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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.


Terminal Velocity DOS Lava planet. I think this is the hardest level.
Terminal Velocity DOS Hostile build
Terminal Velocity DOS Mining planet. Destroy transport ships before they take off later.
Terminal Velocity DOS Snowy terrain

Promo Images

Terminal Velocity Screenshot
Terminal Velocity Screenshot
Terminal Velocity Screenshot
Terminal Velocity Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "Velocity Brawl" -- Working title
  • "Terminal Velocity (Enhanced CD Version)" -- CD release

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

Me like things go boom . . . Clinton Webb (21) unrated
A truly decent game. Tomer Gabel (4634) 3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars3.4 Stars

Critic Reviews

PC Gamer Oct, 1995 86 out of 100 86
Top Secret Jul, 1995 8 out of 10 80
Pelit Jul, 1995 80 out of 100 80
Score Jul, 1995 8 out of 10 80
Power Play Jun, 1995 77 out of 100 77
Gameplay (Benelux) Oct, 1995 70 out of 100 70
GameSpot May 28, 1996 6.9 out of 10 69
PC Player (Germany) Jun, 1995 66 out of 100 66
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Oct, 1995 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
High Score Oct, 1995 3 out of 5 60


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The floppy disk-based version of Terminal Velocity is available on Classic Games Collection CD featured with the July 2000 issue of PC Gamer Magazine.


The manual has two cheat codes inside: One of them restores your shields to 100% and the other one gives you 1,000 units of afterburner.


  • Terminal Velocity version 1.0 was 3D Realms' first game.
  • This was the first shareware game to get a magazine cover *before* its release (not even DOOM had a pre-release cover story).

Spiritual successors

Terminal Velocity had the games Fury³ and Hellbender follow in its footsteps. While those games feature the same type of gameplay they are their own series of games.

Information also contributed by Daedolon, Frenkel, Xantheous, and Zovni

Related Web Sites

Aquaman (57) added Terminal Velocity (DOS) on Dec 30, 1999
Other platforms contributed by GTramp (77634), Sciere (780346), Scaryfun (17977) and LepricahnsGold (142483)