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Overview

Starlancer is a space combat simulator set in the year 2160 as a conflict breaks out between two intergalactic colonial powers from Earth in an escalated pseudo-Cold War. The Alliance, embodying the nations of the contemporary 'Western World' is at odds with the Coalition representing Russia, China, and the Middle-East, and the story covers the outbreak of the war between them. As a rookie pilot in a volunteer division on the Alliance side, the player is evaluated on mission performance to climb up the military ranks.

The game was created by Erin Roberts during the decline in popularity of space combat simulators and doomed the Roberts' brothers development company Digital Anvil to financial failure. This resulted in an acquisition by Microsoft Studios, the departure of Chris Roberts from the company, and development of the game's successor, Freelancer.

Story

Starlancer opens with a brutal attack on an Alliance base by Coalition forces following their feigned acceptance of a peace treaty, but it is only a part of a larger attack in which the Coalition wrests control of several key planets from Alliance hands. The story follows the 45th Flying Tigers, aVolunteer squadron, as they recover from the initial attacks and take part in the larger maneuverings of Alliance forces to recover lost territories.

Proficiency at dogfighting earns respect from NPCs and unlocks new ships

Between missions the player is informed of events happening in the larger scope of the war between the Alliance and the Coalition. Through the course of the game as the player is promoted to higher ranks, he or she meets or fights against important figures referenced in cutscenes, indicating the larger role they begin to play in the intergalactic conflict. The bulk of the narrative is communicated through radio or video transmission, the tone varying with mission performance. The game is largely focused on defense missions where the player must fend off waves of enemies attempting to destroy Alliance capital ships, but there are also later missions devoted solely to dogfighting and assaulting Coalition fleets.

Ships

 

Aliance

There are twelve Alliance ships divided into three classes with individual attributes and special abilities. Better ships are unlocked as the player is promoted for mission performance. The game also has nine fighters belonging to the enemy faction the Coalition which are not playable through the storyline.

The ships are piloted in cockpit view with an extensive control scheme including joystick support with a keyboard on PC, while the Dreamcast version is limited strictly to the controller. Consequently, many advanced ship functions are categorized under sub-menus and accessed through different button combinations.   

   

Coyote:   
One of the first ships you have access to, its Blind fire ability and large missile storage the Coyote is a good allrounder  
Clearance required before use- 1st Lieutenant  
Used predominantly by-  No squad uses as  their  primary ship
Coyote
Class-  Medium
Speed-    6
Acceleration-  10  
Agility-  6  
Shields-  6  
Recharge-  3  
Armour-  5  
Special ability-  Blind Fire   
Afterburner Fuel- 100 Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  7  
Weapon loadout- 2 Proton Cannons, Rear Laser Cannon

 
Crusader:   
One of the initially available ships. Its Spectral shields plus extra afterburner fuel offers some extra protection over other light ships, but its poor fire power make it a less favourable ship.
Clearance required before use- 2nd lieutenant 
Used predominantly by-  No squad uses as  their  primary ship
Crusader
Class- Light
Speed-  5
Acceleration- 7 
Agility-  6
Shields-  4
Recharge- 3 
Armour-  5
Special ability- Spectral shields   
Afterburner Fuel- 110  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints- 5  
Weapon loadout- 2 Gatling Lasers

 
Grendel:  
The only medium fighter that is available from the beginning, its strength while having a good acceleration make it a strong choice. Its Gatling laser cannons use ammunition rather than energy, this means they can be fired constantly which gives it an early game advantage, though it can run out of ammo. This is the ship used in the training missions and thus the first ship you are likely to pilot.
Clearance required before use- 2nd lieutenant 
Used predominantly by- 306th Jackals, 311th Jaguars
Grendel
Class- Medium
Speed- 5
Acceleration- 9  
Agility- 3
Shields- 6
Recharge- 3  
Armour- 6
Special ability-  None   
Afterburner Fuel- 80  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  7   
Weapon loadout- 2 Gatling Laser Cannon, Twin Laser Cannon, Rear Pulse Turret.

 
Mirage IV:  
This fast and agile mid game ship is good for hit and run tactics but its lower firepower compared to other ships available means it is ofter overlooked. 
Clearance required before use- Flight lieutenant 
Used predominantly by-  No squad uses as  their  primary ship
Mirage IV
Class-  Medium
Speed-    7
Acceleration-  4  
Agility-    6
Shields-    5
Recharge-3    
Armour-    4
Special ability-  None   
Afterburner Fuel- 110  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  4  
Weapon loadout- 2 Meson Blasters, Neutron Particle gun.


Naginata:  
The fastest and most agile of the first ships available, however this comes at a cost to Missile Hardpoints. Its lack of Blind fire makes it a harder to use ship for a beginner but once mastered will be very affective in dogfights. 
Clearance required before use- 2nd Lieutenant  
Used predominantly by- 406th Blades, 409th Ronin
Naginata
Class-  Light
Speed-  7
Acceleration-  3  
Agility-   8
Shields-  5  
Recharge-  3  
Armour-    3
Special ability-  Spectral Sheild   
Afterburner Fuel- 130  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  3  
Weapon loadout- 


Patriot:   
A fast and agile ship with decent firepower. 
Clearance required before use- Flight Captain 
Used predominantly by-  No squad uses as  their  primary ship
Patriot
Class-  Medium
Speed-    7
Acceleration-  10  
Agility-  4
Shields-  6  
Recharge-  3  
Armour-  5  
Special ability-  Blind Fire   
Afterburner Fuel- 110  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  5  
Weapon loadout- 2 Tachyon Cannons, 2 Proton Cannons, Rear Laser Cannon

Phoenix:   
An Advanced Medium Ship, it is one of the last ships you acquire. Its combination of high speed, agility and blind fire make it deadly in a dog fight. 
Clearance required before use- Flight Commander 
Used predominantly by-  No squad uses as  their  primary ship
Phoenix
Class-  Medium
Speed-  9
Acceleration-  10  
Agility-  8  
Shields-  6  
Recharge-  3  
Armour-  4  
Special ability-  Blind Fire, Reverse Thrust, Nova Cannon   
Afterburner Fuel- 140  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  4  
Weapon loadout- 2 Gattling lasers, Pulse Cannon, Rear Laser Turret


Predator:   
One of the ships available from the start of the game. It is the most agile out of the starting ships but it sacrifices strength in favour of it. 
Clearance required before use- 2nd Lieutenant  
Used predominantly by- No squad uses as their primary ship
Predator
Class-  Light
Speed-  7
Acceleration-  6  
Agility-  8
Shields-  3  
Recharge-  3  
Armour-  4  
Special ability-  Blind Fire   
Afterburner Fuel- 100  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  6  
Weapon loadout- 2 Proton Cannons, Rear Laser Cannon

  
Reaper:  
The Reaper is a Mid game Heavy ship. It is very heavily armed but its lack of speed and agility makes it more difficult to use in a dogfight. 
Clearance required before use- Commander 
Used predominantly by- 105th Cougars
Reaper 
Class-  Heavy
Speed-  6
Acceleration-  5  
Agility-  4  
Shields-  6  
Recharge- 3    
Armour-  5  
Special ability-  Blind Fire   
Afterburner Fuel- 120  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  8  
Weapon loadout- 2 gatling lasers, 2 vulcans, Rear Quad-Pulse Turret


Shroud:  
The shroud is an advanced prototype ship. Its Cloaking ability combined with its impressive speed and agility make it and excellent recon ship. However its poor weapon loadout means it is poor in an actual fight. 
Clearance required before use- Available after a specific mission. 
Used predominantly by-  No squad uses as  their  primary ship
Shroud
Class-  Light
Speed-  10
Acceleration-  3  
Agility-  10  
Shields-  7  
Recharge-  3  
Armour-   3
Special ability- Blind Fire, Reverse Thrust, Spectral Shields, Cloaking    
Afterburner Fuel-  150  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  4  
Weapon loadout- 2 Proton Cannons


Tempest:  
The tempest is the first heavy ship available to the player. Its abailibility early on gives you and early advantage against the coalition.  
Clearance required before use- Captain 
Used predominantly by- 606th Black Aces, 705th Cobras
Tempest
Class-  Heavy
Speed-  6
Acceleration-  10  
Agility-  4  
Shields-  6  
Recharge-  4  
Armour-  5  
Special ability- Spectral Shields   
Afterburner Fuel- 100  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  8  
Weapon loadout- 2 Tachyon Cannons, 2 Pulse Cannons and a Rear Pulse Cannon


Wolverine:  
The wolverine is the ship used by the famous 307th vampires. Its quick acceleration, powerful shields and large array of weapons and missile hardpoints make it and excellent dogfighter. It is one of the last ships to be acquired. 
Clearance required before use- Lt. Commander 
Used predominantly by- 307th Vampires, 45th Flying Tigers
Wolverine
Class-  Heavy
Speed-  5
Acceleration-  10  
Agility-  4  
Shields-  6  
Recharge-  3  
Armour-  7  
Special ability-  Reverse Thrust   
Afterburner Fuel- 120  Seconds
Missile Hardpoints-  8 
Weapon loadout- 2 Collapser Cannons, 2 Laser Cannons, 1Tachyon Cannon, Rear Pulse Turret  
 
Bombers
There are two bombers at the Alliances disposal. They are not playable though you
Hades Bomber 
 may have to protect them in some missions and in others they will be used to destroy Coalition cruisers. There are two models: 
The Galahad: A two torpedo bomber which is reasonably fast and agile. 
The Hades: A four torpedo bomber which is slower than the Galahad but carries much more fire power and is slightly tougher. 
 

Coalition:

The Coalition has a group of 10 ships it will use against you; 8 Fighters 1 Gunship and 1 Bomber  
 
Azan
The Azan is the coalitions light fighter and the fighter that will be fighting against you most in the early stages of the game. 
Azan
Class: Light 
Speed: 6
Acceleration: 8
Agility: 6
Shields: 5
Recharge: 4
Armour: 1
Special ability: None 
Hardpoints: 1
 
Basilisk:  
The Basilisk is the fight fighter you will encounter int he game dispite being flown by the Coalitions elite Black Guard. They are very thin which makes them hard to hit. 
Basilisk
Class:  Medium
Speed: 6  
Acceleration:  5
Agility:  10
Shields:  10
Recharge:  5
Armour:  7
Special ability:  Cloaking
Hardpoints: 10 
 
Haidar
Haidars are very slow and very large but they do have exceedingly powerful armor and decent shields which can make them difficult to take down. 
Haidar
Class:  Medium
Speed:  4
Acceleration:  7
Agility:  4
Shields:  6
Recharge:  4
Armour:  10
Special ability: Spectral Shields  
Hardpoints: 2 
 
Karak
Karak have strong armor and shields, they are rare fighters and their blind fire can make them difficult to avoid. 
Karak
Class:  Medium
Speed:  4
Acceleration:  7
Agility:  4
Shields:  9
Recharge:  5
Armour:  6
Special ability:  Blind fire
Hardpoints: 2 
 
Kossac
The Kossac is the Coalitions heavy fighter. It has strong armour and shields which make it very difficult to bring down. Its fire power is quite low however.
Kossac
Class:  Heavy
Speed:  6
Acceleration:  7
Agility:  6
Shields:  6
Recharge:  5
Armour:  14
Special ability:  None
Hardpoints: 10 
 
Lagg:  
A medium ship with a huge amount of fire power at the front and good shield. They are a frequent fighter and can prove the most difficult in a dog fight.
Lagg
Class:  Medium
Speed:  6
Acceleration: 7  
Agility:  4
Shields:  7
Recharge:  6
Armour:  6
Special ability:  Blind Fire
Hardpoints: None 
 
Luda Salin:  
The salin is another Coalition light fighter. It is very similar to the Azan but with more hardpoints and slightly stronger armour. 
Luda Salin 
Class:  Light
Speed:  6
Acceleration:  7
Agility:  6
Shields:  5
Recharge:  5
Armour:  2
Special ability:  None
Hardpoints: 2 
 
Saracen:  
The Saracen is average at everything with the exception of acceleration which is reasonably high.
saracen
Class:  Medium
Speed:  5
Acceleration:  8
Agility:  6
Shields:  4
Recharge:  3
Armour:  4
Special ability:  None
Hardpoints: 3 
 
Kurgen
The Kurgen is a gunship as instead of a fighter. It will be found escorting cruisers. It
Krugen Class Corvette
 doesn't have full shields. Kurgens have formidable fire power but like cruisers you can shoot off their guns and after that the are defenceless.  
 
 
 
 
Kamov
The Kamov is the Coalitions bomber. They carry 4 torpedos, and will warp in fire and warp out. Killing the ships them selves is easy
Kamov Bomber 
 due to their lack of armor and is advisable because killing one ship is easier than 4 torpedos. The player will pilot a Kamov in one of the later missions.


Weapons

There are two types of weapons in the game, the first time are your primary guns which are mounted on the ship you choose to use and cannot be changed. The second are missiles which you can choose before each mission and the number you can select depends on the number of hardpoints your chosen ship has.  

Guns

 
Projectie guns tend to have a limited amount of ammo. However the amount of ammo is usually so high that you would be hard pressed to use it all up. Energy weapons heat up the more you use them so eventually you have to let the cool down.  
 
Collapsar Gun:                                             Gatling Plasma Cannon:  
Type: Projectile                                             Type:  Projectile 
Damage: High                                               Damage:  High
Range: Medium                                            Range:  Medium
Fire Rate: High                                              Fire Rate:  Fast
Energy Drain: None                                     Energy Drain: None 
 
Gatling Laser:                                              Laser Cannon:
Type:  Laser                                                  Type:  Laser
Damage:  Medium                                       Damage:  Low
Range:  Medium                                          Range:  Short
Fire Rate:  Fast                                             Fire Rate:  High
Energy Drain: High                                      Energy Drain: Low
 
Messon Blaster:                                         Neutron Particle Gun:  
Type:  Laser                                                 Type:  Particle
Damage:  Medium                                     Damage: High
Range:  Medium                                         Range: Medium
Fire Rate:  Medium                                     Fire Rate: Slow
Energy Drain: Medium                              Energy Drain: High 
  
Nova Cannon:                                           Proton Cannon:  
Type:  Beam                                                Type: Laser
Damage:  High                                            Damage: Medium
Range:  Short                                              Range: Medium
Fire Rate:  Slow                                          Fire Rate: Low
Energy Drain: High                                    Energy Drain: Medium 
 
Pulse Cannon:                                          Tachyon Cannon:  
Type: Laser                                                Type: Particle
Damage: Medium                                     Damage: High
Range:  Short                                             Range: Long
Fire Rate:  Medium                                    Fire Rate: Slow
Energy Drain: Low                                     Energy Drain: High 
 
Vulcan Battery: 
Type:  Projectile
Damage:  High
Range:  Long
Fire Rate:  Slow
Energy Drain: None   

 Missiles  

Missiles come in two forms and can be fitted onto hardpoints. You can also attach Fuel pods to hardpoints to get extra after burner fuel. 
 
Banshee
Banshee Missile 
Lock On:  Yes, 4 seconds
Power: Medium
Quantity per hardpoint: 1 
 
Fuel Pod:
Worth 50 extra seconds of afterburner fuel 
 
Havok
Lock On:  Yes, 2 Seconds
Power:  Temporarily disables ships
Jackhammer Missile 
Quantity per hardpoint:  1 
 
Hawk
Lock On: Yes, 3 Seconds
Power:  High
Quantity per hardpoint:  4 
 
Imp:   Lock On:  Yes, 1 second
Power:  Destroys shields
Quantity per hardpoint: 1 
 
Jackhammer
Fuel Pod 
Lock On: Yes, 5 seconds
Power:  Extreme
Quantity per hardpoint:  1 
 
Raptor: 
Lock On: Yes,  2 seconds
Power:  Medium
Quantity per hardpoint: 3 
 
Screamer:  
Lock On: None, point and shoot
Power:  Low
Quantity per hardpoint: 20 
Vegabond Missile 
 
Solomon:  
Lock On: None, once fired will seek nearest target
Power:  Medium
Quantity per hardpoint:  4 
 
Vagabond: 
Lock On: Yes, 3 Seconds
Power:  High, will chase clocked targets
Quantity per hardpoint:  1

 
 

System Requirements

 
  • Windows 95/98/ME/XP
  • Multimedia PC with Pentium 200 MHZ or higher processor; Pentium II 300 MHz with 3D accelerator card recommended
  • 32 MB of RAM
  • 300 MB of available hard disk space; additional 100 MB of hard disk space required for swap file
  • 8X or faster CD-ROM drive
  • DirectX 7.0
  • Super VGA, 256-color monitor supporting 640x480 or higher resolution (800x600 screen resolution recommended); Local bus video with 2 MB or more of video memory (3D accelerated video recommended); Graphics accelerator card compatible with Direct 3D API

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