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Sunday, 7 April 2019

STAR TREK: KLINGON HONOR GUARD


Compared to other long-running franchises, Star Trek has had a pretty good run of games. In 1998, MicroProse had you play as one of the series' most famous villains - The Klingons - in Star Trek: Klingon Honor Guard.

This first-person-shooter uses the fledgeling Unreal engine to great effect. From what I can tell, it was, in fact, the first commercially released game to use the engine utilising an earlier build than Unreal itself. As such, it does fall behind that landmark game, often being looked over as it shared shelf-space with it and other classics like Half-Life, Sin or Tribes.

Crates can contain power cells (ammo) or medikits (health).
Like doors, switches will activate by simply walking into them.

You play as a young upstart in the titular Klingon Honor Guard, choosing your gender before play. Your sex makes no difference in the actual gameplay other than the voice actor used when playing. The first level sees you in a training simulation defeating enemy Klingons in an underground lair. It's a small and compact level, with an objective that's not very well signposted. Before each level, a briefing video will talk about what you are about to do. Even the talents of Tony Todd as the voice of Commander Kurn isn't enough for you to concentrate and take in the information. In the first level, you have to shoot everyone, including those bastards hidden on an unreachable ledge.

Essentially, it's just a matter of shooting everything and everyone in sight. Some levels do require some sort of switch manipulation or key gathering which may stump you in the more maze-like levels but generally speaking your time as a Klingon won't stress your brain cells.

Your reflexes are another matter. The enemy AI is pretty decent for the time, with some enemies running away behind walls or sprightly dodging bullets. Depending on what weapon you have, it can take a number of bullets (or whatever ectoplasmic projectile the Star Trek universe uses) to take down the opposition and your starting weapons won't always cut it. Well, the knife will but we'll get to the melee weapons in a bit.

You D'k Tahg is a formidable blade (left), but the spattering 
of neon blood caused by the Bat'leth is an art unto itself (right).

Your first gun is the Disruptor Pistol, a slow firing peashooter with a bullet trajectory your average Olympic runner can outpace. At least it's primary ammo is infinite, though it relies on a percentage system to further limit your rate of fire. It has a stronger secondary attack that's just as slow-moving but has less need for accuracy. The Disruptor's ammo type (or more accurately power cell - Dilithium, Trilithium or Plasma depending on the weapon) is the same for some of the later weapons such as the faster Disruptor Rifle or the shotgun-substitute that is the Assault Disruptor. Because many share the same ammo type, if you've run out using one weapon, you've run out on all. This essentially makes the previous gun obsolete once you've found an upgrade, negating its use as a backup firearm.

While a small number of enemies may drop health and ammo pickups, they are mainly gathered from crates and containers scattered throughout each level. You'll have to break these open first so I recommend switching to your blade when doing so. You begin with a throwing knife known as a D'k Tahg, but it's best to keep it as a slashing and stabbing tool as they aren't as plentiful in the game world as power cells. I'd say it's more effective than the Disruptor Pistol in certain situations - particularly in the earlier levels - but I mainly used it to open crates. You'll later wield the infamous Bat'leth sword which is even better, cutting through enemies like butter. With this blade in hand, most will go down in a single swing so getting up close and personal is much more visceral and esciting. You'll still have to pay attention to your aim though, as any damage will be limited to what's directly in front of the reticle despite the slashing animation having a seemingly wide birth.

Some levels contain cameras that give you visual clues on where to go next.

The level design varies between maze-like and monotonous to outright memorable. While you may tire of swimming around the large underground sewers of a Klingon stronghold finding the exit, you'll marvel at the anti-gravity level as you fight on the outside of a ship deep in space. I even enjoyed the ice level which looks similar throughout but the unpredictable terrain can crash altering your course, while the heavy stomp of yeti-like Ro-peD (translation: snow fist) will unstable your footing in a memorable way.

While it may not beat out the absolute all-time classics that came out around the same time, Star Trek: Klingon Honor Guard has more to admire about it than hate. It's a decent licensed game that has obviously had a lot of effort and heart pumped into it at a time when the FPS was truly making strides. It's not quite up there with Elite Force and its sequel but if any Trekkies out there are looking for more, Klingon Honor Guard will scratch that itch.


To download the game, follow the link below. This is a custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses dgVoodoo to run on modern systems. Indeo video codec (included) must be installed to view in-game videos. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.

File Size: 949 Mb.  Install Size: 1.32 Gb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

Download


Star Trek: Klingon Honor Guard is © MicroProse
Star Trek: The Next Generation is © Paramount Pictures
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me


Like this? Try These...

http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/star-trek-klingon.html  http://collectionchamber.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/the-terminator-collection.html  http://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/2018/06/kiss-psycho-circus-nightmare-child.html

23 comments:

  1. Oh hell yeah! I've been wanting to play this one for the longest time. Passed it over years ago and couldn't get it to work on modern systems. I strongly considered making a request... A very pleasant surprise to finally see it on here!

    Another you may want to look into is Star Trek: Generations, also from MicroProse. I can't vouch for that one, as I missed out on it as well, but as far as I can tell it plays similarly to games like System Shock and Realms of the Haunting (as opposed to being a straightforward shooter or adventure title). Could be interesting...

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    1. Thanks! I have attempted Generations and played it briefly, but I haven't yet figured out the multi CD element. As soon as I do I'm sure it will be on here.

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  2. I would love to see Generations, Elite Force 1 & 2, The Fallen and Bridge Commander.

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    1. I would too. I thought the Elite Forces were still sold so I haven't touched them. I've just googled them and it looks like I was wrong. I've not attempted to get the others running yet either but there is more Star Trek goodness coming in the near future.

      Delete
  3. Very nice! I feel like one of a handful of people who played this when it came out. Favorite bit was how you could atomize people with certain weapons, as well as some of the zero G areas that had the bodies float away while gushing Pepto. Good times, thank you for making this playable!

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    1. You're welcome. I liked the little touches like that, or that Klingons in bars would have a little fight with each other before they noticed you. It's not perfect, but you can tell a lot heart went into making it.

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  4. Hey Biff.

    Could I make a request please? I'd really love to see Animal: Peperami (It's A Bit Of An Animal) Collected in the Chamber. It's a hilarious adventure game starring a stick of Peperami! I have the files, if you're interested?

    Also, the Silent Hill games would be a fantastic addition. Scary horror adventure survival games. ( :

    Thanks.

    Frodo

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    1. Hello Frodo. I've tried Animal in DOSBox and it's playable but a little buggy. I know the original had issues too but I think it's still have trouble handling it. Love Ade Edmondson too, as always.

      As for the Silent Hill games, as much as I dislike Konami in their current state, they're mostly still sold on the PS3 at least - the PSX original and the (sub-par) HD collection of 2 & 3 as well as Origins and Shattered Memories of PSP (who knew the PSP store was still up). There are a few titles/spin offs in the series that may be eligable, but there are some more obscure survival horror games I'd like to tackle first.

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  5. Nice! I've been meaning to try this one out. I love the Elite Forces games, but never did play this one. I feel like the scenario here makes a lot more sense from a lore standpoint than it does in Elite Force. I always felt like there was a bit of narrative dissonance between them being members of Starfleet and... shooting essentially everything that moves. At least here it actually fits.

    Like you said in the opening, Star Trek has a pretty decent track record for licensed games (comparatively speaking, anyway); though I don't know if it's the hardcore Trekkie in me saying that, or the gamer... maybe somewhere in the middle.

    I've been thinking about doing Harbinger or The Fallen. I never played Generations either, may need to look into that one too. It looks pretty clunky though...

    Nice job as always! Keep up the good work!

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    1. I get what you're saying, but I think a lot of people can give lore-breaking a pass if the gameplay is good. As least they could 20 years ago.

      I'm dedicating most of the month to Star Trek and am working on Harbinger next. I've also made some progress on Generations 'cos another commenter mentioned it. It plays nicely but I have to test it to see if the multi-CD merge works. It doesn't help that I'm a little bit pants at it (like most FPS's) and I can't find saves/cheats to quickly get an answer.

      Delete
    2. Ah okay, well if that's the case I'll hold off for the time being then, plenty of other stuff on the agenda anyway.

      And yeah, don't get me wrong, I do love the Elite Force games like I said - they play great, and at least nail the aesthetics - it's just that the Star Trek nerd in my head was just saying "So no attempt at any diplomacy then? Just shoot everything? They *do* vaporize real nice..." haha

      Delete
  6. LongForgottenLogin19 April 2019 at 09:37

    Thank you for the game, played a demo version from one of these CDs with various demo versions on it, iirc some of them got content that wasn't included in full versions, is that the case with KHG?
    Anyway, gare runs great but there is one issue. Movies play fine but take a long time to start up, minute at best and 5+minute in worst case.
    I have replaced .avi files with empty .txt files renamed to .avi and so far it works, I don't mind watching videos outside the game. Got Win7 64bit, installed Indeo codecs but that didn't solved issue.

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    1. Hmm, I'm not too sure what's causing the video issue. They play instantaneously my end. Perhaps there's a conflict with another codec on your system, or a compatibility issue with 64bit I didn't experience. Did you install Indeo as admin? Try locating the Indeo .dll files (C;\Windows\SysWOW64\ir*.dll and copying them into the game's install folder - (install dir)\System. There's some info in the following thread that may help...

      https://community.pcgamingwiki.com/topic/1886-indeo-codec-windows-10/

      As for the demo-only levels, I don't think Klingon Honor Guard had them. Just had a quick look and it appears that the demo is the same as level M08 (press TAB in-game and type "open m08" to jump to it). Out of what I've tried to get working, I believe only New Worlds had a substantially original demo, but I've yet to crack that one.

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  7. Would this work in PCEM? I think that would help because than I could just have it stretch to my monitors resolution instead of running it at the low res it forces.

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    1. I did get it running in PCEm, but setting the resolution in-game to anything higher than 800x600 gave some incredible slow down. Plus, upscaling the emulated output won't really improve the image.

      The best bet is to alter the dgvoodoo settings, of which I didn't include the front end for some reason (I usually do in case it needs tweaking). I've added a zipped update in the download page, simply unzip to to the install folder and it will be set to 1920x1080 widescreen. If you want any other setting (or to keep the aspect ratio), run the dgvoodoo program to change it. More info in the ChamberNotes.txt

      Delete
  8. Hello,

    Incredible that you've been able to get this gem to work! I try to install the the indeo codecs via the install.bat, however, it just opens to a blank cmd window. Is there any solution to this? The installer linked in a previous comment automatically closes itself after being opened.

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    1. Thanks! Try running install.bat as administrator, that could be the reason nothing's happening.

      Delete
  9. Thanks for making this playable on modern systems. Unfortunately, it crashes when I start a new game. I installed Indeo as well as the patch. Any suggestions?

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  10. Game works fine but the fmv scenes in-game don't show the klingon window textures just their faces.

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  11. It's been a while since I worked on this and I thought I got this aspect down. I did try many different programs at varying configurations, so perhaps it was one of those I'm thinking of. I know that DxWnd broke some elements such as the framerate and custom aspect ratio so perhaps that's what I'm remembering. Considering it's fully playable and the information in the videos are still audible and visible, I may have put the cutscenes at the bottom of the list.

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  12. Thank you so much! The only issue is that the cut scenes don't seem to be working for me :/

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  13. Could I make a request please? I'd rea car lly love to see Animal: Peperami (It's A Bit Of An Animal) Collected in the Chamber. It's a hilarious adventure game starring a stick of Peperami! I have the files, if you're interested?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Purchase Klingon Batleth online from IASwords. Our collection of movie weapons features dozens of different blades, ranging in size from big to small.

    ReplyDelete