DarkStar

Scheduled publishing date Dec. 2005,  the Internet Movie Database says, Dec. 31, 2006, though in June 2008 it’s still in post production. DarkStar [http://www.mst3kinfo.com/darkstar/] (see also Flash web site Dark Star [Flash], [http://www.darkstar.gs/]). Well, all those old web sites are down. Sorry.

DVD-ROM game for both PC and Macintosh. Live action photography combined with CG-animations and special effects. [wdarkstar]

“Dark Star”
Animation: Parallax Studios in tandem with Fantagor Studios Richard Corben with assistance from Trinity Animation. Script/Producer-Jeff Allen Williams at Parallax Studios.

Richard Corben’s task is to create all of the horror related elements, such as dead bodies, gore, a monster, and the alien temple design. Jeffrey Williams released a free PDF-file of a book in the end of 2020 (16 Mb), and all revealed guide for the game (404 kb).

What is Darkstar? 

Darkstar is a multimedia CD-ROM game. The resolution will be ultra-hirez with special effects that better most film projects or other computer games. The environment is completely interactive as the player encounters strange rooms, and a few time-hole generated ghosts, remnants of the past. It’s an explorable world with a complex story. It’s like Myst or Riven, but less puzzle, more story. And more action.

The story

The tale tells the story of four crewmembers on board a flying dutchman of sorts, a starship called the Westwick. The earth has been destroyed in an apocolyptic war, and the ship floats aimlessly in space. One of the crew has been murdered, his hand has been chopped off. The player wakes up from suspended animation with no memory, and must explore the ship in order to accomplish a mission that involves solving the murder, piloting a shuttle to a nearby planet, repairing the ship, and defeating a traitorous foe. There are several dead bodies lying about, and a plethora of questions that go with each. Darkstar is a black hole in time of sorts, and the player soon learns that the mission is to take a message into the past, a warning that can alter Earth’s imminent destruction.

DARKSTAR: Here is an image from DarkStar interactive game featuring the shuttle and an alien temple that Corben contributed a lot to. Note the stone carving of the monster adorning the top of the entrance – Corben not only designed and built the CGI model, he animated all of its scenes in his studio. Also, the shuttle was a bit inspired by Corben’s ship in the “How Howie Made it in the Real World” comic story.

The cast

The Westwick Crew: Trace Beaulieu is Ross Perryman, Westwick First Officer. Beez McKeever is Paige Palmer, Westwick Pilot. Frank Conniff is Alan Burk, Westwick Science Officer and Navigator. He also provides the voice of the robot, SIMON. John O’Neil, Captain of the Westwick, the player, who will be seen in mirrors and video logs.
Other Starship Folk: Joel Hodgson is the intruder from Mars (Name TBD). Mary Jo Pehl is Captain Beth Ingram of the Starship Bridgebuilder.
She also provides the voice of the Westwick’s main computer. Josh Weinstein is Captain Cedrick Stone of the Darkstar Explorer Valli Florez is Zoe Palmer, Pilot of the Northstar (Westwick’s twin ship) and Paige’s big sister. Narrated by Peter Graves. 

Dark Star Motion Picture

Dark Star the Motion Picture 

Never intended to be a film once production on the “game” version began, Parallax Studio always hoped to edit a “theatrical” version of DARKSTAR from game footage for fans to view. In 2013, three years after the release of “The Interactive Movie”, a DVD was released edited from these low resolution clips (you can also view it on VIMEO channel). To compress the huge, fully rendered world that is DS onto two 9Gb disks, all scenes needed to be compressed substantially from broadcast resolution, this done during production to keep asset sizes down, and converted to a usable format and pixel dimension.

The resolution issue created a challenge in delivering a DVD version of the story, as did the fact that the story, when experienced in the interactive environment, takes a minimum of eight hours to see all – far too long for a “feature film”.
You can view a full walk through in eight one-hour chapters here on our VIMEO channel, actual gameplay recorded right off the screen using the DARKSTAR guide. Completing this full game in less than 8 hours as shown would require the player to know all of the many twists, turns and solutions of the tour. Average time taken to traverse the full game cold and without a guide: 20 hours.

This NOIR EDIT was created in 2016, refining the edit somewhat and going with a slightly distressed sans-color look that the Director preferred over the color version with efforts taken to locate higher resolution scenes when possible. Enjoy this movie for what it is, a low resolution narrative version of the Adventure Game playing experience that is DARKSTAR: The Interactive Movie.

Copyright © 2003 Heart-Attack-Series, Ink!
Created: May 18, 2003. Last updated: January 5, 2021 at 0:02 am

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