Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

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Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Studio GermanyGermany Factor 5 LucasArts
United StatesUnited States
Publisher United StatesUnited States LucasArts (Windows) Nintendo (N64)
Senior Developer Mark Haigh-Hutchinson
Holger Schmidt
Julian Eggebrecht
composer Chris Huelsbeck
Windows December 3, 1998 December 1998 2001 Nintendo 64 December 7, 1998 January 10, 1999 January 26, 1999 August 27, 1999
North AmericaNorth America
European UnionEuropean Union

North AmericaNorth America
European UnionEuropean Union
United KingdomUnited Kingdom
platform Windows , Nintendo 64
genre Action game , shoot 'em up
Game mode Single player
system advantages
medium Cartridge , CD-ROM
language English , German subtitles
Current version 1.3
Age rating
USK released from 12

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (also known as Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 3D as the Windows version ) is an action and shoot-'em-up game set in the Star Wars universe and the first part of the Rogue Squadron series . It was developed by the German development studio Factor 5 and published by LucasArts at the end of 1998 for the Windows operating system and at the beginning of 1999 for the Nintendo 64 home console .

The plot takes place between the events of the Star Wars films Episode IV - A New Hope and Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back and borrows from the events of the Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron comic series . Players take it in the role of the rebel Luke Skywalker , a commander of Renegatenstaffel (ger .: Rogue Squadron ), and have to complete a total of sixteen missions verschiedenster tactical alignment successful.

The reviews of Star Wars: Rogue Squadron were mostly positive due to the advanced technical implementation in the graphic area, for example through novel particle effects, and culminated in various price nominations and the award of the Origins Award in the category Best Action Game 1998 by the renowned Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts and Design.

The game quickly became a best seller. Around one million copies of the game had been sold by August 1999. In 2001, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II - Rogue Leader, a direct successor to the Nintendo GameCube, and Star Wars: Episode I: Battle for Naboo, a very similar game for Windows and Nintendo 64, appeared.


The storyline of the game takes place during the Galactic Civil War . The Galactic Empire , an autocratic government, nominally dominates the entire galaxy, but resistance to foreign rule is forming on some worlds. This resistance has come together to form the rebel alliance . The focus of the game is on the star hunter pilots, more precisely the renegade squadron, which consists of the best pilots in the Alliance and is under the command of Luke Skywalker.

The game includes 16 missions, which are divided into four chapters. Each chapter is introduced by an introductory text that is based on those from the films. The player receives further mission details through briefing and cutscenes .

The campaign begins with a scouting flight on the desert planet Tatooine , during which the renegade squadron has surprising contact with Imperial troops attacking the local spaceport. After defeating the attackers, the squadron conducts two escort and rescue missions. She is then sent to Corellia to conduct patrol flights while an Alliance envoy meets with an Imperial defector. The Empire carries out several attacks during the negotiations to take down the defector. However, the renegade squadron managed to defend the city until the end of the negotiations. Afterwards, she and a bomber squadron carry out a mission on the planet Gerrard V, where an imperial governor is plundering the capital of the world. The goal of the alliance is to disable the ferries that are transporting the captured pieces. During the mission, the rebels manage to shoot down the imperial pilot Kazan Moor. Since she had been thinking about joining the rebels for a long time, she joined them afterwards.

The rebels then carry out three attacks on Imperial bases in the galaxy. They got information about these bases from Kazan Moor. During the third attack mission, an attack on an eavesdropping station, part of the renegade squadron is ambushed, shot down by Imperial hunters and then captured. The other pilots of the squadron then carry out a rescue operation in which their comrades and other rebel sympathizers can be freed.

After this mission, the Alliance turns its attention to Imperial Governor Moff Seerdon, who is planning an attack on Thyferra, a world of strategic importance to the Alliance. In order to weaken this, the renegade squadron operates in its area of ​​responsibility and causes considerable damage there. However, they are caught in an ambush that costs them time, which the governor uses to occupy Thyferra. The rebels lead a quick counterattack in which they can free the world and shoot down the Imperial Governor with his ferry.

After completing this mission, the Star Wars: Rogue Squadron regular campaign will end . It then begins the fourth chapter, which takes place several years after the actual plot of the game. This chapter consists of only one mission: the defense of the planet Mon Calamari , which is under attack by the Empire. The squadron, now commanded by the former deputy commander Wedge Antilles , manages to repel the attackers and secure the planet.



In Rogue Squadron , the player takes on the role of fighter pilot Luke Skywalker. As a member of the Renegade Squadron, an elite squadron, he controls various star hunters known from the films over the surfaces of some well-known planets. With the multi-purpose fighter X-Wing , the bomber Y-Wing or the air superiority fighter A-Wing he fights against enemy troops. The star fighters available to the player differ in speed, maneuverability, armor and armament. The head-up display shows a radar map with altitude information, a damage meter for the respective star hunter and the ammunition supply.

The control of the spaceships is very much oriented towards that of arcade games, especially with regard to the technical feasibility for game consoles. This makes it more action-oriented than realistic and less complex than that of X-Wing vs. TIE fighter . The gameplay conveyed corresponds roughly to that of the two parts of Star Wars: Rebel Assault and that of the flight sequences from Shadows of the Empire .

The tasks set in the game can be divided into four main groups: rescue, attack, evacuation and reconnaissance missions. In all missions, the player receives support in the fight against enemy air and ground troops from computer-controlled team members. In some missions, these units are also expanded to include ground units, which are also computer-controlled . Some missions also offer the opportunity to unlock technical upgrades for the player's star hunter. This includes, for example, improved weapon systems, but also stronger armor and drive units.

If, when completing a mission, the player fulfills certain criteria for the mission time, the number of enemies shot down, the number of allied units protected, the accuracy of shooting and the number of upgrades collected, corresponding awards are given in the form of medals, and when they are collected, others are awarded Bonus content will be unlocked.

Bonus content

Rogue Squadron contains a number of unlockable bonus items. The player can unlock three additional levels , Beggar's Canyon , Death Star Trench and The Battle of Hoth . These levels become accessible when the player has received all bronze, silver or gold medals. Unlike the game's main missions, these bonus missions relate to events that take place or are mentioned in the original trilogy .

There are also several bonus vehicles. Among other things, a Millennium Falcon , a heavily modified freighter, and a TIE interceptor , another air superiority fighter, are in the player's hangar from the start, but these cannot be selected. The vehicles and additional levels are unlocked by reaching all medals in a category. With all bronze medals the Millennium Falcon is unlocked, with all silver medals of the TIE hunters and with the acquisition of all gold medals it becomes possible to control a snow glider in all levels. The additional star chasers will be unlocked for all levels, except for those where the snow glider's tow cable is necessary to complete the mission.

Additional vehicles are only available at bonus levels. In the Beggar's Canyon mission, the T-16 Skyhopper is used to control a barely armed reconnaissance aircraft. By entering a cheat code, the AT-ST unlocks a ground vehicle that can be tested in a small area. Another bonus vehicle is a 1969 Buick Electra 225 model . It is based on the vehicle of the game's sound designer, Rudolph Stember . It can also only be unlocked with cheat codes, but only in the Nintendo version, as the corresponding code does not work in the Windows version. However, modifications to the game files have been released by fans that correct this error.

Development history

After the success of the game Shadow of the Empire in 1996, LucasArts planned a sequel. At the time, the German development studio Factor 5 was developing a game engine for creating large terrain maps. LucasArts had already worked successfully with this company and decided to use the new engine for their game. The focus of the game should be on space combat. This direction was chosen based on a level from Shadows of the Empire , in which the player flies an aerial glider during the Battle of Hoth. Rogue Squadron and Factor 5 Production Director Brett Tosti said:

“That whole scene was actually the genesis for Rogue Squadron because everybody said, 'Why don't you do a whole game like that?' So we did. "

"That scene was the birth of Rogue Squadron, because everyone was like, 'Why don't you guys do a whole game like this?' So we did it. "

Factor 5 first came up with a concept in which players were supposed to play missions that were based on the favorite action sequences of Star Wars fans from the original films. However, this proposal was rejected. Lucasfilm didn't want video games to be based directly on the films. The developers then orientated themselves on the plot of the comic series Star Wars: X-Wing Rogue Squadron and designed a new plot that should contain the known characters.

In May 1998 the game was presented for the first time at the US game E3 . At that time it consisted only of a small level in which several TIE fighters flew around an immobile imperial runner ( All Terrain Armored Transport , AT-AT for short). The player himself controlled a space fighter and could attack the other fighters. No AI was yet implemented in the game, the hunters flew on predetermined paths. This presentation was seen by the developers as a technical demonstration, which should show that they could generate good height fields . The audience was very impressed by the presentation.

Chris Hülsbeck composed the game music.

Factor 5 planned to use an expansion module for the Nintendo 64 version , which enabled the game to be displayed in a higher resolution of 640 × 480 pixels instead of just 320 × 240 pixels. Nintendo was hesitant at first, as this was only intended for hardware peripherals. But after Iguana Entertainment used the module for the game Turok 2: Seeds of Evil and the result was visibly better, Factor 5 was also given permission. Using a special code that exhausted the hardware limitations of the Nintendo 64, the console version achieved a display quality of the game environment that was progressive for the time. This technique was also used in the later Nintendo 64 title Battle of Naboo .

As with the successors Rogue Leader and Rebel Strike , the soundtrack was composed by the German computer game composer Chris Hülsbeck . However, the music is based, as in all Star Wars -Play on John Williams ' original soundtrack of Star Wars . There were difficulties with the cooperation with Lucasfilm, who did not want to pass on any soundtracks from their recording library to the development studio. The company only released a few audio tracks that were of very poor quality. Because of this, the developers were forced to record sound effects from VHS recordings of the films. Some actors like Raphael Sbarge or Olivia Hussey were hired as spokespersons for the English dubbing .

Factor 5 also planned to be linked to the 1999 film The Phantom Menace . To do this, they built in a Naboo N1 fighter. This could be unlocked by entering a cheat code that was announced a few months after the film was released.



publication Rating
N64 Windows
Allgame 4/5 4/5
CGW k. A. 70%
Famitsu 33/40 k. A.
GamePro k. A. 5/5
GameSpot 7.9 / 10 8/10
GameStar k. A. 69%
IGN 8.8 / 10 8.3 / 10
Nintendo Life 9/10 k. A.
PC Games k. A. 66%
PC player k. A. 72%
Svenska PC Gamer k. A. 85%
Video games k. A. 80%
The Cincinnati Enquirer 3.5 / 4 k. A.
Nintendojo 8.8 / 10 k. A.
GameRankings 84.76% 79.61%
Metacritic 85% k. A.

Many magazines compared Star Wars: Rogue Squadron with a role model of the developers, a level from the game Shadows of the Empire , for example the author Ryan Mac Donald magazine GameSpot . He praised the extraordinary scope of the Nintendo 64 version, which is evident in the many spoken texts and commands as well as in high-quality sounds that are very close to the films. He also praised the great playfulness that provides variety. The only point of criticism is the lack of good music. The quality of the music in the game is much worse than that of the rest of the setting.

Scott Marriott from the American side Allgame praised the graphic detail density and the particle effects. The lighting effects are also convincing. These are particularly noticeable in levels that play at night. However, the excessive use of fog is a bit annoying, as it unnecessarily reduces the visibility in all levels. Another strength of the game is the sound. The sounds of the hunters and the laser are as good as in the films. In terms of play, the author rated the rating system as a good concept that ensures high replayability.

Don St. John from GamePro magazine rated the mission design as extremely creative and varied. The evaluation with medals also ensures good long-term motivation. The easy-to-learn controls of the hunters, which encourage them to perform spectacular flight maneuvers, are also impressive. The author cited the lack of a multiplayer mode as the central point of criticism of Rogue Squadron . According to John, such a game could have improved the fun a lot.

Peer Schneider from the online magazine IGN praised the varied gameplay and the diverse missions. The tone also earned praise. The Nintendo version of the game received several awards for sound: Best Sound of 1998 , Best Overall Sound , Sound Effects, and Best Voice . The audio compression technology also received an award, receiving the Best Audio Technology award . The graphics of the Nintendo version were also viewed very positively overall, while the Windows version, mainly the models, could not completely convince graphically. The author of this report was also bothered by the lack of multiplayer mode.

Chris van der Storck from Nintendojo , which specializes in Nintendo systems, described the graphics as good overall, and the 3D models in particular make a good impression. Only the surrounding textures seem a bit monotonous. The author was just as positive about the sound as the other magazines, he even described it as the best sound of a game for the Nintendo 64 console to date. The game is also convincing from van der Storck's point of view. However, the author saw a flaw in the fact that the game did not have a multiplayer mode.

Sales figures

When Rogue Squadron was released in early December 1998, the Nintendo 64 version was the second best-selling game in the first half of the month (behind Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time ). In the UK, the game was released in mid-January and also became the second best-selling game of the month. In August 1999 the title was added to Nintendo's “Player Choice” collection, a collection of particularly successful titles. The Windows version was re-released in May 2001 as part of the LucasArts Archive Series.

Approximately 1.59 million copies of the game were sold in the United States alone. The sales success clearly exceeded the developers' expectations. Lead developer Julian Eggebrecht said the game sold about 100 times better than anyone expected. The following Rogue Squadron titles were only developed for the Nintendo GameCube , the successor console to the Nintendo 64. The series ran until 2003, and two more parts were released. They build on the successful concept of Part 1 and have a similar plot.

Web links

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This version was added to the list of articles worth reading on November 11, 2013 .