Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader is a video game released in 2001 exclusively for the GameCube. Developed by Factor 5 and published by LucasArts, Rogue Leader was the first sequel to Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.
Rogue Leader expanded on the original game with improved graphics and a new tactics menu that allows the player to form up their squadron or set a target for their squadron such as laser turrets or enemy TIE Fighters. The game also expanded on the unlockable levels of the original—Beggar's Canyon is included in the tutorial, the opening level Battle of Yavin was included in both games (Rogue Squadron called the level Death Star Trench Run), and Battle of Hoth was made more authentic with the GameCube's advanced power. The other major battle in the original movie trilogy, The Battle of Endor, was arguably the biggest and most challenging scenario in the entire game.
Early in the Galactic Civil War, Red Squadron, led by Luke Skywalker, becomes Rogue Squadron and participates in many of the most influential battles of the war. Skywalker flies as Red Five in his first battle of the fledgling Rebellion against the Galactic Empire, the Battle of Yavin, which leads to the destruction of the Death Star I.
The Rebellion grew following this victory, as did Imperial retaliation. Red Squadron was escorting a convoy from Yavin 4 to Hoth, and was ambushed by imperial forces. After Skywalker is shot down during the Battle of Hoth, command of Red Squadron switched to Wedge Antilles. After the Battle of Hoth, Antilles took part in an investigation team in The Maw, to scout out an Imperial asteroid base; where he and the rest of Rogue Squadron freed prisoners taken on Hoth. Bothan spies beamed the plans and the location of the Death Star II to the corvette Razor, which was captured by an Imperial Star Destroyer. The Rogues disabled the Star Destroyer and sent it crashing into the planet Kothlis where the Rogues provided support to a commando team moving into the burning hull of the cruiser after its destruction to retrieve the data.
As the Rebellion prepared over Sullust for its operation against the Death Star II, Antilles led a strike team to capture tibanna gas for the Rebel fleet at Bespin, then moved to the climatic Battle of Endor against the Death Star.
When Factor 5 received early GameCube prototype hardware in the mid-2000, the development team then working on Star Wars: Episode I: Battle for Naboo decided they next wanted to create a direct sequel to Factor 5's most successful game to date—Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. With LucasArts' approval, the team immediately began developing a tech demo to exhibit at Space World, a Nintendo-hosted trade show. In 19 days, Factor 5 produced an introductory cutscene that emulated a scene from Star Wars and a playable demo, which then premiered alongside Nintendo's GameCube hardware at the show. According to GameSpot, the cutscene "wowed audiences", and IGN described the demo as "drop-dead gorgeous".
As with Rogue Squadron and Battle for Naboo, Rogue Leader was again co-developed by Factor 5 and LucasArts, however the bulk of the game's development was done by Factor 5. Unlike past co-development efforts, the bulk of the level design, which was traditionally handled by LucasArts, was created by Factor 5 in addition to the game's engineering and programming. Factor 5's in-house development team consisted of 25 members plus two freelance employees. One level designer as well as the game's lead artist were employed by LucasArts. Development of the game's art started that same year. In anticipation of the project, modelers immediately began building high-polygon models of the playable craft using Maya and in-house tools, and usable art was pulled from the archives. In late December, 2000, mission designers met with director Julian Eggebrecht and producer Brett Tosti to start planning the game engine. The team eventually completed Battle for Naboo, and full-time development of Rogue Leader began in February 2001.
Draw distance, much improved over the first Rogue Squadron and Battle for Naboo, was drawn out as far as possible. A small amount of haze was deliberately added to create a sense of distance, but not to actually hide the drawing. The game also has three levels of detail; the closer the player comes to objects, the more detailed they become. By utilizing the GameCube's Graphics processing unit's TEV pipeline, Factor 5 was able to create the shader needed to produce the visual effect employed by the game's targeting computer. The developers tried to make the game as close to the movies as possible, studying Industrial Light & Magic's special effects, using some of the same sound effects, music and voice acting from the films. The original actor, Denis Lawson, was also hired to record new lines for Wedge Antilles.
- Tatooine Training Grounds
- Death Star Attack- The attack on the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin.
- Ison Corridor Ambush - The Rebel Fleet, when rendezvousing with a supply fleet on the way to Hoth, was ambushed by Imperial TIE Squadrons.
- Battle of Hoth- The level where players recreate the Battle of Hoth. During this level play permanently switches to Wedge Antilles.
- Prisons of the Maw- A bombing mission where players must free Rebel prisoners from an Imperial prison in an asteroid field.
- Razor Rendezvous - Shoot down the Star Destroyer above Kothlis.
- Vengeance on Kothlis - Fight off against Imperial Forces until an infiltration team manages to secure vital data.
- Imperial Academy Heist - Sneak into the Imperial Academy and hijack the shuttle Tyderium.
- Raid on Bespin - repel the occupying Imperial forces and protect the Tibanna Gas.
- Battle of Endor - The level where players recreate the Battle of Endor.
- Strike at the Core - The level where players recreate the climax of the Battle of Endor in regards to the bombing run of the Death Star's core.
- Death Star Escape
- The Asteroid Field
- Triumph of the Empire - Vader, in his TIE Advanced X1, defeats the Rebels during the Battle of Yavin, and kills not only Biggs Darklighter, but also Wedge and Luke Skywalker
- Revenge on Yavin - Vader leads a task force from his TIE Advanced X1 to invade Yavin IV.
- Death Star Endurance
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Behind the scenesEdit
- David Davies ... Obi-Wan Kenobi (voice)
- Peter McConnell ... Admiral Ackbar (voice)
- Tom Kenny ... Biggs / Rebel Wingman 3 (voice)
- Tom Kane ... Crix Madine, Imperial Pilot 2, Transport Captain 3 (voice)
- Scott Lawrence ... Darth Vader (voice)
- Denny Delk ... Narrator (voice)
- Lynne Maclean ... Frigate Commander (voice)
- Dan Barton ... General Rieekan (voice)
- Robert Machray ... Imperial Base Commander, Red Leader (voice)
- Jeff Bennett ... Imperial Officer (voice)
- Steve Ballantine ... Imperial Pilot 1 (voice)
- Grey DeLisle ... Karie Neth (voice)
- Obba Babatundé ... Lando Calrissian (voice)
- Joe Nipote ... Outpost Beta Commander, Transport Captain 2 (voice)
- Mikey Kelley ... Rebel Wingman 1 (voice)
- Richard Green ... Rebel Wingman 2 (voice)
- Jeff Cesario ... Rebel Wingman 4 (voice)
- Michael Ralph ... Rebel Wingman 5 (voice)
- Richard Doyle ... Rebel Wingman 6, Transport Captain 1 (voice)
- Rob Paulsen ... Rebel Wingman 7, Slave (voice)
- Richard McGonagle ... Rebel Soldier 1 (voice)
- Kevin Michael Richardson ... Transport Captain 4 (voice)
- Bob Bergen ... Luke Skywalker (voice)
- Denis Lawson ... Wedge Antilles (voice)
- Harrison Ford ... Han Solo (voice) (archive audio)
- Carrie Fisher ... Leia Organa (voice) (archive audio)
- Anthony Daniels ... C-3PO (voice) (archive audio)
Rogue Leader was among the highest rated GameCube launch titles, and praised for its gameplay and graphics.
Rogue Leader won the E3 2001 Game Critics Award for Best Action Game.
In addition for being supplied with three Nintendo Power issues (149-151), Rogue Leader also won an overall rank of 5 stars in Nintendo Power Volume 150's Now Playing section.
Rogue Leader was the 7th-best-selling video game on the Nintendo Gamecube in November 2001, the title's debut month. These sale figures made the game the best-selling third-party and second-best-selling overall GameCube game during the console's launch. LucasArts stated that the title had sold faster than any of its previously published games at the time. When both the game and console were launched in the United Kingdom over six months later, the title entered the charts at number one, making it the first ever third-party game to hit the top spot during a console's launch. In May 2003, Nintendo added Rogue Leader to its best-selling Player's Choice collection. Rogue Leader sold over 873,000 copies in the United States, and over 100,000 in the UK.
Notes and referencesEdit
- Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader on Wikipedia
- IGN review of Rogue Leader
- Fan reviews on GameFAQs
- Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II - Rogue Leader on MobyGames