This is the PC/Amiga/Mac game I'm playing by the way. There's two other games with the same name, one for NES and one on the Game Boy, but it seems that they're all entirely different.
Hang on, the Republic is arming weapons? Crap, they've thrown me straight into a mock battle with another starship and I don't even know how to raise shields. I've only just turned the game on!
Okay, W and S has gotten the weapons and shields on line, I'm steering with the mouse, and the mouse buttons are firing phasers and torpedoes. See, spaceships aren't so hard to figure out.
Actually it has the same mouse control system that Freelancer used a decade later. I'm actually aiming the weapon crosshair with the mouse, and the further I pull it off center, the faster the ship turns. So basically the ship naturally ends up pointing towards whatever I'm shooting at. I've never found a better way to dogfight using a mouse, so no complaints here.
Well it's nice not to be stuck peering out through a tiny letterbox view, but I've noticed one small downside: there's no radar. If my evil twin flies off screen for a second I've lost him.
Anyway, sensors report that the USS Republic is covered in flashy red blocks now, and if I know anything about sci-fi games that means this fight should be over soon. It's funny how my phaser beams are as slow as the photon torpedoes. I don't know if there's any difference in range or power, but it feels like I'm just firing off red bullets and blue bullets.
Oh, this is a screenshot from the 1994 Amiga version again by the way, showing off the awesome graphics power of the new AGA chipset (over a hundred colours on screen at once!) This was one of the first games for the system to require a hard drive, which the average Amiga gamer still wouldn't have owned. Kind of shows how left behind the poor machine was getting by this point.
Okay, my mission is to go visit Pollux V, and sort out their antagonistic alien problem.
Starfleet Academy on the SNES/32X.
Plus I have these cryptic icons popping up whenever I click on a crew member. Who knows what any of this does. Also I thought that mouse cursor was giving me a gold plated middle finger at first.
Okay Mr Sulu... or Mr Chekov, whichever one of you has the navigation button, set a course for Pollux V!
You see, this is the copy protection for the game. The stars are all unmarked and if I visit the wrong one bad things happen.
Well okay, all I have to do is fight off a pair of Romulan Birds of Prey. Shouldn't be so hard, not after my 30 seconds of mock battle training. I know how to raise shields and fire weapons from the start this time!
Well, time to make 300 or so alien crewmembers pay the ultimate price for my dumb mistake on the navigation console.
That's Pollux V behind me, by the way. I'm just entering orbit now. It's a planet, in case you couldn't tell.
Hey wait a minute, Uhura just told me I was being hailed by the High Prelate Robert Angiven, not some nameless priest. Get off my viewscreen. If your boss wants to send me a message, he can do it in person.
Okay, what other buttons do I have here. Scotty fixes things, Uhura chats to people... Hey, clicking on Spock lets me type in things to look up on the Enterprise library computer, like an early version of Mass Effect's codex. Okay Enterprise, lets see if you know... High Prelate Robert Angiven.
Prelate Angiven explains that his people have been attacked by literal demons, and that I should go and chat with them for more information. His people I mean, not the demons. Also one of his group was trapped during the attack and ended up being left behind, but I think I should get some intel first before rushing off on a dangerous rescue mission.
One of the space monks helpfully points out that he knows where the berries grow: in front of a gate to hell guarded by demons. Let's put that that one on the back burner for now then.
Oh by the way, that golden torso up there is my interface to issue commands. I click on the eyes to look at things, the mouth lets me talk, and the hand holding a ball is the shot put command. I can also use my crew on things, for instance Spock is good with tech, Dr. McCoy has medical skills, and Ensign Everts makes a good human shield.
So I'm headed off towards the mountain then, to rescue this poor monk/pick some berries. Whichever I find first. Fortunately I can save the game, so I'm in no danger of the demons ending my Trek prematurely.
But it turns out their weapons were set to stun, so our redshirt still lives! For now.
Oh by the way, these guys turned out to be fake Klingons. Robot doppelgängers. Spock finds it interesting that the god-fearing space monks saw demons, while the Starfleet officers met enemy soldiers. He claims he has a theory about what's going on, but of course we're not allowed to hear it until we figure it out for ourselves.
Wow, I've only just noticed how tight those uniforms look. You can see Kirk's ribcage sticking through. Actually I think that might be Kirk's stunt double.
Now, what do I have with me that can be used on a hand scanner? Hmmmmm.
Everts walked off and got himself electrocuted by the hand scanner. And lived! Amazingly I still have my redshirt. But I'm going to have to fix this fake Klingon hand if I want to to get inside. Hey, wasn't there a workbench all the way back at the monks' base?
Now that the Brother Stephen is around, I was finally able to unlock his junk museum, but there's nothing much of interest in there. I grabbed some stuff anyway, though the monk made me promise to bring it back after I'm done with it.
Right, now I've got to walk all the way back down to that cave again. That's probably the worst bit of this game so far, that it takes so long to get around.
LATER, BACK AT THE CAVE.
Spock says that the slider puzzle on that machine on back wall shouldn't be hard to figure out. The clue is in the diagram above it.
After a few minutes of just trying things at random I gave up and looked up the answer. Turns out all the bars must be set to '1'. And I honestly don't get why. It's the first actual puzzle in the entire game, and even knowing the answer I'm still entirely lost. Not really a good sign.
Anyway, everything worked out fine in the end. Turns out that the fake demons and pop-up Klingons were of course generated by a security system designed to imitate a person's worst fears to scare them off. Resetting the computer system has turned them off, and awakened this hibernating alien who immediately wants to join Kirk's Federation. He's been asleep for thousand of years though, so it's a mystery to me how he even know what the fuck a Federation is.
"Hi I've just woken up from a thousand years of suspended animation, but I assume you guys are representatives of a vast interstellar alliance of planets, and I think I speak for my entire race when I say that we'd like to join immediately."But it's not my problem, I'm out of here! And I'm not even going to give Brother Stephen his junk back. Kirk to Enterprise, four to beam up. Yes Enterprise, Ensign Everts is still alive.
"Well I've no idea about your civilization or culture, for all I know you could be a janitor looking after a society of fascist xenophobic cannibals, but I see no reason why we can't put you on the fast track to membership. I'll get the paperwork sent over right away, and by the time the rest of your people wake up you'll be able to tell them they're now governed by an alien council."
And that's the end of the first story. Each section of the game is its own self contained episode, so the next chapter is an entirely unrelated crisis in some other corner of space. Seems a good place to stop playing.
I think as point and click adventure games go, 25th Anniversary seems fairly average. It has solid graphics, sound, voice acting and it even made me smile at times. Intentionally. But on the other hand it also has a lot of tedious walking between screens, and some frustrating space shooter levels. Overall though I think out of all the Trek games I've played so far, this actually comes closest to capturing the feeling of the TV series, though for some reason all the actors sound 25 years older than they should...
Oh right, I guess it's earned a gold star. Though I'm sure I'd change my mind about that in a hurry once the space combat levels begin getting serious. I hear they get ridiculously tough later.