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Star Trek: 25th Anniversary was the first adventure videogame based on the Star Trek franchise, released in 1992 by Interplay. The game, based on The Original Series, combines classic Point and Click gameplay with furious space combat, and features pretty much every staple the series had to offer.
The game is built in "episodes", each of which is a stand-alone scenario. After receiving their mission from Starfleet and arriving at their destination, the principal characters (Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and the obligatory Red Shirt) beam down to investigate, and have to resolve the situation with skill and cunning. The use of inventory items, Dialogue Trees and standard actions is similar to many adventure games of the time. Each mission also has a space battle either at the beginning, end or sometimes in the middle - a fairly simple (though sometimes extremely difficult) 3D simulator played from the bridge of the Enterprise.
What perhaps makes 25th Anniversary stand out among other Star Trek games is its ability to capture the feel of the original series in pretty much every aspect. Missions begin with a fly-by of the enterprise and the name of the episode in yellow Star Trek font. Space battles are accompanied by the fondly-remembered sounds of photon torpedoes and phasers, and you must use your bridge crew members constantly throughout the battle to manage your energy and repair the ship. The ship's computer is ready to provide you with lots of background information about the ships, planets and peoples you'll meet. On planetside, your Red Shirt is likely to die first if you're not careful, Spock and McCoy will constantly banter with each other (and need to be "used" to perform actions suitable for them, like McCoy healing people or Spock examining machinery), and Kirk's particular method of oratory is prevalent throughout the entire game.
To make things even better, the entire cast of the original series gave their voices to the CD-ROM edition, including even Majel Barrett's voice for the computer. This finishing touch helps bring this game closer to the experience of actually playing Kirk and his teammates in a Trek episode.
Though each episode is individual, not connected to the others in terms of storyline, the player is still given a score at the end of the game based on his performance throughout. Most importantly, the player has to take care to conduct diplomacy and seek the peaceful resolution for each episode. In particular, the death of the Red Shirt (though a staple of the series) must be avoided to achieve a perfect score.
25th Anniversary is still considered one of the best Star Trek games made, despite its final mission which consisted primarily of an incredibly difficult space battle (though it was replaced with an actual, very long mission on the CD-ROM edition -- followed by an incredibly difficult space battle and occasionally contained a serious bug).
A year later in 1993, Interplay reused the same Point and Click engine to produce a sequel, called Judgment Rites. In many regards, Judgment Rites is superior to 25th Annivesary, including both plot and gameplay. As The Other Wiki states, many fans consider these two games to comprise the fourth and fifth years of the Enterprise's five-year mission (since the original series ran for only three seasons).
This work contains examples of the following tropes:
- Alien Popsicle: In the first mission, "Demon World", the Nauians placed themselves into stasis to survive an apocalypse. A telepathic computer reads the minds of any intruder to their stasis facility, quickly manufacturing robots that look like the intruder's most fearsome enemy to try and drive him away.
- And the Fandom Rejoiced: The disc version of the game went to great lengths to capture the individual "voice" of each character in its dialogue, even though it only featured written text. The addition of the entire original series cast reprising their roles for the CD-ROM edition was the icing on the cake, and it was a huge motivation for the fans to buy it again on the new technology. These days, the involvement of the full cast would be pretty much taken as read, but back then it was seen a real novelty.
- Big Dumb Object: The Enterprise discovers Harry Mudd staking a claim on one of these.
- Bottle Episode: The final mission on the CD-ROM version plays with the trope, taking place in a near identical "sister ship" to the Enterprise.
- Crowning Moment of Funny: One mission, you can dose Spock with Vulcan laughing gas. He'll spend the rest of the mission randomly yelling stuff like, "who gave me this lousy haircut?!"
- Doomsday Device: A race in nuclear warfare set one up on their moon. It didn't go off. A millennium later, when they worked their way up from the stone age back to radio technology, the moon base picked up the transmissions and rearmed itself, ready to land the blow for good. Fortunately, there's a virus in the system which you can have Kirk and the gang use to infect the missile launching system's timing and thus have the missiles launch harmlessly into space.
- Hostage Situation: Mission 2, "Hijacked", where Elasi pirates do this to a Federation starship. There are several possible endings, and only one where everyone survives.
- I Can't Use These Things Together: Kirk protests thusly, even when you order another crew-member to carry out the task. Read the trope article for more.
- Mirror Match: And then some. The Enterprise has a battle against another (fake) Constitution-class starship, except it's armed to the teeth and accompanied by escorts.
- Multiple Endings: Most missions have several possible outcomes. Kirk's score at the end of each mission relies primarily on how the mission ended, though individual actions during the mission may also alter the score.
- Mythology Gag: It wouldn’t be Trek without 'em.
Lt. Buchert: Captain, count your blessings! We haven't met any salt vampires, deranged computers, blood-draining clouds, cell imploding sirens, Greek gods, or any of the other things people keep telling me about in security.
Kirk [who dealt every single one of those in TOS]: There's not much I wouldn't do to not have to deal with Mudd.
- Nintendo Hard: See Mirror Match, above.
- The Other Darrin: Harry Mudd, due to actor existence failure.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: Quetzalcoatl (yeah, the Aztec god) turns out to be one of these. And he's not happy about about the human sacrifice.
- The Problem with Licensed Games: Solidly averted - it's considered one of the best Star Trek games produced, and remains very faithful to the original series.
- Shown Their Work: The attention to detail is amazing on it's own, but to show how much the programmers really did their research, take half an hour to explore the database of Spock's library computer on the bridge. Information about every single planet visited by the Enterprise in the original series can be accessed, among other things.
- Updated Rerelease: The CD-ROM edition. Not only did it include voice acting, it also had an entire landing team mission that was not seen in the original disk version.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Every mission there is always, always at least one method of getting your Red Shirt killed off for shits and giggles. You do lose points for it, though.
- Also the one mission where you've got the option of releasing laughing gas (of both the Human and Vulcan variations) into the air of the station you're on. It's not that cruel, mind, but still...