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Dark Forces in new clothes with The Force Engine

Date: 2022-01-22

Dark Forces is one of my all time favorite games. It's the definition of the childhood game for me. My brother and I bought our first gaming magazine, because it had a stormtropper on it with the Dark Forces logo. I played the demo probably more than a hundred times, a simple one level mission, where your goal was to steal the plan to the first Death Star. Just doing some early speedrunning when probably didn't really exist. You felt like you become part of Star Wars history with Dark Forces. At the time only Doom and the Heretic existed, so people could see what can this genre offer.

The success of the game spawned the Jedi Knight series, and Kyle Katarn's story continued through many games and I am sure he was part of some of the expanded universe novels too. I loved the second game too, which not just improved on graphics and gameplay, but added to the Star Wars mythos as it was another FMW game, after Rebel Assault I-II.

Luckily to modern tech, and DosBOX, we can still enjoy the first adventure of Katarn's as he sneaks… sorry shoots his way through imperial bases and successfully sabotages the evil plans of the Empire.

I truly recommend this game, buy it from GOG which has a fully supported DosBOX setup, even for Linux. However I want to talk about a new kind of Dark Forces, called The Force Engine, which is new source port, made by one guy, luciusDXl, whose earlier attempt was unsuccessful (it was called DarkXL). The engine will come to Linux eventually, but the author needs to iron out many things first.

Judging by from videos, he is already made incredible progress. While he doesn't accept donation at this time, you can check out the project on the website or on discord. The source code is on github.

There will be many nice features will be added, which modernize the game, but it will be possible to play the game in the original state. Think about mouse support, widescreen, level editor, mods!

The above gameplay video is recent stuff. But there are some interesting stuff going on media page, like screenshots from the level editor.

Later the engine will support Outlaws, which is a western themed FPS from LucasArts, and also available on GOG. I can't wait for that one too!

I think the project is very promising, and the Discord has a nice community.

This is post #6 of the #100DaysToOffload challenge, where we write 100 posts in a year. If you are interested in this event, check out the official website: Happy writing everybody! :)

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