Star Fleet II: Krellan Commander

Moby ID: 3410
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Sequel to Star Fleet I: The Battle Begins, this time you have been accepted as an Altern (UGA equivalent for Cadet) in the Krellan Empire. Build a successful military career as Krellan commander completing all missions given to you by the Krellan Fleet HQ against the United Galactic Alliance (UGA) and climb the military ladder to finally reach the rank of Admiral.

Star Fleet II: Krellan Commander is a 2D starship simulation and strategy game using ASCII graphics which involves intergalactic reconnaissance, starship battles, diplomatic tactics, and planetary invasion, comprised of specific tasks given to you for each mission. Unlike Star Fleet I: The Battle Begins, the time flow of this game is not turn-based, the universe "moves" when your ship moves, while on other occasions, it is real-time.

Playing Star Fleet II: Krellan Commander consists of issuing commands for your starship, may it be for navigational or combat orders among others. Issuing commands is done by pressing a specific letter on the various display screens which issue a certain command. The purpose of the game is to successfully complete an assigned mission, while doing so you may also further increase the “ratings” of your missions by carrying out independent reconnaissance, battles and other “mini missions” identifiable within the game. Gameplay elements of the game may be identified as the following:

Space: The Final Frontier

Each mission is designated in a random area of space within the borders UGA territory. This regional space is approximately 35 light years wide and 15 light years deep [note: light years is a measurement of distance, not time], or known as “sectors” in Star Fleet 1. Within this regional space, there are solar systems with planets, black holes, ion storms in addition to friendly and enemy ships and establishments.

Planets within a solar system may be orbited by your ship. A landing party may also be sent down for a survey or establish a base to further supply routes. If a planet contains intellectual life forms, diplomacy may be carried out (if the civilization fulfills certain requirements) to bring them under the Empire, or simply send in shock troops to capture slaves…before or after you bombard them.

Intergalactice Combat

Combat comes into 2 different forms: the first is combat between ships and starbases, the second is planetary invasions.

Starship battles occur when an enemy ship (or starbase) is detectable in normal space or in orbit. When combat issues (or while in orbit), the gameplay changes from turned-based to real-time. Ships may then commence with firing torpedoes and phasors. If a ship’s shield is down, the opposing ship may send in a boarding party to commence a hit-and-run tactic, capture the ship, or slaughter the lot. Capturing ships will enable you to detain prisoners, including the captured ship itself (if delivered to a Krellan Starfort), significantly increasing your mission ratings.

Planetary invasions consist of bombarding the planet with phasors and torpedoes (optional) to weaken its defenses and later sending in legions down to the planet to capture it. Planetary invasions may only be conducted in planets with intelligent life forms. Another option is to totally obliterate the planet, using obliterator pods...turning the planet into a dust of asteroids. [Note: In earlier versions of Star Fleet II: Krellan Commander, planetary invasions does not work.]

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Program Development
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Manuals - Tutorials & Training Manual
Manuals - Technical Consultant
Manuals - Strategy Hints
Manuals - Additional Materials
Manuals - Editorial Assistance
Game Author (Game Design)
Game Author (Game Development)
Game Coauthor (Planetary Invasion Module & Ship Boarding Development)
Planet Fractal Generator Designer
Documentation
Project Manager
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 57% (based on 3 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 3 reviews)

An excellent game once you get the patch

The Good
To tell you the truth I'm not one to quible about graphics when the game is a lot of fun to play. This one has gameplay in spades, once you learn the interface. The game itself is ASCII graphics and requires the user to learn a whole mess of hotkeys. The manual is quite helpful in this regard, and with a bit of time invested the reward is an addicting game with depth and complexity. You can do everything from battle ships, enslave planets, micromanage ground combat, and everything inbetween. Oh, and did I mention that the game runs perfectly on modern computers? You don't even need MOSLO, 'cause the game runs like a champ even on PENTIUM class computers (quite a feat considering the games minimum requirements list DOS 3.+ and 640k RAM:-)

The Bad
I havn't run into many problems regarding bugs, but I almost wish that the game had been made with a GUI interface, because doing things like targeting ships or plotting courses can be tiresome.

The Bottom Line
This game is perfect for someone who is used to putting time into their games. Someone who is into Avalon Hill games, or maybe roleplaying. Someone who only likes fast pace games that are easy to learn will HATE Star Fleet II. However, this game is truely a gem, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

DOS · by Dave Neuburger (3) · 2002

A total waste of human resources.

The Good
Well you do get to play the bad guys which is always fun. There are lots of things you can do as a Krellan Commander, like controlling a space fleet and conducting land battles and colonizing/conquering new worlds if the game isn't crashing. Box features some great Dave Dorman art.

The Bad
Bugs, bugs and more bugs. This game set the template for buggy, rushed games, unfortunatly, other distrubuters have not gone bankrupt like Interstel did due to releases like this. All companies that release beta copies to stores deserve Interstel's fate.

The game has lots of great options that sound like they would be fun for any sci-fi fan to do but the unpatched version of this game crashes after you complete the rather boring exploration missions of the first rank. The patched version allowed you get past the first rank and into the main game but the game was still buggy and would often lock up on you. Stuff like the planetary invasions I could never access due to the constent crashing. Combine the bugs, with poor late 80s EGA graphics and a clunky interface and you've got terrible game.

The Bottom Line
This game was the last game I ever bought without either playing or reading a review before hand. It was almost a year before Interstel mailed me the patched disks. To this day I am still stunned at how a company could release an unfinished game like this, especially a sequel to what was already a classic in its day. Bad game collectors should seek this out like a bee to honey, retro gamers should go play the original.

DOS · by woods01 (129) · 2002

A very enjoyable game despite horrendous flaws

The Good
Star Fleet II fired my imagination and gave me countless hours of enjoyment the likes of which no game has delivered since. While listed on this site as a turn-based game, it actually utilized a combination of turn-based and realtime play in a way I don't think I've seen attempted in any other game.

SF2:KC offered a great deal of possibilities and presented even more command decisions than its predecessor. The missions on the early ranks were cakewalks, but as the game progressed in difficulty you found yourself responsible for accomplishing more. You would command your battlecruiser (along with four escorts from the second rank onward) in direct confrontation with United Galactic Alliance ships, beam down landing parties to claim unpopulated worlds, bombard populated worlds into Imperial servitude, and even command invasion forces to seize planets with as much of their cities and industry intact as you could manage.

The Bad
Unfortunately, I can't dispute the facts stated in this site's other (negative) review. Star Fleet II was shipped to stores unfinished. Getting the game for Christmas from my parents in '89 I found the space-borne parts of the game to work fine without any of the crashing that others have experienced. However, the entire Orbital Control/Planetary Invasion part of the game hadn't even been implemented yet. I wrote to Interstel about this, and they promised to send me disks for V1.5 as soon as they were ready.

Sometime around March, I believe, I received said disks (indistinguishable from the originals, so I was sure to mark them) and I could now get into Orbital Control and invade planets. This proved an easy task at first, until I tried invading UGA colonies and independent tech level 6 (limited space flight) worlds and found it impossible to win. Maybe the correct tactics and strategies were eluding me, but the sleazeball trick I developed was to beam one cohort of shocktroops down to a city, bring them back up immediately and then bombard the planet into surrender (from Orbital Control). Having had ground troops on the planet, the game counted this as an invasion rather than bombardment bully tactics.

While the game ran much better for me than it did for the first reviewer on our humble 8 Mhz 8088 machine, when the fur started flying (lots of UGA and/or Krellan ships for the game to keep track of, such as when assaulting a Starbase) the game seriously bogged down to the point where my keystrokes didn't register in time to save my ship from fiery death. When we got our 486 DXII 50 Mhz tower in 1993, however, that computer had more than enough horsepower to run Star Fleet II without aggravation.

The Bottom Line
Star Fleet II: Krellan Commander was an amazing game to my fourteen year old self, and remained fun every time I reinstalled it, most recently about three years ago. It's a very noble attempt to bring space opera to a computer strategy/RPG game, but as the other review indicates, this game had serious developmental flaws, and it's not surprising that it killed Interstel.

Whether you're blowing UGA ships to smithereens, capturing them, torturing and executing the passengers of a starliner or invading a medium-nuclear tech level world this game is loads of fun. I'd still love to see, all these years later, Dr. Sorenson take a crack at Star Fleet III: Zaldron Commander (cloaking devices, baby!) or giving us command of a UGA Heavy Cruiser with the Star Fleet II engine. Given the way SF2 flopped, though, I think we're more likely to catch Michael Moore and Ann Coulter in bed together than we are to see anything new in the Star Fleet franchise.

DOS · by TJ Swoboda (3) · 2006

Trivia

Star Fleet I was Interstel's PC adapation of a popular Star Trek simulation for mainframe computers. For copyright reasons the Klingons were called Krellans in this game.

Interstel's port of another mainframe game, Empire, was supposed to be a detailed game of the simple planetary conquests presented in this game. The ground unit graphics are definatly similar to Empire.

This game was infamous for being released with so many bugs that it was unplayable. The patched version allowed you to get past the first rank but still had many lock up problems which prevented players from accessing entire portions of the game. Interstel would go bankrupt trying to fix this game.

In Computer Gaming World's 150th issue, this game is ranked as the 7th worst game of all time.

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Game added by woods01.

Additional contributors: Indra was here.

Game added March 16, 2001. Last modified January 22, 2024.