Manufacturer: Sega
Released: 1982
Designer: ?
Added to my collection: Fall, 1998

Sold: November, 2015

Description
My Machine
Technical
Links

Description:

Star Trek: Strategic Operations Simulator was one of several color vector games released by Sega in the early '80s. It is a fairly complex game. The screen is divided into three sections: a section that shows your shield, photon torpedo, and warp drive status; an overhead map view; and a first-person 3D view screen that spans the width of the screen at the bottom. The object of the game is to pilot the Enterprise from sector to sector, destroying Klingon battlecruisers and protecting Federation starbases. You have a limited number of photon torpedoes, shield points, and warp drive, but you can replenish your supply by docking with a starbase. The game is never-ending (the forty levels repeat after you make it through all of them). The number and speed of enemy ships increases with each level. Every few levels or so, you are treated to a bonus level where the object is to avoid mines and shoot the fast-moving Nomad probe. According to Star Trek's designer, this was the first arcade game to feature 3D polygonal graphics. That's not entirely true--Batttlezone, which was released by Atari two years earlier, featured a 3D first person view. It may be, however, that Star Trek was the first color game that featured 3D graphics. At any rate, it was certainly one of the first. This was not a particularly easy game to master. It had a somewhat intimidating control scheme--four buttons and a rotational controller. It also required you to process a lot of information at once. (Of course, savvy players quickly learn that most of the game could be played just by watching the overhead map view.) Two dedicated versions of the game were produced--an upright version and a full-cockpit sit-down version (called the "captain's chair"). Star Trek was also produced as a kit that could be installed in a variety of different cabinets as a conversion. (The picture above shows the game in an Asteroids cabinet.)

Like all vector monitors, the color monitors used by Sega for their color vector games were less than reliable. In fact, the Electrohome G08 monitor used in these games have a reputation for overheating and bursting into flames! For this reason, working Sega color vector games are very difficult to come by these days.

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My Machine:

If I had to pick my all-time favorite arcade game, it would be Star Trek. I have no idea how much money I spent on this game when I was in high school. I guess it has a lot to do with the fact that I've always been a Star Trek geek. It also has to do with the fact that I happened to be really good at this game. (This is a rare condition for me-- despite the fact that I love arcade games, by and large I'm pretty bad at most of them.) This was the first arcade machine I purchased. I bought it from a friend at work who was moving across the country and didn't want to deal with the hassle of moving the thing. This machine is one of the conversion units--it's in an Asteroids cabinet--but it has the proper control panel, and the side art is in very good condition. In other words, the conversion was very well done. The marquee is an obvious reproduction--it looks like the original art printed on a color printer and glued to a blank marquee--but it doesn't look bad. From about two days after I got it, I've had intermittent problems with the monitor blanking out on me during play. I've tried to have it professionally repaired, but the local arcade shop isn't interested in fixing vector monitors (few are). The monitor can't be replaced unless I can locate a working used monitor--nobody makes the things anymore. I had a friend's father look at the machine--drove it 20 miles in the back of a pickup truck to get it to him. Of course, the thing worked perfectly when I got it there, and worked for an entire week with no problems. It finally gave out altogether...but I lucked out and found a guy online (in Colorado) who was willing to fix it for me. (Thanks, Tim!) It gave me a scare a couple of weeks ago when it stopped working but, when I moved it to the garage, it miraculously came back to life...again. (Although now the sound card seems to be blown. Sigh.) It is playable at the moment, though--knock wood--and that's what's most important.

Despite the ongoing problems and the fact that the cabinet isn't the original dedicated version, I consider Star Trek the crown jewel of my collection.

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Star Trek Technical Info:

DIP switch settings:

Star Trek has two banks of DIP switches, only one of which is used. The asterisks (*) indicate the factory default settings.

DIP Bank 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Bonus Life 10,000
on
on
20,000
on
off
30,000 *
off
on
40,000
off
off
Difficulty Easy *
on
on
Medium
on
off
Hard
off
on
Tournament
off
off
Photon Torpedoes 1
on
on
2
on
off
3
off
on
4 *
off
off
Demo Sounds On *
on
Off
off
Cabinet Upright *
off
Cocktail
on

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More Star Trek Info:

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