For many “The Empire Strikes Back”the film that today celebrates 40 years since its premiere, It is the best film that the saga created by George Lucas has hadgreatly boosting its popularity that had already been unleashed with the premiere of ‘A New Hope’ in 1977.
The same thing that happened in the movies happened in the world of video games. Although Super Star Wars, based on the first film, was a great game, the saga took a big leap hand in hand with its sequel, Super Star Wars: Empire Strikes Backwhich implemented a host of upgrades, abilities and modes that made it one of the best Star Wars games of those years.
Super Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back was released on June 1, 1993., and was developed by LucasArts. This was part of the trilogy of games based on the original movies for Super Nintendo, and that were released years after the successful premiere of the films, when the fever for Star Wars had already led to the development of a large number of games for both arcade like consoles.
The title allowed take control of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, characters that were also available in the first game, but this time they had a series of new abilities. This is how Luke could use both his lightsaber and blaster, he could also use the Force, on the other hand, Han threw grenades, and Chewbacca an ability that made him spin.
Undoubtedly one of the elements that most attracted the attention of the game was its great difficulty, which led the most inexperienced players to a constant death, and thus added several hours of gameplay. Enemies that appear out of nowhere and others with attack patterns that are virtually impossible to dodgeare some of the characteristics that made this game difficult, which in order not to demotivate the players had two characteristics.
On the one hand, there was the possibility of lengthening the life bar, and constantly taking ‘hearts’ that filled it up; and on the other, the fact that each level had a password, to resume the game without having to start from scratch.
Regardless of its difficulty, which would undoubtedly attract the attention of any Dark Souls fan, this was not the only attraction of Super Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back, and that is the possibility of reliving the story of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, without certainly drew attention. The game, like the movies, began with the classic letters accompanied by the unmistakable music of John Williamsalthough this time with the graphics and audio of Super Nintendo.
After passing the opening credits, a game begins that with the low graphic capacity of the console managed to do wonders. Like the film, in its beginnings it takes us to Hoth, with Luke lost on the frozen planet, and where you go through caves full of dangers, enemies and wampas.
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Each level is accompanied by images that recreate scenes from the film and has a small text that tells us what is happening. On Hoth, behind the caves, the empire’s attack continues, and we even have the chance to use the T-47 hovercraft, better known as Snowspeeder, with which we must destroy the AT-AT walkers.
After escaping from Hoth, which is about a third of the game, and several hours due to deaths, there will be a small level where We must escape from the empire piloting the Millennium Falconand then move to the second stage, Dagobah.
Just like in the movies on Dagobah, we will begin our training together with Yoda to master the Force and become a Jedi. This is the shortest level of the game, and after a short time we will move on to the third and final part of the game, Cloud City on Bespinwhere as in history we face the empire, to culminate in the fight between Luke and Darth Vader.
One of the most striking aspects of Super Star Wars: The Empire Strike Back, is that it made good use of the console’s resources to deliver a game that allowed you to fight with lightsabers, pilot the Millennium Falcon and even ride a Tauntaun, delivering a great variety.
Despite fairly faithfully recounting the events of the film, the game -like almost all the titles of the time- takes a series of liberties when it comes to presenting enemies, with several creatures that did not appear in the film. It also had boss battles that weren’t in the movie, so in Bespin we have a fight between Chewbacca and Boba Fett.
The freedom of the game meant that even in the final level completely red Stormtroppers were presented – many before those shown in The Rise Skywalker -, in a modification to the design of the Snowtroopers used in the Hoth level. The color change was intended to make them appear more threatening.
As we already mentioned, the game culminates with Luke facing Darth Vaderin a combat in which the Sith moves in a somewhat strange way, but which nevertheless stands out above the rest.
Once defeated, we will escape, to culminate an adventure plagued with difficulties, which undoubtedly everyone who had the opportunity to play enjoyed, and which closes with a message that the adventure is not over yet, Han Solo still needs to be rescued, and all the characters will return from the hand of Super Star Wars Return of the Jedi, a game released a year later in 1994.
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