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Old 19-11-2012, 11:06 PM   #1
MrFlibble
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Arrow Star Quest I in the 27th Century

Recently I've been ploughing through cd.textfiles.com searching for something interesting and a title I didn't know caught my attention. The game, called Star Quest I in the 27th Century, boasted
Quote:
A Full 3D Space Combat and Race Simulator
Long Desc : Take command as a high level officer giving orders to a
squadron of ultra-fast wing ships with high fire power. Order the fleet to
follow and protect you while you destroy hundreds of enemy ships. Don't miss
this amazing experience of flying with a team of top notch fighters. Imagine
arriving from deep space, closing in on a solar system, circling around a moon
to finally blast a base protected by ground cannons on the planet's surface.
Start playing the incredibly realistic missions to sense the ultimate fear of
destruction in ap bombarded by fire power so intense that your head will be
spinning. Wipe out space mine fields to protect your Star Cruisers while an
armada closes in on you... The ultimate real-time space flight environment.
Running on state of the art algorithms, Star Quest I allows you unlimited
freedom of movement and control around full 3D planets. FEATURES: 3D mapped
stars for a total feeling of immersion. Full 3D Gouraud shaded planets with
atmosphere simulation. Texture mapped objects with real-time shading by
sunlight. Mixed missions: deep space, air and surface. Over 60 different
spaceships. Space racing with weaponry. Full 360 degree 3D movement including
light speed, reverse and stop. Layered sound effects with volume that
decreases with distance. General MIDI music output. Animated texture mapping.
Exploration mode to plan your attack and strategy. 10 levels of difficulty per
mission. Stunning explosions with flying debris.
Initially I wasn't able to make it run in DOSBox, and left it for the time being. Later I Googled the game, only to find scarce info and a few nice-looking screenshots.

Having tried to run it once again, I figured out that the version of DOSBox I use (Taewoong's build v0.71) simply doesn't run it, but the game works fine in DOSBox v0.74.

Star Quest is indeed quite an interesting game, and it's rather weird that it was so overlooked. The graphics are on par with what most games of the time (the shareware version 1.0 had been released in November 1995) have to show, and gameplay is very entertaining. There's no campaign mode (although there's a general premise of a galactic conflict with some hostile aliens), and the single scenario missions can be played through as many times as you like, on different difficulty levels. The catch here is that after each successful completion of a mission, the player is rewarded with ship upgrades, better weapons etc. to use in future playthroughs, allowing to play the game on higher difficulty. Also, more missions get unlocked as the player progresses through the game.

The scenarios are also quite diverse: there's straightforward shooting action, tactical missions where you need to protect or destroy a key target (sometimes with wingman support), and even space racing events held against fellow pilots. The graphics engine allows for smooth transitions between open space, planetary atmospheres and planet surfaces, aiming for a more realistic space flight action.

Another noteworthy feature of Star Quest I is that it is designed to be user-friendly. The game is highly customizable (you can tweak almost everything, from controls and optional invincibility to the colour of the cockpit), and a sensitive scale of difficulty levels (with a total of 10 skill settings available) provides a very smooth learning curve. There's also an exploration mode where you just fly around the level and familiarize with it, without any real opponents or objectives.

Further Googling revealed that the company that developed Star Quest I, Virtual Adventures Inc., is still around, has its own website and still sells the full game. What's more, they're working on a sequel, although details are rather sketchy. You can get the shareware version from their site, but of course it's also found on cd.textfiles.com:
Download Star Quest I shareware v1.0
Download Star Quest I shareware v1.01

Here are some screenshots, taken from the official site:
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Last edited by MrFlibble; 19-11-2012 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 19-11-2012, 11:48 PM   #2
Eagle of Fire
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Wow, that game actually look very interesting.

Reminds me of Terminal Velocity somehow.
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Old 20-11-2012, 01:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFlibble View Post
What's more, they're working on a sequel, although details are rather sketchy.
They've been "working" on it for for 16 years, with the first release date announcement targeting late 1998.
They have "resumed" working on it in 2004, with no updates since then.
The current set of SQII screenshots looks dated, doesn't it?
They've been up there since October 1999.

No status updates for 8 years, no substantial evidence of progress for 13 years, planned release date overshot by 14 years. Looks like vaporware to me.
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Old 20-11-2012, 01:36 AM   #4
Eagle of Fire
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That fact that this company is registered in Canada might explain why I find this so appealing even though there is nothing much more than what we've already seen before.
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Old 20-11-2012, 05:33 AM   #5
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I remember this one. It's actually pretty fun, especially the space races and the other little missions. The graphics for its time were awesome, I really liked it. Too bad about the sequel, but the version at hand is still nice to play.
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Old 21-11-2012, 01:06 PM   #6
MrFlibble
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fifth Horseman View Post
They've been "working" on it for for 16 years, with the first release date announcement targeting late 1998.
They have "resumed" working on it in 2004, with no updates since then.
The current set of SQII screenshots looks dated, doesn't it?
They've been up there since October 1999.

No status updates for 8 years, no substantial evidence of progress for 13 years, planned release date overshot by 14 years. Looks like vaporware to me.
That's quite regrettable, but technically they're still working on it, right? (I mean, I didn't err much by stating that in the first post )

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle of Fire View Post
Reminds me of Terminal Velocity somehow.
Oh yes, I thought about that too Star Quest I is less arcade-like than TV in a number of ways though.
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Old 23-11-2012, 06:39 AM   #7
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That game looks pretty sweet... gotta try it.
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