Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995), the first game in the Dark Forces Saga, is a standard First-Person Shooter. The beginning levels introduces the series' protagonist Kyle Katarn as the one to steal the plans for the first Death Star and transmit them to the Rebel Alliance, thus leading into A New Hope. After that, it jumps after the Death Star's destruction and goes into its own story involving The Empire's secret "Dark Trooper Project". The game was a dramatic leap for graphics and level design, being one of the first to feature multiple floors. It was also one of the first successful uses of looking up and down, as well as jumping.
The game contains examples of following tropes:
- Badass Normal: Kyle, since he doesn't have any Force powers in this game yet.
- BFG: The Concussion Rifle and the Assault Cannon.
- Bounty Hunter: Boba Fett shows up to confront Kyle on Coruscant.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- You have no lightsaber or force powers. Also, Kyle lacks his trademark beard.
- The game was one of the many "Doom clones" of the mid-90's, though like those on the Build engine it included many innovations such as true room-over-room.
- Emergency Weapon: Your fists.
- Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The Anoat sewer system of the third mission is home to tons of Dianogas, which just love to lurk around in the sewage and scare the hell out of you. And you have to wade through a ton of sewage, often in the dark. Have fun. Dianogas still appear sparingly after Anoat; true to A New Hope, where there's a trash compactor, you'll probably find a Dianoga.
- Fisticuffs Boss: In one level, Kyle is captured and stripped of his weapons by Jabba the Hutt, then forced to fight a kell dragon unarmed (two in hard mode). After he is done punching it to death with his bare hands, another kell dragon-infested part of the level opens up, but the odds can end up a little more balanced in his favor if he chooses to force some grenade-carrying Mooks to part with their weapons.
- Inconveniently Placed Conveyor Belt: Since half of the game is spent slogging through the various construction facilities of the Dark Trooper project, these are available in all shapes and colours, culminating in a horrific sequence made up entirely of these and long falls in the final two levels.
- No-Gear Level: The game had a level where Kyle had all the weapons he'd been acquiring throughout the game taken away, and had to fight with what he could scrounge off killed enemies until he could locate his weapon stash.
- Powered Armor: The final boss, the Dark Trooper Phase III, is General Mohc wearing a specially designed Dark Trooper exosuit.
- Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You: The cover art features a Stormtrooper blasting at you, while you get a hit in on one of his squadmates. The different cover art for the PlayStation version features this as well, minus you shooting back. It's also pretty amusing that both covers have the Stormtrooper's aim being rather off-center.
- Variable Mix: Dark Forces did this with MIDI using the iMuse system, previously used in LucasArts adventure titles and the X-Wing/TIE Fighter series.