Friday, 29 July 2011

William Shatner's Tekwar: The Game (MS-DOS) - Guest Post

Hey everybody, I'm playing something that isn't Captain America related!

Let's approach this with an open mind.

A rendered intro! Why is it hissing like an old VHS tape?

What is this? I think that's William Shatner there on the left. Possibly.

Explosions! Martial arts! 80's music! It could only be...

This must be the intro to the TekWar series! Well how about that! (YouTube to link to better version.)

This makes this William Shatner's TekWar The Game of The TV Series of The Books. "The Ultimate in 3-D Gaming Action"! (MobyGames link)

"I'm William Shatner, sometimes known as Walter Bascom, in a future I created called 'TekWar'. Welcome to Capstone and prepare to witness the 'Tek'nology of the future, today, in 'TekWar: The Game' on CD-ROM."
Thanks, FMV Bill!

Oh wait, he's back, and now he's Sinister Bill.
"It's simple. TekChip, TekHeadset. TekUser, TekFantasy. Tantalising. But only for a while... for here are some 'TekRealities'. Addiction, criminal penalties, neural damage, death."

"Simple enough?"

Tek: Serious Business.

So... Tek is some kind of unique gizmo that connects to your brain and lets you experience any fantasy you want? And this is in a world where there's cyberspace interface crap going on all around you anyway? Sounds like they really just need to do to Tek is make it work.

After the rousing TekWar theme, a warm welcome from William Shatner himself, and a Serious warning from Walter Bascom, what could be better than a slow 3D animation reminding us we're sitting at a computer still waiting for TekWar to load.

I can only imagine that they must have been awestruck by the possibilities of having over six hundred megabytes on a single disc!! And then they struggled to think of things to put on it and couldn't afford any more William Shatner time. The animation would have been useful as a form of instructions... if you didn't have to have the disc inserted into the computer to run the animation in the first place.

(Yes, kids, this is what computers used to look like.)

Another intro? Criminy.

I'll leave this on while I get myself a cuppa.

Hmm... nope. It's been a while, no game in sight just yet.

There's some rendered robot men and an FMV video woman on a space station beeping at each other.

I have to say I have absolutely no idea what's going on.

Bill, where are you!? What's going on? Why am I here?

"I suppose you're wondering why you're here."
"It's simple. You're the best. At least I think you are."
Oh, stop! You're making me blush! Anyway, he wants me to investigate some guys who are trying to use cyber-jiggers to broadcast a signal and get everybody addicted to Tek. And also to find out who stole his set.

The game! It's the game! Wake up everybody, it's the game!

Is this the character select or the level select? And how many minutes did they spend drawing the F.C.I. crest? They must have drawn the wings, then got bored of that and did the background gradients, then got bored of THAT and just went wild with the polygon tool.

The game won't let me to into the MATRIX without a 'Symbol', so I'm going to have a go at apprehending the first of my digitised adversaries, Marty Dollar.

Yowza, giant cop!

FMV Bill wants me to head to Midtown and help him find Marty Dollar. There's a map to the left, but it's useless because it doesn't have any place names on it. Let's get to wandering, as usual.

There's only a dead end at the top of these stairs. I'm going to get on the train and see if it takes me anywhere.

Get out of the way, you blocky fool, I've got perps to catch!

And then I suddenly slide off her, land in the train tracks and instantly die. But it's okay! I've got infinite lives, but they're really just checkpoints.

Midtown! I assume! It was a stop with an open door leading outside, so it looked promising.

The people here are tall, thin and don't acknowledge you. I was hoping that FMV Bill would radio me and give me more precise instructions. That could be Marty Dollar right there and I'd have no idea it was him. I'm sure if he was bad he would be shooting me. Someone IS shooting me!

It's you! You're shooting me from across the level! Stop it!

My gun isn't very good. I hold it steady on him for five seconds and he eventually gets the message. He's not the only one who was shooting me though.

There's a couple more men on the back of the trams which travel around the city. I chase after them but my gun doesn't seem to do anything to faze them.

As it turns out, I needn't have bothered.

When the tram turns a corner, he spontaneously explodes into chunks.

Build engine, lad. It's not easy making trains, is it?

There's hologram goons shooting me in the museum, but I've found myself a new gun! And it still does nothing. After ten seconds of solid shooting, the image disappears and the caption 'WAS A HOLOGRAM' appears. Thanks.

Cower before my new, useless gun, you swine!

This is one of the better looking corridors I've found.

Another hand holding the world statue. Can't they think of anything else?

Ugh, I'm bored and lost. I found an ugly building with some ugly people inside. There was a door but I needed a blue keycard, and there was another building where I needed the red keycard. It was very exciting.

"You blew it! Marty is still on the loose. The death toll is rising. I've got half of City Hall clamouring to send you back to Cryo, and I'm half tempted to do it! Now get back out there and get me results!"
I don't quite remember massacreing everybody, but I did let Marty get away. Sorry, FMV Bill.

How about one more go? Level 3, Carlyle Rossi.

This is as good as TekWar can ever look. Enjoy it, if you can.

"Hoh hoh hoh, mecha-neko, you're so funny."

Is he shooting me? I can't tell. He's probably getting shot by somebody behind me.

It's another damned hologram guy! Ugh, I can't be bothered with you! Run away!

When I'm an evil crime boss, my female bodyguards will all wear armoured leather catsuits.

How did I end up hitting the one on the right when I was aiming for the one in the middle?

Not very easy on the eyes. I've seen better Duke Nukem 3D levels made by children.

Is he a good guy or a bad guy?

I'm trying my best to be careful because I don't want to let Bill down again. If this is just a nervous bystander, I don't want to kill him.

Ohh... he was holding a submachine gun. That's fine then.

Bang! Right in the ketchup!

That's not typical Saturday afternoon park strolling attire.

Eat my multi-mega-mini-rockets!

Haha! You think you can stand up to the might of my FLAMETHROWER, puny tree?

Yes, I got stuck again. I tried entering the building, there was a keycard door there. I tried looking around but all I found were weapons and bystanders.

"I don't believe it! Rossi should be taking a long nap and you should be celebrating. Instead he's out celebrating and I'm trying to explain why you shouldn't be going back to the icetray. You should have had him and you let him get away. About the only thing you got right was not getting anybody killed. Well at least the press won't be hounding me for you being trigger happy."
Didn't kill anyone. Good enough for me.

TekWar is bad. When I play a game, I really try to be optimistic and identify the good bits of the game. Sometimes, a game is so close to being good, it's painful to see the few flaws ruin the game. TekWar is not like that. It's not entertaining because you don't know where you're supposed to go and I kept getting shot by enemies I couldn't see. If you want to see the FMVs, you can play the files off the disc or watch them on the internet. Spoiler: they're William Shatner saying things.

Don't play TekWar.


  1. So many times I've tried to play this shit, only because I had It for free and games were expensive back then... but even In those old times this was boring as hell. For some reason I'm happy that I wasn't the only one who played this crap.. someone understand the pain I've been through!

    1. Sharing your misery is part of the service we provide.

    2. I don't agree. Was the best game I've played those times.... sooo climatic!

  2. I played this when I was a child and I liked it. XD

    Now I see is a very bad game, but it has some interesting things. It could be a great game, but looks like Capstone couldn't do it better.

    And excuse my English, I'm from Spain.

  3. I played this way back with Witchaven - interesting build engine at the time!


Semi-Random Game Box