Quite simply, a watershed moment for me.
Star Trek: 25th Anniversary is the reason the video game section of this project exists. It is, as far as I’m concerned, *the* Star Trek video game because it was *my* Star Trek video game, or at least my first. In true 25th Anniversary fashion, it missed the actual date itself by a good year and a half, possibly even longer depending on which platform you played it on. But with time unbound such things are as trivialities and we can make moments last as long as they need to.
Star Trek: 25th Anniversary was released between 1992 and 1993 on a number of platforms: It came out on DOS first, and was eventually ported to the Amiga and Macintosh. Much, much later it was re-released a few times on Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, but I played the original release. There was a different game also called Star Trek: 25th Anniversary made for the NES and Game Boy in 1991 but (and this is an extreme rarity in my history with video games), it’s the version that came out on home computers that I remember, not the console one. In particular, it’s the Macintosh release: My first computer was one of the original Macintosh Classics…I can’t remember the actual model, but it must have been able to support some form of colour graphics considering it could run this game. I loved that machine dearly and a huge portion of my formative gaming memories were kindled on it: This game, the planetarium programme Voyager II, Cyan Worlds’ beguiling Spelunx and the Caves of Mr. Seudo (which anticipates their much more famous Myst), the Carmen Sandiego games…They were all there among the first slate of video games I actually got to own for myself.
Some years later, I’m going to guess around 1995, I came home one night to find my computer had been replaced by one of the first generation of the new Power Macs, the ones where they started using those PowerPC chip architectures. That machine was as big and bulky and 90s as my old one had been sleek and compact and 80s and I wasn’t entirely sure what to make of that…I appreciated having a more powerful computer to play around with, but I still deeply missed that plucky little machine I had loved so much. This new one seemed to tower over me while my old one had felt just the right size. Although I’ll certainly give the Power Mac points for longevity-I still have it, and dug it out in anticipation for this essay. After locating some irritatingly misplaced power cords, I fired it up and was playing Star Trek: 25th Anniversary within minutes. Everything still works as well as they day I first got it.
Apart from my personal sentimentality, my having the Macintosh version of this game is actually relevant in two important respects: One, because I actually still have the original game running on more or less original hardware, this sadly means I couldn’t get any screenshots of my personal copy to share with you.…