Talana
Well hello Captain. I am sure that being unconscious for so long after destroying the Sa-Matra, your memory is not so good. Ask a question and I will help you remember.
Star Control Frequently Asked Questions

If you think I'm missing an essential question from the FAQ, feel free to contact us, or ask on the SCDB. For any question that is already in the FAQ, we have supplied all knowledge and help that we can easily give here. If you need more, ask on the forum.

General
Where can I find/purchase the Star Control games?
I've lost my map for SC2 and can't get past the copy protection. Can you help?
What happened to StarCon (Star Control 4)?
Why isn't Star Control Freeware?
Is there a novel based on the Star Control universe?
Has TFB been able to buy the rights to the series from Accolade?
Is there going to be another Star Control?
Why hasn't the source code for SC2 been released? Is it possible?
What rating has the ESRB given the Star Control games?

Star Control 1
When was Star Control 1 released?
Are there any tricks for the Genesis Version?
Why is Star Control 1 called "Volume IV"?

Star Control 2
When was Star Control 2 released?
I am stuck with Star Control 2! Can you help me?
Why does the Melnorme bridge turn purple?
Does the cloaking device exist in SC2?
Is there a cloaking device for your Precursor vessel in SC2?
Are the Orz evil?
Why did the Spathi ship's name change between SC1 and SC2?
What the heck is the Mark 2? (Mentioned at the end of SC2)
What is the lander cheat?
Any Cool Tricks for SC2?
Is there an official explanation of what the Orz actually did to the Androsynth?

Star Control 3
How do you get the Owa to join you in SC3?
Is it possible to get Arilou or Kohr-Ah Ships in SC3?

Technical Issues
Do the Star Control games work in Windows?
Can you help me with DOSBox?
What button allows you to "escape" from Melee in the 3DO Version!?
The graphics look HORRIBLE and messed up in Star Control 2. How do I fix that?
After changing the keys and trying to save, it says it can't open "setup.pkg". What's wrong?
I don't have enough memory for Star Control to run! Please help!
I can't get the sound to work with my Sound Blaster Live! Card! HELP!
How do I take screen shots in SC1 and SC2?
My keyboard constantly acts like the Enter key is active. Help Me!
Is it possible to play SC1 and SC2 on the Mac?
What are all the command line switches for SC1 and SC2?
Does SC1 and SC2 have joystick support?
Is there a patch for Star Control 3?
Have you ever played or can you help me with the Mac version of Star Control 3?


Where can I find/purchase the Star Control games?

Visit the Get Star Control section of this site. Please DO NOT email Chad asking anything else on the subject.

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I've lost my map for SC2 and can't get past the copy protection. Can you help?

I have scanned in a map. There are also some cracks to get past the copy protection, though the easiest way to do this is to play the ur-Quan Masters.

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What happened to StarCon (Star Control 4)?

It has been canned/scrapped/forgotten about. All info about it can be found in this site's StarCon section.

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Why isn't Star Control Freeware?

This response is from someone who used to work at Accolade/Infogrames...

Freeware? You mean we should give our games away for free? It is called CAPITALISM and what that means is that we charge people MONEY for things that we create.

But honestly...At this point in the games life it is not even worth our time to give it away for free. In order to do that we would have to create a version that we could give away for free (removing all password stuff) and then putting it on our web site (which we would have to create a page for and that takes time and resources). It would be a headache for someone Im sure and no one here would want to work on a freeware version of a game that no-one really wants. If you look at the number of people that would really want an old 386x game to run on their new systems that number would be very low. Though Star Control fans REALLY like the game, the rest of the population has already voted on how we should sell this game by purchasing it or not. And the numbers have shown that there are not a lot of people out there that want an old game like that. Kinda see what Im saying?

Why do we want to spend our time making one of our REALLY OLD games into a freeware version when we could be spending our time and resources on making a new game that could earn us BIG MONEY and that everyone could play? Did you know there is 1 PlayStation in every 5 houses? How many people out there want to run an old 386 game on their new Pentium systems? And how many of those people have the knowledge of DOS to get the game running? So you can see that we want to concentrate our time and resources that are going to make our company the most money we can get for our work.

Maybe if we released Star Control 2 for the PlayStation with some other games on the same CD, then we could put out a CLASSICS CD..but even then how would it do versus all the new titles that are coming out?

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Is there a novel based on the Star Control universe?

Yes. It's hard to find and reputedly not very good though.

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Has TFB been able to buy the rights to the series from Accolade?

As of this writing, Accolade holds the rights to the Star Control name (the trademark) where as TFB holds the rights to everything else related to the game (characters, storyline, media, content, etc.).

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Is there going to be another Star Control?

Who knows! They need money (publisher) and the timing has to be right. But there is an interest from Toys for Bob. It has been hinted at that a new Star Control game may be in the works as a hobby project.

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Why hasn't the source code for SC2 been released? Is it possible?

The 3DO version of Star Control 2 sources have been released as The Ur-Quan Masters project. Sources for Star Control 1 or the PC version of SC2 are not available...

Additional comments by Fred Ford: Unfortunately after six years of further coding and media failure, I no longer have a complete set of source. Also, I'm not very sentimental about old stuff.

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What rating has the ESRB given the Star Control games?

   As of this writing, the ESRB has given all three Star Control games a rating of "Everyone".

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When was Star Control 1 released?

July 1990

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Are there any tricks for the Genesis Version?

Yes! This cheat increases the number of precursor artifacts in the Full Game and it works with the Genesis emulator and game ROM.

1. Enter the full game and pick a scenario. ("Escalation" is a good one)

2. Figure out whether you want visible stars or not and tap the B button.

3. The "ENTERING NEW STAR CLUSTER" screen will appear and immediately then press and hold the left arrow till the star cluster appears. (it takes a little longer than usual)

Now, almost every red and green planet will have an artifact. White planets can get 'em too. Better yet, this code even adds Precursor Relics to scenarios where they don't normally appear. Enjoy!

Comments by Fred Ford: We occasionally enjoyed a strategy game with crazy modifications to ships. There's nothing quite like a super-fast VUX that can turn on a dime. Of course, relics on every star make for very unbalanced and unpredictable games. So it didn't make sense for this to be an obvious option and thus we added it in as a cheat. I feel a little guilty that so many people like the Genesis version of SC1, because after we had completed essentially a bare bones port of the PC version in three months Accolade just wanted to publish the game. We wanted to optimize it for the Genesis to make it run at speed and add more console-like features. Sigh.

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Why is Star Control 1 called "Volume IV"?

Comments by Fred Ford: Yes, we were just giving ourselves plenty of elbow room to torture you guys with sequels and prequels.

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When was Star Control 2 released?

November 1992

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I am stuck with Star Control 2! Can you help me?

The absolute easiest thing for you to do is to get on our forum and ask us! We love helping people out.

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Why does the Melnorme bridge turn purple?

No one knows for sure. Seriously. There is NO way to get the Melnorme to tell you in the game. It is not even possible to get the required number of credits in the game. Even if you use a cheat to get more than 120,000 credits, the Melnorme will not tell you.

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Does the cloaking device exist in SC2?

Yes. Ilwrath have those devices in their ships - Avengers. (har, har, har)

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Is there a cloaking device for your Precursor vessel in SC2?
Cloaking Device Prank

Nope. Although it is rumored that the cloaking device existed in a beta version of the game that exists somewhere on the Internet (I have never found it).

There have been a couple of good jokes and pranks over the years... *Angelfish* posted the image to the right on the SC Discussion Board. He was the first person to claim actual proof and a location for where it could be found. This screenshot is a *FAKE*.

Fred Ford's comments on the topic: No, there is no cloaking device. Yes, there was going to be one, but we couldn't figure out a way, given the limitations of two players fighting on the same screen, to make it functionally better/more interesting than the Ilwrath's.

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Are the Orz evil?

Use your imagination. They are if you want them to be or not. Oh, so you want something more official...

Here is what Fred Ford has said about the Orz: "...we wanted the Orz to be much scarier and if you ever took them into Quasi-space with you bad things would happen. We really wanted them to creep you out so that you were never sure whether or not it was a good idea to be allied with them."

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Why did the Spathi ship's name change between SC1 and SC2?

I have a wonderful and elaborated reason for that. In the manual for SC1 it says the whole program is ComSim Central. It is a program made for new Alliance pilots so they can learn and practice how to fight against enemy ships. It says, "Each new commander is heartily encouraged to review the characteristics of enemy craft while at ComSim". SC1 also states that the ships are simulated on data collected. Certain analyzes could be incorrect, like the names of the commanders on the Hierarchy ships as well as the names of the ships. This is also a good explanation for why the Ur-Quan changed their names from Master to Lord.

Don't want to believe that? Other possible reasons include the Creators wanted a better name for the Spathi ship or that it was too long ("Discriminator" would not have fit into the ship status screens during melee).

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What the heck is the Mark 2? (Mentioned at the end of SC2)

Time to copy and paste from the Creators Chat log... ([Fwiffo] is Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III)

[_Stilgar] Fwiffo- what WAS the Mark II?
[Fwiffo] The Mark II was a precursor cruiser as opposed to a precursor tug which is what you guys flew.
[Greenish9] Yes, I remember the Ur-Quan saying it was a service vessel?
[Mephisto_] Yes "What? A human in a Precursor service vehicle? How did you escape the slave shield human, or are you a rogue?"

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What is the lander cheat?

It is a software bug in most of the released versions of Star Control 2 (diskette versions). It doesn't happen in the CD-ROM versions.

How do you reproduce the bug? Go to the Earth starbase. Go to the Shipyard. Sell all your planet landers. When you sell the last planet lander, you will receive MAXINT (a very large number) of planet landers. Sell them all and get tons of money!

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Any Cool Tricks for SC2?

Add the command line switch '/frenzy' when executing SC2 Melee. For example:

C:\STARCON2\MELEE /frenzy

This makes melee run really, really fast. Like, well, a frenzy!

-----------------------------------

I think this one is a "bug" but it qualifies as a cool trick...

  1. Play Melee -> Androsynth vs. Chenjesu (no matter the order)
  2. Chenjesu launches a DOGI
  3. Androsynth transforms itself into blazer form (comet)
  4. Comet hits DOGI

After doing this, the Guardian in non-blazer form is left with the blazer form's faster turning rate and it can also inflict damage to an enemy ship by touching it as if it were in blazer form. I have only tested this with the diskette version of SC2.

-----------------------------------

I think this one is also a bug...If you are being chased by...lets just say Mycons, while informing them about Organon, you can lose them by taking orbit around a planet and then sending a lander down. When you leave, all the ships in the system should just be entering the system.

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Is there an official explanation of what the Orz actually did to the Androsynth?

Nope. In SC2, its a plot teaser meant to make the Orz much more creepy. Way back when, the Creators also thought that the fate of the Androsynth was a "possible" good idea for their sequel to Star Control 2...

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How do you get the Owa to join you in SC3?

As far as I know, you CANNNOT get them to join you. If so, there has been no general consensus on how to do it.

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Is it possible to get Arilou or Kohr-Ah Ships in SC3?

Not that I know of :( The Kohr-Ah will continue to take over all your Kzer-Za (Green) Ur-Quan colonies until only the original is left. So its not even worth making a second Kzer-Za colony. The Arilou are merely advisors, and don't help out militarily.

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Do the Star Control games work in Windows?

YES, but your level of effort to get them to work depends on which version you are attempting to play in Windows.

The easiest way to play Star Control 2 in Windows is to download The Ur-Quan Masters Project. For Star Control 1, its probably easiest to find a Sega Genesis Emulator for Windows and the SC1 game ROM on the Internet.

For running the PC versions in Windows, the sound will not work by default. Your only option is to turn off the sound and play silently. Execute the game via shortcut, "Run" command, or in a DOS Command Prompt and be sure to add /s:silent and /g:bios as command line options.

The final and BEST option for running the PC versions of SC1 and SC2 in Windows is via DOS emulation. The emulator everyone uses to play Star Control is DOSBox. If you are having problems with DOSBox, please visit their project's site and forums for technical support help.

BTW, You should have less trouble getting Star Control 3 to run in Windows. Its still not easy, but I get less questions about that game. Good luck with all your attempts!!

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Can you help me with DOSBox?

DOSBox is a DOS emulator that allows you to run the PC versions of Star Control 1 and 2 on modern day computers. If you are having problems with DOSBox, please visit their project's site and forums for technical support help.

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What button allows you to "escape" from Melee in the 3DO Version!?

From the 3DO SC2 manual... Press the "Right Shift Button + the B Button". The right shift button is the top button on right hand side of the 3DO control pad. The B button is the middle button in the row of three buttons on the right hand side of the control pad.

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The graphics look HORRIBLE and messed up in Star Control 2. How do I fix that?

SC2 is using the wrong color palette. You need to tell the game to load using default colors from the BIOS. Here's how you do that:

Click Here For the Full Image

In Windows:

Goto 'Start'. Click once.
Goto 'Run'. Click once.
Type in the drive letter, directory and executable file names for SC2.
For example: C:\STARCON2\starcon2
Add the command line switch that loads the colors from the BIOS to the end of the line
To do this, type at the end of the line: /g:bios
For example, here is what the whole command would look like:
C:\STARCON2\starcon2 /g:bios

Click Here For the Full Image

In DOS:

Change directory to you Star Control 2 directory.
Add a command line switch that loads the colors from the BIOS to the end of the line.
To do this, type at the end of the line: /g:bios
For example, here is what the whole command would look like:
starcon2 /g:bios

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After changing the keys and trying to save, it says it can't open "setup.pkg". What's wrong?

You probably copied the files to your harddrive from a CD-ROM didn't you? Or maybe you are playing directly from the CD-ROM? Well you can't save changes to a CD-ROM! And if you copied the files to your harddrive then the files still think they are on the CD-ROM. You have to make the file 'setup.pkg' able to be written to. Here is how you do that:

Click Here For the Full Image

In Windows:

Right-Click on the file 'setup.pkg'.
From the little window that pops up, click 'Properties'.
In the new window that pops up, un-check 'Read-Only'.
Click 'Apply'.
It is done. Try editing your keys now.








In DOS:

Click Here For the Full Image

Change directory to you Star Control 2 directory.
Type this:
attrib -R setup.pkg
Please note: Case matters. Refer to the image on the right for more details.
It is done. Try editing your keys now.

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I don't have enough memory for Star Control to run! Please help!

SC2, being an old DOS game, requires conventional memory (the first 640 kilobytes of your machines memory) and then expanded memory for sound and music. If you don't have enough of this type of memory, then the game simply won't run. The problem you are experiencing is not having enough conventional memory. Even if your machine has 128+ MEGS of memory, SC2 doesn't care. If this is the first time you have ever heard of conventional memory, then you missed the oh so fun days of DOS gaming [sarcasm]. Here are some suggestions on how to free some conventional memory up:

1) If you are trying to play SC2 from the CD-ROM, COPY the ENTIRE GAME to the harddisk. Do this because the CD-ROM drivers require memory that you need to get freed up!

2) Now edit your autoexec.bat and config.sys to match these:

config.sys: (In Windows type 'sysedit' in Start->Run or in DOS type 'edit config.sys')

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\HIMEM.SYS
DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM
DOS=HIGH,UMB
rem DEVICEHIGH=C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\ATAPI_CD.SYS /D:MSCD000 **

autoexec.bat: (In Windows type 'sysedit' in Start->Run or in DOS type 'edit autoexec.bat')

rem LH C:\WINDOWS\COMMAND\MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD000 /M:12 /L:E **
rem LH C:\MOUSE\MOUSE.EXE **
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 T4 ** (sound initialization)
LH C:\WINDOWS\AU30DOS.COM ** (sound driver)

** please note that these lines will be slightly different on your machine because each CD-ROM drive, mouse and sound card has its own DOS drivers and configuration.

3) notice the 'rem' before the CD-ROM Driver lines. This makes DOS ignore those lines when loading the machine. When you need those drivers again, just take out the 'rem'.

4) Also, make sure you 'rem' out any mouse driver lines. A mouse is NOT needed at all for SC2!

5) This same exact autoexec.bat and config.sys gets me more than 590k of free conventional memory on my Micron P2 450 MHz 128 megs of RAM. Plenty to run SC2.

6) If you can't get the sound to initialize, but have another DOS program that does work with sound, try running that program first. This might get the sound working so you can then run SC2 with sound in DOS.

If you STILL aren't able to get enough memory to play StarCon2, there's two more things you can try to make a difference.

7) For people who don't want to use the "noems" EMM386.exe command line option, adding the following to your EMM386 line in config.sys file will set your frame paging high, allowing the addresses under it to be used in EMS.

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE RAM frame=e000

Some games require both EMS and a fair bit of conventional memory. The above seems to make both happy. You may have seen some people that disable frame paging through adding "frame=none" but some older games don't like this. SC2 for some reason didn't like it either on my system.

8) An unused graphics mode is still loaded into memory. You can safely ditch it, if you don't run any games that require an original, monochrome display. Simply include:

DEVICE=C:\WINDOWS\EMM386.EXE I=B000-B7FF

You can add the I=B000-B7FF alone or with any other command line switch.

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I can't get the sound to work with my Sound Blaster Live! Card! HELP!

The SB Live! isn't a real Sound Blaster, and the emulation drivers that are supposed to intercept attempts to use a Sound Blaster simply ignore the SB commands that SC2 tries to use.

The SB Live's DOS SB16 emulation drivers ignore non-DMA PCM (also known as "direct DAC access") sound - thus, you get no digital sound in games like Wolfenstein 3D, SC2, etc...

SC2's timing system wreaks havoc with Windows's timing, so Windows changes the timer settings back, messing up SC2 in the process. Besides, the Windows-based SB16 emulation doesn't seem to notice SC2 either.

In fact, the best results so far are under DOSEmu on Linux. A big thanks goes out to Jan Lonnberg for this explanation.

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How do I take screen shots in SC1 and SC2?

First, make sure you disable sound with the command line switch /s:silent

If you are playing the game EXCLUSIVELY in DOS, then I have found Screen Thief to work well. Follow the instructions included with the Screen Thief zip file.

In Windows, press the Print Screen key instead if you are playing in Full Screen mode. It'll copy whatever's on the screen directly to the clipboard. For capturing Images while you're playing SC2 in a window, press Alt + the Print Screen key.

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My keyboard constantly acts like the Enter key is active. Help Me!

Get rid of any joysticks or gamepads you have connected to your system. Certain joysticks and gamepads apparently cause this problem. This is the result of some joysticks and gamepads designed for Windows misusing the joystick port. (got this from a post by Nova (Jan Lonnberg) on the SC Discussion Board)

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Is it possible to play SC1 and SC2 on the Mac?

Don't really know much about Macs myself, but I have been told that Mac users wanting to play the first 2 Star Control games can with the magic of Virtual PC by Connectix. Emulation, baby. Its a beautiful thing.

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What are all the command line switches for SC1 and SC2?

Command Line Options

Sound (use one only):

  • /S:mt32     Roland MT-32 or LAPC sound and music (SC1 Only)
  • /S:adlib     Adlib sound and music
  • /S:cms     CMS sound and music (SC1 Only)
  • /S:tandy     Tandy 3-voice sound and music (SC1 Only)
  • /S:internal     Internal speaker sound and music
  • /S:silent     No sound and music
  • /S:disney1     Disney Sound Source on Parallel Port #1 (SC2 Only)
  • /S:disney2     Disney Sound Source on Parallel Port #2 (SC2 Only)
  • /S:lpt1     Covox Speech Thing or other sound peripheral on parallel port #1 (SC2 Only)
  • /S:lpt2     Covox Speech Thing or other sound peripheral on parallel port #2 (SC2 Only)
  • /S:sblaster     A Soundblaster (SC2 Only)
  • /S:pas     A Pro Audio Spectrum (SC2 Only)
  • /S:sm2     A Sound Master II (SC2 Only)
  • /S:asc     An ASC Media Master (SC2 Only)
  • /S:micro     Microsoft Windows (SC2 Only)
  • /S:gravis     Gravis Ultrasound (SC2 Only)

Graphics (use one only):

  • /G:mcga     256 color VGA or MCGA Graphics (SC1 Only)
  • /G:ega     16 color Enhanced Graphics (SC1 Only)
  • /G:tandy     16 color Tandy Graphics (SC1 Only)
  • /G:cga     4 color Color Graphics (SC1 Only)
  • /G:bios     Loads default color palette from BIOS

Miscellaneous:

  • /spartan     A "no frills" mode to allow faster play on slower machines

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Does SC1 and SC2 have joystick support?

SC2 does support joysticks. It probably will only work if you are in pure DOS mode (non-Windows) and if your joystick is hooked up to an ISA Sound Card joystick port. Experiences may vary. Good luck!

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Is there a patch for Star Control 3?

Nope.

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Have you ever played or can you help me with the Mac version of Star Control 3?

Nope. Do I even own a Mac? Nope.

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Thanks to ALL the fans over the many years that have helped create this FAQ!

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Star Control I

Star Control II

Star Control 3

StarCon (SC 4)

Star Control Origins