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[[folder: Attention troper -- heed this recorded message! This works page speaks with the voice and authority of the Ur-Quan! ]]


''Star Control'' is a series of [[ShootEmUp shoot-'em-up]]/ActionAdventure games by Creator/{{Accolade}} built around space battles modeled on but ''substantially'' expanded from ''VideoGame/{{Spacewar}}''.

As in ''Spacewar'', the battle portion of ''Star Control'' involves two armed spaceships in a [=2D=] space battlefield, often with a planet in the middle. Unlike ''Spacewar'', there is a wide range of ships to choose from, each representing a different alien race and possessing a distinct appearance, handling characteristics, weapons, and unique abilities. With this wider variety of ships, ''Star Control'' also boasts the ability to create fleets, so that when one ship is destroyed another can take its place in battle -- until one side loses by running out of ships.

More importantly however, space battles in ''Star Control'' are just the cherry on top of the cake: all three games (and particularly the second and third games) go well beyond mere space battles, offering an "over-arching" experience that gives battles context and explores all of the different races and their relationships.

The original ''Star Control'' featured a "campaign" mode - a rudimentary TurnBasedStrategy game. It pitted the Alliance Of Free Stars (where [[PunyEarthlings humans were only minor members]]) against the evil Ur-Quan Hierarchy, with each side comprised of 7 different races. Each side starts on opposite ends of a small map; the objective was to advance your ships planet by planet, fight enemy ships whenever they are encountered, gather resources to purchase stronger ships, uncover artifacts to boost specific ships' combat prowess, and ultimately clear all enemy assets off the map. However the game also included its famous "Melee mode", which simply allowed players to pick any two ships (or two fleets of any composition) and just duke it out - skipping all the ResourceGathering and territory control stuff to give a fun, fast-paced casual experience. In fact, the game became famous primarily for its Melee mode, and many players were content with just playing this mode over and over.

''Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters'' took things many levels beyond the first game. For one, "Super Melee mode" was included: an upgraded version of the original's Melee mode, with a plethora of new ships, much larger fleets enabled, as well as the ability to save "favorite" fleet compositions to disk. Once again Super Melee mode was a major attraction to the game, but ''Star Control II'' is mostly famous for its story mode: an {{RPG}}/ActionAdventure game akin to ''VideoGame/{{Starflight}}'', set twenty years after the Alliance of Free Stars lost the war featured in the first game. The player character travels the galaxy searching for a way to overthrow the Ur-Quan, meeting (and, if conversations went badly, battling) most of the alien races mentioned in the first game, discovering several new ones and sooner or later learning that there are worse things than the enslaving Ur-Quan, and they're about to take an interest in mankind. Gameplay follows many {{RPG}} tropes, albeit at a different scale: for "character", read "ship"; for "party", read "fleet"; for "town" or "dungeon", read "planet". The game is highly regarded for its engaging story and for the inventiveness and humor of its story and setting.

''Star Control 3'' had a tough act to follow, which it tried to do by adding even more races and ships, providing an "isometric" combat mode with DigitizedSprites, and mainly by mixing the strategy aspect of the first game with the ActionAdventure aspects of the second. Unfortunately the finished product failed to live up to expectations for various reasons, possibly because it was made without the involvement of the series' creators. Also, the story-lines of many of the established races took strange side-ways turn, and the game was also criticized for its use of awkward-looking {{Claymation}} and low-quality {{Muppet}}s during dialogue scenes and for its '''heavy''' re-use of dialogue from ''[=SC2=]'' for exposition. It was not very well received by the fanbase, though [[BrokenBase some debate]] still continues regarding its ultimate FanonDiscontinuity status. Nonetheless, ''Star Control 3'' remains a relatively popular item in direct-download stores.

All three ''Star Control'' games are available from [[http://www.gog.com Good Old Games]]. An excellent -- and ''free'' -- port of ''Star Control II'' to modern systems, called ''The Ur-Quan Masters'', is also available [[http://sc2.sourceforge.net from this page]]. ButWaitTheresMore: A FanSequel to ''Star Control II'', called ''Project 6014'', is being developed [[http://code.google.com/p/project6014/ here]]. And Stardock has acquired the rights, and is making an alternate history/prequel game based on the ''Star Control II'' gameplay.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: PRIORITY OVER-RIDE. NEW BEHAVIOR DICTATED. MUST BREAK SUBJECT INTO COMPONENT TROPES. ]]


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[[foldercontrol]]

!!Tropes common across most or all of the series:

[[folder:Tropes]]
* ActionBomb: ''Theoretically'' you can shoot ships down with the Shofixti Scout's [[CherryTapping "main" weapon]]. But usually it's not the most efficient (also true of the Thraddash ships) of the Scout's tactics.
* TheAlliance: The Alliance of Free Stars, later The ''New'' Alliance of Free Stars (though it may be given a different PunnyName during the second game).
* ArtificialHuman: The Androsynth.
* ArbitraryMaximumRange: The majority of weapon projectiles will disappear after traveling a certain range. Some, however, will track the enemy indefinitely (until they hit or are otherwise destroyed by colliding with other projectiles or obstacles).
* AsteroidThicket: In tandem with every starship battle being centered on a planet, they also all feature asteroids spawning from the edges of the "arena". They don't damage you, though, only throw off your momentum.
* TheBattlestar: The Ur-Quan Dreadnought, which combines a heavy-hitting main weapon with the ability to launch autonomous fighters to harass the enemy ([[CastFromHitpoints manned by members of your crew]], so don't forget to [[VideoGameCaringPotential swing around and pick them up when they need to refuel]]).
* BattleThralls: The races that fight for the Ur-Quan make up the Ur-Quan Hierarchy of Battle Thralls.
* {{BFG}}: Several ships have one, notably the Druuge Mauler's massive axial cannon[[note]]actually, the Druuge Mauler ''is'' a massive axial cannon[[/note]], the [[TheBattlestar Ur-Quan Dreadnought's]] fusion blaster, and the Chmrr Avatar's heavy x-ray laser, so powerful it ionizes the solar wind.
* CallAHitPointASmeerp: Or, in this case, "crew".
* CastFromHitpoints: A ship's crew functions as its hitpoints. The Orz can send crew members into space to board the enemy ship, while The Druuge can sacrifice crew members in order to regain energy. The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za can send small, short-range one-man attack vessels against the opponent.
* CripplingOverspecialization: Every race uses only ONE type of ship that is very good against certain ships but is helpless against other kinds of ships. The highest-point-value ships are consequently the ones with the fewest hard counters - but they will always have a least a few such hard counters.
* CriticalExistenceFailure: The LifeMeter literally consists of crew members being killed by [[ExplosiveInstrumentation malfunctioning hardware]], and the ship itself doesn't take any damage until everyone's dead, at which point it blows up.
* DeflectorShields: The Utwig Jugger and the Yehat Terminator both have these, though they function quite differently.
* DistinctiveAppearances: Played absolutely straight with most alien species, but [[AvertedTrope averted]] with Precursor technology across the series and within each game (especially the second). Their artifacts and ships have no common design elements and no unique aesthetic theme. The same race that built the Precursor Battleship with its ominous asymmetric spikes and curves also built the sleek and angular Precursor Tugboat, and the perfectly-cylindrical Precursor Bomb. The same race that created [[spoiler:the terraforming fungus that is the Mycon]].
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The Syreen Penetrator. Yes, it looks exactly like what its name would compel you to think it would. It's even ribbed.
* TheEmpire: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy, and later the Hegemonic Crux.
* EnergyAbsorption: The Utwig Jugger cannot recharge its own battery, but its energy-hungry shields convert incoming damage into energy.
* {{Expy}}: Several of the ships were clearly heavily inspired, at least in their appearance, by classic ships from science fiction. The Earthling Cruiser, for example, was clearly designed to look like Starship Enterprise, while the [=VUX=] Intruder has the same basic shape as the Klingon Cruiser, and the Ilwrath Avenger has both the general appearance and the cloaking device of the Romulan Warbird. The Ur-Quan Dreadnought, meanwhile, looks a lot like a green version of the Battlestar Galactica. The Mmrnmhrmm Transformer, on the other hand, transforms between an X-Wing form and Y-Wing form, although neither looks all that much like its ''Franchise/StarWars'' namesake.
* TheFairFolk: The Arilou, aloof LittleGreenMen that they are.
* FakeDifficulty: There are a few ships that are not at all hard to beat with the right ship as long as one is extremely patient. The Ilwrath Avenger is not especially tough in principle. It can turn invisible, but given the way the camera works, you will always have a general idea where it is, and it is also relatively slow and sluggish with a very short-range weapon (only the Umgah anti-matter cone is shorter), so you can just keep your distance, shoot at where you think it is, and gradually whittle it down. Unless, of course, you just get bored fighting the stupid thing for two hours. The Slylandro Probe often presents a similar problem. They are not hard to beat, as long as you are very patient.
* FasterThanLightTravel: Takes different forms in each game, with ''Star Control II'' using it as an extremely central gameplay mechanism.
* FetchQuest: Predominantly in the second game, and to some extent in the third.
* FightWoosh
* FirstContactFauxPas: Supposedly the reason relations between humanity and the VUX are so sour is that when they made first contact the human commander said "That's the ugliest freak-face I've ever seen!" without realizing how good their translation software was.
* FixedForwardFacingWeapon: A mainstay across the majority of ships. Notable exceptions include the Orz Nemesis with its rotating artillery cannon, the Spathi Eluder whose most effective weapon is aimed ''backwards'', and the Arilou and Slylandro weapons which always aim toward opponents.
* FlyingSaucer: The Arilou Skiff.
* FragileSpeedster: All three games offer a variety of smaller vessels, with only a small amount of crew (which represents their HitPoints). These vessels rely on speed to defend themselves and to outmaneuver their opponents. Normally these ships are considered the least powerful among all vessels, and are fairly cheap to purchase, but in the right hands they can be quite devastating.
** The Arilou Skiff is a good example. It has a tiny crew complement and won't be able to take more than a couple of hits from most weapons, but its unique propulsion system is both fast and unpredictable. Furthermore, it can teleport away in an instant, whether to dodge enemy fire or to close the distance for a strike.
** The Shofixti Scout is also a Fragile Speedster, with barely any crew - a single shot from the enemy may take it down. Its fast engine can help it stay out of reach while sniping at its enemy with a tiny forward-facing gun, but it more often requires its speed simply to dodge between enemy shots and close the distance rapidly, at which point... [[ActionBomb Kaboom]].
** The Umgah Drone, another small and fragile ship, is normally quite slow, relying on its main weapon as a sort of shield against enemy attacks. However, it has powerful retro-rockets that enable it to fly very quickly, albeit only backwards, for a short period of time. If the Drone can time its backwards jump properly, it can park itself next to an enemy and eliminate it almost instantly.
** The Pkunk Fury is one of the fastest and most maneuverable ships in the game, and it relies on this speed to dodge between enemy shots and protect its extremely small crew. On the other hand, each time it dies the Fury has a random chance to spontaneously resurrect itself, substantially increasing its survivability (and potentially making it one of the ''strongest'' ships in the game).
** The Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger is another Fragile Speedster in the game, having a very small amount of crew and sufficient speed and maneuverability to protect itself. It also requires this speed to close the distance with its enemy and utilize its powerful stinger attack, without which it is quite a weak vessel overall.
** The Thraddash Torch is a small ship with little crew, and is normally only mildly fast - but it will likely spend most of the battle deploying its afterburners, which give it an immense speed boost. This also serves as the Torch's most dangerous weapon, since the trails of flame left behind by the afterburner will actually hurt any ship that collides with them.
* FrickinLaserBeams: The Arilou, [=VUX=], Mmrnmhrm and Chmmr all pilot starships which use instantly-generated lasers as primary weapons. The Earthling Cruiser and the second game's Precursor flagship use [[PointDefenseless point defense]] lasers as secondaries. There's a few small craft, such as the Ur-Quan Dreadnought's fighters and the Chmmr Avatar's [=ZapSats=] which use them, too.
* FunWithAcronyms:
** '''B'''ackward '''U'''tilized '''T'''racking '''T'''orpedo, a Spathi weapon which shoots a backward-aimed homing missile (that makes a farting sound when launched).
** '''D'''e-energizing '''O'''ffensive '''G'''uided '''I'''nterceptor, a Chenjesu weapon which siphons battery energy from an opponent (and makes dog-like noises as it does or when it's destroyed).
** '''F'''iery '''R'''ing of '''I'''nevitable and '''E'''ternal '''D'''estruction, a Kohr-Ah weapon which projects a ring of fire around the ship.
** The VUX ('''V'''ery '''U'''gly '''X'''enomorph). "VUX" is the actual name for the race (why it's capitalized is unknown, but all VUX names seem to be), but the Terrans {{Backronym}}ed that phrase out of it as a joke.
* TheFuture: All the games take place in the 22nd century, after Mankind has become a minor space-faring race.
* GlassCannon:
** The Earthling Cruiser, while fast-turning, is a comparatively slow ship with a below-average crew count. It has point-defense lasers that can somewhat protect it from certain threats, but its most important tool is a guided nuclear missile launcher which is one of the deadlier weapons in the game. The Cruiser will tend to stay as far away from its opponent as it can, sending missile after missile until it is dead.
** The Druuge Mauler from the second game is, practically speaking, a cannon with an engine. It fires a single long-range shell that causes serious damage on impact. The ship itself has an average crew complement, but may need to sacrifice that crew to power its cannon. Additionally, firing the cannon causes the ship to accelerate in the opposite direction, at which point it will fly very quickly across the screen and runs the chance of colliding with a planet or coming into range of enemy weapons.
* GlobalCurrency: Starbucks in the first game, Resource Units in the next two games.
* GradualGrinder: Any ship that has only low-damage attacks, such as the Spathi Discriminator or the Arilou Skiff, has no choice but to be this.
* GravitySucks: Averted. Gravity in melee behaves very realistically for a 2D arcade-style game. You can orbit planets and use the gravity to accelerate faster then the ship's engines would allow in the so-called "Gravity Whip" maneuver.
* GunKata: Ships in this series can only point in 16 intermediate cardinal directions. If an enemy ship isn't within these 16 possible lines of fire, they cannot be hit by direct fire. However, homing projectiles still have a chance.
* GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe: The Syreen (except they're blue). ''Heavily'' [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]], from their outfits to their [[FreudWasRight Penetrator]] ships. The Syreen commander in the second game even comments on how interesting it is that their biology is so similar to humans...with a very flirty overtone. [[spoiler:As it turns out, they're close enough [[TheyDo to be able to breed]]]].
* TheGreys: The Arilou are [[LittleGreenMen green]], but they otherwise fit the slightly more benign (maybe) version of the trope. They still probe people, though.
* HitboxDissonance: Averted completely. The game uses a sprite's alpha mask to determine collisions with that sprite.
* HitAndRunTactics:
** Standard tactics with Spathi Eluders, though they were designed with Run first and Hit second.
** The Arilou rely on this type of tactic almost exclusively, with the entire design of their ship geared specifically towards it. They have short-range lasers that automatically fire towards the target at any angle, allowing them to make effective fly-bys. When the fly-by is done, the Arilou ship simply teleports far away, to get ready for another attack.
* HumanAliens:
** Justified with the Androsynth, who were cloned from actual humans before taking to the stars and becoming a political power of their own.
** Not so justified with the [[BlueSkinnedSpaceBabe Syreen]]. The characters [[LampshadeHanging point out]] that this can't possibly be a coincidence, but no real explanation is given why they are so close to humans that [[spoiler:they can ''produce fertile offspring'']]. WildMassGuessing abounds, mostly involving the [[LittleGreenMen Arilou]].
* HumansAreLeaders: Averted. The more advanced Chenjesu were actually the leaders of TheAlliance, and [[spoiler:the Chmmr]] take their role in all but name once you get all the relevant plot coupons to complete the second game.
* IShallTauntYou: The Pkunk's modus operandi. Their taunting actually [[PracticalTaunt reloads their ship's battery]].
* KineticWeaponsAreJustBetter: As a general rule. Energy weapons, like the VUX or Mmrnmhrm lasers are often quite powerful, but are generally very short-range and tricky to aim. The Arilou laser is pretty much the worst of all possible worlds: very short-range and low-damage. Projectile weapons, on the other hand, while not always as powerful, usually have a much longer range ''and'' usually come with tracking capabilities, meaning that they are much easier to hit with. The Earthling MX missile, for example, has very long range, excellent tracking, and does quite respectable damage. The Mmrnmhrm missiles, while doing little damage per strike, have phenomenal range and very good tracking. The one big exception is the Mycon plasmoid; an energy weapon with long range and tracking but it is very slow, meaning that many ships can outrun it. In some situations, it is possible for the Podship to actually overtake their own plasmoid and receive the damage from it!
* {{Leitmotif}}: Each race has a specific tune that plays when one of their ships wins a battle.
* LifeMeter: Each ship has one, purportedly representing how many surviving crew it has.
* LightningBruiser: Though not common (due to potential balance breaking), a few Lightning Bruisers do exist in each game. Unlike the Fragile Speedsters, these have significantly more crew, and can thus take more damage. Their weapons are not more powerful per-se, but they can be used a lot more aggressively.
** The Mmrnmhrm Transformer is this to some extent. In its x-form, it is extremely fast, albeit slow turning, and fires extremely long-range, reliably tracking missiles. In its y-form, it is very maneuverable, albeit slow, and fires very deadly, albeit short-range, lasers. If used properly, then, it has all the advantages of a fast, maneuverable ship that can hit easily and do tremendous damage. Its only real drawback is that actually transforming the ship costs all its fuel, so the key is transforming at just the right moment. In the hands of a skilled pilot it is one of the deadliest Alliance ships, while still being relatively low-priced.
** The Syreen Penetrator starts out as a FragileSpeedster, since it begins each match with only a small fraction of its crew capacity filled. If it gets full crew, however, by sucking in crew from an opponent ship (or by taking a Hierarchy colony, in the original strategy game), it becomes one of the most powerful ships in the game - It remains one of the fastest, most nimble ships, but with the maximum amount of crew available to any ship (including the Dreadnought, et al).
** The Spathi Eluder[=/=]Discriminator) is a large but surprisingly fast ship, with excellent maneuverability as well as a large crew complement. Though it primarily relies on hit-and-run tactics like a small Fragile Speedster would, this ship can make strafing runs on its opponents, dodge shots, survive quite a bit of retaliatory fire, and outrun most enemies. These qualities have helped make it a fan favorite.
** The Androsynth Guardian is normally an averagely-fast ship with an averagely-powerful defensive weapon, which spends its time fleeing from the enemy or taking up a defensive stance. When it activates its special ability, however, it temporarily becomes one of the fastest-moving objects in the game, and will cause severe damage upon any collision with the enemy, fitting this trope to a T.
** ''Star Control 2'' adds the Supox Blade. This fast, agile ship is capable of flying sideways or backwards on command, and has a rapid-firing weapon that can dish out quite a bit of damage. It requires plenty of skill to fly properly, otherwise it is unlikely to do much damage, but in the hands of a skilled Blade pilot it is downright deadly - dancing around its enemy while pelting it with shots.
** The Slylandro Probe, which actually shoots lightning. The probe is incredibly fast and can change direction on a whim, making it exceptionally difficult to target. Though somewhat fragile, its speed gives it ample protection in the right hands. It needs to rapidly close the distance with its enemy to strike (due to the short range of its lightning attack), but can cause significant damage on each pass.
* LittleGreenMen: The Arilou are small, green-skinned aliens who fly saucer-shaped craft. They're the mysterious subtype, and have been visiting Earth in secret for centuries, experimenting on the population in pursuit of a plan that they claim is ultimately for our benefit but refuse to discuss in detail.
* LotusPosition: The Arilou are depicted in the lotus position while piloting their spaceships, hinting that the ships are run using PsychicPowers.
* ManaMeter: Each ship has one, representing energy for weapons and special features.
* MightyGlacier: The largest and most expensive ships in the game are usually this. Their weapons and abilities are usually quite devastating, but a small FragileSpeedster in the right hands may be able to run circles around them.
** The Ur-Quan Dreadnought is the most iconic Mighty Glacier of the Star Control series. A BattleStar with a powerful cannon and autonomous drone fighters, it relies more on offensive power than defense, and is appropriately a little faster than the other examples below.
** The Kohr-Ah Marauder is the Dreadnought's counterpart, with a set of somewhat more defensive abilities that do not require it to move around very quickly. It can happily snipe its opponents from afar, and is very dangerous when the enemy closes the distance to it.
** The Mycon Podship is agonizingly slow, with a very low top speed and awful turning rate. Its main weapon (a homing plasmoid) is extremely dangerous.
** In the first game, the Alliance has only one Might Glacier in the form of the Chenjesu Broodhome, which is also significantly slower than most other ships. In particular, its turning rate leaves much to be desired. Of course, its primary weapon can be very powerful when used correctly, both on offense and defense.
** The second game adds the Chmmr Avatar to the Alliance fleet. Though a little faster than most other Mighty Glaciers in the game, it is still a very slow ship. Instead of chasing down its opponents, it can use a tractor beam to pull them in, and then obliterate them with its powerful laser. It also has three Zap Sats which will automatically engage the enemy when it comes close. Though it is the most expensive and arguably most powerful ship in the game, it is surprisingly vulnerable to some of the smallest ships (the {{Fragile Speedster}}s), particularly the Thraddash Torch.
%%** In the right hands, the Utwig Jugger is a Mighty Glacier despite an only average crew count and speed. Its shield is capable of absorbing enemy fire, making it practically invulnerable. Of course, if the shield is used inappropriately, it will drain energy from the ship and eventually become unusable.
** About half of all ships added in ''Star Control 3'' are Mighty Glaciers. Chief among these is the Doog Constructor, which has a rapid-fire weapon which automatically targets the enemy vessel, meaning that the Constructor doesn't need to turn around to engage its foe. On the other hand, the Constructor is incredibly slow, and cannot effectively flee from other Mighty Glaciers and {{Glass Cannon}}s, who will easily pick it apart from a distance.
** Herald Eradicators, also added in the third game, are supposed to be incredibly powerful (as a result of GameplayAndStoryIntegration), with a very large crew complement, a heavy weapon, and on top of it all: a cloaking device. They also cost a hefty sum in melee mode, appropriately. Sadly, cloaking is not a sufficiently useful ability, and overall this vessel remains only mildly powerful compared to the Mighty Glaciers from previous games.
* MultiDirectionalBarrage: The Pkunk Fury has three rapid-fire guns, oriented forward and to both sides - all firing simultaneously.
* NewAgeRetroHippie: The Pkunk are pacifist mystics who talk a lot of new-agey stuff about reincarnation and precognitive visions and the unimportance of material things.
-->'''Pkunk:''' Greetings and various apropos felicitations! We are Pkunk. Hatchlings of light, spritual soul beings of the vast cosmic oneness, wayfarers on the river of destiny, students of the mystical dimensions, purveyors of blissful love, birdlike manifestations of glorious light energies from the astral plane. How about yourselves?
* PlanetOfHats: Each alien race, in its own way.
* PracticalTaunt: The Pkunk regain battery by insulting their opponents.
* RaygunGothic: The Syreen have this aesthetic. Their ships are old-fashioned rockets; their ship controls look ripped from the covers of 1920s sci-fi pulp; the Syreen themselves might have walked straight off the pages of "''Amazon Princesses of Space''" or some such. All this helps [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] the fact that the Syreen are a race of good old-fashioned [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Blue Skinned Space Babes]] in a game otherwise populated by StarfishAliens and {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
* SpaceElves: The Syreen are of the blue space babe variety, while the Arilou are of the mystic alien intruder type.
* SpaceFriction: Both played straight and averted. In combat, all ships (except one) maintain angular momentum and obey rudimentary gravity around planets, although they also each have their own arbitrary maximum speed. The exception is the Arilou Skiff, which accelerates to maximum speed instantly, and stops instantly whenever its engine is turned off - but this is [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration specifically justified by its unique engine technology]]. Also note that ''Star Control 2'' plays Space Friction absolutely straight in Hyperspace, where the laws of motion are supposedly quite different.
* SpaceIsAnOcean: There are a few exceptions in each game, but for the most part this trope is heavily applied. Spacecraft are called "ships", battles are fought in TwoDSpace, and naval ranks are used for space officers. On the other hand, SpaceFriction applies only in HyperSpace in the second game -- though ships do still all have an arbitrary maximum speed everywhere else.
* SpaceOpera
* SpaceshipSlingshotStunt: A necessary tactic for survival during combat, at least for most ship types. The Arilou cannot utilize it at all, since their ships do not accumulate momentum from any source.
* SpinAttack: Though both dead-on and strafing runs are possible with the Pkunk Fury's multi-directional weaponry, the manual for [=SC2=] actually recommends employing a spinning "Death Blossom" attack: release the thruster and fire while constantly turning.
* StarfishAliens: Most of the species in each game. There are a few more or less "humanoid" species (and the Androsynth, who are human clones), but other species go from mildly familiar (like the Yehat) to bizarre (like the Umgah) and all the way to incomprehensible (like the Orz).
* StealthInSpace: The Ilwrath specialty. Though many factors can give away the location of a cloaked Ilwrath ship, it does render enemy homing projectiles largely ineffective. Furthermore, the Ilwrath ship automatically orients itself towards the enemy upon decloaking, which enables it to give a sudden and effective burst from its main weapon.
* SuicideAttack: Pretty much the Shofixti [[PlanetOfHats hat]].
* TacticalRockPaperScissors: While the end result of a battle is heavily influenced by skill, most ships are particularly useful against some ships, while being particularly vulnerable to other ships. Ships with fewer vulnerabilities cost more to manufacture/acquire (though some of the cheaper ships can still be surprisingly potent in the right hands).
* TakingYouWithMe: The purpose of the Shofixti Glory Devices.
* TeleFrag: When using the Arilou Skiff's [[TeleportersAndTransporters teleportation]], there is a small but nonzero chance of teleporting into the planet[[note]]Or an asteroid. Or your opponent's ship[[/note]]. Unsurprisingly, this is immediately fatal.
* TeleportSpam: This can be a useful strategy when using the Arilou.
* {{Troperiffic}}
* TurnedAgainstTheirMasters: The Androsynth, against humans.
* TwoDSpace: Applies everywhere except the first and last games' strategic maps.
* UnfortunateName: The Third (Paul) Reiche.
* TheUnpronounceable: The Mmrnmhrm. (MUR-na-murm)
[[/folder]]

!!The original ''Star Control'' provides examples of:

[[folder:Tropes]]
* AllThereInTheManual: The story is never explained in-game.
* BlackAndGreyMorality: Consider the behavior of the [[TheAlliance Alliance of Free Stars]], the ostensible good guys: whenever the Alliance captures a [[TheEmpire Hierarchy]] colony or mine, they annihilate it from orbit, killing untold numbers of civilians. Except for the Syreen: when they capture a Hierarchy colony, they first use [[MindRape mind control]] to recruit crew from the colony, ''then'' destroy the remainder from orbit. And they're not the only slavers in the Alliance: the humans of earth enslaved the Androsynth, who are, after all, just genetically engineered humans; that's why the Androsynth joined the Hierarchy after they escaped from slavery on earth. The Ariloulaleelay also have a track record of carrying out abductions of members of other species, and possibly of sexually molesting those they abducted. And then you have the Shofixti, a [[PlanetOfHats race of]] suicide bombers. So, kidnappers, slavers, rapists, and suicide bombers, and these are the good guys.
* BlessedWithSuck:
** Generally, finding a precursor artifact was a good thing, although of course some ships would benefit more from some artifacts than others. For the Mycon Podship, however, finding Precursor thrusters was often a bad thing. If the Mycon Podship went too fast, it would run into its own plasmoid projectiles the instant they were launched. Normally, the Podship could not go fast enough to do that, unless it performed a gravity whip around the planet, in which case it just had to turn first to shoot backwards. With Precursor thrusters, however, the Podship could accelerate to be fast enough to hit its own shots on its own. Moreover, there was no easy way to tell if you were going too fast. You either had to guess and hope for the best, or only ever shoot backwards to be safe, which could make it much harder to hit the enemy. All in all, the Podship was better off without the thrusters.
** The Ilwrath Avenger's cloaking device was like this for human players. Sure, it kept your opponent from knowing where you were (although the computer always would), but it also kept you from knowing where you were. Were you about to collide with the planet? Maybe.
* CharacterNameLimits: Some race and captain names were too long to fit on the sidebar showing the ships' stats:
** Androsynth was shortened to Androsyn.
** Ariloulaleelay was shortened to Arilou, and unlike "Androsyn", this is considered an acceptable short form in-universe.
** In the Genesis version a wider font was used for captain names than in the PC and Amiga versions, and so many ship captain names were shortened. The Ur-Quan title "Master" became "Lord", the Umgah name "Grijbul'o" became "Gibj'o", and the initial consonant before the second "eep" in Yehat names was removed. This carried over to the second game, where the name of the Zoq-Fot-Pik race was shortened to [=ZoqFot=].
* CivilWar: The Alliance-Hierarchy War is also a civil war for humanity, since there are humans on both sides: the Earthlings with the Alliance of Free Stars, the Androsynth with the Hierarchy.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard:
** Computer-controlled ships can always keep track of where the planet is, even when it is not visible on the screen, and as such will ''never'' accidentally fly right into it as it appears from the edge of the display. But you will.
** It is also nearly [[UselessUsefulStealth pointless to use the cloaking device]] when you're using the Ilwrath Avenger as the computer [[TheAllSeeingAI will always know where you are]]. (Actually, the computer will aim at a fixed-distance offset from your actual position, which results in relatively good accuracy at long range, but can result in pathetic 90°-off accuracy at close range)
* CopyProtection: Professor Zorg's Guide to Alien Etiquette. The original game shipped with a code wheel; it consisted of three concentric disks that must be rotated to line up in a specific way to generate the answer for any given copy protection question. Later versions did away with the code wheel, since the publishers knew the Internet was now prominent and anyone could look up the answers for any given question.
* DeflectorShields: Fortifications, which can be [[TeleportersAndTransporters skipped]] by the Arilou and [[EnergyWeapons destroyed]] by the Ur-Quan.
* DoubleKnockout: Move a Starbase onto the same star as the enemy's Starbase and laugh as they destroy one another. Also possible if you take out a Hierarchy ship with a Shofixti Scout's Glory Device, that is, by suicide bombing. Or if you win a battle, but are very badly damaged, and then crash into the planet, killing your last crewman.
* FogOfWar: Star clusters are hidden from player view until traveled to, if the aptly-named "Hidden" option is selected; even when "Visible", exactly ''what'' the stars are is unknown until visited (only in the [[UsefulNotes/SegaGenesis Genesis version]]). Even in the PC version, planet types are concealed until a star system has been visited.
* InstantWinCondition: Some scenarios have as their win-condition the destruction of the enemy's starbase. It does not matter how many ships the other side has left, how few ships you have left, or if he is in position to destroy your starbase on his very next turn; destroy his starbase and you win. Not every scenario has this has its win condition, of course.
* LevelEditor: The computer versions came with nine pre-installed scenarios[[note]]Beginner's Luck, Escalation, Total War, First Encounter, The Art of War, Proving Ground, Exterminate!, Onslaught, and Counter Attack[[/note]] for the full game, but you could go into the files and edit any of these into an entirely different scenario. The Genesis port lacked this feature, but it came with an additional six scenarios[[note]]Lost in Space, VUX Incursion, Target Earth, Syreen's Song, Mushroom Cloud, and The Nebula[[/note]] to compensate.
* LuckBasedMission:
** Since the star clusters in the full game are generated randomly every time according to data in the scenario file, you may end up starting the game with the enemy ships and your starbase/colonies/mines in one "arm" of the cluster, and your own ships in another. Now imagine what happens if the losing condition for your side in this scenario is losing your starbase/colonies/mines.
** If one of your ships just happens to run across a Precursor artifact, that can radically improve that ship's power, especially if it's an artifact that that particular ship could really benefit from.
** Several missions in the full game are determined by the available paths between stars, which are generated by luck. The game has failsafes to make sure that the two factions aren't completely isolated, but there are no protections against situations where one faction is stifled by a bottleneck while the other freely mines the rest of the available stars.
* NumberOfTheBeast: One of the Ur-Quan captains is named Master 666 (Lord 666 in the Genesis version and the sequel).
* PlanetLooters: To replenish their crew reserves, Syreen ships must raid Hierarchy colonies.
* PowersAsPrograms: Finding and installing Precursor technology on your fleet.
* PunyEarthlings: Humans are the second-least advanced race taking part in the war.
* StartingUnits: Depends on the scenario being played.
* StatOVision: The detailed starship schematics that can be accessed in Practice mode.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** Almost all ships almost always benefit from finding Precursor artifacts, but certain generally weak ships become extremely powerful with the right artifacts. For example, the Earthling Cruiser, one of the weaker Alliance ships, becomes one of the most powerful ships in the game with the addition of Precursor thrusters. The Cruiser's main weakness is its poor top speed and its extremely poor acceleration, so the improvements to both from Precursor thrusters make it a much more powerful ship.
** Artifacts which boost your crew or battery capacity stack. That's right, with enough luck, you could turn a ''[[FragileSpeedster Shofixti Scout]]'' into a tank.
* TurnBasedStrategy: The Full Game mode.
* YouRequireMoreVespeneGas: [[NamesTheSame Starbucks]], generated via mining colonies and Starbases.
[[/folder]]

!!''Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters'' provides examples of:

[[folder:Tropes A - F]]
* AbsoluteXenophobe: The Kohr-Ah cannot feel safe or secure while a single member of a single other sentient species survives. [[spoiler:[[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Their trauma runs too deep]]]].
* AdamAndEvePlot:
** One of the races is reduced to one or two males and a handful of females. Within two months, they have an effectively infinite population. Granted, they ''are'' a [[ExplosiveBreeder rodent race...]]
--->'''Tanaka:''' This humble warrior will take the Shofixti maidens you possess, gently wake them, and then perform ribald feats of unsurpassed fertility! ...With their consent, of course.
** Same with the Syreen, although they start their repopulation with a larger gene pool: 500 males and 10 000 females. Happily, the Syreen look very human, Syreen women tend to look like ''extremely'' attractive[[note]]if [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe blue]][[/note]] human women, and Syreen can breed successfully with humans. And they will, whenever given any type of chance, with gusto.
* AdamSmithHatesYourGuts:
** Mostly averted. The Starbase is highly efficient and totally dedicated to your cause, so you can buy and sell items for 100% of standard value, so you can try out different ship builds. Later, [[spoiler:once you recruit the Chmmr]], they provide so much technology and resources that your [=RUs=] literally become infinite.
** Since the Starbase has limited staff, for every thousand crew members you lose, the resources needed to hire them increase. There is a quest you can do to find a reliable source of crew, which stops this from happening. In addition, [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential selling your crew into slavery]] [[VideoGameCrueltyPunishment will raise the cost of crewmembers]], since, understandably, no one will want to work for you.
* AffablyEvil: The Ur-Quan [[spoiler:Kzer-Za]] are almost ''too'' damn nice for a race out to enslave all sentient life. The Kohr-Ah are also remarkably polite considering what ''they're'' [[OmnicidalManiac trying to do]].
* AlienKudzu: The Mycon's Deep Children, which burrow into the lower crust and turn the planet into a lava-covered hell.
* AllThereInTheManual: The game manual provides 220 years' worth of history in the introduction, starting from how radio waves sent in the 1930s attracted the attention of the Ur-Quan and other benign races, proceeding through the 2000s and various technological advances humanity made, passing into the 2100s when Earth was made part of the Alliance of Free Stars, describing how the player's ancestors got stranded around Vela, and finally ending in 2155, literally 48 hours away from the start of the game. However, the manual only gives information that your people, in Vela, would know and so omits some rather vital information. The game itself provides a greatly abbreviated version.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil:
** Blatantly parodied with the Ilwrath, who [[CardCarryingVillain tout their own evil so proudly]] the player can introduce criticism of the trope into a conversation with them.
--->'''Captain:''' But 'evil' is that which is morally bad or wrong. And if your actions are judged by your society as correct, aren't you, in fact, good?
** Played straight with the Dnyarri.
* AmazonBrigade: The Syreen.
* AmbiguousGender: Most of the characters, including your human crew members.
* AndThatWouldBeWrong: When asked about a way to stop the Ilwrath:
-->'''Pkunk:''' If some benign and loving, yet incredibly destructive and powerful force were to simultaneously rip off all their legs and drop their putrid egg sacs into steaming pools of molten metal, that would have the desired result of ending the conflict. Ah, but I jest. [[BlatantLies Of course I bear the Ilwrath no ill will. How could I, when I am filled only with love?]]
* AnotherDimension: The Orz, one of the more "alien" alien races, are visitors from another dimension. The Arilou are native to our dimension, but also travel extensively through another, and their homeworld can only be reached through it.
* AntiVillain: [[spoiler:The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za]]
* ApocalypseHow: Several variants, including multiple genocides, slagged planets, a once-habitable system roasted by a massive solar flare, and a bomb capable of blasting an entire planet to dust.
* ApocalypticLog: The [[spoiler:Androsynth]] homeworld is basically covered in this. You don't get to read it, which is [[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow just as well]] given the [[BrownNote effect]] it seemed to have on the crewman who did.
* ArcWords: The ArmorPiercingQuestion below.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: "Hold! What you are doing to us is wrong! Why do you do this thing?"
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: The suicidal Tanaka laments that his race is dead, his world is an airless rock, and he's watched all his [=FunRoms=] at least a hundred times.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler:The Druuge are the first victims of the Death March. It's somewhat hard to mourn them. The next victims are the Mycon, then the VUX. The Mycon have no problems destroying earthlike planets - inhabited or not - for spreading their own colonies, while the VUX are huge bigots. So it's hard to mourn them, either.]]
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: Pushed to the limits and beyond with the Thraddash. They have so many civil wars it almost looks like a pastime to them. Their rather antiquated ships systems are the logical conclusion to this: each "change of culture" knocked them back by about 500 years in the technology race. [[spoiler:By kicking their ass repeatedly yourself, which would be rather easy, you may become their uncontested leader.]]
* AtLeastIAdmitIt: The Druuge give you this beautiful speech as you are about to [[spoiler:claim the Utwig Bomb]]:
-->'''Druuge:''' We know your soul, young Captain. It is no brighter than ours! We acknowledge our greed. We revel in it. You are the dishonest one! Hiding your shame in shadows, you fabricate justifications, rationales! In the end, [[NotSoDifferent we are just the same]].
* BenevolentPrecursors:
** The Precursors, most of the time. Their technology is user-friendly, their planet destroying bombs have clear warnings in as many languages as possible, but their terraforming equipment is a bit... buggy.
** The Taalo led the Sentient Mileu and tried to protect it against a psychic threat, but were ultimately forced to retreat to another dimension. The ancient artifact they created to defend against mind control is eventually picked up by the Captain.
* BerserkButton: Save game, then [[spoiler:ask Orz about the Androsynth, again and again.]] [[HilarityEnsues *Dancing* ensues]]. Or tell the Syreen what really happened to their homeworld [[spoiler:and bring some proof]], then see whether they still can remain content and fatalistic.
* BioluminescenceIsCool: The Slylandro are bioluminescent.
* BizarreAlienSenses: The [[StarfishAliens Orz]] appear to *smell* their environment, where *smell* is an approximate translation for some alien sense we presumably can't understand. The Arilou also work hard to keep something from *smelling* the Humans, which imply they have a similar means of detection, mechanical or not.
* BlatantLies: Just about any conversation you have with the talking pet.
* BoardingParty: The Orz Marines.
* BoldlyComing: Goes hand in hand with the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Blue Skinned Space Babes]].
* BorderPatrol: If you try to leave the solar system without fixing the starbase first, you are faced with massive swarms of Slylandro Probes.
* BraveScot: The Yehat are a ProudWarriorRace with a clan-based society. [[UnexplainedAccent For some reason]], they also speak with a heavy [[UsefulNotes/ScottishEnglish Scottish accent]].
* BreakingTheFourthWall: During the credits, the {{animated actors}} talk about their roles in the game, the game itself, what they want out of the sequel, and [[FictionalSport Frungy]]. There are also a few {{hilarious outtakes}}.
* BrickJoke: [[spoiler:Per the closing credits, this game was brought to you by Frungy -- specifically, by the Interstellar Frungy League, which is named in the very first screen]].
* BunnyEarsLawyer:
** The Umgah are inveterate pranksters to unhinged levels, as well as bioengineering experts.
** The chronically cowardly Spathi are capable of lightning-fast technological advances when their well-being is at stake.
** As a genius tactician with a human fetish, Admiral ZEX is this to other VUX.
* ButThouMust: Although some alien races can become enemies if you say the wrong things, the ones whose assistance you need to win the game will laugh off any amount of insolence. There is also [[MindControl one justified example]]...
* ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts:
** At the end of the war, the Alliance lost and Earth was trapped under a slave shield. Thankfully, a research group had established a colony that went unnoticed by the bad guys.
** When the Syreen's homeworld was destroyed, most of the survivors were the members of the all-female Space Patrol.
* CallAHumanAMeatbag:
-->'''The Captain:''' Goodbye, Slylandro gas bags!\\
'''Content to Hover:''' Goodbye, human fluid sack!
* TheCaptain: The player character, and literally, as mentioned in NoNameGiven.
* CaptainSmoothAndSergeantRough: The standard-issue Pkunk captain and his first officer are apparently this, or alternately the CloudCuckooLander and the OnlySaneMan:
-->'''Pkunk Captain:''' Chrupp, would you just look at that creature's aura! It's magnificent! The soft blues... the gentle greens... the unusual shades of chartreuse and ocher! This human must be on the side of Truth and Light, Chrupp, he must!\\
'''First Officer Chrupp:''' Just in case, I am raising shields and warming up the guns.
* TheCavalry: The [[spoiler:Pkunk and the Yehat]], right before the final battle, if you play your cards right. Considering that [[spoiler:the speed of the Pkunk ships]] makes the final battle a ''lot'' easier, this is highly recommended
* [[LawfulStupidChaoticStupid Chaotic Stupid]]:
** Umgah aren't malevolent, but continuously modified themselves and [[GoneHorriblyWrong became]] very... mentally unstable. So they have a taste for slapstick comedy up to "Drop asteroid into their ocean! Boom! Splash! Big waves! Lulz!" level and worse. [[spoiler:They don't make the most reliable ally for the same reason.]]
** The Thraddash, who enjoy fighting so much that they have nuked themselves back to the stone age (literally, they had to start civilization from scratch) 18 times. If you beat them up enough they will respect you enough to join you. Or imitate Film/TheThreeStooges.
* CharacterCustomization: The Precursor vessel can be outfitted however you like, letting it be a warship, a mining rig, a crew transport, or a tanker with enough fuel to circle the map three times over.
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:The little guy that sits in the corner and translates the Ur-Quan's speech.]]
* CivilWar: You can start one among the Yehat. Also, the Ur-Quan sub-species, the Kzer-Za and the [[OmnicidalManiac Kohr-Ah]], are fighting against each other to determine the fate of other species in the universe. [[spoiler:The Kohr-Ah win in the end, which marks the beginning of their Death March.]]
* CloudCuckooLander: The Mycon come off as a fairly non-humorous version of this. It doesn't really matter what you say to them most of the time, they will just ramble on about Juffo-Wup, and then occasionally speak in the voice of a long dead member of their species (due to GeneticMemory). And then they attack you. The only straightforward conversation you can have with them is when you inform them of a new planet to colonize.
* ClueEvidenceAndASmokingGun: How the Pkunk figure out the "Dogar and Kazon" speaking to the Ilwrath are fakes.
-->'''Pkunk:''' Aside from never having seen them on the 4th astral plane where most gods like to hang out, we also recently went back and listened carefully to a recording of one of their broadcasts which was sent to the Ilwrath on Hyperwave channel 44. We were able to detect some giggling at the end of the message.
* TheCuckoolanderWasRight:
** While the Utwig obsession with the Ultron seems like a ridiculous religious obsession to most other races, once you actually repair it (and, in the backstory, before it was broken) everything they say it tells them turns out to be very important, from not giving the Precursor bomb to the Druuge to specifically attacking only the Kohr-Ah.
** Virtually everything the Pkunk say sounds like lunatic ramblings. Ignore them when they tell you where they got their information... but don't ignore the information itself.
* ColorCodedForYourConvenience: Star systems, planets and minerals. For the former, brighter colors mean hotter stars, and thus planets with better minerals and harsher conditions. For the two latter, vivid and funkier colors mean greater loot quality.
-->'''Hayes:''' To remember the color sequence from good to bad... the miner had a mnemonic that went like... ''Very Young Orangutans Could Grow Bananas, Perhaps Rather Well''.
* CollectorOfTheStrange: Admiral ZEX.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: The Thraddash Culture Fourteen warned that each civil war results in a setback of 500 years, due to the Thraddash nuking themselves into the stone age. And then they were conquered by Culture Fifteen.
--> '''Thraddash:''' And did the change to Culture Fifteen set us back five hundred years? NO! SNORT! Two, maybe three hundred years, tops.
* CompellingVoice: If you encounter the Neo-Dnyarri without suitable protection, everything he says will be an irresistible command - including the command to "Go and get yourself killed"!
* CompilationRerelease: The short-lived ''Star Control Collection'', which combined the first two games on a CD-ROM. Given that the games were small filesize-wise (as they'd been created with floppy disks in mind), the rest of the CD was stuffed with game demos for other Accolade products.
* ContrivedCoincidence: The first Supox ship you bump into just so happens to be lugging around the remains of the Ultron.
* CoolStarship:
** The player character's flagship, a ''Precursor tugboat'', built by a re-activated robotic factory.
** The Ur-Quan's flagship, the Sa-Matra, [[spoiler:a Precursor ''Battleship'']], destined to be the trophy in the Ur-Quan's [[spoiler:[[EnemyCivilWar Doctrinal War]].]]
* CopyProtection: Name the star at this location on the bundled map, please.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: The Druuge and their [[OneNationUnderCopyright Crimson Corporation]].
* CosmicHorrorStory: Despite the silliness, the Arilou, Ur-Quan and Orz all imply that reality really bites in this universe, and it's all about to [[FromBadToWorse get much, much worse]].
* CoversAlwaysLie: The octopus-[[{{Starcraft}} zerg]]-esque monster in the boxart never appears ingame. Some people argue it is the VUX Monster (who just gets text and a distinct monster sprite in the game, but nowhere near as detailed as the box picture); others suggest that it's a very off-model Ur-Quan. In the fan sequel Project6014, [[spoiler:a new major villain race is introduced that uses this portrait, the Lurg]].
* CowardlyLion: The Spathi will attempt to run away from every threat if possible. If it's not, don't underestimate them.
* CreatorCameo: Co-creator Paul Reiche III provides the voices of the Mycon and the Talking Pet. The victory sequence includes cameos from [[BandOfRelatives him, his father Paul II, his daughter Arianna, and his son Devin.]]
* CreepyMonotone:
** Both Ur-Quan subspecies.
** The Mycon, making it even creepier when they don't, mostly when they echo some long-dead ancestor.
** The mind-controlled [[spoiler:Umgah]].
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass:
** The Spathi don't seem particularly smart when you talk to them. They are ridiculous, ramble on pointlessly, live in perpetual paranoia bordering on full-out insanity, and insist on mispronouncing "Human" as "Hunam." They also advanced from their [[TechnologyLevels Bronze Age to Nuclear Power]] in ''less than a century'' while threatened by the [[KillerRabbit Evil Ones]], and are one of only ''two'' species to figure out a particularly important piece of ImportedAlienPhlebotinum (and the other was probably the most intelligent in the game). If asked, the Starbase Commander describes a Spathi as a "cowardly mobile clam, armed with a howitzer." He's pretty spot-on.
** The Spathi's ship, the Eluder, is another demonstration of their hidden badass. It's large, brightly colored, and clownish looking. It's designed purely for running away while the gunner is firing blind and panicked, probably while crying. It's also one of the most effective ships in the game specifically because it's designed to run away (high speed) while the gunner is firing blind and panicked (rear-firing homing missiles), and the large ship means a large crew compliment (lots of hitpoints). Eluders can last a ''damn'' long time in a fight, as long as you fight like a Spathi.
* {{Cutscene}}: Prologue and epilogue. They seem to show a rather {{Zeerust}} retro sci-fi future with SpaceClothes.
* CycleOfHurting: There is no MercyInvincibility in Hyperspace, and this will show when you enter a star system while pursued by many fleets: One fleet will catch up during the jump-into-hyperspace animation, then another will catch up during the before and after battle animation, then another, then another, then [[GravityIsAHarshMistress you get accidentally back into the star system]], then another, until you load a previous save.
* CycleOfRevenge: Though not with many iterations: Dnyarri -- Ur-Quan -- neo-Dnyarri.
* DeathSeeker: ''You'', if you're silly enough to confront a [[CompellingVoice mind-controlling alien]] without the [[spoiler:Taalo]] [[PowerNullifier Shield]]. Tanaka and the Ultron-less Utwig also have suicidal tendencies.
* DeathWorld:
** Any planet that is wracked by Firestorms, Earthquakes, Lightning Strikes, and/or is inhabited by hostile life will require extra caution or should be simply avoided at all costs. Lander upgrades can reduce the damage of many of these problems, but not all.
** Venus is the first planet that you find in the story with an Atmospheric Rating of 8. Trying to explore the planet is guaranteed to destroy one of your planet landers within seconds. On the other hand, planets with an Atmospheric Rating of 2-4 are relatively safe.
** A planet with a 2-4 Seismic Rating is dangerous but still explorable. However, a Seismic Rating of 5-8 is really tempting fate.
** A planet with a surface temperature of 100-200°C can be explored with some caution. Do ''not'' try to explore a planet with temperatures well above 300°C[[note]]At least, ''not'' without lander upgrades or if you don't want to kill your precious crew and even lose a lander.[[/note]].
* DeathsHourglass: One of the Melnorme you encounter possesses a device called [=MetaChron=], which predicts its own destruction, and thus the destruction of its owner, considering that he keeps it in his spaceship (to be more precise, under his pillow). While having no relation to the plot by itself, the conversation about it hints that you are on a TimedMission.
* DevelopersRoom: The game was ''going'' to have one of these as the Secret of the Rainbow Worlds, but they ended up not doing it since they couldn't come up with enough gags for it.
* DialogueTree
* DidWeJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu: It certainly ''sounds'' that way with many of the Orz' lines - [[/folder]]

[[folder: You get make the *heavy space* Orz ships and use *GO! GO!* for the *dancing*! ]]
- but many of the "best translations" are a lot more ominous than they sound. "Dancing," for example, typically means "massacre each other with weapons."
* DirtyCoward[=/=]LovableCoward: The Spathi's [[PlanetOfHats hat]]. As their prayer goes: ''"Oh, God, please don't let me die today! Tomorrow would be so much better!"''
* DisproportionateRetribution: Just say one unkind word about the Ultron to the Utwig, or even show them a broken Ultron - and the Utwig will never forgive you for that. You will become their enemy number one, forever. Most races will be willing to give you a chance to make up for your past mistakes, but not the Utwig.
* DistantFinale: Ends with the protagonist as an old man, telling his story to his grandchildren.
* DittoAliens:
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by the Zoq-Fot-Pik: ''"You must meet with our leaders. They are wiser... more powerful beings!" "They look just like us, though."''
** Downplayed with the Spathi Safe Ones, who look like other Spathi, but wear clothes that clearly identify them as rulers.
** Humans and Syreen also have only one dialogue picture each, but then you only talk to Hayes and Talana.
* DoomedHometown: Inaccessible subtype. Although strictly speaking the adventure isn't ''caused'' by what happened to the player character's homeworld, since he has already embarked on the adventure before he learns about it (and if you take the view that Unzervalt, rather than Earth, is the character's homeworld, it's possible to play out the entire game without going home and discovering [[spoiler:it's been slave shielded]]).
* DownerBeginning: The Alliance lost the war in the previous game and its former members are now slaves of the Ur-Quan. Your goal is to undo as much of it as possible.
* DragonWithAnAgenda: One bit of Mycon dialogue implies this:
-->'''Mycon:''' Juffo-Wup acknowledges the existence of un-Voidable Non. When we are faced with such, we join, absorb and wait for our opportunity to learn the weakness that will allow us to Void the Non.
* DramaticPause: At least in the PC version, the dialog is often arranged to use the pause at the end of a screen of text this way, or as a {{beat}} in a joke.
* EarthShatteringPoster
* EasilyForgiven: The first time you meet Fwiffo on Pluto, he (in typical Spathi fashion) mistakes your harmless lander crew for a hostile force and, without any provocation, opens fire and kills several people. He blames his ship's automated defences for the incident, but it's pretty clear that he is lying. A few minutes and one conversation later, he becomes your first alien ally, and his ship forms an important part of your fleet, potentially for the rest of the game. You ''can'' fight him to avenge your dead crew instead, but he's alone on his ship (meaning it has only one hit point), making the victory feel quite hollow, and failing to ally with him makes the game much harder.
* TheEeyore: The Utwig, after they broke their sacred Ultron. They get better.
* EitherWorldDominationOrSomethingAboutBananas: The Orz speak an extremely odd language - so odd that the flagship's translation software fails spectacularly to decipher it. While it ''can'' translate Orz speech enough to communicate a little bit, there are many words it can't find understandable equivalents for in English, so it makes do by flagging them and inserting linguistic "best-fits". The result is absurd, confusing, and ambiguously sinister.
* EgocentricTeamNaming: there's a part where you can pick the name of your new coalition. Options include "The New Alliance of Free Stars," "The Concordance of Alien Nations," "The United Federation of Worlds," and "The Empire of [[HelloInsertNameHere (Your name)]]." Hayes is a bit put off if you choose the Empire of Me option, but goes along with it.
* EldritchAbomination: The authors manage to give rather subtle overtones of this to the Orz, a bunch of ridiculous round parrotfish-things who inhabit the area of space that the Androsynth mysteriously disappeared from, and seem to be from... ''elsewhere''.[[note]]They told you, they don't want to *dissolve* you, only to get *connected* for some *camping*. Even better if you'll *change*. Still, "they" are not *many bubbles* but is one with many *fingers*. From *below*.[[/note]] [[spoiler:WordOfGod states that the Orz are a projection of a malicious race (or being) referred to by Science Officer Bukowski as "Them," into Truespace. This is the race the Arilou was protecting humans from by changing their "smell."]]
* EldritchStarship: Specifically, the Precursor battleship, the Sa-Matra. [[http://www.sa-matra.net/render/samatra.jpg It has a weird shape with no clear axis of symmetry.]] Notable because the Precursors also had less eldritch-looking starships, like the Flagship.
* EnemyCivilWar:
** The Doctrinal Conflict, a civil war between two Ur-Quan factions with differing ideas about the best way to deal with other species. The Ur-Quan faction that the Alliance fought against before were the ''nice'' ones.
** The Captain can incite one by convincing the Ilwrath to attack someone else besides the Pkunk -- whereupon they decide on their own to go after the Thraddash. The Ur-Quan are too preoccupied with the aforementioned Doctrinal Conflict to enforce their rules against infighting.
* EnemyMine: The reason for your alliance with the neo-Dnyarri.
* EverythingSensor: Installed on the precursor ship, it can read tons of information about any planet you visit, though it is not too precise about things located on the surface, such as types of lifeforms or exact quantity of minerals.
* EvilSoundsDeep: Any deeper and the Ur-Quan would [[BrownNote trigger involuntary bowel movements.]]
* EvilerThanThou: The Kohr-Ah pull this one on the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za. And the Ilwrath try to do this on everybody else.
* ExplainExplainOhCrap: The Slylandro's explanation of why their probes are merely peaceful exploration vessels and couldn't possibly be attacking anyone takes this course.
* ExplosiveStupidity: If you have the Utwig Bomb in your inventory, clicking on it will blow up your ship and end your game.
* ExpospeakGag:
**
--->'''Tanaka:''' I'll kill you this time, you pitiful, weakling fancier of herd animal excrement!
**
--->'''Tanaka:''' I will hang your withered reproductive organs from my posterior monitor!
* FantasticMeasurementSystem: Briefly mentioned for laughs by the Zoq-Fot-Pik.
* FanSequel:
** ''[=TimeWarp=]'', which was supposed to replace ''[=SC3=]'' and contains a fairly hefty selection of fan-created starships to use in Melee, including the planet landers. Unfortunately, the project eventually collapsed and split into several forks, which also did not fare too well.
** ''XR'', or ''Expanding Realities'', was another attempt at making a FanSequel, which did not go beyond a small and buggy melee demo. Then the project switched to making a movie, but even then nothing was released.
** Now there is another FanSequel in development, called ''Project 6014'', which uses UQM's engine.
* FantasyCounterpartCulture:
** The Melnorme, [[spoiler:or Mael-Num]], are similar to the Jews. They were nearly exterminated [[spoiler:by the Ur-Quan]] and forced to flee their homeworld. They are interstellar merchants and financiers ''par excellence''. They are brilliant scholars: they are the source for all the upgraded designs for your ship, and they are themselves willing to pay for any biological data you find on your voyage. Additionally, it is strongly implied that they seek to discover the fate of the Precursors in the hopes of some day [[spoiler:being redeemed from their exile]]. They are portrayed fairly positively, however, so they aren't quite SpaceJews.
** The Shofixti are the ThemeParkVersion of the Japanese, with emphasis on their warrior traditions, especially on the kamikazes, and, unfortunately, [[JapaneseRanguage the broken, heavily-accented English]].
** The Yehat have a clan-based system of government, and the the translator renders their speech with a thick Scottish (or what American developers think Scottish sounds like) accent.
* FictionalSport: Frungy, frungy, frungy!
* FreewareGames
* FreudianExcuse: For at least two whole species.
* FunWithAcronyms: The Spathi ship's secondary weapon is officially called the B.U.T.T. (Backwards Utilizing Tracking Torpedo) while the Kohr-Ah has F.R.I.E.D. (Fiery Ring of Inevitable and Eternal Destruction).
* FusionDance: The Chmmr, resulting from the Chenjesu fusing with the Mmrnmhrm.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes G - M]]
* GambitPileup: The races known to have large-scale plots going on are the Arilou, Druuge, Dnyarri, Humans (i.e., you), Melnorme, Mycon, Orz, and Umgah.
* GameMod: There are actually quite a few, including one that ''greatly'' lengthens the time limit and makes time pass slower.
* GameplayAndStoryIntegration: The TacticalRockPaperScissors aspect of ''Star Control's'' space combat is justified during ''[=SC2=]'s'' campaign, as it explores the relationships between the various races. Wars and predation taking place in the game world are reflected fairly well when ships from each warring race are pitted against each other in combat - ships belonging to the losing side in a war fare worse against ships from the winning side. Furthermore, many of the unique abilities of various ships are tied closely to the mindset of their races' cultures and their innate physical/mental abilities, as explored during the ''[=SC2=]'' campaign.
** Ilwrath ships are very effective against Earthling cruisers thanks to their cloaking devices, and the Ilwrath will constantly boast about how they kill humans for sport.
** The Chmmr Avatar is fairly effective against the Ur-Quan Dreadnaught, which makes sense, since the Chmmr were specifically preparing for a second war with the Ur-Quan when they designed it.
** The Utwig Jugger is one of the few really effective ships against the Kor-Ah Marauder; in the plot, they manage to delay the inevitable Kohr-Ah victory in the doctrinal conflict by taking advantage of this.
** In combat, the Kohr-Ah Marauder is ''slightly'' stronger than the Kzer-Za Dreadnought. Slightly is enough.
** The storylines for the Syreen and Mycon are heavily intertwined, even though we only hear of one battle between them (where the Syreen used an ambush to gain the advantage). In combat, the two ships are almost symbiotic: the Mycon ship can regenerate dead crewmen, while the Syreen ship can pull those crewmen over to replenish its own crew. Matches between two competent players using these ships can become very drawn out.
** Shofixti Scouts are a good way to severely damage Ur-Quan ships, but the scout will usually be destroyed in the process and the work would have to be finished by other ships. In the campaign we hear that during the war, the Shofixti did the exact same thing on a much, much larger scale.
** The deflector shields on a Yehat ship can be activated for ''just'' long enough to deflect an entire Pkunk "Death Blossom". In-game, the Yehat will annihilate the Pkunk if their enmity is not resolved very carefully.
** The Thraddash can be persuaded to go fight the Kohr-Ah in an attempt to appease their Kzer-Za masters. Despite the massive power disparity between the two fleets, the Thraddash fleet won't be destroyed in the process, and will actually delay the Kohr-Ah by a significant amount of time. In battle, the Thraddash Torch - despite being a tiny ship - is one of the best ships to use for taking out a Kohr-Ah Marauder.
* GameplayAndStorySegregation: Possible case on Eta Vulpeculae. One of the researchers [[GoMadFromTheRevelation Goes Mad From The Revelation]], screaming about an EldritchAbomination that is now after him, and the wounds he's sustained appear to be getting inexplicably worse... but there is no actual decrease in your crew count and it is never spoken of again. Note that it ''is'' possible to have casualties from other story events, i.e. Fwiffo firing on the lander.
* {{Gendercide}}: The Syreen homeworld was destroyed by a cataclysmic disaster, and their spaceships were almost entirely [[LadyLand crewed by women]].
* GeneticMemory: Mycon, neo-Dnyarri, Ur-Quan. And newborn Shofixti are getting skills from ''somewhere'', possibly this.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** When you ask the leader of the [[LadyLand all female]] Syreen race if she and her colleagues ever get "lonely" she says "Don't worry about us, Captain. We make out alright (the original DOS version also added "with just us females")." Then there are the Androsynth, the Syreen's similarly inclined male counterparts (it's WordOfGod). And ''all'' of ZEX's dialogue. In fact, this game had more sexual references than you would expect for something with an E rating...
** Ask a Spathi patrol to share minerals with you once you ally with them. They offer whatever's in their waste disposal units, describing the contents as methane, sulfurous gas and 'some interesting organic compounds.' [[spoiler:And yes, they did just tell you to eat shit.]]
** The Ilwrath love to describe the torture they'd like to inflict on you in very graphic ways.
** One of the Zoq-Fot-Pik once describes a group of them as a "threesome". Another enthuses about the "tonguing" ability of the Stingers.
** Sullen Plummet's eventual reaction to the knowledge that the Captain can see her "glowy bits."
* GhostPlanet: The Androsynth, Burvixese, and Taalo homeworlds. ''Every'' homeworld, everywhere, if you don't stop the Kohr-Ah in time.
* GigglingVillain: Admiral ZEX. (Hee! Hee! Hee!)
* GladIThoughtOfIt: The Thraddash with the Captain's suggestion about attacking the Kohr-Ah in order to impress their Ur-Quan [[spoiler:Kzer-Za]] Masters.
* GlobalCurrencyException: There are two. The Melnorme accept Credits which they give in exchange for biological information and the locations of Rainbow Worlds; and the [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Druuge]] accept certain Plot Coupons -- and crew.
* GodGuise: The Umgah do this to the Ilwrath by means of a powerful hyperspace transmitter. As a joke, they tell the Ilwrath to go to war with the neighboring Pkunk. If the player gets that transmitter, they can pull the same trick, and tell the Ilwrath to attack the warlike Thraddash, leading the two bloodthirsty species to annihilate each other.
* GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: The Yehat were ''not'' happy when their queen decided to surrender to Ur-Quan.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Poor Bukowski. [[spoiler:He discovers some relevant information pertaining to the fate of the Androsynth, and possessing the knowledge makes him vulnerable to suffering the same fate. His last acts are to destroy as much of the information as he can, to protect everyone else from ''knowing''.]]
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy: The force the Ur-Quan leave behind to guard Earth do such an inept job that it is easy if not encouraged to clear Sol without firing a single shot. First, the Ilwrath leave almost immediately once the Ur-Quan's proverbial back is turned to join their brethren on a galactic killing spree, leaving the ''[[LovableCoward Spathi]]'' in charge. Then the Spathi talk themselves into relocating as far away from Earth as possible (they end up on Pluto) just in case the completely powerless Earthlings mount a surprise attack. After that, they decide that it wouldn't hurt to sent ''just one'' ship home. And then another. And so on. By the time the player arrives, there's only one ship left and a bunch of harmless robots made up to look threatening. The Spathi captain immediately surrenders and starts spilling vital secrets the moment he spots what so much as ''could'' be a hostile ship. Everyone involved is quite lucky that by the time the Ur-Quan realize that the Earthlings are working against them again, it's too late to dole out punishments.
* GuestStarPartyMember: Although you can ally with them, the [[spoiler:Spathi]] will leave you soon afterwards.
* GuideDangIt:
** While most things in the game have at least some clue somewhere, they are often obscure and easy to miss. It is all too easy to get stuck on your first playthrough without ever seeing the main plot.
** The 3DO version, and consequently [=UQM=], removed two bits of dialogue that a player might want to know about: the information about the game's time limit, and the location of the Mycon homeworld. This has led to many forum topics. Other pieces of missing information include the fact that Melnorme traders can be summoned with the caster, and the original starmap (which is required to decode the location of the VUX Beast).
** The VUX Beast puzzle was still rather GuideDangIt even with all the hints.
** What to do if you run into Tanaka is extremely counter-intuitive. You have a hostile response or a calm response...the hostile response will, of course, cause him to attack you. The calm response will cause him to laugh at you, and then [[ButThouMust attack you]]. What's the correct response? [[spoiler:To insult him, get him to attack you, and then escape. Do this ''three times'' and then he'll talk to you.]] How'd anyone figure ''this'' out without a forum topic? There is one clue that tells you how to do this... but it's ''highly'' possible to have completed this quest before you even get this information offered to you. The designers foresaw the unintuitiveness of it all and coded in Katana, his brother, as a replacement in case the player screwed up once.
** Convincing the Syreen that the destruction of their original homeworld [[spoiler:was caused by the Mycon]] requires getting a crucial piece of information that can be obtained from two sources with no obvious connection to the subject: Either keep buying information about the recent past from the Melnorme until they mention the Syreen, or go talk to the Mycon on their homeworld. The latter is especially obscure because as all home planets it is protected by an infinite armada (and the dialogue will always end in an attack), and you are given no indication you might learn something that is not mentioned by other Mycon.
* HereWeGoAgain: In the credits sequence, [[spoiler:as the Utwig celebrate the restoration of the Ultron, the High Proctor loses her grip on it in the middle of the "Exultant Caper of Revelation," followed by a crashing sound...]]
* HeroicSacrifice:
** The Shofixti did it with their entire species. [[spoiler:Almost.]]
** Parodied, near the end of the game, when the ship is about to be destroyed in the fight against the final boss.
--->'''[[spoiler:Dnyarri]]:''' OK, human, this is it! The last battle, your final moment of triumph! Don't screw up. And in case you're wondering, I'm not going with you, Captain. I'm staying on board. Why, you ask? [[spoiler:BECAUSE I'M LOCKED IN HERE, YOU IDIOT! GET ME OUT! HELP! HELP!]]
* HesitationEqualsDishonesty: For the Captain, at least. Every dishonest reply he can make will be liberally underscored with multiple ellipses. [=NPCs=] will generally give other indications of being untruthful.
* HiddenElfVillage: The Arilou homeworld; appropriately, as they are practically TheFairFolk.
* HigherTechSpecies: The Ur-quan are one of the oldest species still active. They and the Chmmr are the only races around with the technology needed to send really big spaceships into hyperspace.
* HilariousOuttakes: A set of fake outtakes in the closing credits, preceding the ones in Pixar's movies by a few years, including the Orz complaining about its dialogue and a Pkunk doing an impression of a phone psychic commercial.
* HitAndRunTactics: Unique to this game are the Thraddash, who fly rather small, fast, and somewhat fragile ships, with a mildly-powerful primary gun. On the other hand, they have a unique ability to get a sudden, short-lived speed boost that leaves a long trail of dangerous plasma behind them. The most effective tactic for this ship is to fly at the enemy, fire a few shots, and then fly away hoping they'll give chase. If they do, simply hold the special ability button to create a strip of plasma, which they'll run into if they don't veer away quickly enough. This tactic makes the Thraddash Torch one of the most dangerous (and very cheap!) counters to the massive Ur-Quan, Khor-Ah and Chmmr battleships.
* HoldYourHippogriffs:
** Yehat: "Until the breegs come home."
** Thraddash: "Like a farg out of hell."
* HonestJohnsDealership:
** The Melnorme, who will sell you fuel, technology and plot points in exchange for [[KnowledgeBroker information they find interesting]], are a benevolent version. Their culture considers giving away free information immoral, but their prices are fairly reasonable, and they are generally very helpful. In fact, they don't really fit this trope that well, because they consider it equally unethical to cheat people and to give charity. Lampshaded if you get the Melnorme to tell you about the Druuge -- when Greenish complains about how their only concern is profit, he notes that your character is smirking at him.
** The Druuge are a race of {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s, looking only to make a profit off of you, no matter what, and the resources they are most interested in are HumanResources. Some of the stuff they sell is useless, making them [[SnakeOilSalesman Snake Oil Salesmen]] as well. (By contrast, everything the Melnorme offer has ''some'' potential use.)
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The Druuge convince the Utwig that apparently-useless Ultron is a device of vast prophetic power and offer to sell it to them in exchange for a valuable precursor bomb... but make the mistake of letting the Utwig they're dealing with test it first. The moment they touch it, the Utwig say that it's given them a vision of what the Druuge ''really'' want in exchange for it and pay them with worthless trash instead, which the Druuge can't reject without admitting that the Ultron is a fraud.
* HordeOfAlienLocusts: Slylandro Probes. They're not biological, but they're still compelled to consume whatever they come across and multiply exponentially.
* HostileTerraforming: Mycon Deep Children reshape planets they collide with, stimulating their volcanic activity to the point where it's comfortable for Mycons -- which, since they enjoy temperatures above 600 Kelvins, means uninhabitable for pretty much everyone else.
* HumansArePsychicInTheFuture: It's mentioned randomly that some humans have 'esper' capabilities and are sensitive to various items or happenings in the galaxy. [[spoiler:Such as if the Pkunk are killed off for real.]]
* HumansAreUgly: The VUX think so, and if you apologize to them enough they'll reveal [[spoiler:it's the reason they went to war with them]].
* HumansAreWarriors: Variant 2, Humans Are Soldiers.
* HumanResources: Well, Druuge Resources, or whatever slaves of other races they have. Their ships' ManaMeter can be replenished by sacrificing crew members.
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace:
** Fortunately for everyone, the... *below* level of reality isn't commonly reachable. Yet.
** The 3DO background music that plays as you travel through Quasi-Space is definitely quite creepy, and includes bits that sound like the screams or yells of... ''[[EldritchAbomination something]]''. Appropriate, considering some of the things the Arilou will tell you...
* HyperspeedEscape: Ships can flee combat. Since they're expensive to replace, this is often a good tactic, especially if it's your flagship that is threatened (since its destruction means your death, and is an automatic game over).
* TheHypnotoad: The Dnyarri. The reason they didn't conquer the universe before the Ur-Quan stumbled upon their homeworld was because the Dnyarri were ''too damn lazy''. They never bothered to develop spacefaring technology. On the other hand, once they had a race of space-faring predators under their control, they started making up for lost time with a vengeance.
* IllNeverTellYouWhatImTellingYou: This exchange between the PC Captain and the Thraddash:
-->'''PC Captain:''' Why didn't you fight against the Alliance, and where ARE the Ur-Quan?\\
'''Thraddash:''' Where did they go, you ask? This is a secret, of course! We can't tell you! If we told you that they were fighting a secret war against a mysterious invader you might find some way to use that information against our masters. So forget it! No secrets!
* IncrediblyLamePun: [[spoiler:Dnyarri's/Mind controlled]] Umgah's Khan Fusion joke.
* InformedAbility: Ironically, the one ship specifically advertised in-game as being able to "defeat any ship in space," the Chmmr Avatar, is ''not'' as effective against the heavy Ur-Quan ships as a number of other ships in the game. They're not ''too'' bad against Dreadnoughts with some damage, but there are better ships to use. Marauders eat them for breakfast.[[note]]Though to be fair, the Chmmr designed them before they knew of the existence of Marauders.[[/note]]
* IntentionalEngrishForFunny: The Orz.
* InUniverseGameClock: Time does not stand still. Certain events will happen at specific times after others, and there's a phenomenon which only occurs at a particular date. And, of course, there is a time limit.
* IrrelevantSidequest: Averted. Even though the game is a WideOpenSandbox, there are only ''two'' storylines that you are not required to complete in order to beat the game ([[spoiler:three if you count the Shofixti Maidens quest as a separate storyline rather than a part of the Yehat rebellion storyline]]). One of them gives you a nice bonus right before the end of the game, the other rids you of a very annoying enemy ([[spoiler:the Slylandro Probes]]).
* ItAmusedMe: The Umgah's motivation for doing ''anything''.
* IsThisThingOn: The humans and the [=VUX=] never got on very well. When a human starship commander first encountered a [=VUX=] ship, he made an off-hand derogatory comment to his crew about how ugly this alien was. Unfortunately, the [=VUX=] possessed some of the best UniversalTranslator technology in the galaxy, and major political incident ensued.
* ItsAWonderfulFailure: The [[spoiler:[[KillEmAll Kohr-Ah Death March]]]], unless you are ''very'' quick. On the other hand, [[spoiler:if you ARE quick, you can use their genocide to bypass most of the required quests in the game.]]
* TheJailer: The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za.
* {{Jerkass}}: Many of the dialogue options allow the Captain to embody this trope.
* JerkWithAHeartOfJerk: The game will give you a false hope that it's possible to make peace with a certain race, but nothing will ever come of it for the simple reason that they are even worse bigots and hypocrites than humans. [[spoiler: The VUX are initially hostile to humans supposedly due to a human captain's faux pas. However, if pressed, they will admit that the insult meant nothing to them: they hate us simply because they can't stand our physical appearance.]]
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: You have to piece together everything from the hints, rumors, and bits of information the aliens give you.
* KarmicDeath: [[spoiler:Admiral ZEX is killed by the beast that you gave him when it breaks loose just as he is about to backstab you.]]
* KickTheSonOfABitch: Leaving [[spoiler:the Neo-Dnyarri]] behind to die in the end.
* KillerRabbit: The Evil Ones look like silly teddy bears that don't move, but if you touch one, you get a taste of their true powers. Don't do that. (Their damage rating against a lander that runs into them is set to the maximum possible, meaning they're as deadly as the VUX Beast.)
* KnightTemplar: Both Ur-Quan subspecies turn out to be this.
* KnowledgeBroker:
** The Melnorme. Their culture looks down on giving away any information for free, and will sell any information given the right price, however, any information they wish to keep secret, such as the identity of their sources and why their bridge turns purple during trade negotiations, is given an insanely high price tag.
*** And if you do somehow manage to acquire enough currency to meet that price tag (probably by cheating), the price will suddenly jump up to a value even higher than what the game can store in memory.
*** It's also important to note that the Melnorme do not accept Resource Units like your starbase does - they will only trade information for other information, specifically biological data collected on distant planets and the locations of mysterious Rainbow Worlds.
* LateToTheTragedy
* LawOfChromaticSuperiority: [[http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Black_Spathi_Squadron The Black Spathi Squadron]].
* LesCollaborateurs:
** The Yehat monarchy switched sides near the end of the war, selling out their people and the alliance and reducing their race to Hierarchy slaves in order to retain power once the Ur-Quan won.
** The Mycons also willingly submitted to the Ur-Quan without a fight, for reasons known only to themselves. A conversation with a Mycon during the game suggests that they recognized they could not defeat the Ur-Quan at that time, so joined them with the ultimate goal of finding a weakness to destroy them.[[note]]"Juffo-Wup acknowledges the existence of un-Voidable Non. When we are faced with such, we join, absorb and wait for our opportunity to learn the weakness that will allow us to Void the Non."[[/note]]
* LethalJokeCharacter: The Thraddash Torch. On the surface, and in low-level play, it looks like a pretty terrible ship. It has one of the lowest [[HitPoints crew]] stats in the game, its primary weapon is a weak, slow-firing blaster, and its special move (an afterburner that leaves behind a plasma trail) will only damage [[ArtificialStupidity the AI]] or somebody who's TooDumbToLive. But in high-level play, it's almost universally banned as overpowered. Why? Firstly, the afterburner makes it the fastest ship in the game, capable of [[DodgeTheBullet dodging most projectiles]] and running rings around the slower ships. Secondly, that "useless" blaster, while not dealing much damage, has a very long range and can penetrate almost all forms of point defence. So almost any battle with a sufficiently skilled Torch player will result in a very slow and boring DeathOfAThousandCuts as the "stronger" ship tries in vain to hit the Torch while being whittled down very, very slowly.
** The Pkunk Fury seems like a very weak ship, and the Pkunk themselves are basically joke characters, being space-hippies. Then you get to the final battle against the Sa-Matra, and it turns out that the Fury is by far the best ship for defeating the defenses of the Sa-Matra, almost as though they were designed for that very task. And then you remember that the Pkunk claim to have psychic powers....
* LivingGasbag: The Slylandro are floating translucent gas bags with glowy bits inside them.
* LostForever:
** Certain events can make you lose the ability to build certain ships, such as the Spathi Eluders and Thraddash Torch. You can keep the ones you have in stock, but can't build more.
** It's also possible to sell the Portal Spawner to the Druuge (although you would have to be utterly mad), and to offend some races so thoroughly that you forever lose the option to ally with them. Plot-essential races, though, will shrug off any number of insults.
* LoveFreak: The Pkunk.
* MachineMonotone: The Chenjesu and Mmrnmhrm (and later the [[FusionDance Chmmr]]).
* MachoMasochism: Parodied with the Thraddash. Their Culture Three encountered a problem when coming into power as the previous culture already epitomized extreme strength and endurance. To impress them, Culture Three soldiers would stand on a tall hill where everyone could see them and cut off one of their own limbs, and then wave it at their enemies. Surprisingly, it worked and Culture Two armies ran away without a fight. At war parades Culture Three heroes would roll around on the ground because they had no legs to walk on.
-->'''Thraddash:''' To you, an inferior alien, this may seem bluntly stupid -- the product of a sick, primitive society. SNORT! [[EveryoneHasStandards You couldn't be more right!]]
* MagikarpPower: Your flagship. It starts out entirely dependent on its escort ships, having a painfully slow speed and turning rate that makes it all but a sitting duck in combat and armed only with a weak forward gun with a slow recharge rate. Fully upgraded and with all the Melnorme technology purchased, it becomes a LightningBruiser with potentially hundreds of HitPoints, point defense weaponry, and a main weapon that hits as hard as that of an Ur-Quan Dreadnought while [[MacrossMissileMassacre firing multiple simultaneous shots that all home in on their target]]
* ManChild: Some of the Captain's possible dialogue choices are a little... odd.
**
--->'''Captain:''' ''[to the Arilou]'' We have met the Umgah, and they are acting extremely weird, like zombie-blobbies!
**
--->'''Captain:''' ''[to Admiral ZEX]'' You lied, Admiral ZEX!!! There was no 'warp nullification field'! Cheater!
* MarketBasedTitle: The ''Star Control II'' part of the title was dropped for the open-source release of the game (ported from the ThreeDO version to modern operating systems), due to the name ''Star Control'' being owned by Creator/{{Atari}}.
* [[MarsNeedsWomen Mars Needs Men]]: Admiral ZEX wants to be "friends... perhaps even more" with the Captain, to the point that [[spoiler:he tries to take him by force before being HoistByHisOwnPetard]].
* MassiveNumberedSiblings:
** Fwiffo is the youngest of over eighteen thousand.
** Tanaka had six sisters and "many" brothers. Then there's the number of children he ''himself'' can produce.
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: The Ultron. The Utwig insist that it "fills the empty space we did not know was there" and provides them with psychic visions. Most other people you speak to think it's a useless piece of junk that the Utwig were morons to purchase, and everything after that is a species-wide PlaceboEffect. It's not made entirely clear which is the truth, and it ''is'' a Precursor artifact of some kind; once it's fully repaired, the scientists at the station orbiting Earth are convinced that it does something, but aren't sure what. A few of the prophecies it provides are also demonstrably accurate, such as its instruction that the Utwig and Supox should attack ''only'' the Kohr-Ah (which extends the EnemyCivilWar, since the Kohr-Ah are winning, whereas attacking both sides wouldn't accomplish anything.)
* MercyInvincibility: Applied to ship encounters on the map screen. Unfortunately, though, not in hyperspace, showing why this trope exists in the first place.
* MildlyMilitary: Used for laughs during one conversation with the [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Syreen]] commander. You may come down on her for her attire (which is {{Stripperiffic}} to say the least), only to hear that that's an official military uniform.
* MrExposition:
** Commander Hayes of the SOL [=III=] Starbase fulfills this role. He's pretty much the first character you meet, and since the Captain has been out of touch with the rest of the galaxy for twenty years, he needs to be brought up to date. Unfortunately, Hayes' information is quite dated, since he has been stuck on the starbase his entire life. He has nearly no information on current events in the galaxy. His purpose, at the start of the game, is primarily to give what limited information the player needs in order to play the game properly during the first couple of hours. Once the starbase is repurposed for war, Hayes will slowly begin to process and deliver more pertinent information to you regarding events happening in the vicinity of the Sol system.
** Once they are encountered, the Melnorme serve as an integral and highly-important information service - [[InformationBroker selling exposition to the player]] for a modest price. Unlike Hayes, the Melnorme have a plethora of information about the galaxy -- both past and present (and, to some extent, the future!), which they sell in discrete pieces. Each piece provides not only pertinent and interesting information about the chosen subject, but often also a very important hint that could significantly affect your success. Anyone who is not paying attention to what the Melnorme tell them is highly likely to run into many GuideDangIt moments.
* {{Microts}}: The Slylandro have "rotation," "Drahnasa," and "Drahn" which are something like their equivalent of days, years, and millennia (not particularly similar in duration to ours though). It would be tricky to decode these except that pretty much everything interesting that's happened on a galactic scale happens in one of three time periods (Quite Recently, A Long Time Ago and A Really, Really Long Time Ago) so luckily it's not too hard to figure out what they're on about.[[note]]One "rotation" is one "day" of their planet, 1 Drahn is equal to 4 million rotations and one Drahn is divided into two thousand Drahnasa. [[http://uqm.stack.nl/forum/index.php?topic=1169.0 Some code examination]] reveals that the rotation of the Slylandro homeplanet is 14.2 earth hours which tells us that one Drahnasa is equal to 1180 earth days (approximately 3 years) and one Drahn is 2370000 earth days (approximately 6 and a half thousand years).[[/note]]
* MightMakesRight: The Thraddash way of life.
* TheMissingFaction: "There are no Androsynth now. Only Orz." [[spoiler:Androsynth ships are still in the game for the Super Melee mode, but they don't show up in the campaign at all. Sinisterly, it's never made clear what happened to them. They are simply...gone. WordOfGod is that they got "snagged by the entity who/which projected its fingers into our dimension (which looked to us as the Orz.)"]]
* MoodWhiplash: If you trick a Druuge into selling you a huge amount of fuel, he'll scream curses at you and lament about how he's going to be thrown into an atomic furnace, then go back to dealing with you as though nothing happened.
* MoneyGrinding: Mineral gathering, which will give you Resource Units to upgrade your ships and fleet. It is quite easy to overdo it, [[UnwinnableByDesign though you will not realise it]] [[TimedMission until it is too late]].
* MoralMyopia: The underlying motives are understandable, but both the Path of Now and Forever and the Eternal Doctrine are based on the premise that nobody else deserves their freedom or their lives as much as the Ur-Quan.
* MyNameIsInigoMontoya: When Tanaka prepares to attack you, he makes sure to let you know that "I am the glorious Shofixti warrior, Tanaka."
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch:
** Admiral ZEX, the one VUX who is not a frothing xenophobe. Because he's a frothing xeno''phile''.
** The [[ShroudedInMyth fabled]] Black Spathi Squadron, which according to the stories goes about performing "brave and hostile deeds" against the Ur-Quan. Very un-Spathilike.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tropes N - Z]]
* NeglectfulPrecursors: They owe the galaxy ''much'' child support.
* NeverBeHurtAgain: The Ur-Quan's motivation.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: The Shofixti blew up their own star to take down about a third of the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za fleet. That's great and noble and all, but it turns out the Kzer-Za's genocidal cousins are coming, the Ur-Quan are going to have a war to determine whether their official policy would be "enslave the universe" or "genocide," and the Shofixti just nuked the "enslave" side into numerical inferiority.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: The Ur-Quan Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah want to ensure their species' preservation, which they do by, respectively, totally subjugating or annihilating anything that isn't an Ur-Quan in case it eventually becomes a threat. This is what directly causes most if not all of the races who fight them to fight them, culminating in their crushing defeat.
* NightmareFetishist: ZEX does, in fact, find humans and most other species ugly, just like all the other VUX. That's why he... ''enjoys'' them.
* NoCanonForTheWicked: [[AvertedTrope Averted.]] The Alliance of Free Stars lost the war depicted in the first ''Star Control''.
* NoHeroDiscount:
** Even though all life in this sector of the galaxy is threatened with extinction, and the Melnorme have an abundance of knowledge and technology that could be given to you to prevent it from happening at any time, you won't get anything from them until you pay up. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by the fact that their culture is completely fixated on business transactions and considers giving things for free to be crass and insulting, and by the fact that the Melnorme [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere will be leaving this sector of the galaxy]] shortly before the extermination begins.
** On the other hand, most members of the alliance will give you everything they can spare completely free of charge if you ask them nicely. They just can't spare much.
* NoNameGiven: Officially, the player-character is merely called "the Captain", so as to work within the confines of [[HelloInsertNameHere being able to name him/her whatever the player wishes.]] The 3DO version gives the Captain and his flagship [[CanonName default names]], Zelnick and the Vindicator respectively.
* NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup: The [[AllThereInTheManual backstory provided in the manual]] explains at length why the player's Precursor starship is unique: While the automated Precursor factory could presumably build another one if raw materials were ferried over, the only way the humans managed to provide human-operable controls to the first one was to remove the main computer from the factory and jury rig it to the starship's bridge.
* NonstandardGameOver: If you surrender to the Kzer-Za or play with the Utwig bomb you get dumped into the opening screen.
* OhCrap: The Ur-Quan get a beautiful one if [[spoiler:you tell them about the existence of the neo-Dnyarri. They even consider going so far as attempting a cease-fire with the Kohr-Ah so they can deal with the threat, but ultimately decide that the Kohr-Ah would think it a trick and not believe them.]] This is the only time in the game their demeanor of self-assured superiority is broken, replaced with a tone of panic and urgency.
* OmnicidalManiac: The Kohr-Ah.
* OneGenderRace: The Syreen come close, with some [[{{Gendercide}} justification]] and a ''lot'' of LampshadeHanging. Their home planet was destroyed by a [[spoiler:Mycon Deep Child]]. Most of the survivors were from the [[ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts Syreen Space Patrol]], the vast majority of them female thanks to the matriarchal culture. The end result was ten thousand survivors, of which only five hundred were male.
* OneNationUnderCopyright: The Druuge's Crimson Corporation.
* OneWorldOrder: Each alien race in the game, with a few exceptions.
* OptionalSexualEncounter: Take a guess as to what race this is with. Hint: it ain't the Supox.
* OrbitalBombardment: Several examples.
** When asking the Spathi why they fight along the Ur-Quan enslaved, they mention how part of the surrendering ceremony included blasting portions of their planet's surface into radiactive dust. [[CaptainObvious The Spathi ''did not'' enjoy that part.]]
** Starbase Commander Hayes mentions how the way the Ur-Quan made clear that Earth had lost the war was to destroy Buenos Aires. Weeks later, after the official surrender and the human decision to be slave-shielded, the Ur-Quan blasted from orbit not only ''all'' man-made constructions more than 500 years old, but also places seemingly worthless for humans (presumably to destroy more ancient ruins):
-->'''Starbase Commander Hayes:''' From their positions in orbit, the Dreadnoughts blew away a kilometer of land in central Iraq, vaporized several targets in the Amazon rain forest, punched a big hole through the antarctic icecap to destroy something deep under the surface, and melted a broad swath of the ocean floor in the south-eastern Atlantic.
* OrganicTechnology: The Umgah, Supox, and Mycon all use organic technology. [[spoiler:The Mycon ''are'' organic technology.]]
* OutOfCharacterAlert: It can help a lot when your partner in conversation [[spoiler:has broken sensors and can only judge your ship by gravimetry data.]] Or has been brainwashed.
* OutsideContextProblem: The Dnyarri (to the Milieu), the Ur-Quan (to a ton of people), the Orz (to the Androsynth); the Sa-Matra recategorized the Ur-Quan as an OutsideContextProblem to the Alliance.
* PaintingTheMedium: In the version of the game without voice-acting, each species speaks in a different font that reflects its personality.
* PeopleJars: The Shofixti maidens.
* PetTheDog: The Syreen surrendered to the Ur-Quan after their nomadic fleet was abandoned by the remainder of their erstwhile allies. One of the Ur-Quan leaders arranged to locate another planet that matched their specifications.
* PigLatin: You can get the Thraddash to greet you this way.
* PinataEnemy: Slylandro Probes, the moment you get enough equipment to defeat them safely. They yield the most [=RUs=] when defeated, at 550 a piece. On the flipside, they only come in groups of one. [[spoiler:Most players overlook the quest to fix them (and thus prevent them from spawning) because of their sheer value.]]
* PlanetLooters: The Mycon, who are corrupted OrganicTechnology.
* PlantAliens: The Supox; the Mycon are ''fungus''. The Zoq of the Zoq-Fot-Pik may also be one, as at one point it threatens the Pik with "[blowing] a cloud of spores at you."
* PlayerHeadquarters: The Starbase.
* PowerNullifier: The Taalo shield nullifies the Dnyarri's mind control. Try going after him without it, and you'll regret it.
* PreexistingEncounters
* PrepareToDie: In as many word, when Tanaka mistakes you for an Ur-Quan.
* PressGanged: Implied to have happened to Fwiffo, as he was hit by a vegetable cart and woke up on a naval ship with no money. Given the general Spathi attitude, willing volunteers were probably hard to come by.
* PressXToDie: You can blow up the Utwig Bomb from the Devices menu, taking your flagship with it.
* ProudMerchantRace: The Melnorme.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The Thraddash are a parody of the concept. The Yehat and Shofixti are more serious examples.
* PunyEarthling: The Ilwrath in their dialogue comment frequently on how squishy humans are and how easily they can be ripped limb from limb. The Arilou hint that humans are particularly vulnerable and need to be protected from things like [[spoiler:the Orz]].
* PuppeteerParasite: The Dnyarri.
* QuicksandBox: The game starts in the Sol system (which is one of the largest star systems anywhere in the game) without any instructions on what you need to do unless you paid proper attention to the backstory. Outside the system is an entire galactic quadrant comprised of hundreds of star systems, only a few of which contain any plot-relevant material. Hints are obscure and easy to miss, so unless you pay close attention to all the dialogue, obsessively talk to everyone, and write down everything they say, it's very easy get stuck on your first playthrough, or just plain lose thanks to running into the [[spoiler:time limit, which -- compounding all this -- the player has no way of even ''knowing about'' at first, and therefore no way of knowing how important it is to manage their time carefully. The Melnorme give a very vague warning and a specific date, but it's not made at all clear that this will end the game if the player goes too far past it]].
* RecoilBoost: The Druuge Mauler ship is a flying cannon. Its theoretical max speed is painfully slow, but the cannon's recoil is so great that it's easier just to ignore the engine entirely. Just take care to avoid the planet.
* RedShirt: Your crew members are occasionally mentioned by name when you explore planets. Many of them die. [[GoMadFromTheRevelation Or worse.]]
* RedSkyTakeWarning: The Ur-Quan slave shields have a red color -- so if you go outside one day and find your planet's sky has turned red, that's a bad sign.
* {{Reincarnation}}:
** The Pkunk ship can physically reincarnate with all hands when destroyed on the field of battle. It has a 50% chance of happening each time, so with the help of the RandomNumberGod the Pkunk can be an unreasonably formidable race given that every captain is a NewAgeRetroHippie [[/folder]]

[[folder: [[Recycled In Space In Space ]]
]]. They appear to believe in reincarnation for everyone[[note]]They mention one of your past lives was the [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI ArchDuke Franz Ferdinand]], and those who reincarnate are just those people that are famous, rich, or interesting. All the others, just kind of... cease.[[/note]].
** More seriously, the Kohr-Ah also believe in reincarnation. They use this to justify their genocide of all other life: By their belief, everything will one day eventually be reborn as a Kohr-Ah, so in the long run nothing is lost.
* RelationshipValues
* ReligionOfEvil: Parodied with the Ilwrath.
* RenegadeSplinterFaction: Kzer-Za and the Kor-Ah factions.
* RetCon:
** The Spathi ''Eluder''-class voidships were once ''Discriminator''-class.
** The first game placed the battles between the Hierarchy and the Alliance during the 2600s; several documents within the manual are dated 2612. The conflict was pushed back to the 2100s for ''[=SC2=]'', as noted in [[AllThereInTheManual the manual]].
** Some other minor lore from the ''[=SC1=]'' manual was retconned as well, like the Arilou previously being "tormentors of the human race".
* ReversePsychology:
** You can try to use reverse psychology with the VUX or the Slylandro probes (in both cases, it does not work). In the latter case, is even lampshaded:
--->'''Captain:''' Hmmm.. maybe reverse psychology would work. Er... Die alien scum!
** You'll need to use this against [[spoiler:the Shofixti survivor (Tanaka/Katana). Trying to befriend him won't work; he will only respond favorably to repeated insults]].
** Patrolling Spathi attempt this with a belligerent Captain, with a bit of GameOfChicken thrown in.
--->'''Captain:''' Wanna fight?\\
'''Spathi Captain:''' Er... Yeah, we do.\\
'''Captain:''' So let us fight.\\
'''Spathi Captain:''' Okay, let's fight. Here we go. We're rarin' to fight.\\
'''Captain:''' So let's fight, already!\\
'''Spathi Captain:''' Oh! Um... we changed our minds. We don't want to. Sorry. \\
'''Spathi Captain:''' (Pwappy, you idiot! I told you that wouldn't work!)
* RhetoricalQuestionBlunder:
** At the bottom of a list of suggestions for dealing with the rogue Slylandro probes (the other options won't work for one reason or another):
--->'''Captain:''' I don't suppose you have some kind of Mega-Self-Destruct code or something?\\
'''Content to Hover:''' WHY YES, THERE IS! You're a genius, Traveller! Why didn't we remember that!?
** When confronting [[spoiler:the neo-Dnyarri]]:
--->'''[[spoiler:Dnyarri]]:''' Boy, are you A PAIN, do you know that? WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, MY LIFE!? Oh, you do? Hmph.
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: Several different types, including the Ilwrath, the Kohr-Ah, and the Kzer-Za.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: The Melmorne will leave the galaxy [[spoiler:the moment the Death March begins]], and thus you won't be able to trade with them past that point.
* SealedEvilInACan: The Dnyarri. [[spoiler:The Umgah unknowingly remove one from its can.]]
* SealedGoodInACan: Races slave-shielded by the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za. [[spoiler:Cracking a slave shield and letting the Chmmr out of their can is one of the primary objectives of the game]].
* SelfImposedChallenge: It is possible to beat the game without ever visiting the Earth starbase. However, actually doing so requires infinite patience and planning: you can never build any new ship modules, which means your space travel is very slow and limited; you are at the mercy of Hyperspace spawns (especially Slylandro probes), and your original lander must last you for the entire game (though only biological pickups matter now). The original creators never thought anyone could [[spoiler:make it to the Chmmr with all the parts for the final battle]], so the game originally crashed. The remake will simply spit you out near the starbase with the required equipment.
* SequelHook
-->'''Children:''' But Grandfather! What happened? Where did you go? And how did you find the Mark II?\\
'''The Captain:''' That, my children, is an entirely different story.
** During the credits, the neo-Dnyarri, the Syreen, and the Druuge all claim they were told that the sequel will be about them.
** It is implied that, long ago, the Precursors moved towards the galactic core. Presumably the sequel was supposed to expand on this.
* SequenceBreaking:
** It's possible to skip much of the game by [[spoiler:waiting for the Kohr-Ah Death March to begin]]. Why do quests for alien species when you can simply wait for [[spoiler:them to be exterminated, then loot their worlds for [[PlotCoupon plot coupons]]]]? You'd be a JerkAss if you did; that's why.
** Additionally, you can finish the story mode without allying with the Earth Starbase. This feature went undiscovered ''to the programmers themselves'' for ''more than ten years''. It also [[GameBreakingBug crashed the game]] prior to a special handler being added in The Ur-Quan Masters. Doing this is both difficult and ''extremely'' tedious, which helps to explain why it took so long. See [[http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=1399.0 here]] and [[http://onpon4.github.io/other/no-starbase-challenge-guide/index.html here for more information]].
* SheatheYourSword: The proper way of dealing with Tanaka the Shofixti, coupled with a little YouFightLikeACow to make him realize he couldn't possibly be fighting an Ur-Quan ship.[[note]]His scanners are all damaged, so he can only see you as "huge threatening dreadnought", and Ur-Quan don't insult their foes as a matter of racial pride.[[/note]]
* ShoutOut: There's a ''long'' [[http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Influences_and_references "Influences and references" page]] on ''The Ur-Quan Masters'' wiki, and it starts with the "This page is currently incomplete..." template, including many references to ''VideoGame/{{Starflight}}''; not only its setting inspired many ''Star Control'' features, but some of the developers worked on both.
* {{Sidequest}}: Recruiting various aliens such as the Orz or the Zoq-Fot-Pik into the New Alliance, dealing with the Slylandro Probes, saving the Shofixti race, and instigating the Yehat civil war all qualify.
* SingleBiomePlanet: [[AvertedTrope Averted.]] Earth-like planets are called "water worlds" and there is no in-game indication that they are geographically any less diverse than Earth. The only case when this is "played straight" is when the "biome" in question is some variation on "irradiated space rock", which is perfectly realistic.
* SinsOfOurFathers: After humans created the Androsynth in the early 2000s, they were used as slaves and treated as second-class citizens. They escaped, and 100 years down the line the humans' grandkids would have to fight them.
* SlapYourselfAwake: A species-wide example. [[spoiler:The Ur-Quan were mind-controlled slaves of the Dnyarri, until they discovered that extreme pain would force the Dnyarri to disconnect from their minds temporarily. They then invented an Excruciator device to cause themselves constant agony, and rebelled and slaughtered their former masters. They wanted to NeverBeHurtAgain after that, resulting in the enslavement or genocide of every other species they met.]]
* SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness: There is silliness all over the game, but it has quite a lot of serious moments as well, such as [[spoiler:the Ur-Quan's [[TheWoobie Woobie-ish]] past.]] Also, considering other games Toys For Bob has created, this is probably the most serious game they have ever released. Compared to other similar works, this game is a lot sillier than ''Series/BabylonFive'' or ''Franchise/MassEffect'', but generally more serious than ''Franchise/StarWars'' or ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest''.
* SnakeOilSalesman: Be very careful when dealing with the Druuge. When a race's entire economy is one big Pyramid Scheme with death at the bottom, you tend not to worry about things like misrepresentation of product.
* SpecialEffectBranding: It has a wide range of StarfishAliens and RubberForeheadAliens, with ships designed to meet their physiological needs as well as using their unique weapons systems. While you may control ships designed by a specific race, you must also have pilots of that race to control them.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Star Control II is very much like both Starflight I and II, and one of the developers of those games was also one of the developers of Star Control II.
* StalkedByTheBell: The Death March.
* StarfishAliens: Many species, but especially the Orz. The Slylandro are pretty much this as well, being floating translucent gas bags with glowy bits inside them. Glowy bits which you aren't supposed to be able to see and which they get very embarrassed if you mention, being their reproductive organs. Considering that the Slylandro reveal that the glowy bits don't glow in their own eyes but they still know ''exactly'' what you're talking about, the inability of your ship's computer to accurately translate for the Orz only emphasizes just how alien they are.
* StarfishLanguage: Orz again.
* StartOfDarkness: Of the FreudianExcuse variety. You can get slightly different perspectives of the story from the Melnorme/Mael-Num, both Ur-Quan subspecies, and -- if you don't mind BlatantLies -- the Talking Pet.
* StealthPun:
** The Orz refer to fighting as *dancing.* The Space Marines they send to board enemy ships are called *GO! GO!* Ergo... they're *go-go* *dancers*.
** The VUX are disgusted by human mannerisms like nodding, since their own necks don't have the same range of motion. That is, they're stiff-necked.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: The Syreen. {{Lampshaded}} thoroughly and gleefully -- for example, the first time you encounter one, only one of the four dialog options is about something other than your contact's (lack of) costume.
* StunnedSilence: From the Captain, after the Pkunk's decision to give him love instead of mineral resources or biological data or any such ''insulting'' physical aid.
* SubspaceOrHyperspace: It's the world map!
* SuddenlyVoiced: The original PC version of the game in 1992 was text-only, but the 3DO version in 1994 added voice acting (by members of the development team, and their family and friends), a remixed soundtrack and 3D-rendered cutscenes. The developers had to use the 3DO source code for The Ur-Quan Masters because the original PC one was lost. Which version is preferable has been known to cause quite the BrokenBase.
* SuperweaponSurprise:
** The Shofixti, while not pacifists by any stretch of the imagination, were generally considered the weakest race of the alliance. But when the Ur-Quan finally moved their fleet in to attack the supposedly defeated Shofixti home planet at the end of the previous war, [[spoiler:the Shofixti ''blew up their sun'' with a previously-unknown Precursor device, doing more damage to the Ur-Quan than the rest of the war combined.]]
** While it still didn't make them the most powerful race, humanity was also somewhat more dangerous than the rest of the alliance had anticipated, since most of their guided nukes had been locked up in peace vaults prior to the arrival of the Ur-Quan.
** The Ur-Quan decided to use the immense power of the Sa-Matra against the Chenjesu, pretty much ending the war right then and there.
* SurrealHorror: [[spoiler:Orz]] and several other examples.
* SuspendedAnimation: The Shofixti Maidens. The Captain also threatens the Spathi to releases the Evil Ones he claims to have in suspended animation.
* TakeThat: If you get in a conversation with a Druuge ship, the Druuge captain explains that their "Crimson Corporation" improves the quality of life for all Druuge through the "Dribble-Down effect".
* TakeYourTime: Averted with the main quest. Played straight with the Sylandro Probe sidequest, where despite everyone urgently telling you to wipe them out before they grow exponentially, their growth rate stops eventually, so they never grow too numerous no matter how long you wait.
* TakingYouWithMe: The Shofixti took this concept to the next level by ''blowing up their own sun'' to destroy a good part of the Ur-Quan fleet.
* TalkingIsAFreeAction: No matter how tense or time sensitive the situation is, no matter how much they might want to kill you, alien captains will gladly talk to you for as long as it takes to exhaust their {{Dialogue Tree}}s, until you either try to cut of communications yourself or deliberate aggravate them into fighting early. Some races will attack immediately no matter what you say (particularly the Slylandro Probes or, unless you say something specific, the Kohr-Ah), but these are very few - most will keep chatting even as they insist they do not wish to and important events will only start after you guide the conversation in that direction. In the meantime, feel free to get as much exposition as you want. In the final battle of Star Control 2 the Dnyarri lampshades this.
-->'''Dnyarri:''' Oh gosh, gee! I don't know! Let's just sit here and talk a while AND IGNORE THOSE THOUSANDS OF DREADNOUGHTS THAT ARE GONNA CREAM US IN A FEW SECONDS!
* TalkToEveryone: ''Very'' important if you want to get anywhere. The game just throws you into a huge map with hundreds of star systems to visit, and the only way to find out where important things are is to pay very close attention to the dialogue. Many hints are only repeated once and are easy to miss, so take notes.
* TerminallyDependentSociety: The Utwig, sorta. They don't ''need'' the Ultron to survive, but they get so depressed without it that the difference doesn't matter a lot.
* ThatMakesMeFeelAngry: The Utwig talk like this a lot. Their culture is based around this concept. They invented the Mask Etiquette to stop themselves from transmitting emotional content through their facial expressions, and thereby achieve a higher level of civilization.
* TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow: Which the Arilou claim is why they won't tell you anything. After [[GoMadFromTheRevelation what happened to Bukowski]], we believe them.
* TimedMission: At a certain point in the game, [[spoiler:the Kohr-Ah will begin a campaign of genocide against all other races.]] When they reach Earth, you lose. It's possible to ''delay'' it, as well; [[spoiler:once you assemble the Ultron, the Utwig and Supox fleets can assault the Kohr-Ah, delaying their victory and the Death March somewhat.]]
* TooDumbToLive:
** The Thraddash put themselves back into the Stone Age with nuclear war. ''Repeatedly''. And they are ''proud'' of it.
** The Pkunk make repeated attempts to rejoin the Yehat, and can only be persuaded not to do so with mystical nonsense. If you don't tell the Pkunk to turn back (before the civil war starts), the Yehat kill most or all of them.
* TranslatorMicrobes: Precursor technology. One alien race, the Orz, is ''so'' alien that the device is unable to cope, rendering their dialogue in a bizarre fashion that manages to be both humorous and sinister. The VUX apparently have their own, even more sophisticated translators, and the Ur-Quan use their Talking Pets. Due to a [[GoodBadBugs quirk in translation]], the Supox end up being from the planet Earth, located on the far end of the map from planet Earth.
* TrollingTranslator: During the credits, a Talking Pet gets fed up with constantly translating "submit or die" and replaces it with things like "I like to hold fuzzy little animals and give them huggie-wuggies."
* TryNotToDie:
** "Try to avoid getting gruesomely killed, Captain!" is one of the things Base Commander Hayes says to you as you depart. He seems perfectly ''cheerful'' when he says it, too...
*** Given the proximity of the Ilwrath to Earth, how much Hayes would know about them compared to the other races, and the ways of killing people they describe, this is pretty basic DarkHumor.
* UncannyValley: In an in-universe example, the VUX see the humans as this. For instance, the VUX can't bend their neck-analogues, so when a human moves their head, it looks like its neck is broken and they are a talking corpse.
* UncertainDoom: The Faz were slave-shielded by the Kzer-za around 22000 years ago. Their ultimate fate is never revealed, though. Similar applies to the Taalo, but WordOfGod says they're still alive ''somewhere''.
* UniversalUniverseTime: Your ship keeps dates in Earth time, and other species are shown referring to "months" and "years" as though these are standardized units. This may be an artifact of the ship's UniversalTranslator; the only race who appear to use a different calendar (the Slylandro, who keep time based on their own planet's orbital period) are a new race with whom the protagonist makes first contact, so the translator may lack a basis for converting their time units.
* TheUnreveal:
** You are told the Rainbow Worlds were left as possible clues to the ultimate fate of the Precursors, left behind before they departed. Discover all the Rainbows Worlds, connect them on the Hyperspace map, and you'll find [[spoiler:they form an arrow that points northeast.]] Follow the clues and you'll find... absolutely nothing.[[note]]WordOfGod says that they originally led to a secret DevelopersRoom type planet that was DummiedOut.[[/note]]
** The Androsynth are another example: despite much foreshadowing, you never find out exactly what the Orz did to them.
* UpliftedAnimal: The Shofixti were already sentient, but they were given technology by the Yehat, which is called "Uplifting" [[{{In-Universe}} in-game]].
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: [[spoiler:Your ship has been fitted with a gigantic bomb, stripped of most of its exploration-related equipment, and sent to the middle of Ur-Quan space on what seems like a suicide mission.]]
* VichyEarth: While Earth itself is wrapped in an impenetrable shield (meaning that it is still independent, but impotent), the starbase left in orbit by the Ur-Quan is very much compliant. It really had little choice, being closely watched by a contingent of Ilwrath and Spathi ships, and requiring regular supply transports from the Hierarchy to stay alive. Everything changes not long after the game begins.
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential:
** You can sell your own crewmates into slavery to the Druuge, allow the Kohr-Ah Death March to begin so that you don't have to talk to people and can just pick their PlotCoupons off their planets as soon as they are destroyed, and refuse to intervene when the Zoq-Fot-Pik or the Pkunk are endangered. You can also sell the last surviving Shofixi females to the Druuge as slaves, dooming their race to extinction. [[WhatTheHellHero The game ''will'' call you out on a number of the more dickish options.]]
** When preparing for the final battle, almost all the space on your flagship is taken up by the modified bomb, making it impractical for you to equip it with much in the way of weapons or other defenses; the one thing you can do to make sure your ship has a good chance of making it close enough to the Sa-Matra to blow it up is to buy as many crew pods as you can fit on the ship, and fill them up completely, since crew act like hit points. Just one problem, though: the escape pod your ship has only holds one person, you.
** You can lie to the Safe Ones about clearing Spathiwa of "Evil Ones" and have them send their resettlers to be devoured. ''Repeatedly.''
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment:
** You can sell crew members into slavery with the Druuge in exchange for various advantages, but if you make a habit of it the cost of hiring new crew will skyrocket.
** If you sell [[spoiler:the Shofixti maidens]], then [[spoiler:the Shofixti can't be revived, which means the Starship Yehat won't be motivated to revolt, which means you won't have backup at the final battle]].
* VideoGameGeography: Explorable planets behave like cylinders -- going off one side of the map brings you back on the other side; the top and bottom edge of the map are impassable barriers.
* TheVoiceless: The middle member of the Zoq-Fot-Pik.
* TheWallAroundTheWorld: Slave shields.
* WarmUpBoss: Assuming you don't immediately leave the Sol system, your first fight will be against an Ilwrath Avenger with barely a third of its crew and a non-functional cloaking device. Meanwhile, you have a fully-crewed Human Cruiser which has homing nukes.
* WarpWhistle: The [=QuasiSpace=] Portal Spawner.
* WeNeedADistraction: Fwiffo explains to the Captain how the Spathi stationed on the moon kept the Human Starbase convinced of their presence as such; machines were automated to push piles of dirt around to simulate militaristic activity, and the station's transceiver was fixed to "Send" using tapes of an indecipherable [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar alien porn flick.]]
* WeComeInPeaceShootToKill: The Slylandro probes, [[spoiler:due to a slight programming error]].
* WeaponOfMassDestruction: The Utwig Bomb. No matter how shiny it looks in your inventory: Don't. Touch. ([[TemptingFate How bad could it be?]] It's just a [[TooDumbToLive giant bomb, and our scientists urge that if we test it, we be at least 17 parsecs away!]] [[WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong What could go]] [[EarthShatteringKaboom wr--]])
* WeaponizedExhaust: The Thraddash ships leave a fiery trail in their wake thanks to their afterburners.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: The Ur-Quan enslavers insist they do what they must to protect sentient life from genocide, extinction and things... ''[[CosmicHorrorStory far worse]]'' than that.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Fwiffo is never treated as anything more than a generic ship captain after you recruit him. No more word is said about him after speaking with The Safe Ones, even if you manage to finish the game with him alive ([[EnsembleDarkhorse as many players like to do]]).
* WhatHaveIDone: The Slylandro after they realize their "peaceful contact" probes are attacking spacecraft and killing people.
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: In the first ''Star Control'', most of the "evil" species were ugly, but no one would find any of the Alliance species disgusting. ''Star Control II'' rectified this somewhat by enabling the player to ally with one of the old Hierarchy species and introducing some more non-cute allies.
* WhatTheHellHero:
** If you sell enough of your crew to the Druuge, your crew costs will skyrocket and the commander will flat out tell you that he'd kill you if you weren't their only hope.
** The Yehat who remain loyal to their queen attack you, after pointing out that you ended a thousand years of peace among their people. But then, they hated you even before that, so it's not like it makes any difference.
* WillNotTellALie: The Ur-Quan make it a point of pride not to lie at all. Because having to lie means that you're weak, and the Ur-Quan are ''not'' weak. They will willingly put their busy schedule of slaughter and enslavement on hold to truthfully tell you their [[StartOfDarkness full backstory]] -- if you just ask nicely enough.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: [[spoiler:The Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah]]
* WrapAround: East-west on planet surfaces; in all directions during space battles.
* WrongInsultOffence: Attack a Spathi ship while calling them "evil squids", and [[SkewedPriorities the captain spends some time protesting that they're actually more like clams]].
* YouALLLookFamiliar:
** Each sentient race has a single graphic that is used any time you converse with one (individual or group) of its members; even when you visit a race's homeworld and speak to its leaders, they're depicted with the same graphic as its other members, even if that shows them on the bridge of a starship. (There is one exception: the leaders of the Spathi have a special graphic showing them hidden away in a nice safe underground bunker.) {{Lampshaded}} by the Zoq-Fot-Pik:
--->'''Zoq:''' Talk to the leaders at our homeworld. They are wiser, more powerful beings!\\
'''Pik:''' They look just like us, though.
** Only 23 sprites are used to represent ''all'' the non-sapient flora and fauna in the galaxy, except for the plot important ones, which get unique sprites.
* YouMonster: The Dnyarri are seen this way.
**
--->'''Chmmr:''' WE KNOW THE DNYARRI ONLY FROM LEGEND, WHERE THEY ARE DESCRIBED AS THE EMBODIMENT OF EVIL AND CRUELTY. IF THERE EVER WAS A DEVIL, CAPTAIN, IT WAS THE DNYARRI.
**
--->'''Ur-Quan:''' ...[[spoiler:you were in contact with]] a creature so horrible, so evil that it makes ANYTHING else you have ever known TRIVIAL by comparison. There is no equal to the Dnyarri's cruelty, to its love for torment. Dying a THOUSAND TIMES would be preferable to what is in store for you if we do not stop that creature.
[[/folder]]

!!''Star Control 3'' provides examples of:

[[folder:Tropes]]
* AbortedArc: The Kohr-Ah subplot is never explained or resolved, and has no connection to the rest of the story.
* AbusivePrecursors: The [[EldritchAbomination Eternal Ones]] are believed to seed the galaxies they visit with proto-life after consuming the local sentient life.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: All Ploxis names seem to start with "pl".
* AlienAnimals: The Ortogs, who are [[AllThereInTheManual mentioned in the previous game's manual]], [[spoiler:play a much larger role in this game. They are revealed to be ThePrecursors.]]
* AmbiguouslyJewish: Unlike the nasal, electronically distorted tone of ''[=SC2=]'', the voice actor for ''[=SC3=]'''s Spathi uses a Creator/WoodyAllen-ish voice.
* AsYouKnow:
** The first conversation in the game helpfully explains to the Captain that, for example, he was born on Unzervalt. Oh, and by the way, he recruited the Ur-Quan between games.
** Lampshaded when asking the VUX about their history:
-->'''Admiral DOX:''' ''[shouting]'' You ''know'' our history! You were... er, excuse me...
* AtLeastIAdmitIt: The Lk openly admit that they are going to betray you when it suits them, and expect the same of the other races.
* BrotherChuck: Some of the races from the first two games are nowhere to be found in the story mode. Justified as the races that didn't join the League of Sentient Races are still in their home sector. The Supox and Arilou are the only exceptions, [[spoiler:since the Arilou decided to go back to being neutral, with the occasional MisterExposition conversations. You won't like the Orz after you find out what happened to the Supox, though...]]
* CanonDiscontinuity:
** The creators of the first two games, who had nothing to do with the third, have stated that they don't consider it canon. While the current owners of the rights to the third game (the rights to the first two games are owned by the creators) and the Star Control trademark haven't ''explicitly'' said so, they have made statements indicating they agree.
*** That said, some aspects of the story and game are at least close to what Reiche & Ford ''intended'' for future development, based on notes they provided; [[spoiler:the true nature of the Mycon]] is one example of this.
* TheChessmaster: Plexor.
* CorruptCorporateExecutive: Plexor and the other Ploxis Plutocrats.
* DarkerAndEdgier: The tone of the story is considerably darker compared to the previous game, perhaps due to the fact that your main enemies are {{Eldritch Abomination}}s whom you ''cannot'' actually defeat and who are capable of wrecking the space-time continuum itself. There is still plenty of comic relief, though.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: The reunion of the VUX and the Vyro-Ingo features the Vyro-Ingo ship mounting the Intruder with a Tab A in Slot B and their flying away together. All to classical music.
* EldritchAbomination: The Eternal Ones, the main antagonists of this game, a race of near-omnipotent {{Energy Being}}s feeding on sentience. The [[spoiler:Orz, the Eldritch Abominations from the previous game, are heavily implied to be connected to them.]] The final mission of the game has you scrambling to keep the Eternal Ones from depopulating the entire galaxy while [[spoiler:the Orz, who've been subtly undermining your efforts until now, stab you in the back.]]
* FeetOfClay: The K'Tang. They constantly brag about their supposedly enormous physical strength, but [[spoiler:take away their power armor and they are revealed to be nothing more than small, scrawny creatures who are as cowardly as the Spathi and possibly much weaker than them, too (and cowardice is the Spathi's [[PlanetOfHats hat]])]].
* FindTheCure: The [[spoiler:Xchagger]] Plague subplot.
* GigglingVillain: Plexor, the Plutocrat.
* HannibalLecture: Plexor exposes the hypocrisy of the League of Sentient Races and the player's role in it.
* HeelFaceTurn: Many of the enemies from the last game, including the Mycon, the VUX, and the Ur-Quan themselves are now members of TheFederation, with varying degrees of sullenness.
* InfoDump: Infamously, [[spoiler:the Precursor once you un-devolve it.]]
* JustAStupidAccent: The Ploxis replace their "th"'s (whether voiced or not) with Z's.
* LawfulStupid:
** The Owa's [[PlanetOfHats hat]]. So much that their fleets stationed at the [[spoiler:Rainbow Worlds]] will fight you to the death, even knowing there is no point in that and knowing they have no chance of winning, simply because they received no order from the homeworld to stand down.
** The Clairconctlar are also this, [[spoiler:which is how they got into the Crux in the first place, and stayed there for so long. The Clairconctlar destroyed a Ploxis civilian ship, and their queen offered to repay the Crux by becoming the Crux's slaves for an undefined period of time. The Ploxis found a way to keep their servitude permanent - they imprisoned the Clairconctlar queen on a Crux space station, and strictly forbade the Clairconctlar themselves to go anywhere near the station, while the queen was the only person with enough authority to decide that the servitude is over.]]
* MachineMonotone:
** The Chmmr, who are MechanicalLifeforms.
** When speaking with the Orz, the translation computer inserts the lingual best-fits in *asterisks* in Machine Monotone.
* MagicFeather: When they lose the Ultron (again), the Utwig eventually come to the conclusion that the real power was inside of them all along and they don't need it anymore... ''after'' you've gone to considerable trouble to get it back.
-->'''Captain:''' No! Take it! TAKE IT! I DEMAND IT!
* ManipulativeBastard: The Plutocrats, who else? Divide and conquer is their game.
* NonstandardGameOver: Surrender to an enemy, piss off a plot-critical NPC, or piss off the [[VideoGameCrueltyPunishment League Ethics Council]].
* OpeningMonologue
* PaperThinDisguise: The would-be Kohr-Ah among the Kzer-Za paint themselves black, and not very well.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: The Harika. The Ur-Quan also seem to have evolved into this.
* TheSymbiote: The Harika/Yorn.
* RealIsBrown: And gray. Mostly gray. Contrast this with the previous game's palette.
* RetCon: The intro tells you that instead of simply being unconscious from being caught in Sa-Matra's explosion, your character was briefly transported into the future to see the Eternal Ones killing everyone.
* ReLex: Apparently all alien languages are relexes of English, as [[spoiler:the Precursor tells you that "all races who developed mathematics" had the confusion between "Eternal Ones" and "Eternal1".]]
* ShoutOut: ICOM, your onboard hint machine, looks ''exactly'' like [[Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey HAL 9000]]. Lampshaded, too, in one of the Captain's responses.
* SimpletonVoice: The Doogs speak in one.
* SnakeTalk: The Lk talk like this.
* ThisIsADrill: One of the weapons of the Daktaklakpak Vivisector.
* ThisLoserIsYou: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STcAhhcqXpU Watch]] as the Spathi leader tries to ward off what he believes to be an alien invasion.
* TooDumbToFool: The Doog. It is impossible to get them to 'spill the beans' in the early stages of the game.
* TheUnpronounceable: Played for laughs with the Daktaklakpak. Neither the Doogs nor the K'Tang seem to be able to pronounce the name of that race properly, and even the Captain himself can suggest that he just calls them Daks for short. The Daktaklakpak protest, saying that ''is'' the shortened version of their full name.
* YeOldeButcheredeEnglishe: The Owa speak this.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: The villainous Plexor approves of you for, as he sees it, establishing yourself in an unassailable position of power over the rest of the League of Sentient Races by means of controlling the largest and most dangerous weapon.
[[/folder]]
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