Star Wars Trilogy Arcade is an arcade only video game released by Sega. The arcade system's debut was shortly after the reissue of the Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition in theaters. The arcade featured two models, a stand up version and cockpit version. Controls for each were identical, however, as a single joystick with trigger controlled movement and crosshair aim, while an additional action button cued pre scripted events, such as dogfight backup from X-Wings.
The game's first person perspective put the player behind an X-Wing, Snowspeeder, Speederbike, and on foot. A selection screen allows the player to choose a mission from either A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, or Return of the Jedi. Each features shooting action from various starfighters and locales unique to the films.
A New Hope
The mission from A New Hope calls for the player to pilot an X-Wing during the attack on the first Death Star. Three different stages of the mission progress the player towards the critical moment to successfully target an exhaust port in order to destroy the Death Star.
The X-Wing is relatively restricted to a certain flight path, of which the player has no control over speed or trajectory. Dramatically moving the joystick causes the craft to slightly drift in the pointed position, however the movement is not enough to dodge incoming fire from TIE Fighters. ION blasts move slow enough for the player to aim and destroy the incoming threats, and TIE Fighters themselves are able to be taken out.
The player gets a bonus for saving friendly lives, such as an X-Wing in peril while pursed by Vader's forces. Once near the surface of the Death Star, blaster towers pose the most significant threat, as these must either be destroyed, or dodged by the player's movements. Darth Vader's TIE Advanced makes an appearance, as the craft needs to take a certain amount of damage before the player is allowed to advance into the Death Star trench.
The Empire Strikes Back
This mission begins with the player piloting a Snowspeeder during The Battle of Hoth. The Snowspeeder maneuvers around the snow covered battlefield, giving the players a chance to target either Imperial probe droids, ATST's or Imperial Walkers. The preset flight path mimics the Snowspeeders of the film, daring to fly between the legs of the Imperial Walkers. Just as in the film, the Rebel's shield generator cannot be saved, forcing the Rebels to hastily exit their hidden base.
For the second stage of the mission, players control the action on foot, shooting down Snowtroopers and other threats, such as Wampa ice creatures, in the hallways of Echo Base. As the predetermined movements lead the player to the base's hangar, the player must prevent Snowtroopers from approaching the Millennium Falcon. For each Imperial that slips by, the ship's captain, Han Solo, yells out to the player to "keep those troopers away from my ship."
Return of the Jedi
The iconic Speederbike chase from Return of the Jedi is the first stage of this mission. Players have more control over the movement of the craft than previous vehicles, such as the ability to dodge tree limbs and stumps as the Speederbike races through the forest moon of Endor. Any pursuing Imperial Scout Troopers must be destroyed to prevent the revelation of the Rebel's presence to the Empire. Scout Troopers pose a threat by firing back on the player's Speeder Bike, forcing the player to dodge incoming blaster fire.
The second stage again puts players on foot, as they navigate through the forest surrounding the Imperial shield generator for the Second Death Star. Stormtroopers and Imperial Officers are the primary enemies, as Ewoks offer support to the Rebels. The action button will cause the Ewoks to bombard the Imperial Troops, momentarily making the assault easier for the player. The final battle during this stage is a showdown between Rebel troopers and an ATST. Weakened points on the walker are highlighted, allowing the player to take down the enemy's vehicle.
Death Star II
In the final stage, only available when all others were complete, the player flew in the Battle of Hoth with the early mission of simply surviving the fleet surrounding it. Waves of TIE fighters of various designs came in from all directions, along with Star Destoryers which could be disabled by blasting the shield generators, and surface turrets shooting at the player.
The late level mission was to dodge and shoot and ultiamtely weave through all barriers within the Death Star II until they reached the core, which required four presise shots to make it unstable and collapse the station into itself before a total detonation.After this mission the players FInal Score was Tallied and recorded.
Between and after certain sections were completed the player was brought into a pair of one-on-one fights. The first was with Boba Fett where he 'died' fighting Luke in Return of the Jedi. Fett was flying around on his jetpack during this sequence. The player blocked Fett's shots by correctly angling the joystick to the left, right, up, or down position as que by the screen. Correctly doing this rebounded the shot into Fett. Making an Error counted as a hit against you. If the player won Fett howled in pain and fell into the pit. if time elapsed, the match was over in a Draw.
The second duel was with Darth Vader himself. This was significantly harder, although the mechanic was the same. The player and Vader were on rails, moving along preset lines of travel, and Vader attacked at certain spots. If the correct juke was made when the arrows were red it indicated a Block. When they were green the player had to make two correct moves to hit.
So if Vader swung high and the player correctly moved the joystick it would block. If a green arrow flashed on the left side of the screen and than the right, the player would need to move the joystick in that way to score a hit.
The problem was these machines were vigorously used by a great many people and the finesse of these controls was sometimes poor, counting what should have been hits as misses.
If the player was defeated Vader loomed over them and said his trademark line resembling 'You are not a Jedi yet'. If victorious Vader said, fallen to the floor, 'Your skills are now complete'. After defeating Vader, the player can, as Luke did in the film, disengage his lightsaber, which prompts the additional dialogue from the Emperor, "So be it, Jedi."