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Star Control: Origins Review

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Story:

As I said at the introduction, I do not know if the sense of humor for Star Control: Origins is also found in the franchise's earlier games or not, but it is definitely present here and from early on too. According to the game, humanity is one of the younger species in the galaxy, with plenty of others already having developed the capability of interstellar travel. Among these are the Tywom, a race of giant slug-like beings that have been protecting humanity from the Scryve, malevolent space-centaurs that have conquered this section of the galaxy, and consider all species in it to be under its empire. They also consider all other species under them as savages and will annihilate any they wish. While the Tywom, who are socially awkward at their best, are allowed to survive as wards of the Scryve Empire, humanity will be destroyed if it is discovered, which is naturally where the game starts as we encounter a Tywom ship that has tried, unsuccessfully, to protect Earth from discovery.

Why were the Tywom protecting humanity from the Scryve? This is a very fair and appropriate question to ask, and one with an unusual answer. The Tywom have been monitoring our media broadcasts and love it; they love it all. While that is not too unusual a concept for aliens in science fiction, there is a step more to this. You see the Tywom love our media so much, they have been creating their own fan-fiction for it… To protect the basis of their fan-fics, the Tywom have been working to divert Scryve scouts from our system for quite some time, but now the Scryve know and the only chance we have is to fight the Scryve, which will require finding allies to challenge the awesome power of the Scryve Empire and loyal wards.

After meeting the Tywom, the next friendly species I encountered were the Mu'Kay, a squid-like species that has actually already formed a Federation. This Federation has its Principle Dictate to not interfere with other, still developing cultures, and its member list is growing. By growing I mean after you arrive and do a mission, there are two species as part of it, instead of just one.

 

 

 

 

While the fight with the Scryve is the primary premise to the campaign, there are also the quest lines of finding what happened to the Lexites and securing the technology and resources necessary for humanity to construct additional interstellar ships and build colonies. The Lexites are a technological species humans made, but eventually they developed past their makers and decided to leave Earth. Star Control was originally formed to ultimately find them, but now has the new mission of saving Earth and other species from total destruction.

At the risk of spoiling it, the hunt for the Lexites does not really resolve itself. You find out where they went, but unless I have missed something significant, we do not know why they left, nor do we try to go after them. We also encounter an Observer ship that knows a great deal about humanity, the galaxy, and the Precursor species that was very advanced and left behind some artifacts including star bases before suddenly vanishing. While it is possible there is more for me to encounter, I have dealt with the Scryve at this point and have no missions not marked complete in the Objectives tab, so I am not sure what more I need to do but continuing to explore the galaxy.

It also appears that dealing with the Scryve thread just seems to end. The war is definitely ended as the Scryve have both been defeated and all of the ward species are free of their control, but there are still questions left unanswered. Also I encountered another species, the Harmony, that are present in some star systems and are very powerful, and I could not tell you a thing about them, but that I actively try to avoid them. Their ships and weapons are scary.

 

 

Personally, I do not find the story to be very strong, as it seems to just end without resolution to a number of things, but the different personalities of the various species, and the humor that goes with them are wonderful. You get to make friends with a sentient bioweapon that wants to change from its genocidal ways, free another species from a controlling AI called Overmind with the phrase 'Red Vial,' and deal with another species the Scryve horribly abused, but if that were not enough another species tricked them into believing three-eared creatures are superior. Their response was to go on a campaign to kill all species with fewer or greater ears, and to tape fake ears to their heads, as they naturally only have two ears. I genuinely enjoyed the silliness of all of this and found it to be a lot of fun.

Also, there is something that was done with the presentation of these species I especially like and admire. Something true across many examples of space aliens in media is that they speak English, at least they do if the media targets English speakers, even though they would have their own language. In Star Control: Origins they do have their own way of talking, but an additional step is taken to differentiate them and I particularly appreciate it. Each species gets its own font for its subtitles. These fonts have been selected to represent the species culture, such as the Drenkin, a species bred as soldiers that uses a stencil-like font, like what one would use to paint words on the sides of equipment, or the Pinthi, the sentient bioweapon having a font with splotches around the characters.

 

 

While interacting with the NPCs is fun, the story feels like there is more to it, but I do not know what is left to do, and I have reached the credits, so I am left to believe there is nothing more, or at least nothing substantial. Hopefully there will be more added with updates, or I just missed something. Of course, if I missed it, then perhaps a better job should have been done so I would not miss it.

 



  1. Star Control: Origins Review - Introduction
  2. Star Control: Origins Review - Graphics
  3. Star Control: Origins Review - Story
  4. Star Control: Origins Review - Gameplay
  5. Star Control: Origins Review - Additional Gameplay Media
  6. Star Control: Origins Review - Conclusion
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