Master of Orion II
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Master of Orion II is a turn-based strategy game developed by MicroProse and released in 1996. This article only talks briefly about this game before going off on non-sense tangents which have no actual connection to the game.
In the game, the player takes on the role of emperor of a technological civilization, with the task of expanding to other star systems and eventually ruling the galaxy. It is considered a 4X game, the four Xs standing for:
- eXpand: The bigger you can build your butt, the better. If you can build it Really Fucking Big, that's great. It doesn't mean you'll win the game, though, because the Psilon Empire is
probablycertainly bigger than yours anyway.
- eXterminate: Diplomacy sometimes works, but usually it doesn't, in which case you'll have to blow every other civilization up as fast as you can.
- seX: The more you can rape alien beings with different biochemistries and anatomy than you, the better. Apparently the game designers read too many Edgar Rice Burroughs stories.
- Xylophone: The game doesn't actually have anything to do with xylophones, that was just put in to make it a 4X game instead of a 3X, or XXX, game.
- Technological level: There are a number of possible technological levels you can start out at:
- Stone Age: You have stone axes, fire, wheels and sex. No houses or agriculture.
- Iron Age: You have iron axes, fire, wheels, sex, houses and agriculture. No steam engines or guns.
- Industrial Age: You have iron axes, fire, wheels, houses, sex, agriculture, steam engines and guns. No airplanes, nuclear weapons or computers.
- Technological Age: You have chainsaws, fire, wheels, sex, houses, agriculture, gasoline engines, guns, airplanes, nuclear weapons and computers. All human players are banned from this option.
- Number of players: You can pick any number of players from 2 to (6.9105*101337)-1, but you can't pick more than one less than the number of stars you start out with. Again, this will depend on your system specifications.
- Galaxy Age: Only one galaxy age is available, '10000000000 years'. The buttons for '1000000000 years' and '1030 years' are grayed out, because in the first one the entire universe is a boiling hot soup of hydrogen ions and in the last one dark energy has messed up the laws of physics and caused one plus one to equal three.
- Tactical Combat: If you leave this off, the entire game plays itself and you only get to watch. If you're playing on Windows, you don't even get to do that. Also, the game turns this off every time you start a new game, thereby forcing you to click the button every time. It does this just to be annoying.
- Antarans attack: If you turn this on, evil, genocidal aliens called antarans will constantly fly out of hyperspace and attack random star systems.
- Random events: This puts 'choose' and 'option' tags around everything, making it random.
After this you will get to customize your race. You can choose any of a number of pictures, most of which are pornographic. You will also be able to choose abilities for your race. You get to choose from the following abilities:
- Aquatic: Your race will be able to play water polo.
- Subterranean: Your race will live in basements with all the lights off, surfing the Internet for porn.
- Lithovore: Your race will be able to eat rocks, and will therefore thrive on any planet made of rocks without having to grow extra food. However, this also makes it impossible to research oral sex.
- Creative: Your race is creative during sex. This will help your diplomatic efforts by 10% and increase population growth by 20%.
- Horny: Your race will be exceptionally horny, increasing population growth by 50%.
- Communist: This lets your race start out in Soviet Russia, where Master of Orion II plays YOU! Except that it already does, so this doesn't really have any effect.
You start out on a single planet orbiting a single star somewhere near the edge of the galaxy. If you're lucky, you'll get a planet covered in frigid glaciers, scorching deserts or fetid swamps. Most of the time you'll get a planet with no atmosphere or useful minerals at all. If you're really unlucky, you'll get an asteroid.
To begin with, you don't know any other races and all you have to work with is a few billion credits (known in the game as BCs), a capital building, a row of outhouses, a solar power satellite that the game calls a 'star base' and one or two million people. These people are slackers by nature, and you have to make them do something or they'll sit around until some nasty alien race comes along and makes them all into sushi. Every few terns you'll have to check on them, too, because some of them will try slacking off and hope you don't notice. You can make your people into either farmers, workers or scientists. Farmers grow food and operate McDonald's restaurants, workers occasionally work but mostly go on strike, and scientists try to do research and then complain about lack of funding.
If you can get your people working properly (the game is programmed to crash at the instant you do this), eventually you'll be able to build something. There are many things you can build, but you can't build most of them and most of the rest are useless. The things you can build fall into several categories:
- Buildings: Buildings are placed on the surface of the planet they're built on and then (sometimes) help the planet in some way. For example, an automated factory will let your workers be lazy by doing work for them, and a research laboratory will give your scientists more to back them up when the rest of your population complains about stem cell research and evolution theory. Some buildings, such as missile bases, also help to defend your planet if something attacks it.
- Ships: You can build quite a number of different spaceships, all of which serve different purposes. Transports carry soldiers from one planet to another, freighters do the same with food and civilians, colony ships will get lost in interstellar space and thereby waste your money, and military ships help to fight other ships, planets and space monsters.
- Miscellaneous: Miscellaneous includes things such as androids, which let your workers and farmers slack off even more by doing their work for them, spies, which drive off in expensive cars full of hidden weapons to pick up beautiful foreign women, and Auto Build, which lets your people build whatever they want (usually pubs, badly designed computer games and dildos).
Building most things is relatively straightforward (provided your workers can actually be convinced to do it). However, the most complicated thing to build is military ships, because you get to design them on your own, adding whatever kind of armor, energy shields, weapons and special systems you want. However, better weapons will usually take up more space in the ship. The things you can put in ships are as follows:
- Paper armor: This armor is made of dried wood pulp and will protect against paint, graphite and rocks, but not much else. It provides 1 defense.
- Cardboard armor: Cardboard armor is a thicker, corrugated version of paper armor, and can also protect against glue. It provides 2 defense.
- Plastic armor: Made of advanced carbon polymers, plastic armor can even protect against chopsticks, sporks and other cutlery. It provides 3 defense.
- Aluminum foil armor: A sheet of pressed aluminum almost a millimeter thick, this armor can also defend against fire, spitballs and soggy raisins. It provides 4 defense.
- Glass armor: Made of silicon crystals, this armor not only protects against wind, rain and cruise birds, but also allows the crew of the ship to see through it. It provides 5 defense.
- Unobtainium armor: Unobtainium armor is made of quantumly frozen energy fields and will protect against pretty much everything. It provides 999999999 defense. All human players are banned from creating this, so if an AI builds one before you, YOU'RE SCREWED, SUCKER!
- Abacus: Made out of a wooden frame laced with rods with beads strung on them, an abacus allows the user to preserve the digits they have to carry during a mathematical operation. It decreases beam weapon accuracy by 2%.
- Babbage engine: This mechanical computer can add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers up to two digits long. It decreases beam weapon accuracy by 5%.
- ENIAC: This computer is based on vacuum tubes rather than mechanical gears and wheels, and can not only add, subtract, multiply and divide, but clean up unwanted dust and dirt left on the floor. It decreases beam weapon accuracy by 10%.
- Hand-held calculator: Made out of transistors and a small digital display, a calculator facilitates easy manipulation of mathematical functions. However, it is prone to encounter errors when dividing by zero or subtracting 0.1 from 1 minus 0.9, which decreases beam weapon accuracy by 20%.
- Apple Macintosh: This computer uses chips and a magnetic hard drive to run, making it even harder and more complicated to use. It is equipped with not only a keyboard for text input, but also a mouse. All this new equipment and processing power decreases beam weapon accuracy by 50%.
- Microsoft Windows XP: The most advanced operating system ever designed, Windows XP is so enormous and so convoluted that no one can possibly understand how it works or use it properly. It provides thousands of help functions, but none of them actually lead to anything useful, and its complexity also makes it defenseless against viruses. This hyperadvanced computer technology decreases beam weapon accuracy by 100%, guaranteeing that beams fired from a ship equipped with it will never hit their targets.
- Baking soda and vinegar bomb (bomb): This bomb is filled with baking soda and vinegar, and is triggered when it hits the ground, bursting with a loud pop and spilling fizzy chemicals all over its target. It does 1 damage to planetary surfaces and takes up 1 space.
- Laser cannon beam: A laser fires a concentrated ray of light at the target, illuminating it. It is most useful on sharks, because then you can see whether or not they're coming to eat you. Does 0-1 damage and takes up 1 space. Since v1.0 this weapon always inflicts minimum damage.
- Nuclear bomb (bomb): A nuclear bomb is filled with uranium and explodes when it hits the ground. Humans get bonuses with this weapon. Does 3-6 damage to planetary surfaces and takes up 3 space.
- Nuclear missile (missile): a nuclear missile is filled with uranium and explodes when it hits something. Humans get bonuses with this weapon. Does 5-10 damage and takes up 6 space.
- Mass driver (beam): A mass driver is called a beam but isn't actually anything like other beam weapons. It accelerates a magnetic bucket to extremely high speeds and releases it in the direction of an enemy ship. Normally it just richochets off their shields and disappears into interstellar space, but if it does hit it does 6 damage. It uses up 6 space.
- Fusion bomb (bomb): A fusion bomb is filled with deuterium and explodes when it hits the ground. Humans get bonuses with this weapon. Does 8-16 damage to planetary surfaces and uses up 6 space.
- Phasor (beam): A phasor is a beam weapon that infringes on the Star Trek copyright and fires a concentrated ray of tachyonic ions. It does 6-20 damage and uses up 12 space.
- Disruptor (beam): A disruptor displays computer pornography to the enemy ship's computers, messing up its internal systems. It does only 5-10 damage directly to the enemy ship's system and takes up 12 space.
- Antimatter bomb (bomb): An antimatter bomb is filled with antimatter and is supposed to explode when it hits the ground. However, usually it never goes off and simpy crushes whatever it lands on under its tremendous weight. Those who think it doesn't matter are in for a nasty surprise when they find an antimatter bomb rolling towards them! It does 15-30 damage to planetary surfaces and takes up 12 space.
- Stellar Converter (beam): A steller converter is an enormous plasma cannon big enough to blow up entire planets (small planets, admittedly), but unfortunately it is so big it can't be aimed properly at anything else. It does 400 damage to planetary surfaces and takes up 200 space.
- Asshole generator (special): An asshole generator causes an asshole to appear in the middle of the enemy ship. This slowly covers the ship in shit, eventually destroying it.
- Battle pods: During battle, your crew can take peas out of these pods and shoot them at enemy ships through straws, improving your offensive capability by 5%. It takes up 5% of your ship's total space.
- Survival pods: Survival pods allow the captain of the ship to bail out and fly away to safety, leaving the crew to go down (or whatever direction they go in zero gravity) with the ship in a spectacular display of selfish cowardice. It takes up 30% of your ship's total space.
- Scout lab: This labrador retriever dressed as a boy scout is trained to rocket through space using a personal reaction device and bring back the components of enemy ships. It repairs the ship it is equipped on by 1% a tern, until the dog biscuits run out. It takes up 5% of your ship's total space.
- Cloaking device: The cloaking device puts a big black cloak over the ship when activated. This has very little effect because the enemy can still see where the black cloak is obscuring the light from the background stars. However, it does keep other ships from sexually molesting your otherwise naked ship. It takes up 10% of your ship's total space.
- Achilles targeting unit: By taking an ancient greek warrior on board your ship, you can reduce beam weapon accuracy by an additional 20%. Note that if this is used along with Windows XP, beam weapon accuracy will remain at 0% rather than going down to -20%. It takes up 3% of your ship's total space.
After building up your home planet with extra casinos, pubs, football stadiums and so on, you can start building colony ships and expand to other star systems. Ships in Master of Orion II can fly faster than light, and (if you upgrade their drives) even faster than bad news, so it doesn't take very long to get to other stars. When you get your colony ships there, you can build colonies on their planets. Try to pick out the best planet in a given star system in order to keep from wasting expensive colony ships.
After expanding and researching for a while, chances are you will eventually discover another alien civilization. When you first meet them, they will greet you with a sneering, selfish, derogatory line such as 'Do not surrender, dear [your name]. The [our race] military is eager to meet you in battle. Our estimates even give you a 10% chance of survival!'. This usually doesn't mean anything, and a few terns later you will be able to sign trade treaties with them so that you can trade alien sex toys and pornography.
Finally, it is absolutely impossible to win the game, even if you cheat, because the computer can and will always cheat more than you. They didn't even bother putting in a cinematic for when you win because of its utter and complete impossibility. However, there are a variety of ways to lose:
- Being defeated: If the enemy destroys every single ship, building and population unit you own, you lose and the game ends.
- Losing a galactic election: If somebody else gets enough votes on the galactic council, they become the leader of the galaxy, you lose and the game ends. Just like UN, when somebody win, everyone always lose.
- Vanishing: If you are doing really, really well, have zillions of ships and planets all over the galaxy, and are about to crush the computer once and for all, it will just cheat and make you vanish. You will receive the following message:
- This even happens in multiplayer games with no computer players.
Other important aspects of the game
Some of the more useful stars in the galaxy are protected by giant space monsters, in order to prevent players from getting them. Other space monsters occasionally fly into the galaxy and attack players. They are quite tough, because for some reason random individual life forms can evolve in interstellar space to be more powerful than ships built by intelligent civilizations. Space monsters come in several varieties:
- Dragon: Space dragons are enormous brown reptiles that fire plasma breaths at anyone who approaches them. However, they are also very greedy and occasionally it is possible to pay one off to go attack a different player.
- Eel: Space eels are huge red invertebrates that cruise into the galaxy and start multiplying at an amazing rate. They must be dealt with quickly before their exponential rate of growth swamps everyone in the galaxy. It's not clear where they find the food to do this; apparently the designers didn't consider that part.
- Crystal: Space crystals are gigantic silicon-based monsters that attack by telepathically taking over ships and using them against their former owners.
- Jesus: As a tribute to Uncyclopedia, one of the monsters available is a 500-foot Jesus. Unlike other monsters, it is on a mission for peace in the galaxy, and will magically heal any damaged ships it comes across. Unfortunately, sometimes during a battle it will tend to heal the enemy ships, inadvertently making things worse for the player.
- Doritos package: Straight from the depths of the Space Junk game in Mavis Beacon 8.0, giant packages of doritos occasionally attack the galaxy, firing razor-sharp cheese-flavored corn chips that spin at relativistic speeds, sawing apart any ship they come in contact with.
- Cthulhu: Although he only appears once every 999999999 turns, Cthulhu is the most powerful monster in the game, even more powerful than the Guardian. He will not only destroy everything he can reach with his tentacles, but his Ask Cthulhu email spam will annihilate every operating system they hit with massive virus attacks. You will never be able to defeat Cthulhu, and it isn't even worth trying unless you have some kind of honor complex and want to go down fighting gloriously. The only way Cthulhu can die is if he attacks the sakkra.
Once in a while, rich, important beings from across the galaxy will come to one player or another and offer to work for them. Most of them charge an enormous fee and have almost no effect, and it is suspected that they are actually just having fun wasting everybody's time. The mercenary leaders available in the game include:
- Kimbuzzi: Kimbuzzi is a purple chimpanzee who pretends to be a farming leader, when all he actually does is fertilize the ground with his BS.
- Brainac: Arguably the ugliest being in the galaxy, Brainac enjoys passing himself off as a spiritual leader just to give everyone else a good laugh. Actually, the only purpose he serves is as ammuntion; firing him at enemy ships can stun their crews with his ugliness.
- Diablo: When he's not busy killing medieval fantasy heroes in the Chaos Sanctuary, Diablo spends his time in Master of Orion II as a mercenary leader. His favorite line, 'Not even death can save you from me!', is enough to frighten away even the bravest gnolam child. However, even he is powerless against the sakkra.
- Nimraaz: Nimraaz is a brown woolen blanket who somehow gained intelligence and now roams the galaxy offering his services as a tactician. However, anyone stupid enough to hire a walking blanket will soon learn their folly as he leaves with their money and heads off to find more gullible morons.
- Loknar: Only accessible by defeating the Guardian and capturing Orion, Loknar is the galaxy's most powerful mercenary leader and one of the few who actually do anything. While he was once the most handsome male in the galaxy, living for millennia on the scarred, polluted surface of Orion has changed his body (sort of like Gollum, only without the rap part), and he is now comparable in looks to Brainac.
At the center of the galaxy is a star called Orion. Its planet, having been lived on for millennia by the ancient orion race, is the dirtiest, most polluted, toxic, rancid and all-round gross planet in the galaxy. However, the advanced technology left there can be very useful to anyone who takes the planet over. Unfortunately for the players, it is protected by a giant robotic dreadnought called the Guardian, which for some aesthetic reason looks like an enormous metal crab. Whatever player defeats the Guardian gets access to the ancient and powerful technologies of the orions, and also a powerful but very ugly mercenary leader named Loknar.
Despite the large array of weapons, armor, computers and systems which can be placed in ship designs, experts have discovered that the most powerful ship design is the empty frigate. This ship is small, fast and contains absolutely no weapons, armor, computers or systems at all. This makes it very cheap, and mass-produced empty frigates are capable of crashing themselves into larger ships, destroying them quickly and efficiently for a very reasonable price. No Master of Orion II expert who seriously wants to win the game would ever use any military ship design with anything in it when the empty frigate is available.
The most powerful race in the game is the almighty psilons. These freakishly large-headed aliens simply annihilate all the others with their ungodly research abilities. Seriously, who cares about being able to eat rocks when you can nab KY Jelly, stellar converter, and doom star construction (see Death Star) in the same 1400 research points?
The most powerful race in the game is the sakkra. They totally crush all computer controlled races (with the obvious exception of the psilons). Eventually, during the course of the game, you are guaranteed to meet the Sakkra (unless |some other race already managed to kill you). The Sakkra screw 99.9999% faster than Humans (which is a lot), build 999999 times faster than the japanese, eat 999999 times more than Your Mom, have 999999 times more morale than Bob Dole, fight 9 factorial times more effectively than Mr. T Vin Diesel Chuck Norris, and have 999999 times more much chance of succeeding in an espionage attempt than any other race that isn't on fire. Their favorite way to win is to win a galactic erection, deny the will of the new republic so that everyone else allies up against them, and then defeat them all with the power of the Holy Hand Grenade.
The most interesting
and most attractive race in the game. They do, in fact, smell like freshly huffed orange kittens. They are a robocoptic race, and therefore have no use for these things below in bold,
- Reproductive Organs,
- Air Conditioners,
- Small Purple Three Legged Creatures Which Stick Their Middle Leg Into Large Festering Cunts,
However, this machininated race are big fans of machine fucking, and will on a regular basis, engage in such quaint, wholesome, family friendly activities. Theorecially, they could colonize asteroid fields, or Gas Giants. They could even band together to make themselves into a huge space station. But, they are too busy with their lack of Food, sex, and dildos, to bother.
The Silicoids are a race of rocks. Because they are made from rocks, they are extremely slow. The only way to see them actually do anything is by making sure only you and the Silicoids exist in the galaxy, turning off random events and Antarans, and waiting for several hundred turns. Then, you might see them having an additional unit of population.
They are also that race mentioned above that can eat rocks.