Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (NES)
|Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back|
- For other games in the series, see Star Wars.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is an action-platformer game created by Lucasfilm Games and developed by Sculptured Software, and is based on the film of the same name.
Despite the successful destruction of the Death Star, the Imperial offensive still continued, and the rebels were driven back to a secret base on the galactic frontier. It was a dark time for the rebels. The Knights of Freedom, led by Luke Skywalker, escaped pursuit by the Imperial Army and built a new secret base on the planet Hoth. Meanwhile, the evil incarnate Darth Vader has unleashed thousands of unmanned scouting robots across the universe in hopes of discovering the young Jedi knight....
The game uses a new engine and as a result, new mechanics. Luke starts off in Hoth riding on his Tauntaun (which he can unmount by pressing Select). The game introduces force powers that can be unlocked and subsequently used by collecting force points. Luke also has a super jump which functions in an identical fashion to Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES) by holding down until Luke flashes, and then pressing A. There are no lives in the game; only a handful of continues, which, if all used, forces the player back to the beginning of the game.
The game was mostly negatively received by critics. The main criticism of the game is that it controls horribly; the jumping and moving is very stiff, and there are many platforming segments, such as the first level where Luke must jump onto small, moving glaciers whilst avoiding probes. Also, some criticize Luke and Darth Vader's graphics as their lightsaber colors are swapped, as well as Vader using a blaster. However, the game was noted for its clear digitized speech and ambient effects.
Sculptured Software created Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (SNES) with LucasArts shortly after, which was highly praised, but was also known for its brutal difficulty.
An interesting tidbit about this game is that during its development, developers from Active Enterprises visited Sculptured Software and used their development tools from Nintendo to produce the infamous unlicensed game Action 52 (NES).
This page needs more screenshots.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back lacks in the audio department; while the music contains several scores from the movie, all but one of the songs does not loop, and so the game can be stark silent at times, and the musical themes seem to play completely at random. The only song that loops is the song that plays when you are selecting which force power to use, which is actually the Cantina theme from the first movie.
According to the game's sound designer, Paul Webb, he had actually received the original handwritten scores by John Williams (though was forced to return them at the end of the game's development). This allowed Webb to create note-for-note 8-bit arrangements of the score. However, due to the 2A03's limited capabilities, Webb had to water down the scores to play on the sound chip. He arranged the music originally on his Ensoniq EPS, and subsequently coded it into the sound driver in assembly. According to Webb, Sculptured's sound driver was programmed by Ken Moore.
Webb also went on to work on the Super Star Wars games on the SNES, which were highly praised for the music and sounds, as they sounded like they were ripped directly from the movie.
The game's sound test lists the names of all the music, sound effects, and even digitized sound effects. The song titles and ordering go after the sound test, though the game sometimes combines music tracks together. It is thought the track names were in turn taken from the sheet music Paul had received from John Williams.
- Ripper: Matrixz
- Recorder: Doommaster1994
- Game Credits:
- Manual Credits:
- Musical Arrangements and Sound Effects by: Paul Webb
Only the text differentiates between the USA and Japanese version. Other than that, they're exactly the same. The game's instruction manual gives proper role names of the developers.
Ripping NES music is a very arduous process that is beyond the scope of this site. The music was recorded in the sound test of the game using VirtuaNES.