I spoke to the coder behind Super Star Wars on the Super NES

In this month’s Retro Gamer (issue 197), you’ll find a whacking great big six-page feature – the Ultimate Guide to Super Star Wars – authored by yours truly.

I loved Super Star Wars when I was a kid. Although going back to it now, I can’t believe I managed to complete it as a young teen – this game is ROCK HARD. Interestingly, Peter Ward – who pretty much coded the whole game by himself, bar the music – says that the reason it turned out to be so difficult was that the testers got so good at the game that they continually said it wasn’t difficult enough, hence why he kept making it harder. It’s funny to think back to a time when big games like this were so insular and made by so few people – with the modern trend for early access and constant feedback between players and developers, something like this could never happen now.

Frustratingly difficult it may be, but Super Star Wars still looks – and sounds – phenomenal. Its vibrant pixel graphics have aged like a fine wine, and the bombastic sound effects are truly superb, not to mention the excellent renditions of the Star Wars music. What a beauty.

But damn, that one-hit-kill lava… Yowch.


  1. “testers got so good at the game that they continually said it wasn’t difficult enough”…?! Kinda’ makes me wonder if these were same people play testing Super Empire Strikes Back.

    Also, Paul Webb definitely deserves a medal for what he managed to do with the SNES sound chip. I remember Super Star Wars being the first game I played where the music sounded orchestral, and not (for a lack of better work) video game-y.

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