WILLIAM SHATNER'S TEKWAR
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on July 8, 2016
Finally, things have settled down a bit, here at the Big Red Timemachine HQ. My slaves… eeehm, I mean personnel are happily working away, keeping my operation running smoothly. Well, I say MY operation, but it seems that it will be a joint venture from now on. You may recall I asked Dennis to join me on my adventures, freeing up more time for me to do other things. The only problem is, I haven’t seen him since I made the boiler room his office. I wanted to see how he was getting along a couple of days ago, but when I got to the boiler room, a big sign saying “KEEP OUT” was nailed to the door. I don’t know what he’s doing in there, but it sounds like a lot of work. All day long, the sound of hammering, sawing, grinding and some noises I cannot yet identify have been coming from that room, which I remember as being no bigger than a decent closet.
As you can probably imagine, I’m a bit worried about the super secret activities going on in there. What if he does irreparable damage to my HQ? What if he damages the delicate tissue of the space-time continuum and sends our planet spiraling into the darkness of oblivion?! Oh well, the upside to all of this is that he doesn’t bother me when I’m in one of my “special meetings” with my private secretary. Nevertheless, notwithstanding all the fuss around here, the Big Red Timemachine must once again blast off towards the past and search for those games that we played and loved when we were a lot younger than we are now.
This week, I will be your captain and I will take you some 21 years into the past in search of a game that I had almost forgotten all about. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is my great honor to introduce to you: the man that boldly went were no man had gone before. Vanquisher of evil, conqueror of space, seducer of women all over the galaxy. Ladies and gentlemen, give a big round of applause for William Shatner!
…William? William?! What? What do you mean he’s not here? He went away?! With my private secretary?!! Damn you William! May you be mauled and eaten by a ferocious Vulcan Sehlat!!!
The reason I wanted to bring William Shatner along for the ride is that the game we’re about to search for came from his mind. Or, from the books that came from his mind. So yes, we’re going to 1995, in search for one of history’s forgotten gems: William Shatner's Tekwar!
Developed by and published by Capstone Software on September 30, 1995, Tekwar roughly follows the premise of the series of science fiction novels with the same name. In the 23rd century, everything on the planet revolves around ‘Tek’, a highly addictive drug that is being distributed by a ruthless network of dealers. You, Jake Cardigan, are an ex-cop who was framed for dealing Tek and sentenced to 15 years incarceration in a Cryo-prison. But, as luck would have it, this sentence is cut short by Walt Bascom (Mr. Shatner himself). He frees you from your icy prison and, in turn, you start working as an investigator for Walt Bascom’s private security company. Your objective is to terminate as many dealers as humanly possible.
So, you grab your gun and hit the streets. The thing about Tekwar was that when you start waving a gun on the streets, people will react to it. Cops will be yelling at you to drop your weapon, before opening fire and innocent passers-by will cower and beg for their life if you aim your gun in their general direction. Before every mission, a cutscene is played back to illustrate what’s going on and what the game expects of you. Most of the time, you’re dealing with a small army of dealers, spearheaded by a boss: The Teklord. When you successfully eradicate the TekLord, you may advance to the next level. At the end of each level, Walt Bascom comes on and tells you how you did. If you managed to successfully complete your mission without giving innocent civilians a heart attack or, even worse, an extra ventilation hole in their heads, he will praise you for your hard work. If you, however, manage to kill a lot of cops and civilians, he will threaten to put you back into the cryo-prison.
Tekwar’s graphics were state of the art back in 1995. Now, you couldn’t tell by looking at them now, but the live actors that play the NPC’s were among the best we had ever seen up until then. Apart from its awesome graphics, Tekwar’s world was massive and featured amazingly designed free-roaming levels. Every level was connected through the use of a subway station, only enhancing the impression of its vastness. The fun thing about Tekwar is that, although at first glance it looked like just another FPS, it managed to combine fast-paced FPS action with cool environmental puzzles, and a fairly simple yet cool story. The attention to detail was also something that helped make Tekwar look even more impressive. If you shot an enemy (or any other npc for that matter) while he or she was standing close to a wall, a bloodstain would appear on said wall while the NPC in question slumped to the ground. And that’s what happens when you just use your pistol. If you manage to shoot them with a more destructive weapon, they would even explode, leaving nothing but a pile of bloody goo!
When you were finished with the game’s campaign, there was always the possibility to go online and play through the multiplayer portion of the game. This multiplayer mode came in two different variations: cooperative and deatmatch. I have personally never played the multiplayer portion of Tekwar, so I can’t tell you too much about it. But from what I heard, it was every bit as cool as the single player campaign.
Man, writing about this game really takes me back! Back to a time when I was still young and innocent (fairly innocent, that is…). To a time when your next weekend was always the most important thing in the world! Come to think of it, not much has changed since then, has it? Sure, I’m a bit older, a bit less innocent and still none the wiser. I still love to play video games and my weekend is still one of the most important things in the world. You know what, I think I’m going to follow the example of Peter Pan and never, ever grow up!
So, until we meet again; this is Ferry “Sadhonker” Adams saying goodbye. But wait, the boiler room door is ajar! Shall we have look and find out what Dennis has been up to? Yes, yes, I know we shouldn’t, but I’m just too damn curious! Ok, here goes… what the… Dennis, what the hell have you done?! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!!
WILLIAM SHATNER'S TEKWAR