Star Trek: Judgment Rites was the second Adventure Game based on the Star Trek franchise, developed in 1993. It is a sequel to the successful Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, following the same concept: a surprisingly-faithful continuation of The Original Series in videogame form.
As in the previous game, Judgment Rites is split into several "episodes", each consisting of a lengthy away-mission played as a Point-and-Click adventure.note Judgment Rites uses the same design as its predecessor, but introduces many improvements in content - primarily the inclusion of Scotty, Chekov, Sulu, and Uhura into the adventure portion of the game. As in the previous game, the CD-ROM version is fully voiced by the original cast in their respective roles.note
Each episode tells a single story, written in the style of the Original Series. For instance, in the first episode the Enterprise crew witness a ship coming through a rip in time, which warns them of the impending destruction of the Federation — Which they then need to avert. In another episode, a creature called Trelane, a omnipotent spoiled brat (and familiar character from The Original Series) decides to pull Kirk and the rest of the ship's crew into a fantasy-world depicting a romanticized Germany in the midst of World War I. The meat of each plot unfolds in Adventure Game mode, where Kirk and company must converse with each other and with NPCs, use items to interact with their environment, and finally solve the problem at hand and bring the episode to a close in one way or another.
Unlike its predecessor, Judgment Rites also includes a Story Arc that runs through most of its episodes: An alien species is attempting to make first contact with the Federation and the Klingon Empire and is peppering the plot with various tests to determine whether to establish diplomatic relations with either government. This culminates in the last two episodes in the game, where Kirk and his crew are being explicitly tested.
On the whole, Star Trek: Judgment Rites is considered superior to its predecessor in every way despite running on the same exact game engine. This was mainly due to the writing of the episodes, the over-arching plots, the ability to control people other than Kirk, Spock and McCoy, and the ability to tone down the space-combat portion (which was Nintendo Hard at times during the first game).
Having demonstrated the potential for Star-Trek-based adventure games thanks to their success, 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites opened the way to the release of the Next-Generation-based A Final Unity.
This work contains examples of the following tropes:
- Absurdly Long Wait: The Enterprise crew are itching for some shore-leave throughout this entire game. They speak about it constantly, and each time their hopes for an upcoming leave are dashed by another set of orders coming from Starfleet.
- Episode 6, "Museum Piece", starts with the Enterprise finally headed to Nova Atar for shore-leave, but just as Kirk reassures the bridge crew that it's finally time to wind down, he gets a call from a Starfleet Admiral asking him to do some official business while he's down there.
- A Father to His Men: Kirk expresses this feeling - from the commander's perspective - when accused by Ellis that he is a Bad Boss who throws the lives of his men away. He says that each and every man lost haunts him, and that he does his best to protect everyone - but space is a dangerous place, and people will die no matter what you do.
- Alien Non-Interference Clause:
- Kirk cites the Prime Directive when refusing to help the Alphans and Omegans destroy each other - instead doing his best to find a compromise between the two species.
- The Prime Directive is mentioned when dealing with the native population of Balkos III. Spock counters that the natives are already being manipulated by what is clearly technology from some earlier alien visit, and thus interfering to remove this alien influence is permissible.
- All-Stereotype Cast: In "No Man's Land", every character in the town of Gothos other than Kirk and his team are stereotypes. This includes the female spy working as a barkeep, the over-the-top German officers, an old war veteran missing an arm, and a young soldier perpetually on the verge of death in the trenches - among others.
- Almost Dead Guy:
- The U.S.S. Alexander is an example. It travels back in time (conveniently arriving right next to the Enterprise), and has just enough time to warn the Enterprise of the impending destruction of the entire Federation before it explodes spectacularly.
- A soldier in Trelane's distorted recreation of World War I is lying in a trench, perpetually on the verge of death.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Generally true for the passengers of the Compassion in "Though This Be Madness". They display various symptoms of mental instability and/or deficiency, but none of them are diagnosed with anything specific. Even McCoy has a hard time figuring it out.
- Amplifier Artifact: Trelane has four of these: a clock, a blackboard, a locket, and a triplane. All four must be destroyed in order to weaken the forcefield guarding his castle. After this happens, you find out that Trelane has at least one more (a painting) in the castle itself, but Spock points out that the castle is likely full of them, and that Kirk would never destroy them all before Trelane got mad at him and did something nasty.
- Anachronistic Clue: Spock will quickly spot several of these in the town of Gothos in the episode "No Man's Land" - revealing that the town is an artificial construct created by Trelane. The most prominent clue are the light bulbs, which Spock determines are far too efficient for the time (1918).
- Angelic Beauty: The Azrah hologram in "Light and Darkness" is this, at least in the eyes of Ensign Jons who immediately assumes that Beauty Equals Goodness and sides with him.
- Arch-Enemy: Dr. Ies Breddell serves this purpose for Kirk in this game and the previous one - including a backstory for their rivalry going a decade back - although he gets thrown in jail in the very first episode of Judgment Rites. The game doesn't actually have any real Big Bad.
- Artistic License Engineering: In-Universe, in the episode "No Man's Land". Spock spots this in the town of Gothos, noting how the town is arranged in a completely inorganic way. That's because Trelane - who created the town - has no regard to verisimilitude, and is only interested in creating a Theme Park Version of World War One as he understands it.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: According to Emminata and the Savant, the Savant was once a physical being of some sort who got sick of experiencing negative emotions. Through some undisclosed process, he turned himself into a being of pure emotion - joy.
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: The commander of Espoir Station, Dr. Munroe, pretends to be completely unaware of anything going on in the vicinity of his station, and warmly invites Kirk and his team to come inspect the station for anything suspicious. This is a ruse to capture Kirk under orders from old arch-enemy Dr. Ies Breddell.
- Bad Boss:
- Dr. Ies Breddell is this to the Vardaine under his command. Not only does he treat them badly, and fails to respect their strict code of conduct, but he also puts their civilization at risk by planning to destroy the Federation, which would undoubtedly spark a massive retaliation from the survivors. This is one of the factors that ultimately leads most of the Vardaine guards to do a MookFace Turn.
- In "No Man's Land", Commander Ellis believes that Kirk is one of these - callously throwing away the lives of his men during dangerous missions. He spends the entire mission snarking at Kirk every time there's a situation where Ellis (a Red Shirt) could potentially be sent to die.
- The Battle Didn't Count: Whether you win or lose combat against Trelane's triplane, the outcome is the same. Justified since he is a being of godlike power who enjoys playing games with Kirk.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Played by aliens as a trick to see whether Kirk and company would fall for it. One science officer does.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: The science officer mentioned above is unusually religious by Star Trek standards, and quickly falls for appearances when one alien species looks demonic and the other angelic. Played with as the science officer is a geneticist and Kirk convinces him by pointing out they're neither angels nor demons.
- Bermuda Triangle: The Antares Rift (visited in the episode "Voids") serves as a science-fiction equivalent of this. It's a large, dense nebula that has not yet been charted because no ship sent there has ever returned. The U.S.S. Regulus is ordered to chart it but is reassigned at the last minute, leaving the job to the Enterprise. Kirk is confident that the ship can brave the danger, because the last vessel to attempt it was many years prior and Starfleet technology has advanced considerably since then. The Enterprise does experience serious system malfunctions inside the Rift, but it discovers that the Rift is full of holes in space-time leading to other dimensions - holes that are nigh-undetectable until you collide with them - explaining the many disappearances. It is unclear whether the Savant is responsible for opening all of these holes; but it does live inside one of them, and repeatedly states that it could "clear a way" for the Enterprise to leave unharmed if it wanted to.
- Big Fancy Castle: Trelane has created one of these on the outskirts of the town of Gothos to serve as his home. Inside, however, it is a pocket-dimension outside of reality.
- The interior of the Compassion in "Though This Be Madness" is really weirdly organized, in that traveling in a straight line will sometimes inexplicably get you back to where you started. Furthermore, there is one room in the ship that is essentially a scaled-up version of the interior of the ship's computer (or is actually inside the ship's computer - it's deliberately unclear). Then again, the whole thing can be explained away as being nothing more than holograms generated by the Brassica. None of it may be real at all.
- The Brassica testing grounds in "Yet There Is Method In It". They look like collections of massive solid shapes (boxes, cones, flat triangles, etc.) floating in a starry void. Of course, this place doesn't really exist - it's a hologram.
- Betrayal Insurance: In the final Brassican test, Kirk is given a paralense and told that it contains a detailed scan of the entirety of Klingon space. Septhi tells him that the Brassica do not fully trust the Klingons, and would like the Federation to use this data to defeat the Klingons in such an eventuality. Of course, it's just a test to see whether Kirk would accept this clearly underhanded move. The paralense is empty. Or so they claim.
- Black-and-White Morality: Subverted several times, but most importantly in the episode Light and Darkness, where the heroes meet two alien species whose anthropomorphic holograms appear as a demon and an angel, but in truth neither of them is good nor evil. In fact, it's a test to see whether Kirk and his men would tag the demon as evil and the angel as good. In fact, it's the demon that's passive, and the angel that's aggressive, although in the end these are just single-celled organisms who were separated long ago and should be reunited.
- Bloodless Carnage: The version of the World War One trenches that appears next to the town of Gothos is this. It is a nice, tidy trench, in the middle of a nice sunny field, with some barbed wire but no enemies to be seen. The only soldier in the trench is a young man being held perpetually on the verge of death for dramatic effect. There is no blood anywhere, nor even a spot of mud. When Kirk convinces Trelane to recreate the scene based on the historical records in the Enterprise computer however, things are remarkably different.
- Brainwashed: Done "magically" by Trelane to the crews of the three kidnapped Federation vessels in "No Man's Land", so that the crews can populate the town of Gothos. They are unaware of their real identities until being released at the end of the episode, and then only have a very vague memory of having met Kirk.
- Break Out the Museum Piece: Unsurprisingly used (repeatedly) in the mission "Museum Piece". Almost every single exhibit in the museum has some application towards completing this mission.
- Broken Bridge: As this is an Adventure Game, it's no surprise there are several of these. A notable example is in episode 5, "Voids", where an explosion severs the only physical connection between the Enterprise bridge and the rest of the ship. The obstruction is cleared immediately after Spock's failed attempt to beam himself over to Auxiliary Control results in him being kidnapped.
- But Thou Must!: Can be averted in the final mission. You can decline to take the Brassica's final test, and you'll be sent back to your ship and receive a score of zero percent for the mission.
- Chekhov's Gun: Strolling through the Smithsonian Annex in Museum Piece before the terrorist attack begins allows you to inspect all of the exhibits, each and every one of which will come in handy later during the mission (except those that get completely destroyed). For bonus points, the plaque for each exhibit specifically mentions the technological components for which it will later be cannibalized - though this is done in such a way that you still need to be paying attention to catch it.
- Civilization Destroyer: Dr. Breddell's Doomsday Device will somehow destroy the entire Federation if Kirk doesn't stop him. It's later revealed that this is primarily because it is pointed at Earth. Kirk also argues that there will be survivors who will avenge the destruction, and uses this argument to convince some of Breddell's followers to switch sides.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Most of the passengers on the Compassion are this - completely oblivious to the ship's situation and purpose - ostensibly due to various mental issues. Curiously, the ship's computer is suffering from a case of Cloudcuckoolander as well.
- Continuity Nod: Kirk tries and fails to talk down some terrorists:Kirk: You should give up immediately. You have no chance! I'm holding a Corbomite device!
Terrorist: I'm holding a hostage.
- Continuity Porn: The non-talkie version of the game contains an extensive database of the events of the TV series on Enterprise's computer. Any species, planet, person or piece of technology that played a significant part in an episode is likely to have an entry. The CD-ROM version pared this down significantly due to understandable space and cost limitations as all entries were read out loud by the computer.
- Colony Drop: At the beginning of the penultimate episode/level, a giant colony ship housing an assortment of invalids and head cases is set to land smack in the middle of a Federation colony in the Klingon Neutral Zone. The object of the mission (ostensibly) is to convince its computer to keep it from doing that.
- Convection Schmonvection: The Enterprise fires its phaser banks at a planet's surface, melting some rocks in order to create enough heat for a nearby geothermal device. The away team is standing not 10 meters away at the time.
- Cryptically Unhelpful Answer: What you'll receive if you ask the Brassicans for help in choosing the right answers to their already-cryptic questions.
- Cryptic Background Reference:
- Kirk's first visit to the planet Vardaine while he was First Officer on the U.S.S. Farragut is mentioned several times during "Federation", but is never told in full. The only thing we really need to know, anyway, is that Kirk thwarted Breddell's plans to take over his planet, and that Menao Sheme's father helped hide Kirk from the government.
- The whole point of the plot of "Though This Be Madness..." is to try to piece together what brought an alien ship to try to land on a Federation colony, and why that ship is full of mentally-damaged people. At the same time, the real objective is to realize that what little background story has been provided is far too vague and self-contradictory to be anything but a Red Herring. This is also why the episode has No Ending.
- Dark Is Not Evil: This becomes almost immediately obvious to Kirk when conversing with Vizznr, a demonic-looking projection encountered in "Light and Darkness". Vizznr's appearance may be grotesque, but his words are calm and rational, and convey the story of a species being hunted to extinction. It is, at the very least, far less aggressive a story than the one told to Kirk by the angelic-looking Azrah only moments earlier.
- Dart Board Of Hate: Dr. Breddell has one of these of Kirk, hanging on his quarters' wall.
- Decoy Hiding Place: In a sense. Beaming into Espoir Station's Security Office and trying to stun all the guards would be impossible, since the guards would detect the transport and be ready for the team when it appears. To counter this, Kirk has the team beam in while holding training dummies. The guards become confused, and shoot at the dummies instead of the team - giving Kirk time to stun them all. McCoy does get shot though.
- Despair Event Horizon: A woman on an alien spaceship crosses this and becomes catatonic, when the ship's information database is vandalized by another passenger. She had spent her entire life trying to learn all of that information.
- Destructive Saviour: The entire sixth mission "Museum Piece" requires you to either cannibalize, break, or utterly destroy pretty much every single exhibit in the Smithsonian Annex - in order to save one specific exhibit from being stolen (the thieves/terrorists also have hostages, but they don't intend to harm them). In one particularly egregious instance, the Last Lousy Point actually requires you to damage an ancient suit of armor to prop a door open instead of just using the passcode to open that door.
- Deus ex Machina: The non-canon solution to "No Man's Land" involves goading Trelane into using his powers to punish (or presumably kill) Kirk and his team. This causes his babysitter to appear in the room and essentially drag him away to a safer dimension where he can't mess with humans anymore. This solution completely bypasses a Talking the Monster to Death sequence with a lot more dialogue and the mission's intended Aesop.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Kirk thwarted Breddell's plan to take over his homeworld's government a decade ago. He then foiled Breddell's plans to manufacture Effective Knockoffs of Constitution-class Starships in 25th Anniversary. So naturally, Breddell plans to take his revenge on Kirk by blowing up Earth and destroying the Federation.
- Distress Signal: It wouldn't be Trek without them.
- One is received in "Light and Darkness", coming from a planet that was previously thought to be completely devoid of life.
- Two different ones in "Though This Be Madness". The first is a distress call from a Romulan ship in the Neutral Zone that turns out to be a trap. The second is a real distress call from a Federation colony in the Klingon Neutral Zone, warning that a gigantic alien ship is about to land right on top of the colony.
- Doesn't Trust Those Guys: Klarr's aide in "Though This Be Madness" has a real bug up his ass for some reason regarding the Starfleet team. He interprets everything they do in a negative light, constantly looking for ways they might be trying to backstab the Klingon Empire.
- Emotion Bomb: The colorful mineral rocks strewn about The Savant's Pocket Dimension cause this (with varying emotional reactions) when touched. Some of them will nearly cause a fight to break out among the away-team.
- Emotion Control: The Savant in "Voids" does this to any psionically-gifted creatures it encounters, essentially forcing them to feel joy for all eternity. Emminata does not seem to mind, but then the Savant does the same thing to the emotionless Vulcan Spock. The Savant actually has to "deprogram" Spock's natural defenses against strong emotions to avoid killing him.
- Emotion Eater: Kirk speculates that the Savant (in "Voids") might be this:Sulu: Why is this being done to Spock, Captain? What benefit does someone get from subjecting him to an emotion?
Kirk: We've seen energy forms that feed on hatred. Why shouldn't there be some creature that feeds on happiness? An addict who must have happiness, and who relies on others to fulfill an increasing need for more happiness.
- The Evils of Free Will: The Savant (in the episode "Voids") believes free will is a pointless and detrimental concept, thus justifying its actions:Savant: Free will is an arrogant deception, Captain. When one looks at the universe in a broad perspective, one finds that fate is far less flexible than it may appear.
Kirk: Savant, creatures like ourselves need to be free to make mistakes and to learn from them. Only then can our intellects advance the many orders of magnitude that are needed to equal yours.
- Expy: In the non-canon solution to "No Man's Land", Trelane's nanny appears and takes him away. She is dressed in an awfully familiar style, umbrella included.
- Face of a Thug: Captain Klarr, the Klingon captain appearing in the final two missions. He's scarred, has strange skin problems, and looks overall like your typical everyday Klingon villain. Even his voice in the CD-ROM version is gruff and choppy. But this is just how Klingons are. Reading any of his lines on their own, out-of-context, is enough to reveal that he is probably the most level-headed and actually-honorable Klingon ever to appear in any Original Series work.
- False Innocence Trick: Implied to have been used by the Romulans to lure the Enterprise into the Neutral Zone, get it to destroy a "rogue" Romulan vessel, and then uncharacteristically "forgive" the intrusion in exchange for knowledge about the Brassica. Kirk can then feign ignorance himself to avoid divulging any information.
- Famed in Story: The Brassica lavish endless praise upon the Jerynt, a race that evidently answered the battery of riddles you go through in the final mission very much to their satisfaction.
- Figure It Out Yourself: The Brassica are quite reluctant to provide any hints to their riddles. Septhi, a Brassican leader who is particularly reluctant to open diplomatic relations with other species, calls it cheating. At best, they're willing to give some Cryptically Unhelpful Answers.
- Flawed Prototype: Several of the exhibits in the Smithsonian Annex in "Museum Piece" are failed prototypes of technology that was either abandoned or improved. The most significant of these is an early transporter system that was too dangerous to use on living creatures, and was even dangerous to be in the same room with when activated.Scotty: I don't think Dr. McCoy would like this transporter, Captain. Even I would not want to use this one.
Kirk: You, not use a piece of equipment? Why not, Mr. Scott?
Scotty: This little beastie put out a wee bit of energy discharge during transport. You've heard of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle?
Kirk: Of course, Mr. Scott.
Scotty: Well, this is the Mulligan Certainty Field - guaranteed to do bad things to you even Dr. McCoy couldn't fix.
- For Happiness: The Savant believes that the highest goal of any living being is to experience joy - so it forces anyone it can to be happy all the time. It doesn't even concede the possibility that Spock might not want to be happy at all, and regards free will as only leading to despair.
- Friendly Rivalry: Between Captain Klarr and the Enterprise landing party during "Though This Be Madness". He is genuinely curious about the alien ship, and hopes to at least explore it in peace without butting heads with the Starfleet team. Unfortunately, he picked the wrong officer to bring along as his aide. The friendly rivalry continues into the Brassican tests in the next mission, and even culminates in an act of mutual trust between him and Kirk.
- Functional Addict: Scotty implies he has a craving for alcohol several times during the game, particularly in episode 6 ("Museum Piece") where the chance to taste some Kazakhstanian Cognac excites him enough to delay (or even entirely skip) the shore-leave he had been waiting for since the game began. When a terrorist attack interrupts a toast to the Enterprise with that prized cognac, Scotty calls it "a conspiracy [to frustrate him]".
- Fusion Dance: Must be done in "Light and Darkness", combining the Alphan and Omegan species together into a single species called the "Gammans". For bonus points, even the holographic projection representing the new species, Cicissa, looks like a chimeric combination of the Alphan and Omegan representatives - half angel, half demon.
- Gameplay and Story Integration: A highly deliberate case. The conventions of Adventure Game puzzle design, which the player might take for granted, are the very thing that raises Kirk's and Spock's suspicions during the Brassica arc missions. They constantly point out how the scenarios they've found themselves in are structured like carefully-crafted puzzles, with a viable solution conveniently within arm's reach. Of course, Adventure Games are built in this manner in order to test the player's problem-solving skills, whereas the Brassican rites test the characters in-universe. In contrast, during the non-arc missions, the characters do not notice this same pattern even though it's obviously still there.
- Genius Loci: May be the case with the Pocket Dimension containing The Savant. Tricorder scans reveal that all matter in this dimension is organic, and it is later discovered that the colorful mineral formations littering the place are physical manifestations of the Savant's unwanted emotions. This is not fully confirmed in the dialogue, but strongly hinted.
- Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: The Savant does this to Spock. Paradoxically, Spock seems to be in agony about it. Of course, the Savant doesn't realize how dangerous emotions are to a Vulcan.
- Giving Up on Logic: Spock, of all people, does this for the Brassican question to which he is the correct answer. Each member of the team heard a different question, none of the heard questions made any sense, and no logical answer to any particular question has any relevance for the other questions. Thus, there must be no answer.
- Goo-Goo-Godlike: Trelane, an immature omnipotent being that thinks our dimension is fun and Human wars are fascinating. He plays with humans as though they were toys while his parents (who stopped him the last time he tried to do it) are "away for a while". Fortunately, his babysitter is looking for him.
- The Guards Must Be Crazy: In "No Man's Land", the inhabitants of Gothos all think that Kirk is an American fighter pilot who was shot down and captured along with his "Enterprise Squadron". The away-team had also just escaped a prison cell by setting the building on fire. Nevertheless, none of the German soldiers make any attempts to apprehend them - up to and including the commander of the local garrison who is perfectly willing to hold a conversation with Kirk. When asked about this, the Germans say that they received orders from the Baron of Gothos (Trelane) not to harm Kirk - even though they proudly exclaim that Trelane has vowed to kill Kirk when they next meet. This is just one of the discrepancies that lead Spock to surmise that Gothos is not a real place.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Technically this applies to any crewmate other than Spock and McCoy who joins Kirk's away-team, especially given that Spock and McCoy were the only regular away-team members in 25th Anniversary. In this game, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov and Uhura do join the away team at least once each.
- Lieutenant Commander Ellis, who isn't even a member of Kirk's crew, but rather a security officer from a different ship that was taken hostage just like the Enterprise in "No Man's Land". Unfortunately, he's a Load who's got an axe to grind with Kirk.
- In "Light and Darkness" it is Ensign Jons, an expert geneticist. He was brought along for his skills, but ends up taking sides between the Alphans and the Omegans based on their outward appearance, due to his strong moral beliefs.
- In "Voids" the entire party (except for Kirk) is made up of these. We have Sulu (his first and only away-mission in the game), Chekov (who also tags along in the next mission), and a Red Shirt called Ensign Walker. Since the former two essentially fill the roles normally occupied by Spock and McCoy, they also end up having similar Witty Banter throughout the mission - though Sulu and Chekov are much closer friends and thus much less vicious to one another.
- Uhura is this in the final two missions. It's lucky they brought her along - the mission would have failed without her specific presence.
- Hammerspace: Subtly lampshaded in "No Man's Land". Kirk shoves an entire chalkboard down the front of his shirt, looks at his crew, and simply shrugs.
- Hate Sink: Klarr's aide in "Though This Be Madness" is a stereotypical villain Klingon, constantly accusing the humans of attempted betrayal and eventually even accusing his own captain. This is all meant to further emphasize, by comparison, how level-headed Klarr is.
- Have We Met?: At the end of "No Man's Land", Gretel Gernsbeck appears to have a faint memory of having met Kirk before. They had actually met (and worked together) during the mission - but Gretel was Brainwashed by Trelane at the time. Kirk pretends like they never met, and expresses a desire to meet Gretel again under more intimate circumstances.
- Have We Met Yet?: Narrowly avoided by Kirk when the U.S.S. Alexander hails the Enterprise at the end of "Federation". The Enterprise had previously witnessed a future version of the Alexander (which had jumped back in time) explode to pieces.
- Hidden in Plain Sight: doubly subverted. Kirk finds Breddell's secret code to his Doomsday Device written plainly in his journal. However this code will trigger a trap if used (fortunately, Spock is skilled enough to stop that from happening). Fortunately, Kirk recognizes the trope, and discovers the real code encrypted into the journal's electronic bookmark.
- His Name Is...: Luke Rayner, commander of the U.S.S. Alexander, has just enough time to warn Kirk that the Federation is about to be destroyed, but not enough time to reveal anything else.
- Hologram: Holograms play an important part throughout the Story Arc portion of the game.
- In "Sentinel" the team encounters a computer holding the secrets of 3D holographic technology - tech that the Federation would not have in service for another 100 years - but they're given a dilemma: Either take the information and doom the planet's inhabitants to remain guinea pigs in an experiment that is turning them ever more aggressive; or allow the information to be wiped clean but release the inhabitants from the test. Canonically, Kirk goes for the second option.
- In "Light and Darkness" the team encounters two single-celled species that are being represented by automated projections. This is a Secret Test of Character to see whether the appearance of the projections (one angelic, the other demonic) will fool the team into thinking there is a moral dilemma here, even though there is none: Neither species is even remotely sentient. When Kirk and his team finally combine the two species together a third projected figure appears - being received from some distant location in space - and reveals the extent of the Brassica tests throughout the quadrant.
- The alien sleeper-ship Compassion shows several indications of possible holographic manipulation of its interior spaces, resulting in all sorts of Bizarrchitecture. At one point, the team finds themselves inside the main computer. Spock speculates that this is an interesting way to use a hologram - simulating the computer's innards as a physical room so that engineers can fix it without actually opening it up.
- Finally, the Brassican testing area in "Yet There Is Method In It" is completely holographic, as Spock's scans reveal. Each test area is a projection of a collection of similar 3D shapes (boxes, cones, discs, etc.) floating in a star-filled void. The Huge Holographic Head of a Brassic observes them as they debate their answers. The illusion is finally removed once Kirk and Klarr answer the final question, revealing that the team was actually on the Brassica homeworld the whole time.
- Hopeless Boss Fight: If you're good at space combat, you can defeat Trelane's triplane - but he will simply come back anyway. The fight is exceptionally difficult to begin with, given that the triplane is much faster than the Enterprise and can knock out its shields with one shot. On the easiest combat difficulty setting, the fight is skipped entirely - with the Enterprise losing by default.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Ensign Jons is this in "Light and Darkness". He immediately falls for the old Light Is Good and Dark Is Evil when first meeting Azrah and Vizznr, completely failing to listen to what they have to say, and to the tricorder scans revealing that neither of them is actually real anyway. Quickly overlaps with Belief Makes You Stupid, as Jons begins to throw religious connotations into the mix.
- Huge Holographic Head: A gigantic Brassica head appears in "Yet There Is Method In It" while the team are undergoing the penultimate test.
- Insane Troll Logic: During the Brassican oral test in "Yet There Is Method In It", Klarr tries to make sense of a completely illogical question using some sort of contrieved explanation that convinces no one. Kirk tries solving the same riddle using mathematics, but completely fails to explain why the question he'd heard was the actual question. It takes Spock's logical mind to determine that the question has no logical answer at all.
- Inside Job: There are several indications that the terrorist attack on the Smithsonian Annex in "Museum Piece" was aided by someone on the inside. For one, the terrorists had accurate blueprints of the museum allowing them to tunnel out at exactly the right place. Furthermore, they managed to get someone into the Curator's office to Booby Trap his security console.
- Instant Sedation: McCoy drugs an ale shipment destined for the local armory in "No Man's Land". By the time you walk from the tavern to the armory (about 15 seconds), the entire shipment has been delivered and the occupants of the armory are passed out on the floor.
- Insufficiently Advanced Alien: During one mission, the crew meets a group of mentally-ill alien colonists on a ship that's about to land on top of a Federation settlement.
- Intrigued by Humanity: Trelane is fascinated with Human historical warfare, attributing various notions of "glory" to it. He has moved on from the Napoleonic Wars (see "The Squire of Gothos") to World War One, but has completely missed the part where millions of people died for nothing. Unfortunately, even when the truth is revealed to him, getting a childish, immortal, omnipotent entity to sympathize with senseless slaughter is nigh-impossible - but Kirk is going to try anyway.
- Jewish Mother: The Phays - a computer gone crazy - is this in spades.Kirk: I'm feeling fine. Let's drop the subject.
Phays: Very well. Obviously you're not well. I know that. You don't have to listen to [me], although you certainly should. You'd probably feel better if you ate something.
- Kirk Summation: Occurs at least once per episode, as befitting The Original Series.
- Lampshaded by Breddell in "Federation":You always did love to lecture, Kirk. You'll be the most self-righteous corpse in the galaxy.
- Lampshaded by Breddell in "Federation":
- Knockout Gas:
- Concocted expertly by McCoy to help knock out the Vurian trying to mess with the ship, in the episode "Voids". It's specifically designed to knock out only Vurians, and it does the trick quite well.
- The Smithsonian Annex in "Museum Piece" is fitted with knockout gas canisters in every exhibition room, designed to be triggered from the main security console in case of a robbery or other emergency. Unfortunately, the terrorists who attack the museum know of this measure and have disabled the security system entirely. One of the possible solutions to this mission is to manually trigger a gas canister and quickly beam it into the room with the terrorists - though this solution is sub-optimal and will cost you some points.
- Language Barrier: Kirk argues to the Brassicans that their riddles might be more difficult to solve than they think, due to possible translation errors. In truth, there is no such difficulty, but it may instead elicit some vague hints from the Brassica that might help solve their riddles.
- Last of Her Kind: Emminata is the last of the Vurians. She escaped her species' annihilation only to be rescued from death by the Savant.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In the second chapter, Sentinel we get this interesting exchange...Spock: It is possible we have stumbled in on an experiment, Captain.McCoy: -With the subjects being treated like rats. It's criminal, Jim. These are -can be -thinking beings!Kirk: I'm not certain it is the Balkosi that are the subjects, Bones. I think it's us.Spock: Interesting hypothesis, Captain. What is your supporting data?Kirk: It's the way all of this is set-up, Spock! I can't put my finger on it but it just feels so, so...set-up! We keep finding out...just enough...to make choices. The real question is who...who's doing this to us?Spock: And to what purpose, captain. Why?Kirk: Why indeed, Spock. Why indeed.
Kirk: I don't know why I'm doing this. It's as though someone else were controlling my actions.
- In the episode Voids, you come across rocks in the dimensional rift that will cause short emotional outbursts. The stones can be used on the available crewmembers for different responses, but if the green stone is used on Kirk...
- Leave No Man Behind: Even when the Savant offers Kirk a way out of the Antares Rift with the Enterprise and the rest of its crew unharmed, Kirk is adamant that he will never leave without Spock. The Savant refuses to let Spock go, but tells Kirk that he will provide what he can to make Kirk's stay in his Pocket Dimension comfortable until he and the rest of the away team die of natural causes.
- LEGO Genetics: A very mild case. A genetic sequencer is used for uniting the Alphans and Omegans back into a single, viable species. Justifiable because both of these single-celled species were specifically designed for this to be possible.
- Light Is Not Good: Azrah makes this clear almost as soon as he starts talking, imploring Kirk to destroy the Alphans and referring to them as a blight that should be purged from the planet. Kirk catches on to this almost immediately.
- Literary Allusion Title: To Shakespeare, in the episode titles Though This Be Madness... and the following episode ...Yet There Is Method In It, from Hamlet.
- The Load: Commander Ellis, First Officer of the U.S.S. Zimbabwe, accompanies the away-team during the mission "No Man's Land". He is absolutely useless throughout the mission, and only serves to bicker with Kirk due to holding a grudge against him. Nevertheless, Kirk must intervene to save him from Trelane (even offering to sacrifice himself in exchange for Ellis's life) in order to win the high score.
- Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Done unintentionally by the Lachian terrorists in "Museum Piece". They've shut down the security systems, they've locked all the doors, there's a shield overhead blocking both transmissions and sensors, and they're the only ones in the building who have access to any kind of weapons or electronics from outside. It's the perfect plan... with just one tiny problem: They've completely failed to make sure that none of the guests in this museum of technology happen to be Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott.note
- Logic Bomb:
- Inverted in "Federation", with a computer that's been locked into a stable loop trying to win an unwinnable game of 3D chess. Spock and Kirk must figure out a way to interject and end the game in order to free up the computer again.
- Kirk even lampshades the trope before realizing the above.Kirk: Computers. I'd better start thinking of something illogical to say.
- Kirk even lampshades the trope before realizing the above.
- Averted in "Though This Be Madness" with the Phays. Kirk actually suggests using a Logic Bomb to topple the already-unstable computer, but Spock quickly points out that the Phays has already lost all capacity for logical thought.
- Inverted in "Federation", with a computer that's been locked into a stable loop trying to win an unwinnable game of 3D chess. Spock and Kirk must figure out a way to interject and end the game in order to free up the computer again.
- Lured into a Trap: An optional encounter at the start of "Though This Be Madness" has Kirk violating the Romulan Neutral Zone to answer a Distress Signal from a Romulan ship. When the Enterprise arrives, it is attacked by a Warbird and must defend itself. As soon as the battle ends, several other Romulan ships arrive, though they "forgive" the intrusion - supposedly due to Kirk's altruistic motive for the violation, and the fact that he had destroyed a "rogue" Romulan ship - and instead use the opportunity to grill Kirk about the Brassica. Based on the modus operandi of the Romulans as portrayed throughout the Star Trek franchise, it's very likely that the entire affair was just a big act orchestrated by the Romulans to try and get information about the Brassica, whose tests they had probably failed.
- MacGyvering: This game features significantly fewer cases of jury-rigging equipment than the previous game, but everything changes during "Museum Piece" when Kirk, Scotty and Chekov find themselves locked inside a museum of technology that's under attack by terrorists. They have no equipment with them, but who needs equipment when you're surrounded by dilapidated old machines and your team includes the best Chief Engineer in Starfleet?Scotty: Captain, when you were in school, did you ever make a tennis ball cannon?
Kirk: Of course, Mr. Scott. It's a dormitory tradition: Empty cans, tape, and a little propellant - if I remember my formula. But what's that got to do with our situation?
Scotty: I was thinking maybe we could use the same idea to get through that wee door.
Chekov: We're going to knock down the door with a tennis ball?
Scotty: In an engineering dorm, that's for freshmen only. As you move along, you get into bigger and better versions.
Chekov: We'll use a BIG tennis ball?
Scotty: No, laddie. I was thinking maybe we could build some sort of mass driver!
(Spoiler: he does.)
- Mad Scientist: Dr. Ies Breddell. Besides tampering with genetics to create Super Soldiers, and then building Effective Knockoffs of Federation starships, he decides to top it all off by building a Doomsday Device and pointing it at Earth just to get back at Kirk for foiling his plans.
- The Magic Poker Equation: In "No Man's Land", Kirk has earned a few coins by cleaning an apartment, but needs more to buy one of Trelane's Amplifier Artifacts from the local shoppe. To do this, he plays poker in the back room of the local tavern. Within a few hours he has completely cleaned out all three of the other players - who are supposedly experienced players themselves.
- Magnetic Weapons: To get through a heavy, locked metal door in "Museum Piece", Scotty cannibalizes several of the museum's exhibits for parts and constructs a mass driver. The projectile ends up being a large medieval lance. Scotty's improvised weapon turns out to be so powerful it leaves very little of the door intact, and ends up destroying several antique exhibits on the other side.
- Make Games, Not War: At the end of "No Man's Land", Kirk complains about a sore shoulder he received when "resolving the issue" with Commander Ellis. When Spock inquires whether they came to blows, Kirk says that they played an aggressive game of Zero-G Squash instead.
- Manchild: A very extreme case with Jakesey ("Though This Be Madness"), a grown man with severe mental development deficiency. He plays with blocks, loves his teddy bear, and has a very limited vocabulary.
- Meaningful Name: Moll (a gangster's girlfriend or female companion) in "Though This Be Madness". Tuskin uses Gormagon and Rackaback to help him maintain control over the playroom, and Moll is the only person he trusts to bring him untainted food.
- The Migration: We're told that the people of Lachian had to migrate their entire population there from their original homeworld, which was destroyed in some unspecified event.
- Mishmash Museum: The Smithsonian Annex on Nova Atar is this. Although it is strictly a museum of technology, there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way the exhibits are organized. You'll find an alien crystalline computer next to an early engineering robot, and a control console from a Klingon warship next to an experimental battery-charging platform.
- MookFace Turn: Menao Sheme pulls one, as do the rest of Espoir Station's personnel once you expose Breddell's plans to them.
- Multiple Endings: Most missions have several possible outcomes. Kirk's score at the end of each mission relies primarily on how the mission ended, though individual actions during the mission may also alter the score.
- It should be noted that for the best score, you have to make everyone in the mission happy and aim for peaceful solutions.
- Best example is in the third episode, however, which has two good endings. You can stop Trelane in two ways. One option is to make Trelane create a more faithful recreation of World War I, and then use that as an example into convincing him to stop being obsessed with war. The other option is to trick him into letting his babysitter find him, which leads to her making him fix everything and promising Kirk that Trelane wont be causing any more problems.
- Mutually Assured Destruction: Kirk points out to Security Chief Kamend on Espoir Station that if the Vardaine destroy the Federation, the survivors will quickly figure out who did it and come after them. This is what finally convinces Kamend to do a MookFace Turn.
- My Beloved Smother: The Phays is a computer on an alien ship whose sole purpose is to care for the society of invalids living onboard. It treats everyone - including the Enterprise's away team when it beams over - as its children. Unfortunately, damage to the computer has caused it to lose much of its coherence, and it seems to be doping all the food with mild tranquilizers - and doing little else.
- My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Captain Klarr is shown not to be the typical Klingon. Klarr is an very level-headed and honorable captain willing to cooperate with Kirk and the Federation crew. In order to get the best ending, you have to cooperate with and trust him. His subordinate however, is far less willing and honorable.
- Negative Space Wedgie:
- Gravity's End (in the mission "Federation") is a strange phenomenon where our universe is intersecting with another universe where a Big Bang is occurring. The phenomenon apparently throws out as much energy as 100 type-G stars note . This is enough to allow Dr. Breddell to harness this power to create a Doomsday Device that can destroy Earth from hundreds of light-years away.
- The Antares Rift itself may be just an ordinary Space Cloud, but it in fact contains a multitude of Negative Space Wedgies in the form of tiny space-time rifts leading to other dimensions. These wedgies are extremely dangerous, as they are practically undetectable even with cutting-edge Federation sensors, and cause severe system failure if collided-with. To make matters worse, there is a powerful Energy Being living inside one of these holes that is prone to kidnapping any psionically-sensitive people who happen to show up in the area.
- No-Gear Level: "Museum Piece" takes place at the Smithsonian Annex on Nova Atar. The museum's security standards require that no electronic equipment of any kind be brought in by visitors, so the away-team has to leave their phasers and tricorders back on the Enterprise before beaming in. The primary challenge of this mission is then to try to make do with the exhibits themselves, or at least parts thereof.
- No Ending: After spending an entire mission ("Though This Be Madness...") trying to figure out why an alien ship full of mental patients is trying to land on top of a Federation colony, the Enterprise away team finds the core of the ship's computer and delve into the archives. They do find some explanations, including that the people who built the ship may have sent their invalids out on a long space romp until cures could be found for their mental illnesses, but Kirk notes that each bit of information seems to conflict with the others. Eventually the whole thing is revealed to be just another Brassican experiment.
- Nominal Hero: All but two of the Vardaine security officers on Espoir Station do a MookFace Turn, although most of them do this simply for self-interest - realizing that their boss is a Mad Scientist and that destroying the Federation would also mean doom for Vardaine.
- Non Standard Game Over: A few exist, due to the nature of the game being a point-and-click adventure.
- A notable example is during the second mission The Sentinel, where despite doing everything right for a maximum score in the mission, at the end your choices are to either shut down a computer archive with advanced scientific knowledge, or shut down a power generator that's protecting the planet's civilization from being contaminated by a vat of dangerous pheremones. If you choose to shut down the generator and save the archive instead, you complete the mission and are beamed back onboard. However on the Bridge you're instantly informed that the planet's civilization is doomed to a life of aggression and violence, and Admiral Richards berates you for your choice and relieves you as captain of the Enterprise...
- Another example occurs in the fifth mission, "Voids". After finally tracking down Spock, you have a few options to subdue both him and the Vurian creature that kidnapped Spock, including stunning them both with phasers. You can however, use the 'kill' phaser setting on the Vurian as well... which enrages the Savant, and he disintegrates your landing party instantly for the death.
- Not Quite Dead: In the final battle in Star Trek: 25th Anniversary, of course Ies Breddell was killed when the Enterprise-2 was completely destroyed by the real Enterprise.Breddell: Fortunately, a cloaked Elasi frigate transported me before my bridge was destroyed. Fortunate for one of us, that is.
- Ominous Message from the Future: The U.S.S. Alexander somehow travels 8 days back from the future, to warn the U.S.S. Enterprise that the entire Federation is about to be destroyed. Unfortunately, the Alexander explodes right before its captain can explain who did it.
- Once More, with Clarity!: There are two World War One trench scenes in the mission "No Man's Land". The first, right outside the town of Gothos, is pretty much a clean, romanticized version of the trenches that bears no resemblance to real life. The second appears at the end of the episode, but only if Kirk implores Trelane to recreate the trenches based on historical records. It is a scene of utter carnage and devastation, with amputated bodies and black mud everywhere.
- One Dose Fits All: The away-team knocks out the two-man garrison in the Gothos armory by drugging their beer. The shipment was comprised of about a dozen large barrels.
- Only Smart People May Pass: Applies to nearly every Secret Test of Character posed by the Brassica throughout the game. Often involves Take a Third Option.
- The Paranoiac:
- Tuskin in "Though This Be Madness" thinks everyone is out to get him (except Moll). He even has two large "bodyguard" friends to keep others away.
- To a lesser extent, Klarr's aide in the same mission is fully convinced that the Enterprise team is playing some dirty trick on the Klingons, trying to steal information that would compromise Klingon security.
- The Only One I Trust: In "Though This Be Madness", Tuskin has apparently realized that the food is drugged, and only accepts food from Moll - who grows it in the ship's hydroponics garden. Kirk needs to take advantage of this by winning Moll's trust and getting her to deliver Tuskin food laced with a strong sedative.
- Playing Both Sides: The final Brassican test. Kirk and Klarr each receive a paralense from the Brassica in secret, claiming that it is a scan of the territory of the other side, which the Brassica took as Betrayal Insurance. They want to see what each captain would do with such an unfair advantage. Kirk gives his paralense to Klarr, who destroys both lenses. "Trust breeds trust".
- Pocket Dimension: The Savant lives inside one, connected to our dimension via one of the holes in the Antares Rift. It seems to be only a few hundred meters long, and completely surrounded by a Void Between the Worlds. Curiously, all matter inside this dimension appears to be organic, leading to the possibility that the entire dimension is a single Genius Loci (essentially the body of the Savant and its physical byproducts).
- Portal Door: A door appears at the end of "Though This Be Madness", and takes you to the next mission. It's unclear whether it's actually a portal, or whether the whole thing is nothing more than a holographic illusion.
- Principles Zealot: In "Light and Darkness", Ensign Jons is ordered to combine the Alphan and Omegan samples, but inexplicably fails to sequences the Alphan sample. It quickly turns out that Jons is deliberately failing, due to his stron moral beliefs leading him to the conclusion that the "pure and perfect" Omegans must not be "tainted" with the vile Alphan DNA. He does not even back down when the harsh consequences of disobedience are explained to him.
- Projected Man: Azrah, Vizznr, and Cicissa in the episode "Light and Darkness". The first two are artificially intelligent holographic projections, each created by a computer containing a colony of single-celled creatures; However the projections are actually completely automated, and have nothing to do with the creatures they are representing. It's all just a Secret Test of Character: Azrah is the angelic-looking Knight Templar, whereas Vizznr is a monstrous-looking Woobie. Cicissa, who looks like a chimera of the other two, represents the combined third race - but is actually a projection being transmitted from someplace else.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Kirk points out to Trelane that World War One was one of these. At the sight of mutilated bodies in the realistic recreation of the trenches, Trelane argues that this is the fate befitting the losers. Kirk replies that, no, these are the winners.
- Race Against the Clock: There are a few nominal ones, but none of them actually affect gameplay.
- Breddell sets his Doomsday Device to fire at Earth just before he's arrested. As Spock says, it could fire "at any moment".
- The alien ship "Compassion" is about to land on a Federation colony, and must be stopped ASAP.
- Reality Warper: Trelane appears again, this time creating a Theme Park Version of World War One, brainwashing the crews of three different Federation vessels to serve as actors, and shrinking their ships (along with the Enterprise) to fit into bottles on his shelf. Even Spock comments on how none of this should be possible.
- Recurring Character:
- Red-plica Baron: The game features Trelane imagining himself as World War I pilot complete with the Red Baron's signature Fokker Triplane.
- Red Herring: Any background information learned during "Though This Be Madness". Figuring out that this is a Red Herring is the point of the entire mission.
- Red Shirt: Unlike 25th Anniversary where each away-mission had a Red Shirt join the team (who could be killed if you made a mistake and cost you a hefty portion of your score), Judgment Rites features only two men from Security - and neither will die no matter what you do.
- The first is Commander Ellis in "No Man's Land". He is actually the First Officer of the U.S.S. Zimbabwe as well as its Chief of Security. He doesn't really do anything throughout the mission, and mainly just serves as The Load.
- The second is Ensign Walker in "Voids". A bit of a pessimist, he may even be somewhat Genre Savvy about his designated role and chances of survival.Walker: Captain, do you think we'll get out of this alive?
Kirk: I really don't know.
Walker: That doesn't give me much confidence. Really, Captain, do you think we'll get out of this alive?
Kirk: Are you trying to suggest we won't? Will I have to put you on report for threatening morale?
Walker: Thank you, sir!
- Revenge Before Reason: Played straight and defied in the first mission:
- Dr. Breddell plays it straight, by building a superweapon capable of destroying the Federation and much of the Alpha Quadrant, all because he's pissed off that Kirk foiled his plan to build superior versions of Constitution-class starships.
- Defied by a security guard who's guarding Kirk, Spock and McCoy in a brig at the start of the mission. Talking to him will reveal that Breddell had the guard's father killed for opposing his anti-Federation policies, but trying to use this to motivate the guard into turning on Breddell for revenge will just cause the guard to say that he'd be viewed as a traitor by his people, and it wouldn't bring back his father. Reason, on the other hand, does work, as he'll set you free if you point out that the survivors of the Federation will go after his people when they work out who was responsible.
- Reviving Enemy: Trelane's triplane can be defeated if you're skilled at space combat, but Trelane himself cannot be defeated by fighting. He will simply come back and claim that you cheated, and then instantly defeats the Enterprise by knocking out the entire crew.
- Riddle Me This: The penultimate Brassican test is a series of four philosophical riddles. To answer each riddle, Kirk must select one team-member to give what they think is the best answer - and only one person may answer each question.
- Rivals Team Up: The Klingon captain Klarr joins the Enterprise away-team for the final mission, "Yet There Is Method In It".
- Royal Blood: At one point during "Though This Be Madness", Uhura must convince a man who thinks he is a king that she is descended from the rulers of Kush and Timbuktu to get him to speak with her. Failing to do so renders the mission Unintentionally Unwinnable in earlier versions of the game.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Kirk's justification for violating the Romulan Neutral Zone to answer a Distress Signal from a Romulan ship inside the zone (though you can just as easily choose not to go, without losing any points). It turns out to be a trap, but fortunately the Romulans were not actually intending to start a war... at least this time.
- Secret Test of Character: Kirk and his crew go through this, particularly in the final missions. Though it's actually The Federation that's being tested.
- Send in the Search Team: When ships start disappearing in the Delphi system, Starfleet sends the U.S.S. Zimbabwe to investigate. When the Zimbabwe disappears too, it's time to send the Enterprise.
- Sick Captive Scam: Subverted with Menao Sheme in "Federation" - he's too smart to fall for it.
- Single-Biome Planet: Oniyus II (in "Light and Darkness") qualifies, but is also justified. It's a class-M planet in a system where no such planet should be possible at all, with a thin atmosphere and constant meteorite impacts. It's bleak and barren, with nothing more than low rock formations as far as the eye can see. However, it was probably engineered to be that way by the Brassica, who've set it up as a test site.
- Sleeper Starship: Spock speculates that the Compassion (in "Though This Be Madness") may be a sleeper ship sent out to make a round-trip. The Phays does confirm this, but is an Unreliable Expositor to begin with, and its own actions indicate it might have been a Generation Ship instead. Unfortunately, the true answer is never revealed because the whole thing is really just a Secret Test of Character to see if the humans would spot the contradictions.
- Smarter Than You Look: Gormagon in "Though This Be Madness" appears to be one of the smartest people on the Compassion, despite looking like a muscle-bound brute. Unlike his twin brother Rackaback, he thinks that violence should be the last resort, and is also quick to realize that the Enterprise away-team is there to help, not harm. He also loves to play chess.
- Smart People Play Chess: Chess appears twice in this game, and has to be won each time it appears. The first time, Kirk must aggressively outmaneuver a computer to get it to stop playing chess and become accessible again. The second time, Spock beats a Smarter Than He Looks goon in a variant of chess that Spock had never even played before.
- The Smurfette Principle: Uhura realizes this during the first question in the Brassican oral questions test phase. She's the only female on the team, and thus is the perfect answer for the question "Who among you goes through the most pain in the pursuit of life". The answer is, of course, "the one who gives birth".
- Sole Survivor: The Three Systems War that took place a hundred years earlier ended in the eradication of a species called the Vurians. Only a single Vurian managed to escape in her ship. She attempted an extremely-risky maneuver to evade her pursuers, and somehow ended up crashing into the Savant's Pocket Dimension.
- Space Plane: An extremely literal example with Trelane's space-capable Fokker DR.I triplane. It can run circles around the Enterprise and is nigh undefeatable. For this reason, it turns into a Skippable Boss on the easiest difficulty, in which case the tri-plane instantly defeats the Enterprise and you are sent directly to the basement.
- Space Whale Aesop: "Light and Darkness" deals with appearances and morality. Two races appeal for Kirk's help in destroying the other race. One race looks angelic, the other demonic. While Guest-Star Party Member Ensign Jons swoons over the angel's "goodness" and rejects the demon's "evil", Kirk notices that the demon is in fact the passive one and the angel is bloody-minded. Nevertheless, he does his best to ignore their appearance and eventually convinces the two races to be joined genetically. When things come to a head with Jons at the end of the mission, you'd expect Kirk to convince him that appearances don't matter, and that actions count more than words (a sentiment he himself expresses earlier in the mission). NOPE! Instead, all you need to do is make Jons realize that these are single-celled life-forms incapable of morality, and that the creatures they're seeing are just automated holographic projections. So while the moral of the story starts as "don't judge a book by its cover", it somehow ends up being "genetic tampering is OK if the subjects are primitive life-forms." It may also qualify as Take a Third Option because Kirk sees through what is transparent manipulation by the Brassica.
- Spoiler Title
- Starfish Aliens:
- The Savant, an incredibly-powerful, non-physical entity that exists in a pure state of joy - and seeks to spread that joy to others, whether they want it or not.
- The Brassica are borderline this. They have evolved from plants. They do stand upright, but have four short legs, bodies longer than a human's, three eyes (two large, one small above them), and a weird mouth.
- Super OCD: Puzzlewitt, a passenger on the Compassion (in "Though This Be Madness"), was obsessed with learning as much information as possible from the ship's computer library, not matter how inane or insignificant it was, in the hope that learning it all will help explain some grander purpose. When the data-reader was destroyed by another passenger, she crossed the Despair Event Horizon and became a vegetable.
- Take a Third Option: The only correct solution at the very end of the game. Twice.
- First, the last question from the Brassica is "Which of the two of you should leave this place alive?", to which the correct answer is "Either we both leave, or neither of us does".
- Then, the Brassica offer Kirk a disc supposedly containing a detailed scan of Klingon space, in exchange for forming an alliance with them. The correct move is to take the disc, but then give it to the Klingon captain.
- Take Your Time: None of the Ticking Clocks in the game will actually run out, no matter how long you wait.
- Talking the Monster to Death: Not literally to death, but the canon solutions to missions 3 and 5 both require arguing with the Big Bad until they just get fed up and give you want you want.
- In episode 3 ("No Man's Land") it is Trelane, a childish god-like alien whose infatuation with earth's wars must be stopped. Kirk tries to do this by reasoning with Trelane, but the best he can do is either to convince Trelane that humans are just too strange to bother with or to find him a different hobby. Most possible endings for this conversation simply have Trelane becoming fed up with Kirk and petulantly losing interest, releasing Kirk and everyone else Trelane had captured. Another, non-canon ending actually bypasses the whole talking segment — only to solve the problem with a Deus ex Machina.
- In episode 5 ("Voids") Kirk talks a million-year-old non-corporeal entity of pure joy into releasing Spock. The entity agrees, but only because it is tired of arguing and wants things to return to the way they were before the Enterprise ever showed up (or, alternatively, it kills itself and everything around it). At no point during the mission does it ever concede any of Kirk's talking points, and only agrees to have that final conversation because Kirk found a way to hurt it.
- This is also the canon solution to mission 6 ("Museum Piece"). Using the communications console to contact the Enterprise will instead put Kirk in contact with the terrorists, who must then be talked down. It's possible to avoid this with a completely different solution (or switch to that solution if the negotiations happen to fail), albeit for a reduced score.
- Talking Your Way Out: Required in several situations, as per the Federation's idiom. It is also usually an alternative to violence, in which case Talking Your Way Out is necessary for the high score.
- Tampering with Food and Drink: The Phays is drugging all of the pre-packaged food on the Compassion with a small dosage of tranquilizers ("Though This Be Madness"), supposedly to keep the mental-patient passengers docile.
- Technobabble: As in the original television series, this game is very light on the Technobabble for the most part. However it is ramped Up to Eleven in "Though This Be Madness" - the penultimate mission - whose writer seems to have gone wild with writing exceptionally long dialogue lines crammed full of technical terms. In the CD-ROM edition you can hear the actors struggling with their lines, up to and including a few recordings of completely-botched readings that were (accidentally?) left in.McCoy: There are a myriad of childhood developmental blind-alleys that might restrict her adult pattern creation/representation capabilities below the Abrams-Nyugen critical horizon. note
Kirk: Bones, stop. You're starting to sound like Spock!
- It seems almost intentional. For example, here is the description for an inventory item that - in a different episode - would have been described simply as "an electrical connector":"A constructed mechanism permitting an electrical power supply to be safely joined to an appliance or device."
- It seems almost intentional. For example, here is the description for an inventory item that - in a different episode - would have been described simply as "an electrical connector":
- Teleporter Accident: Averted but briefly teased in "Voids". The Enterprise suffers damage from collisions with space-time anomalies in the Antares Rift, causing all sorts of issues with its systems and blocking anyone from leaving the Bridge. Spock requests permission to beam over to the Auxiliary Control Room to try and get the sensors back on-line to help the ship avoid further collisions. Kirk agrees despite the risk, and Spock beams away - but the effect of the beaming is obviously not right. A moment after he disappears a strange alien appears in his place for a few moments - worrying everyone on the Bridge that Spock may have been mutated by a transporter malfunction. It later turns out that the briefly-seen alien was actually kidnapping Spock to another dimension.
- Theme Park Version: Trelane creates a Theme Park Version of a World War I German town. Aside from the many Stock Characters and other cliches to be found there, the town is within walking distance of the trenches - which are remarkably peaceful and contain one soldier who is in a perpetual state of dying dramatically. For a perfect score, Kirk must convince Trelane to research the matter and create a faithful representation of a World War I battlefield - which is decidedly gory and grim, and then present him with a new hobby of bottling airplanes.
- This Is Reality: Kirk tries to do this to Trelane, arguing that his depiction of World War One is complete fiction. Unfortunately, the sight of the real bloody and gory trenches does nothing to dissuade Trelane from his fascination with Earth's wars. There is exactly one dialogue chain - in a long Dialogue Tree - that will actually get Trelane to consider how awful war can be.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Any use of outright violence (other than space combat, of course) is almost guaranteed to lower your score. The "kill" phaser should only be used on inanimate objects, and only when absolutely necessary.
- Subverted in the Federation mission, where you MUST use the kill phaser on the Rancor-esque mutant Antarian Mankiller. In fact, using the stun setting on it does nothing, but instead allows it to turn and kill you.
- Other uses of violence include using Spock to knock out various people with his Vulcan neck-pinch, and a few cases of firing the stun phaser at people when there is no other choice. If there is another choice, using the neck-pinch or the stun phaser to solve the problem will reduce your score.
- Title Drop: At the end of "Though This Be Madness", just before entering the next mission "Yet There Is Method In It", McCoy gets angry at being secretly tested by the Brassica, and calls it all madness. Kirk replies by quoting the line from Hamlet that makes up these two episodes' titles.
- Unintentionally Unwinnable: An unfinished piece of code makes it impossible to complete the mission "Though This Be Madness" if the wrong dialogue choice is selected during a certain conversation. It's when Uhura talks to the "King" of the alien space craft to convince him to leave the room. The latest CD-ROM version solves the problem — not by fixing the dialogue, but by dumping all the missing items into your inventory if you arrive at the final scene without them.
- Unreliable Expositor:
- Azrah is this, telling all sorts of lies about his opponent Vizznr to try to persuade Kirk not to believe anything Vizznr says.
- The Phays in "Though This Be Madness". It has a lot to tell about the history and mission of the Compassion, but the information occasionally contradicts either the hard facts or even itself. Repairing the Phays makes it sound more rational, but the actual contents of its answers remain vague and self-contradictory. The Compassion's true purpose is only revealed once Kirk realizes that all of this information is just a Red Herring.
- Unwinnable by Design: In the last mission, if you give Dr. McCoy as the answer to the first of the Brassican questions, or Spock as the answer to the first or second question, the mission becomes impossible to complete (though you can still get back to the Enterprise with a dismal score).
- Upper-Class Twit: One of the passengers on the Compassion ("Though This Be Madness") has delusions of grandure and thinks he is a king of some sort. He refuses to speak to anyone because they are all peasants and beneath his notice. Fortunately, he in inclined to believe that Uhura is of Royal Blood, and she can use this fact to trick him into leaving the room.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: The Savant does this in "Voids", kidnapping psychically-gifted people and forcing them to feel happy for all eternity.Kirk: Do you honestly believe, because what you do may benefit them, that the ends justify the means?
Savant: Yes, Captain. For such a great good as that which I provide, the ends do justify the means.
- Villain with Good Publicity: Dr. Breddell, who has gained the trust of the Vardaine people and given them aspirations of becoming an interstellar power. They don't realize how insane he really is, which means that Kirk will turn into a Hero with Bad Publicity if Breddell is simply gunned down. To avoid this eventuality it's necessary to expose Breddell's secret plans to his vardaine guards, and take him prisoner instead of killing him.
- Violence Is the Only Option:
- The Antarian Mankiller in "Federation" — a gigantic man-killing monster — must be shot and vaporized with the "Kill" phaser. This is the only time the Kill phaser can be used on a living being throughout this entire game without significantly reducing your score - and there is no other way to finish the mission.
- There is no way to defeat the Savant in "Voids" without harming it first. This is in stark contrast to any other mission in this game and its predecessor, where the 100% score is contingent on Talking Your Way Out.
- In "Though This Be Madness", shooting Rackaback with a stun phaser is the only option. If you talk with your crew they practically urge you to do so.
- To get the perfect score in "No Man's Land", it is necessary to help the old man in the street by punching out his aggressor.
- Two Vardaine guards in "Federation" will refuse to do a MookFace Turn like the rest of the security team, requiring Spock to knock them out with a nerve-pinch. Nevertheless, this gives you a better score than stunning them with a phaser.
- Virtue Is Weakness: Dr. Breddell pretty much sums up Nietzsche's "Slave Morality" as a reason to ignore Kirk's pleas.Breddell: Morality! It is an invention designed to make lesser people feel superior. The universe is full of moral people, and for the most part they are deadwood. People who are preoccupied with morality never make history.
- Void Between the Worlds: In "Voids", the Pocket Dimension containing The Savant is completely surrounded by this.
- War Is Hell: In the best outcome to "No Man's Land" Kirk confronts Trelane about how historically inaccurate his recreation of World War I is, and offers to "improve" it by referring to the historical data on the Enterprise's computer. The end result demolishes Trelane's romanticism about Earth wars.
- We Have Reserves: In "No Man's Land", Commander Ellis accuses Kirk of this. His friend - a Red Shirt - was apparently killed in one of the episodes of the TV show ("Obsession"), and Ellis believes this is a pattern of Kirk's behavior - throwing lives away callously. He has a point, given the high death-rate among the original Enterprise's crew, although in truth Kirk is haunted by each and every man he has lost.
- We Need to Get Proof: It quickly becomes clear during "Federation" that taking out Breddell without making him become a Villain with Good Publicity requires finding proof of his insane plans first.
- Xenophobic Herbivore: The Brassica are this, though they aren't herbivores - they're plants. The constant predation had later shaped their culture to be exceedingly wary of all outsiders, and thus their First Contact with alien species had to be couched in a meticulously-planned (and probably hundreds of years in the making) series of tests meant to determine which alien species (if any) they could co-exist with.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: All we know about the terrorists attacking the Smithsonian Annex in "Museum Piece" is that they want to steal the Quelque. However if Kirk manages to contact them, he can learn that they are members of an oppressed group on their home planet. They explain that the probe is a historical artifact of their entire race, and thus belongs to all members of their species equally - rather than just the ruling family to whom the Federation was planning on giving the probe. In the canon ending, Kirk agrees with them.
- Zeerust: One of the exhibits at the Smithsonian Annex is the working prototype of an "Aurora Generator". It is a bulky platform, as big as a pool table, that can wirelessly project electricity to any device over a short distance. Given how the away-team uses it later in the mission, however, the table-sized device is essentially what we would nowadays call a cellphone charging pad.