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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Slylandro gasbags
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Navigator – “Captain, we’re approaching the satellite beacon.”

Captain Zelnick – “Continue scanning…”

Science Officer – “Aye, sir.”

Captain Zelnick – “Commy, have you been able to link up yet?”

Communications Officer – “I’m still working on it, sir. The problem is, well… it’s internal translation program is much different than our own… I’m not even sure if they’re compatible.”

Captain Zelnick – “Keep at it, Lieutenant. This may be our only way of communicating with them!”

Communications Officer – “Aye, sir! It’s definitely receiving us, but you see, the difficulty I’m having is that… uh, Captain? Something’s happening!”

Science Officer – “She’s right! That satellite has begun rotating towards us!”

1st Officer – “Captain, it could be turning to fire.”

Tactical Officer – “Shields up, Captain?”

Navigator – “Captain, our shields?!”

Tactical Officer – “Shields up, Captain?”

Captain Zelnick – “We will take no provocative action.”

Tactical Officer – “If it fires…”

Captain Zelnick – “Commy, report!”

Tactical Officer – “…with our shields down…”

Communications Officer – “Um, um…”

Tactical Officer – “…we will not be able to respond.”

Captain Zelnick – “Commy!”

Communications Officer – “Yes, Captain! I’ve got it! Patching through now.”

Captain Zelnick (sighs relief and wipes his brow) – “Whew! On screen.”
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Fun Trivia Time! Can you guess where I got most of the lines above? (Hint: Tactical Officer)

_________________
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” - Khan Noonien Singh


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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:21 pm 
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Arilou wiseguy

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Astonishingly the Syreen have a name that fits our Human mythologies perfectly.
Or have they been secretely visiting Earth in ancient times?

Or it could jus be a name given by us, as we have to translate their talk anyway...


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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:19 pm 
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Slylandro gasbags
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krulle wrote:
Astonishingly the Syreen have a name that fits our Human mythologies perfectly.

Of course, the sirens:

Image
Ulysses and the Sirens, by Herbert James Draper, c. 1909*

They do share many similarities: Hot women who use their song to lure sailors from their ships, with the main difference being death vs. enslavement.

krulle wrote:
Or have they been secretely visiting Earth in ancient times?

Or it could jus be a name given by us, as we have to translate their talk anyway...

There could even be some Arilou influence going on there; I'm just not sure to what extent that would be… but it really couldn't be of pure coincidence that the Syreen and sirens could have such parallel equivalence without some context of outside involvement, and I've noticed how that usually leaves the culprit pointing directly towards little green men.

Ever since playing the original Star Control I've often wondered whether the Syreen invented technology for their ships which acts as a hypnosis beam, purely created by waves or some other technical whatnot, or if the Syreen themselves naturally possess the power biologically, and the Penetrator design simply incorporates their abilities… afterall, it is called a "Psionic Amplifier" (at least I think it’s called that) and you always see the Syreen captain turn her head and sing the call when the function is performed during battle.

*An appeal concerning art as a quick aside to our moderation and members: This is my particular favorite picture of the portrayal of the sirens since I feel it really captures their being well, but I was hesitant to post it since there may be some who may view this as obscene, since it has some nudity, and therefore could be considered violating rule 3 of SCDB policies. To me this is art, and subsequently transcends the possibility of obscenity, just as Michaelangelo's "David" isn't offensive to me, nor is a woman suckling her child in public (although a little discreteness doesn't hurt, ladies), nor is footage of African tribes walking around nude in accordance with their culture. However, if anybody does find this material objectionable for any reason I will voluntarily remove it (just pm me) and I also won't be offended if it is removed by mod staff.

_________________
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” - Khan Noonien Singh


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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:37 am 
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Orz *camper*

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Location: Toronto, Canada
The Troglodyte wrote:
There could even be some Arilou influence going on there; I'm just not sure to what extent that would be… but it really couldn't be of pure coincidence that the Syreen and sirens could have such parallel equivalence without some context of outside involvement, and I've noticed how that usually leaves the culprit pointing directly towards little green men.


That's one of my theories... It has all kinds of implications which... I should probably wait until you finish the game to say more.


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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:11 pm 
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Slylandro gasbags
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Tormuse wrote:
The Troglodyte wrote:
There could even be some Arilou influence going on there; I'm just not sure to what extent that would be… but it really couldn't be of pure coincidence that the Syreen and sirens could have such parallel equivalence without some context of outside involvement, and I've noticed how that usually leaves the culprit pointing directly towards little green men.


That's one of my theories... It has all kinds of implications which... I should probably wait until you finish the game to say more.

Yeah, I can't wait for that fateful day when I can finally pull up a lawn chair up to the campfire and openly discuss all aspects of the wonderfulness of Star Control 2. Until then...
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Captain’s Log - Jun 21, 2156 - Beta Corvi IV (“Source” - Slylandro Homeworld) - Status: Green

We entered orbit around Beta Corvi IV and attempted to contact the Slylandro, but we couldn’t find any evidence of them anywhere. We continued to scan deep inside the gas giant for any signs of life, but that proved equally as useless. However, after another few minutes of scanning and hailing the planet on every known frequency channel, scanners revealed something on its opposite side where we discovered an old and unusual-looking satellite in orbit, and our communications officer used the ship’s computer linguistic algorithms to link in, and the satellite slowly rotated and then stopped, which freaked us out at first, but then it began sending a signal to somewhere below the upper atmosphere of the gas giant, and suddenly there were several strange-looking creatures on the viewscreen! They were the Slylandro!!

Image

The viewing apparatus didn’t offer any frame of reference, so I’m still not sure if what we were talking to was very big, very small, or somewhere in between. In fact, their bodies looked like what one might expect to see while looking at an ameba or protozoans under a microscope.

They were obviously much more complex than single-celled organisms though, and their bioluminescence, along with their translucent skin, gave them more of an appearance of jellyfish than paramecium, which similarly gave us a view of their internal organs (almost like nuclei) which had white glowing extensions from within that started from the center and moved outward in different directions to each of their blunted, curve-shaped appendages, which some had varying amounts of, and some even had finger-like appendages in a row that they would wiggle around, while others would rotate and spin their entire bodies around as they moved quickly around within the swirling clouds, and we could also see occasional small lit orbs whipping close-by that gave an appearance as if the gas giant had a little Christmas lighting, along with the ever-changing whirling gaseous wind that constantly created tornadoes in which the Slylandro sailed along while they illuminated the planet’s interior so we could peer inside for ourselves without contending with the natural blockage of sunlight.

There wasn’t anything declaratively discernable with their appearance that we can usually determine in most other species, and there wasn’t any body parts I could clearly identify; there was no face, mouth, eyes, ears, nose, arms, or legs, and even though their skin was transparent, nor did they seem to have a circulatory or digestive system, or any other regular systems we usually see in complex lifeforms, although their internal interlinkings could be perceived as a central nervous system. Therefore, their unique physiology may incorporate any or all of these types of internal make-up, but in different forms. For example, they may absorb their food the way a white blood cell envelops a germ.

The one who greeted us was named Content to Hover, and whatever was responsible for the translation into our language that we were hearing, they gave him a male voice, and a pleasant upbeat one at that, and he made it obvious to us they were happy and eager to make our acquaintance, and the friendly demeanor was in such full abundance that I felt there could be no deception taking place the more the conversation continued.

There were others whom we were getting introduced to, namely Joyous Lifting and Sullen Plummet, which eluded to the idea that perhaps the Slylandro name their children similar to the way in which many Native American Indian tribes name their offspring, using the things around them to inspire their denominations, but in the case of the Slylandro, those innovations would have to be limited to their surroundings, which would include food, wind, other Slylandro, and, of course, lots and lots of clouds.

They were very excited to have new visitors, which they have had such few over the years, but they use the term Drahn to determine time intervals, which is measured by the rotations of their planet. We asked about other races who have visited them in the past, and they told us about several races from the Sentient Milieu, including the Ur-Quan, Yuli, Drall, Taalo, Mael-Num and the Faz.

They also told us about another race, which they refer to as the “Shaggy Ones” who used to visit them a long time ago, and even installed the broadcasting satellite (the one we’re currently using) in orbit around their world so they could talk with one another.

They couldn’t remember their exact names, but I suspect that they might be the Precursors, so I implored them to try to remember anything else they could tell us about them, but Content to Hover couldn’t remember anything more, but his associates Joyous Lifting and Sullen Plummet recalled the Shaggy Ones as being worried, and they hurried from place to place in a massive circular starship as if there was something important they were trying to figure out, and when they found what they were looking for, they left and didn’t say why or where they were going.

I pressed them even further, explaining that any additional information was of paramount importance to us, and Joyous Lifting remembered that the Shaggy Ones told them about ten different planets that were either discovered or possibly created by them, and they are arranged or configured in such a way that somehow reveals the unknown fate of the Precursors. I wonder, could they be referring to Rainbow Worlds? I definitely need to find more so we can try to figure out this wild mystery of those ancient shaggy guys!

They told us one of these type of worlds is supposed to be near here in a binary blue dwarf system, and another can be found around a giant white star. We looked at the starmap and easily found Alpha and Beta Pegasi, which seem to be the closest candidate in the vicinity, so at least we have another clue as to where to find another one, and the 500 credits it’ll fetch from the Melnorme is nice too!

However, the closest giant white stars would be Alpha Columbae near Arilou space, with the next closest being Alpha Geminorum in Ur-Quan territory, or Alpha Ceti in former Spathi space, with Sirius and Zeeman having already been explored, plus there’s the far-off white giant Groombridge.

We asked them how it is living inside a gas giant, and they explained that they are limited to residing within the five-hundred-kilometer band of atmosphere which is the only habitable area in which they can survive, with the area below, which they call the Depths, is too dark and hostile with an increase in gravitational forces, and the area above, which they call Void (not to be confused with the Mycon’s use of the same term), causes them to become giddy and behave inappropriately, so I’m guessing they get “high”, both in the literal and figurative context!

To move about, they are able to regulate their ballasts, thus creating a type of gaseous associated buoyancy which permits them travelling around their world or even into the more dangerous regions in some cases. Young juvenile Slylandro, for example, will sometimes allow themselves to sink down into the Depths close to the point of bursting, and the scars left behind supposedly attract the opposite sex. Such tough little rebellious tattooed gas bags!

They are an egalitarian society and highly intelligent, but without technology, since any potential technological advancement always succumbs to the strong gravity. They’ve tried in the past to invent things, but whatever it was they achieved to create, I guess they’d have to constantly carry it around with them or it would blow away or get pulled down to the center of the gas giant, where there’s likely a pile of old animal bones, discarded inventions and lots of Slylandro feces.

Since they have no technology, not even writing materials, they pass along their knowledge and history by means of History Chants, which are like songs or poems, arranged in such a way that their rhymes and patterns help retain the meaning over the years from generation to generation. The brown shaggy guys taught them all about the universe outside Source (the name of their home planet), including stuff like stars and other planets, plus other aliens and cultures and other interesting things like that.

I asked them about their biology and they replied:

“We evolved from simpler, unimodular beings who thrive in atmospheric convection cells. At first, we were little more than mindless consumers who glided at the edge of windwalls straining air for small animalcules. But even then we were social creatures, who invented language so that we could better cooperate when herding food into dense concentrations. There are many hundreds of species here in Source… producers, consumers, hunters and parasites, but so far, we are the only species here to achieve intelligence.”

I find myself comparing them with the characters in the “Orphans of the Sky”, a novel by Robert A. Heinlein, which is about a generation ship (a ship sent to colonize another world at sub-light speed) that has been in flight for many generations and has long since lost its clarity of purpose, resulting in the entire crew (having been born there) believing their ship is in all actuality the entire universe. In the same light, the Slylandro may have thought the same way for a long time, believing their gas planet was everything there is in existence, since being shielded by the planet’s atmosphere, they wouldn’t have had a proper reference point to believe otherwise, at least not until that gang of snuffeluffagus’s showed up!

Following up on their biology, I noticed there were noticeable glowing portions inside of them, so I asked about their “glowy bits”, which greatly embarrassed Content, since apparently, they are their sexual organs, and since they can’t see in our visual range, they didn’t realize that we could in fact see them! Ooops! Sorry about that! Their sensory perception is clearly different; perhaps they view things in the UV or infrared range, or perhaps they have no vision whatsoever and are completely blind, and they “feel” through sensory receivers which receive information on an electro-magnetic level, or some other ability to perceive the world around them in some similar fashion.

They were very eager to learn more about us, and started asking us questions, so we told them that we come from a rocky planet and explore the galaxy by ways of a starship, and they said that all aliens they’ve met so far describe themselves similarly, but all the Slylandro know about in great abundance is clouds, obviously.

We told them about the Ur-Quan and our struggles to free ourselves from their evil empire, but this confused the Slylandro, who claim that the Ur-Quan were very nice folks who used to visit them back in the day, and they were also brown, so I explained that I didn’t know what they could be talking about, but whatever the case may have been back then, the Ur-Quan are now as we speak quite green and very evil. Yeah, about that… a LOT has happened to those guys since they’ve last visited the Slylandro!

The Slylandro are truly an amazing and fascinating species, and I could’ve stayed for a good long while learning about them and indulging in lengthy cultural exchange, but we really needed to get to the real reason why we sought them out… which brings us to those stinking probes! But, I will get into that later, since we’re about to re-enter orbit and establish communications with the Slylandro again.

Captain out.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

_________________
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” - Khan Noonien Singh


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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:43 am 
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Orz *camper*

Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 6:51 am
Posts: 110
Location: Toronto, Canada
The Troglodyte wrote:
The one who greeted us was named Content to Hover...


Oh... I feel dumb; all these years and I didn't realize that was his name! :o I just figured he was using the word "hover" the way we would use "stand" (ie, I stand here as a speaker) and that he's describing himself as content because he's just so happy to be the one that greets visitors. I need to re-examine my life now. :P


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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:45 am 
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Arilou wiseguy

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:01 pm
Posts: 174
The Troglodyte wrote:

Following up on their biology, I noticed there were noticeable glowing portions inside of them, so I asked about their “glowy bits”, which greatly embarrassed Content, since apparently, they are their sexual organs, and since they can’t see in our visual range, they didn’t realize that we could in fact see them! Ooops! Sorry about that! Their sensory perception is clearly different; perhaps they view things in the UV or infrared range, or perhaps they have no vision whatsoever and are completely blind, and they “feel” through sensory receivers which receive information on an electro-magnetic level, or some other ability to perceive the world around them in some similar fashion.
This strikes me as weird conclusion.
You'e using a camera to see them, and the camera can use whatever wavelengths technically feasible. And since it seems to be a precursor hovering communications module, the technology and used wavelengths remains unguessable.
I always thought the Slylandro would be opaque for our eyes, but the hovering speaker uses deep scanning frequencies (likely, as if you're sending something down there, you want to see and explore as much as possible), thus "exposing" internal organs. And they get to see only what our cameras have been programmed to show...

And they are definitley one of the best ideas in SC2, and a part of the allure the game still holds for me.


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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:25 pm 
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Slylandro gasbags
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Tormuse wrote:
Oh... I feel dumb; all these years and I didn't realize that was his name! :o I just figured he was using the word "hover" the way we would use "stand" (ie, I stand here as a speaker) and that he's describing himself as content because he's just so happy to be the one that greets visitors. I need to re-examine my life now. :P

Slylandro – “Hi! I am Content to Hover…”

Captain Zelnick – “How ironic! I’m content to sit! What’s your name?”

Slylandro – ”I am Content to Hover!”

Captain Zelnick – “We’ve already covered that! Of course you’re content to hover… it’s what you guys do! You hover!!”

Slylandro – “Uh… Who’s on first?”

krulle wrote:
This strikes me as weird conclusion.
You'e using a camera to see them, and the camera can use whatever wavelengths technically feasible. And since it seems to be a precursor hovering communications module, the technology and used wavelengths remains unguessable.
I always thought the Slylandro would be opaque for our eyes, but the hovering speaker uses deep scanning frequencies (likely, as if you're sending something down there, you want to see and explore as much as possible), thus "exposing" internal organs. And they get to see only what our cameras have been programmed to show...

And they are definitley one of the best ideas in SC2, and a part of the allure the game still holds for me.

Interesting theory, but it raises the question, where is the camera image being seen from that they're viewing?

(Meanwhile…)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Captain’s Log - Jun 21, 2156 - Beta Corvi IV (“Source” - Slylandro Homeworld) - Status: Green

We continued to speak with the Slylandro representatives at length, and soon they had us talking all about ourselves, and they love the fact that we have the freedom (in a manner of speaking, considering our Ur-Quan troubles) to fly around in a starship from star to star, exploring planets and other interesting places in-between, but they have no way of accomplishing the same feat themselves.

Being as such, they were very grateful when the Melnorme learned of their existence and dropped by to see if they’d let them study them and other life on Source. In trade, they offered to give them a self-replicating explorer probe, which was designed to roam around the galaxy seeking out alien life and gathering data on planets and unusual spatial phenomenon, and it would return upon filling its data storage units.

We asked them if those probes are supposed to just be exploring, recording information, and contacting aliens in a peaceful manner, then why! oh! why! do they attack us every time we encounter one, but the Slylandro were in utter disbelief, claiming that their probes do not attack, and that they only have defensive capabilities, which I assumed for a moment that they were referring to the lightning attack the probes use, but they said the probe will only defend itself if all else fails and fire its battery of missiles at the attacker.

Needless to say, I was taken aback, but when I went into more detail, recalling the countless times we had been attacked by numerous probes, all of which would shoot bolts of lightning in an attempt to destroy us, they explained that the electrical discharge is only supposed to be used whenever a probe is breaking down raw replication materials for easy retrieval.

I was quickly learning that I was going to need more information to successfully untie this knot, so I asked them to go into further detail about the probe’s program, and they started off by giving us the general outline, which was fairly straightforward and what you’d expect from a probe’s basic functions, which meant that it would basically scan for things like spaceships, transmissions, anomalies, life-bearing planets, and raw materials, and then it would alter its behavior according to the priority settings, which includes movement, communicating, recording data, analyzing data, and seeking replication materials.

Since there was an obvious connection with the probe’s method for replication and its unknown nature bent on hostility, I inquired about the replication process itself, and they told us that the probes are designed to seek out asteroids and space junk whenever they’re not doing anything more important, and when they’ve gathered enough materials, they can reproduce an exact replica of themselves, so by now the Slylandro predict there could be thousands of them flying around the galaxy by this point… and they would be correct! The only problem is… they’re trying to kill us!

It all started to come together, and the further we delved into the replication process, the more obvious is was becoming that the probes are acting in a way they shouldn’t be, and the Slylandro, as nice and friendly as they are, are inadvertently the indirect cause of the problem, but I still needed to convince them before we could work together to find a feasible solution!

But first, we needed to pinpoint where the error first occurred, and I know it had to do with how the Slylandro configured the probes, since, after all, computers will only do what you tell them to do, so I knew there must be some kind of large scale unforeseen run-time error happening going on here. Usually it’s the GIGO rule: Garbage In/Garbage Out… but in this case, it’s Garbage In/Another Killer Probe Out!

I asked about the effect the priority settings has on the probe’s behavior, and it made perfect sense: the higher the setting, the higher the priority… which begs the question, how high was the priority set for replication? Uhhh… with the option of anywhere from zero to nine-hundred ninety-nine, they went with the max setting! Yikes! It’s all making sense now! No wonder the night sky is becoming filled with tumbling red balls! They’ve turned the entire galaxy into one, big assembly line!

Content to Hover could’ve been named “Discontent to Understand”, because I still wasn’t quite getting through; he kept insisting there was no way the probes could act in the way we were claiming, so I had to go about it in another way, and I broke it down bit by bit and let him figure it out for himself:

I figured that the high priority setting (which actually worked backwards to how I perceive it logically, since I’d usually consider something with the highest priority as priority ONE, not 999) was over-riding the intended process, therefore forcing the probe to act on anything it encountered as potential food for the hungry things, so I asked Content to think about each individual process and how they would apply the appropriate (or inappropriate, as it were) action, given the specified parameters, and finally, as we went through it all step by step, he realized that the excessive cranking of the replication dials has caused the probes to essentially be hard-wired to break down anything they come in contact with, including our ship! Hmmm… if only we could somehow gear them to only use Dreadnoughts and Marauders as replication materials!

Once they realized their egregious, miscalculated blunder of the decade, they pleaded with us for our help, but there was nothing conventional we could accomplish, since hunting them all down was simply out of the question, considering they multiply way too quickly to even have any hope of keeping up. The Melnorme weren’t going to be any help since they’re too legalistic and probably wouldn’t accept any responsibility since they have a waiver in writing, and not only that, but the Slylandro can’t even recall their probes because the model-type that can be recalled the Melnorme said was unavailable and supposedly out of stock! Sheesh!

We were at an impasse, so I consulted my space exploration handbook, and chapter 7, paragraph 3, states that every autonomous object constructed for spaceflight travels will have a self-destruct code sequence 9 times out of 10. Pretty good odds, so I asked Content if the probes had such an internal mechanism, and delighted, Content suddenly remembered that they did indeed have such a device! (And to think these guys have nothing better to do but look at clouds all day and use songs to recall events from long ago, but can’t remember the details of their own probe fleet which they’ve only had for a few hundred rotations!)

However, they didn’t have a way to broadcast the transmission, but they gave us the code sequence for whenever we come across one (which will likely be soon), we’ll at least be able to persuade it to blow itself up before it tries to repurpose us. By the way, upon our recent turn we’ve also learned that one of the probes has finally returned (I don’t really see how it could ever fill its data banks if it’s always busy blasting stuff into probe-building components, but whatever) and so they’ve reconfigured it to seek out other probes and broadcast the transmission (and how exactly is one of these things playing the probe version of bounty hunter Boba Fett any less futile than somebody else hunting them down?), so there should be a steady decline in probe numbers really soon. Thank goodness!

Now with that bit of business out of the way and behind us, we can continue with our mission, and hopefully far less hampered by probes along the way! Zelnick out.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

_________________
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” - Khan Noonien Singh


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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:25 pm 
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Arilou wiseguy

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Posts: 174
yay!
tell us when you meet the one probe that should kill all others and you use the self-destruct code on it.....

Anyway, that was a lot of work chatting them through it all....
I remember it took me more than one visit to talk them through it all...


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 Post subject: Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!
PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:02 pm 
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One has to wonder how the probe responsible for transmitting the self-destruct code to the other probes avoids being self-destructed in turn by the signal. All it would take is something to bounce it off, and suddenly you'd get a feedback error, destroying the probe itself. It is rather silly, when you think about it.

_________________
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.


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