Star Wars: Galaxies is Dead, But These People are Keeping It Alive

Kotaku has editorialized about SWGEmu and the legion of fans who have taken advantage of the software in order to host and enjoy community-run servers of Star Wars: Galaxies years after LucasArts and Sony Online Entertainment shut down the official ones. Luckily, the emulated servers are running pre-NGE code, so if you were someone who enjoyed the MMORPG back in its original incarnation, then this is the article for you:

The emulated servers are well maintained by fans who have recreated the game using unique code, carefully avoiding any of Sony Online Entertainment’s propriety inventions. The team behind it had test servers running before the original game even shut down. It was a passion project by fans seeking to recapture the old game before major changes by SOE radically changed its direction and tone by removing a host of systems and features in hopes to save the dying game by appealing to a wider audience.

Passion is the right word to describe the fans of Star Wars Galaxies. To understand the game, you need to understand those fans and hear their stories. Everyone has a history. For instance, in the initial days of the game, I managed to get my hands on a powerful carbine and some decent armor very early and became a desert guide. Charging half upfront and half on safe arrival, I guided players from Mos Eisley to Jabba’s Palace. I timed the trip in SWGEmu, following familiar desert paths. It took over thirty five minutes. I would make multiple trips per day.

Star Wars Galaxies allowed people to create interesting identities explicitly because of its convoluted tangle of systems. There were over thirty jobs and a detailed faction systems that helped players define who they were. Arriving in Mos Eisley as a medic this time around, I encountered a bounty hunter named Zaxen Highwind.

Zaxen was the first player I encountered in SWGEmu. “I love playing cat and mouse with Jedi. I love hunting them down,” Zax eagerly explained. The early Jedi system included potential permadeath to Jedi characters. I asked why he returned to game via SWGEmu. “It’s familiar. Things start to come back to you. I can be a bounty hunter again.”

Zax was returning to his previous galactic life as a bounty hunter once more but other players had different experiences. My first patient in the medical center was Darguli. He towered above my medic, making me feel incredibly small. But he had a big heart that quickly won me over.