Star Command: Revolution

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Star Command: Revolution
Front cover of the Star Command: Revolution box
Developer(s) Metropolis Digital, Inc.
Publisher(s) GT Interactive
Platform(s) DOS, Windows 95
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer
Distribution CD-ROM

Star Command: Revolution is a real-time strategy game by Metropolis Digital, Inc., now Metro3D, Inc., and published by GT Interactive. It was originally released in 1996 for DOS, but it was re-released in 1998 for Windows 95/98 under the title Star Command Deluxe. A sequel, Star Command X: Armada, was hinted at upon successful completion of the campaign mode, but it was never produced.

Another real-time strategy game known as StarCraft was released two years after Star Command: Revolution, and quickly overshadowed it. One reviewer, writing before the release of StarCraft, predicted that Star Command would do better since it had been released first.[3]

The main storyline follows an interspecies conflict in the Zeta galaxy after the discovery of an energy resource called "Solinite." The races, previously coexisting in peace, begin fighting each other for control of the Solinite, until several political assassinations allow the tyrannical warlord Narvek to take over the galaxy. A small group of rebels who call themselves "Star Command" fight back against Narvek in an effort to dethrone him and restore peace to the galaxy.

Gameplay[edit]

The nonlinear campaign mode places the player in control of a mothership commandeered by Star Command, with the objective of destroying Narvek. This mothership is the only ship that can collect resources and build other stations and ships. The campaign is lost if the player allows the mothership to be destroyed.

Each campaign battle occurs in one of 31 separate rectangular sectors, where the player must build enough ships to conquer the enemies' battalions while managing long-term resource consumption; resources are finite, and ships and stations (other than the mothership) cannot be brought between sectors. Most sectors have an objective, usually involving the destruction of enemy fleets or stations. Players who accomplish these tasks are rewarded with permanent bonuses, such as an increase in the mothership's harvesting rate. The battles increase in difficulty as the player nears Narvek's base.

Each battle begins with the sector completely obscured by fog of war. Areas the player explores become permanently visible, regardless of whether the player has any ships in that area.

Ships[edit]

Every ship and station has a set of four vital statistics: shield, tech, engine, and control. The "shield" statistic is how much damage the ship can stand before it is destroyed; once depleted, the ship explodes. "Tech" is what allows a ship to fire; reducing this tends to make a ship fire less often. "Engine" is a representative of how fast the ship can move; reducing this causes ships to move more sluggishly than normal. "Control" is a statistic, that, like "shield," has little effect until it is completely reduced; when this occurs, the ship defects to the side of the ship that dealt the last control damage (and restores some control).[4]

Each race has a set of 16 constructible ships and stations, some of which are similar across each race, such as a base, which is necessary for building ships, a university, which trains ships and teaches the mothership new technology necessary for building new ships, and a fighter carrier, which launches three smaller fighter ships at enemies within range. Each ship and station has a cost, which consists of various amounts of Solinite, time (not time to build, but time a player must wait before building again), and a resource specific to each race. Destroying a ship or station other than the mothership will leave behind an "Engine Core," which is a small amount of Solinite, and some of the race-specific resource.

Players start with the ability to build only 1 ship and 3 stations which are all similar for each race: the base, the university, a guardpost (a station that fires at enemies), and a "scout" class ship. The scout is the only type of ship which can break "pack" Solinite into smaller pieces that can be collected by the mothership.

Other than the mothership, ships have 7 "levels" of skill, which can be increased through combat, or up to level 4 by placing the ship next to a university. Higher levels give bonuses to the ships, such as a higher rate of fire or multiple shots at a time.

Placing the mothership next to a race's university allows it to learn that race's technology, i.e. more ships and stations. Once all of a race's technologies have been discovered, the mothership will next learn how to build another race's base. Building this will allow the player to build that race's university, allowing the player to learn even more technology.

Multiplayer modes[edit]

The game features a multiplayer battle mode, which is a single skirmish between two to four human or AI players. The game includes support for playing over a LAN or the Internet (an IPX-compatible card is necessary, however).

Additionally, the game includes support for a two-player campaign. However, GT Interactive has admitted that it is not possible to load a saved two-player campaign.[5]

Races[edit]

Each race has 1 base, 7 ships (including 1 scout-class ship, 1 repair vessel, and 1 fighter carrier), 1 university, 1 guardpost, 1 small special station, 1 droid factory (necessary for building droids), 2 droids, 1 large special station, and 1 special action for the large station. There are no limits to the number of ships a player can produce, except a player cannot have more than 1 of any race's base, droid factory, or large special station.

Terrans[edit]

In the campaign mode, the player starts out with only Terran technology.

The Terrans are a humanoid race that specializes in control damage.[6] Their repair vessel fixes other ships' tech damage. They can build a special ship called a "Switcher" which can instantaneously swap position with any friendly ship other than fighter carriers. The Terrans' special stations are the "Target," a small station that can be fired upon by friendly forces to increase their level, and the "StatCon," a large station which can fire the "Controller" to any visible point in the sector, dealing heavy control damage to any enemies it hits.

Computrons[edit]

The Computrons are the artificial intelligence race, specializing in tech damage.[6] Their repair vessel heals shield damage on other friendly ships. One of their specialized ships is the "Reflex Weapon," a ship which can fire simultaneously on all enemies within range. Their special stations are the "Teleportal," which allows friendly ships other than carriers to immediately appear next to it, and the "Foldspacer," which by itself can fire a heavy shield blast at enemies and can "Fold Space," moving itself to any visible part of the sector. Additionally, the Computrons can build a droid called a "Scrambler," which cannot be targeted by stations.

Nomads[edit]

The Nomads are a humanoid race that specializes in heavy shield damage. Their repair vessel heals engine damage on other friendly ships. One special Nomad ship is the "Point Laser," a ship which can nullify a shot fired by another ship or cause a fighter to return to its carrier. Their special stations are the "Bomb," which the player can direct to explode, dealing heavy shield damage to every ship adjacent to it, and the "Torpedo Launcher," which launches a "Torpedo" at any visible point in the sector, dealing heavy shield damage to the ship(s) it hits. The Nomads can also build a "Bomb Droid" which does not self-destruct as the Bomb does, but explodes when destroyed, dealing some shield damage to any adjacent ships.

Triumverites[edit]

The Triumverites are beings with three disembodied brains floating in a canister where a head would be on a human. Many of their ships deal engine damage to enemies.[6] One special Triumverite ship is the "Cloaker," which cannot be seen by enemies on the mini-map. Their special stations are the "Omni Fighter," a station that launches a Point Laser-immune fighter at enemy forces, and the "Repair Matrix," which fires a blast of energy to any visible point on the map that repairs every statistic of the ships it hits, and can also increase the ships' statistic capacity by a small amount. In contrast to the Computrons' Scrambler, the Triumverites can build a droid called an "Evaser," which cannot be targeted by ships.

Software Architecture[edit]

Investigating the game software closer reveals a txt database structure containing game data split in several files. The game is equipped with a CRC file check that compares the contents of the txt file against a certain CRC.

Cheat Codes[edit]

In Star Command: Deluxe, and Star Command: Revolution, the following cheat codes can be activated from the credits screen. A sound effect will play to confirm a successful code entry.

  • F1 F1 F1 F10 - Your Mothership will now look like a Computron Mothership
  • F3 F2 F3 F10 - Your Mothership will now look like a Nomad Mothership
  • F2 F3 F3 F10 - Your Mothership will now look like a Triumverite Mothership
  • F4 F1 F1 F10 - Your Mothership will now look like a Terran Mothership
  • F4 F4 F1 F10 - Your Mothership will now look like the Secret Mothership

References[edit]

  1. ^ "GameSpy: Star Command Revolution". Retrieved 2007-05-09. 
  2. ^ The DOS emulator DOSBox can be used in place of an actual DOS environment.
  3. ^ Tim Chown. "Star Command Revolution - Review". Archived from the original on 2004-02-05. Retrieved 2007-05-09. "At the time of writing, Blizzard's own Starcraft is still not out, but you could almost believe that Star Command Revolution was the new Blizzard title, if you didn't know better. There will certainly be a lot of rivalry in game sales between these two when both are available, but Star Command Revolution has made it to the shelves first, and thus has the edge so far..." 
  4. ^ Stations, motherships, and the ships in campaign mode that can't be built by a player will self-destruct rather than defect.
  5. ^ Tim Chown. "Star Command Revolution - Review". Archived from the original on 2004-02-05. Retrieved 2007-05-09. "Worse still, if you want buy [sic] the game looking for the innovative 2-player campaign, forget it. GT Intercative [sic] have admitted that this feature is broken. You can play for as long as you like in one sitting, but despite what the manual says any attempt to reload the saved cooperative campaign is doomed to failure." 
  6. ^ a b c This doesn't mean that they can only do this form of damage. All races do shield damage, but some of this race's special ships also do damage to another ship statistic.