Mechwarrior was a game developed by Dynamix and released by Activision in 1989. It followed closely on the heels of two previous FASA-licensed BattleTech games, BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception and BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge by none other than Infocom.

Mechwarrior blended together a fair bit of role playing and some very well done (for the time) in-cockpit 'Mech shooting. You play the role of a guy who is supposed to inherit a planet, but his family is killed and the special chalice stolen. You must find out who did it and exact revenge. Most of the game is spent between flying from planet to planet finding information, and doing mercenary work to earn money and build up enough 'Mechs to face the bad guys in the end.

Mechwarrior featured an EGA combat engine with polygonal models for buildings, mountains, and 'Mechs. There were at least ten different 'Mechs to choose from in the game, and they were reproduced fairly accurately in terms of size, armor, weapons, and so on. 'Mechs could even jump and fly around a while using their jump jets, and heat played an important role in how often you could fire your weapons, just like in the board game.

The interface was a little clunky, and the environments were somewhat sparse in terms of detail (but it *would* run on an XT). The accuracy system in the game was heavily skewed, all you had to do was aim for the head and you could kill one of the Battlemasters with a couple of PPC shots.

It was followed up by the very awesome Mechwarrior 2 in 1995.


Welcome, new blood, to the Inner Sphere - the Terran testament to Space Colonization. As you know, the Mech is the greatest technological improvement in Warfare; since its first inception in 2349 it has revolutionized the battle field. You, of course, are a Mechwarrior, or rather you will be if you manage to pass your exams. To be able to do so, you must first know and understand your enemies as well as yourself. How better to do that, new blood, than to study your own history. You will start here, with a short chronology of our history:

  • 2108 - Humans leave Earth (Terra) for the first time on an interstellar colonization mission. Colonies spring up all over the universe.

  • 2235 - The Terran Alliance controls over 600 worlds. Their rule is, however, quite tyrranic and after a short rebellion the Terran Hegemony was in power. The Terran Hegemony, unlike the Terran Alliance, condoned the establishment of independent colonies outside their rule; this would be their downfall.

  • 2271 - The Terran Hegemony signs the Treaty of Marik declearing the independence of the Free Worlds League from the Terran Hegemony.

  • Approx. 2371 - Following the example set by the Free Worlds League, the Draconis Combine, Federated Suns, Capellan Confederation, and the Lyran Commonwealth and many other Minor Houses become independent from Terran Hegemony rule. This left the Terran Hegemony with less than a hundred worlds, as apposed to over three thousand worlds ruled by the independent Houses. The Terran Hegemony was soon dissolved, leaving only the Major and Minor Houses.

  • 2391 - Without the Terran Hegemony to govern the Houses and mediate diplomatic relations, war soon erupted. The wars began over a terratorial dispute between the Capellan Confederation and the Free Worlds League, followed by several other Houses riding the wave of war. As the wars escalate planets become ravaged from nuclear weapons and other mass-destruction weapons, hence leaders of several Houses meet and pass the Ares Conventions. The Ares Conventions ban the use of mass-destuction weapons and regulate combat, calling for conflicts on a smaller scale carried out by specialized forces as opposed to wars of attrition from the days of old.

  • 2349 - Mecha mining machines are converted to battle machines by the Free Worlds League in response to the Ares Conventions. When the mining machines were outfitted with armor and weapons they crushed conventional war forces. Only one to four such Mecha Battle Machines were needed, with specially trained pilots. As such they fell into line with the Ares Conventions and were allowed. The Free Worlds League begin conquering innumerable worlds until the other houses follow suit and construct their own Mecha Battle Machines. These machines become known as Mechs, and their pilots Mechwarriors.

  • 2571 - Weary of constant war, the Terran Hegemony re-establishes itself and unites the Major Houses (Free Worlds League, Draconis Combine, Federated Suns, Capellan Confederation, and the Lyran Commonwealth), calling itself the Star League under the leadership of Lord Ian Cameron. Soon the Minor Houses are absorbed by the Star League. Technology peaks and humanity enters a golden age under the benevolent rule of the Star League.

  • 2766 - First Lord Richard Cameron is murdered by Stefan Amaris, Richard's advisor. Stefan starts a coup to establish his own rule as First Lord, but is defeated by General Aleksandr Kerensky, commander of the Star League Defense Forces (S.L.D.F), but the rulers of the Major Houses cannot agree on a new leader.

  • 2781 - Star League is dissolved.

  • 2784 - Rather than watch the collapse of the Star League, General Aleksandr Kerensky takes over 80% of the S.L.D.F and leaves the Inner Sphere of the universe (the Inner Sphere was the most habitable planets in the universe which were occupied by the Houses). With him he takes the ideals of the Star League to set up his own rule in the Outer Rim. Some Minor Houses also leave with the S.L.D.F. This becomes known as the exodus.

  • 2789 - With the Star League shattered, the Houses resume their previous terratories. War soon erupts between the houses. These wars last for over 200 years and ravage the supreme technology left behind by the Star League. These become known as the Succession Wars. As a result of the wars, the Lyran Commonwealth, Federated Suns and Free Worlds League become the biggest Houses. Note: this sets the scene for Battletech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception and Battletech: The Crescent Hawk's Revenge.

  • 3028 - The marriage of First Prince Hanse Davion of the Federated Suns to Archon-Designate Melissa Steiner of the Lyran Commonwealth begins the unification of the two largest Houses in the Inner Sphere. The newborn alliance immediately launches the Fourth Succession War, conquering more worlds in two years than in all the wars of the previous two centuries. The Capellan Confederation suffers the most losses, especially near Terra as many worlds secede in the FedCom Civil War to form the Chaos March. After years of war, the borders of the Inner Sphere settle again as the Houses turn to rebuilding. Note: This sets the scene for Mechwarrior (the original).

  • 3050 - Completely forgotten, the S.L.D.F return to the Inner Sphere. Now known as the Clans, they strike at the core of the Inner Sphere, assaulting the Federated Commonwealth, Free Rasalhague Republic and Draconis Combine. The Clans had forged an extremely hounorable warrior society in the Outer Rim, as well as developing even greater technology than the Star League, and they decimated the Inner Sphere with their superior fighting skills (largely due to genetically engineered warriors). The S.L.D.F had grown over the centuries and had divided their leadership. Now there existed twenty Clans, although not all participated in the invasion. The major Clans were Clan Wolf, Clan Jade Falcon, Clan Ghost Bear and Clan Smoke Jaguar, Clan Nova Cat, Clan Steel Viper and Clan Diamond Shark. Clan Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon are by far the largest, and quickly pierce the Inner Sphere, conquering world after world. These two clans, however, soon come into terratorial conflict, and ignoring the Inner Sphere they turn upon one another. Meanwhile Clan Smoke Jaguar picks up the offensive and strikes at the Inner Sphere. Clan Wolf and Clan Jade Falcon decimate each other and withdraw to the Outer Rim to recover while Clan Smoke Jaguar penetrates deeper, and the sleeping Clan Ghost Bear awakens to enter the Clan Invasion. Note: this sets the scene for Mechwarrior 2.

  • 3052 - Clan Wolf, Clan Jade Falcon, Clan Ghost Bear, Clan Smoke Jaguar, Clan Steel Vipers, Clan Nova Cat and Clan Diamond Shark join forces to conquer the Inner Sphere stronghold on the planet Tukkayid. The Inner Sphere beats the weakened Clans in the this pivotal battle. Clan Diamond Shark and Clan Steel Viper are smashed into the ground, while Clan Nova Cat limps away to the Outer Rim to gather reinforcements, Clan Smoke Jaguar suffers heavy losses, and breaking normal Clan conventions they manage to withdraw from Tukkayid before much more damage is dealt. This angers Clan Wolf and Clan Ghost Bear, who performed the best managing to capture one and two objectives respectively. Clan Jade Falcon loses several of its best mechs in the fight. In doing so, the Inner Sphere forces the Clans to sign a truce for fifteen years, although the planets conquered by the Clans remains their own. This becomes known as the Battle of Tukkayid.

  • 3059 - The Houses form the New Star League in the face or the Clan threat and the New Star League Defense Force (N.S.L.D.F) breaks the truce with Clan Smoke Jaguar, ferociously assaulting the Clan Smoke Jaguar territory in the Inner Sphere. Caught by surprise, Clan Smoke Jaguar is forced to withdraw from the Inner Sphere and the N.S.L.D.F chases the Clan to its homeworld in the Outer Rim. Clan Smoke Jaguar is utterly crushed. Afterwards, Clan Nova Cat, in breaking standard conventions of the clan as did Clan Smoke Jaguar at Tukkayid, forsees the defeat of the Clans and allies itself with the Draconis Combine. Note: this sets the scene for Mechwarrior 3.

  • 3060 - The N.S.L.D.F challenges the remaining forces of the Clan Ghost Bear, Clan Wolf, and Clan Jade Falcon to a Trial of Refusal (see The Clans). Honour-bound, the Clans accepted. The Trial was to the Clan Invasion itself - if the Clans won, the New Star League would secede to the Clans, giving them control of Terra and all their territory, if, however, the New Star League won, the Clans would secede to the houses and never invade the Inner Sphere again. After a long, bloody battle, the N.S.L.D.F triumphed over the Clans. The Clans accepted defeat hounorably, relinquishing control immediately. Many Clanners were relocated and most of the Clan's mechs were seized by the N.S.L.D.F; some Clanners remained in the Outer Rim, de-militarized, but still controlling their own planets.

  • 3062 - Following tradition, without an external threat, the Houses turn inwards. The Capellan Confederation conquers its long time enemy, the St. Ives Compact, and while Prince Victor Steiner-Davion (leader of the Federated Commonwealth and the New Star League) was away at war with Clan Smoke Jaguar, his sister, Katrina Steiner, usurps the throne. She moves to execute all families loyal to the Federated Suns, and upon killing the entire Dresari family, except Ian Dresari (who was in exile) and his sister, Anne Dresari. Ian returns from exile and picks up the remains of his empire, joining forces with his sister who was leading a rebellion on the Dresari home world, Kentares IV, in an effort to defeat Katrina Steiner's insurgence and regain the lost territory of the Dresari family and the Federated Suns. Note: This sets the scene for Mechwarrior 4: Vengeance.

  • 3064 - The Steiner-Davion Civil War is heating up, and the Cappelan Confederation renews its lust to regain its territory, launching waves of Mechs at the Chaos March, particularly the planet of Styk. Much of Chaos March is regained, but the Cappelans pay a high toll to the numerous Mercenaries that the Chaos March had been hiring. Many Chaos March worlds start losing faith in Com Star and fall to the faith of Word of Blake. The WOB moves in to protect these planets and Comstar leaves without a fight. Note: This sets the scene for Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries.

  • 3066 (present day)- Katrina Steiner is captured on New Avalon and the Civil War starts to lean in Davion's favour. Meanwhile, there is increasing activity on the border zone betweeen the Inner Sphere and the Clan Occupation Zone.

Now that you have absorbed that information, I have more for you new blood. The following is an archive of specifics on any topic you could possibly want to know about the Inner Sphere. Study them, know them well, they may save your life on the battlefield one day, new blood.

The Major Houses:

Free Worlds League
Capellan Confederation
Lyran Commonwealth
Federated Suns
Draconis Combine

The Major Clans:

Clan Wolf
Clan Jade Falcon
Clan Ghost Bear
Clan Smoke Jaguar
Clan Steel Vipers
Clan Diamond Shark

Broad Overviews:

The Houses
The Clans

Specifics: Planets and Locations

Outer Rim
Inner Sphere
Kentares IV
Strana Mechty
Chaos March

Specifics: People

Aleksandr Kerensky
Nicholas Kerensky
Victor Steiner-Davion


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