So today is the last day of the Kickstarter campaign for Starlight Inception, and they still need a bit more than 20% of their funding to meet their goal. To hopefully help with promotion, I sent the folks at Escape Hatch a Q&A and just got it back, so please enjoy my Q&A with creator Garry Gaber, and if you like what you read, kick ‘em a few bucks. Enjoy!
After I published the story of my most memorable dogfight the other day, we got into a discussion about TIE Fighter and its ilk on one of my favorite gaming forums, Quarter to Three. During that discussion, someone brought up the amazing interactive and contextual music system that LucasArts was using back at the time, iMUSE (which you can also read about here). No, Apple fans, it’s not a Mac-based product, it’s a specific piece of music software. :P Anyway, this got me to thinking about contextual music, how it added so much to this and other games, and why we don’t see (or hear) it much anymore.
Anyone who’s played space combat games for a long time probably has several tales of brilliant success or failure that have been seared into their brains over the years. A brilliant victory, a crushing defeat, a desperate battle against incredible odds, that sort of thing. If you’re a veteran of as many space battles as I am, you know you have one or two that will be with you for all time.
Mine was in Star Wars: Tie Fighter, in a mission entitled, “Destroy the Lulsla” (which you can read about here, here and here). As the sixth mission in the first “battle” (or short campaign, 13 in all with several missions apiece) of the game, I didn’t think it would be much of a challenge…read on to see how completely wrong I was.
I’ve always felt that if a PC game has a spaceship in it, I’ll play it, no question. One of my earliest memories involving video games was Lunar Lander on the Radio Shack TRS-80. I had been fascinated with space and science fiction for many years thanks to the original Star Trek, and recall jumping at the chance to play a game set in space. When I received my first DOS-based computer some time later, I dove into games like Elite, Starflight, Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic and many more.
I’ll admit, right off the bat, that this was a tough article to write. I’ve played many, many space combat sims in my day, and through research and my own memory I strained to find fighters that actually stuck out in my mind. Sadly, while I’ve enjoyed flying around in fighters in many of the games I’ve played, I’ll be damned if I could really remember the horror or joy at flying specific fighter craft in many of them.
With that said, after a lot of thought, I’ve come up with a list of — what I think are — the best and worst fighters in space gaming. Again, this is based on my memory and opinion. ;)