Space Opera by Fantasy Games Unlimited is one of those games that I only got a taste of playing and I always wanted to pick up the game, but never did since I lived out in the sticks and the closest gaming store was about 80+miles away.
It was in the early 80’s that I got to experience Space Opera for the first time.
A classmate had picked it up the original box set and read through and drafted up an adventure to put us through. I remember looking at the classes and the races and deciding on what to play. I decided the class I was going to play was the Armsman (basically an archetypal warrior) and the race Pithecine (an ape-like being) and I named him Kuris J’orange.
I also remember someone had created a Ursoid (a bear-like humanoid) and named him Tobacco and all the character did was grunt and growled throughout the adventure, it wasn’t until the end of the session when his character finally spoke. When someone asked him about that, he replied that he didn’t have much to offer and basically he thought it would be funny if he said something after grunting and growling throughout the session… sort of like if Chewbacca the Wookie spoke in Star Wars.
Chris M (the GM) ran two or three sessions of Space Opera. I know that my character Kuris J’orange nearly died in the first session, after a section of the spaceship we were on exploded outwards and due to my characters strength and gripped hung on for dear life and saving another of the party members. When the breached was sealed, Jorge had sustained a ton of damage but still survived.
I do remember Space Opera was a complex game mechanic and there was a lot of math involved in figuring out actions and skills and how to resolve battles. I guess the kids these days call it “clunky” or “wonky”. But, I do recall it also being fun, and Chris M. would add his spin to it and made it more enjoyable.