Released in 1995 for the PC, Star Wars: Dark Forces
chronicles the adventures of everyone's favorite not-yet-bearded mercenary, Kyle Katarn. Taking place before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
, this is a First-Person Shooter in the style of id Software's Doom
You play as Kyle Katarn, a mercenary who used to work for the Empire and is doing a job for the Rebellion to find the Death Star plans from a secret Imperial base on the planet Danuta. Mission briefings are presented in animated cut-scenes, which are followed up by text recaps as shown in the pic above.
A major innovation in Dark Forces compared to other games of the time is how you can look up and down to fire at enemies. Sadly, this is handled by using the Page Up and Page Down keys, making one feel clumsy at times. The small white blob in the picture is a Stormtrooper off in the distance.
Befitting a Star Wars game, there are Easter Eggs scattered throughout. The rectangular droid on the left is an MSE Droid, which was feature in Episode IV as the scurrying droid which Chewbacca scares off in the Death Star. Also note how much space the gun takes up on the screen and the repeated use of gray textures--gray floors, gray walls, and dark grey guns!
This first level is very linear and one finds the Death Star plans in almost no time at all. The area where you retrieve the plans features a fine level of detail in the rotating green wireframe-style schematic of the Death Star.
An Imperial Officer attempts to take a shot at me. The animation on his face as he makes a shot is just adorable, no?
After completing the stage, you board your personal ship, the Moldy Crow, piloted by space chick Jan Ors. The rust on the exterior is a nice touch. Before we move on to Level 2, it is time for a 90's staple: CUT-SCENE TIME!
Darth Vader talks to Moff Rebus, a fat white man looking not unlike Jim Sterling from behind. Moff Rebus reveals his secret plan... The sinister Dark Troopers!
Dark Troopers are really strong Stormtroopers. Could these be the titular Dark Forces?
Like this take on the first level? Hate it? Comment away! ;) read