10 New Star Control Userbars

After Alex Ness announced that TFB would like to make a new Star Control game with Activision, I wanted to find ways to help spread the word and at least help people show that they are fans of the series. I discovered something called “userbars”, a 350 x 19 pixel image that can be used as a thread signature and can be mixed with other signatures to express different interests. I decided to make Star Control userbars, and on May 26, 2006, I posted a thread of the UQM forums called “Star Control Sigs”.

I received lots of feedback and people loved them. It’s been a long time since that post, and those userbars were added as a seperate page on this blog. Since then, I haven’t made any new ones.  I even got an e-mail from Cheepguava about the lack of any Yehat userbars:

"I love your website and I think it's a great idea. I was wondering about your userbars - why no love for the Yehat?"
- Cheepguava

I know a lot of time passed since that e-mail, and I never forgot about it while I was in my final year at college. I would like to present to you the 10 newest Star Control userbars:

So, there you have it!  I have also added them to the Userbars page.  Enjoy!

Star Control 2 - Arilou Skiff Defeats Chmmr Avatar

StripeyStudios brings us this amazing battle.  He defeats a Chmmr Avatar with a Arilou Skiff in less than 2 minutes.  He writes, “The trick here is basically positioning yourself in between two turn-spots of the Chmmr so that it’s unable to hit you directly. After that, the zapstats can be taken out with good timing, as well as the Chmmr itself.”

Thanks for the strategy tips, StripeyStudios.

Star Control 2 Music - Arilou/Orz/ZoqFotPik

LuminarNightblade discovered that the music for the Arilou, Orz an Zoq Fot Pik have the same tempo and decided to mix them all together, creating a very cool remix.

Nicely done LuminarNightblade.

Ur-Quan Masters - SA MATRA GUARDS

UBCForce defeats a  group of Ur-Quan Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah surrounding the Sa-Matra, the final boss in the game.

Thanks UBCForce.

XNA Star Control 2

(Video removed)

I know that people who visit the official UQM forums frequently are aware of this project to create a version of The Ur-Quan Masters that can run on the Xbox 360 and PC using Microsoft’s XNA Studio.  Mr. Brian is doing a great job and not being intimidated by the differences between C++ and C#.

I’m glad that there are still people out there who are taking the time to port the game to different consoles.  Out of all the console ports, this version and the GP2X port are the only console ports that do not require the console itself to be modified or the use of any unlicensed techniques to get the code to run.

It’s a really nice port and it looks like Mr. Brian is very persistent and dedicated, and he even mentioned on his XNA blog that he got a lot of work done on the long weekend.  I’m excited to see more. :P

Ur-Quan Masters - Slylandro Probe

Veke99 decided to have some fun with the Precursor’s remix of the Slylandro music.  After watching this video, I never realized just how fast and vibrant this remix is.  Veke99 skipped between the lines “WE COME IN PEACE” with the arrow keys to resemble a turntable scratch without the actual scratching sound.

Nicely done, Veke99.

Star Control TimeWarp: Legacies

I logged into Facebook, checked my groups and I realized that it’s been a while since I looked at the Star Control groups.  I read some of the comments and someone mentioned Star Control TimeWarp.  The first thing I thought to myself is “I can’t believe I completely forgot about TimeWarp for so long.”

Star Control TimeWarp is an open source sequel to Star Control II.  It is not canon or official by any means, but is an interesting Star Control clone because the graphics of the ships have been replaced with cleaner 3D looking sprites and ships can turn at sharper angles.  It also contains a bunch of fan-made ships.  At the moment, it hasn’t been updated since 2005 and it seems that the project is basically dead.  Not many people are very aware of its existence unless they read the old topics on the official UQM forums.  As a result, the game isn’t a full-blown adventure, the AI isn’t the best and the menus aren’t exactly friendly.  It’s only worth downloading for people who want to try out the 4 person melee. The fact that people who are skilled in programming and game design were inspired to make a tribute to Star Control is amazing.  It gives a new meaning to “cult following”.

There are actually two versions of TimeWarp: The regular TimeWarp and TW-Light.  The video above is from TW-Light, which is derived from the original TimeWarp.

This version of TW-Light has an adventure plot called Legacies, hence the subtitle.  The story continues after the ending of Star Control, where the Sa-Matra is destroyed, bring chaos amongst the green and black Ur-Quan races.  The victorious New Alliance of Free Stars set out to destroy most of them.  With the defeat of the Ur-Quan, it’s time for the player to begin exploration and colonization of other worlds.

When I played, I started off as a Supox Blade, flying around in space fighting other ships.  Whenever a ship is destroyed, the player can collect starbucks (currency in the first Star Control) and buckazoids which are worth less than starbucks.

Unfortunately, I had a difficult time with the adventure mode; I kept dying and I could never gather enough starbucks to repair fast enough or get any new ships.

The best part about TimeWarp is the combat since it is 4 player melee free for all instead of just 1 on 1.  It ran on my Windows Vista desktop just fine, and there is a compiled version for Windows and the source can be compiled for Linux operating systems.

Confronting the Druuge Without Weapons or Escorts

Veke99 shows us what happens when the player does not equip their flagship with weapons and travel without ships to defend themselves.

The Druuge are a greedy capitalist race who are all members of the Crimson Corporation.  They are also slave traders.  Their ships of choice is the Mauler.  It is a slow ship with slow energy regeneration rate.  It makes up for this with it’s extreme long range high-damage dealing canon with a high-recoil that pushes the ship in the opposite direction.  It can regenerate energy quickly by sacrficing one crew member until there is only one crew member left:  The captain himself.

Thanks Veke99.

Ur-Quan Masters: XNA Melee

Mr. Brian decided to indulge in his latest incarnation of the XNA melee that he’s been working hard on.  This video is different because he shows us a new mode called “Arcade Mode”.  He decided to provide some commentary about his latest version of XNA Star Control 2 and does a good job at it, even though he says that he’s nervous.

He even included mouse support in the game, meaning that he got it before the UQM team did. :D  There’s even a button at the top that determines if the ship is player or computer controlled with the same difficulty levels.  The images on the buttons used here are the same ones from the first Star Control game.

In this version, the player can zoom in and out my moving the right analog stick back and forth on the Xbox 360 controller.

He also has plans on getting a stats screen up and running.  I think this is a great idea.  On the official UQM forums, people sometimes set up Star Control 2 tournaments on the weekends and the winners are revealed on the forum threads.  With the stats in this version, there would be a lot more to know from a match other than whether or not someone won or lost.

Like, I’ve said before, other than the GP2X version, this is the only other console port of UQM that does not require the console to be modified or the user to run the code through any unlicensed devices.

This is definitely something worth looking at in the future for Star Control.  Keep up the good work, Mr. Brian!

To Mine the Heavens (Song)

(Video removed)

MenloMarseilles (Peter Garnett) took the planet exploring music from Star Control II, wrote his own lyrics, and sung over this track to create a very nice opera-style song.

I believe this is the first time I’ve encountered a Star Control fan song.  It’s definitely better than my cheap song, “na na na na na na… Star Control! na na na na na na”.

Here are the lyrics:

To Mine the Heavens by Peter Garnett:

Rome wasn't built in a day
Nor can I fight enslavement
Without allies or resources
Go exploring
Mine the heavens

There I will find
What I need for a fleet
In the cold of these worlds
And the warmth of these suns
I'm alone with my thoughts
And my gold
And the pain
When my men fight and die
In the lightning and rain

And yet

If we would defeat our slavers
More resources still are needed
Must press onward
Must keep searching
Mine the stars 'til
They're defeated...

Good job MenloMarseilles.  The Precursors team would be proud of you!  Maybe this will inspire other people to write their own Star Control songs. ;)