Star Wars Trilogy Arcade
Retro Coin Op Synopsis
The most elaborate Star Wars game yet released to arcades, Sega’s Star Wars Trilogy Arcade recreated everything that made Atari’s 1983 Star Wars such a success, then added five more levels from the rest of the original trilogy. With state-of-the-art 3-D graphics, thundering stereo sound and a force feedback joystick, Star Wars Trilogy was the closest most Jedi wannabes would ever get to actually being in the Rebel Alliance.
Three levels were selectable from the start: Yavin (site of the final battle from the first Star Wars film), ice planet Hoth (from The Empire Strikes Back) and the forest moon Endor (from Return of the Jedi). In the first, players were treated to a stunning update of Atari’s first-person Star Wars shooter. The level progressed through three stages—a TIE dogfight in space, another battle while skimming the Death Star’s surface, and finally a run through the space station’s long trench. As in the 1983 game, players controlled a targeting crosshairs, shooting down formations of TIE fighters and eventually releasing a pair of proton torpedoes down the Death Star’s vulnerable thermal exhaust port.
The Hoth level began as another first-person action shooter, as players entered a Snowspeeder battle against Imperial AT-AT and AT-ST walkers. In the next stage of this level, however, the action switched to a Doom-esque first-person walking/hunting game. Stormtroopers and beastly Wampas had overrun the Hoth base, and you had to make your way through the tunnels to the hangar holding the Millennium Falcon.
On Endor, players mounted Speeder Bikes for a chase through the forest. Stormtroopers surrounded your bike, and there were trees and AT-ST walkers to avoid, too. After the Speeder Bike stage, the game once again set out on foot, sneaking toward the shield generator protecting the new Death Star in the skies above. Once the building was detonated, however, your work wasn’t done yet. The final Endor stage sent you into a one-on-one battle against a huge AT-ST walker, with only a trusty blaster at your side.
Players could take these three selectable levels in any order, but the remaining three had to be earned. After beating two levels, the game shifted to one of Jabba the Hutt’s desert skiffs, where the player took the role of a lightsaber-wielding Luke Skywalker. In one-on-one battle, players had to deflect blasts from Boba Fett’s blaster, then retaliate with Jedi-like reflexes.
After all three levels were complete, another duel began, this time with the Dark Lord of Sith himself, Darth Vader. Once again controlling Luke, players had to parry hits and strike back, while the evil Emperor Palpatine watched with sadistic glee.
The game’s full-blown finale came after Darth Vader had been defeated. Outside the unfinished Death Star, a spectacular space battle was in progress. Once more taking the first-person cockpit view, players fought off TIE fighters and Imperial Destroyers, then dove inside the Death Star’s belly for a clear shot at the reactor core.
Along with the new stages, Star Wars Trilogy added a few new features to gameplay. Players earned or lost “Force Levels” based on their honor in combat (whether or not they helped fellow Rebels, shot vulnerable enemies unnecessarily, etc.) The higher the Force Level—ranging from Dark Level 2 to Light Level 3—the less damage players took from enemy hits.
Another new addition was the game’s “Event” button. When this button flashed—usually when the player was in deep trouble—hitting it would bring in the cavalry, as fellow Rebel fighters or helpful little Ewoks showed up to turn the battle’s tide.
With its faithful recreation of key scenes and battles of the first three Star Wars movies, Star Wars Trilogy Arcade was a dream come true for fans. Arriving in arcades not long before the much-anticipated start of a new film trilogy, the game also benefited from (and helped fuel) a level of Star Wars mania not seen in over a decade.
With the release of Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace in 1999, the way was opened for an entire new run of Star Wars-based games, and the Force was once again strong with arcade gamers everywhere.
Arcade Machine Release History1994 - Star Wars Arcade
1998 - Star Wars Trilogy Arcade
2000 - Star Wars Racer Arcade
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