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A Test of Character is a short story by Kevin Lauderdale about how then-cadet James T. Kirk beat the Kobayashi Maru scenario.


Before his third attempt at the Kobayashi Maru scenario, Kirk reprograms the computer, eliminating those parts of the program that made it impossible to win, thus creating a level playing field where success was at least possible, though not guaranteed. Admirals Jublik and Zheng gave Kirk a commendation for original thinking, as well as ninety-nine demerits, just short of the expulsion limit.

The Kobayashi Maru scenario was first depicted in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, as was Kirk's admission of his unconventional approach to the test. This story is inconsistent with what Kirk told his crewmates in the novel The Kobayashi Maru. It is possible, given the campfire-story tone of the novel, that Kirk was telling a "better" story than what was strictly true.



GatonJublikJames T. KirkMordockMalcolm SloaneZheng
Referenced only
Jonathan ArcherGarth of Izar

Starships and vehicles

USS Horizon


Races and cultures


States and organizations

Other references

floppy diskHistory of TechnologyKobayashi Maru scenariopalm beacon




published order
Previous story:
first story
Strange New Worlds VII
Strange new worlds 7.jpg
Next story:
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
The Better Man
Chapters 3-7, 13 & 15
Pocket Next Adventure:
The Kobayashi Maru
Chapter 2