Retrospective: Klingon Honor Guard • Page 2

K'lap t'rap!

But then come the mag boots. It was for these that I was playing the game. I remembered very clearly that there was a level on a spaceship in which you go outside, attached to the vessel by your magnetic shoes. I couldn't remember why it was such a fond memory, until the first time I accidentally switched the boots off and floated helplessly into space.

Being from 1998, Klingon Honor Guard can only go up to a resolution of 800x600. So it looks a mess. However, rather brilliantly its display options offer a windowed mode. And being Unreal, it's scalable, meaning you can then stretch that window to fit your screen, and the resolution scales up to match it. Suddenly it looks pretty decent. And nothing shows this off better than killing an enemy in zero-g on the outside of a spacecraft. Their circling corpse slowly drifts away, blobs of blood ejecting from their wounds in a floating spiral, against a backdrop of a vast planet. And sure, these are blotchy pixels, but your imagination stops noticing that after a moment.

I remembered why I so fondly recalled the mag boots. It's the drifting. Walk forward to gather some momentum, switch off the boots, and then float to the next arm of the vessel as a shortcut, the infinite reaches of space above, below and beside you should you misjudge this jump. Or indeed actually jump. Make it, reach a stable platform, and you reactivate the boots and safely land. It's sublime. That sense of absolute danger, converted to affixed security at the press of a button. I could happily play a game simply dedicated to this sensation.


This is probably the brightest room in the whole game.

Along the way the second memory - one so vague that it existed only in the form of: "play it again, John, because it's in there" - vividly returned. The Ding-Pach Spin Claw.

While many will clamour forward and proclaim Tron 2.0's disc as equivalent, I feel safe in saying the Spin Claw is my favourite weapon in any game ever. And I'd forgotten about it, beyond a will-o'-the-wisp of an inkling somewhere in the dusty caverns of my mind. It's a spinning circular blade, fired from a device held in your hand, that ricochets off all walls and surfaces until it can find you once more. But better, - ooh, even better! - you can click the left mouse a second time to call it back. It's completely wonderful, a monstrously powerful weapon, and one that lets you feel absolutely in control while still able to benefit from enormous good fortune.

The disadvantage of the weapon is that once fired, you cannot fire again until the blade returns. So if you miss your enemy, you need to run for safety, but still be somewhere the claw can find you again. But, time it well, and just maybe on its return flight it'll catch that enemy in the back, making you Earth's Greatest Fighter.


Silly purple-blooded dead man.

Even better, if there's a small room with a few enemies and maybe a couple of turrets, just open the door, fire the claw, then back away. The door shuts, you hear the sounds of death, and open the door again to see the utter brutality that's taken place, corpses scattered, the walls covered in brightly coloured alien bloods, and your claw blade returning to you like a sickening puppy.

So that was why I so fondly remembered Klingon Honor Guard. A game that is, unquestionably, fantastically overlong and dull. But a game that contains the thrill of space floating combined with the best FPS weapon ever made. And as it happens, those two are enough. I love this game!

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