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Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri

aka: Free Fall

Description official descriptions

Strike Force Centauri, the premier Strike Team on Alpha Centauri, was founded to combat pirates. As Nikola ap Io, you'll be leading them into combat. But the pirates are, too, well-armed, and the Terra Hegemony may be involved. When the covert action turns overt and a full-out assault is mounted by the Hegemony upon Alpha Centauri. All that stands in the way is SFC.

Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri is a first-person sci-fi combat sim featuring realistic sci-fi weapons with true 3D terrain. You control a power-suit with arm-mounted weapons: just aim (with mouse) and shoot, while move completely independently (using keyboard).

You can choose from multiple types of suits (scout, regular, heavy), multiple types of weapons (everything from simple lasers to railguns to missile launchers), multiple assistance modules (from mine layer to auto-doc), and up to three squadmates that'll follow your orders. You are pitted against enemies from pirates to tanks and mechs, even psycho clones and armed drones. Missions vary from attack and recon to rescue and defend, across three different planets in a variety of weather and terrain.

Similarly to Wing Commander 3, the game features full-motion video sequences.


  • Terranova: Strike Force Centauri - Common misspelling
  • טרה נובה - Hebrew spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

147 People (133 developers, 14 thanks) · View all



Cancelled Add-on

A multiplayer add-on was planned ("Terra Nova Multi-Player Pack Coming." was written in the middle of the back of the CD booklet), although never released.


Two demos were released for Terra Nova. An early 1-mission demo with lots of missing features and a full-featured 3-mission demo later on. Interestingly enough, the 4 missions themselves do not appear in the full game and are exclusive for the demos.


The development team was known as "Team Schmitty."


Upon completion of the campaign, you're shown some interesting statistics: the repair cost for your armor suit (i.e. how much damage you sustained), and the number of trees you destroyed.


Reportedly what Looking Glass (technologies at the time) wanted to do with this game was to create an outdoors engine to complement System Shock's indoor engine and, hopefully, merge them on a third game. Was that game to be Thief: The Dark Project? Who knows...


Terra Nova apparently started out as an adaptation of Robert A. Heinlein's classic sci-fi novel, Starship Troopers. However, Looking Glass were unable to get the license, so came up with their own story and intricate universe, instead. The year after Terra Nova's release, Paul Verhoeven's film version of Starship Troopers hit the cinemas.

Practical Tips

The readme file suggests (just as the bartender in the FMV does) that "mixing alcaps and water makes a great imitation martini."


Although critically acclaimed, Terra Nova was a huge commercial flop. This (together with the equally unsuccessful project of 1997, British Open Golf) plunged Looking Glass in a financial crisis from which the company never recovered. Ultimately, Looking Glass had to close its doors in June 2000. (That, and Eidos was dumping $25 million into Ion Storm at the time --Ed.)


  • While the game didn't officially support VR headsets, the option was available anyway. If you had a pair of Virtual IO i-glasses!, a Forte VFX1 Headgear, or a VictorMaxx CyberMaxx, you could use it to do rudimentary head tracking.
  • It is one of the few games that supported the 320x400 alternate resolution mode. The terrain looks MUCH better in this mode.

Tom Downey

Tom Downey, the actor of Nikola ap Io, seems to stay loyal to his acting-style and had only little roles in several less know Movies like Dracula's Curse, Frankenstein Reborn and Shapeshifter but has also small appearances in That 70's Show and the computer game Code Blue.


  • Gamespot
    • One of "The top ten games you never played"

Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Boston George, nullnullnull, Kasey Chang, Roedie, Sam Jeffreys and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

Windows, Linux, Macintosh added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: nullnullnull, -Chris, Kasey Chang, Adam Baratz, cafeine, Solid Flamingo, Patrick Bregger.

Last modified February 22nd, 2023.