Interplay goes Klingon...and hits the mark
By this time Interplay KNEW they were in trouble, New Worlds was panned by a
lot of people, Pinball was a dud and the cancellation of Secret Of Vulcan Fury
gave Interplay one HUGE headache...
Enter the Klingons...
Klingon Academy took the trek gamer outside of the Federation world (which is
boring anyway) and took them into the realm of the last film featuring the
entire original cast...
In the sixth Star Trek movie, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the
crew of the USS Enterprise was assigned to escort a Klingon battle cruiser
carrying a high-ranking Klingon chancellor named Gorkon into Federation space.
Gorkon was to meet with United Federation of Planets representatives regarding a
long-term peace agreement between the two governments. But as often happens in
the Star Trek universe, this simple mission becomes compromised by rogue
elements in the Klingon Empire who wish to continue the hostility between the
Klingons and the Federation. After assassinating the peaceful Gorkon, this small
faction races to kill the president of the Federation and thereby guarantee the
potential for many more years of Klingon-Federation hostilities.
In the end, as usual, the Enterprise (along with the USS Excelsior) teaches a
violent lesson to the insurgents, who are led by a Shakespeare-quoting Klingon
commander named General Chang, by destroying their cloak-capable warship and
subsequently killing all on board. The reason this background data is important
is that General Chang (played in the movie by actor Christopher Plummer)
happened to be one of the Klingon Empire's leading ship combat-warfare experts
and had been engaged in the service of the Empire in the role of its Elite
Command Academy's commandant.
This is where Klingon Academy the game comes in. By taking the story timeline
back to the period that occurred in the movies between Star Trek V: The Final
Frontier, and Star VI: The Undiscovered Country, Interplay could draw on the
large hostility between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. The enigmatic
General Chang would also be available as the lead instructor for the Klingon
cadets. And that's exactly where the game Klingon Academy begins, with players
being addressed by General Chang as their instructor with the intention of going
to war with the Federation before the game is through.
The cut scenes of the film were short of spectacular for a trek game of the
turn of the century. Trek fans were amazed at the fact that they were actually
able to control a Klingon ship and pilot it around 3d space while blowing up
other fed ships, something that's been mirrored in Bridge Commander recently.
Interplay and the game makers 14 degrees east pulled out all the tops for
this game. With the money coming in from SFC II's pre orders and interest
peaking again in Interplays other non trek games they poured a vast amount of
cash into Klingon Academy...and it ultimately paid off.
The game engine was new, the texturing used was new, the game interface was
completely new and the main graphics engine was...buggy...
Bugs always crop up in games though and the patch for KA sorted out all of
the bad problems (patch available in the STMD)
Klingon Academy is still hailed as one of the best triumphs for the old
Interplay trek license and is still being played online today.
For more details....
Write up by Nikki Venra