Description official descriptions
Space is a dangerous place. For that reason, the Alliance of Space-Faring Alien Races (ASFAR) was formed to prevent interstellar war from breaking out. The ASFAR provides robotic Perimeter Defense Computers (PDCs) to watch over the star systems of each member race and prevent any single race from mobilizing weaponry. For 70 years, this has been successful, until suddenly, in the year 2704 A.D., PDCs direct armadas from all other systems to attack Earth. While bloody, the planet ultimately survives and rebuilds its military forces. The TV-202 is constructed, an advanced fighter craft that is equally agile in space and atmosphere. The TV-202 will be sent to various ASFAR planets in order to destroy their military compounds and prevent them from rebuilding attack fleets.
Terminal Velocity is a first-person flight simulator sometimes compared to Descent due to its free-roaming nature. Players take control of the TV-202, a fighter notable for its ability to fly in 720 degrees of direction, ignoring gravity and providing constant thrust. While flying to different planets, the TV-202 is able to speed up and slow down, but will never come to a complete halt. The majority of the game takes place in the air (and sometimes space), flying above landscapes which include trees, mountains, rivers, snow and other terrain. Additionally, tunnels can be found, often hidden, dug into the sides of landscape. Upon entering these tunnels, the TV-202 loses its ability to turn around (going ahead constantly) and must navigate avoiding enemies, moving walls, rotating obstacles and other hazards. Power-ups are found by destroying enemy forces or destroying enemy bunkers which are scattered around each level.
The TV-202 has an energy shield which is depleted by enemy fire and running into terrain, when the shield is gone, the player is destroyed. Shield Power-ups and Energy Core power-ups can be found to restore shield energy. For weaponry, the player begins with a single Plasma Assault Cannon (PAC) weapon that fires straight ahead. Other weapon power-ups can be found which include a PAC power-up, an Ion-burst gun (ION), Rapid Targeting Laser (RTL), Manual Aimed Missile (MAM), Seek and Destroy Missile (SAD), Shock wave Torpedoes (SWT) and Discrete Annihilation Missiles (DAM). With the exception of the Annihilation Missiles, all these weapons also fire directly in front of the player. There is an afterburner fuel power-up which will allow the TV-202 to increase its thrust substantially, traveling much faster than normal.
Each world features its own unique enemies and hazards. The different levels of the game provide unique objectives which can include flying to checkpoints, destroying specific targets (including bosses) and entering tunnels. Upon completing the necessary objectives, the player is directed to exit the level via a Departure Unit (DUN) located somewhere on the map.
Credits (DOS version)
40 People (37 developers, 3 thanks) · View all
|Additional Net Programming|
|Graphics / Artwork|
|German Translation (Übersetzung ins Deutsche)||
|[ full credits ]|
Average score: 76% (based on 19 ratings)
Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 51 ratings with 2 reviews)
A lot. The graphics are quite good and, in my own humble opinion, hold up to the year 2000's resource-sucking "flatland simulators". Okay, so there aren't that many 80 degree slopes to be found on Earth, but, when you're not really trying to simulate real life, it sure is more fun. As for gameplay, think Descent outdoors. It tends to be more frantic than the Parallax classic, with enemies swarming in every direction. It can be a lot of fun, dodging hills while blasting tons of helpless aircraft, strafing ground targets, and watching an absolutely absurd amount of debris shoot out of the remains of the ships and buildings you indiscriminately blasted. But . . .
. . . Like Descent, it can get old. It's really not meant to be a "suck you in and not let go" type of game, but a "have a blast for thirty minutes and leave" game. In holding with this style, the missions are simple. There are no complex objectives, it's simply "follow the arrow and shoot what's there". There's nothing really wrong with this, I just prefer a little more depth, and it makes the "briefings" sort of redunant. Also slightly lacking is the sound department, which is little more than a utilitarian collection of zots, booms, and forgettable music. Finally, I can't shake the feeling that it's trying to one-up Descent (hence the constant references). To be frank, it doesn't. The same-ness of the missions with the occasional boss and kill everything attitude are pretty much on par with it's underground cousin.
The Bottom Line
Yep, you guessed it, "Descent . . . The Outdoors Edition". Okay, so there are tunnels, but they're just a plug. It's a good game in it's own right, and a blast for thirty minutes, but I think a lot more could have been done with some imaginative thinking.
DOS · by Clinton Webb (19) · 2000
I'm not a fan of simulators and freespace games and usually find them boring, pointless and not much fun, but this game is clearly an exception. Though I didn't play it that much (it crashes on both my machines) liked what I saw - a groundbreaking 3D engine with great eye-candy and smooth framerate on a 486, excellent controls and good audio. The missions are well made though not very innovative. Gameplay itself is excellent with smooth transitions and good action.
Well, a simulator is a simulator. This is a good one, but nothing new anyway.
The Bottom Line
A good freespace game, reminiscent of Descent.
DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4539) · 2000
This was the first shareware game to get a magazine cover *before* its release (not even DOOM had a pre-release cover story).
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Aquaman.
Game added December 30th, 1999. Last modified September 20th, 2023.