Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares (aka Master of Orion 2 and MOO2) version 1.1 was released in NA retail on November 22, 1996. Only three days later the first patch, version 1.2, was released to the web. Version 1.2 was used for the EU cd-rom release in December. With patch version 1.3 came the release of the German translation of the game. English and German 1.31 patches were released on April 11, 1997. These two patches are available in the download section below. With patch version 1.31 came the release of the French translation of the game. Thereafter, a Spanish-Italian cd-rom was released containing an integrated executable (2-in-1) that had a few undocumented bug fixes but still carried the same version number 1.31. Towards the end of 1997, a 5-in-1 multilingual cd-rom version became available, again as a version 1.31, bringing these additional bug fixes to the other three languages, but this new version of the executable was never released as a patch.
Version 1.1-1.31 changelog.
A Russian language version of the 1.31 patch was made by Grig de Griz during 2006-2007. This version is an add-on to the official 1.31 version and does not replace any original game files. To play the Russian version of the game, start the file "MOO2_RUS.EXE" in DOSBox after unzipping the pack into your MOO2 folder. Available in the download section below.
Russian version 1.31 readme.
The English DOS version sold online is fan patch 1.40b23 from May 2006. Information about this patch can be found in Lord Brazen's 1.40 patch FAQ.
Progressive fan patch for the English, German, French, Spanish and Italian DOS versions of Master of Orion 2. Fixes most known crashes, stalls and network synchronization errors, as well as an abundance of interface and game rule bugs. Game help texts have been corrected and expanded upon.
The patch introduces new features like the option to play against a random number of opponents, a 6th ship design slot, custom build queue lists and new keyboard shortcuts. It has integrated mapgen functionality and supports extensive modding via plain text configuration files so you can easily customize your game. Since patch version 1.50.7 there is (limited) Lua scripting support.
Included mods are 1.50 improved, ICE and Melee, as well as several mapmods. The game can also be played in a classic mode. In this mode no game rule changes are made via config.
A two-part manual (pdf and xls) is part of the documentation of the patch, containing detailed descriptions of bug fixes, new game mechanics, modding options, scripting support and notes on various game mechanics.
The also included MOO2 Launcher allows for easy installation, configuration of several DOSBox options and selection of mod and mapmod before launching the game. The Launcher defaults to 1.50 improved after initial installation. Installing the 1.50 patch does not break your current MOO2 installation. The 1.50 executable is installed alongside the old one and no original files are overwritten. You can still use your original shortcuts to start an unaltered version 1.31 or 1.40 game.
MOO2 Launcher readme.
1.50 fan patch readme.
|1.50.13||en, de, fr, es, it||5 Dec 2018||9600||1284|
|1.31||ru||10 Apr 2007||1455||437|
|1.31||de||11 Apr 1997||2342||696|
|1.31||en||11 Apr 1997||3350||1367|
The Version 1.2 mod emulates version 1.2 rules as closely as possible with current 1.50 config: Restored Ion Cannon, Plasma Cannon and Gyro Destabilizer. Also original (weaker) Guardian and Antaran ship designs. And the Creative ability at 6 picks of course!
ver120.zip (400 downloads; 67 kB)
Included in the 1.50 download and the default choice in Launcher, 1.50 improved enhances classic with Ship Initiative II (YouTube video), interactive combat stats, updated AI ship designs, removal of quirky classic behaviors, several tweaks, and an AI that can research hyper-advanced techs.
The ICE mod changes many aspects of the game, aiming to create a more challenging game: Stronger AI opposition; revalued race ability costs (48 picks instead of 20); revamped tech tree; beefed up Guardian; more threatening Antarans and a grand finale when invading the Antaran home world!
Custom Race Design
In classic MOO2 you can design a race with up to 20 picks (10 base picks and 10 negatives). In ICE there are up to 48 picks available (24 base and 24 negatives), allowing for a more precise valuation of the different traits. All attributes, including governments and special abilities have been revalued. Some are more expensive like Unification, and some are cheaper like Ship Defense and Ground Combat bonuses. The overpowered Telepathic ability has been nerfed. In ICE, Mind Control requires a Titan or Doom Star class ship instead of a Cruiser so quick tele-blitz games are no longer possible. The stock races have been redesigned to match the new picks.
Population limits have been increased and all climates and planet sizes have different max pops. A standard medium Terran world now supports 15 instead of 12 population units. There are no more planets with max. 1 pop! Tiny radiated and toxic planets have the lowest population capacities, supporting 2 population units.
In ICE you need to invest 20% more research points to complete the entire tech tree. The placement of various technologies in the tree has changed, but I tried not to stray too far from the classic tree. The crucial tech Research Labs has been isolated. This helps the AI and is good for Uncreative races but lowers the value of being Creative. Fighters are available a little later in the tree. Bombs have been moved from the Power to the Physics branch and many techs have moved positions in the Fields branch.
Star Bases, Battlestations and Star Fortresses are stronger, have more space for weaponry, and more Marines onboard. All orbital platforms have a reinforced hull by design and researching Reinforced Hull technology does not increase their structure points. Satellites and Missiles Bases are fitted with torpedoes if you have them. Missile Base and Ground Batteries have slightly more space for weapons. Fighter Garrison has been upgraded and launches fighters every turn instead of every 10 turns. The Artemis System Net is also much stronger in ICE.
All ships except the Frigate have 20% more base space available in ICE. The Battle Pods bonus has been decreased from 50% to 25%, so total space stays the same (1.00*1.50 = 1.20*1.25). AI's that miss out on Battle Pods now have less disadvantage. AI's design their ships according to a few templates, which I have improved so there are better chances that they show up with something that can actually crack a nut.
A new feature in ICE is Stealth detection. In classic MOO2, you can only detect stealthy ships (Darloks) when you are Omniscient. In ICE you can detect stealthy ships with advanced scanning technologies.
Orion & Antares
The Guardian has a Class X Shield and is much harder to kill. Be prepared! EMG Merculite missiles were the quickest way to defeat the Guardian in classic MOO2 but in ICE that will no longer work.
The Antarans have a few surprises waiting for you at their home world. Compared to the original, it is really hard to win this way and requires advanced ships. I like a grand finale!
ICE-M and ICE-X
ICE-X AI has more raw power than ICE-M AI, further increasing the difficulty level. The Impossible level of ICE-X is for expert players, you'd better know what you are doing!
Both ICE-M and ICE-X are included in the 1.50 download and you can choose your preferred version in the Launcher.
ICE strategy and walkthroughs on Civfanatics.
New, experimental mod for 2-player tactical combat. The melee map has 4 systems: Orion, 2 home systems, and a neutral system. Each player builds 30 command points worth of ships. Then both players send their fleet to the neutral system and duke it out. No retreating! The loser can now design new ships to counter his opponents ships while the winner must bring his surviving ships into the next fight supplemented with new ships (for again 30 command points total). Fight!
In response to a request on Reddit, I have adapted the old Defensive Anti-Blitz Mod by Jukka Mikkonen to run on 1.50. I haven't changed it much, enabled a few qol improvements and corrected a few issues with the original mod. DAB version 6 is for patch version 1.50.11 or higher.
DAB.zip v6 (332 downloads; 88 kB)
You are an uncreative telepath, starting in a corner of a large galaxy. Can you win within 100 turns? To play this map, download the file, rename it to SAVE10.GAM and copy it to your MOO2 folder. Then load save 10 from the universal menu and start! Works on 1.31, 1.40, 1.50 classic and 1.50 improved.
SAVE10_OC1_KRAFT.GAM (1123 downloads; 95 kB)
You play an uncreative race, starting in an isolated region of space. Can you get out, and what resistance will you meet if you do? To play this map, download the file, rename it to SAVE10.GAM and copy it to your MOO2 folder. Then load save 10 from the universal menu and start! Works on 1.31, 1.40, 1.50 classic and 1.50 improved.
SAVE10_OC2_ROCCO.GAM (1220 downloads; 204 kB)
You play as the Humans and start in a system with five good planets, but the galaxy only contains three stars! To play this map, download the file, rename it to SAVE10.GAM and copy it to your MOO2 folder. Then load save 10 from the universal menu and start! Works on 1.31, 1.40, 1.50 classic and 1.50 improved.
SAVE1_3.GAM (1172 downloads; 204 kB)
You play as the Humans and start in the corner of a galaxy that has a huge black hole in the middle. To play this map, download the file, rename it to SAVE1.GAM and copy it to your MOO2 folder. Then load the save "The Tragedy of Orion" from the universal menu and start! Works on 1.31, 1.40, 1.50 classic and 1.50 improved.
SAVE1_TRAGEDY.GAM (529 downloads; 204 kB)