The Star Wars Combat Simulator v1.0

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Wildcard Stream Vol. 79 - Star Wars Fan Games 2024 Edition

Sharpening our X-Wing skills and discovering Yoda has been working on his grammar

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: May 10, 2024
Part of Series: Wildcard Streams
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♦ Livestream of 3 ZZT worlds. ♦

♦ Stream Contents ♦
• (1:55) "The Star Wars Combat Simulator v1.0" by Bryan St. John (1994) []
• (12:28) "Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition" by Joshua Fadriquela (1997) []
• (18:06) "Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition (Update)" by Joshua Fadriquela (1997) []

Aw boy, it's that time of year again. Time to once again delve into the seemingly endless number of ZZT Star Wars fan games that went unpreserved for so long. This year, we might actually get through them all. And, luckily enough, this first batch isn't as bad as what's been seen in previous years.

Not entirely...

Starting with a "combat sim" which to me commits a cardinal sin by placing players in outer space with yellow borders still intact. That's no infinite vastness!

What you get isn't all that exciting either. The player themselves acts as an X-Wing, "flying" as they please across space, shooting at TIE fighters that do a better job of shooting one another than Luke. Destroying a ship causes a colorful little explosion to splatter on the screen which can take out other ships, or worse, the passage to the next board.

Though it is pretty funny when you catch Vader himself in one of these explosions and take him out instantly.

The one thing the game has going for it are the ship designs outside of gameplay. The starting hangar has a pretty good looking X-Wing, and the ending Death Star explosion with the player flying away looks pretty impressive as well, save for the fact that the animation is split into two parts, with the latter only activating when players touch their X-Wing's controls.

Then it's onto an early start of recreating the original trilogy with Star Wars Trilogy: Special Edition. Normally I wouldn't have bothered with this one as an updated version is included, but it has far more content inside, so I wanted to see how things developed.

This one, is a good example of someone not yet grasping ZZT's mechanics which means things like duplicators that point in the wrong direction, and objects all talk at once rather than when touched.

But it makes for a good contrast to its successor, which goes back to the early boards and cleans things up a little bit, letting objects speak properly and addressing some of the other issues, but not all. The new material also shows an author learning as they go, eventually incorporating STK even. It is indeed a pretty zippy retelling of the three films its based on, skipping over quite a lot, yet doing a reasonable job with what it includes. By the standards of these Star Wars ZZT games, it's one the better side. It still has its share of bizarre changes like Yoda lacking his distinctive form of speaking!

♦ Play these worlds directly in your browser ♦

♦ Originally streamed on May 5th, 2024 ♦

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