My Top 100: #45 – Star Wars Trilogy Arcade

1998 – Sega (Arcade)


Sadly, this is one of the few games on my countdown that I will probably never own.  I might be able to pick up an old console here or there, and maybe a cartridge or two that I remember playing at some point…  but paying thousands for an arcade cabinet like this, then finding room to put it?  That’s not entirely likely to happen any time soon.

If you look at video games as being part of one big family tree, arcade cabinets would be situated at the very top as the family patriarch.  If it weren’t for Nolan Bushnell and Allan Alcorn putting that first coin-op Pong machine in that bar all those years ago, then reaping the benefits from all those quarters and bringing gaming to the masses, who knows how we’d be wasting our lives these days!

Then again, if that butterfly hadn’t farted in China all those years ago……….  I won’t go there.

Anyhow, I’d see games like Centipede and Galaga at our local Co-Op store, but I barely paid them any attention until after my introduction to home consoles.  There were the Contra and Arkanoid cabinets next to the Village grocery I mentioned, and countless games that would have come and gone at the Electronic Avenue arcades here in town (of which there were two).  They had the occasional great beat ’em up, as well as a few interesting games that I couldn’t experience at home.  Nothing that really rocked my socks off, though.

In grade 10, on the last day of school before exams and Christmas break, my friends and I walked to the Fredericton Mall – not the Regent Mall, but a smaller one located closer to school.  My friend Melissa was holding a party that night, my first such experience since I started high school.  I was in the double-digit grades now, man!  It was time for me to let loose, and…  go to a party where there would be no liquor…  not that I would have had anything to drink, anyway…  but still!  It was gonna be a blast!

There would also be a few girls there, so I was in for a night with a wide array of confusing emotions.

First, it was time to down some quarters at the arcade, while we waited for her parents to pick us all up and head over for the party.



I saw this machine (the stand-up version, not the one with the seat), started playing it, and REALLY got into it… just as Mel’s parents arrived to pick us up.  Damn!  Defeating the Empire would have to wait, but I would play the hell out of it whenever I got back to it.

Every single time I went to the arcades, I started at the Battle of Yavin, then went to Hoth, and finally made my way through to the Battle of Endor.  I friggin’ became Luke Skywalker!  I was going to go through all the movie battles just as he did – there was no way I was going through the levels out of order, just to get the “hard” ones out of the way early.

Apparently, some players did just that!  Weaksauce!  The game’s not even that difficult, and I would often breeze through the entire thing on one credit.

There were two levels that I always had a rough time with, however.  Thankfully, if you failed during either of the lightsaber battles (one against Boba Fett, and another with Darth Vader himself), you could still continue to the next stage.  That was good, because as fun as those stages were, the controls could be a bit confusing.


RED arrow points to upper left corner for the block…

“OK…  I have to pull TOWARDS me and to the LEFT…  block successful!”

RED arrow points to upper left corner for the block, then GREEN to bottom right for the parry!



Of all the times I played it, only twice did I ever successfully beat both the Fett and Vader levels on the same playthrough.  They were tough as hell, but the force feedback on the joystick felt so good and natural in my hands (*snicker*), I could play with it all day (*snicker, again*).  Much fun was had!

In the end, I daresay that Sega’s Star Wars Trilogy Arcade is one of the more immersive Star Wars games out there.  It’s just a shame that it’s so damn short, and nowhere to be found anymore.  Frowny face!


There may have been some of this going on at Mel’s party.
I cannot confirm, nor deny.

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