Video Game: Star Trek: Elite Force
"SET PHASERS TO FRAG
— tagline for the first game
From the fine folks at Raven Software who brought you Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast
, a series of FPS
games set in the Star Trek: Voyager
universe. It follows the adventures of a beefed-up redshirt
squad who tackle assignments and challenges too tough or dangerous for standard Starfleet away teams. There have been two games (plus one expansion) in the series:
- Stranded in the far reaches of the galaxy, the USS Voyager is in a precarious predicament, and Federation rules might not apply. And so, Chief of Security Lt. Tuvok takes it upon himself to form The Hazard Team, a rigorously-trained group of bona fide space marines who can handle the toughest and most dangerous missions. And that expertise will be needed forthwith; Voyager finds herself ensnared in a starship graveyard, unable to escape. The Hazard Team must travel from ship to ship, searching for clues (and fighting off hostile aliens), and find a way to free Voyager.
- The economically-titled Star Trek Voyager Elite Force Expansion Pack, in addition to more multiplayer arenas and modes, added two noteworthy features to the original game:
- Jeri Ryan returned to voice Seven Of Nine (another voice actor had originally voiced the part; the Expansion Pack copied Ryan's voice work over the replacement's);
- "Virtual Voyager Mode" allowed the player to explore the interior of the Starship Voyager, collecting items and partaking in RPG-ish mini-adventures.
- Picking up with Voyager's Grand Finale, the Hazard Team's first mission involves freeing Voyager (again) from a Borg sphere so that she can return triumphantly to the Alpha Quadrant. You'll all be heroes—
- Oops, upon returning to Starfleet, the first thing that happens is the disbanding of the Hazard Team. Fortunately for Alex Munro, he catches the eye of one Jean-Luc Picard, who promptly reforms the Hazard Team and transfers them to The Federation flagship, the Enterprise-E. And just in time, too — there seems to be some sort of invasion of strange, savage aliens. Tracking these aliens to their source will lead Munro and his team to lost alien civilizations, ages-old feuds, the Alpha Quadrant's seedy underbelly, and good old fashioned political intrigue. All while blasting savage aliens to protoplasm.
These were, for a long time, generally regarded as the best of the Star Trek
videogames, especially of the large wave that came in the period between Insurrection
; they still may not capture that wonder of exploration and the moral questions that film Trek
is famous for, but they capture the rollicking action and adventure of the movies very well. Even today, they're still very solid shooters that manage to translate what was seen on the shows into good gameplay, although the Quake 3-based engine has not aged as gracefully as some other games.
These Video Games provide examples of:
- Adaptational Badass: The Borg remember they can fire energy bolts again.
- Alternative Continuity: Like all Star Trek Expanded Universe material, it exists outside of proper continuity. The story is carefully designed, however, to fit cleanly into the shows and movies involved without contradicting anything presented there.
- Arc Words: At the Gunship mission, Chell opened a locked door that the scavengers could not open. "I wouldn't be much of a technician if I couldn't open a door". Later, there's a new locked door, and Chell was left behind. Chang blew it with an explosive. "I wouldn't be much of a demolitionist if I couldn't blow up a door"
- Artificial Brilliance: The first Elite Force was one of the first FPS games, if not the first, to incorporate friendly A.I. NPCs for most of the game's gameplay time (you spend about 80% or more of the game with buddies following you). Earlier games had friendly npcs, i.e. Barney from Half-Life, but they generally only appeared sparingly and were usually limited to small areas due to problems getting the A.I. to follow the player from room to room. Granted, this was partially accomplished by making the levels relatively linear so the friendly A.I. wouldn't get confused.
- Artistic License – Physics: Well, it is Star Trek... But more specifically, modulating a waveform with the tricorder in the second game has one simple mistake: Increasing the frequency also increases wavelength, when it should actually decrease the wavelength.
- Ascended Extra: Chell, one of the series' major characters, started as a extra with a few lines of dialogue on a couple episodes of Voyager. He's even played by the same actor. In the first game, at least.
- Jurot is semi-ascended. Her name was listed as a Betazoid crewmember in one episode and while never explicitly seen, that same episode did feature a female character, only seen from the back, who might've inspired the character's design.
- Awesome McCoolname: The Hazard Team quartermaster in EF1 is named Perfecto Jesus Oviedo.
- Badass Boast: "I'm amazed you were able to make it this far." "Yes, climbing over all those alien corpses was... inconvenient."
- BFG: The Photon Burst in EF1 is a small photon torpedo launcher.
- In EF2, it's replaced by the more powerful Quantum Burst. Whoo-HOOO!
- Big Damn Heroes: In EF1, at seemingly the worst part of a Zerg Rush (and immediately following the Heroic Sacrifice).
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Mr. Stemmons. That is all ye need know of eyebrows.
- Bond One-Liner: "Assimilation is futile", after defeating a giant Borg in EF2.
- Bonus Stage: In EF2, one secret area leads to Super Mario World. Seriously.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: The "Warthog" bipedal repair drones on the Dreadnought level in the first game.
- Bottomless Pits
- Combat Stilettos: When Seven of Nine joins the Hazard Team on a mission and dons the same protective gear as everyone else, her boots include high heels. None of the regular female members of the Hazard Team have those. This is probably caused by the new costume being done as just a reskin of her regular silver catsuit model, which (accurate to the show) also has high heels.
- Continuity Nod: In Virtual Voyager you can visit the bottom deck of the ship, and meet the person who handles lowering Voyager's landing gear when it actually descends onto the surface of a planet. He also complains about not having any work to do. This feature of the Voyager was used about three times over the course of the entire series.
- Crate Expectations: The second game features a secret area with a Boss Monster. Made of crates.
- Cutting Off The Branches: In EF1, protagonist Alex Munro can be male or female at the player's discretion; EF2 only has the male version.
- The sequel avoids the question whether Foster survived by not showing or mentioning him at all.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: The final boss of the first game takes almost your entire stockpile of ammo to defeat (and this is after you get a massive ammo upgrade just prior to the final fight); this is particularly noteable as every other enemy in the game only takes a handful of hits to bring down.
- Deadpan Snarker: Tuvok delivers this magnificent line after the first mission. "Mr. Munro, your tactical approach was, shall we say, tactless."
- Derelict Starship Graveyard: The setting of EF1.
- Escort Mission
- Everybody Laughs Ending: EF1:
Why, Tuvok, is that pride I hear in your voice? Lt. Tuvok:
Captain, I see no reason to insult me.
- Eviler Than Thou: The Reavers to the Borg in EF1. In fact, the Borg were originally supposed to teleport in and help you fight the final boss, but that was cut from the final product. Instead, the Etherians help out, which makes a little more sense anyway, since you'd allied with them.
- In the comic adeptation of the game, released before the game itself, the Borg do come and help out, and the Etherians are removed entirely. There are occasional hints that this was the final plan (including a line that comments on how Foster was assimilated, when he was rescued earlier).
- Evil Gloating: The Vohrsoth is really dense with that. Puny Earthlings, Evil Laugh, Fate Worse Than Death threats, And Your Little Dog Too, Prepare to Die, You Have No Chance to Survive, Nothing Can Stop Us Now... and when the seed is destroyed, Big "NO!", This Cannot Be! (literal), You'll Pay For This!. Even when the monster died, he was Defiant to the End. Uf! This type of villain is not only out of place in Star Trek, it's out of place everywhere. Fortunately, it's just the videogame, the TV series never got a villain like this one.
- Explosive Instrumentation: Essential to any Star Trek work. The intro level to the first game ends with Munro blasting a force field controlling console and killing both him/her and his/her teammates.
- First Girl Wins: Can either be played straight or averted in the sequel depending on whether or not Alex chooses to romance long-time teammate Telsia, or the new Hot Scientist and stripperiffic Kleeya.
- Forced Tutorial: An holographic simulation against the Borg.
- Gameplay Ally Immortality: Your Elite Force Alpha Team teammates (and the occasional guest teammate from the Voyager crew) are pretty much invincible. The members of the Mauve Shirt Beta Team, though, can sometimes die semi-scripted deaths depending on your actions throughout a level (i.e. if you fail the optional Stealth-Based Mission, or let one take too much damage in a set firefight).
- Gang Up on the Human: The developers of the first game openly admitted resorting to this. It's tricky to strike a balance between allies being too good and killing most of the enemies and being too inefficient and getting killed themselves constantly. The solution was found in this trope.
- Gatling Good: Both games feature an energy minigun called a Tetryon Disruptor; it's a Hirogen weapon in EF1, and a Klingon weapon in EF2. In both cases you get it after defeating a Duel Boss in a shootout. Although you find it earlier in the former game and later in the latter.
- Guns in Church: The Voyager crew doesn't seem to mind you carrying that photon burst around the halls of the ship. Not even Paris minds you carrying Captain Proton's laser that you found in his quarters. It isn't until you frag someone...
- Heroic Sacrifice: Beissman in EF1.
- Hold the Line
- Hot Scientist: Kleeya the Idryll in EF2.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Justified in that your weapons and items are actually stored in a "transporter buffer" and are actually teleported into your hands as you need them.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Biesman in EF1 loves teasing Chell and is generally a hotheaded Jerk Jock but ultimately makes a Heroic Sacrifice.
- Joke Items: in Virtual Voyager Mode.
- Lampshade Hanging: In EF2 mission "Derelict":
Why does your team leader go off on scouting missions? Isn't he too valuable to risk? Chell: Don't ask.
- Last-Second Ending Choice: Averted with the 2 romance options in Elite Force 2. Depending on how heavily you favor one of the love interests over the other in dialogue choices, you can lock-in which ending you'll get as early as halfway through the game.
- Let's Get Dangerous: Beissman, who for most of the game is an arrogant, aggressive Non-Action Guy, finally steps up to the plate and singlehandedly clears out a Zerg Rush; unfortunately, he exposes himself to enemy fire while doing so.
- While everyone around him basically just stares at the scene with their mouths wide open, rather than helping out Beissman since they, you know, have guns that kill things.
- Let's Play: Done by Linkara.
- A more recent one by Nerdł focuses more on silliness and poking fun at the game (which is one of Dan's favourites).
- Lost World: The Idryll biogenetic factory, which turns out to be the source of the killer Exomorphs, in EF2.
- Love Dodecahedron: In EF2 you can pursue an optional romance with either Telsia or Kleeya; but watch out for the latter's would-be Love Interest Krindo.
- Lower Deck Episode: Not an episode per se, but it plays out like one. The plot and action follow the titular Elite Force, with the main cast and crew relegated to supporting status; a few main characters, like Tom Paris and Chakotay, barely make cameos. Only Tuvok and Seven Of Nine play significant roles.
- Given the tendency of Voyager to have the bridge crew do everything, it's a bit of a breath of fresh air to not have to interact with them all the time. YMMV, though.
- This was in part dictated by the licensing contract. None of the established Voyager crew were allowed to have even the possibility of dying in the game. Therefore, the developers made up a new team of characters to be the focus.
- Nerfed: the Borg, thanks to the Infinity Modulator which can shoot through their shields.
- This is addressed in EF2, where you lose the I-Mod for a decent portion of the Borg levels, forcing you to use your standard weapons until the Borg adapt to them, at which point you need to run the hell away.
- Or you could let your team mates shoot the Borg and just hide behind them. The Borg never seem to adapt to your ally's weapons.
- It seems that only works if your team mates are using a weapon that the Borg haven't already adapted to your use of.
- Non-Standard Game Over: Being defeated by the Borg in Elite Force results in a quick cutscene of you getting assimilated. Likewise, killing your crewmates or team members, or disobeying orders, results in you being thrown in the brig and chastised by a random member of the Voyager cast.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: Mr. Stemmons, the guy with the Big Ol' Eyebrows, in EF2.
- The Only One: Lampshaded in EF2: "Why are you always running off alone?"
- It's Up to You: Even when you have teammates, you have to accomplish most of the objectives yourself (though your team will fight enemies with some degree of skill, which AI-wise was actually new and rather impressive at the time).
- Organic Technology: The Etherians in EF1 have a very gooey, purple ship with odd systems that allow them to teleport around the ship instantly and fireflies that heal broken components of the vessel.
- Outrun the Fireball: see Video Game Cruelty Potential, below.
- Primary Color Champions: As you can tell from the above picture, there really is no clear reason for why the Hazard team must wear red uniforms, particularly since their old-clad CO, Tuvok, falls squarely under the security department. But no one is going to shell out fifty bucks to play as a goldshirt, particularly with their history.
- Professional Slacker: The stock quotes for random characters do not consider their current activity. So, you can click on a random crewman standing idle in the lounge room, or Chell while he's just sitting there, and will reply things like "Sorry, kind of busy here", "Can't you see I'm working?" and even "Sorry, I don't have time for chit-chat"
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: Alex (-ander or -andria) Munro, the player character, in EF1; in EF2 Alex was made canonically male.
- Putting the Band Back Together: in EF2.
- Red Shirt: Although not strictly but the final mission analysis when you die may ask. "What color shirt were you wearing?"
- Players who have died the most in a multiplayer holo-match are also awarded "The Redshirt Award".
- Remember the New Guy: In a sense. The manual says that Munro served on the Enterprise-D before transferring over to Voyager, and in Fem!Munro's quarters you can find a picture of her with Worfnote . Running counter to this trope, in EF2 Picard doesn't recognize Munro and Worf never shows up, instead replaced by an Expy, Korban.
- Given that the Enterprise-D is home to just over one-thousand people, Picard can be forgiven for not remembering every one of them...
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: The Idryll in EF2 are basically (hot) humans with luminous eyes and four fingers.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right: Alex ignores Tuvok's demands to return to take care of things him/herself.
- Starfish Aliens: The Etherians in Elite Force are floating manta-rays with anteater-like heads. There's also the Reavers and Exomorphs.
- Stealth-Based Mission: notable in that failure at stealth will not result in a Non-Standard Game Over, but will result in the death of a teammate.
- Storming the Castle: The final assault on The Forge in EF1.
- Stripperific: Kleeya in the sequel, and to a lesser extent all Idryll females.
- Stupidity Is the Only Option: The Unwinnable Training Simulation in the first game ends with you shooting a console in an attempt to shut off a forcefield. Naturally, the resulting explosion kills you.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Korban in EF2 is an obvious stand-in for Worf.
- Korban was voiced by Tony Todd, who played Worf's brother, Kurn, on TNG.
- Mostly just superficial. Korban was raised as a Klingon (as opposed to Worf's adoptive parents who were quite human), so he plays out more like a Klingon plucked from the Empire and placed in a Starfleet uniform than Worf.
- Suspicious Videogame Generosity: When you find a power-up that maxes out both of your ammo types, you know the final boss is just ahead.
- Techno Babble: It wouldn't be Star Trek without it!
- Timed Mission: There's a number of them for a commendable variety of reasons. An ally under attack with health whittling down, another one captured and about to undergo conversion to Borg, the entire ship about to blow up unless you stop it... The entirety of the final boss fight of the first game runs on a (generous) timer.
- Took a Level in Badass: In EF2, Chell is still something of a coward, but whines a lot less and shows some real spine. When he suggests going over Stimmons' head and getting him fired for disbanding the Hazard Team, Chang remarks that he "was never this bloodthirsty fighting the Borg!"
- Trapped in Containment: While traversing decks to reach engineering, a crewman shouts to make you raise a forcefield to stop an explosion from blasing the deck. If you use the nearby control panel too early, said crewman is trapped behind said forcefield and will die. This is then followed where you need to use another control panel to stop an electrical surge, and do so as soon as possible.
- Unwinnable Training Simulation: The introductory tutorial in the first game.
- Video Game Caring Potential: Saving Foster from assimilation is one of the more heart-warming examples.
- It's possible to save two members of Beta team from dying, though it does require you to expose yourself to more danger.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: On one level of EF1, you must erect a force field to contain an explosion; however, if you erect it too soon, you'll trap a fellow crewman in with the blast.
- What the Hell, Player?: If you decide to go on a psychotic rampage in Virtual Voyager, you get beamed to the brig, where a random character will walk up and more or less ask "WTF dude?"
- Totally worth it for the chance to vaporize Neelix, though.
- Hell, you could activate the self-destruct sequence and get this from everyone on the bridge. Chakotay would invoke it almost word-for-word.
- Whole Plot Reference: The plot of Elite Force 2 pretty much cribs the plot of Star Trek: Hidden Evil (a Resident Evil-style action-adventure game that had been released a couple years before), with the Enterprise investigating what turns out to be Romulans taking control of an ancient race of genetically engineered bio-weapons and wrecking havok. The major difference is the addition of an Exodus-type subplot involving another alien race, and a whole lot more shooting.
- The plot for Voyager episode "The Void" is suspiciously similar to the first game. In this case, Elite Force came first by a narrow margin.
- Wide Open Sandbox: Virtual Voyager mode.
- Wretched Hive: The Scavenger Base in EF1, a space station full of mercenaries in EF2.
- For bonus points, the bar in the second game has a Shout-Out to Star Wars: in one of the booths you can find some people re-creating the scene from A New Hope where Luke and Obi-Wan hire Han Solo. The dialog is identical, except for swapping out Wars' Techno Babble with Trek's Techno Babble.
- For even more bonus points, the Ferengi arms dealer you're after is actually a Call Back to TNG, where Riker ends up going into another Wretched Hive to interrogate the very same Ferengi arms dealer in order to reveal... a Romulan plot.