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Colony Wars
Colony Wars Coverart.png
PAL cover art
Designer(s)Mike Ellis
Programmer(s)Mike Anthony
Artist(s)Lee Carus-Wescott
Writer(s)Mike Ellis
Damon Fairclough
Composer(s)Tim Wright
  • NA: October 31, 1997
  • EU: November 05, 1997
Genre(s)Space combat simulator

Colony Wars is a space combat simulator video game for the PlayStation developed and released by Psygnosis in 1997. In it, players complete space combat missions using preselected starfighters equipped with various weapons. The game features multiple paths of missions and outcomes, depending on the player's performance. It was later followed by Colony Wars: Vengeance in 1998, and Colony Wars: Red Sun in 2000.


Players fight in numerous space combat missions using one of seven pre-selected League of Free Worlds starfighters (although in one mission, the player gets to use one captured Navy fighter). The selection is due to the League High Command's decisions for efficiency in every given mission. Each starfighter carries a certain combination of energy weapons, missiles or torpedoes, and a number of units are equipped with nonlethal EMP cannons. The player can also use countermeasures to shake off inbound enemy missiles or use a grapple gun to capture targets of importance.

The stages are divided into several "Acts" with three missions each. Multiple paths and outcomes are available throughout the game, depending on the player's performance. Completing or failing missions does not always define the ultimate success or failure of the campaign, and certain missions are vital turning points which can dramatically affect the game's plot.

Players can view their combat records in the game. They can also access a database of planets and ships, with full voiceovers.


The Solar system is fully stripped of its natural resources by the fifth millennium. As a result, the Earth Empire sends out expeditionary sleeper ships to distant planets found to have abundant natural resources and harvests them. The discovery of hyperspace technology accelerates the Empire's interstellar expansion. As the colonies become more prosperous, the inhabitants become discontent as most of their mined resources are used to benefit Earth. A peaceful insurrection in the 47th century results in the Earth Empire's leader, the Tzar, personally leading the destruction of a rebellious planet. Stunned by the carnage, the other colonies band together as the League of Free Worlds, with a man known as the Father leading the fight.

The Empire's Colonial Navy sends a fleet to attack League forces in the Gallonigher system, but the League executes hit-and-run strikes as they fall back to the main capital planet, Bennay. When the Navy overextends its forces for the assault on Bennay, the League lures them into a trap inside a nearby asteroid belt, where the Navy strike fleet is destroyed.

The game picks up several months after the Battle of Bennay, when the player character signs up for combat duty with the League as it fully mobilizes for war. The player's first set of missions are in the League's home star system of Gallonigher, where the League forces are fending off the Navy's attacks.

If the player is successful on Gallonigher, the League manages to fully secure Gallonigher without wasting too much resources or forces while doing so. This offers them an opportunity to launch a counter attack on Draco system.

If the player is defeated on Gallonigher, the League takes so long time to secure Gallonigher, that the Navy has enough time to regroup its forces and leave the system to look elsewhere for its spoils. Their new target will be Diomedes system. The League is forced to split its struggling forces to prevent Navy from conquering Diomedes, which holds huge importance to the League as it is one of their most loyal allies and a critical source of resources for the League.

If the player loses any Act on Diomedes, the Earth Empire wins the war, as the Navy conquers Diomedes and eliminates last pockets of its resistance, before launching a full-scale invasion on Gallonigher. While the remains of the League are attempting to make a one last desparate escape from the Gallonigher and/or Diomedes system(s), a warphole appears behind them from where the Tzar's personal Super Titan flagship "Tsunami" appears and destroys them all.

If the player is successful on Diomedes, the League survives, but is left badly damaged and demoralized. So instead of attempting to launching an attack against the Earth Empire itself on Draco system, the League decides to launch an attack on the Alpha Centauri system, where a civil war is raging in between League supporters and Earth Empire loyalists. It is also possible to be sent to Alpha Centauri by being defeated on Draco system. Instead of fighting against the Navy here (or at least most of the time), the League ends up fighting against "The Faction," which is a group formed by the former League participants, who have lost their faith and belief in the League and The Father and have decided to make an attempt to seize the entire control of the League themselves. The Faction is fully supported by the Earth Empire.

If the player is successful on Alpha Centauri, the Earth Empire and the League forge a peace as they reach a tactical stalemate. The Earth Empire can never concentrate its forces enough to finish the League off, while the League can never truly topple the Earth Empire by their meager resources. So the League gains independence from Earth Empire, but agrees to support the Earth Empire and the preservation of the Sol system as a tribute to its status as the mankind's birthplace.

If the player is defeated on Alpha Centauri, The Faction seize control of the League and makes peace with the Earth Empire by making a deal: In return for a chance to return back to the colonies and boast victory over the Earth Empire, The Faction would ensure that the old life of oppression and theft could continue unchecked and that the Earth Empire would gain the resources it needs, until the colonies will have nothing left to give. The Faction executes most of the League participants, but handful of them manage to escape.

If the player is defeated on Draco, the League has failed in its attempt to conquer the Draco, which leaves them in serious troubles. They are forced to flee from the Draco to the Alpha Centauri.

If the player is successful on Draco, the League successfully conquers the Draco system from the Earth Empire, which gives them an opportunity to launch another attack, this time on Sol system, which is the home of the Earth Empire and the Tzar.

If player is defeated on Sol, it results in the canonical ending, in which the League is forced to retreat from Sol, sealing the Sol warp hole as they left, which effectively imprisons the Earth Empire in the Sol system. Shortly afterwards, a civil war breaks out and the Earth Empire collapses. This sets up the plot for Colony Wars: Vengeance, a sequel set 20–30 years later.

If the player is successful on Sol, the League wins the war, the Earth Empire unconditionally surrenders and the Tzar is declared "gone and vanished." The citizens of Sol leave the system and migrate to the other colonial worlds, and a new age of peace and freedom of humanity begins. If the player gets this ending without failing any act or mission during the entire campaign, there will be an additional scene: A disc-shaped spaceship, flying above an unknown sun.


In the original design, players could choose to fight for either the League or the Earth Empire. The development team decided to scrap this option in order to provide a larger mission base for the game.[1]

Recognizing that in other games with branching paths based around mission success or failure, players tended to simply retry a mission whenever they failed, the team attempted to conceal mission failure by having the mission-tree move the player on to the next branch without making a point of their defeat.[1]


The in-game soundtrack was written and produced by Tim Wright, who also composed music for the Wipeout series of games released by Psygnosis.


Aggregate scores
Review scores

Colony Wars received generally positive reviews from critics.[3] Edge praised the game's graphics and presentation values, but criticized its superficial gameplay, stating that the game "proves little more than a 3D interpretation of Asteroids."[4]


Colony Wars was the first title in a series that included two sequels: Vengeance (1998) and Red Sun (2000). In 2010, UGO listed the series among its top ten most deserving of sequels.[6]


  1. ^ a b "NG Alphas: Colony Wars". Next Generation. No. 32. Imagine Media. August 1997. pp. 90–91.
  2. ^ "Colony Wars". GameRankings. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  3. ^ a b "Colony Wars". Metacritic. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
  4. ^ a b "Colony Wars". Edge. No. 52. Future Publishing. December 1997. p. 83.
  5. ^ Tim Soete (1998-01-07). "Colony Wars Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2015-02-03. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  6. ^ 25 Games That Need Sequels Archived 2010-11-27 at the Wayback Machine,, November 23, 2010

External links

This page was last edited on 10 March 2019, at 22:23
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