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Star Wars: Rebel Assault (and its sequel, The Hidden Empire) are a pair of interactive video games published by Lucasarts in the early 1990's. Notable for combining elements of a Rail Shooter and a live-action movie, the games put players into the shoes of Rookie One, a young X-Wing pilot who helps the Rebel Alliance during several major events and battles in the Star Wars saga.
Rebel Assault (1993) was the first CD-ROM-only game published by LucasArts. Set during the early Galactic Civil War. Players controlled the adventures of an unnamed young person (known by their callsign, Rookie One). The game takes place during the events of A New Hope, and allows you to visit several key locations from the first two films (including Beggar's Canyon, Hoth and the Death Star).
Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire (1995) was notable for being the first major piece of Star Wars media to incorporate live-action footage since Return of the Jedi. In the sequel, Rookie One and and fellow X-Wing pilot / Action Girl Ru Murleen team up to infiltrate a Super Star Destroyer and steal the prototype for a new TIE Fighter called Phantom, which could turn the tide of the Galactic Civil War if used in the wrong hands.
The gameplay consisted of various spaceflight missions that recreated famous scenes from the movies, and were mainly confined in a certain video looping. The course of the ship was predetermined and the player had to hit the targets (usually TIE fighters) that appeared onscreen; however, the player could partially control and steer the ship so that it wouldn't collide with obstacles and lose hit points. In a few stages, there were branching points, but most stages consisted of a straight run through to the end point or of a looping area that played until all targets were destroyed.
Although the scenario, the plot, and the variety of missions were considered neither original nor rich, the game was valued for its technical details, since it featured digitized footage (albeit limited, most replaced by CGI rendered sequences), music from the original movies, and full speech. Rebel Assault is one of the oldest titles to make use of extensive Full Motion Video on the PC.
The two games are part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: On a Star Destroyer, no less.
- A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away
- Asteroid Thicket: A staple of both games.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Darth Vader briefly addresses you during the original game's ending, saying that you won't defeat him next time.
- Bridge Logic: In the sequel, you'll have to pass through a section of a Super Star Destroyer by shooting a bridge that's above you, so that it will fall down and give you a path to cross a chasm.
- Colon Cancer: Star Wars: Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire
- Compilation Rerelease
- Cool Starship: The TIE Phantom
- The Danza: Ru Murleen was named for (and voiced by) an actress of the same name in the first game.
- Death by Genre Savviness
- Did Not Do the Research/Series Continuity Error: In the opening sequence of the second game, the helmets and uniforms of the on-screen pilots are inexplicably reversed - Rookie One is dressed in his X-Wing uniform while flying a B-Wing, and the X-Wing pilots are wearing B-Wing helmets.
- Distaff Counterpart: Rookie One can be either a man or woman in the original game. The Hidden Empire retcons this so the character is definitively male.
- Dressing as the Enemy: Rookie One and Ru Murleen dress up as Stormtroopers to infiltrate a base in the sequel.
- Dull Surprise: Rookie One's female persona in the first game.
- Easter Egg
- Enemy Chatter
- Gag Sub
- Ghost Ship: Seen in the sequel.
- Guide Dang It: In the second game, you can actually choose which way you lean out of cover... at one part in the second level. You won't be able to progress any further if you don't know how to switch sides, because some stormtroopers are out of your range from certain angles.
- Have a Nice Death
- Heroic Mime: At least in the first game, anyway.
- Partially averted, though, because Rookie One still communicates with his teammates; they're just too busy ordering him around most of the time.
- Hey, It's That Guy!: Julie Eccles, who played Ru Murleen in the second game, played Irene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
- Informed Ability: Ru Murleen was such a great X-Wing pilot that she became the youngest person ever to reach Commander-level, and she has taught countless pilots in effective combat strategies. However, there isn't much evidence of her superb command skills on display in the game. She often gives you simple orders (even during the final mission of both games), and usually flies as support for you during your missions.
- Invisibility Cloak: The new Tie Fighters in the seuqel,
- It's a Wonderful Failure: Getting Game Over on a level can result in a unique cinematic, from enemies wondering what's going on to your friends trying to rescue you, to the remains of your craft floating in space.
- Keep Circulating the Tapes
- Lost in Transmission
- Lowered Monster Difficulty: Compared to the way they're depicted in the films, Star Destroyers are a joke in the two games. An early level in the original game has you disable a Star Destroyer by engaging it (and waves of TIE Fighters) by yourself (and a wingman who hangs back from the fight). It won't even shoot at you that much.
- Mythology Gag/Shout-Out: In the sequel, while disguised as Stormtroopers, Rookie One tells Ru Murleen if she′s "a little too short for a Stormtrooper".
- New Meat / No Name Given: Despite Rookie One's exploits (especially after the events of the original game), he still can't shake the nickname everyone else has given him.
- No OSHA Compliance: Many walkways lack railings in the shooting part, enabling you to shoot Stormtroopers off the edges.
- One-Man Army: Rookie One, especially in the sequel. Let's just say it takes balls to assault an Imperial base by yourself after your ship is shot down.
- Opening Scroll
- The Other Darrin: Julie Eccles took over the role of Ru Murleen in the sequel.
- Railing Kill
- Rail Shooter
- Ramming Always Works
- Rewrite: The final mission of the original game, where you attack the Death Star, contradicts what happened in Episode IV. Rookie One and Ru Murleen destroy a massive energy cannon, then make the trench run to fire a photon torpedo at the exhaust port themselves. Also, many more fighters survive the Death Star run than were seen in the movie.
- Self-Destruct Mechanism
- Shout-Out: Rookie One asks if Ru Murleen is a "little short for a Stormtrooper" during a mission in the sequel.
- Silliness Switch: One of the Easter Eggs adds completely loopy subtitles to all of the cutscenes.
- Stock Footage: Noticeable a few times in the sequel. For instance, Admiral Ackbar is cropped straight from Return of the Jedi and digitally inserted into the new footage. In another, when Admiral Sarn speaks to Vader in his chamber, it′s obvious that they used the original scene from The Empire Strikes Back by replacing General Veers with Sarn.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Rookie One is intended to be a substitute for Luke Skywalker in the first game, to the point that they both grew up on Tatooine, both wanted to be pilots and both took part in the Death Star confrontation at Yavin 4 (and both flew down trenches to destroy key parts of the station). He grows out of this role in the sequel, though.
- You Are Number Six
- You Have Failed Me: Darth Vader to his commander in the sequel, using this exact phrase.