Background Data for Privateer 2: The Darkening

Post Mortem

In the news: Document Archive: Privateer 2 Post Mortem (2013/08/11)
View: PDF (12 MB)
Pages: 34

The Darkening is still a sore subject in some areas today, owing largely to the conflict between EA UK and Origin in Austin over the game's release. This post-mortem document was created in 1996 by the team in Origin responsible for supporting the game... and it's safe to say that no love was lost.

Customer Service Manual

In the news: Servicing The Darkening (2011/09/11)
View: PDF (34.8 MB)
Date: March 5, 1997
Donated by: Rhea Shelley
Pages: 238

Ever wonder what it was like for the team at Origin to support a game after its release? Thanks to this Privateer 2 Customer Service Manual, provided by Origin veteran Rhea Shelley, you need wonder no longer! This almost 300-page manual explains how to help with common problems with the game and also how to play through it in general (with flowcharts!) There's also lots of fascinating lore--like a list of the computer specs for each member of the QA team!


In the news: Now You Know The Rest of the Storyboard (2006/08/11)
View: PDF (48.9 MB)
Donated by: Origin Museum
Pages: 60

These are the drawings upon which every FMV sequence in the game was based... watch the movies and read along!

Mission Text

In the news: Missions Impossible (2006/09/09)
View: Article
Donated by: Paul Hughes

All the mission text from Privateer 2 -- the BBS postings, diary entries, winning and losing e-mails and more...

Planets, People and Companies Database

In the news: Lighting Up The Darkening (2005/03/04)
View: Article

One of the most interesting features in Privateer 2: The Darkening was the exhaustive text database of Tri-System lore that the game included. Because entries were 'unlocked' as the game progressed, many players have never read a number of them. Now is your chance to do just that, as we proudly present an article featuring the complete text of the people, planet and company databases! Enjoy a healthy dose of unusual Wing Commander history.

Wingmen Database

In the news: You're My Wingman, Bruiser McDoozer (2006/08/11)
View: Article
Donated by: Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes has provided a set of images of Privateer 2's wingmen... who, it turns out, were mostly developers! I've formatted the pictures together with the in-game Booth descriptions of the pilots... and have attached Paul's notation as to who's who in 'real life'. As a bonus, there's actually two mystery wingmen, who don't appear in the finished game -- they're at the bottom.

2789 News Archive

In the news: Hilarity No Longer Ensues (2000/09/28)
View: Article

All news bulletins, extracted from the game.

Omitted SOS Mission

In the news: That Would Be Talon! (2006/09/09)
View: Article

Something very cool that we found in the SOS Mission file: a continuation of infamous 'CIS CODE 3' mission which was 'commented out'. A second e-mail from the CIS that would have further cemented the idea that the unknown ship might have flown in from the original Privateer

A Playtester's Perspective on Development

In the news: A Playtester's Guide (2008/07/02)
View: Article

An account from Origin playtester Anthony Salter about the development of Privateer 2: The Darkening (from an Austin perspective). It's fairly incendiary, but it's also part of history -- it seems important to archive it here. We do know from talking to Erin Roberts and Paul Hughes that they were in the dark regarding a lot of the cross-studio criticisms and politics.

The Darking Team

In the news: Meet the Darkening Team (2010/10/23)
Donated by: Paul Hughes

A great group photo of the Privateer 2: The Darkening development team! Take a close look at the details, too -- there's an area on the wall for each Tri-System planet! Special thanks to the always-gracious Paul Hughes for identifying the lineup.

Back Row: Mark Goldsworthy, Phil Meller, Paul Hughes, Tony Stockton, Nick Goldsworthy, Jason Reeve, Adam Medhurst, John Miles, Erin Roberts

Front Row: Paul Chapman, Nick Goldsworthy, Mike Cottam, Chris Battson, Dan Blackstone

The Darking Dev Portraits

In the news: Darkening Dev Portraits (2011/08/11)
View: Gallery
Donated by: Paul Hughes

The official portraits for the Privateer 2: The Darkening team. They are: Adam Medhurst, Erin Roberts, Nick Elms, Paul Hughes, Tony Stockton and Brian Marshall.

Team Caricatures

In the news: He's a Real Caricature (2006/08/11)
View: Gallery
Donated by: Paul Hughes

Full sized scans of the development team caricatures which appear at the end of the game! Hit escape after you found out Kronos' identity? Then you missed one of the strangest Wing Commander credit sequences ever made... and now you can relive it!

Unpublished Set Photographs

In the news: Inhabiting the Tri-System (2011/08/11)
View: Gallery

This set of photographs includes a number unpublished (and somewhat arty!) photographs taken on the set of Privateer 2: The Darkening. Included here are Erin Roberts, John Hurt as Joe Kane, Clive Owen as Lev Arris, David McCallum as the Canera Captain, Brian Blessed as Uncle Kashumai and Mathilda May as Melissa Banks. Uncle Kashumai is just begging to become an "internet meme"...

PC Format On Set Article

In the news: Pix Scans: On the Set of Privateer 2 (2012/06/28)
View: Gallery
Date: October 1995
Source: PC Format (defunct)
Scanned by: Pix's Origin Adventures

An extremely cool set of Privateer 2 Preview scans, featuring an article from the October 1995 issue of PC Format magazine. It includes interviews with The Darkening's acting talent and the men behind the cameras, Steve Hilliker (director) and Erin Roberts. There's also some cool set photography, for everyone who always wanted a better look at the Sinner's Inn!

PC Gamer Preview

In the news: Magazine Showcases Golden Year (2012/03/11)
Date: October 1996
Source: PC Gamer

This issue featured a large spread on Origin's franchises, including a large feature dedicated to the upcoming Privateer 2 game.

Cyclone Alley Notes

In the news: Magazine Showcases Golden Year (2012/03/11)
View: PDF (3.6 MB)
Pages: 2

In 1995, Paul Steed pitched a game called Cyclone Alley to Origin. Cyclone Alley was a futuristic racing game set in space that was ultimately abandoned. At one point, Warren Spector attempted to merge Privateer 2 and Cyclone Alley into one project... and these are his notes!

Document Archive

Wing Commander 1

Wing Commander 2

Wing Commander 3

Wing Commander 4

Wing Commander Prophecy

Wing Commander SecretOps

Wing Commander Privateer

Privateer 2: The Darkening

Other Titles

Canceled Projects