Tachyon: The Fringe
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|Tachyon: the Fringe|
|Producer(s)||Michael S. Maza|
Kevin R. O'Hara
|Release||March 30, 2000|
|Genre(s)||Space combat simulation|
|Mode(s)||Singleplayer and Multiplayer|
Tachyon: The Fringe is a computer game developed and published in 2000 by Novalogic. It features the voice acting of Bruce Campbell as main character Jake Logan in a 3-D space simulator. Tachyon was developed by Randy Casey, who had previously written two other titles for Novalogic: F-22 Lightning II and F-22 Raptor.
The story of Tachyon: The Fringe is set in the 26th century, where mankind has left Earth to colonize the far reaches of space, and has many characteristics of a space opera. The Sol system is a place of relative peace, which is kept by the police force called Star Patrol. Conflict inside the Solar system is heavily regulated; however, quarrels between rivaling megacorporations, who maintain private militias and compete for control over markets and resources, often break out into open conflict. Sometimes banished pirates, terrorists or other disruptive entities make waves, but inter-corporate conflict is the primary theme. This is not the primary focus of the game however.
The majority of the game takes place in the vast area called the Fringe, which consists of all space outside the direct jurisdiction of Sol. Except for an outpost in the Hub region, Star Patrol has virtually no presence in these areas. Because of this, power struggles are constantly raging between the game's corporations, pirate clans, Bora colonists, and the so-called "Asteroid Barons".
Tachyon: The Fringe is a first-person space combat simulator. Among several features, (such as power and shield management), the game implements "sliding", where the player can maintain a constant velocity while having free control over the orientation of their spacecraft. This is intended to provide an ease-of-motion where the player can strafe, fly backwards and otherwise maintain a higher level of control over their spacecraft.
In story mode, the player chooses missions from the Job Board. Some missions are offered by neutral parties and do not drive the main storyline (though they do occasionally affect the TNS News bulletins). Eventually, the story will reach a point where it becomes necessary for the player to ally with either the Bora Colonies or the Galactic Spanning Corporation. The Bora missions are usually higher in difficulty and less rewarding monetarily. GalSpan pays well and often has missions in tandem with other pilots. Since the two factions offer different fighters and different weapons, they encourage different play styles, as well as different storylines. The GalSpan missions generally are higher paid than the Bora ones, and the Bora missions tend to get more difficult in the end.
According to Mark Asher of CNET Gamecenter, Tachyon: The Fringe was a commercial flop, with sales of 20,385 copies and revenues of $778,095 in the United States by July 2000. He cited this performance as part of a trend of falling sales for space flight simulators and the wider flight simulator genre.
- Asher, Mark (July 14, 2000). "Game Spin: Crunching Diablo II Numbers". CNET Gamecenter. Archived from the original on August 16, 2000.
- Staff (February 8, 2001). "Computer Games Magazine announces nominees for annual best in computer gaming awards". Computer Games Magazine. Archived from the original on February 9, 2005.