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This was a PC game I remember from the earlyish '90s (1992–1993 or somewhere around then). I remember some specific pieces but not the overall gameplay. It was a game where you built up your army (or maybe empire) and sent ships out for space battles.

The two distinct elements I remember are:

  • There was a specific self-destruct sequence you could undertake for your spaceships. I remember this serving a purpose; i.e., you could get to a point in the game where it made more sense to self-destruct rather than continue. On the screen, it revealed a series of numbers you had to type in. It was 'done up' and presented as a measure of last resort
  • I also remember a lot of purples and yellows from the game. That might sound laughable, but I believe the screen was divided into multiple panels, trying to look like 'real' computer screens on a spaceship. I believe a lot of that framing was in purples or yellows perhaps?

I know that isn't much to go on but I've been digging and just can't find anything. I remember playing Overlord in this time period, but I don't believe the above elements are from that game, but I could be wrong....

Thanks in advance! Hopefully this is enough to job someone's memory out there.

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    EGA Trek (and possibly other Trek variants) had self destruct, multiple panels, and purple and yellow in their color scheme. You only had one ship though.
    – Jetpack
    Oct 28 '20 at 17:51
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This sounds like one of the Star Fleet games, Star Fleet I: The War Begins (1985) or the sequel Star Fleet II: Krellan Commander (1989). If you played it in the early 1990s, I would bet on the second game. (Both games are available as abandonware.)

The appearance of the game interface sounds like what you describe, with the colorful display broken up into panels like the instruments on a starship. There was also more purple than you typically saw in video games.

Star Fleet II:  Krellan Commander

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

Self-destructing was also an option in at least one of the games, if a mission was hopeless, although I don't remember how the interface worked. (The two Star Fleet games seemed to me to be intellectual descendants of the 1971 BASIC-programmed Star Trek video game, which had similar grid attacks and also a self-destruct option, and I can only remember the self-destruct sequence from the earlier game.)

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  • Hi Buzz - these answers always intrigue me: how on Earth do you remember a game that came out thirty years ago? Let alone recognize it from a fairly basic description? I am in awe of anyone who can remember last week (perils of getting old), let alone stuff like this. Excelsior to you, from a mere mortal.
    – Spratty
    Oct 28 '20 at 10:52
  • Never played those games, but boy do those kinds of UIs bring back memories.
    – Xantec
    Oct 28 '20 at 15:34
  • Those look like good games but I believe I'm remembering something different. It wasn't text based, definitely had a graphical, VGA interface. I don't believe it was a known IP like Star Trek either. Was there ever a newer version of Star Fleet or anything like that?
    – Derek
    Oct 29 '20 at 1:38
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    @spratty personally, I can remember several of the games I played around this period (Secret of Monkey Island, for example) far better than most of the ones I've played since.
    – tardigrade
    Oct 29 '20 at 7:50

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