Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator is an arcade game based on the original Star Trek television program and released by Sega in 1982. It is a vector game, with both two dimensional (the overhead scanner readout) and three dimensional (the combat-viewed area) displays. The player controls the Starship Enterprise, and must defend sectors from invading Klingon ships.
The player(s) must maneuver the Enterprise through a series of sectors and destroy enemies to advance to the next sector. All enemies are shown on the radar section of the screen (at top right). At the bottom section of the screen is the cockpit view, where players line up enemies in the Enterprise’s crosshairs to fire away and destroy their targets or dock with starbases.
Klingon ships are identified in two ways: those that are in red, which are either in route to or are already attacking a starbase, and those that are purple, which go after the player. Starbases can withstand several hits until they are destroyed; if this happens, the Klingon ship will then turn purple and will start pursuing the Enterprise.
Like a starbase, the Enterprise can also withstand several hits before being destroyed; once that happens, the game is over, as players only have one life. However, they can dock with a starbase once per sector, which will repair some damage (denoted by an icon at the left side of the screen), add some Warp power, and a Photon Torpedo. The player will receive a bigger bonus at the end of clearing a sector if a starbase is left unused.
After a few sectors, Ant-Matter Saucers will also start appearing, which have a unique behavior of only moving when the player thrusts around the sector area; once they apply thrust, the Saucer will move. If the Enterprise is facing away from a Saucer and it is behind the Enterprise, it will move towards the player; if facing away and a player thrusts towards the saucer, it will move away. If a player allows the Saucer to touch the Enterprise, it will start stealing the Enterprise’s warp fuel. A player can just thrust away from the Saucer if it is behind their ship until it is close, stop thrusting, then turn around and destroy the ship.
After every several sectors, a NOMAD boss will appear, moving quickly and laying dangerous mines that will explode in a wide arc and cause damage if the Enterprise is too close to the explosion.
Along with regular firepower, the Enterprise also has a complement of Photon Torpedoes, which will travel a bit of a distance before exploding in a big arc (which will take out several Klingons if they are grouped together). Also, holding down the Warp button will cause the Enterprise to quickly thrust forward in whatever direction the player is facing.
- Turn Enterprise–left or right on dial controller
- Thrust button
- Fire button
- Photon Torpedo button
- Warp button–hold down to engage
Differences between versionsEdit
There was an added level to home versions of the game where the player had to dock with as many starbases as possible amidst a swarm of meteors before time ran out. The Enterprise automatically thrusted around the screen during these sectors. The Atari 2600, 5200, and TI-994/a versions had these extra sectors.
- The arcade game had voice synthesis, which featured the voices of Engineer Scott, saying “damaged repaired sir!” when the Enterprise docked with a Starbase, Science Officer Spock welcoming the captain when a game was started, telling people to play Star Trek during the attract mode, announcing each sector number whenever a new one is entered, and congratulating the player on a high score at the end (if attained).
- The game was presented in two styles of cabinets, standard standup and sit-down/semi-enclosed deluxe cabinet with the player's chair modeled after Star Trek Motion Picture's bridge chairs with controls integrated into the chair's arms.
- The Atari 2600 version came with a unique overlay that was included with the game that fit around the base of the controller, with the controller commands printed on the overlay.
- The game was ported to the Commodore 64, TI-99/4A, Atari 8-bit line, Atari 5200, Tandy Color Computer (as Space Wrek), Atari 2600, Commodore VIC-20, ColecoVision, and Apple II home systems.
- The Star Trek game that came out for the Vectrex home system in the same year is not a port of this game (which is called Star Trek the Motion Picture, actually).
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Needs year, controls, and differences for other versions