Think Back to the Most Expensive Year... (October 3, 2010)


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
There's a new front page poll that asks about the biggest Wing Commander investment you've undertaken in a single year. The options are presented in US dollars, so hit the currency converter if needed. It'll be interesting to see how these results compare to the lifetime spending poll we asked in the past. Wingnuts that bought a new computer in 1994 with Wing Commander 3 as the overwhelming driver should count that. Other fans might consider the XBox 360 that they bought just to play Wing Commander Arena. Hit the comment button and tell us how your numbers added up!

The old poll demonstrates just how committed our visitors are! A full quarter of those that participated have been around here since the beginning, and there's been a steady influx since. Welcome to the newcomers too!

How long have you been visiting the CIC?

1 Year or less (2009)

2 Years (2008)

3 Years (2007)

4 Years (2006)

5 Years (2005)

6 Years (2004)

7 Years (2003)

8 Years (2002)

9 Years (2001)

10 Years (2000)

11 Years (1999)

Since CIC Grand Opening (1998)

Since WCHS (1996)

Ended on October 3, 2010 | 1179 votes

Original update published on October 3, 2010
Last edited by a moderator:
Hard one, I don't remember if I bought my PC to play Prophecy with the same year as I bought prophecy.

I voted 250 $ because I bought a used XBox just for Arena but now as I think of it, I am pretty sure I bought my WCP-PC and WCP in the same year, so it should be about 900 $ in a year.
I voted 250 $ because I bought a used XBox just for Arena but now as I think of it

My Xbox is what first occured to me as well - but I'm pretty sure I bought my flight suit and someone's (almost) complete WC gaming collection, which included Kilrathi Saga which I was missing at the time.
Kilrathi Saga. I wound up spending around $250 in my drive to acquire it. Very, very glad I did. It's the jewel of my collection.

I bought a bright and shiny new packard bell gaming beast for $1290 just to play prophecy and fallout
This one took a bit of thought. I ended up going with $250, since 1995 was the year I got Wing Commander II, Wing Commander III and Armada (plus my first joystick, which WingII was bundled with). That probably came out closer to $150, but since there's no option for that I decided to round up.
There's a lot of great big years for me. That first $400 CD-ROM just for WC3 was good. That's nothing compared to what I spend on WC now, but I was only 12 years old at the time, and that's the modern equivalent of almost $600 today. Plus the price of the game! And it was to add on to a computer that was only a year or two old.
Canopus Pure3d card ($350?) for WCP in '98 is the most expensive I can directly tie to a WC game.

I remember that card was almost the de facto choice of quite a few wingnuts.
Canopus Pure3d card ($350?) for WCP in '98 is the most expensive I can directly tie to a WC game.

You are probably thinking of the Pure3D II, Canopus' Voodoo 2 card from the next year. The top-of-the-line version was $329... but it was a Voodoo 2 card and you couldn't play the WCP 3dfx test! The big one when Prophecy came out was original Pure3D, which was 'only' $179 (still a lot to a kid in high school). There was a waiting list to get them and you had to order directly from Canopus if you wanted to get one (they eventually showed up in stores for $199, but not before January '98).

The Pure3D was the 3dfx card of choice for Midway pilots because it had an extra *two* megs of memory, for a total of six instead of the four others were shipping with while still in the same price range. Everyone's wet dream, though, were the Quantum3D Obsidian boards. They were made for developers and cost hundreds to thousands of dollars but they sounded AMAZING on paper. Their nicest Voodoo 1 card, the 100SB-4440V, had *22* megabytes... and cost $1,895.

My Pure3D was a Christmas present that year--after much begging. I remember being too excited to wait for my dad to open up the computer with me that I put it in myself and then spent hours that afternoon just flying around in awe of how amazing (and generally different) the 3D accelerated version of Prophecy looked. Remember shooting the guns just to see the light reflect on things? It was so exciting.

Now I certainly fall into that last sad category on the poll, but I'm a single guy without a care in the world who doesn't intend to live all that long who can waste his decent paycheck on this stuff--so I've flown all over the country for Wing Commander related quests and I've bought crazy props and spent money on technology for the CIC and so on. I paid $250 for some Wing Commander movie propaganda posters on Wednesday (check my Twitter for pictures--they're super keen)!

The purchase I remember really changing the game, though. I spent the summer before my junior year of high school working at a camp for the blind; it was sort of a volunteer gig but they ended up coming in under budget and paying everyone a share of the leftover grand money for their efforts after the fact. I wound up with a check for $500, which was more money than I'd ever had at one time in my life. I figured I could save it and spend it a little at a time for the next school year or I could buy the one thing I'd dreamed about but knew I would never be able to afford--the Creative Labs DXR2 DVD kit, which came with the mind-blowing DVD version of Wing Commander IV. DVD was entirely new and the kit was $380 and was the only way you could ever get WC4... so I cashed the check, went to Best Buy and picked it up.

(I remember I bought the DVD kit and for good measure picked up the Starship Troopers DVD. I plugged it into my computer's TV out and showed my parents... my mother, who only in the last year or so has even agreed to use a computer at home at all, was so impressed with DVD that she went out and bought one of those obscenely expensive first generation set top decks a week later.)