Paranormal phenomena

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This page describes actual paranormal phenomena apparently occurring in the Star Control universe.

Paranormal phenomena

Psychic compulsion

Psychic or mental compulsion is the ability to control and read the minds of others. The Chmmr intimate that most races that naturally possess this ability are inimical in nature. Psychic compulsion appears in at least two instances within the Star Control Universe.

The classic example of a race with this innate ability is the Dnyarri. Just as the Chmmr profile suggests, the Dnyarri were a very hostile and pernicioius race, as is evident of their take-over of the Sentient Milieu. The only race known to be able to resist this compulsion were the Taalo, due to their rock-like physiology. Their Taalo Shield bestowed this immunity upon other races too, and proves to be most valuable in containing the neo-Dnyarri, thus helping greatly in the liberation of this region of space from the Ur-Quan.

Dnyarri psychic compulsion has a limited range, but its effects may last longer than the effective psychic contact with the compulsive being, as evidenced by the Umgah's and The Captain's compulsion. A weakness in the Dnyarri's compulsion powers is that, should the target die while being compelled, the Dnyarri will be dragged down to death as well, and that the Dnyarri cannot compel beings experiencing intense pain; this led to their eventual downfall in the face of the Ur-Quan slave revolt, the latter using Excruciators to shield themselves from the Dnyarri.

Apparently, the subjective experience of a being under mental compulsion is somewhat similar to a trance; The Captain's compulsion (when he is forced to seek death at the hands of his enemies) is reportedly felt as if "the screen went dark", "like [he] fell asleep, or was unconscious", yet he is still able to feel that somebody else is in control of his mind and body. The Umgah are lucid enough to understand that the neo-Dnyarri has a "Big Plan", although they never learn any details except that it involves revenge against the Ur-Quan, the neo-Dnyarri being extremely angry with them. Beings under compulsion also intone words slowly and rhythmically, speaking in simple sentences, mostly imperatives addressed to the speaker himself; in addition, the Umgah's sense of humor is greatly diminished while under compulsion. The degree of control that the Dnyarri has on any given slave is unknown, though in one instance, when asked to tell a joke, a compelled Umgah intones "WHEN. IS. A. SLAVE. NOT. A. SLAVE. ANSWER. WHEN. HE. IS. A. SLAVE. MASTER." — a sentence easily attributable to the Dnyarri.

The Syreen, to some extent, are capable of psychic compulsion.1 Syreen use psionic amplifiers to coerce a hodge-podge of alien races to serve aboard Penetrators. An extension of this technology is the Syreen Song, a hypnosis field emitted by the ribbed structure of the ships hull, which when used in combat allows the Penetrator to steal its opponent's crew.

Both the Pkunk and Utwig (through the Ultron) imply that they possess some sort of psychic ability that allows them to influence people and events. However, there has been no definitive evidence proving either of these claims.


Clairvoyance is the ability to perceive, consciously or unconsciously, contemporary events and places by other means than the scientifically proven senses.


Precognition is the ability to perceive, consciously or unconsciously, the future or possible futures.


Telepathy is the ability to exchange information by the use of other senses than the standard ones.

  • Arilou
  • Pkunk (unconfirmed)
  • Talented Zoq Seers can detect very powerful psionic emanations

Talking to the dead

  • Pkunk (unconfirmed)


Paranormal concepts

Esper rating

An esper rating or esper potential appears to be a measure of a person's psionic abilities. Commander Hayes mentions esper ratings twice. One time is when the Pkunk are absorbed by the Yehat. He says that certain crew members with high esper ratings fell unconscious, overcome by a feeling that something very wrong had happened. Another time he mentions it is when The Captain brings the Taalo Shield in for study. Hayes claims that whenever you put a charge anywhere through the shield, all crewmen with high esper potentials get a bad headache, and "all evidence of psychon interaction is flatlined.". Besides the six people on the Earth Starbase who react to the Pkunk disappearance, Ensigns Hodgkins and Witherspoon, who reacted to the Taalo Shield, are the only crew members specifically identified as having noticeable esper ratings.

See also: Wikipedia article for esper


In the Star Control universe, a psychon appears to be a particle responsible for paranormal phenomena, since the Taalo Shield flatlines all psychon interaction nearby if an electric current is fed into it. It may be the same psychon from Sir John Eccles' psychon theory that he described in How the Self Controls Its Brain.

Notes and references

1From the 2007 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (robot is Fred Ford, PR3 is Paul Reiche III):
23:11 <@Meep-Eep> < Mormont> How strong is the Syreen song compared to a Dnyarri?
23:13 <+PR3> Syreen song = glass of white wine vs. Dynarri compulsion = intravenous lab alcohol+horse tranquilizer