Overview of the Series StarFight I, II StarFight III:
Within the Darkness
StarFight IV:
StarFight V:
Hell's Gate
StarFight VI:

StarFight III: Within the Darkness

The third installment of the StarFight game series is a combination of tactical space shoot-em-up action and third person perspective adventure sections. StarFight III is a public domain game.


  • 5 adventure locations, 15 arcade missions
  • compelling SciFi-storyline, loaded with humour, evil plotting and treachery
  • approximately 2500 frames of story-related cutscenes
  • nearly 20 megabytes of digital music
  • fully animated backgrounds, raytraced spacecraft
  • 4 different craft to fly, all with their unique features

Minimum system requirements

  • 486DX4/75 CPU (Pentium 120/Cyrix 6x86 PR120+/AMD K5 recommended)
  • 12/16 MB RAM (DOS/Win95), 590 KB conventional-, 10 MB EMS-memory
  • 50 MB of harddisk space
  • Gravis Ultrasound (512kt RAM) / Sound Blaster v2.0 - compatible digital soundcard
  • 100% VESA 1.2 compatible SVGA card

The game does not work on any systems faster than Pentium II 200MHz because of a bug in the programming environment used in the development. A workaround is available, but sadly it can't be applied since SF3's source code has been lost. (Update 4/24/2004: An utility called tppatch might be a workaround for this issue)

The Action

StarFight III uses a top-down view of the battlefield throughout the action sequences. This is where most of the game happens. The spacecraft is controlled with a combination of keyboard and mouse. The action itself is very simplistic, but this is compensated with a diverse battlefield: ships enter and exit hyperspace, and the player's just a piece of a larger living puzzle consisting of several friendly and hostile spacecraft. Battles are short and intense, story unfolds in real time, and numerous cut scenes are used to link the missions together.

The Story

There is a major emphasis on the story throughout the game, and animated cut scenes are the means of delivery. StarFight III was pretty exceptional in it's time in this respect, there were hardly any non-CDROM games which presented story this way, and certainly none of them were free.

The story tells about an old, retired pilot whom during a visit to the local bar is unexpectedly pulled into an adventure of his lifetime. Unknown alien invader threatens the existence of mankind, and as usual, our unlikely hero is the only one who can stop them.

The Adventure

There are only five distinct adventure sections in StarFight III, only one of which is of considerable length. Adventure sections do, however, give the player a chance to relax, chat with key charachters of the story and explore the surroundings. Despite the very different implementation, it's not difficult to notice that Origin's masterpiece, Wing Commander III was one of the major inspirations to the title.


Adventure sections are delivered in traditional third person perspective. Our hero at the center.

Overhead view of the battlefield.

Opening cutscene  screenshot featuring the villain, Dr. Adolf Von Braun and his discreet, realistic german accent.