Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Master of Orion

Lately, I have been playing the original Master of Orion using DosBox.

What a great game.

Sword of the Stars by Kerberos looked to moo for inspiration but it's not as good. There just wasn't enough options/features to keep me interested in it. It is prettier but lacking depth in strategic gameplay.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

SoTS Combat Video

Tactical combat in Sword of the Stars.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hot Jupiters

"Hot Jupiters" Could Give Rise to Earthlike Worlds, Study Says

It's more likely than ever that we are not alone in the universe, new research suggests.

The latest computer models are telling scientists that more than a third of the star systems containing Jupiterlike gas giants may also harbor Earthlike planets.


Friday Funnies

Both of these are ripped off from

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Orions and Antarans

(Excerpted from “Pre-Psilonic Galactic Civilizations” Vol. II, by Ectron
Victor, retired Master Adjudicator, Psilon Central History Institute.)
As a story is told and retold over the course of generations, no matter the
attention paid to detail and no matter the importance of the tale, the truth
is gradually nibbled away by little mistakes and innocent exaggerations.
Carried off on these well-intentioned, tiny feet, the facts deteriorate
softly and painlessly into a condition generally referred to as “shrouded
by time.”

The legends concerning the Orions and Antarans are shrouded by time.
What is certain is that at one time both races coexisted in the galaxy. The
scope of their power and technical advancement has surely been
enhanced by hyperbole, but that they were far superior to anything now
known is indisputable. Perhaps it was inevitable that two such behemoths
meet in violence. The legends paint the Antarans as ruthless, xenophobic
killers, but we all know that history is written by the victors.
The Orion-Antaran war was a protracted holocaust of galactic
proportions. While we can never know if they truly flung entire star
systems across deep space as weapons (as the storytellers claim), our
astrophysicists have uncovered evidence of directed energy bursts the
power of which staggers the imagination. That both races had the ability
to raze planets no one contests. The Orions eventually defeated the
Antarans. Rather than exterminating the race, as the stories claim the
Antarans would certainly have done, the Orions chose to imprison their
enemies in a “pocket dimension”—a volume the size of a single star
system, formed and carved somehow out of the fabric of space-time.
Physicists to this day puzzle over the theory and the technique, but the
result was obvious; the Antarans were banished one and all from
this dimension.

At this point, even the storytellers admit that the legends become vague.
Some time after the war, the Orion race inexplicably disappeared. They
left only two legacies for the galaxy’s future inhabitants. One was the
tales of their power and legends of the Antaran war; the other is the Orion
system itself. One planet circles this star, and it is reputed to be the
original home world of the Orion race. Despite the incredible potential this
abandoned world must hold, no one has yet plundered or colonized it. The
reason for this is that the system is only uninhabited, not undefended.
The Orions left a single Guardian to protect their home. Perhaps they
intend to return some day.

Perhaps the Antarans intend to return, too.

- From the Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares game manual

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Master of Orion II Box Art

The MOO2 box art gives you a hint at what awaits. Few other games of this genre have been able to successfully implement an outsider race that is as impressive as the Antarans. They come from a whole other dimension; have superior weaponry and a lust for battle. If you manage to capture one of their ships you can gain a big advantage in technology.

What is Master of Orion?

Master of Orion is a 4x strategy game where you attempt to conquer the galaxy. You build starships, colonize other worlds, manage your economy and engage alien races in both diplomacy and battle. It is a turn-based strategy game so you can play at whatever pace you feel comfortable with.

The original Master of Orion was release in 1993. It was one of the most successful 4x space games in the early 1990s. Its graphics are a considered old now but it's still a fun game to play. If you look around I'm sure you can find a downloadable version of it online.

Master of Orion II was released in 1996. It improved the graphics and added more features to the game play. It also added multiplayer so quickly became the popular version to play online and is still played today by many moo fanatics. You can still buy it online through various online retailers.

Master of Orion III was released in 2003, it attempted to have every feature imaginable and ended-up being too complex for most people. There are some mods available that make it much more playable.

I picked the name "The Last Orion" because it seems like the popularity of MOO has dipped so low that only a few dedicated fans still play online.

It doesn't look like there will be a MOO4 developed unless it's an unofficial fan based creation.