Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

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Super Star Wars:
The Empire Strikes Back
Super Star Wars - The Empire Strikes Back Coverart.png
Developer(s)Sculptured Software
Publisher(s)JVC, later re-released by THQ (SNES)
LucasArts (Virtual Console)
Director(s)Kalani Streicher
Producer(s)Kalani Streicher
Designer(s)Kalani Streicher
Programmer(s)Peter Ward
Ryan Ridges
Artist(s)Harrison Fong
Jon Knoles
Composer(s)Paul Webb[2]
Platform(s)Super NES
ReleaseSuper NES
  • NA: June 1, 1993
  • JP: December 17, 1993
  • EU: February 24, 1994
Virtual Console
  • PAL: October 2, 2009
  • NA: August 24, 2009[1]
Genre(s)Run and gun
Mode(s)Single player

Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is a 1993 run and gun game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the second game in the Super Star Wars trilogy and is based on the 1980 film The Empire Strikes Back. The original Super NES game was released in 1992. The game was followed by a sequel based on the next film in the Star Wars series, Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was re-released on the Virtual Console in North America on August 24, 2009[1] and in the PAL regions on October 2, 2009, alongside the other games in the Super Star Wars series.


Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back follows closely the standard set by its predecessor, with multiple playable characters and Mode 7 quasi-3D vehicle sequences. The controls are very similar to the first game, but feature a double-jump. Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca return as playable characters although the character-select option was removed.[3]

Unlike the original game, this installment allows each character the use of a primary and secondary weapon. Following one of the swamp planet Dagobah missions, Luke Skywalker can also collect Force Powers for use in later levels. Luke can now block incoming attacks using his lightsaber, allowing him to deflect blaster fire. Han Solo can now throw grenades and Chewbacca has a new power up: a spinning attack. Sith Lord Darth Vader appears as the final boss in the video game.


An "asteroid chase" stage using Mode 7 effects was cut from the game due to lack of cartridge space.[4] In late 1992 a contest was launched exclusively in Electronic Gaming Monthly,[5] which required the contestants to answer six multi-choice questions, and for which the "Grand Prize" was to have the person's likeness appear in this forthcoming game. The winner was Jeff Crosno, for whom the developers placed his appearance on a Rebel soldier in an Ice Fields of Hoth cut-scene, replacing the already existing facial graphics.[6]


In 1996 THQ announced that they would re-release Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Super Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in February 1997 in order to coincide with the "Special Edition" of those films appearing in theaters.[7] The re-release is identical to the original version.[3]


In the United Kingdom, it was the top-selling SNES game in February 1994.[9]

The game was met with highly positive reviews.[citation needed] IGN praised the games enhanced "Mode 7" graphics.[citation needed] Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the game positive reviews noting the games graphics and sound, although there was criticism on the controls and hard difficulty.[10] Allgame gave a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars praising the game’s soundtrack, voice effects, graphics and action scenarios for being faithful to the film and giving praise to the password feature making the game less frustrating to beat the game and giving criticism to the game’s blind jumps and cheap hits from enemies off screen concluding “but this doesn't spoil the overall greatness of the game.”[11] Super Gamer magazine gave the game a review score of 85% stating "Super Star Wars is reworked with new graphics. A bigger, harder and marginally, better game. The Mode 7 AT-AT attack is absolutely stunning."[12]


Nintendo Power staff rated the game as the fourth best SNES game of 1993.[13] IGN placed the game 91st in their Top 100 SNES Games of All Time.[14]


  1. ^ a b "Jedi Battles, Marvelous Bubbles and Frantic Underground Action". Nintendo of America. 2009-08-24. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
  2. ^ "Composer information for Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back". SNES Music. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  3. ^ a b "The Super Star Wars Trilogy Soars". GamePro. No. 103. IDG. April 1997. p. 92.
  4. ^ "The GameMakers: The Artists" (PDF). GamePro. No. 85. IDG. October 1995. pp. 36–38.
  5. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly, December 1992, page 142, "JVC, LucasArts & EGM Want You!" Issue 41.
  6. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly, October 1993, Issue 51, page 216. "EGM Contest Winner Update" A picture of 'Jeff Crosno' is seen with two screenshots from the game. The before and after images of the character's facial changes.
  7. ^ "16-Bit's Final Hurrah" (PDF). Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 88. Ziff Davis. November 1996. p. 22.
  8. ^ "Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back review score". Archived from the original on 2019-05-20.
  9. ^ "Charts" (PDF). Computer & Video Games. No. 149 (April 1994). Future plc. 15 March 1994. p. 12.
  10. ^ Super Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Review. EGM media. December 1993. p. 44.
  11. ^ Brett Alan Weiss. "Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Review". Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2020.
  12. ^ "Super Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Review". Super Gamer. United Kingdom: Paragon Publishing (2): 123. May 1994. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  13. ^ The Top Titles of 1993. January 1994. p. 80.
  14. ^ Top 100 SNES Games of All Time -, retrieved 2021-01-26

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