GoG NOW HAS STARFLIGHT 1 AND 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Starflight cover.

One of the bestest games EVAR!

I want to tell you a story, so please, have a seat, get some hot chocolate, and listen…

When I was 12 or 13, I got my first computer based on MS-DOS for Christmas that year, a Tandy 1000EX from Radio Shack. Along with this computer, I was told I could have one game, so in looking around the store, I found an unassuming thin black box with a spaceship on it called Starflight and BASED ON THE SPACESHIP alone took it home with me. In loading up that first 5/14″ low density floppy and finding myself in a Starport above Arth, I started to think I might be onto something special.

Then, when I had my crew and my ship, left startport and opened the in-game starmap…the same one that came printed with the game, but I hadn’t looked at it yet…my jaw hit the floor. HUNDREDS of starsystems, many with planets, were there waiting for me to explore them, and I could go in any direction I wanted. That year, I spent 200-300 hours at least playing Starflight, both alone and with my best friend Leo, who shared in my adventures. He and I would spend hours at my place pouring over notes we took, marking places on the map, laughing at alien conversations and fighting tense battles. Even after we finished the game, we still flew around, explored planets, talked to aliens and so on. It was a glorious time that we still talk about to this day.

This sense of wonder, of exploration and discovery was only matched a few years when the sequel, Starflight 2: Trade Routes of the Cloud Nebula, was released, and it improved in its predecessor in nearly every way except one…it actually had a finite end. Regardess, Starflight 2 added a huge nebula, time travel, trade options, better diplomacy and so much more, but honestly, that doesn’t make it a better game than its predecessor, since it’s still so good. I spent another 200-300 hours on Starflight 2, once for a week straight after drinking many cans of Jolt Cola.

I have many, many fond memories of playing the Starflight games, and now, thanks to Good Old Games — who now want us to think of them as GoG since they’ll be selling newer games soon enough — you can too, as they are selling both Starflight 1 and 2 for six dollars. If you’ve never played these games before, now you can do yourself the enormous favor of trying them out. Sure the graphics are crude, and sure the interface — which only uses the arrow keys — is outdated and obtuse, but that barely matters. Once you begin to explore whole planets, talk to well-written and well-thought-out aliens and let the sense of wonder grip you, you’ll hopefully see what I’m talking about, and why I’m so excited about this release.

When I first learned of GoG, my first thought was, “When will they get Starflight?”. Well, on this day of giving thanks, I am totally giving my thanks to GoG for releasing these milestone space RPG adventure games, and implore you to give them a try. In the nearly thirty years since the first game was released, I’ve yet to find another game like these, and I hope that once you give them a try, you too will be entranced by all they have to offer. Good luck, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Comments

  1. DManiac777 says

    Thanks for sharing that story, Brian. I have similar fond memories of playing games with friends. It's great to think back to those times, isn't it?

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    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Totally. I mean I love my life now, but I do think back on all those hours spent with Starflight with extreme fondness. :)

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  2. Nikolaj says

    Thanks for the tip, Brian. I've never played these, but I've heard them mentioned often enough to be interested. Maybe this would be a good opportunity to try them out.

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  3. Wavinator says

    Another Starflight fan? Well, that just settles it, gonna have to make this my new home page. :)

    Starflight is in a league all by itself. I still can't believe they were able to cram 200 stars, 800 explorable planets, 7 interactive races, artifacts, upgrades and centuries of history told through a non-linear story onto 2 floppy disks! I remember the most compelling feature being the procedurally generated planets, which were an explorer's playground rich with minerals, strange alien creatures and mysterious ruins. They made the game seem both alive and strangely desolate at the same time.

    I had a chance to replay Starflight last year and found that despite the clunky interface it still held up in many ways. But I think it should be stressed that just like a game like Minecraft, Starflight is a game for the explorer. If you're looking for frequent combats the sheer size of the planets and interstellar space may be frustratingly boring and may even make the game feel empty. (To this day I salivate over the prospect of a Starflight crossed with something like Escape Velocity... probably sound like Homer Simpson lusting after donuts when I think of it :P)

    Glad to hear GOG has added this game. I only wish I could get the original box along with that shiny black codewheel. Sadly, despite being an uber fanboy, mine was lost years ago in a move, along with my (should I be mentioning this in public???) framed Starflight 2 poster. (Still have my Starflight 2 box-- although strangely enough I NEVER completed that game due to my hatred of the overpowered Spemin!)

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  4. Lee says

    Hi Brian, whilst browsing the web for further Starflight info I cam across a site for Starflight - The Lost Colony.

    Seems to be in Beta but may be worth checking/adding to your list.

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  5. Pogue Mahone says

    This is pretty fantastic. I had to buy this as soon as I saw it in the bargain thread over at Qt3, I played the original game endlessly on my old Commodore 64 but never played the sequel because it wasn't released on that platform and now I can finally rectify that problem.

    I actually own a copy of the Genesis version of Starflight even though I don't own a Genesis to play it with. Ah well, maybe one day.

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  6. KaoFloppy says

    You've convinced me to pick this up in the xmas GOG sale! For my vacation, do I play this first, or Heroes of Might & Magic 2? Maybe I'll play both, and destroy my sleeping time...

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    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Lordy lord, tough choice. Both are EXCELLENT games...I do prefer HOMM3 to 2 though...but anyway, that's a tough call indeed. HOMM2 is newer and definitely easier on the eyes, has tons of gameplay and is an excellent game all around. Starflight is...damned old, and the interface is a bit...archaic by today's standards. If you can get past that, however, you're in for an amazing treat. A custom ship with a custom crew in a huge universe to explore. Ah, how I envy you in playing it for the first time. I still get a warm feeling in my chest whenever I recall the first time I saw that starmap and realized I could GO to all of those colored dots and do stuff like explore planets and meet aliens. Just...indescribable.

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  7. William says

    Starflight to this day is still the best game ever made in my book.

    Mass Effect 1 was close but a lot smaller and had none of the mechanics like mining, purchasing fuel/upgrades, space combat, etc.... But at least you could land on some planets and drive the rover again.

    If they would take Mass Effect 1 and add all of the missing elements from Starflight that would be an awesome game.

    Every few years I still look around trying to find out if the third game is being made. Wish the original creator would start a Kickstarter page for it. I would defiantly contribute.

    From what I've heard he wants to do ToeJam and Earl. :/

    It was an 'ok' game, but not even close to how marvelous Starflight was.

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    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Well, Protostar was an unofficial Starflight 3, but it didn't grab me like the original two. The fan-based sequel seems to be in limbo, sadly.

      Which creator are you talking about that works on ToeJam and Earl?

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    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Ohhhhh right! I should get in touch with him about this very topic! Thanks!

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  8. says

    Wow, I'm glad and lucky this thread bubbled up in the recent activity, because I absolutely loved Starflight and Starflight 2, and not too long ago was wistfully wondering if somewhere there might be a way to get hold of them and an emulator.

    Thanks, Brian!

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    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Hah, my pleasure, I am here to spread the spacey gaming love. :) Enjoy!

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  9. wmays says

    Me and a friend have been kicking around an idea for the last few weeks about trying to make our own game combining all the best aspects of Starflight and Mass Effect and StarTrek games. We both are ok at coding but suck at modeling, we are looking for someone who is good with models and textures, once we find someone we are going to start a kickstarer campaign and see if we cant create something unique and Awesome. Please let me know if anyone knows a graphics artist that would like to throw in his hand.

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    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      That sounds awesome, and welcome! What kind of feature set are you looking at for your game, and does it have a name yet?

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      • wmays says

        No name as of yet, still in the planning stage. As far as features go, here is some of what we are hoping to implement this list may seem a little ambitious but with enough time and hard work i think it will be do able. 3d view of starship with highly adjustable camera view, a full galaxy map with hundreds of worlds to explore and mine with a highly detailed rover to use and also when you find ruins you can enter them with a few crew members in a 3rd person view similar to mass effect with full combat and puzzles to solve. On the galactic side there would be atleast 6-10 main races to interact with. A fully customizable capital ship with lots of mods available for it. Really what we want to do is make our dream game. So far we are just tossing ideas back and forth between us, but I think we have a good list going, and we are more than willing to take suggestions from fellow gamers to make it a dream game for other people as well. Right now we are in search of a graphics artist to join our team and help toss around their knowledge about the graphics side of things.

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        • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

          Well good luck to ya then, and please keep me in the loop. Thanks! :)

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  10. William says

    A dream game would be Starflight redone within modern graphics. Space battles like Privateer and the ability to exit your rover into a 1st/3rd person view like Mass effect to complete quests/puzzles.

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  11. William says

    Just don't hit that exit rover button as a tornado is passing by! :D

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  12. Norm Florio says

    I was hoping (perhaps praying) that someone would pick up the idea of remaking a game with today's technology that replicates The Starflight of old. I am damn near 70 and I would buy it, I played that game endlessly (Starflight) and got lost in the exploration of other planets. Todays games are bent to just battles and all well and good for those that enjoy that kinda thing, but there are many of us the like space exploration with a few battles thrown in. I hope you folks follow thru and good luck to you,. Not only would it be fun for you, I am sure it would be very profitable as well, because there are I am sure many people that would buy that game. Good luck. The Italian

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    • Brian RubinBrian Rubin says

      Hah, welcome to the blog Norm! It's great to hear a man of your age still plays and loves video games, if I may be so bold in saying so. :) And yeah, a modern remake of Starflight would be awesome, no doubt. There is one fan-based project called The Lost Colony -- https://sites.google.com/site/starflighttlc/ -- but I've yet to try it. Hopefully it continues the pedigree. :)

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