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The craters together is named Misplaced Optimism... And it's completely appropriate. Located on Titan, one of Saturn's moons, the colony started as a mining colony. As the wealth of mineral discovery spread, gangs moved in... until the whole place is held by two rival gangs, some misc. factions, and a lot of people caught inbetween, with no way out.

You are just one of the "moth" flyer owners, and you want to get out of this godforsaken hellhole, and the only way to do is to play the game... a mean game of survival.

Hardwar is a free-form and plot-driven game that was inspired by Elite and Privateer. Entire Misplace Optimism is simulated with other crafts moving about their own business, from transport to piracy to bounty hunters and more, and you can join them. Transport your own goods from source to destination to earn a profit. Chase down helpless merchant moths and cut them apart with your weapons and then retrieve their cargo. Chase down pirates and other evildoers on commission of the local police. Upgrade your craft with better components, software, or even new moth models. You can even own buildings in this game world, and charge others for repairs and such. Follow through the plot, where you need to undertake a few special missions, and you may even get a chance to escape this hellhole once and for all...


Hardwar Windows STALL! Attempting engine restart!
Hardwar Windows HUD view
Hardwar Windows A pirate searches for prey.
Hardwar Windows The Riverside crater - Klamp-G territory

Promo Images

Hardwar Screenshot
Hardwar Screenshot
Hardwar Screenshot
Hardwar Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "Hardwar: The Future is Greedy" -- Tag-lined title
  • "Hardwar: Die Zukunft ist gierig" -- German title

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

The Future of 1998 Ashley Pomeroy (233) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
massively multiplayer sci-fi game [email protected] (36) 5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

Critic Reviews

Hacker Oct, 1998 90 out of 100 90
Power Play Sep, 1998 87 out of 100 87
Svenska PC Gamer Sep, 1998 86 out of 100 86
Computer and Video Games (CVG) Oct, 1998 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Score Oct, 1998 8 out of 10 80
Gameplay (Benelux) Nov 02, 1998 78 out of 100 78
PC Joker Sep, 1998 70 out of 100 70
Game Over Online Sep 04, 1998 68 out of 100 68
PC Player (Germany) Sep, 1998 66 out of 100 66
GameStar (Germany) Oct, 1998 58 out of 100 58


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Designer & Producer, Ade Carless actually appears in the game's videos as the Police Über-Clerk. The character Syd is played in the FMV clips by British television presenter Ben Shephard, early in his career.


The demo (while timed and limited to the Alpha crater) has a unique scenario


Some US releases included a Fragile Allegiance CD (full version - just a CD in a slip case) inside the box.


The Software Refinery released a small utility called "Hardluck" that toggles a 'Misc' tab on the main launch menu. There's several options available from this tab; For example you can browse for and play the videos from the game cd's("Spoiler Warning!"), enable some useful and fun Debug Keys, or create a text Log File for each game played which details all activity in the world


You can actually purchase buildings in each of the craters by locating the real estate agent's location. You can also call for a taxi, buy new "moths" (the crafts you fly), get new weapons and equipment, smuggle (illegal substances of course), be a vigilante (track down/kill wanted moth drivers for police) by visiting the police HQ and get the wanted list, salvage dropped merchandise (if you have a retriever drone), borrow money from loan shark(s), pay fines (to clear your record with the police), trade with various enclaves and shops, hire on as mercenary for one of the factions in the game, upgrade your computer systems in the moth by finding a software house, and much more...


Some of the AI Pilots are named after the hacker aliases from the film Hackers (1995) starring Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie - Acid Burn, Crash Override, Zero Cool, Lord Nikon.


The radio station in this game, HardWarp FM, is based on Warp Records, an independent electronic music label who did provide the tracks. Both CDs have five full length tracks and eleven short tracks. Here are the names and artists of the full length tracks:

Track 2: Black Dog - Raxmus 3:05
Track 3: Black Dog - Chase The Manhattan 5:45
Track 4: LFO - Tied Up 5:21
Track 5: LFO - Shut Down 4:50
Track 6: Autechre - Second Bad Vilbel 9:43

Track 2: RAC - Nine 3:47
Track 3: Autechre - Second Scepe 6:41
Track 4: Autechre - Clipper 8:12
Track 5: Squarepusher - Chin Hippy 3:16
Track 6: LFO - Tied Up 5:21

The last track on CD 2 is a recording of a group of the game's creators singing along to the final cutscene There's also this comment: "Right, so it's like, 3 in the morning, and we've like, finally finished the final version, er, oh hang on there's that singing bit..."

Information also contributed by Jack Lightbeard, Kasey Chang, neotiger and Zamppa

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cuchulainn (17) added Hardwar (Windows) on Jul 17, 2000
atari adventure