Star Wars: Rogue Squadron was a series of Star Wars arcade-style action video games jointly developed by LucasArts and Factor 5 and published by LucasArts for Nintendo consoles. This is in contrast to the Star Wars: X-Wing series, also by LucasArts, which were space combat simulation video games. The series deals with the Rebel Alliance unit, Rogue Squadron, who under the command of Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles use starfighters to engage and defeat the Galactic Empire. The games are set during episodes A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi and recreate the battles that take place during those films, notably the Battle of Hoth, which is in every Rogue Squadron game in one form or another. Both of the GameCube Rogue Squadron games featured "making-of" documentaries, similar to those found on DVDs.
- Main article: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron was first released for the Nintendo 64 video game console and the PC on December 7, 1998. It was one of the first Nintendo 64 games to support the console's Expansion Pak, which allowed higher-quality graphics to be displayed while playing.
The story is set between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back (with the exception of the final level and secret levels) and shows the missions set during the formation of Rogue Squadron.
Several unlockable vehicles appear in Star Wars: Rogue Squadron. By inputting certain text-based cheat codes, the player could unlock the Millennium Falcon, a TIE interceptor, an AT-ST, a 1969 Buick Electra, and a Naboo N-1 Starfighter. When Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released, Naboo Starfighters were unveiled to the public for the first time. LucasArts, anticipating the movie's release in 1999, programmed in the unlockable extra and released the code in conjunction with the movie. During the five months between the game's release and that of Episode I, fans of the game discovered many of the secret vehicles, but the Naboo Starfighter remained unknown due to its unusual method of unlocking. The former two vehicles became playable when a clever or witty password was entered and R2-D2's beeps affirmed it, but the Naboo Starfighter required two consecutive codes, and R2-D2's sounds did not play after the first code.
In 1999, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron won the Origins Award for Best Action Computer Game of 1998.
Rogue Squadron II: Rogue LeaderEdit
- Main article: Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader
Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was an exclusive launch game in 2001 for the Nintendo GameCube. Again developed by Factor 5 and published by LucasArts, Rogue Leader expanded on the original game with improved graphics and a new tactics menu that allows the player to form up their squadron or set a target for their squadron such as laser turrets or enemy TIE fighters. The game also expanded on the unlockable levels of the original--Beggars Canyon is included in the tutorial, the opening level Battle of Yavin was included in both games (Rogue Squadron called the level Death Star Trench Run), and Battle of Hoth was made more authentic with the GameCube's advanced power. The other major battle in the original movie trilogy, The Battle of Endor, was arguably the biggest and most challenging scenario in the entire game.
Rogue Leader also features short clips from the movie trilogy, during the menu screens and cut-scenes.
Rogue Squadron III: Rebel StrikeEdit
- Main article: Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike was released in 2003 exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube, and was developed by Factor 5 and published by LucasArts. It added to the game the ability for the player to depart their starfighter and join in on a land battle as well as enter into land vehicles such as an Imperial AT-AT and AT-ST during certain missions. The mission selection screen broke away from the linear format of the two previous titles and featured two intertwined storylines following the adventures of Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles.
Rebel Strike was the first in the Rogue Squadron series to include a multiplayer mode. The game featured two-player competitive dogfights, races, and land assaults as well as a co-operative campaign including all but two of the missions from Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader.