The very first RPG I owned was Star Frontiers. The game was released in the 1980's by TSR. The setting was a planet somewhere near the center of a spiral galaxy. There were four player character races:
Humans: We all know what they are.
Yazarians: Flying monkey people.
(better descriptions can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Frontiers
The setting steered people towards typical sci-fi plots: figure out the mystery of the Sathar and save the galaxy. Fortunately, my oldest brother (who was our GM) created a more original backstory.
His character was Elkor Alish (yes, named after the villain in Hugh Cook's novel Wizard War). He was an expert marksman and overall badass. He created a para-military group called the Elkor Alish Foundation, which all of our characters (mine, and my two older brothers') belonged to. The EAF would be called in whenever the local police force couldn't handle the situation. The EAF was sort of like 24's CTU, but without any explicit connection to the government.
My main character was a Yazarian melee weapon expert named Wang Toi (yes, even as a 9 year old I was a wiseass). His nickname was Topsword, taken from the main character in the Sabre Rider anime show. My middle brother's main character was also a Yazarian. Drakken Braxintox, field medic and wielder of a flamethrower. We had combat robots, motorcycles with machine guns strapped to them, helicopters, and even a decked out Explorer (that big truck on the image above) with rockets.
My oldest brother had a pretty cool GM style. Every adventure felt like a big budget movie. Here's one of the things I still remember:
The game map had a huge mall in the center. During the course of this adventure, my main character and my middle brother's main character followed some of the enemies to the roof of the mall, which was about ten stories up. My main got ambushed and got shot all to hell. In order to survive, I decide to jump off the roof. My main's mad flying monkey skills allowed him to glide to the ground relatively safely (even though he did get hit a couple more times on the way down). He was able to land next to the building and get healed by our doctor (not the flamethrower medic guy, but a pure doctor alt character). So, here's my guy, getting healed by the EAF doctor while both are between one of those 3' walls the city had around virtually every building and the Explorer with bullets raining down from the roof and other enemies approaching our location.
We were so into the game that my oldest brother actually drew pictures of all of our characters. With all of our alts, we must've had 15-20 characters total. The most striking thing about his illustrations is that he gave almost every character a Boba Fett-esque helmet. The drawings were pretty kickass, and really made what played out in my mind's eye that much cooler. Unfortunately, I think the pictures were lost in last year's flood.
Playing SF represented some of the best times I had from the ages of 9 to 12. So, here's to you, Star Frontiers.