Maybe you bit off a little more than you can chew there, Red 1X-Wing
is a PC Space Simulation Game
first launched in 1993, with various expansion packs and collector's editions being released as late as 1997.
The history of the game itself goes back to the early 1990s, when LucasArts
approached game developer Lawrence Holland
and his studio, Totally Games!
, to develop a series of games for the publisher. The first games were actually World War II
flight simulators including Battlehawks 1942
and perhaps Holland's best known non-franchise game, Secret Weapons Of The Luftwaffe
. These games became instant classics, and in the meantime Holland was working on a 3D rendering engine specifically for flight sims, something that back in 1992 was revolutionary.
This prompted LucasArts
and Holland to develop a flight (or rather space) sim game using both this engine and the Star Wars
license, and X-Wing
was the result.
Initially the game lets you fly either an X-Wing space superiority fighter
, Y-Wing heavy assault fighter
or A-Wing high-speed interceptor
. A later expansion pack adds the B-Wing, which is a vast improvement over the Y-Wing, as well as extra missions rounding the campaign to 50 total and bringing the game up to just before the Battle of Hoth.
The game's missions are much more complex than simply destroying all enemy ships. Besides capital ships needing to be hit in vulnerable areas For Massive Damage
, the Empire's ships are often scripted to use flanking maneuvers and feints, to the point that some missions revolve more around solving puzzles than Old School Dogfights
. As a reward, players are able to participate in the attack on the Death Star during the final missions.
A year after release, a sequel was released that allows you to play for the evil Galactic Empire
: TIE Fighter
. Players would also have a chance to hold multiplayer competitions with X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
. The last game in the series, X-Wing Alliance
, finally allows players to pilot the legendary Millennium Falcon
, and ends with the Battle of Endor from Return of the Jedi
Not to be confused with the more recent Rogue Squadron
games, although both are flight sims. Also not to be confused with the X-Wing
comic book and novel series, though they share many story elements and offer a number of Mythology Gags
the computer game.
The game received an Updated Re-release
based on the X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
These games provide examples of:
- Ace Pilot: And beyond, labelled up to Top Ace. The player. The pilots from the roster can be assigned AI wingman duties in campaign missions and will perform according to their current rank. They can also be Killed Off for Real too. This feature was dropped in the latest release
- Achilles' Heel: Blow up those shield generator towers on top of the Star Destroyer's bridge and it becomes much easier to kill.
- Arrow Cam: For torpedoes and missiles.
- Burial in Space: A ceremony for the deceased player is held and the casket is disposed of this way.
- Chasing Your Tail: Dogfights.
- Collision Damage: Often lethal. You also do Collision Damage to other fighters...and TIEs don't have shields, so colliding with one will certainly take it out.
- Copy Protection: Removed in later versions.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Implied and modeled exactly like in A New Hope . If the player is captured, Lord Vader himself pops up to have a chat about the location of that secret Rebel base...
- Cosmetic Award: You can win a lot of medals and patches for performing well in your missions.
- Cut Scene: Very rewarding and compelling ones. bear in mind X-Wing was one of the first complex cinematic works made after the Star Wars movies and the first Star Wars game with a major storyline. Watch . Only surpassed in its day by the ones from CD-ROM based Star Wars: Rebel Assault.
- Deadly Training Area: Pilot proving grounds, unlike the Empire's Virtual Training Simulation seen in TIE Fighter and later games, although the "Historical Combat Simulations" briefing states that both the proving ground and historical combat use holographic technology. This caused an issue with one trainee pilot that accidently used hyperspace to reach an imperial supply depot which was luckily unguarded and easily destroyed.
- Deflector Shields: The main and huge advantage the Rebel fighters have over the Imperial ones —the only spacecrafts that lack a shield— until Gunboats and TIE Advanceds appear. Regenerating Shield, Static Health variety and an important element of the energy management gameplay.
- Easter Egg: Santa Claus shows up in the Rebel flagship if the computer date is December 25.
- Enemy Scan: Many missions are based on inspection and identification of vessels. The actual sensor is a crude one which only provides allegiance, name, position, hull / shield absolute status and cargo. It would become more detailed in the sequels.
- Escort Mission: Several - one of the worst being the infamous "Redemption run", where you and your three wingmen are charged with flying X-Wings to protect the Nebulon B frigate Redemption while it takes on wounded personnel from some shuttles and a Corellian Corvette. The Imperials send in their own Nebulon B frigate, which will do several microjumps in and out of the system, deploying TIE bombers and then jumping to another location and launching more. Referenced in the book series of the same name where applicants to Rogue Squadron must fly a simulator recreation of the mission, complete with references to the tactics you're supposed to use to complete the mission in the game. The protagonist of the first book barely finishes the mission.
- If you looked at the victory parameters for that mission, only the Corvette needed to complete its docking operation. You could immediately order the three shuttles to RTB as soon as the mission started and save about ten minutes.
- Expansion Pack: Imperial Pursuit and B-Wing, featuring a new playable ship and two more campaigns occurring in the interval between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.
- Explosive Instrumentation: Taking a lot of damage often resulted in your instrument panels breaking. Some of it was cosmetic, some of it was crippling (you could be all but blinded by your radar display going out).
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Most crafts enter and exit the combat zone via hyperspace jumps. The basic TIEs lack a hyperdrive engine so they scramble from and return to a mothership.
- Featureless Protagonist: Feelies and materials from the Limited version and Star Wars Expanded Universe indicate that the Player Character's name is "Keyan Farlander", he was flying the surviving Y-Wing at Yavin, and he goes on to be a Jedi. In-game one of the cutscenes from the Expansion Pack has Luke Skywalker specifically refer to a "Lieutenant Farlander." However in the original release an historical training mission named "Farlander's first mission" adds to the confusion suggesting he is a different pilot from the rookie player.
- That is All There in the Manual actually (the Strategy Guide actually) which explained that Keyan Farlander is the player, and that while still in training he was pulled out of training to fly the "real" Farlander's First Mission flight (unseen in the game) and when he returned to pilot training, they'd incorporated a simulation of it as a training scenario.
- Gunship Rescue: There is at least one mission where the Mon Calamari Cruiser Cathleen appears at the end to pull your ass out of the fire. TIE Fighter introduced the ability to call for reinforcements in most missions, and in one "protect the space platform from raiders" mission, calling for reinforcements summons a Star Destroyer.
- Hello, Insert Name Here
- Hitbox Dissonance: As long as your cockpit doesn't slam into enemy containers, your craft doesn't take Collision Damage (especially with the B-Wing). Lasers and other projectiles work as expected.
- Interface Screw: Part of the Subsystem Damage mentioned below. The various instruments in your ship's cockpit can be shot out as you take hull damage.
- It's Up to You: One-Man Army with the occasional aversion. Don't expect your wingmen or the rest of the fleet to save the day. Your "wingmen" will often jump out of the battlezone once they've completed their pre-assigned objectives (Destroying a freighter, disabling a ship) leaving the remainder of the mission entirely in your hands.
- Jack of All Stats: The eponymous X-Wing is the most well-balanced fighter and is quite suitable for both light bombing and dogfighting.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Some already completed missions can end up deadly if the player decides to stay and fight the strong but late Imperial reinforcements in order to rack up additional points and victories.
- Lead The Target: At least your weapon indicators indicate if the laser cannon would hit.
- Mook : The Imperial doctrine dictates a 3 to 1 odds against Rebel fighters. Imperial fighters have no shields so any hit is a permanent hull hit.
- Monster Compendium: The Rebel flagship has a database of every starcraft and the pilot roster has a detailed summary of the casualties inflicted.
- Mook Maker: Imperial Star Destroyers and Frigates.
- Mighty Glacier: The Y-Wing, emphasis on "Glacier", and B-Wing, emphasis on "Mighty". The Y-Wing is relatively powerful but very slow, and it's pretty much outclassed by the B-Wing, which is also rather slow, but with a larger warhead payload, and three ion & laser cannons where the Y-Wing has only two of each.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: In one mission in your efforts to steal Imperial grain to provide foodstuffs for the undersupplied Alliance, a Rebel freighter's arrival to retrieve the cargo will trigger the arrival of a Star Destroyer aptly named, Badi Dea. Although naturally you survive, it doesn't end well for your allies.....
- No Campaign for the Wicked: That's what the sequel TIE Fighter is for. Initially the designers wanted to have both sides playable as in previous WWII games, but it was discarded as this was too broad to implement in a novel 3D space installment.
- No Fair Cheating: While the in-game options menu lets you turn on infinite shields, infinite missiles/torpedoes, and/or immunity to collision damage, doing this prevents your score and mission progress from being saved.
- Opening Scroll: At the start of every campaign.
- Pass Through the Rings: Under/touching the doors in training missions.
- Planet Killer: The Death Star. The destruction of Alderaan in shown in a cutscene practically identical to the movie.
- Press X to Die: Sort of. You can eject from your fighter at any time by pressing Alt+E. This will either result in your buddies picking you up, or the enemy taking you prisoner and shipping you back to their base for an unpleasant interrogation. Also, your ejection system can become damaged in combat, and if you get shot down you get immolated in the ensuing fireball and become Killed Off for Realnote . In the latter two cases, after you get back to the sign-in desk you can choose to revive your pilot, albeit at the expense of all his points and awards.
- Protection Mission:
- In one mission, you are the sole pilot left to guard a stationary object (until it is repaired and can escape). A capital ship arrives 25 klicks away to deploy fighters to try to draw you out. About 1 minute later, a corvette arrives to drop off a single bomber to destroy that object.
- This game is also the origin of the infamous "Redemption run" mentioned in the X-Wing novels, where four X-Wings must defend the medical frigate Redemption and some unarmed transports against multiple waves of TIE Bombers launched by the Imperial frigate Warspite. The Warspite microjumps around the system, keeping you flying back and forth trying to stop the bombers while avoiding their TIE\ln escorts.
- Ramming Always Works: The second tour of duty involves a chain of missions based around acquiring "super shield" technology, outfitting a Corvette with said technology (the Corvette being the appropriately named ''Ram's Head''), then having it drop out of hyperspace next to an Imperial repair facility and slamming through the bridges of several Star Destroyers sitting in drydock (and coming out the other side unharmed).
- This can actually be used to limited success in normal gameplay. While it's not recommended to do so very often for obvious reasons, even the A-wing's shields can survive a collision so long as they have sufficient power. If you don't have time for your lasers to recharge or your torpedoes/missiles to get a proper lockon, it can mean the difference between life and death. Most of the time it's still more practical to simply redirect power from shields to lasers though.
- Recycled In Space: Aerial World War II IN SPACE! . Literal example. George Lucas invoked the trope in the source material. The game uses the same fonts, hotkeys and many features previously seen in Lawrence Holland's WWII flight simulators (e.g Old School Dogfighting, rosters, replay camera, cockpit and external views...). It also expands upon them.
- Save Scumming: Your pilot can't exactly be Killed Off for Real but neither Death Is a Slap on the Wrist (the pilot can be revived, but the stats and achievements are reset) so the trope is encouraged with a twist, the game doesn't have savepoints so it must be done from the operating system, backing up or restoring the pilot files.
- Sdrawkcab Name: Many freighters are named after LucasArts archrival companies back in the day; Nigiro, Arreis, Orcim/Esorp (Origin, Microprose, and Sierra). Since freighters are often sitting ducks and there is also one called Diputs (Stupid in reverse) the whole thing seems like a stealth Take That.
- Shout-Out: The huge Mon Calamari cruiser ''Stimsenj'cat'' and very small tug ''Renhoek''.
- Simple Yet Opulent: In one of the books, it's mentioned that simply having large quarters on some ships would count as opulence, even with unused space.
- Space Fighter: Squadrons of the Space Navy.
- Space Is an Ocean: Space Friction and 2-D Space map and sensors. Real 3D gameplay.
- Space Mines: Armed with Frickin' Laser Beams.
- Subsystem Damage: Impacts on the hull generate this kind of damage, occasionally beyond repair.
- That One Level: One much hated mission from this game shows up in the X-Wing novels as a hated training scenario, complete with mention of actual strategies that can be used in the mission, see Escort Mission above.
- Training Accident: One of the recreated training missions involves a story of a single pilot accidentally entering hyperspace and stumbled upon undefended Imperial transports. He destroyed a large number of them before realizing that he was outside training grounds.
- Updated Re-release: X-Wing 95, included in the Collectors Series bundle. Compatible with modern Windows OSes and retrofitted with the X Wing Vs Tie Fighter engine but in turn it loses some of the classical features and makes the use of a joystick mandatory. A fan-made total conversion for X-Wing Alliance also exists.
- Variable Mix: iMuse, a music engine designed by LucasArts to implement dynamic soundtracks. This feature was virtually lost in the last updated rerelease.
- Video Game 3D Leap: 1993 Ur Example. The developers initially used rigid 2D bitmaps like on their previous flight sims, but a 3D engine was developed and implemented with great success.
- Wingman: The player can issue evasive orders and designate targets to other squad members of variable competence. See also Ace Pilot above.
- Zerg Rush: As stated in one of the training missions, the imperials engage with three TIE Fighters for each one of your rebel fighters, and you need to learn how to beat the odds every time.