Meg. Choose "Custom Install", and the parts you need are "Install data files" and "Graphics/Sound libs". Un-check the other boxes.

You can download my documentation here (1.6 Meg). There's a ReadMe file in it which is very important.

And if you need any help getting it set up, or need hints during gameplay, don't be afraid to ask!

4 comments or Leave a comment
(Deleted comment)
dronon From: dronon Date: July 18th, 2004 08:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, preaching to the converted. Well, if you have any friends who you think would enjoy it, tell them about it! :)
From: cjthomas Date: July 18th, 2004 09:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sound glitches.

I remember that at least one of the .mod sound tracks had an instrument size mis-specified, which resulted in strange clicking or other glitching. Might even have been the intro theme, though I vaguely recall the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za theme having similar problems.

I'd tweaked these values in my own copy, but the game developers might want to sanity-check the .mod files that they have.
boinggoat From: boinggoat Date: July 19th, 2004 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Star Control II BEST GAME EVAR!!!! =D
*snags* This is going on my laptop in a permenant manner.
BIG QUESTION: Can the 'new' version do HyperMelee over the 'net? If it can I'll take you ALL on! :)
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 19th, 2004 12:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

StarCon 2 -- fond memories

Ahh, it is somewhat cool to know that the jaded twitch masses of today will have the chance to experience such a masterpiece of its time. Of course, SC2 also had its funky and cool music (which I still listen to rather often from the ripped .mods).

You may be preaching to the choir for some of us, but let's hope that others who missed out on that period will grab it and explore...
4 comments or Leave a comment