Tachyon: The Fringe

aka: Jestokie Zvezdy
(prices updated 9/27 3:48 AM )

Description official descriptions

Jake Logan was an ace pilot, living in Sol and holding a steady job flying for Advanced Ganymede Technologies. However somewhere in the middle of a mission it all went wrong and explosions ended up killing several civilian lives. Jake has now been fired from his comfortable job, arrested by Star Patrol and exiled from Sol space. What's left is The Fringe, which consists of unexplored and contested sectors, linked together by gates run by the Tachyon Corporation. Out here, the rule of law is thin... and corporate rivalries take one a whole new deadly meaning. Take for instance a dispute between the Galspan corporation and Bora Mining, a conflict which threatens to overwhelm all allegiances within the Fringe.

Tachyon: The Fringe is a 1st-person space combat game. Players will sign up for missions, which vary from starbase to starbase. The objectives include escort missions, combat, recon, search and destroy, cargo scanning and sector defense. Completion of these missions will increase Jake's credit balance and unlock new equipment and ship types from different corporations. Typical equipment includes laser guns, projectile guns, missiles, scanners, ECM, mines and targeting equipment. Jake can also hire wingmen to help him out for a small initial fee, as well as a percentage of each completed mission in which they participate. There are over 60 different missions, each of which is scripted. There is no free flight ability while not on a mission, though it's usually possible to move between space stations and sectors.

Tachyon: The Fringe also features two different multiplayer modes (Arena or BaseWar), which can be played over the Internet at NovaWorld.

Spellings

  • Жестокие звезды - Russian spelling

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Windows version)

164 People (151 developers, 13 thanks) · View all

Cast
Mission Design
Additional Design
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 79% (based on 24 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings with 2 reviews)

It's a Star!

The Good
Okay, I must say I'm only playing this one for the last couple of days, but I'm totally stuck with it. My Sidewinder spews flames! First of all, top notch graphics! Well detailed models, nice coloring and shading, smooth rendering. In fact I believe that these graphics are the best I've ever seen on a space sim ever. The special FX are really gorgeous too, just blow up an enemy ship to pieces and you'll know what I'm talking about here. Talking about blowing away ships, the best FX are those of the larger ships blowing. The controls of your ship are excellent too! I just love the idea of the instant brake thrusters when in motion, it makes dogfighting much easier especially when your opponents tries to escape your fire by crazy movements. The flight model and physics are satisfactory and adequate to supply good piloting skills. Hiring a wingman is a good option though, although I'll have to see if they get any better as the campaign goes on. Soundwise the game is a top too! Very nice sound effects, although a bit unreal (for example you cannot hear explosions in space!) soon you overcome this as the sound effects add up to the intensity. Musically the game has some good space ambient tracks to offer, fairly easy listening stuff but quite experimental as well. The in game dialogs are really cool too, sometimes you have the feeling that the guy who's the captain of some freighter is the same guy who owns your local newsagent store lol! (oh! wouldn't happen to have a milky way bar and a copy of max power on board Mike, would you?). The game menus are very nicely laid out, not at all complicating. Also the mission I've flown so far are a nice mixture with some variations. Their majority though are of the "get out and eat them!" type. Finally another good point is the financial factor of the game. You can actually buy some good weapons to beef up your ship after completing the first mission! The missions are paying adequately for your powerups etc.

The Bad
Well there are some points that didn't come up to my favor. First of all the ergonomy of the HUD. At some points (especially when things get hot) I found myself wasting some good seconds trying to figure out what is displaying what and how to cope with the situation (ie. power charge transfers). The messages that appear on the left side of the HUD sometimes are too much and to be honest, nobody can expect to fully read them when your have an enemy twisting in front of you.

The Bottom Line
Well, the game can be described in a few words as a space fighter - trader - manager, kind of thing. We've seen this in X-Frontier too, only this is better in all respects I believe. Top notch graphics, special effects and sound and powerful controls on your ship. Sign job contacts, get out do the job, blast away some enemies, return and get paid to buy powerups or better ships. It's a Star!

Windows · by SifouNaS (1309) · 2007

A genre-defining space shooter from Novalogic??? Damn right!!

The Good
Superb gameplay.

That is what Tachyon is all about, sure it excells on other areas too, but where it really shines is in the gameplay department. Tachyon is yet another one of those "sci-fi" space simulators, where you fly starships that handle in space like F-22s but the game manages to make the whole experience feel fresh with a simple yet functional interface, furious action, and the finest mission design I have ever seen in a game of this type. Unlike other space shooters where every mission can be summed up under "fly to navpoint A and shoot the enemies, then go to B and do the same, etc." Tachyon takes a unique aproach and delivers a different and completely original experience with each mission, a feat which is accomplished via the premise of the game as well as it's design. The story casts you as a Han Solo-like mercenary pilot who gets framed for murder by the company he's working for and gets exiled to the fringe of known space where law almost has no reach, and where a different set of factions make the rules. Fighting for control of the region are the Bora and Galspan factions, or the typical "Rebel colonist" and "Corporate giant" sides. These two factions provide the main game plot, as you may join one of them and restore your reputation through one of the two possible endings as well as earn cash by completing their missions and acquiring better equipment in a light version of Privateer.

However aside from the main plot a whole set of organizations populate the fringe and they include everything from pirate groups to casino giants, research outposts and a trio of "barons" who hold a mafia-like grip on each of their sectors. All of these groups provide their own set of missions on different bases and they all contribute to make the whole gaming world a much richer environment (as well as enabling you to get extra cash and get that nice new ship you have your eye on). You can be called upon to kidnap the son of an influential baroness in a certain mission, or how about journeying to an unexplored nebula in order to find a unique mineral for an eccentric art collector??

Furthermore, the missions don't make the mistake of going the puzzle-route like in I-War, so you actually get to enjoy them!! Even the "classic" missions of the genre are revamped with ingenious twists, for instance, a typical assault mission gets a makeover when you become a part of a posse of mercenaries hired to take out a group of pirates and in the middle of the fight bets start to get made as to who can take out more enemies faster! Or how about an escort mission where you have to escort a barge carrying the roof of the Sistine Chapel and prevent it from being destroyed??!! (and yes, you get to see it from your ship!). The game even has an arena where you can compete in standard bare-bones dogfights for cash! Genius I say!

Moving on to the more technical aspects, the game boasts an impressive 3D engine, which though unable to deliver the kind of detail that say, Starlancer does, still delivers a lot of detail, cool effects, and massive capital ships and starbases, as well as a LOT of ships around at the same time making for some truly massive battles.

Sound is also top notch, with lots of cool 3D effects, and a great soundtrack. Of course, the real star in the sound department, is the voice acting. Namely that of Mr. Bruce "Da Chin" Campbell, whose contribution to the game I was prepared to see as nothing more than a marketing gimmick, but was surprised to find out it adds a lot of color to the experience. Ever since Evil Dead, Bruce has proved he is the ultimate goofy-yet-good-hearted hero, and his characterization is dead on for the role of struggling mercenary Jake Logan.

I should also mention that the gameplay is not only innovative on the single player area, Novalogic also went the extra mile in the multiplayer arena, and provided not only a typical deathmatch mode, but a completely original "Base Wars" mode, which pits teams against each other in massive space battles in order to collect resources and increase the power of their bases to the point where they have enough weapondry to obliterate the other one. Genius again!! If you are a fan of team-based action then you just can't let this one pass!!

The Bad
Well the only big gripe I have is that the Privateer touch was too light for my taste. If they had fleshed the whole mercenary/economy aspect a little more, then this would have been a certified classic. As it stands, you just don't have enough freedom to go around exploring space as you want. Which is a shame considering how rich the gameworld is.

Oh yeah, there's also the fact that the game sports a slightly annoying save-game system, which forces you to exit to the title screen if you want to make backup copies, thankfully the game has pretty fast load times so it's not too much of a hassle, but on the name of objectivity I think I should mention it.

The Bottom Line
To put it simply this game is for those who love a good game. If you want the drop-dead-gorgeous graphics, the space-opera arrogance, and the incredible production values then you should go for games like Starlancer. If you on the other hand, want to have the time of your life (and no, I am NOT talking about mindless entertainment) then welcome to Tachyon. This game is a small humble star that nonetheless shines with the force of a supernova and is one of the genre's finest titles.

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2002

Discussion

Subject By Date
Trading? Risingson (13) Nov 30th, 2012

Trivia

Manual

Further entering into the spirit of the game universe the manual is written as a "Star Pilot's Guide To The Fringe" and features full page adverts from organizations from the game, such as political appeals, tour companies offering trips round the solar system, recruitment posters etc

One-Liners

As usual Bruce Campbell has a lot of good one-liners in the game, and that includes when you try to cheat! When inputting the cheat codes Bruce will spout random phrases such as:

"Oh, Mr. Cheater, why don't you try to beat the game fair and square?"

"Oh, I see, it's time to cheat. No, no, don't let me stop you."

"Well, I guess when you're not doing so well you have to cheat, don't you?

There are quite a bit more, and it's worth fooling around with the cheats just to hear them :).

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kasey Chang.

Additional contributors: Zovni, Indra was here, Alaka, Ivan Napreenko, Klaster_1.

Game added January 19th, 2001. Last modified August 27th, 2023.