Near the end of March, a SCDB member by the name of Starlord managed to get a copy of the StarCon prototype CD for the PlayStation. He paid for the prototype with his own money and is graciously working on converting the disc to a usable image format. A link will be provided for everyone to download for free. Starlord is making very good progress and has recorded the 6 minute video above.
StarCon is similar to Colony Wars on PlayStation and Star Fox 64 on N64. During gameplay, character dialog subtitles are shown at the top without speech. This can be distracting during intense battles and important information could be missed. Since this is an incomplete prototype, there’s bound to be missing content.
It is a sequel to SCnot3 and involves the Hegemonic Crux. There’s also a group called the Hyperium, which is mentioned by the Ur-Quan. The PlayStation version was developed by Starsphere Interactive, which does not seem to be active today; their website has been replaced with their logo and an e-mail address. This is Accolade’s second and final attempt at making a Star Control game without TFB’s blessing. They wanted to make StarCon more fast-paced and have more emphasis on fast-paced action. It is non-canon and not considered part of the Star Control universe established by TFB.
An interesting feature that was mentioned a long time ago is a temporary second player. If the player launches a fighter ship and there is a second controller plugged in (or whatever the configuration is in ePSXe), it will split the screen the Player 2 can control the fighter ship and help Player 1.
Reminiscent of Star Control 1, there is a 3D starmap used for selecting missions. There are 2 missions shown:
Mission: Locate the secret base of the Crux leader Hantir and defeat this lunatic once and for all in his lair.
Mission: Glory Device
Mission: Stop Crux forces who are staging a raid on our colony in the Lycoth system.
I have no idea of whether or not the player’s ship is a Precursor ship, human or from another race. The laser at the top slides left and right whenever firing at an enemy. Every time the ship fires a laser, it also fires white missiles that fly upwards and then homes in on the current target. In the PlayStation Museum’s video, it launched the fighter ship, which may be the ships secondary function.
The HUD (Heads Up Display) is very minimal and slightly confusing. The bar at the top right represents the amount of damage of the current target; it increases as the target receives more damage. The top bar at the bottom left represents energy; it decreases as the player fires a weapon and regenerates quickly. The bar below that one is the player’s damage bar and also increases as the player takes damage. There are no labels to show what they represent. In my opinion, all bars should be full and decrease as energy and health decrease; it shouldn’t be mixed. This could have been different if Accolade gave them a chance to complete the game.
Even though StarCon is non-canon, it’s still worth checking to find out what Starsphere had up their sleeves at the time. The only voice heard is the Ur-Quan, which sound grouchier than it does “epic and evil ‘I will put you in a slave shield’” tone of voice. I never heard an Ur-Quan ask for help. Their Dreadnought ships seem like they could obliterate any of these ships. I’m glad that Starlord is taking the time to get the prototype, analyze it and find a way to convert it and share it with the world for free. So many questions could get answered now. There was also a PC version planned, which was done by an “internal team at Accolade”, which may have been Legend Entertainment. It may not be a true Star Control sequel and Starsphere Interactive seems like they made an honest attempt with what they had. I will be getting my ePSXe ready soon. What kind of name is Ra-gar? I miss the classic “Lord #” and “Death #” names. Did you know that in Star Control 1, the Ur-Quan used “Master #” and in early screenshots of Star Control II, the Korh-Ah used “Slayer #”? Thanks Starlord for sharing the video and keep up the good work!