This Day in Video Game History – December 3rd, 1996 – Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Released for N64

A Star Wars game set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi was released 20 years ago today.

Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, developed by LucasArts and published by Nintendo, was released for the Nintendo 64 on December 3rd, 1996.


The game was a Nintendo 64-exclusive, as far as consoles go. Courtesy: LucasArts / Nintendo

The game focuses on the character of Dash Rendar, who sets on his own efforts to rescue Han Solo after being captured by Jabba the Hutt in the Empire Strikes Back. The game begins, however, with the iconic Battle of Hoth. There, the player controls a snowspeeder against the walkers and troops of the Empire. Other levels are third-person shooter levels involving Rendar’s various missions across the Star Wars galaxy.

The game was a success, selling over a million copies through its first year of release. A PC version was released a year later for the Windows operating system. Shadows of the Empire was also part of a broader project including a novel, toys and more, in addition to the game.


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