Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire Returns

Sorry Dash Rendar, but you and your silly shoulderpads probably aren’t canon anymore. You do get one more day in the sun, though, as Shadows of the Empire, one of the few remaining Star Wars games to not yet be re-released digitally, is now out on GoG. For the longest time, SOTE had the greatest Hoth level ever made. Maybe it still does?

Shadows of the Empire was part of a multimedia attempt to reinvigorate Star Wars, with a books’n’comics’n’games tale set between TESB and ROTJ. You can pretty much blame it for the prequel movies, at least if you’re tired of blaming a slightly sad bearded man in a lumberjack shirt for them. The game is all over the place, veering between a then-spectacular Snowspeeder/AT-AT battle and clumsy third-person shooting, all starring the answer to the question no-one ever asked: “what if Rob Liefield redesigned Han Solo?”

Although there has no been no official confirmation that he has been stricken from the unhistory books, the shoulder pads and multiple belts of Dash Rendar most likely no longer qualify as official Star Wars canon – which is now said to comprise only the six pre-Disney films, the Clone Wars and Rebels TV series, The Force Awakens and books released around that time, and anything released subsequently.

However, Dash’s no-honest-it’s-not-the-Millenium-Falcon spaceship the Outrider has, confusingly, been confirmed as canon, due to a cameo appearance in one of the rejiggered versions of A New Hope. THANKS EVERYONE.

Anyway, SOTE is back after an absence of decades, and has been mildly rejiggered to play nice with modern operating systems. It’s currently 20% off in honour of Mode 7 Day, so just £3.39 if you want to take a punt.

I just might. The fourth of May go with you.


  1. wcq says:

    Ahh, good old Robot Elephant Butt Explosion. A true classic.

  2. tripwired says:

    Instant purchase for me, I loved this on N64 and could never get the ROM working in emulation when I tried a few years back. Think I paid about £60 for the cartridge now that I recall.. ouch. £3.39 on GOG, how things change eh.

    • Det. Bullock says:

      You are in for a treat then, the PC version has real cutscenes with full voice acting, cd music and high resolutions support.

  3. Gwilym says:

    I was heartbroken when I realised there wasn’t a curry joke in the alt-text. :(

    • Gwilym says:

      I wonder if that would’ve seemed less racist if I wrote ‘curry’ in a Glaswegian accent

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        There was nothing racist about it in the first place, it’s a foodstuff for crying out loud.

        • Gwilym says:

          Thanks for defending me against myself, but my tongue was lodged in my cheek both times, so all is well (except my cheek).

          If curry really does make you cry out loud, though, I dunno. Potentially problematic, that

        • unguided says:

          It’s ill-informed as ‘curries’ can be any flavour including sweet, and it’s association with the image is only really found amongst people who consume a limited range of cuisines. Just firing a shot back in defence of curry eating people, in good spirit.

          • Gwilym says:

            I really should’ve specified that I meant the “murder a curry” variety of curry but sadly RPS’s lack of edit button has engraved my bigotry on the stones of history for all time

          • Scott says:

            Gwilym is trying to hide his hatred of Edwina above.

  4. crowleyhammer says:

    From what i remember of the N64 version I owned the Hoth level was the only decent part of this?

  5. Durandir says:

    Man, I kinda want this. Spent a lot of time playing this on N64 back in the day. I remember getting a “cheat book” in some N64 Magazine which told about the debug mode. That was a chore to enable, and sometimes took most of my allowed playtime for the day:
    “Start a new game on Medium difficulty. Call it .Wampa..Stompa (Case sensitive). Start in a level and as soon as it starts press pause. Now press and hold all at once C up, C right, C down, C left, L, R, Z and Left on the d-pad. While holding these down gently move the control stick left halfway, and hold all this until you hear a sound. Do the same thing with the joystick facing right, then left, right and finally left. Make sure you keep the other buttons held down during this time.
    If it worked pink writing will come up, and using L, R and A you can select cheats such as 50 lives, wall ghost, next level, gravity, jump power etc. To make the menu reappear each time you go back to the pause screen C up, C right, C down, C left, L, R, Z and Left on the d-pad.”


    • crowleyhammer says:

      I still have loads of these cheat books in a box somewhere, given away free with magazines etc.

      It amazes me how much of them I actually remember, igotpink8cidbootson was for Alien Trilogy on PS1 and I don’t think I ever played the game without it!

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        My basic knowledge of HTML comes from a little booklet that came with a games magazine which I bought entirely for that little booklet.

  6. kud13 says:

    Best Hoth level was obviously the Galactic Battlegrounds Empire campaign mission where you get to lead Darth Vader and the Imperial Army against the Hoth base defences.

  7. Doctor Pandafaust says:

    I had this back in the days of the N64. May buy purely for nostalgic value, though in truth it was a crappy release title.

    I remember it got a big new lease on life when they released a comprehensive debug code for it, allowing changes to physics engine properties. That at leased doubled the fun.

    • Jalan says:

      There’s an old promo that Nintendo did (apparently on VHS for the N64 pre-release in the US, as I understand it) where they hyped the Hoth level so hard.

      I only saw it a few years ago but it definitely did not match up to my memory of actually having played the game where I was nowhere near enthused by how obnoxious it was to get the tow cable around the legs of the AT-AT.

      • Razumen says:

        Are you playing the same game? It’s ridiculously easy to get the cable attached, all you do is hit a button when your copilot says to. Not only that but flying around the AT-AT is a breeze with a controller. It’s probably the best recreation of that scene in any game so far.

    • Razumen says:

      Crappy? No way, this game was a lot of fun.

  8. maphisto2000 says:

    Dash Rendar’s ship the outrider actually appeared in New Hope, which possibly leads to credence to SOE still being canon.

    The brief glance of the ship leaving Mos Eisley was verified by Disney as being the Outrider at Star Wars Celebration last year, which featured a reconstruction of the interior of the ship.