[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/urquan_2620.jpg]]
[[foldercontrol]]

[[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 [[ShootEmUps 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}} during dialogue scenes. 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. ]]


----
[[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).
* {{Artificial Human}}s: 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.
* {{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.
* BoardingParty: The Orz Marines.
* 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.
* 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 Crux Hegemony.
* EnergyAbsorption: The Utwig Jugger cannot recharge its own battery, but its energy-hungry shields convert incoming damage into energy.
* TheFairFolk: The Arilou, aloof LittleGreenMen that they are.
* 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
* 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:
** In the first game, both the Arilou Skiff and the Shofixti Scout are this. The Umgah Drone is normally quite slow, but has powerful retro-rockets that enable it to fly very fast, albeit only backwards.
** The second game adds the Pkunk Fury, Zoq-Fot-Pik Stinger and Thraddash Torch. The Fury, however, has a luck-based special ability that can occasionally render it nigh invincible.
* 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
* 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.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Each race has a specific tune that plays when one of their ships wins a battle.
* 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.
* {{Green Skinned Space Babe}}s: The Syreen (except they're blue). ''Heavily'' [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]], from their outfits to their [[FreudWasRight Penetrator]] ships.
* 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. Several others ships are also effective with this strategy.
* 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 genetically compatible with humans that 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]] retake 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!
* LifeMeter: Each ship has one, purportedly representing how many surviving crew it has.
* LightningBruiser: 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.
* LittleGreenMen: The Arilou.
* LotusPosition: The Arilou.
* ManaMeter: Each ship has one, representing energy for weapons and special features.
* MightyGlacier:
** The Ur-Quan Dreadnought and the Mycon Podship. On the Alliance side, the Chenjesu Broodhome.
** The second game adds the Khor-Ah Marauder, Chmmr Avatar, and (if properly used) the Utwig Jugger.
** About half the ships added in the third game are this, but particularly the Doog Constructor and Herald Eradicator.
* MultiDirectionalBarrage / SpinAttack: The Pkunk Fury has three rapid-fire guns, oriented forward and to both sides - all firing simultaneously. Though both dead-on and strafing runs are possible with this weapon, the manual for [=SC2=] actually recommends employing a spinning "Death Blossom" attack: release the thruster and fire while constantly turning.
* NewAgeRetroHippie: The Pkunk.
* 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.
* {{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 it for everyone.
** 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.
* SpaceElves: The Syreen are of the blue space babe variety, while the Arilou are of the mystic alien intruder type.
* 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 {{Two-D Space}}, 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.
* 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.
* {{Two-D Space}}: 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.
* 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=].
* 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.
* DeflectorShields: Fortifications, which can be [[TeleportersAndTransporters skipped]] by the Arilou and [[EnergyWeapons destroyed]] by the Ur-Quan. Also, this is part of the armament of the Yehat Terminator.
* 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 [[SegaGenesis Genesis version]]). Even in the PC version, planet types are concealed until a star system has been visited.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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. [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Their trauma runs too deep]].
* ActingForTwo: Some of the voice actors in the 3DO version do multiple voices:
** Rick Betz plays both the Ariloulaleelay and the Druuge.
** David Bryce voices the Kohr-Ah, Ilwrath, Shofixti and Spathi.
** Greg Johnson, in some real MoodWhiplash, voices the Orz, Pkunk and Utwig.
** Paul Reiche III voices the Mycon and the Talking Pet
** Madeleine Wild, besides voicing the Syreen, also does the voices of the Zoq-Fot-Pik and the VUX.
** Larry Zee does the voices of the Melnorme, Umgah and Ur-Quan.
* 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...]]
--->"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. See BadIsGoodAndGoodIsBad.
** Played straight with the Dnyarri.
* AmazonBrigade: The Syreen.
* AmbiguousGender: Most of the characters, including your human crew members.
* 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?"
* 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]]:
--> 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: The characters appear to be talking to the player during the HilariousOuttakes.
* CallAHumanAMeatbag:
-->"Goodbye, Slylandro gas bags!"\\
"Goodbye, human fluid sack!"
* TheCaptain: The player character, and literally, as mentioned in NoNameGiven.
* 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 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* DeathsHourglass: One of the Melnorme you encounter posesses 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: [[/folder]]

[[folder: You get make the *heavy space* Orz ships and use *GO! GO!* for the *dancing*! ]]

* 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."''
** Partly averted with the Spathi Safe Ones, who look like other Spathi, but wear clothes that clearly identify them as rulers.
* 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 exact revenge on them.
* 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."]]
* EnemyCivilWar: The Doctrinal Conflict.
* EnemyMine: The reason for your alliance with the neo-Dynarri.
* 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 Slylando'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.
* 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, or Mael-Num, are similar to the Jews. They were nearly exterminated by the Ur-Quan and forced to flee their homeworld. They have survived for thousands of years as 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 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.
* 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.
* {{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.
* 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.
* 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.
* HeroicSacrifice: Parodied, near the end of the game. Also, the Shofixti did it with their entire species. [[spoiler:Almost.]]
* 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.
* HonestJohnsDealership: Two races, in different ways:
** 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.
** It may have actually been worthless trash, or it may have actually been very valuable stuff (for example, Precursor artifacts) that the Druuge couldn't figure out how to use.
* 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.
* 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. The ensuing political incident distanced the [=VUX=] from the Alliance long enough for them to fall to the Ur-Quan and then willingly join the Hierarchy as battle thralls.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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]].
* 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...
* 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, since the Captain has been out of touch with the rest of the galaxy for twenty years, and he needs to be brought up to date. Greenish will also provide a wealth of backstory and hints, but demands to be paid for every item.
* {{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 and one Drahn is 2370000 earth days.[[/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]].
* 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.
* 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.
* {{Omnicidal Maniac}}s: 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.
* 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.
* OutsideContextVillain: 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 OutsideContextVillain 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.
* 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''.
* 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
* 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 Kohr-Ah believe they're doing other races a favor by wiping them out and giving them the chance to reincarnate as fellow Ur-Quan.
* 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 (it both cases, it does not work). In the latter case, is even lampshaded:
-->'''You:''' Hmmm.. maybe reverse psychology would work. Er... Die alien scum!
* ScaryDogmaticAliens: Several different types, including the Ilwrath, the Kohr-Ah, and the Kzer-Za.
* ScottishEnglish: Most Yehat speak with this accent.
* 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]].
* 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: There are two major ways to do this:
** 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]]?]] [[spoiler: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]] [[http://forum.uqm.stack.nl/index.php?topic=5194.0 and here for more information]].
* 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}}
* 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.
* 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.
* {{Stripperiffic}}: The Syreen. {{Lampshaded}} thoroughly and gleefully.
* 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 back-story gives us two examples, though apparently it wasn't enough:
** 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 reason it wasn't enough, actually, was yet another surprise. When 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 Shofixty took this concept to the next level by ''blowing up their own sun'' to destroy a good part of the Ur-Quan fleet.
* 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: See TimeLimit.
* TimeLimit: 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.
** And the Pkunk: They 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.
* TryNotToDie: "Try to avoid getting gruesomely killed, Captain!" as 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
* VichyEarth
* 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. (Unlike some of the above, though, this has absolutely no bearing on the plot at all, and one could even surmise the crew is willing to do it to save the galaxy.)
** Given that most of them would be Shofixti, whose normal military strategy is to Suicide Attack, by that point, this is pretty much justified.
* VideoGameCrueltyPunishment: See WhatTheHellHero, below.
* 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, termed the Fot in the game's source code.
* TheWallAroundTheWorld: Slave shields.
* 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.
* 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.
-->'''[[EvenEvilHasStandards 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]]
* 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.
* 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.
* CompellingVoice
* 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.
* 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.
* 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.]]
* ManipulativeBastard: The Plutocrats, who else? Divide and conquer is their game.
* OpeningMonologue
* 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 [[ASpaceOdyssey 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: See Plexor's HannibalLecture.
[[/folder]]
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