Star Control 2 creators finally making sequel

The two lead fellas behind Star Control have announced that, after 25 years, they are now working on a direct sequel to Star Control 2 named Ghosts of the Precursors. Rather than make a mess by ignorantly saying e.g. “Star Control 2 is a science-fiction RPG-a-spaceshoot-o-adventure-y-thingamy-ish game, and many people love it dearly,” I’ll point you towards Cobbo’s Star Control 2 retrospective and leave it at that.

No, ignore the Star Control 3 made by a different studio – this will pretend that didn’t happen and simply follow on from 2. And yup, it’s a different game to Star Control: Origins, the prequel being made by current rights owners Stardock.

Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III, who led the series at Toys for Bob, announced their return to the series on Monday. They’ve been away from it for a long, long time – Star Control 2 launched in 1992. They say:

“Pretty much ever since then, fans have been politely asking us to create a sequel, sometimes begging for a sequel, even threatening us if we don’t make a sequel. Our answer was always, ‘We really want to do this, we just need to wait until the time is right’ — kind of like Cthulhu awakening, but less end-of-the-worldy. Well, the stars have finally aligned — we are now working on a direct sequel to Star Control II — The Ur-Quan Masters, called Ghosts of the Precursors.

“This is a passion project for us and we have committed to dedicating some of our own time to creating a true sequel.”

Don’t expect it any time soon, mind, as they stress “we are early, early in development”.

Stardock CEO Brad Wardell explained a little more of the sequel’s background in a forum post talking about their role in Star Control and his contact with Paul Reiche.

“Over the past 4 years, we have communicated regarding the progress of Star Control: Origins. He asked us not to try to make a sequel to Star Control 2 and said that he hoped one day to be able to return to the universe he and Fred Ford created.

“Recently, Paul told me the good news: Activision was going to let him do a true sequel to Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters (i.e. Star Control III is not canon for that universe).”

And that’s why Stardock haven’t touched Star Control 2.

For now, hey, you can play SC2 for free with the fan-updated modern version The Ur-Quan Masters.


  1. BobbyDylan says:

    OMG, so much hype!!!!

    • Spinkick says:

      This just made my year!!

      Stardock is probably really upset about this

  2. peterako1989 says:

    “No, ignore the Star Control 3 made by a different studio – this will pretend that didn’t happen and simply follow on from 2”

    Yes. PLEASE! Thank you.

    • Vinraith says:


      • corinoco says:


        Um, I actually LIKED StarCon3.

        What was wrong with it? Sure it wasn’t the all-time gem that SC2 is, but I’ve paid for worse games.

  3. Red_Fox says:

    What is everyones problem with star control 3? I liked it.

    Looking forward to this.

    • Dervrak says:

      I think the main problem with Star Control III was that it was trying to follow what is widely considered one of the greatest games of all times, so it was sort of doomed to be hated by the people that really just wanted more Star Control II (kind of like The Phantom Menace was to the original Star Wars trilogy).

      That is not to say that Star Control III was perfect, it had it’s problems (many in fact). The attempt to add a strategy element with the planet colony building mechanic was poorly implemented and added nothing. Likewise, the attempt at 3D combat was a colossal failure, pretty much forcing the player to battle in 2D mode, and trying to navigate the 3D star map was a chore. On the other hand the new alien species and ships were interesting and I actually enjoyed the story enough to play the game to the very ending (though I know opinions vary and many hated it).

      • Red_Fox says:

        You brought up the 3D star map. That’s something I wish was in all sci-fi space games because that’s how space really is.

        Do you think there is a better way of implementing a 3D star map in games like star control 2, star flight 1-2 and the master of Orion games? Or would it just be best to stick to 2D maps? I always thought 3D star maps would add more strategy, even in games like Neptune’s Pride 2.

        I’m guessing nobody uses 3D because 2D is probably easier to put in.

        • Phasma Felis says:

          I don’t think it’s a technical issue but a gameplay one. With a 2D map, questions like “How close is that enemy fleet to my border? Can I travel directly from point A to point B without passing through enemy space? What’s the shortest jump point route from C to D?” can usually be answered with a glance.

          If the map is a fully 3D volume of space, that kind of stuff tends to require peering and rotating and turning borders/labels on and off and it’s a huge pain in the ass. It’s certainly possible, but I’ve never seen it done in a way that isn’t at least somewhat frustrating. Star Control 1 actually used rotating 3D maps in the scenario games, and it’s telling that they abandoned it for SC2.

          • Red_Fox says:

            Makes sense, thanks.

          • DrJ3RK says:

            Precisely. I love a good 3D star map. (to look at) But in practice they can be quite unwieldy. I can see using them in something that’s maybe turn based, or isn’t a fast paced game overall. In something where the map is a means to other game-play ends, and not the focus (or strategic focus anyway) it can be a bit clumsy / off-putting.

        • and its man says:

          Well you can still experience the joys and confusions of navigating using a 3D map in Santa Ragione’s Mirrormoon EP. Good luck!
          (but what a lovely game)

      • GeoX says:

        People hated The Phantom Menace because it was unspeakably terrible. Let’s not lose sight of the main point.

    • and its man says:

      I have none. Moreover, Star Control 3 has some of the coolest alien puppets in videogame history, along with Commander Blood & Big Bug Bang.

  4. Babymech says:

    Frumple. It could be *squishy* to *play* in the *space,* but I doubt there will be much sense of continuity between this and the original *GO! GO!* – even if it’s the same *fingers* who are working on it. Still, I will be a *happy camper* if we get some nods to the original music.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    Too late, Star Control 3 already exists, in all its ugly muppet dialog-stealing glory.

    But really, I’m a little cautious of this. Even if it’s the original writers, it’s going to feel like fanfiction after they’ve been away from it for so long.

  6. manio22 says:

    At long last! Let’s see then my pretties.
    *Waits in QuasiSpace*

  7. ResonanceCascade says:

    Star Control is probably my favorite game that I’ve never actually finished. It’s so unique, funny, and full of great ideas, but it’s also really damn hard. I was always terrible at Asteroids and I’m even terribler at SC2.

    • Eightball says:

      Just once I was able to get past getting ganked by the recycler drones at the start. Something else ganked me later but what I remembered was great.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Also, I missed the 2 the first time around. I’ve never played Star Control 1 or even really heard much about it (I hope it’s not a case like System Shock where all the attention gets paid to the also great-but-somewhat-less-interesting sequel).

      • Dervrak says:

        You didn’t miss much with Star Control I. Unlike Star Control II, the original Star Control was just the ship on ship battles with no plot or “story mode”. If I recall there were two modes, one was the same as the melee mode in Star Control II were you picked a fleet and battled against the computer or a 2nd player until one side ran out of ships. The other mode was very basic strategy game where two players fought battles for multiple star systems on a small star map and tried to capture resources to buy more ships and eventually capture all the other players star systems.

    • Anacho says:

      SC2 had one of the best (and funniest) endings of any of the many (4) games I ever finished. It is worth the journey! Just wish those guys would also look to making Mail Order Monsters 2. :)

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        I definitely plan to revisit it one of these days and get all the way through. I might have even picked it up on gog sale, I’ll have to check.

        • emertonom says:

          The Urquan Masters, the open-source version of 2, is currently the definitive version anyway, and is free of charge.

    • AyeBraine says:

      I’m bad at Star Control space battles, and have no desire to get good at them. I had no problems with SC2. Maybe because I looked up how to stop “drones” epidemic from infesting the galaxy?

      What I mean is, for me SC2 is totally an adventure game which has cool optional minigames in it. I played it first just a few years ago, and if I remember correctly, when I had problems with defeating spaceships I just didn’t attack and found some ways to undermine them diplomatically. Or found a cheesy way of defeating them, like the squishy cowards’ rocket farting ship that runs away.

      What I remember is that there are a lot of “difficult” ships or difficult ship combinations that are really hard to win. But you either can pick a right cheesy ship for the task, or avoid the combat. The only thing you can’t avoid is random encounters with drones. They are almost impossible to beat and you’re supposed to seek their source, or else they will pop up more and more often and make the game impossible.

  8. DrJ3RK says:

    There couldn’t be much better game news to read than this. I’m now a happy *camper*. (the best kind of *camper*)

    I really hope it goes in depth into more of the races. Especially the Orz, and maybe some of the crystalline ones.

  9. Plague MD says:

    OMG yes!!

  10. Shazbut says:

    I am filled with Juffo-Wup and hype! Mostly hype

  11. Kronus Maelor says:

    This is all well and good, but what the world needs is a sequel to The Horde.

  12. Voldenuit says:

    Juffo-Wup stirs. Action ensues.

  13. MOOncalF says:

    SC2 is definitely one of my Best Games Evar, and while I don’t feel like SC3 needs to be forgotten exactly, the next Star Control *That Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III make* is the one every fan has been waiting for. I also feel like Star Dock are the right studio to be in on it, I just hope they don’t take it too seriously, it needs to be a bit zany. :)

  14. Sin Vega says:

    *Jumping peppers!*

  15. Caiman says:

    I always wanted to love Star Control 2 but I was utterly, utterly, utterly useless at Super Melee. There comes a point in the game, a few hours in, where this handicap basically made it impossible for me to progress. I just couldn’t survive being attacked. Normally I’m great at these types of top-down shooters, but SC2 SM was my nemesis.

  16. Freud says:

    I thought I had played, and bounced off, this game but now I realize I confused it with Space Rangers 2.

    • syndrome says:

      Which is funny because Space Rangers 2 is genuinely awesome.
      It has cold exterior tho, you should’ve persisted long enough for things to grow on you.

      • unacom says:

        Jepp. Loved it to bits.
        Didn´t play SC2, though. It´s on my list…

  17. syndrome says:

    To me SC2 was melee.exe, and it has inspired so much in my (developer) life.
    I played the game, it was nice, but in the end I’d always come back to hotseat combat.

    • DrJ3RK says:

      I love both equally. Melee with my brother/friends, and the story on my own. Between this, the Ultima and System Shock series, I was a happy *camper* for all of the 90s. :D (oh, and id games…)

      My brother was nearly unstoppable in Melee. I could beat him once in a while, but his mastery of the Chmrr Avatar and Spathi Eluder was formidable. :)