Celebrating 30 Years of Star Control II
30 years ago, Star Control II captivated our imaginations and cemented itself as one of the greatest games of all time (the 17th best game ever, in fact, according to IGN.com). Thank you to the incredible team of designers, writers, musicians, marketers, and many more who made Star Control II possible. 30 years is an incredible milestone!
Many of us can remember moments from Star Control II that made us laugh or affected us in other emotional ways – and we want to hear from you about your experiences, too. Check out this recent podcast interview Paul Reiche III (lead designer of Star Control II) and Fred Ford (lead developer of Star Control II) did with Retronauts.
Please share your memories with us on our forums!
Our Gift to the Fans
As a thank you to everyone who built the fandom of Star Control II over the last 30 years, Stardock teamed up with one of the game’s original composers, Riku Nuottajärvi. These remastered tracks will take you right back to being in front of your TV all those years ago, controller clutched in hand while you explored the galaxy to unlock its many secrets.
These brand-new custom wallpapers for your PC will be a perfect complement to the remastered music. All of these are our gift to you as thanks for an incredible 30 years of Star Control II. Here’s to many more!
Music Composer Interview
30 years ago Star Control II was released. Its story, visual art, unique sound track and compelling gameplay came together to create one of the all time classics.
We sat down with Riku Nuottajärvi whose Hyperspace theme is associated as the defacto theme for Star Control.
- Q: Describe the situation 30 years ago when the call went out for music for Star Control II. Where were you in your life?
A: 30 years! Heck, it’s gone so fast! I was at that time, an average nerd studying at the average high school in Northern Finland. I had my second computer after Commodore 64: Amiga 500 and I was blown away with its tracker music software called “Sound Tracker”. So in the evenings, I was jamming with Sound Tracker for fun, if I didn’t play games or hang out with friends. When I wrote the “Hyperspace” theme, I forced several of my friends to listen to it, telling them that it could fit into a computer game! So, it was one of my best friends at that time, who found out that there was an open competition for game music. I wrote as many tracks I was able to do in the short time period, and sent them to this game company, and after a while, I got a congratulatory letter to my physical mailbox with information that all my themes were selected for the game, "Hyperspace" theme being the winner of the whole competition - I still have this letter, it’s one of my treasures.
- Q: The Hyperspace theme is certainly the one most players remember the most but what were some of the others you remember fondly?
A: I loved the SID music of the Commodore 64 games! Rob Hubbard was “the man” at the scene back then, and I just loved his work, for example the theme of “Commando” from 1985 still sounds awesome to me, and he was for sure an inspiration. There were a massive amount of great games with excellent music for C64 and Amiga 500… and it has gotten better and better during the time. All of the possibilities to use music and sound in games in the year 2022 are just insane, and I love all the progress.
- Q: Have you been writing music after Star Control II?
A: Yeah, I have been a “bedroom producer” since Star Control II this whole 30+ years, writing music for fun, or for some side or bigger projects. I wrote music for a game called “The Horde” after SC2, worked on some Gravis Ultrasound sound card demos, wrote a pile of music for several band projects and returned to games with Ur-Quan Masters project and recent Stardock games: “Star Control: Origins”, “Siege of Centauri”, “Galactic Civilizations IV” and the one that I cannot list here yet…
- Q: When you look back at Star Control, what comes to mind the most?
A: I'm super happy that the game and its music were so different that they are still remembered after 30 years. Apparently, the Hyperspace theme was played so often during the game it has drilled into the minds of the players, and this surely works for me! As we need to keep all the new and future generations brain washed (which we already started with Star Control: Origins), I expect to see the Star Control universum expanding also in the future. Meanwhile, I recommend either to play the latest game or to listen to the original soundtrack!
Fan Art / Stories
I was in high school for Star Control 2.
My friends and I were obsessed with Juffowup.
That person doesn't have enough Juffowup in their brain.
Have you heard the good news? Juffowup loves you.
Juffowup is helping me study harder.
Sometimes just out of the blue while we were all sitting around eating lunch and there was too much silence. "Juffowup!"
In 1992, I was 8. I remember playing SC2/UQM back on the 3DO Multiplayer, one of the first games I got for that system. I loved it, so much. Not the first game I played, but definitely one of those that really stuck in my mind.
I have had a long history with The Ur-Quan Masters. I played it when I was quite young, and enjoyed it so thoroughly that I played it many times, discovering all the secrets that the game possessed (except rainbow worlds, I never found them all) and eventually I moved on after playing it enough. Eventually, I came back and decided to speedrun it after speedrunning other games, and went from a 1h> time to a 41:36! I absolutely adore the story in this game, it is honestly incredible.
One of the best games ever made.
- Starbreaker Zed
So, back in Junior High, I want to say in '92 or '93, maybe '94, I had gone over to my friend's house as I did occasionally, and he showed me a new game he got on his computer in his parent's basement. It was Star Control 2. He had the Deluxe Starmap pinned up on the wall, and was just exuberant explaining the game and how it worked and how fun it was.
We spent hours and hours huddled around his keyboard playing Hypermelee. We had a house rule, you could only hold one key at a time, so the keyboard wouldn't lock up and prevent inputs to dodge or shoot. (I wish we had Gamepads)
Of course I ended up getting my own copy to play. What a ride the game is.
It was, and continues to be, a most defining game in my long history of playing games. Its right up there with Mail Order Monsters on our Commodore 64.
If this goes through to the event, I'd like to personally thank Paul and Fred for their wonderful vision and craftsmanship. Kudos!
For Fan contributions. Tommi's Groombridge Log was a wonderful read back in the day. Thanks Tommi! Not sure if this is what you wanted Cap'n!
Sadly I can't say I played the game right when it came out, however I can say it was introduced to me in Electronics 101 / PC Repair 101 at the career center when I attended it as a Highschooler from 1997-1999.
The fun thing was, for a couple of us in class we had absorbed the lessons like a sponge, so as a reward we were given access to the teacher's game library which included multiple copies of Star Control II on the PC.
It had gotten to the point that two classmates and I had finished all the marking period's work weeks early that we started doing our own little projects which turned into collaboratives over time.
One of which was a very rough Dreadnaught crafted from cardboard and augmented with a custom etched PCB with timers tuned to denote engines firing up, the weapon farming, and the other various lights slowly pulsing.
The other big project was started but we ran out of time to finish it together... a star chart was in process of being crafted to house the lights that would turn off at designated times to denote a species extinction during the death march.