Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

aka: Star Wars: Teikoku no Kage
Moby ID: 3105
Nintendo 64 Specs

Description official descriptions

Set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire tells the story of Prince Xizor's quest to replace Darth Vader as the leader of the Sith, and wipe out the Rebels' chances of victory. The only man that can stop him is the interstellar bounty hunter Dash Rendar. The game is based on the novel of the same name, with locations including ice planet Hoth, Mos Eisley and the sewers of Imperial City, all in full 3D.

Levels each have very different objectives, ranging from piloting snowspeeders on Hoth and racing speeder bikes on Tatooine to shooting stormtroopers and droids on foot throughout the galaxy. Dash primarily uses a blaster with unlimited ammo, but can also find more powerful weapons with limited ammunition. Each level has optional "challenge points" that are hidden throughout the level, and finding all of them will unlock a cheat dependent on which difficulty setting the save file is on.


  • スター・ウォーズ 帝国の影 - Japanese spelling

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Credits (Nintendo 64 version)

139 People (88 developers, 51 thanks) · View all

Game Designer
Lead Artist
Lead Animator
Project Leader
Senior Programmer
Technical Lead/Programmer
Aesthetic Technology/Robin's Dad
Level Designers
3D Artists
3D Animator
Texture Artist
3D/Background Artist
Storyboard Artist
Music Editor/Sound Quality Control
Sound Designers
Lead Tester
Production Manager
[ full credits ]



Average score: 76% (based on 51 ratings)


Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 75 ratings with 10 reviews)

The game now lives in shadows

The Good
Ok I got this game after seeing people play it at a store in some demo thing that had been made. The demo was playing the very good battle of Hoth level at the start. I later ate my words but we will gat back to this later. Firstly the good things about this game was, the Battle of Hoth level, The final level and the speeder bike level. Why? Apart from all of the other levels that were either on rails or boring TPS levels the game had little else that was fun. The shooting parts of the game were fun, once. The levels were ok in design but a little too blocky in my tastes. The lasers were also rectangles. The bad guys were ok in modeling but were pretty dumb. The weapons were ok as well but you often over hoarded all the guns untill you got to a big boss at the end.

The Bad
The game play was only fun once. The character had this lightweight feel about him when you jumped and it just did not feel right. Other problems was that the bosses were almost too hard to beat and some parts were too boring.

The Bottom Line
The first and last levels were good, the rest of the game can wait till you are either on drugs or drunk.

Nintendo 64 · by Sam Hardy (80) · 2001

A long time ago in a store not so far away, this might have been worth it.

The Good
This game was the first Star Wars game to come out for the N64. The game pitted you as Dash Rendar, a friend of Han and Luke's as you fought along aside them in a timeframe between Ep. 5 and 6.

The first level of this game really gives you high hopes, with you flying around with other landspeeders trying to haplessly destroy AT-ATs as they approach Echo Base. This level was truly amazing. You could shoot AT-STs and wrap up AT-Ats. To a Star Wars nerd, this is pure bliss. However, this level ends a bit short and you are left with the rest of the game.

The other really exciting part of this game is that last level. Skyhook battle is open, surrounding a giant space station. Nearby is a giant star destroyer, constantly letting out tie fighters, as the skyhook lets out their fighters. In between all this is you and rogue squadron. This provides for a nice three-way war. Buddies help a bit, but not as much as you do. And besides that, there is not much to do except destroy a never-ending wave of tie fighters or else do your mission.

The last, and most valuable part, of the game which I liked was it told you where Luke goes between Ep 5 and 6. Multiple cutscenes have him fighting along side you, but too bad you never get to do it in real play. However, you could have just read the books too.

Sound is a classic, with classic blaster noises and screams. Music is brought straight from the movies with nice tones like the asteroid field music. They made good choices when it came to sound.

The Bad
The rest of the game is mediocre. It's a generic third-person/first-person shooter (they are switchable in game by tapping a button). Besides a blaster, Dash gets a seeker missile, an automatic pulse rifle, a flame thrower, and a pulse bomb which wipes out everything within seeing range. Yeah, thats it. 5 Weapons.

Enemy AI is stupid. Guards patrol nicely when your not around, but when they see you, they NEVER move. The only time they will move is if they've seen you and you go out of range. Then they will get in range again, and stand completely still to shoot. Not much of a challenge there.

The other two vehicle levels are not much to boast. The asteroid field leaves you on a rail cannon, unable to drive. The skiff bike chase is repetitive and annoying.

Graphics are nice (I mean that), however there is a lack of detail in the environments. Why would the rebels even want Echo Base if there wasn't any computers in sight? Most of the levels are just hallways. Boooring!

The Bottom Line
Overall, only about half the game is worth seeing, and even those parts have been vastly improved upon. The Rogue Squadron series improved upon Hoth (number 2 had the best version) and everything else in the air. The Clone Wars improved upon ground vehicles. Even the story has been out for years in the book. The music can easily bought as the Star Wars soundtrack (the background music is taken directly from it)

Unfortunately, at its time of release, had lots of potential, however, it has been left back in light of more updated games.

Nintendo 64 · by Matt Neuteboom (975) · 2005

Game Over before the Empire

The Good
The cinematic cutscenes in between chapters are in line with a Star Wars movie with great conspiracy plot elements put in for that epic thrill. The setting for the chapters brings both familiar territory like Hoth and fascinating new places in space to explore and complete your missions.

Level design is good and worth exploring. Your weapons do have an auto-aim to assist you. This game does put all the great stuff that we all know and love in the Star Wars franchise including TIE fighters, stormtroopers and Boba Fett. Fancy fighting a walker entirely on foot with a laser pistol. Sadly the game is only decent skin deep.

The Bad
This game is absolutely packed with some of the aggravating and problematic mechanics and gameplay in a Star Wars video game. The flying sequences are among the most awkward in the genre of space shooting, made only easier by the first person view. In the first chapter, the snowspeeder's power cable is useless against the AT-AT walkers, it looks like spinning a web around it. Your only chance is to shoot them down.

The third person shooter levels feel awkward. The wonky controls can do little to get you through. You can't strafe and shoot smoothly. The camera rotation and positions don't always give you time to target your enemy, while you're being shot at, unless you're really far away. Jumping is a major chore in the levels. If you don't aim the camera perfectly as you jump a gap, you'll most likely fall to your death. Falls are your number one enemy from beginning to end. The jetpack has a horrendous tendency to make you overshoot from exactly where you intended to land. Even worse are the slippery slopes that send you zooming off cliffs, even when you're being careful. Passing the later levels requires you to die and replay lots of times and stack on lives, before you can choreograph a successful level play, because you can't save your game anywhere mid-level. To top it off, there are virtually no health pickups to preserve your current life.

The choc-blocky graphics are lacking in both texture and colour variety, especially the level surfaces. Here and there presentation is lacking with overly bold text placed in some screens. The classic crawl opening sequence moves a lot slower than it does in the films. The resolution works for everything except the HUD, making it difficult to indicate the weapon you're using and how much ammo and health you have.

The Bottom Line
This game will certainly keep you playing for many hours albeit with frustration as you grind your playing skills to pass a level. It seems apparent that LucasArts took some ideas from their Rebel Assault series, but forgot to make them work well. This could've been a decent game if not for the existing issues. One has to wonder if this game was actually finished by the time of its release. It is what it is, with a nice amount of Star Wars lore. If you're accustomed to Tomb Raider and Syphon Filter, you won't be happy with this one.

Windows · by Kayburt (27432) · 2021

[ View all 10 player reviews ]


Dash Rendar

Dash Rendar is the only character developed from the Star Wars franchise that actually made it "back" to the movies. You can see his modified starship, the Outrider YT-2400 lifting up and taking off from Mos Eisley as Luke and his gang enter the city in the new revised sequence featured on the Star Wars: Special Edition. Also, Dash Rendar in the Nintendo 64 cutscenes looked more like a brown-haired, younger and rougher George Lucas with a rough shave instead of a beard. In the PC edition, he looks more like the original concept art for the character.

Rogue Squadron inspiration

In the first level of the game, where you fly a snowspeeder in the Battle of Hoth, was the inspiration for Rogue Squadron.

Version differences

The PC version is a revised edition of the N64 version (the major difference between the two versions being 3D cutscenes for the PC).


  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
  • March 1997 (Issue 92) - N64 Game of the Year runner-up + Best Music runner-up + Action Game of the Year (Readers' Choice) + Best Music (Readers' Choice)

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: Apogee IV, chirinea, Joshua J. Slone, Alaka, LepricahnsGold, vedder.

Game added January 21st, 2001. Last modified October 17th, 2023.