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Video Game / Star Wars: DroidWorks

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Star Wars: DroidWorks is a Star Wars Legends educational game released by Lucas Learning in 1998 for PC and Mac.

In it, you play as a spy for the Rebel Alliance who has to build droids for a Jawa clan, solving basic physics puzzles to prove yourself, and ultimately stop the Empire's army of assassin droids.

Star Wars: DroidWorks contains examples of:

  • Acid Pool: A large one shows up late in the Salvage Yard mission, and to cross it, you have to time your jump with a lift platform constantly going up and down inside it.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Somehow, Wimateeka can speak Basic, as can other Jawas in the missions. Given that the opening scroll breaks tradition by being narrated, it's safe to assume that the Jawas speaking Basic is a gameplay conceit for the target audience of young padawans.
  • The Alleged Boss: F-TO (Pronounced "Feet-Oh"), administrator of the Phrik mine, is a Type 3. He proudly describes how the place works and why his position is so important, except there aren't any of his lower mining droids about, even with the recent power outage. He does help you take out the assassin droid, at least.
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  • Arm Cannon: The assassin droids sport blasters for both of their arms, though they only attack with the right-handed one, which from the sound and white flash on the HUD, appears to be a Lightning Gun or perhaps a DEMP (Destructive Electro-Magnetic Pulse) cannon meant for destroying droids.
  • Artificial Stupidity: The assassin droids aren't very good at accurately following your droid, which greatly helps you evade them. This also applies in universe and perhaps justifies their behavior as the initial assassin droids were so smart that they refused to kill.
  • Artistic License – Physics: The game applies the term "Mass Launcher" to a type of catapult used in-game. In reality, this refers to a magnetic rail gun.
  • Beeping Computers: Woven into some of the background ambiance, used most prominently in control room areas.
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  • Big "WHAT?!": When F-TO forgets the data crystal you were promised, one of your droid's responses is this.
  • Bilingual Bonus: If you're familiar with Aurebesh then you'll notice that when you upload the override code in the Imperial factory, the screen spells out "DANCE".
  • Blackmail: In the Moisture Farm mission, there's a droid who was sent out by the Jawas before you, but was rendered useless by the nearby assassin droid breaking his welder tool. Because of this, he adamantly refuses to help you, which you have to change by saying that you'll rat him out to Wimateeka that the droid couldn't complete his mission. Said droid immediately cooperates, fearing being sold for scrap at the next Jawa trader's lot if word gets out.
  • Boring Return Journey: When a mission is begun, your droid is deployed from the Sandcrawler in a slow, dramatic manner with Cammy providing cinematic angles, but at the end, the Jawas simply suck it back into the workshop through a vacuum tube, in much the same manner that R2 was in A New Hope. He and C-3PO sometimes comment on this.
  • Bottomless Pits: Averted. It's still one of the most common causes for mission failures, but unlike most examples, there's always a bottom no matter what pit you fall into due to the limitations of the SITH engine.
  • By the Lights of Their Eyes: In one of the missions, you are able to ask one of the Jawas why they have glowing eyes. It answers that it's a long-kept secret, and calls your droid nosy for asking.
  • Catapult to Glory: This is what you have to do to complete the Mass Launcher training mission, literally launching your droid to a huge glowing target near the exit door. Humorously, the mission's name is "Fire When Ready". This trope comes into play in the Droid Factory mission as well, throwing you directly into its control room.
  • Continuity Nod: Some of the data crystals (excluding than the ones you find in the missions) show clips from the original Trilogy films. It's also implied that the game itself is situated between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
  • Crossdressing Voices: This can happen with a male-voiced droid head being on a feminine chassis, or vice versa.
  • Cyber Cyclops: The assassin droids have dark red visors for eyes. You can also build droids with single-eyed heads as well, though most of them lack vocabulators.
  • Data Crystal: You have to find three of these to uncover the location of the hidden droid factory.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If you fail a mission, you can always just reuse the same droid again, or choose a new one. Cammy will explain that the droid is retrieved for repairs if it takes too much damage.
  • Dialogue Tree: How your droid communicates with other beings in the missions. You don't get this option if your droid head has no communicator.
  • Diegetic Interface:
    • The droid workshop is set up as a room inside Wimateeka's sandcrawler, with buttons for choosing parts, paint tools, zoom and rotation controls, and switches to test your droid. It also contains the Mission Map and buttons to visit other areas.
    • The second interface is Cammy's video screen, with readouts on your droid's power level, speed, damage meter, projectors for speech prompts and holographic inventory.
  • Dirty Coward: After you fix all the corroded pipes under the Moisture Farm, the cowardly repair droid who helped you before tells you that there's another area to fix. Then he proceeds to open a door leading to it... and leaves you with the assassin droid standing right behind that door.
  • Dumb Muscle: All the assassin droids fit this trope, although they do sound very sadistic when they're trying to kill you. One assassin droid who's friendly, because he has a droid brain, says that the Empire intentionally designed them this way because droid brains made them too smart for combat.
  • Expy: Yes, you have all the parts you need to make droids based off multiple droids in the series, including C-3PO, R2-D2, IG-88, and 21-B. While a Threepio lookalike isn't all that useful considering no mission requires you to conduct diplomacy (beyond "does your droid have a vocabulator or not?"), R2 is a bit more helpful if you want a lightweight wheeled droid. 21-B's head is mandatory for one of the later missions, as it's the only one that has medical knowledge.
    • Ironically, an accurate 21-B can't succeed that mission, due to a majority of the parts being non magnetic.
  • Exposition Fairy: Cammy, the flying hovercam droid. She speaks with a Southern accent, of all things. Fortunately, if you tire of her, there's a mute button in the top right corner and you can just read what she says instead.
  • Fade to Black: How missions end if they are failed.
  • Funny Background Event: At the start of the second training mission, TIE Interceptors will be continuously flying across the sky, iconic exhaust howl and all. This scene happens nowhere else in the game, and is not relevant to the plot in any way.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: The Information and Data Expert, or InDex system, replete with all the physics and scientific resources anyone would need to know for solving the missions. When the game came out, there was a website related to this as well, but has long since been taken down.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: The Salvage Yard has one seriously bored security droid, who would work for the Rebellion if he could, rather than stay with the storm troopers that don't even trust him with clearance codes. He even admits that the Salvage Yard is owned by the Emperor, though he thinks Darth Vader is worse than that. Regardless, he doesn't stop you from entering the place, let alone shoot you with the blaster (which you can't see) he's carrying, whether you talk to him or not.
  • Hammerspace: Don't ask how RD-RR was carrying around a huge gear. Your droid at least gets the limitations on what objects it can carry, depending on the strength of its arms.
  • Hard Light: Colored beams of light serve as tracks for the magnetic trams leading into and out of the various warehouses in the Salvage Yard.
  • Heal Thyself: Batteries in 3 sizes can replenish your power bar, and oil cans fix any endured damage. The latter even have white crosses on the front, along with wrenches. Sometimes you have to give batteries to other stranded droids who are out of power entirely.
  • Heroic Mime: Your droid can be this if it's using a head that has no means of communication; beeping or vocal.
  • Hint System: A simple variant. The Droid Workshop, Mission Map, and InDex all have a help button that allows players to inspect parts of each interface, read aloud by C-3PO. Cammy's HUD also has this function, though read aloud by her instead, which also shows the key map if clicked twice.
  • In-Universe Camera: Again, Cammy. It's actually confusing, in that she's not only tracking your droid in the missions, but the interface is part of her chassis that you are looking at, simultaneously. She tries to explain this when you examine her visual sensor.
    "During a mission, it allows me to see you, and watch your droid at the same time. Impressive, huh? I'm not just another pretty face, you know!"
  • Involuntary Dance: In the workshop and training facility, you're able to make your droid dance. This is how you defeat the assassin droids.
  • Justified Tutorial: The Sandcrawler Training Facility serves as a testing ground for the droids you build, with all the elements you'll face in the training missions. The communication test even shows some personality to the droid head you're using.
  • Kill It with Fire: With help from F-TO, you get to actually destroy one of the assassin droids in the Phrik Mine mission, using a Mass Launcher that flings it into a furnace.
  • Light and Mirrors Puzzle: Used to teach angles of reflection, naturally, this is how you view the data crystals you've collected. Later on in the mission, you can't always use their displays to know the angle they're turned to.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When F-TO notices Cammy's presence behind your droid, he asks why she's there, and at first assumes she's filming him for a movie. Your droid can answer this question, too.
  • Machine Monotone: Two of the droid heads speak in this manner, the same voice for each.
    "Information received, awaiting further instructions."
  • Mission Control: Wimateeka, who provides briefings for your missions.
  • The Mole: The friendly assassin droid you meet in the Salvage Yard began as this, being one of the earliest of his kind. For a time, he was in league with the Jawas and even made off with one of the data crystals you're sent to retrieve. Unfortunately, the Empire caught on and sent him to he Salvage Yard to be sold for scrap.
  • Multiple Life Bars: The HUD you're using has three: One for the droid's movement speed, another for its battery power, complete with red, yellow and green levels; and the third for overall damage. The latter two flash if they go to critical levels.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: The assassin droid who was sent to the Salvage Yard wants nothing to do with killing people, so the Empire made him do menial labor instead.
    Droid: "You think I enjoy being this ridiculously overbuilt hunk of durasteel? It's not really my style, I wouldn't hurt a womp rat!"
  • No OSHA Compliance: People on Tattooine aren't very fond of safety codes, even with the Empire around. One location seriously guilty of this trope is the Phrik Mine, which is run by snooty administrator droid F-TO. For starters, the elevator accessing the mine proper is a simple platform that someone could easily fall off of while it's moving, and after it gets there, it opens right next to an open pit; then there's the Laser-Powered Fusion Reactor, which has no handrails on its catwalks that span over an equally deep pit. This is even exploited in the Salvage Yard mission, where the assassin droid in it destroys a catwalk, crushing a Jawa spy beneath it and trapping him under a crate.
  • No Name Given: The player character is an unnamed Rebel spy. He's also quite short.
  • Off-Model: Each time you complete a mission, your droid rendered as a .3do is seen amongst Wimateeka, his fellow jawas, R2 and C-3PO in a pre-rendered cutscene. However, its proportions are drastically different from how it looks in the mission proper, to the point that the smallest droids appear huge, and vice versa.
  • Platform Game: Aside from teaching children about physics and mechanics, the missions can basically be summed up as this. How high a droid can jump depends on how good their locomotions are and their overall weight in kilograms.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: The assassin droids continuously spout these upon seeing you.
    "There's nothing like a warm BLASTER to brighten your day!"
    ''My next blast will melt your motivators!"
    ''I'll turn you into hydrospanners!"
  • Punny Name: The droid RD-RR ("hardy har har"), who is programmed and known for telling jokes...
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Any droid using C-3PO's leg part will have this as its dance animation.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Only one of the droid heads contains a female personality, and it's completely optional.
  • Selective Magnetism: And the developers showed their work while doing it. Each droid part has a materials list, and true to real life, only parts made of magnetic materials like iron, nickel, and cobalt are magnetic. In fact, even though it's not a requirement, using a non-magnetic droid makes the Phrik Mines mission much easier since it lets you lure the assassin droid into the magnet trap without being caught yourself.
  • Shown Their Work: Every droid part is stated to have been manufactured by a company from the Expanded Universe, and the Mission Map shows locations on Tatooine that we know from the movies, like Mos Eisely and Tosche Station.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: Your droid is remotely controlled by the player, in movement and speech, but the other droids you meet all communicate on their own, and stranded ones in the missions sometimes talk about how their builders treated them. The assassin droids are self-explanatory, though.
  • Slow Doors: The huge concrete doors in the 5th training mission, and the Salvage Yard. Most of the other doors open more quickly in-game.
  • Ten-Second Flashlight: A variant. Some droid heads have a floodlight that has a fairly slow power drain, but the night vision sensor on other heads - including R2-D2's, has a faster drain, much like System Shock. One particular head has a vision sensor explicitly designed to see corrosion, only used in one of the top secret missions.
  • Timed Mission: On some training missions, the requirement to gain Master rank involves finishing the mission under a time limit.
  • Unintentionally Unwinnable: You're given a battery to use on a droid at the end of the Salvage Yard mission, but you could easily use it on yourself, thus preventing you from getting the crystal you're sent to retrieve. It's pretty hard to do that though, as there's another battery hidden one room over from where the droid is.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: In the last stage of the Mass Launcher training mission, you get the option to control how much force the mass launcher gives out. And to pass, now you have to launch two droids to the target first. You can also aim it wrong or set the power too high and throw them straight into a wall. Cammy tells you to end the mission at that point, though.