Star Wars: Dark Forces gets quality-of-life improvements thanks to reverse engineered...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,674   +175
Staff member
What just happened? Work on a reverse engineering project for the game engine that powered Star Wars: Dark Forces has reached a pivotal milestone, enabling the title to be played on modern systems with a full complement of quality-of-life improvements.

The Force Engine (TFE), as the project is known, is now at version 1.0 after three years of development and fully supports Dark Forces. The project's creator said the goal with Dark Forces was for TFE to replace DOSBox and the original executable, and to be compatible with both the vanilla levels and subsequent community mods.

With TFE, you can play Dark Forces with high-resolution and widescreen support. Other enhancements include full mouselook support, an aiming reticle and an improved Boba Fett AI.

There is also a new save system that can be used for exit saves or however often you see fit. It's worth noting that these are all optional features and if you want a full vanilla experience, all of the quality-of-life improvements can be turned off.

Star Wars: Dark Forces launched in early 1995 for MS-DO and Macintosh, and a year later on the original PlayStation. The game was generally well received on computers, with some comparing it to Doom but with more advanced features.

Version 1.0 of The Force Engine is available from our Downloads section or GitHub for those interested in giving it a try. It only supports Windows 7 and later right now but Mac and Linux support is being planned as part of an early 2023 update. Also note that you'll need the full Dark Forces game as TFE replaces the executable, not the game itself.

Star Wars: Dark Forces can be had for a mere $2.09 after a 65 percent discount as part of GOG's ongoing winter sale. It's also on Steam but you'll pay $5.99 through Valve.

Only one other game used the Jedi Engine, Outlaws. Support for that title in TFE is coming in version 2.0 but no launch window has been set as of this writing.

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Posts: 4,083   +7,253
A pleasant bit of news, OG dark forces is a bit too jank even for me. A new game engine will be a major improvement.
I played the heck of this game and Tie Fighter.

This was prime Lucas Art games.

A shame that they simply stopped making games.
It is a shame, but based on the force unleased II and some of their *ahem* newer media I'm glad they went out on a relatively high note in the 2000s instead of turning into a zombie.

Lucasarts games were a major part of my early gaming days. The force unleased, knights of the old republic, republic commando, empire at war, battlefront, the list goes on. It was so bad I had an entire drive simply labeled "star wars" just for these games and their buffet of mods.

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 1,606   +1,521
Loved Dark Forces, the moment you first fire it up and hear that sound was amazing back in the day. These are the sort of games I want for next gen, not multiplayer crap, not souls like light saber only games. I've never liked only using a LS, we need variety.
Ah great - this'll keep me occupied during the tedious Christmas activities. Of-course it looks dated - but 25 years! Blimey. Looking forward to TFE 2 with Outlaws too! And will also try OpenJKDF2 (how old is that? - may have already tried it?)
PS. I too lost interest in the JK series when it went LS only - strange - always preferred guns :)