Video Game: Rogue Squadron

Rogue Squadron is a series of Star Wars flight simulators based on parts of the X-Wing Series.

In 1996, at about the same time that the first novel of the X-Wing series was coming out, LucasArts decided to make a space combat game, similar to the Hoth level in Shadows of the Empire. Factor 5, the company they contracted, wanted to make games that let people play though action scenes from the films. At that time, LucasFilm was not comfortable with video games drawing directly from the films. Then someone looked at the Rogue Squadron comics and realized that they could use similar settings, putting characters from the films into new missions. A series of three shooter games called Rogue Squadron (for Nintendo 64), Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader, and Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike (both for Nintendo GameCube), kicked off in 1998. The first game is set between Episodes IV and V, but several missions make use of events in Star Wars Legends, like the Emperor's rebirth; the next two games are set between and during points of the movies.

The second game is widely recognized as the best—for instance, they got Denis Lawson, the original actor who played Wedge Antilles in the movies, to voice him—and the third is usually considered to be the weakest, largely due to incorporating ground missions that have iffy controls (though it also has the second game included in it, playable in a new co-op mode)—however, this may depend on how important multiplayer is to you (the third game is the only one with such a feature).

To tie in with The Phantom Menace, a cheat code was hidden in Rogue Squadron which allowed you to unlock a Naboo Starfighter for play. Factor 5 later released the Spin-Off Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo on Nintendo 64, which is very much in the vein of the Rogue Squadron series (albeit with new ground-based vehicles as well as the flight combat), and was equally well-received and successful.

Not to be confused with X-Wing and TIE Fighter.

After releasing the three games, Factor 5 went on to make Lair. Reportedly they were sick of the series. Unfortunately, it didn't work out so well and Lair was critically and commercially panned, eventually leading to the closure of the studio.

This series provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Wimp: The World Devastators in the first Rogue Squadron are significantly weaker than how they were portrayed in Dark Empire. For starters, in the original source material of the mission, the World Devastators required a Deus ex Machina to take down (courtesy of R2-D2 uploading the shutdown codes), whereas in this game, you have to take down the shields, and also shoot out two of its "legs," thus forcing it to crash in the water.
  • Arc Villain: Moff Seerdon serves as the antagonist for the third chapter of the first game. You confront him at the end of the last mission.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • In Rebel Strike there's a mission where you fight a squad of TIE Hunters inside a giant spherical force field. If you touch the force field, you will die. The TIE Hunter pilots didn't seem to get that memo.
    • The enemies in Rebel Strike will fly headlong at you when they attack, making for extremely easy shots as they basically fly into your crosshairs. In fairness, this was likely done to fix the frustrations in Rogue Leader where enemies would constantly fly behind you and tail you incessantly and there isn't much you can do about it.
    • Darth Bob the Suicidal TIE Fighter Pilot: the anonymous TIE Fighter who will crash into you during the Battle of Endor in Rogue Leader. Bob may be a subversion; the AI doesn't seem to be programmed to run into you, it's just that there are so many fighters in the level that it's difficult to foresee or avoid collisions.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Battle for Naboo focuses on Lt. Gavyn Sykes, A.K.A. Bravo Six, who only appeared in The Phantom Menace for little more than a few seconds as one of the pilots that was sent to attack the Droid Control Ship.
    • This also applies to the Naboo Starfighter; in the first game, it's a well-hidden bonus ship that needed a double code to unlock. In Battle for Naboo, you acquire the ship midway through the game as your default starfighter.
  • Battleship Raid: Various bosses in Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike.
  • Broken Record: A bug on the Rebel Strike version of "Battle of Endor" causes Lando's "WE GOTTA BUY MORE TIME" clip to play ad nauseum.
  • Beam Spam: The Star Destroyers in Rogue Leader, definitely. Any direction that you approach will send a wave of deadly and accurate lasers towards your craft's central axis; and since this isn't Star Fox, barrel rolls won't save you from the endless waves of TIE Fighters on your back, either. "Razor Rendezvous" is an example of this.
  • Boss-Only Level: "Razor Rendezvous". You in a B-wing versus a Star Destroyer.
  • Call Back: During the first game's "Defection on Corellia" mission, Han Solo unexpectedly arrives in the Millennium Falcon, and saves a Rebel pilot from TIE bombers in a manner similar to when he saved Luke at the Battle of Yavin. For bonus points, he even shouts "Yee-haw!" as he shoots the bombers down.
  • Continue Your Mission, Dammit!: No matter how efficiently you shoot down attacking fighters, the captain of any Rebel ship you're escorting will harangue you about how close the ship is to destruction.
  • Cores and Turrets Boss: The Star Destroyers and World Devastators.
  • Dancing Mook Credits: Rogue Leader has a company of stormtroopers dancing to the song played by the Mos Eisely Cantina band, and then holding up sheets of colored paper that form the LucasArts logo.
  • David Versus Goliath: Rogue Leader has you, in a starfighter, vs. a Star Destroyer. In the "Battle of Endor" mission, you fight two.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Rogue Leader switches from having you play as Luke to having you play as Wedge fairly early on.
  • Defector from Decadence: The reason why Kasan Moore and Tycho Celchu defect to the Rebellion in the first and third game, respectively. They're both Alderaanian.
  • Delaying Action: "Revenge of the Empire" in Rebel Strike consists of taking out Imperial reinforcements to buy more time for the evacuation of Yavin IV.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • In Rogue Leader, if you destroy some of the ion turrets on the Star Destroyer in "Razor Rendezvous", those turrets will remain destroyed in the next mission after the same Star Destroyer crash-lands, making it slightly easier to approach.
    • In Rebel Strike's versus mode, playing as Slave I against a Jedi Starfighter on the Geonosis Space stage will re-skin the ship in Jango Fett's colors, to reenact the battle between Jango and Obi-Wan from Attack of the Clones.
    • The "Imperial Academy Heist" mission (the mission where players have to infiltrate the Imperial Naval Academy at Prefsbelt IV to steal the Tydirium after the shuttle, according to the developers, somehow managed to end up retrieved by the Empire after its first capture) actually has two different versions, a bombing run during the Day and a stealth infiltration at Night, depending on the time the GameCube clock is currently set at.
    • The first game has a glitch where dying immediately before a cutscene would cause the cutscene to never end. Dying immediately before a cutscene in Rogue Leader instead gives you a free refill on health.
    • One of the endgame missions in Rebel Strike is a recreation of the Rebel fleet's assault on the Executor Super Star Destroyer. At the end you have a free shot at the bridge to finish the ship off. You can either laser it, torpedo it... or gun the engines and smash your ship straight into the bridge, just like Arvel Crynyd did in the movie. This counts just fine.
  • Distant Finale: The Battle of Calamari in the first game, which is set during the Dark Empire Expanded Universe saga.
  • Doomed by Canon: In the first game, two of your allies are Dak Ralter and Zev Senesca, both of whom die in the battle of Hoth.
  • Dual Boss: The second part of "Battle of Endor" pits you against TWO Star Destroyers which are side-by-side. Enjoy double the Beam Spam.
  • DVD Commentary: Battle for Naboo was one of, if not the very first video game to have audio commentaries. On a cartridge, no less.
    Developer: This is NPR, Naboo Public Radio.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • The Naboo Starfighter is an unlockable in Rogue Squadron, released a year before The Phantom Menace.
    • Wholly unintentional, but the Easter Egg AT-ST demo level from Rogue Squadron, before the full AT-ST levels in Rebel Strike.
  • Easter Egg:
    • The original Rogue Squadron has a secret code which allows you to play a level as an AT-ST. It serves no purpose, it's self-contained and gains you nothing, but hey, you get to ride an AT-ST and blow stuff up, so who's complaining?
    • All three of the original Atari Star Wars arcade games are included in Rebel Strike as extras.
    • The flying Buick (yes, a real Buick car) from Rogue Leader. There's also a cheat code to replace the V-wing with it in the first game. It's a development team in-joke.
  • Escort Mission: A few.
  • Evil Brit: Like in the movies, most of the Imperial officers have a British accent. The first game has a few exceptions, however, in that both Wedge and Kasan have the accent but are on the heroes' side (though Wedge does not have a British accent in the later games). In the third game, Sarkli also has a British accent, which makes his later defection to the Empire rather predictable to Genre Savvy players.
  • Evil Counterpart: Rebel Strike introduces a new Imperial fighter called the TIE Hunter, which has folding S-Foil wings and proton torpedoes that make it strongly resemble an Imperial version of the X-wing. The craft's description in-game even directly references the X-wing.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Sarkli from Rebel Strike.
  • Fragile Speedster: The A-wing, TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, V-wing, the Buick, and the TIE Hunter. Very fast, quite maneuverable, but weak or no shields.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Kasan Moore in the first game, and Tycho Celchu in the third game.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Averted with Rogue Leader (except with AT-A Ts which never seem to actually be aiming at the player anyways); a lot of the enemy's shooting is so accurate that the player has no way of dodging it.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure:
    • Fail to shoot torpedoes into the Death Star's exhaust port in "Death Star Attack" in Rogue Leader and Yavin 4 will fall to the same fate that Alderaan did.
    • Likewise in "Triumph of the Empire", fail to destroy the Rebel fighters in time and the Death Star you're on blows up.
    • Also in Rogue Leader: Fall too far behind in "Strike at the Core" and whoever you're accompanying blows up from enemy fire for a Nonstandard Game Over.
    • Another spectacular failure cinematic is failing to finish the "Revenge of the Empire" mission in Rogue Leader: Vader gets pissed and shoots down his lieutenant.
    • If you take too long on "Prisoners of Maw", then the Star Destroyer patrol the prisoners warned you was on its way back earlier will return (though you're only told the ship is back, you don't actually see it) and Wedge is forced to retreat and leave the prisoners to their fate.
  • Kung-Fu Proof Mook: AT-ATs in Rogue Leader. Not only are they immune to primary weapons, but also secondary ones (even the Y-wing's bombs). The only weapon way to stop them is lassoing their legs with the Snow Speeder's tow cable.
  • Lethal Lava Land: Sullust, in the first game.
  • Logo Joke:
    • Rogue Squadron begins with the Nintendo 64 logo note  being destroyed by a TIE fighter.
    • Battle for Naboo features the Nintendo 64 logo note  falling on top of Jar Jar Binks.
    • Rogue Leader starts off with a platoon of Stormtroopers dancing to the Mos Eisley Cantina theme while flinging orange glowsticks—which then pans out to reveal the LucasArts logo.
    • Rebel Strike has the LucasArts logo shaking its leg to the Disco Star Wars theme—which pans out to reveal the logo is planted on Darth Vader's armor.
  • Lost In Transmission: Wedge Antilles' SOS comm link ends in static as he is being shot down by an ambush of TIE Interceptors and captured shortly thereafter.
  • Marathon Level:
    • The "Endurance" mission in Rogue Leader, which has you facing 100 waves of TIE Fighters and Interceptors, along with the occasional shuttle for the breather waves. To give an idea of how ludicrously long it is, the minimum time requirement for a gold medal is three hours.
    • "Prisoners of the Maw" can drag as well, especially because you're flying the second-slowest fighter, the Y-wing.
  • Midquel: Segments of Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike serve to bridge events of the series not covered by the movies—for example, the first level of Rebel Strike, "Revenge of the Empire", takes place immediately after the destruction of the Death Star (or rather, the most intense consequence of the immediate invasion from the Empire), in which Luke has to help with the evacuation of the Rebel fleet as the empire invades Yavin IV. An alternate-point-of-view version where you play as Vader destroying Rebel ships pops up earlier in Rogue Leader as an unlockable.
  • Mighty Glacier: The B-wing, the Y-wing, and Slave 1. All pretty slow, but the Y- and especially B-wings are powerful dedicated bombers and Slave 1 comes equipped with cluster missiles, which can be upgraded into homing cluster missiles.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Sarkli's reasons for defecting to the Empire include not being recognized enough by his compatriots for his efforts in aiding the Rebellion.
  • Musical Nod: Both Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike have a reprise of the song played during the "Jade Moon" mission in the first game.
  • Nintendo Hard:
    • Rogue Leader is tough enough just trying to beat the game—but just TRY and get all of the medals, and you are in for absolute hell. Especially "Endurance" in Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike.
    • In fact, Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike have a scaling difficulty based on how many medals you have on that file. This becomes a problem if you're returning to the game for the first time in a long while and are rusty, as your opponent's AI will be set to deal with someone who was chain-running the game for medals at the peak of their ability.
    • The original is no slouch either in terms of difficulty: it has several Escort Missions in which the craft you have to escort seems to be made of paper.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: In the first game, if the player shoots down too many escorts or friendlies, Rieekan will contact Luke to return to base so he can "discuss [Skywalker's]... tactics... in private."
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In "Triumph of the Empire", where you play as Darth Vader and thwart the Death Star's destruction in the Battle of Yavin, you never get to see Yavin 4 blow up.
  • Old-School Dogfight: It's a Star Wars game about flying around fighters, so of course.
  • Playable Menu: The hangars in Rogue Leader require you to run up to your chosen fighter to select it. Some of the hangars are mission-specific, such as the "Battle of Yavin" hangar in the temple on Yavin 4 that holds only X-wings and Y-wings.
  • Power-Up Letdown: In all three games you can upgrade proton torpedoes and concussion missiles to have homing capability—very useful, but locking on takes time, it prioritizes smaller targets first (even if there's a Star Destroyer between you and it) making it near impossible to target shield domes, and there's no way to turn it off. You can get around it by quickly tapping B twice, which immediately launches a non-homing torpedo/missile.
  • Replay Mode: The original game for Nintendo 64 has a cheat you can enter to replay all the game's cutscenes in order. A rare instance of a replay feature that doesn't require the cutscenes being watched for the first time.
  • Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies: Sarkli deliberately invokes this trope on some Scout Troopers in "Defiance on Datooine" by using his blaster to cause a rockslide.
  • Script Breaking: In "Battle of Endor", you can turn around right as the mission begins to summon the massive swarms of TIE Interceptors, instead of following the movie faithfully and only turning around when ordered to.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Battle for Naboo is significantly easier than the preceding Rogue Squadron (mostly due to fewer difficult escort missions) and Rebel Strike is significantly easier than the preceding Rogue Leader (mostly due to regenerating secondary weapons and several on-foot missions that are easier than flying levels).
  • Shout-Out:
    • In Rogue Leader, the Death Star trench isn't barren like in the movie—it's loaded with lots of blocks which you have to swerve in and out of. This is a homage to the original Atari Star Wars arcade game.
    • Each game has a Hoth level as homage to the movies and the Shadows of the Empire mission that spawned the trilogy.
    • One entire level of Rebel Strike takes place on Geonosis, in which Wedge crash lands on the now-abandoned planet, and has to fight his way through a legion of reactivated, decades-old battle droids. Wedge gets to escape by reactivating Obi-Wan's Jedi Starfighter—which is equipped with Seismic Charges.
    • The craft descriptions of the Slave 1 and Vader's TIE Advanced are word-for-word exactly their descriptions from Star Wars: Behind the Magic.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Star Destroyers literally sink when beaten. This is usually justified by gravity, most notably one in which the very next mission consists of going down to the planet and retrieving the data you wanted from its ruins.
  • Spiritual Successor: The entire series is one to just the Hoth (and possibly Skyhook) levels from Shadows of the Empire.
  • Smug Snake: Moff Kohl Seerdon from the first one. These two quotes sum it up best:
    Rebel scum, this is Moff Seerdon. Your resistance is useless, as you can see. I have blockaded the city, and Chandrila is now mine. You will surrender, or I will shoot you all down.

    Defecting to the Rebel terrorists shall be your undoing, Kasan. Unfortunate to lose such a fine officer, but the weak will die out to make room for the strong. It is the way of the universe. Farewell, little rodent.
  • Squad Controls: Part of the reason the sequel is named Rogue Leader is that you can command two wingmen using the D-pad. Commands include "form up" on your flanks, "attack" sky- or ground-based targets, and "flee," which isn't used much.
  • The Squadette: Kasan Moor is the only female member of Rogue Squadron in the first game.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The planet Taloraan in the first game is Bespin with a smaller Cloud City. Kasan even comments on how the two planets are similar. The later games feature the real deal.
  • Take That Player:
    • The Infinite Lives cheat code in the first game is IGIVEUP.
    • Battle for Naboo takes it one step further; its passcode for unlimited lives is PATHETIC.
  • Timed Mission: Several missions. The most obvious is the Hoth level in Rogue Leader, where you must defeat all enemies before the AT-ATs reach the rebel base. However, none of the timed missions actually have a timer—you just have to pay attention the battlefield.
  • Video Game Lives:
    • You start each mission with three. When they run out, you get a game-over screen and have to start back from the very beginning of the mission.
    • If you fail or abort a mission in the first game, it costs you one of your lives, though this also falls under Meaningless Lives since it's easier to get a Game Over by failing the current mission. This is why they changed it to strictly-3-lives-per-mission in the later games.
  • What the Hell, Player?: In the first game, Rieekan will call Luke back to base for what is implied to be strict dressing down if the player shoots down too many escorts/friendlies. See also Non-Standard Game Over.
  • You Have Failed Me: Implied to be the fate for the Imperial governor who lost the battle on Taloraan:
    Wedge: I can tell you one thing Luke, the officer on duty is not going to enjoy explaining this damage to the local Moff.
    Kasan Moor: He may not live to tell about it. Moff Seerdon is notoriously... unforgiving.

Alternative Title(s):

Battlefor Naboo