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 "You are the Captain. You have the Conn."

Developed By Totally Games, who years prior gave us X Wing and TIE Fighter from that other franchise, Star Trek: Bridge Commander is a space sim set in the Star Trek universe. The plot revolves around an inexperienced captain (read: YOU), trying to prevent an interstellar war, shortly after the end of another.

Bridge Commander was an ambitious attempt to replicate the feel of the various series, with generally positive results. It's the first game in the franchise to nail the feeling of flying around in one of the huge capital ships, and still has a very active fan community. Not bad at all for a barely advertised game from 2002.

Tropes used in Star Trek Bridge Commander include:

  • AFGNCAAP (The player character is never seen or heard. The only information about the character comes in the intro while your doomed Captain is dictating his log, and identifies the player character in an offhand remark as a male.)
  • Alternate Continuity (Bridge Commander forms part of a strange sort of alternate universe, having links to the Armada games, Elite Force/II, and Star Trek: Starfleet Command III. All these games were published by Activision.)
  • All There in the Manual (Bridge Commander's tenuous link to SFC 3 is shown in the description of the Sovereign-class in SFC 3's instuction manual.)
  • Apocalypse How (A class X-2 Example.)
  • Big Damn Heroes You in several missions, the Enterprise about three times.
  • Canon Immigrant: Several races, and many ships for the existing canon races.
  • Cool Ship (The Dauntless, and later the Sovereign. Those provided by the games still very active modding community are too legion to list. In other words, pick any Cool Ship from the television series or movies (or other series, they're in there.)
  • Crew of One (Subverted, while you can take control of systems manually, the ship is normally run by your AI crewmates, who will actually do a pretty good job keeping it in one piece.)
    • This mainly extends to maneuvering the starship and targeting/firing its weapons though, although you can also personally set power allocations and repair priorities.
  • Earthshattering Kaboom (The main plot of the game revolves around what caused a star to suddenly go nova in the games intro, and after trying to prevent it from happening again.)
  • Field Promotion (A particularly glaring example: It's established in the introduction cutscene that the player character has just been transferred to the Dauntless, after having spent some time as a first officer, then the captain gets fried in a supernova, and the player character is immediately promoted to ship's captain. And soon after, given one of the most powerful ships in Starfleet. Though it is initially something of a fixer-upper.)
  • Five-Man Band Commander Larsen (The Leader, though also the Scrappy), Chief Brex (The Lancer; third in command and is a bit of a comedian in contrast to Saffi's snobby, by-the-book nature), Lt. Savali (The Big Guy), Miguel (The Smart Guy, though Brex also counts for this), Kiska (The Chick).
  • Game Mod (Dozens. A notable example is Kobayashi Maru, which combines many of them, dramatically altering the game and refining the gameplay.)
  • Heroic Mime (The player character never speaks.)
  • Hitbox Dissonance Found in poorly-made player mods. One Cardassian ship featured a hit box that was twice the size of the model. This made flying against it with collisions on frustrating
  • Hopeless Boss Fight To a degree: You can NOT destroy Matan's ship. You can cripple it, but the hull won't break. Even your chief engineer is impressed. Incidentally, it is still possible to lose the game once you've done this. There are also a few situations in the game where you're encouraged to run, not fight (You know how The Kobayashi Maru was 1 on 3? Try 1 on 12!)
  • Justified Tutorial (The first episode of the game. You're more or less allowed free rein with little prompting, but are accompanied by Captain Picard, in case you need a little extra guidance.)
  • Rookie Red Ranger
  • Simulation Game (Spaceflight)
  • Space Compression (Bridge Commander is an offender here. Distances across solar systems are measured in kilometers.)
  • Spiritual Successor (Star Trek: Excalibur, a fan-made game in the works that utilizes the Nano Fx Graphics Engine, is intended as thus. It is also intended to be more easily moddable.)
  • Subsystem Damage And how!
    • Calling for a damage report when your ship's been reduced to the point where it's being held together with little more than good intentions will pound it home to you as Brex starts rattling off what's not working. May or may not cause an Oh Crap moment for the player.
      • It can get worse, since you can only have three subsystems at a time on the repair queue and it's SO slow.
  • The Bridge (Obvious.)
  • The Captain (Played with. Your Captain gets pasted before the credits even roll, but was by all accounts from his peers, a pretty damned cool guy. Also used in your interactions with fellow starfleet captains during the game.)
  • We Come in Peace, Shoot to Kill You... maybe. After several hostile run ins with the mysterious Kessok, you find one, with its shields down, in front of an object you're after, with no life signs aboard. Adrenaline pumping, your first instinct is to take advantage and blow the farker up (ok, YMMV)... However, you can also try hailing the vessel, which results in a peaceful dialog Gene Rodenberry would be proud of.
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