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Video Game / Terminal Velocity (1995)

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Terminal Velocity is a video game developed by Terminal Reality and published by 3D Realms, released on May 1, 1995. It is an arcade-style flight combat game, with simpler game controls and physics than flight simulators. It is known for its fast, high-energy action sequences, compared to flight simulators of the time.

Terminal Reality also developed a similar game, Fury³, published that same year by Microsoft. It used the same game engine (Photex + Terrain Engine 1) and basic game mechanics, but was designed to run natively on the new Windows 95 operating system. Though considered to add little to the gameplay of Terminal Velocity, Fury 3 spawned an add-on pack, F!Zone, as well as a sequel, Hellbender.

The story is set in the year 2704, when the ASFAR (Alliance of Space-Faring Alien Races), of which Earth is a member, suddenly turns against Earth and their fleet ravages the planet, starting a war. The player flies a powerful starfighter, the TV-202, in a series of missions to defeat the enemy. In Episode 3, the player learns that a huge supercomputer known as X.I. (Xenocidic Initiative), located on Proxima Seven, is responsible for the war. Their final mission is to eliminate it.

Not to be confused for that last level in Sonic Colors or the 1994 movie of the same name. Also not to be confused with Escape Velocity, which is also in space but is a very different kind of game.

This Video Game contains examples of:

  • Ace Pilot: The game establish your character as one, because most of the other pilots died while testing the TV series of fighters.
  • Airstrike Impossible: Tunnels are a major part of gameplay. Some are mandatory, required to clear as an objective. Some are optional, more like bonus levels, and it's up to the player to find them and fly through for the goodies. Some have level bosses at the end, and going into those before clearing the other objectives first is a good way to wind up dead.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Some fixed defenses fires in the opposite direction of where you're coming from. Just apply a short burst of afterburner when approaching to them and watch.
  • Artistic License – Space: Ceres does not look at all like its Real Life counterpart, which is spherical and dark grey, even if to be fair the game was released almost twenty years before the Dawn probe reached it.
  • Big, Bulky Bomb: The quark bomb from the mission 6 briefing: "Years ago, research began on a subatomic bomb, or quark bomb. The basis of the theoretical bomb was Thorium IV, an unstable isotope that would, if struck with sufficiently accelerated particles, blast in what was termed a Deconstruction Radius. Everything in the radius briefly seperates into its component quarks, then reassembles randomly, destroying its original form. The bomb was so utterly destructive that research was terminated and all data supposedly destroyed."
  • Colony Drop: "The largest asteroid in the asteroid belt, Ceres has been fitted with an ion drive and is on course with Earth."
    • Possibly Moon Dagger which is described as "Basically a very huge and complex missile".
  • Convection, Schmonvection: Your ship can fly just below lava and avoid overheating, melting or just plain exploding.
  • Deflector Shields: Your fighter has them. Also, some bosses require you destroy the generators of the shield that protect them before attacking them.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom:
    • Proxima-seven and Proxima-four explodes at the end of their respective mission.
    • Mentioned to be the fate of Earth if you do not destroy the Moon Dagger.
    Take it out before it cores the Earth.
  • Easter Egg: The bonus planet in the CD version.
    • In the third stage of the Moon Dagger, look for several enemy ships parked and close to them a large picture of the developers.
  • Energy Absorption: The Thundercraft, Tei Tenga's boss. Like other air enemies, once defeated it may either explode in mid air or plummet to the ground -if you attack it in the latter case, you'll refill its life bar-.
  • Energy Weapon: The R.T.L. lasers. The P.A.C are referred as Plasma assault cannons but could be consider this as well.
  • Eternal Engine: The supercomputer planet in Episode 3.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Every weapon is referred this way. P.A.C: Plasma Assault Cannons, ION: Ion Burst Gun etc...
  • Game-Breaking Bug: There is a crash on stage 5-2 when you exit a tunnel. Thankfully you are not required to use this particular exit.
  • Homing Projectile: S.A.D. and S.W.T. missiles.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: The Hydro-sleds on Centauri III have pinpoint accuracy but only in the first mission.
  • Ludicrous Speed: The Afterburner allows you to outrun even the missiles you fire and the P.A.C. shots. With a cheat code you may even outrun the R.T.L. beams.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • S.A.D. and S.W.T. missiles, but especially the M.A.M. (Manually Aimed Missile) as each power-up gives you forty of them even if for these ones their accuracy is as good as your aiming skills.
    • Tei-Tenga helicopters attack you with unguided missiles, and the Moon Dagger features a sort of missile silos, that fire against space.
  • Meaningful Name: The TV-202.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The Moon Dagger. While its size it's not stated, it looks huge in the cutscene where your fighter warps out and thunders towards it.
  • Nitro Boost: The "Afterburner" powerup.
  • Shout-Out: The Moon Dagger is like the Death Star, complete with trench runs, laser batteries, interceptors that look like TIE fighters and the ability to destroy planets.
    • Tei Tenga which was the original setting for Doom before it was changed to Mars.
  • Single-Biome Planet: ALL of them. Ymir is a ice planet, Tei Tenga is a desert planet, Ositsho is a lava filled Death World, Erigone as a cratered, greenish soil all over, Centauri III is a water world and Proxima Seven is a supercomputer planet.
  • Super Prototype: The TV series of spacefighters.
  • The Greys: The aliens that appear in what look like huge propaganda paintings on the hangars of the Moon Dagger -their color is pale green, though-.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Sy Wickens when he was accidentally digitized.
  • Womb Level: Unknown Body, a secret level, is like this, with its surface composed almost entirely of toothy mouths and sphincters and biomechanical aesthetic of its tunnels.

Alternative Title(s): Terminal Velocity