Star Trek: Starfleet Academy
|Star Trek: Starfleet Academy|
Boxart for PC version
|Developer(s)||Interplay (PC, Mac,)|
|Release date(s)||September 1997 (PC)|
|Genre(s)||Space flight simulator|
Star Trek: Starfleet Academy is a PC Star Trek simulation game that simulates the life of a typical Starfleet cadet. The object in the game is for the player to learn the basics of flying a starship so that the player can eventually become a captain of one's very own ship. It includes a simulation battle mode in which the player can pilot and fight ships of his or her choosing. It's also the first time in a video game that free-motion CGI filming took place. The in-game movies, directed by Martin Denning, at the time represented a breakthrough in CGI-Live Action rendering.
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The player takes the role of human Cadet David Forester, leader of a cadet group at Starfleet's San Francisco–based Command College. The player has to pass all the simulated missions, optionally including the infamous Kobayashi Maru scenario. The scenarios, in addition to simple combat situations, include a recreation of Kirk's near-disastrous starship confrontation with Khan Noonien Singh which Kirk ruefully admits is used to teach cadets to avoid his serious mistake that nearly doomed his ship. In addition, between simulator scenarios, Forester must keep his crew in check and prevent personality clashes from lowering team performance by choosing the right dialogue options during cutscenes.
The cadet crew consists of a Vulcan science officer called Sturek, a female Andorian communications officer named Vanda M'Giia, and a detached and shy human engineer Robin Brady, with Trill Jana Akton at the helm and human Geoff Corin at navigation.
During the course of the game it is possible to foil the machinations of the Vanguard — a fanatical terrorist group dedicated to overthrowing the Federation government and installing Kirk as a despot — and to investigate the cause of increasing tensions around the Klingon Neutral Zone. On the other hand, it is possible to be dismissed from the Academy in disgrace if the wrong choice is made during certain full motion video sequences directed by Martin Denning at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.
The game has a multiplayer starship combat mode that allows up to 32 players to play together.
On the PC, the game is enhanced with numerous interactive live action scenes (FMV) that can affect crew performance, and a storyline involving a terrorist group known as the Vanguard. These scenes feature William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk, Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov, and George Takei as Captain Hikaru Sulu, as celebrity guest instructors at the school. Interplay contracted Ron Jones, composer for several Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, for the game's soundtrack, a CD of which was included in some versions of the game. Other versions came with an exclusive 3" metal miniature figure of the female Andorian cadet, Vanda M'Giia. Pocket Books released a novelization by Diane Carey.
The PC game received an expansion pack called Chekov's Lost Missions that features seven new missions, two new multiplayer games, and various improvements to the game interface. Walter Koenig and George Takei make return appearances in the introductions to several of the new missions.
In 2000 a second PC game, Star Trek: Klingon Academy, was released by Interplay.
The game marked Shatner's to date final onscreen appearance as Captain Kirk until the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.
PC Zone gave the game 87 out of 100 and GameSpot gave it 5.6 out of 10. Pelit's Niko Nirvi gave Starfleet Academy 75 out of 100, criticizing the game for being unfinished and that the flight model doesn't resemble Star Trek but is instead too similar to Wing Commander.
- Mobygames credits page for PC version, fetched 1 November 2010.
- Mobygames credits page for Mac version, fetched 1 November 2010.
- "Starfleet Academy - Where Legends Are Born". interplay.com. Archived from the original on 5 June 1997. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
- Nirvi, Niko (January 1998). "Rakettilaivan kadetti". Pelit (in Finnish). Fokus Media Finland (1/1998): 26–27.