tribute a.k.a. hardwar will never die

Welcome pirate/trader/scavenger to

This is my tribute to Hardwar & my endevour to bring this game to your attention.

For those who remember, Elite was the best space combat/trading game of it's time.

Hardwar is the spiritual rebirth of Elite, brought into the world of solid 3D the way no other Elite successor has succeeded.

But it's much more than that. You have to be a Master of all skills to shine in this game.

Trigger happy are you sir.. you can shine as a combat pilot but take forever to earn enough cash to buy that fast neo tiger in downtown moths.

Maybe you'll be the best trader learning all the places to sell your cargo for a profit, but one day you get 2 or 3 pirates on your tail and all your profits are left a smoking pile of scrap for the scavengers.

Did you accidently pick on the wrong person to shoot at & make yourself the sworn enemy of a powerful & vengeful faction.

Ah you want to get off titan but this is a world of confusion & the messages are comming through garbled.. Who can you trust.. Who must you step on to get off this world

In this game knowledge will make you rich & skill will save your life just long enough to set you free..

Site navigation.

- Theres the official walkthrough by software refinery..
- Also a flash version of the intro & ending in-game movies..
- Sound & text versions of all the other game clips.
- A downloads section - get the demo here and convert it to the full game (minus the video clips)..
- Also all the mods & utilites community members have released over these past few years.
- Online game info & links to the community message boards.
- Skin packs to replace the original game textures
- Naturally a links page to as many active hardwar sites I can find.

Aims of

To share my discoveries & tips, & direct you to the best sites i've found to increase your knowledge & enjoyment of this game.

Also to provide the patch/demo solution for those who can't find the full game on sale.

You can download the demo from my downloads link.. this can be patched to make it run the full game (without music & video clips).. more details on my downloads page.

If you can find this game for sale. BUY IT.. don't hesitate.. you won't regret it.

Finally i'd like to introduce you to the hardwar community & the world of online multiplayer hardwar.

Hardwar Fansites click here

Read it and weep....


What the players have to say.

Topic: so what is it that makes hardwar so addictive?... (Read 410 times) - May 2006


I have been playing hardwar for several years now and I swear I know every pixel in the game world, seen every movie clip, blasted thousands into scrap metal, plotted against the plot, screwed with the economy in more ways than I can count, taken hundreds of cab rides, taken hundreds of monorail rides to escape the police, blown up countless police moths, picked up bilions worth of cargo, traded my way to fortunes, set up some of the largest self sustaining hangar economies that i could imagine, ticked off every organized faction, and yet I still play hardwar on a weekly (sometimes monthly) basis.

Why? I mean hardwar goes against almost everything we know about games. it has a limited space in which to play, the plot is kinda short (or it never ends depending on what you shoose to do), the AI has no colision avoidance what so ever, and it has a limited selection of vehicles to choose from.

but yet even after 7, almost 8 years, people like me have stuck with hardwar. playing with it's endless addictiveness...

is it the feeling of getting away with good loot? getting revenge on pilot that has made things hard on you? being able to manipulate the economy to suit your mood? or maybe it's just the atmospheric vibe the game doses out. Or perhaps it's the sad fact that you can see a situation like the plot gives really happening some day.

if some programer came to you and asked "what can I do to get my game more addictive than icecream?" what would you say?


Been playing HW for the last 7 years i think... i love this game... it is the perfect substitute for this ugly thing called real life.
And frankly, i have no ideea why i love it so much... especially since i hate flight simulators... i've played only a couple, and i got bored or frustrated as fast as lightning...
But HW has some Role playing elements in it, and perhaps that is it... that made the connection, since i'm an RPG maniac...
And the fact that it is open-ended... there is no bigger frustration than to slave for hours and hours, only to see the game finished...thus rendering your beloved character useless...
Then it must be the fact that one can hoard goods...let's face it, there is greed in all of us.One can play, say NFS underground, right ? And get the coolest fastest car... but... that's not enough !
See, you can do the same thing in HW get the best moth around and use it to inflict pain,but here you can do meore... a lot more... you can hoard an immense treasure...that is yours...all yours...
You can have ppl working for you (hmm... quite dumb... but... *sigh*)

When i play HW, i never think "i have to get out of here, have to leave titan"
No... i love the smell of death and decay, the huge fight to survive... and...well, call me crazy, but i stash food in my hangars...I'd like to remain on Titan and make the best of it, while others try to get the hell out !
I have some hangars, the ones in downtown, just under the Hardwarp radio station... they're called "vaults"...
One is home for my pilots... a moon moth that serves as my personal taxi, and a small silver y that i use for misc job runs...
Another is the garage and weapon manufacturing plant... i have all moths, and a hoard of batteries, missiles weapons cargo bays...
And the third is my treasure cave... i have huge amounts of food, water and booze here...
My home sweeet home is on top of all this, right next to hardwarp radio, the downtown 30... here i park the moth i currently fly with... and i only wish i could customise it more, to give it that "home sweet home look"
There is only a couple of games as good as HW... and one is Morrowind 3...
Same thing... some quests, some showing off (look what I got here to hurt you with !)... a home sweet home or more, greedy items hoarding, fights, bounties, rewards...and some useless fun and useless items... open ended... clans/guilds/families...

the other is King of the Road, the upped version of the russian Hardtruck. Same thing. start with the worst truck, upgrade to the monster of your dreams and trade ! In a limited world, similar to Titan's craters.... and in KOTR one can hire drivers... but..they behave a lot better that HW thugs... well...

HW is a lot more, than this but ...
Playing HW is a lot like being in love... you feel great but you can't put it into words ! It's just...too good !"


Oddly enough, it just may be the "limits" that the game imposes upon the players that sets this game apart. Unlike almost all other comparable games (open-ended, trading, etc), this is the only one that says "here are the boundries / edges of the box. Let's see what you can do within them."
The fact that there aren't an unlimited number of vehicles, just a few select models / brands, and the fact that the weapons also seem to have already gone through a darwin-type of situation with only the most effective surviving seems more realistic to me than many other games.

I also am amazed at the amount of detail in the game - sure there could be more, but what IS there is great. The fact that there are various hangars, some of which really serve no immediate purpose - related to the player anyway - yet still important - to the plot or such. The fact that it is possible to purchase hangars - even "steal" them away from AI pilots (by killing the owner, then purchasing the hangar before a new pirate comes along) is a really nice feature that is still one-of-a-kind.
And yet, there isn't too much detail. I often find myself mentally comparing Hardwar with the latest Grand Theft Auto game - probly due to the fact that my roommate is obsessed with it. GTA has a LOT of extra details included, but most of it is either in the form of mini-games or side-quests. GTA's detail also seems to be almost a seperate experiance from the rest of the game, while Hardwar uses it to enhance the game experiance.

I think, also, that almost everything in Hardwar functions in a logical and realistic way (or at least it can be figured out and makes sense). Most games use various gimicks to answer problems that seem like they stumped the makers. SR took the time to figure out how to make it all work (mostly).

Maybe the biggest reason the game is so addictive has to do with the way the game was designed. The world of MO was made first, and the plot second. Of course the plot required various changes to the city to make everything add up - but they took the time to make it add up - but the underlying world was still strong.

Gee, it is hard to try and find the words for why it is such an amazing game .... but in the end isn't that a good thing? (and part of the reason too?)


i don't know, but like BlindeR i can't put it in words i still play the game classic style i don't use most of the new features or don't know how to, as soon as i get free of it's grip, it drags me back in, even the weather out side makes remember the game its a game just a "simple" game... yet its like a drug it addicts you and remains in your system it just don't leave you its... its... its just so omg Awesome of a game.


I think Dark Pilot was close there when he mentioned the simplicity. I think that has a lot to do with it. Remember, simplicity is beauty, and vice versa (although Keats would probably disagree with me).

One of the reasons I am/was so addicted to it is the business aspect, I just haven't played another game like it. In a funny kind of way, its like owning your own pub or corner shop You go out and do all the work of collecting resources, build the goods, sell them, buy more resources, expand the business by buying more hangars. Of course, this was only possible after the UIM patches, but still...

Another reason was, as I mentioned above, the simple controls. Like Tetris, another hellishly addictive game, it was so easy to get into because of that. It doesn't take long to get used to flying your Moth, and once you get the hang of it, its possible to pull off some cool-looking maneuoveres. I bet you all know the kind of thing I mean. Speeding into Downtown, loaded with Gems, Ore, and Explosives, being targetted by 3 different pirates, kicking the afterburner, and swooping right in front of your hangar entrance before they can touch you without even scratching the paintwork on your Moth. Great feeling

Also, it has an innocent, retro-ish sort of feel to it that games nowadays have all but lost. It really brought me back to the good ol' days of Amiga gaming, when games were just games and not wannabe films. Also, everyone's going to disagree with me here, but I don't actually want to see a sequel, as I don't think you can improve on HW's gameplay. What I *would* like to see is a DS port, with a central server (like the ones that are being currently run by our community) that everyone can link to and play/trade with. Well, I can dream, can't I?


It's the game mechanics.
There is always tension.

Ok my first answer was a bit skelletal. I have I think said this before however! What makes it good?

First of all the pirating. It is almost like that kids game tags(I think it's called in english).

As soon as you rob another pilot of his cargo you become the target for ohther pirates. It's like feeding a flock of seaguls a peace of bread. The one that get's it has to fly for his life to keep it. NO OTHER GAME HAS THAT.

Next is, whatever you do it's trouble.
Pirate and the cops come after you.
Help a facion he other faction will be after you.
Trade the pirates will be after you.
Only bouny hunting is fairly save altough even pirates will now and then help eachother.

Lightwells are also great. The whole idea that you have to manage your energy. And ok loading up isn't bad unles you have a full cargo of goodies on board.
Also crawling on thrusters to he nearest lightwell because you spent it al in a fight and your oppenent is doing the same thing or is getting a repair. Adrenaline all the way.

PRaying those airlock doors will shut behind you in time while your shields and what not are eaten away, is a feeling we all know.

Then there are the underhanded weapons. Especialy the groundbase and the underkill. Cool suff al the way.

If that wasn't enough it has a cult 2000Ad/Hardware/Madmax/Total recal feel to it.

The acted cutscenes are great and just the cherry on the cake.

And yess limmiting the space of action to one city makes it so that you know every grain of sand. If I say it's at doctor jobs, the afterdark or sid's hangar we all know where and what I mean.

Also the AI are real enteties in the game. The are arteficial players, with their own bankaccounts and goals. They are not just scenery to be shot at like in most other games.

I hink that sums it up.

There still isn't another game that comes even close.


I like this game because its the closest thing I know of to GTA in space,lol

..(not on Earth I mean)...


This Game is addicting to me because of the pure simplicity of the game, and yet the genious of the game, Is somthing that I think ill try to decribe and why it sets apart , but this is the way I just see it , and is addicting to me and it is just my veiws only.

In GTA you run around, yes it is a good game, im not going to augue, but in GTA you cant mess with the enonimy, You once you finished the plot your so rich the game dosent really have any meaning any more, Where in hardwar yes the graphics are a little old , but it is an old game we all know that, In HW You can bring down the many factions or touture them, Hardwar is set in a place where the desperation is so great that you can feel good about saving a trader who is being attacked, or shot them down for profit , and allmost feel a little guilty for it.

To me HW econimy is the best i have ever seen, I just recently loaded it again, and was ore struck at the game.

People say the game has only a limited amount of ships, well it does, and thats a very good thing.
Have any of you played Freelancer I use this because its a good example, You get the top notch ship, and the game just becomes flat and boring because your so powerfull that again the game just ends, so maybe only having a few ships to choose from is a very good thing,To me the silver Y rocks , just get a bat2 and a plasma, and your ready, Hardwar is so much more than any game, because There is allways somone you have a grudge agaist , and with the limited amount of space, you either fight or die, there is little running away, in less you want to restrict your self to DT for example.

People say the games graphics are poor, well yes maybe but when you look at the history of titan and the age of the game, I think they done a great job back then. Titan was a mining colony as we all know, every thing is suspoed to be run down, and rusting, Titan isent susposed to look like disney land, and the buildings and textures do a great job for the age of the game, The only bad thing I do have to say about the game is the hanger noise, so i have to run V2.04 .

So all in all, to me if you like free form games, hardwar is still the best out there, And until some game people make somthing like it, they will never get close to a game that is so complete , and has so much atmosphere and so much gruges and grityness to it that you could almost taste the metal air and feel the cold .

Great topic, I hope to see more replies from people and there thoughts.

Blue Fox

Kill, Steal, Repeat untill Satisfied.

The sight of a smoking pile of rubble falling from the sky that no one can deny is just another notch in my dashboard.

The words to describe hardwar are hard to put into a good sentence.. for some odd reason.. I like the confined nature of Hardwar.. the fact that I can wreak havok, steal, kill, pilage, and plunder.. and that none of my victims can go ANYWHERE that I can't reach them..

Dunno where this came from but.. it had Hardwar Written all over it.

Daily Grind-
You've opened your eyes but closed your mind,
come after me and you'll be quick to find,
your just a mark in my Daily Grind.

Just think about every notch you put in your dash as your bounty is returning from the surface.. the feeling you get as you dash away from the pirates that all have the Same thing in mind.. making you their next meal ticket.. I guess thats all there is to it.. Kill, Steal, Repeat untill Satisfied, Sleep, Repeat Steps 1-5.


I think I agree with most of what's been said. Maybe I can add one thing.

The game DOES deserve its title. It's a war, and it's hard. Nobody especially likes you, and you don't like anyone in principle.

I can't remember who said : "Everyone knows what it's like, being chased by three pirates, cargo pod crammed with precious items, desperately hoping you're going to manoeuvre that moth correctly while reaching your home airlock..." The reason is : if you get shot, you're shot and that's it. Even if you "clone", you lose your moth and cargo, and that's a real pain.

I mean, nothing will forgive you for being distracted.

Even natural elements are hostile, with atmosphere that you cannot breathe, foggy at all times, alien-irradiated, polluted.

In this game, you have to pay close attention to details because they DO COUNT. If you do, you have a chance to get rich and powerful -- but first you'll have to try to survive.


The thing I always liked about Hardwar was the plot, and how involving it was.

The cinematics used, all of psycho bobs movies etc, were brilliant. The constantly changing camera angles, switching between a clear picture to fuzzy black and white pictures. Just added to the feeling that you were actually listening to this nutter on the other end of a camera, that was probably made from the same scrap metal that is your mission in life to harvest.

The soundtrack is also quite good, adding to the theme of Hardwar. Listening for the sledgehammer remark next time you're flying around in singleplayer.

My thoughts.


Well for me, I can definetly say it wasnt the music. Just not my cup o tea. However I loved the open ended game play, the not quite realistic flying physics model, and all the little interworkings of the game.

Even though the first time I played the game was almost my last. I had absolutely no clue as to what the game was about. Then I stumbled onto Zedo's all those years ago, and have been playing ever since.

Other games come and go, but this one just keeps hangin around

Fragile Dog

The music rocked . Well imo it was one of the greatest game soundtracks ever followed by carmageddon.

I think the addictive thing about hardwar is nuts happens, and it keeps happening as long as the world is running. The ai are doing thier own thing constantly, trading, fighting, scaverging. Doesn't matter where the player is in the game world they're still trading at the other side of mis-op. I don't think Ive seen another game that does this, and this is what makes hardwar that be more real? well more engaging imo at least .
Also the way you basicly choose what you do in game, want to be a vigilanti? go kill the rats, want to be an evil pirate? go kill traders. etc etc