Happy 25th Birthday Wing Commander! (September 26, 2015)


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Today Wing Commander fans are celebrating the series' 25th birthday! The original game shipped to stores September 26, 1990 after eighteen months of development, and the rest is history... It's hard to find words to convey the magnitude of this event as a milestone to the fans. New WC products have only been released in about half of the years that have passed over the last quarter century, but their significance to the players can be seen in the daily devotion of Wingnuts everywhere. We continue to be amazed by the drive to both preserve artifacts related to the franchise and blaze new trails in innovative fan projects. So take a moment to reflect on this anniversary, and then we'll be right back at it with you tomorrow!

Hopefully you've gotten a chance to catch the 25th Anniversary Lifestream on twitch. Ben Lesnick is sharing colorful commentary while playing through the game. They've got a real cool setup where the game is being played within the windshield frame of a Rapier cockpit, and webcams of the participants appear on the VDUs - complete with scanlines and green tint! So far guests Denis Loubet, Joe Garrity and Chris Roberts have cut in for special Q&A sessions. Mr. Roberts even got a chance to play WC1 for the first time in nearly 25 years! Wulf Knight and I also got a chance to chime in with thoughts about how the modern fandom came to be. It continues into the night here (and should also be auto archived by Twitch for later viewing).

Original update published on September 26, 2015
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Mpanty's bane
Happy Birthday Wing Commander, you're simply the best!

Edit: I caught a bit of the livestream during the interview with Denis Loubet.


Those of y'all who've been following my updates these last couple of weeks know that I've been playing through WC1 with my kid watching; yesterday, on the game's 25th anniversary, I finished the game. It occurred to me later that it was the first time I'd ever finished the game without cheating...

So, Happy Birthday to Wing Commander - 25 years, and still the best.

SM1...is still about as difficult as I remember it......let's just say that Tiger's Claw hasn't found out the Cats destroyed Goddard colony yet and I've already bought it twice...


Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I didn't get to watch it live but I'm about a third of the way through watching the recording. It's well worth the time of wingnuts everywhere.


Rear Admiral
That was pretty cool. I wish I could've watched it live, and I wish I could've had a chance to win that signed box. Pretty cool to see all the collectibles that everybody has. It was great to see Chris Roberts play his own game, and get smoked. Congrats to Loaf for nailing Kurasawa 2 in one damned try, don't think I've ever been able to accomplish that. Hopefully we'll be able to see a live stream of Secret Missions and the rest of the WC Saga.


Alex Von T.
I watched as much as I could.. time and commitments permitting, but the whole thing is on youtube.. so now I (and several other wingnuts) are catching up in chunks :D also: happy birthday, wing commander!


Rear Admiral
I celebrated....by giving it all away!
I feel a strange sense of Melancholy, I am pleased others get the chance to play it and see it, but the gap in the shelf reminds me of what I've done.


Rear Admiral
I've still got that somewhere, with Super Mario and Tetris! its probably up in the attic which is my next challenge.

I didn't really keep an list of what I took into the NVA, and I notice my ample frame is blocking the shot on the photo, but a few of the things I took in,
Wing Commander I + Secret Missions, Wing Commander II + Secret Missions + Speech Pack, Wing Commander III, Wing Commander IV, Wing Commander Prophecy: Gold Edition, Privateer II: The Darkening and a Saitek Cyborg Evo to play them with!
Independence War: Defiance, Independence War II: Edge of Chaos, Frontier: Elite II, Homeworld and Homeworld II, Freespace & Freespace II, Resident Evil and Resident Evil III: Nemesis, Theme Hospital, Elder Scrolls III, IV and V, Star Wars: Force Commander, Rebellion, Tie Fighter Collectors CDROM, my old Megadrive and a whole bunch of games for that, and a whole bunch of other stuff I can't remember.

Its the best place for them, I sort of sat looking at the shelf before I took them in thinking "what are you going to do with them really? they sit there for years collecting dust" so it was a box in the attic or send them where others can play with them and read the fluff etc. especially now that I have most of them digitally with GoG and Origin and Steam

The Museum is a great place, I well recommend a visit if you are in Nottingham.
I couldn't find Privateer, (Attic maybe?) and I don't have Academy or Armada, so there is still a few gaps in the series, i'll be keeping my eyes out!


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Ironically it's also the 25th year since Gameboy was released :)

1) I don't think there's anything ironic about that. It's barely a coincidence. More of a random fact. :) 2) It's only been 25 years for Europe... the Gameboy was released in Japan and North America in 1989.

Back on topic: It's been very nearly 12.5 years since Prophecy for the Gameboy Advance was released! Obviously this was one of the later releases in the series, and it still seems just like yesterday that I was pestering the Destination Games people about it at E3. At the time it seemed like such a long time had elapsed since WC1 (and obviously technology progressed a tremendous amount in that span), but pretty soon Prophecy Advance will be closer to WC1's release than the present day!


Unknown Enemy
pretty soon Prophecy Advance will be closer to WC1's release than the present day!
I just realised that UE has actually passed this milestone recently, as it is just over 12 years between WC1 and UE's release, but it is just under 13 years between the present and UE's release. And of course, Prophecy itself, still the "most modern" engine available for WC modders (at least those who don't want to use a non-WC engine), is now almost eighteen years old, having been released just seven years after WC1.

Even Standoff's first episode was released almost 11 years ago, and the second just passed its tenth anniversary. Arena, the very last official WC game (...ever?) will have its tenth anniversary in two years' time.

For me, all these anniversaries are very much a case of mixed feelings. On the one hand, it's such high praise for a game, that it remains eminently playable after 25 years. On the other hand, it is sad that the franchise has been on life support for so long, with nothing but re-releases since 2007. Every new anniversary that goes by just hammers that point across again.