Star Control 3

aka: Star Control III, Star Control: Kessari Quadrant, Star Control: The Kessari Quadrant
DOS Specs [ all ]
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Description official descriptions

Since the events in Star Control 2 the Ur-Quan have been pacified and the captain who bravely destroyed the Sa-Matra has had a horrible vision of the future. Suddenly without warning, all Hyperspace travel in the universe has stopped. Top scientists have pinpointed the cause of this disturbance somewhere in unexplored space in an area known as the Kessari Quadrant. Hastily assembling a fleet of ships as and an untested Precusor star drive... a loose alliance of alien races known as The League of Sentient Races sends a task force to the Kessari Quadrant. You are its commander.

Star Control 3 features a new 3D star map, new alien races to discover, new worlds to explore and colonize, new artifacts to research and a new isometric Hyper Melee battle system for inter-starship battles.

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Credits (DOS version)

115 People (110 developers, 5 thanks) · View all



Average score: 68% (based on 23 ratings)


Average score: 2.6 out of 5 (based on 55 ratings with 14 reviews)

Much better than everyone wants to make you believe

The Good
In the first place this is an adventure game. The game has a superb story and you are a key player in it. The story starts out rather simple and gets more exciting with every new race and artifact you discover.

The alien races are very well made. Apart from the races you already know from Star Control 2, there are a dozen new ones, each with their own particular voice and music. The dialogs are very well written, the voice recordings are well done an the races are highly interesting.

If you played Star Control 2 (SC2), the game will tie up lots and lots of loose ends from that game. I don't know if everything that is being revealed was already decided upon in SC2 but it all ties in very well with the original story.

When you are stuck with the story, you have some sort of on board computer on your starship that will give you clues. Sometimes so many things are happening in the story that you just forget something you are meant to do and then this feature comes in handy.

The Bad
The strategy part of the game isn't anything challenging and you cannot really fail at it. Do not play this as a strategy game - you will find it very boring.

The ending is absolutely disappointing. After such an epic story, you get a short video sequence and some spoken text as you see the credits scrolling down. SC2 did much better in this regards.

There seems to be an occasion of bad event scripting in the game. I'm not sure if you can actually get stuck with the story but it can become very tiresome at one point if you didn't do something in the early game. Unfortunately this will make you want to start the game over.

The Bottom Line
The target audience for this game undoubtedly was the people that played SC2 before and it is not recommended playing it without having done so. While it is possible, lacking all the background story information from SC2 will make the game much less comprehensible.

Unfortunately, the fans of SC2 received this game very badly. The fact that it wasn't from the original creators generated a lot of bias against it even before it was released. Since it was somewhat different from SC2, most of those people saw their prejudices confirmed and didn't really give it a chance.

To me, SC2 was one of the biggest games of its time and still is today. SC3 isn't as good as it if you compare it directly, but it's very different and stays very true to the original story setting. It's less strategy and more story telling. At this it succeeds and even surpasses SC2 in my opinion.

If you found the resource collecting in SC2 tiresome at some point (I sure did) and preferred interacting with other races and being a diplomat, you will love this game.

DOS · by vulture (15) · 2008

A half-decent game that tends to be more tedious that entertaining.

The Good
I think the best part of the game is that it made it possible for Vance Hill to write a very humourous review on it.

Seriously, though. Unlike the other reviewers here, I have not had the oppurtunity to play either of the first two SC games (yes, GASP!). I bought this game because I've heard good things about its predeccesors, and many computer gaming magazines were very hopeful for a good game.

So, from the point of view to someone new to the series:

The concept of the game is rather good. I like the fact that they blend the different styles of adventure, strategy (to a very limited extent), and combat. Until then, I had never experienced a game that blended these things together.

I thought the back stories to all the races were positively fascinating.  Again, I hadn't had any previous experience with the SC universe, so this was all new to me.

The characters voices were fitting with the races, although a few of them tended to get annoying after a while.

 Two-player meelee can be loads of fun.  For a quick fix that doesn't have to take more than seven minutes.<br><br>**The Bad**<br>     The dialogue.  True, I liked the backstory, but everyone kept on TALKING.  I enjoy dialogue in a game, but only to a certain extent.  At the beginning of the game, it can take a while to get into because (wanting to know the gaming universe) I explored all possible conversational options with every new race I met.  And when you're talking to one race for that long of a time, interest is lost no matter WHAT they're saying.

The colony building is minimal.  It could have been so much more.  The sliders were annoying.

There is no way to prematurely end combat.  My biggest problem with combat is when the enemy tries to run away from you.  This usually happens when their shields are nearly depleted.  They stay as far from you as possible, and you have very little chance to hit them.  One time I had to wait for my opponet to plow into the nearest planet.  Whoops.

 The star map is very annoying.  Trying to find the certain solar systems you need to get to can be a pain, but luckily there is a search feature.  Similarly, with travel you need gas.  Sure this makes sense, and it might control gameplay for the first little while.  But it doesn't seem like that great of an idea when you're parked at a planet, waiting ten minutes as your gas tank slowly fills up.

On a final note, some of the events are timed.  For example, Universe X might only implode itself on Day 32, or you don't see your first talking Cow until Day 1403.  This means that even if you finish a bunch of tasks, you might not be able to progress until these days arrive.  I left my computer running while I took my dogs for a walk.  Is that what makes a thirlling game?  Inspiration to exercise?  I think not.<br><br>**The Bottom Line**<br>It had some good parts, but with so many bad parts, it's hard to reccomend.  Try and find Star Control 2 (according to the reviews I've read).  And when you find it, can you burn me a copy?  :)

DOS · by Kevin Olson (8) · 2000

Horrible. Simply is.

The Good
The graphics are OK, I guess.

The Bad
Everything! It's a poor sequel to what I perceive as the greatest game of all times. Even the graphics (which are somewhat better) aren't half as good as in Star Control II. It lacks the elaborate, amuzing dialogues from II, the fast pace action, the broad plot and interesting twists...

A huge disappointment in every respect.

The Bottom Line
Don't touch that, and hope you don't know where it's been.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 1999

[ View all 14 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

Star Control 3 appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


A novel titled Star Control: Interbellum was published by Prima and written by author W. T. Quick. The book supposedly contains story and events that takes place between Star Control 2 and Star Control 3... however the popular opinion is that the author has never played or was ever given the plot to either game. Also the player character of both games is given a name for the novel, "Commander Omega".

Screenshot capturing technique

This game will dump a screenshot to a .PCX file if you hit PRTSC during gameplay.

Star Control III

Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III owned the character rights to the various alien races, Accolade owned the Star Control copyright. When the original creators declined to make the new sequel, Accolade gave them an ultimatum; sell the character rights or part three would be made with entirely new characters, no continuity involved whatsoever. The creators decided to make some final money off of their creations. A side note to this is that none of the original artists involved with Star Control II were even approached to work on Star Control III.

Information also contributed by Aaron Grier, Vance, and WildKard

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

Windows added by Picard. Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: RmM, Shoddyan, PoliticallyCorrupt, Plok, FatherJack.

Game added May 21st, 1999. Last modified August 27th, 2023.