Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares is the sequel to the original.
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.
The player can choose a Small, Medium, Large, or Huge galaxy. In addition, galaxy age can also be adjusted. A Young galaxy has fewer habitable planets but more mineral-rich ones, while an Old galaxy has lots of habitable planets, but they tend to be mineral-poor.
Unlike in the original Master of Orion, colony ships can land on any planet type, short of gas giants or asteroids, without improving your planetology tech. Instead, the different planet types have different upkeep costs as well as differences in size, fertility, mineral richness, and terraformability. Also unlike the original, each star can have multiple planets circling it, so it's common to have a system containing two or more colonies.
There are two main ship types in this game, support and military. Support ships include Colony ships, Freighters (which transport food between colonies), Outpost ships (which expand the range of your fleet), and Transports (which transport troops and are used for invasions, as opposed to simply sending units of population as in the original game).
Military ships are more familiar from Master of Orion, as they are the ships you design and fly around your empire. They include hull sizes of: Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser, Battleship, Titan, and Doom Star. Sizes above Cruiser can only be constructed at colonies which have a Star Base constructed. While you are still limited to 5 ship designs (6 in the unofficial fan patch), the designs can be updated without scrapping the existing ships in a given class. This allows improving your designs incrementally as your technology improves, and existing ships can be improved by refitting them to a current design.
Master of Orion features 13 playable races:
The Alkari –
The Bulrathi –
The Elerian –
The Gnolam –
The Darlok –
The Humans –
The Klackons –
The Meklars –
The Mrrshan –
The Psilons –
The Sakkra –
The Silicoids –
The Trilarian –
And 1 Non-player race.
There are three possible victory conditions in Master of Orion II. Similar to its predecessor, you can win by conquering all your opponents or by being elected by the Orion Senate. New to MoO II, the game can also be won by defeating the Antarans in their pocket dimension via a Dimensional Portal.
- Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares on Wikipedia