Star Wars: Yoda Stories

From Codex Gamicus
Jump to: navigation, search

Star Wars: Yoda Stories is a 1997 computer game based on the Star Wars franchise developed by LucasArts. It was preceded by Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures, and no further Desktop Adventures titles were released. In the Star Wars timeline, Yoda Stories is placed between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of Jedi, where Luke Skywalker is completing his training with Jedi Master Yoda.

Unlike other titles, Yoda Stories has no central plot or definitive goal - it's a mere collection of games where the player, controlling Luke Skywalker has to complete an objective like rescuing Han Solo or Princess Leia, obtaining an object or warning the Rebellion in several locations in the Star Wars universe like Hoth, Tatooine or the Forest moon of Endor. The game received poor reviews at the time of its release, mostly because critics decided to review it as a regular game, rather than a "quick break" replacement to games like Solitaire or Hearts. Graphics are simple bitmaps and regular 32x32 icons, with few animations.

Each game starts with Luke arriving at Dagobah in a X-Wing. If the player is still a rookie, R2-D2 can be picked up, and dropped anytime for hints. After finding Yoda, he gives Luke one assignment and one object that will be required to complete it, and the game begins. Each gameworld is composed by 100 screens, but how many are active can be set in the options. Although it's not required to complete the game, a locator provides information (such as the status of a puzzle) and a way to find out where the player is. It is usually found under a rock, inside a wrecked vehicle or with a person - but always within one screen of the starting location. To progress in the game, the player has to make errands, such as finding a key, or an object, until he reaches the final puzzle. The Force is also present, but in the beginning it must be obtained from the ghost of Obi-Wan Kenobi. It stops all enemies from moving, and is occasionally required to complete a puzzle.

There are several enemies, from Imperial Stormtroopers and Tusken Raiders to animals, and all can be dealt accordingly with Luke's lightsaber, blasters or thermal detonators (that destroy any enemies in a 3-diameter plus sign pattern). As Luke can be also hurt, there are several ways to replenish his health (measured by a pie chart) from health kits and bacta canisters to plants.

In the fifth game, Luke battles Darth Vader, and if successful, the next game he starts with a green lightsaber instead of his father's blue; after 10, he starts with the Force (no need to find the ghost of Obi-Wan), and finally, after 15 times, with a "Spirit Heart", which gives the player a second life. Unlike Indiana Jones and his Desktop Adventures, Yoda Stories keeps the number of games beaten and also the highest score.

Indiana Jones also makes a cameo appearance and his similarity to Han Solo is remarked upon. This is a reference to the fact not only that the same actor, Harrison Ford, played both characters, but also that both Yoda Stories and Indiana Jones and His Desktop Adventures have similar gameplay and were published within a year of each other.