PRESENCE IS FELT WITHIN THE FORCE.
THE EMPIRE'S DEATH STAR, UNDER THE
COMMAND OF DARTH VADER, NEARS THE
REBEL PLANET. YOU MUST JOIN THE
REBELLION TO STOP THE EMPIRE.
THE FORCE WILL BE WITH YOU.
Star Wars: The Arcade Game (originally just titled Star Wars) is an arcade game developed and released by Atari in 1983. It was also ported to various consoles and home computers in 1984 by Parker Brothers, and in 1987 and 1988 by Domark and Brøderbund.
The game replicates the final battle in Star Wars: A New Hope in that you pilot an X-Wing Fighter to the Death Star in order to fire the torpedo that goes into the reactor core and destroys the battlestation. Opposing your approach are a squadron of TIE Fighters, bunkers and towers on the surface, and laser turrets firing shots at you in the trench run that leads to the exhaust port you need to fire into.
The game is notable in its use of color vector graphics and its digitized speech replicating famous lines from the movie. It was followed in the arcades by Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (which used an isometric diagonal-scrolling perspective similar to Zaxxon) and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (which was a conversion kit for this game).
This game features examples of
- Airstrike Impossible: The trench run, which now has barriers blocking your way to the exhaust port, making that part more reminiscent of the Death Star reactor core shaft run from Return of the Jedi. Later waves include a barrier that completely blocks the trench, making them impossible unless your shields have at least one hit point left.
- Attract Mode: This game is one of the few instances where the attract mode doesn't have a demo sequence. The game also occasionally plays the cantina theme from the movie during the title screen (which also plays when you make the high score list).
- Collision Damage: Colliding with any of the towers or bunkers on the surface, as well as any of the barriers in the trench, costs your shield one hit point.
- Deflector Shields/Hit Points: Your X-Wing Fighter can take several hits before its shield is destroyed, with one more hit ending the game. Completing a level with the destruction of the Death Star regenerates the shield by one hit point.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Death Star's destruction, replicated through vector-scan animation.
- Endless Game: Once you destroy the Death Star, the game repeats itself over and over, becoming more difficult with each wave: TIE Fighters shoot more often in the first phase, artillery bunkers and laser towers appear in the second phase, and obstacles appear in the trench during the third phase.
- Fan Remake: Star Fire (no relation to the Exidy coin-op game of the same name) for the Vectrex.
- First-Person Shooter: One of the early examples.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: When approaching the Death Star, its lights spell out "May the force be with you".
- Rail Shooter: The player is constantly on the move, shooting things in front of them.
- Scoring Points: For taking down TIE fighters, bunkers, laser towers, and laser turrets, and for blowing up the Death Star.
- Star Fighter: Your X-Wing Fighter.
- Synthetic Voice Actor: The arcade game contains a voice synthesis chip that emulates the voices of Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, and Obi-Wan Kenobi to the best of its ability.
- Title: The Adaptation: In the Parker Brothers home releases.
- Vector Game: The Atari Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back arcade games used vector graphics.