William Shatner's TekWar

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Developer(s) Capstone Software
Publisher(s) Capstone Software
Designer(s) Brandon Chamberlain
Engine Build
Platform(s) PC (MS-DOS)
Release September 30, 1995
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Single player
Multiplayer (cooperative)
Multiplayer (deathmatch)

William Shatner's TekWar is a 1995 first-person shooter video game derived from the TekWar series of novels created by William Shatner and ghost-written by science-fiction author Ron Goulart.[1] It was designed using the Build engine.[2]


The game's narrative takes place using cutscenes at the beginning and end of each level, featuring Shatner himself (in character as Walter Bascom) as the narrator. Cutscenes vary depending on the player's performance during missions: if the player does not shoot any innocent non-player characters (NPCs), manages to take out the TekLord in the mission, and does not raise any tension (i.e. walking with his gun drawn), Shatner delivers praise. On the other hand, shooting characters or aborting the mission causes him to threaten to have you put back into cryo-storage.

The premise details an ex-cop who is hired to be a hitman whose mission is to exterminate drug dealers who peddle "tek". The two most distinguishable features are the hub-based level system (all the levels are interconnected by a subway station), and the fact that all of the NPCs in the game (enemies, policemen and civilians) are shootable. When the player draws his gun, policemen shout: "Freeze! Drop your gun!" before they start shooting at the player. When a policeman or enemy is killed, their ammo can be picked up. When the player aims at a civilian, he/she ducks and screams: "Please, don't shoot!" When any NPC is shot, a blood spot appears on the wall behind it. If an NPC is shot with one of the stronger weapons in the game, they will explode into gory bits.


Maximum praised the game's combination of action with puzzles and strategy, impressive graphics, vast free-roaming game world, and networked multiplayer. Saying that the only problem with the game is that enemies can start firing on the player character when they're too far away to make out, they concluded that "at first glance it may look like another pretty Doom clone, but look closer and you'll see TekWar has enough new angles and ideas to make it stand as a cool game in its own right." They gave it 3 out of 5 stars.[2] A reviewer for Next Generation agreed that Tekwar stands out from other first-person shooters, but felt that the game's nonsensical mechanics outweigh its freshness. He particularly complained that though the police will fire upon the player character if he has his gun drawn in public, they show no reaction if an enemy fires upon the player character, and will actually help gang up on the player character if he tries to defend himself. Concluding that "Only fanatical fans of 'TekWar' or Bill Shatner should get this one, and even they probably won't like it", he gave it 1 out of 5 stars.[3]


Around 2006 the former Capstone Software programmer Les Bird released the source code of several abandoned Capstone games (as Capstone folded 1996), among them William Shatner's TekWar.[4][5]


  1. ^ Shatner, William; Fisher, David. (2008). Up Till Now: The Autobiography. Thomas Dunne. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-312-37265-1. 
  2. ^ a b "Maximum Reviews: Tekwar". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. Emap International Limited (3): 157. January 1996. 
  3. ^ "TekWar". Next Generation. No. 14. Imagine Media. February 1996. p. 172. 
  4. ^ "Capstone Source Archive". Lesbird.com. Retrieved 2015-06-21. 
  5. ^ src-tekwar-source on dukertcm.com

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