Terminal Velocity (video game)
(Windows 95 and MS-DOS)
MacSoft (Mac OS)
Trebuchet Entertainment (Android and iOS)
Terminal Velocity is a simulation video game originally developed by Terminal Reality and published by 3D Realms for MS-DOS and Windows 95 and MacSoft for Mac OS. It is an arcade-style flight combat game, with simpler game controls and physics than flight simulators. It is known for its fast, high-energy action sequences, compared to flight simulators of the time.
Terminal Reality also developed a similar game, Fury3, published that same year by Microsoft. It used the same game engine and basic game mechanics, but was designed to run natively on the new Windows 95 operating system. Though considered to add little to the gameplay of Terminal Velocity, Fury3 spawned an add-on pack, F!Zone, as well as a sequel, Hellbender.
In 2015, co-founder of Terminal Reality, the game's original developer Mark Randel, released a version for Android & iOS , it was published by Trebuchet Entertainment LLC.
The player can fly at low speeds without falling. The player's craft also has no inertia, meaning its course can be changed instantly. There are seven different weapons, ranging from guns, blasters and rockets to homing missiles and a rare secret weapon, and only the first blaster type will never run out of ammo. Additionally, it possesses powerful afterburners that allow it to move at very high speed, which is useful in order to evade attacks, but sacrifices the ability to return fire temporarily (they can be selected like weapons, and if they are, the fire button will ignite the afterburners). The craft is able to survive some hits, and even some collisions with the terrain, including tunnels.
Each of the 27 missions consists of several objectives, e.g. enemies which must be destroyed, tunnel entrances and exits, mere checkpoints, and an extraction point.
The game has three episodes, the first of which was distributed as shareware. Each episode features three different worlds, making a total of nine levels. Following the release of the shareware version, publisher 3D Realms was inundated with requests that the game be playable with a mouse, leading the company to include a mouse option in the commercial version of the game.
The original floppy disk release was followed by a CD-ROM version. The CD-ROM version added 70 MB of extended pre-rendered 3D cut scenes, a bonus hidden planet, higher image resolution (including more detailed textures) and support for 8-player network multiplay. The Macintosh port was published separately by MacSoft.
The story is set in the year 2704, when the ASFAR (Alliance of Space-Faring Alien Races), of which Earth is a member, suddenly turns against Earth and their fleet ravages the planet, starting a war. The player flies a powerful starfighter, the TV-202, in a series of missions to defeat the enemy. In Episode 3, the player learns that a huge supercomputer known as X.I. (Xenocidic Initiative), located on Proxima Seven, is responsible for the war. Their final mission is to eliminate it. A hidden mission can take place after the main plot only in the CD ROM version where the player must investigate a sudden metamorphosis of an unknown nearby planet and destroy the force that changed the face of the planet. It is revealed here that this force drove a man named Sy Wickens into insanity, and how the X.I. Supercomputer had "accidentally" digitized Sy Wickens' persona.
A reviewer for Next Generation, while acknowledging that the game is "fun to play" and has a uniquely wide variety of open locales, gave it an overall negative review. Arguing that the game is a first-person shooter and that "the genre, as currently exploited, is beginning to wear thin", he gave it two out of five stars.
- "3D Realms". Next Generation. Imagine Media (10): 100. October 1995.
- "Terminal Velocity". Next Generation. Imagine Media (11): 181. November 1995.