Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Ur-Quan are Back

I was playing Hearthstone, but now it is not working with my version of Ubuntu or wine.  So I needed something else to play at night when the boys are tired but earned watching a game before their bedtime story.

A few days ago I downloaded The Ur-Quan Masters, a free re-make of Star Control II.

The boys love it.  But then, who would not love silly and cowardly Fwiffo?

When I was an undergraduate I played this game for many, many hours.  There was so much to explore and do!

One of my friends even played through the game an extra time to record all of the music to cassette tape.  This was back in the days when our computers had Sound Blaster cards, and recording sound files to your hard drive was a distant dream.  I still have my copy of his cassette tape in a box of old tapes.

Now I have less free time, so I am relying on a walkthrough for mining and other efficiency issues.

(I was amused to see that GameFaqs has a speed guide that claims to complete the game in only nine in-game months.  Maybe I will try that some day.)

I also found some maps that are more readable than the in-game Star Map.

One map is spoiler free.

The other map has spoilers.  I use it when Smiley becomes fearful that we might be going too deep into enemy-controlled space.

This morning little Gallant called to me before breakfast, "Daddy, we have to go!  We have to go somewhere in our solar system!"

Gallant pretends to use an old calculator as a spaceship control dashboard.  He calls it "Playing Blast Off".  He types a countdown from 9 to 1, then presses the equal key while saying "Blast off!"  This makes another copy of the digits appear, which he finds quite satisfying.

The calculator also has four arrow keys.

He uses these to excitedly steer our imaginary spaceship after it blasts off.  Despite the frantic pace, I feel completely safe while he is piloting.

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