New Privateer Ship Discovered at Perry! (March 16, 2023)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Recently I extracted all of Privateer's gameflow screens (the planets and bases) and matched them to their correct palettes. 229 animations with over 5,000 frames! It's everything from flashing lights on the landing pad to the little cars that fly by on New Detroit. But behold my most exciting discovery: a never-before-seen ship! Thanks to the palette I knew it had to go, specifically, in the Perry Naval Base landing screen... but as far as I can tell it doesn't actually spawn there in the game. You can even see it says PNB (for "Perry Naval Base") on the side! This is about what it would've looked like, though it might've crossed the screen lower. Not such a bad day when you discover a new Wing Commander ship thirty years after it was made!

Original update published on March 16, 2023
Deliberately cut or someone just neglected to add it in? Maybe the perspective doesn't leave much room for traffic in the scenery.
All this needs now is a name.

Really great find. That's what I love this site for - even after dozens of years, still new discoveries.
Deliberately cut or someone just neglected to add it in? Maybe the perspective doesn't leave much room for traffic in the scenery.

It's hard to say for sure but my bet is that it was disconnected with the intent to remove the graphic entirely. Gameflow animations were absolutely savaged late in Privateer's development as part of the push to get down to 6 diskettes. Every hangar originally had both a 'repair' and a 'fueling' animation, there were arrival/exit animations for the repair bay... and then a million little things were cut, like if you compare the similar asteroid and space hangars you'll notice that they both have spotlights but only one moves! (In fact the design of the hangars is largely based on how those repair/refuel animations would work... each one has a 'door' for a fuel truck to emerge from and a place for a repair arm to reach down on your ship... the arm is still visible in Perry, looking like a weird bridge platform in the center there!

I did find a second disconnected animation while organizing the game's files but it's nowhere near as sexy: a single pixel bird (or distant spaceship?) was supposed to fly through the air out the window at the Oxford library.
Reminds us how tricky the reality of physical releases were in the day, compared to the barrage of post-release patches over the 'net that happens nowadays. A pity some of these tid-bits couldn't have been reinstated with the CD release (which is what I have). Just wasn't the fashion of the day, I suppose.
I was just talking about that in #WingNut! It's because they didn't have anything approaching modern version control... no simple way to go back and quickly restore what had been removed.