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Star Control

Star Control is the first game in the SC saga. It was produced by Paul Reiche II and Fred Ford back in 1990 for Accolade. The full game is made up of a tactical and a combat section called melee. Melee can also be played separately. The game was partially inspired by such classics as SPACEWAR! and Archon. 

Released on a multitude of platforms, the most well known versions of Star Control are the PC and Amiga versions. These were fairly similar, but beyond that there were also many other versions which varied greatly in both quality and teams. For more insight on how these versions looked and how they might fit into the SC universe, check out Eth’s site.

Tactical game

Tactical view

The tactical view

In the tactical game the player takes control of one of two warring actions. The Alliance of Free stars are the good guys, fighting for freedom against the dreaded Ur-Quan and their Hierarchy of Battle Thralls. Both sides number 7 species, and more in depth information can be found in the section "Ships and races". For more in depth background on the races and events preceding the war, the Ultronomicon is your friend. The game is played on a 3D map, where players move ships between worlds. Movement is not possible between all worlds, creating pathways that add a strategic element. New ships are produced at a star base, if one is available. In addition to this there are three types of worlds. Life worlds can be colonised, allowing ships to recrew. Mineral worlds can have mines set up, producing Starbucks that are used to buy ships. Both these and the final type, dead worlds can also be fortified, hindering enemy progress. In addition to this many ships also have special tactical abilities. Different scenarios have different victory conditions and can be played both against a human or computer opponent. Many versions of the game also allows for the creation of new scenarios.

Melee combat

Melee Combat

An Umgah somehow defeating a Chenjesu in combat

When two enemy ships meet in the tactical mode melee ensues to determine the winner. The battle is fought on a 2D field that contains both ships, a planet and some asteroids. The game arena isn’t unlimited, as a ship draws close to the edge it "wraps around" to the opposite edge. Each ship has unique weaponry, its own acceleration and turning properties, battery and recharge rate as well as crew amount. In addition to this the arena planet has a gravitational pull that slower ships can exploit by a flyby (Leyland gravity whip). For more general knowledge on this, please check out the Melee guide Shiver created. While it doesn’t cover every ship, the general section gives a very good idea of how melee functions in SC and SC II.

For more information on the aliens and ships present in Star Control, check out our Races and Ships sections!

Star Control I

Star Control II

Star Control 3

StarCon (SC 4)

Star Control Origins