Bethesda Once Pitched TOS Era Star Trek RPG Videogame

There is a lot of buzz about the launch of Star Trek Online, the massive multiplayer role playing game coming out next month, but a new interview reveals that just a few years ago (ex-Star Trek licensee) Bethesda had discussed developing a big single player Star Trek role playing game, set in the TOS era with Shatner voice acting even. Find out more below.


Another game that never was
In 2006 & 2007 Bethesda Softworks released a few Star Trek games on console and PC. However, while they held the Star Trek license, they never developed big single person role playing game, even though that was a core strength. However, in a new interview with Kotaku, Todd Howard from Bethesda revealed that a Trek RPG was discussed and ‘pitched’

"Nothing was developed internally," Howard told KTR. "There was a pitch to do a big Star Trek RPG. [But] we were doing other things, we made Fallout. We can’t do everything."

Asked by Kotaku columnist Tim Rogers in what era this RPG would have been set, Rogers replied "We were pondering Classic." And Shatner "did voice acting in one of the games we had," so if the project went forward, his … distinctive cadence and … inflection …. likely would … have been used.

The brief period when Bethesda held the license was not very distinguished. Their biggest game was strategy/action game Star Trek Legacy. Although the game featured voice acting from all five of Star Trek’s captains, it received mixed reviews from both Trek fans and the gaming community. That game was actually developed by Mad Doc Software, but Bethesda has a core competence with expansive single player RPG games, like their popular Fallout and Elder Scrolls series. Here is a trailer for their 2006 Elder Scrolls IV game, featuring Patrick Stewart.

Imagine if they used that same technology and skill for Star Trek, and with Shatner! A Star Trek RPG would have been great. Alas, Bethesda gave up the license so no Trek RPG from them will be forthcoming

Of course, this is not the first ‘almost’ game for Star Trek. The most famous example is "Secret of Vulcan Fury", an ambitious game featuring voice work from the TOS cast, a story by DC Fontana, and state of the art graphics (for 1998). However, after running into money troubles, the game died before release. Here is that trailer.

Where are the Star Trek videogames?

Although we have Star Trek Online to look forward to, that is a MMORPG. There still is no licensee for traditional PC and console videogames. Although the downloadable Star Trek DAC arcade game was fun, it was just a simple arcade shooter. It is disappointing there was no true Star Trek movie tie-in. With a three year gap between movies, a game would go a long way to fill the void. Plus there is plenty of fun to be had in the prime universe.

CBS, where are the Star Trek videogames?

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Ah, if only someone could revive Secret of Vulcan Fury.

Too bad, that would have been great. I can’t play the new Star Trek online either :(

Bring back Vulcan Fury! I’d still pay $50-60 bucks for it!

I heard a scary story that the Vulcan Fury recordings are all gone.

What a damned shame. It was always my dream that someone with a bit of influence would get to the dialogue recordings and use them in a game or cartoon.

Even in 2010 I think what they achieved for Vulcan Fury STILL looks and sounds amazing!
Why can’t somebody get ahold of the materials that were created back then and move forward? Models were created, dialogue recorded… all that stuff must still exist somewhere.
This game is very well known it seems within the Trek fan community as a great “could’ve been.” Any company that could bring this game to finish and get it to market could expect a huge success I’d think!

I wish they would release whatever they have for Vulcan Fury. It must still exist somewhere. All that work wouldn’t have been tossed out. If it was, then what a loss.

The graphics still look decent for 98. Someone needs to buy it and release it already.

Yup, Vulcan’s Fury would’ve looked great. I am uninterested in MMORPGs, because I don’t like to pay for the game again every month.

I look forward to Star Trek online, be great to have mix of crew and ship play.

Problem with recent games has been strategy games and shoot em ups which is turning the games away from the Trek ideals.

I love to do the exploring just as much and investgating is fun.

Wow, talk about missed opportunities… Oblivion and Fallout 3 are among my favorite games. Fallout 3 in particular is in the top 3 for sure.

Re: “Secret of Vulcan Fury” — Too bad, the graphics look great for 1998. I hate to say it, but they’re not much worse looking than those for STO! Also, the story looks like it could have been promising.

loool, 3D Scotty looks like captain Hunter of Star Trek Intrepid XDDD

Bring back Secret of Vulcan Fury.

And what a fail that a TOS RPG was not released. We need a good Star Trek game to come out. The last one I enjoyed was Starfleet Command 1 and 2 (I didn’t get 3 b/c I’m more a TOS fan).

Vulcan Fury was also De Kelley’s final performance as Doctor McCoy.

Considering the half-finished release of Legacy, and the quick-buck PS2 games they later put out…I think it’s just as well they didn’t try putting out anything else.

Fan based Star Trek game Star Trek Supermacy is in the pre alpha stage and the pace of work has increased.

amazing, the fallout3 people wanted to make a trek rpg…. oh what could have been :-(

I’m not very fluent on games. My children and grandkids are. What I’ve been told is that Star Trek online covers diverse interests from combat to exploration. Evan internal Fed difficultie @ challanges. Also keep trying all gaming internet archive sites to find “lost games” bridge commanders has a lot of older game sites and links.

I would pay $60 for Secret of Vulcan Fury

I would pay $200 for a great action RPG set in TOS, a la Fallout and Oblivion.

Dammit, why didn’t they do that?!? We need some TOS games! Honestly, there’s enough TNG sh*t going around, and the last TOS game we got was the old floppy-disc “Judgment Rites” type of game (which can’t even be considered a game anymore). TNG is so passe, too…

Come on, is it too much to ask for ONE TOS-era game?!? Dammit!!

I would easily pay $1000 for a proper game set in the TOS era.

Are you serious?? Google “The Argas Effect” for Eliteforce at K7 Spacestation and take a look at what was done there. That’s the closest there’s ever been to one apart from the wonderful 25th Aniversary games, but they werent FPS.

Its a real shame about star trek legacy, they had so many good things going for them, but at the same time they could have done SO much more. They had what hardcores love, ships that we rendered accurately and in scale with each other. But the universe was not deep at all, I mean, warp drive within solar systems? gimme a break.

I sometimes think that game developers buy licenses while being on crack. This surely expalins why: a) they release sub-par ST titles (they were stoned throughout the entire game development) b) they have the license and do nothing with it (they were too stoned to do anything with it) c) they bankrupt shortly afterwards (they couldn’t afford both the license and a constant supply of crack).

OH! When you click on the youtube vid for Secret of vulcan fury trailer it takes you to the vid that i posted years back! Poster jkerr91. its meeee lol I AM honoured lol

Wow.. that would have been really, REALLY awesome! I love Vulcan as a planet (it’s so cool, ahaha) and the plot even is really intriguing. It’s such a shame it never went through. I mean, geez, imagine how awesome it would look in the state of the art graphics of 2010!

Man, I’ve been saddened for a long time about Vulcan Fury not coming out. It had the original cast voices and a great story by D.C. Fontana. I wish they would find the recordings and redo it. It would be great to hear original never released original series material, especially with the original voices of Bones and Scotty by DeForest and James D

I really don’t understand how you screw this up! Mass Effect was essentially a Star Trek Enterprise game. JUST DO THAT! Oi.

Wow. I had no idea that game ever existed. What a damn shame that it’ll never see the light of day. Guess I’ll add it to the list along with Stargate SG-1 The Alliance. Why do the games that I want so much which involve the full cast have to die in development?

I’ve enjoyed the heck out of Star Trek Conquest for Wii. It’s set in the TNG era, but it’s fun because it combines strategy and arcade-style play. It’s the most entertaining ST game I’ve owned and the best part is it’s available at GameStop used for about $15 . . .

#27 Don’t forget the Babylon 5 game that was 80% complete when Sierra decided to drop the game :P

#26 – Funny you should mention MASS EFFECT. My daughter’s playing it right now, and if you substitute Trek characters, props, and ships for the ones in the game, you really -could- have a decent Star Trek game that has a bit of shooting as well as the need to make thoughtful decisions and do a bit of digging. Based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m looking forward to MASS EFFECT 2.

BTW, there’s a bit of dialogue in ME1 describing a stealth ship emissions storage and venting system that was identical to one I invented for the U.S.S. Defiant in the Deep Space Nine Technical Manual. Somebody at Bioware must have read that. Thank you, thank you, I’ll take the credit. :)

I would love the chance to play SOVF. I was so excited when I saw that trailer attached to the Starfleet Academy game.

What excited me most is that it had so much involvement with the original cast and writers.


I hate to say it, but I would still be willing to pay full retail for it…

I wish Star Trek online was set in the TOS era, in either timeline.

Ah, my heart just sank. All the time I was playing Elder Scrolls IV I was thinking, “why don’t they apply this technology to a real Star Trek open world adventure game.”

Star Trek: Legacy was a massive disappointment. I regret having dropped the money on it. Star Trek: Bridge Commander did essentially the same thing far more effectively eight years ago. Graphics were almost as good too.

I completely agree.
I have only little interest in STOnline considering the future timeline… if it was TOS I’d be beating down the doors for it.

I don’t mind the currently timeline for STO, but I’m not exactly planning on paying up just to get it. MMORPGs aren’t really my thing.

I think if it took inspiration, even a little, from the DS9 Relaunch book series (I know they’re not canon, but neither is STO) or something really interesting, I might… But as it is, I’m not jumping up and down for joy over it.

ST gaming is in the pits right now and has been for a long time. So is Star Wars gaming for that matter. Must be harder to do than it looks

13 – (or anyone who knows) – So was that James Doohan’s last performance as Scotty as well? I can’t think of any later ones.

Yeah the Trek Gaming Licence is a travesty, just no sense there its unimaginable how they fail at not making Trek gaming successful, the best they can do is Star Trek: Hello Kitty’s Champion Spaceship Adventure Online Where everything in that game looks skewed into a monstrosity. Though this is only me thinking of the future of Star Trek Gaming.
Its the sort of thing that could plague my mind. But I will say that there were some great Trek games, just nothing good officially recent.

All hope lies with community fan base:- Star Trek Supremacy (Birth of the Federation Turn based game) – Star Trek: Armada II – Fleet Operations Mod (truly a unholy awesome mod) – Star Trek Excalibur (like bridge commander) – Star Trek: Enterprise (mod for Half Life II)


I could be wrong, but is Star Trek the only major action movie in 2009 to NOT have a video game?

I’ve played the demo of Bridge Commander, but can’t buy it anywhere, which is really annoying. Also, the Enterprise HL2 mod is dead. That’s too bad, because it looked like it would be pretty good.

@ 40

There is the Star Trek DAC game for the 360 and PS3…which is just as well because we probably would have received a very bad “full-length” game otherwise. For proof see: Iron Man, The Golden Compass, GI Joe, Transformers 1 and 2, Need I say more?

Lol @ Rick (31.). When I first read your post, I thought, this guy didn’t invent anything pfft……. Then I re-read it and saw your name. Haha, it’s cool that you read this page.

P.S. You, Mike, Denise, Herbet and Andrew should all get jobs @ cryptic and work on STO. THAT would be wicked.

Thanks so much for posting the Vulcan Fury video, that was incredible.

I’d also like to throw my hat into the ring with those of us who would pay big money to play a TOS-era MMORPG.

Having played WoW since 2004 and LOTRO since 2008, I frequently wished for TOS (and LOTR) games with an identical look-and-feel to WoW.

Until then though, I’ll siphon my money into STO and hope it’s a huge success!

Someone on the old Interplay website once told me that DeForest Kelley never recorded dialogue for the game as he was not well enough at the time.

@37 — The situation with Star Trek games is worse than with Star Wars games. Currently, there is The Force Unleashed, which is actually pretty good. Also, Battlefront II, while a few years old, is still fun and attracts plenty of online players. Oh, and if you can stand the Lego games, there are those, too (personally, I have no interest in those).

Wow, that Vulcan Fury game looks like it would have been fantastic!

I pre-ordered Bethesda’s Oblivion and still find great joy in playing it. The Elder Scrolls have never been so interesting or so playable!! Great game!

But then they went after Fallout instead of making something of Star Trek? Man! Fallout 3 had one really big problem that made me put it away and never play again after about a week — it’s all brown. I mean, everything’s the same colour, the same tone, the same monotonous dreary Blah. I couldn’t stand it for very long.

Massive shame they spent their time on that instead of developing a Star Trek adventure in this wonderful Bethesda style. Here’s hoping Sierra or Bethesda gets their hands onto this stuff again. A ST based colourful and humourous point-and-click adventure (with a little more joy in it than Interplay managed with games like Judgment Rights — I’m sure Vulcan Fury would have been the same, dreary kind of game) would be really welcome, as would an Oblivionesque RPG.

Let’s get a real game out there! Come on Abrams.

Unfortuneately, aside from the upcoming “Star Trek:Online”, there is little on the schedule for more Star Trek games. “Star Wars” does many times better in the gaming area because of the bigger consumer base. A Star Trek video game is always ignored by the mainstream crowd. Star Wars is a lot more accessible due to its lack of reliance on canon to the extent of Star Trek’s. Cryptic is taking a huge financial risk in regards to STO. They are dependent on the support of hardcore fans. But even that is unlikely to be enough to convince Cryptic of porting the game to consoles or making a sequel or getting other developers on board. It is just too much of a gamble, especially when game developers and publishers are reducing the number of games being made and laying off thousands of staff during this recession. As for Secret of Vulcan’s Fury, not going to happen. Too many legal and financial issues to resolve.

Star Wars is also more accessible because it requires less brain power to comprehend and understand, that said I still watch them when I feel like switching off every now and then.