By far, the largest difference between Master of Orion and Starbase Orion is tactical combat. Tactical battles in Starbase Orion are, basically, real time simulations. When two or more hostile fleets meet at a star system, the players set battle behavior for each ship or ship type. Behavior includes maneuvering (close to short range, maintain medium range, maintain long range, stay close, evade, retreat), targeting (largest, smallest, weakest), primary target and primary escort. Beyond that, players have no effect on the battle, the results of which are displayed at the start of the next turn. Already knowing the final result, the players may watch the battle simulation. A battle may last more than one turn if not all ships of either side have been destroyed or if reinforcements have arrived. All non missile weapons always hit (unless the target ship is either commanded by Eesathu or has Auxiliary Thrusters), so firepower is usually the deciding factor. This was likely done to speed up multiplayer games, as turn based tactical combat between large fleets can take a long time.
Big Guy, Little Guy: A very odd example of the Trope, seeing as Sam is the Big Guy but tends to be the Straight Man of the two, often holding Max (the Little Guy) back from indulging in “unnecessary violence”. (Although that term is loosely defined, since both Sam and Max are quite fond of solving problems with violence and gunplay). Casual Danger Dialog: These occur regularly, given how Sam is unusually laid back and Max simply has little touch with reality. Catchphrase: Several http://thaibanglaholiday.com/?p=419, including: “You crack me up, little buddy!” “Well, here we are in/on/at [name of location].” “Holy/Sweet [elaborate non sequitur]!” “You’re (such) a [adjective] [noun], Max.” “That’s none of your damn business, Sam.” Bosco: It’ll work, trust me on this, trust me. note Every time Bosco sells you something amazing sounding but ends up as something incredibly mundane. Such as a “Truth Serum” actually being a bottle of Vodka, and a biological superweapon, actually being Bosco blowing his nose on a handkerchief. Though granted all of these end up very useful regardless. Characterization Marches On: The very first Sam and Max cartoons were actually created as a parody of similar (albeit more serious) characters drawn by Steve Purcell’s younger brother, Dave. When Dave left an unfinished comic lying around the house, Steve would take the opportunity to “finish” it for him, having the characters do things like mock the art style and mix up each others’ names. Eventually, the parodies developed into comedic figures of their own right, culminating in the late 1970s when Dave Purcell formally signed over the rights to Steve as a birthday present. Steve remembers this in a slightly less romantic, though no less friendly, manner his brother’s wording was apparently something along the lines of “These characters are now Steve’s and I don’t care what he does with them.” Christmas Episode: There’s one for each medium: the comic story The Damned Don’t Dance, the game episode Ice Station Santa, and the cartoon episode Christmas, Bloody Christmas. Comedic Sociopathy Cool Car: The DeSoto (well, both of them. the one in the new games is explicitly a replacement) is capable of, among other things, driving to the Moon. Via stuffing the tailpipe full of matchheads, no less. (In the comics, at least. In the cartoon, it grenade jumps there.) It can also cross the Atlantic Ocean.
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