The coolest Star Wars shooter without a Jedi was too bloody for Germany

  • Freshly painted: Dark Forces is no longer indexed, the Star Wars shooter may be advertised and freely sold in Germany after 25 years.
  • Harald Fränkel compared the BPjS test report at the time with his experiences in the game and explained why shooting on Stormtrooper was considered so brutal back then.
  • The article also answers the question: Can Dark Forces still play well today?

Star Wars: Dark Forces will be a whopping 25 years old in 2020.  The first person shooter was so brutal back then that it was indexed - now we can report about it again.  Thank God!

Star Wars: Dark Forces will be a whopping 25 years old in 2020. The first person shooter was so brutal back then that it was indexed – now we can report about it again. Thank God!

Dear children, you must be strong now: The story of the film Rogue One is a lie. Pure science fiction, so to speak. Disrespectful and hardheartedly devised by the Mickey Mouse Club in Burbank, California, after it acquired Lucasfilm Ltd. in 2012. including the Star Wars license and then falsified history.

It is by no means true that Jyn Erso and her rebellious friends stole the Death Star’s plans so that Luke Skywalker could slip an MG7-A proton torpedo into the vent of the Imperial superweapon. In truth, the Rebel Alliance was basically saved by your parents and me. In the first commercial Star Wars first-person shooter Dark Forces 25 years ago, on February 28, 1995 to be precise.

Never heard of it, dear children? An extract from the manual explains what it is all about:

This game is a pure shooting and people destruction game that leaves little to be desired in terms of hardness and brutality. There is no place for compassion and compassion. The quick and targeted use of one’s own weapon is essential, as otherwise one’s own destruction threatens. […] As killing instruments that can hardly be surpassed in terms of perfidy, »plate mines« and »thermal detonators« are available. In particular, the use of the former allows a sadistic delusion of the suffering of the counterpart.

Oopsi, this paragraph wasn’t even in the instructions. Sorry, my mistake, accidentally copied from the wrong source! In fact, the quoted passage appears in a file from the Federal Testing Office for writings harmful to minors. This is what today’s federal inspection agency for media harmful to minors was called earlier. The BPjS banned Dark Forces on the list of indexed games. Why? I’ll be happy to come back to that later because the story is extremely interesting and reveals a lot about the position of video games in society in the past millennium.

After all, there is a hint of real satire that the said BPjS files were formulated so martially at the time that they should have been checked and banned by the BPjS – much more urgent than the game, in any case, I think. Wink smiley.


The author

Harald Fränkel was already playing Star Wars games when eleven out of ten GameStar readers were still floating around in the tadpole stadium. It all began with the very first Star Wars game: The Empire Strikes Back was released in 1982 for the Atari 2600. At that time, Mr. Fränkel was convinced that the graphics were on the verge of photorealism and that the Battle of Hoth was 1: 1 like depicted in the film. His eight-year-old son Luke, interviewed for a reality check (Why is the offspring called that?), Describes the game as follows: “A Lego brick shoots a Lego brick at an ugly greyhound.” Now.

The old man and the paternity test

Why does Dark Forces (in German »Dark Powers«) enjoy cult status? Is it still fun today? Dear children, in view of the 640 x 480 picture crumbs, I literally put my eyesight at risk for you in order to answer these questions as part of an extensive reality test.

After my trifle at the end of the first level had captured the plans of the Death Star, I had to a graphics mod called the XL engine to install. The game doesn’t change into beauty either – but at least my optic nerves have withdrawn my application for asylum in North Korea. In addition, the mentioned additional program implements a modern mouse control.

XL-Engine (2020)

XL-Engine (2020)

XL-Engine (2020)

Original (1995)

Original (1995)

Original (1995)


The left picture shows Dark Forces as it looks in the original, antique version. The XL engine mod ensures better textures and allows you to play in HD resolution.

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