The Star Wars: X-Wing computer game is the first LucasArts PC game set in the Star Wars universe. Benefiting from the renewed interest in Star Wars sparked by Timothy Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy and building on the popularity of flight simulation software (Lawrence Holland's three previous World War II air combat games had all been huge successes for LucasArts), X-Wing achieved what few subsequent Star Wars games could by being critically acclaimed, embraced by fans and a financial success. Players assumed the role of a young pilot in the Rebel Alliance and were given the opportunity to pilot the eponymous X-wing, as well as the Y-wing, the A-wing, and, eventually, the B-wing starfighters.
X-Wing was developed for LucasArts by the team which would later become Totally Games with the story created by Lawrence Holland, Edward Kilham, David Wessman and David Maxwell. The original X-Wing game was released on floppy disk for PCs running DOS in 1993.
A limited edition version was made available with special packaging and a book titled The Farlander Papers, which gave the background story of Keyan Farlander, the player's character, who also featured in the strategy guide for the game.
Two expansion packs, Imperial Pursuit and B-Wing were released shortly after. Each provided a tour of duty with an additional twenty missions while B-Wing also gave access to its namesake, the B-wing starfighter and another six historical missions for that ship. Two of these missions were remade versions of the tour of duty Death Star missions, allowing the player to fly the B-wing instead of an X-wing in the attack against the battlestation.
The Collector EditionsEdit
A year later (1994) X-Wing was re-released as X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM, with the expansion packs included. It tweaks various areas of the game by including bug fixes, easy versions of some old missions, improved graphics, rehashed cutscenes, and bonus missions, as well as voiceovers for the mission briefings (unlike the in-game radio messages). The in-flight engine is improved to the caliber of the later Star Wars: TIE Fighter game, which is in turn an improved version of the original X-Wing game featuring Gouraud shading.
X-Wing had a major retouch for its release along with the collections X-Wing Collector Series (1998) and X-Wing Trilogy (1999). The game was retrofitted with the X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter graphics engine, which uses texture mapping instead of Gouraud shading. Concourse graphics and some cutscenes were also retouched and the game was now Windows 9x compatible.
Re-release on GOG.comEdit
- "We are very excited to be able to bring these classic interactive titles to our platform; it has been a long-time dream of ours. Luckily, Disney Interactive is always looking for new ways to give players access to content, so this was a natural partnership. To those gamers playing these titles for the first time…May the Force Be With You!"
- ―Guillaume Rambourg, GOG.com managing director
On October 28, 2014, Disney Interactive announced a new partnership with GOG.com, a DRM-free digital distributor, that would allow for more than twenty classic Lucasfilm video game titles to be re-released digitally for modern computers. Along with Star Wars: TIE Fighter and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Star Wars: X-Wing became available for digital download for a price of $9.99.
X-Wing operated on a custom-built graphics engine that used 3D polygons instead of the bitmaps used by the popular Wing Commander games. Totally Games based the engine on their earlier World War II flight simulators.
The player must complete missions ranging from simple dogfights with Imperial starfighters, through escort or capture for freighters or capital ships to attacks on larger opposition ships. Each series of missions is organized linearly, having the player choose either death/capture or a retry at each failure.
Scoring advanced the player's rank (Flight Cadet, Flight officer, Lieutenant, Captain, Commander, General). He then could use his old pilot files and assign them as wingmen; this would improve their AI performance according to the rank of the pilot assigned to each wingman. This feature however was removed from the Win95 remakes as well as the Macintosh version.
The dogfighting was designed to resemble the free-wheeling duels of World War I and World War II and lacks the effects of realistic space combat[source?]. Much of the game's challenge had to do with managing power resources (lasers, shields and engines), commanding wingmen, and using weapons effectively.
By combining the exciting space combat with cut scene story elements and the interactive iMUSE music system, X-Wing created an environment that recreated the atmosphere of the original trilogy's space battles.
The game was split into three tours of duty which followed on from each other, though the player was free to tackle them in any order. The first two tours had twelve missions each, while the third had fourteen missions. Echoing the Alliance's hit-and-fade strategy, the majority of missions are concerned with protection, salvage, intelligence gathering and ambushing Imperial capital ships where feasible.
Apart from the tour of duty missions, players could explore the Pilot proving grounds to train and augment their scores on each of the three available ships, X-wing, Y-wing and A-wing; they can also fly 18 "historical missions" at the Rebel Combat Training Facilities for each ship, before beginning the standard scenarios. They could also examine ship schematics and review mission films that can be recorded in the memory cache during the missions, and afterwards saved to disk. There was also a Tech Room that displayed schematics of the ships in the game, naming many of the ships' systems and the companies that manufactured them.
The cutscenes were usually composed by screenshots taken from instances of the movies but combined to make a new narrative.
- Note: X-Wing is unique in the corpus of Star Wars in that it features many opening crawl texts. Apart from the introductory one, a crawl is seen when the player begins a new tour of duty.
Tour of Duty I: A New AllyEdit
A New Ally: describes the finding of new allies for the Rebels and the discovery of Operation Strike Fear, the Imperial campaign against Rebels. The tour ends when Rebels with hidden explosives destroy the Imperial-class Star Destroyer Invincible, which led the Operation.
- Destroy Imperial Convoy
- ID Reconnaissance Mission
- Fly Point During Evacuation
- Protect Medical Frigate
- Ambush Imperial Supply Convoy
- Raid for R2 Units
- Recover Stolen X-wings
- Rescue Sullustan Tech Staff
- Diplomatic Summit at Sullust
- Rescue Sullustan Leader
- Capture Staff from Cygnus
- Recover Explosive Warhead
Tour of Duty II: The Great SearchEdit
- Rescue from Stars' End
- Rescue Wookiee Slaves
- Attack Weapons Convoy
- Capture Stolen Freighter
- Protect Captured Satellites
- Ambush in the Cron Drift
- Protect a disabled X-wing
- Stop Hyperdrive Replacement
- Take Out Intrepid's Escort
- Destroy the Intrepid
- Deliver Plans to Princess Leia
- Protect Princess Leia
Tour of Duty III: The Gathering StormEdit
The Gathering Storm: describes the Rebels' route to the final Battle of Yavin, the trench run and the Death Star destruction. This Tour has two more missions, which occur on the Death Star. In the Death Star missions, the player assumes the role of Luke Skywalker.
- Guard Weapons Transfer
- Destroy Repair Dock
- Capture Military Transport
- Intercept and Capture
- Destroy Imperial Base
- Destroy Priam's Escort
- Capture the Frigate Priam
- Capture Ethar I and II
- Guard Vital Supply Depot
- Defend the Independence
- Begin Death Star Assault
- Attack Death Star Surface
- Death Star Trench Run
Historical Missions: X-wingEdit
- Dev's Sidestep
- Wingmen Are Important
- Destruction of Surveillance Satellites
- Beat The Odds
- Rescue at Mon Calamari
- Farlander's First Mission
Historical Missions: Y-wingEdit
- Commerce Raid
- Y-Wing Gunnery Practice
- S.O.S. from Twi'lek Corvette Karinne
- Prisoners from Kessel
- Escape From Mytus VII
- Interception and Capture
Historical Missions: A-wingEdit
- Raid on an Imperial Repair Dock
- Aggressor Squadron Training
- Intercept TIE Bomber Run
- Attack Run on Supply Freighters
- Protect Returning Starfighters
- Deep Space Reconnaissance
Tour of Duty IV: Imperial PursuitEdit
Tour of Duty V: B-WingEdit
Expansion 2, B-Wing: Production of a new craft, the B-wing starfighter, and its delivery to the Rebellion. The tour ends with the arrival on Hoth and the construction of Echo Base, setting the stage for The Empire Strikes Back.
X-Wing Collector's CD-ROMEdit
Bonus missions included in this edition included historical missions, as well as "new" missions. One historical mission is set after the Battle of Hoth, suggesting all of the current ones are also set after Hoth.
- Protect Cargo Transfer (Historical)
- Destroy Troop Convoy (Historical)
- Attack Star Destroyer (Historical)
- Protect Convoy
- Attack Imperial Stockyard
- Protect Your Mothership
In addition to being the best-selling game of 1993, X-Wing won LucasArts several awards, including:
- Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Computer Game of 1993, Origins 1994
- Best Game of 1993, Electronic Entertainment
- Best Simulation of 1993, Computer Game Review
- Simulation of the Year, Computer Gaming World
At least in the 1998 Collector's Edition of X-Wing, the first time the player visits the Independence concourse after game installation, an animated figure resembling Marilyn Monroe can be seen standing near one of the hangar doors, in her iconic "flying skirt" pose.
Many names of ships, especially freighters, are English words or names spelled backwards or are just anagrams. The most obvious examples are Nigiro, Arreis, Orcim/Esorp, and Diputs (Origin, Microprose, and Sierra were all prominent software companies in the early '90s, while "Diputs" is a reversed spelling of "Stupid"). This tactic has been continued in the sequels, but to a lesser extent.
Some ship names are homages to existing characters, such as the space transport group Renhoek and the Mon Calamari cruiser Stimsenj'kat in the first bonus mission of the X-Wing Collector's CD-ROM. These refer to the main characters Ren Höek and Stimpson J. Cat from the cartoon The Ren & Stimpy Show.
Other names and locations were borrowed from Han Solo at Stars' End.
Being a first Star Wars game with a major storyline, X-Wing began the game-contributed C-canon. As such, a number of contradictions to other sources appear that have required retconning or other explanations.
- The abbreviated name of the Imperial I-class Star Destroyer in the game is "STD", unlike all later games of the series, in which the abbreviation "ISD" is used instead, following the introduction of the Interdictor-class cruiser (INT), Victory II-class Star Destroyer (VSD), and Super Star Destroyer (SSD).
- The game takes place before the Battle of Yavin, yet it features elements that canon establishes were created after the battle, such as the Mon Calamari cruisers, TIE/IN interceptors, and RZ-1 A-wing interceptors which frequently appear in missions. The A-wing inconsistency was later resolved with the R-22 Spearhead retcon. The existence of the Interceptors was supported by West End Games' The Star Wars Sourcebook stating that at the time of Yavin, standard Imperial Star Destroyers carried (among others) one squadron of Interceptors (12 craft).
- Another inconsistent appearance is that of the fully functional Executor appearing in a cutscene if the player is captured. However this cutscene is non-canon.
- The Twi'lek homeworld is called Twi'lek instead of Ryloth.
- The game causes some confusion by showing the historical battles simulations as actual re-creations in space; it doesn't show the pilot entering a simulator, but leaving the mothership. It's never clear whether the pilot proving grounds are also simulation or actual flying in Rebel space. Briefings seem to be contradictory.
- Although based on the game alone, it seems that the player character (Keyan Farlander) destroys the Death Star instead of Luke Skywalker, The Farlander Papers (included with the strategy guide) explained that in the final mission, the player actually controls Luke Skywalker flying in Farlander's borrowed ship as Red Five. Farlander flew with the Gold Squadron in the battle.
- In the game, proton torpedoes are slower than concussion missiles but more damaging. However, many canon sources show that both proton torpedoes and concussion missiles are general types of weapons with various yields.
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
- "Red Leader to Gold Leader: X-wing on the Horizon" – The Adventurer 4
- The Secrets of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
- Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Limited Collector's Edition