The Game: Log into Babylon 5’s information systems by remote and get a look at various parts of the station, and bios of the ambassadors and station crew. You can even launch a Starfury by remote – which would be about the only way to do that without having Ivanova’s hands around your throat within ten minutes. (Warner Bros., 1993 / devloped by Doglight Studios)
Memories: Distributed via floppy disk and the Compuserve and GEnie forums frequented by Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski, the Babylon 5 Interactive Information Kit (which shall hereafter be referred to as the sanity- and repetitive-motion-conserving acronym B5IIK) was a nice piece of advance publicity for the information age – and one of the first hints that Hollywood was acknowledging the internet as a viable promotional medium.
After a somewhat goofy “uplinking” animation, you’re presented with a menu with several options. All of this material is lifted word-for-word from the printed promotional material that was prepared by Babylonian Productions for Warner Bros.’ series launch effort. But keep in mind, this little bit of Windows 3.1-era goodness hit cyberspace prior to the premiere of season one, so it was all new.
Today, of course, by comparison, it’s almost primitive enough to be silly. The goofiest part of the whole exercise is the “launch fighter” button, which runs a “Starfury at standby” animation which, on modern platforms, runs so quickly it looks like the ship’s humping its launch arm. When you click the “press to launch” button, a short movie – more like a flip-book of low-res screen captures – runs, depicting a Starfury entering the B5 jumpgate.
The most intriguing item on the menu, however, is Alliances. This is a menu of the four alien ambassadors, plus Sinclair, allowing you to get a briefing on the relationship between whichever two characters you check off. Try checking the boxes next to the pictures of Delenn and Kosh. The answer you’ll get is…intriguing.
The distribution license for the B5IIK states that it can be made available freely so long as no profit is involved, so here to help you recapture that first-season vibe while you’re watching season 1 on DVD is theLogBook.com’s first-ever software download. Enjoy. And don’t forget to watch Time Trax and Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, which are also mentioned in the PTEN section.