Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

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a game by Sculptured Software
Genre: Action
Platform: SNESSNES
Editor Rating: 8.2/10, based on 7 reviews, 8 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: All Star Wars Games

The wait was worth it! Super Empire Strikes Back delivers all the intense action and state-of-the-art graphics you'd expect from LucasArts, the people who brought the highly acclaimed Super Star Wars to a SNES galaxy near you. Fans of the movie won't be disappointed, though novice gamers will quickly be in over their Blast Shield, and everyone will need the Force to reach Darth Vader at the end.

Super Empire's Super Story

If you've seen the flick, you know the game. Luke starts out on Hoth and battles his way through the snow. Han fights his way through Cloud City to meet his Carbon-Freezing fate, and a dramatic duel with Darth looms as the fantastic finish. Extra scenes, new beasts, and never-before- seen bosses add depth to the movie's story line.

If you've played Super Star Wars, you'll still be surprised by Super Empire's game play. LucasArts has made some big changes, including the biggest change of all-the game is much, much harder. Even at the Easy setting, veteran players will find these are hard times for heroes. Luke, Han, and Chewie have some stellar new moves -- Han can now roll like an intergalactic armadillo -- but it'll take a lot of practice to master even old moves. Unable to make your Jedi jump exactly when and where you want, you're going to spend a lot of time watching your heroes fall through space to their doom.

What's more, you can no longer choose which character you want to play, like you could in much of SuperStar Wars. Super Empire has a designated hero for each level. This keeps the game in line with the movie (it wouldn't have made sense for Luke to end up Carbon Frozen, or for Chewie to square off against Vader).

Other changes include some exciting new power-ups called Force Powers. Once you find Yoda on Dagobah, he gives you various Force Powers that enable Luke to Elevate, use Mind Control, throw his Lightsaber, and Heal himself, among other dazzling abilities. The most helpful Force is the Heal power, because it partially restores Luke's Health Sword at critical moments. The most comical is Luke's Mind Control ability, which causes all enemies to turn around and shoot in the wrong direction. The Force Powers are brilliant additions to Luke's already-powerful arsenal, though handling them is harder than shooting Womp Rats back home in Beggar's Canyon.


  • Avoid the Ice Crystals that form underneath you on Hoth. They inflict the most damage.
  • Have Han shoot the vents in the Carbon Freezing Chamber, or they'll put him on ice.
  • Check dead ends for Hearts in the Carbon Freezing chamber.
  • If you die halfway through the first cave on Hoth, you'll end up here with a Hoth monster breathing down your neck. Use the air duct just above you to reach power-ups.
  • Just inside the first ice cave on Hoth is an air duct, where you'll find big Hearts and a weapon power-up.
  • When you reach this dead end on Hoth, jump up. You'll be rewarded with two lives, and you land on invisible platforms.

Tall, Darth and Handsome

Empires graphic will have universal appeal. No detail has been overlooked in the backgrounds or the main character sprites. For example, you can almost see the rivets on those giant AT-AT Walkers, and the heroes are clothed in their appropriate Empire Strikes Back attire, which was changed from the first Star Wars film. There are also some spectacular Mode 7 flying sequences, including the Rebel attack on the At-Ats and a melee outside the Cloud City of Bespin. Kaledoscopic colors show off the SNES's 256-color palette, producing glorious effects.

The sounds in this game soar like an X-Wing fighter. Every recognizable effect from the movie has been used here, including voice-overs by Yoda and Vader, growls from beasts, and mechanical chirps from R2-D2. John Williams' resounding theme music swells throughout the game, too, and effectively underscores the action.

Hoth Tauntaun, Will Travel

Despite its control quirks and demanding challenge, SESB is still one of the very best SNES titles of the year. Fortunately, Return of the Jedi should be hitting the shelves by the time you beat Darth Vader. Until then, take it from our little green mentor: Do or do not; there is no try.

  • To destroy this AT-AT Boss at the end of the Ice Field, knock off the flying Stormtroopers first. Then explode a Thermal Detonator (if you have one) when you reach its head. If you don't have one, go after the guns one by one, beginning with the gun on the left.
  • Use the 2-up loop in Dagobah to maximize your lives. Just after the first set of rocks (where you can find many of the Force Powers) you'll see a second set of rocks. Climb to the top rock and use your Lightsaber to thrash the air. You'll find a weapon power-up and two 1-ups. Now die and repeat the trick to get another life.
  • Here's a tip to beat the two-legged AT-ST vehicles in the Ice Field. Shoot them from far away, then fly past them and circle around. The first AT-ST you see will be the last one you were shooting. They can't get a lock on you if you shoot and run.
  • To get rid of this pesky boss outside the Rebel Base, shoot the gun turrets in the front and back, then go for its swinging spiked legs. Roll whenever the legs come near you.
  • The AT-ATs in the Rebel Base require a different attack. The easiest way to down them is to fire a harpoon when you're close, then immediately swing to your right to circle. If you come too close to the AT-AT, jerk your joystick to the left or right just a little. You'll hear a noise each time you pass. Make three complete passes to bring down the AT-AT.
  • To take care of this AT-ST at the end of the Rebel Base, roll under him and blast him from behind. A Shield at the far right of the screen helps you out.

Download Super Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back


System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • Pentium II (or equivalent) 266MHz (500MHz recommended), RAM: 64MB (128MB recommended), DirectX v8.0a or later must be installed

Game Reviews

The video game Star Wars trilogy continues with Super Empire Strikes Back by JVC/LucasArts. Gaming fans of the movie will find that Super Empire serves up more video game chills and thrills than last year's smash Super Star Wars. Plus, its creators, being avid Star Wars' junkies, paid special attention to detail when making this game.

The Empire Lives On

In SESB, you once again are out to defeat the nefarious Darth Vader, who commands the Empire from a Star Destroyer fleet. The game follows the movie's story line to a tee, with great cinematic stills between the action scenes. You start as Luke on the realistically detailed ice planet of Hoth. Your task is to help the fragments of the Rebel Alliance band together to destroy the Empire. Later, in Dagobah search for Yoda, then move on to the cloud city of Bespin to find Lando Calrissian, with various other places and adventures in between.

You'll fight AT-AT Walkers that you bring down by firing cables and circling them (just like in the movie). You'll also ride a Tauntaun, guide the Millenium Falcon through an asteroid belt, fly an X-Wing and a Snowspeeder, face Boba Fett the bounty hunter and finally duel Lightsabers against Darth Vader.

LucasArts has improved upon the Super Star Wars' sprite animation. Now the characters can run and shoot at the same time. They've also added a very realistic fighting sequence between Darth Vader and Luke, where you have to strategically beat Vader in a life-or-death Lightsaber duel.

The game even has an extra dimension: Force Powers. You must find the Force Powers (maybe Yoda knows where they are) to perform a variety of moves, like levitating, throwing your Lightsaber, becoming invisible and others to equal a total of eight Powers.

Jump to Light Speed

Super Empire Strikes Back promises to be 12 megs of great fun. The 20 levels, a password feature, bonus games and different viewing perspectives combine to create what looks to be one of the best games in the known Universe -- at least this year?

  • Release: 1993

People say:


Super Empire Strikes Back has all the elements to make a good game: a great plot, familiar character and tunes. However, the game play leaves much to be desired. There are a lot of 'instant' hits. Fortunately, there is a password feature that lets you continue where you left off. The graphics are phenomenal especially when flying to Bespin. This is great for fans of the movie. Yet, poor control hurts it.


While I really enjoyed the movie, I just couldn't find myself enjoying this game very much. The control needs more work and seems sloppy (even when not standing on ice) and the game is just plain HARD! You never really get a chance to defend yourself because everything is attacking you all at once. On the plus side, the music is very good and follows the theme of the movie correctly. Now, about that difficulty...


I think my problem was my hopes were too high. Yes, the game follows the film's story with excellent cinematic displays and the music is well orchestrated, but the game play totally blows! Moving Luke and the other SW characters turned out to be a struggle. What's worse is you are totally bombarded with enemies that seem to take an infinite number of hits before they finally die. It's a disappointing cart.


From the looks alone, this cart is great! The game play is a bit too rough for my liking and can detract from game play. It takes a while to get used to the control which is frustrating. However, the graphics and sounds are good and the levels are well done adaptations of the movie. If you liked the first one, you should give this a try but only if you think you can handle the slightly tough playability.

Here are a bunch of tricks that you can access by doing a Sound Test on this game! First, go into any level in the game. Take controller 1. Now, press and hold Y, B, X, A, DOWN. While still holding these, press START. You will access the Sound Test Screen. Change the music to what you like. Press START to go back to the level. Go back into the Sound Test again doing the trick, and you will see that the words under the SOUND TEST have changed. Repeat the trick for different messages. After doing this several times, the messages will reveal two codes. The first one will tell you to have title fun by putting in the code: Y, Y, Y, Y (you can rotate the Star Wars title and the text following it with the top L and R buttons). The other code tells you a 7 credits trick by pressing X, Y, A, B, X, X. Both of these must be done at the Title Screen, where the "Start Game," "Option Menu" and "Password" option come up. Turn the power off and then on to make the tricks work.

  • Manufacturer: JVC/Lucasfilm
  • Machine: Super NES
  • Theme: Action
  • No. of Levels: 14

Yes, it's true, there is a Super Empire Strikes Back and it is 16-Meg! Super Empire involves several gaming situations right out of the movie! There are many different playing areas: the side-scrolling run-and-jump section (which requires blaster and light-saber skills) in addition to flying a snowspeeder and even the Millenium Falcon! With incredible Mode 7 scaling, this will be one hot cart! Fans of the first game (Super Star Wars) will also find something new in the use of the Force: you can control your lightsaber to attack even when you aren't holding it! Take a whack at the Empire!

Totally Cool Cinema Displays!

This game offers many unique features. The ones that stand out the most are the awesome cinema displays that occur before every level telling you the story of the game.

Lucasfilm is not only bringing out a Nintendo game based on the first movie in the Star Wars trilogy, but they are simultaneously working on a NES version of the Empire Strikes Back! The Empire game starts out right where the first one leaves off. You start on the ice world of Hoth and you must get to two other planets.

The only way that you will be able to defeat the dark forces and come face to face with Darth Vader in a lightsaber war, is to master the power of the of the force. That you must learn from the all mighty Yoda. First however you must find him.

You start out just like the movie. You are on the ice planet, Hoth, and you are out investigating a crashed meteor. While you're doing this your home base is being attack by the Imperial Forces. You must race back and save the rebel alliance.

The Battle of the Jedi Returns!

Who wasn't expecting the Empire to strike back on the Super NES? At the time this article Is written, there are only a few levels completed. But by the time you read this and see it at the Summer CES, the game will be in the final stages of production! Some of the new features are evident, like using the force fsee below) but another new thing is that the characters (Luke, Han, Chewie) have new special attacks and abilities that will let them perform better in some levels than in others. For instance, Han Solo can now throw deadly grenades.

Also, some of the later levels not covered here include a Snowspeed-er scene, reminiscent of the land-speeder scene, but now they will have mountains and hills instead of just a basic flat land. There will be training missions on Dagobah and even a huge battle on cloud city with the eventual first battle with you and Darth Vader, Lightsaber to Lightsaber!

The mysteries of a jedi Knight

As we all know, Luke is a Jedi Knight in training. So, he must possess certain skills that make him quite more advanced than what he once was. First of all, Luke can use the force to become temporarily invincible for a short period of time. Luke can also run and fire at the same time without stopping. Finally, by using the control pad, Luke can have his Lightsabre float on the screen!

A Look Into The Future Of The Star Wars Gaming!

Well, now that we are seeing Super Empire, there are those who are asking to see some development on Return of the Jedi. Despite all the rumors flying around, there are no concrete developments on Return at this present time. When the word does hit, however, we will be there with the whole scoop just for your eyes only!

However, JVC is doing Rebel Assault for Sega CD, and going by what we've seen, it's gonna be hot! This CD utilizes many new digitization of advanced polygon backdrops as well as great sounds and superb game play that could just rival the recently released X-Wing for the PCs. Speaking of which, there are rumors about a Super NES version of X-Wing that utilizes the Super FX chip to be in the works. Whether it is true or not, has yet to be seen, but it would sure be nice! Stay tuned to us for the new softs of the classic movie and an update to the Super NES version of Empire in later issues!

Live the adventure of the Jedi Knights once again with The Empire Strikes Back from Lucasfilm. You have many missions to accomplish, like destroying Darth Vader's probes, destroying At-At's, talking to Yoda, and even facing Darth with only a light saber and your wits to help you! Many animated cinema displays relate the story as you progress. The Empire Strikes Back, appearing in a store not so far away!

People say:


While this game does manage to capture the feel and continuity of the movie on which it is based, many of the set-ups are too complicated or too laborious for their own good. Instead of appreciating the fine graphics and general game play, the action gets bogged down in specific areas and doesn't ever quite get up to speed.


One would expect that these games would have tons of action and fight scenes. They don't. This cart is more of a maze/puzzle game. Your progress in spots is dependent on how well you can jump from block to block and it can get repetitious until you do everything correctly. Still doesn't have the Lucas touch.


This cart has a few new features that show an improvement from the first. The digitized sound effects are really cool and there are a variety of different game play scenes. The Snowspeeder scene is my favorite part of the game. Hey, the people at Cloud City were friendly weren't they? Hopefully they'll do Jedi for SNES.


Take a moment to visualize this game. It never really takes the form of a high action video game or a rock steady RPG. It gets buried somewhere in between and slows down right in the middle. While the graphics are excellent for 8-bit, and the story line is great, the game play leaves something to be desired... fun!

Snapshots and Media

SNES/Super Nintendo/Super Famicom Screenshots