Last month we reported about Zeckensack's Glide Wrapper and its ability to allow modern video cards to run Prophecy and Secret Ops in 3dfx mode. At the time some people had difficulty running the 3dfx Test. Theo discovered a tip that has helped some people get the test running. After downloading and installing the wrapper, run its Configurator and try the 3dfx Test. Make sure you right click on WCP3DFX.EXE, go to the Compatibility tab and enable Windows 98 compatibility mode, or else the game will definitely crash in Windows XP. If you still encounter an error, rerun Zeckensack's Configurator and try lowering the texture memory amount.
Texture memory: You can select 2MB, 4MB, 8MB or 16MB. Generally more is better, but there are two possible reasons to go with less. First, some games use, um, interesting texture management schemes that do not work well with the wrapper and the OpenGL driver behind it. These tend to run smoother with less texture memory. Second, games that were not designed to handle large amounts of texture memory may simply crash. There have never been real Voodoo I boards with more than 4MB of texture memory, so this kind of "bug" was impossible to detect in that era.
Many of us have vivid memories of lucky Wing Commander fans splurging on the $150 Pure 3D Voodoo 1 card with 6 megabytes of memory. Nobody ever needed the card for any other game (besides Secret Ops), but everyone was happy to spend the money to get the best Wing Commander experience possible. The 3dfx Test was everyone's first taste of the exciting Vision Engine that was in the works. Although it's almost eight years old, the game is tons of fun and still looks amazing today.
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Sure, you've played Prophecy... but did you ever play the demo? If not, you're missing out on a special little chunk of the game. Unlike most game previews, the Prophecy demo contains regular plot missions not available in the retail game. There are four missions that fit nicely in to the game's storyline, but if you'll only see three on your first try due to the branching story. You can still download the 38 meg demo from Electronic Arts' FTP server here. You can also download the demo movies pack, which adds a few basic scenes such as your ship launching and briefing introductions. There's even a German version linked from our Files section if that's your preferred language.
Paper Cruiser Returns Stronger & Better Armed
Adm_Maverick's Tallahassee papercraft cruiser is back again in a whole new way. This second major iteration improves on the first in a number of ways, including how the main hull fits together. It also has interior components that form the bow-mounted capship missile launcher. (2018-02-19)
Live Wing Commander Jazz Recording A Huge Success!
Origin composer George Oldziey has completed his live recording of Wing Commander jazz music. The event was conducted last week at George's studio in Austin, and pictures from the day make it look like they had a lot of fun! Initial results also sound fantastic, and we're anxious to hear how everything comes together in the finished album. (2018-02-18)
RPS Highlights Origin Fandom
Rock Paper Shotgun has run a neat article on longtime Origin collector Joe Garrity. There's a really interesting Q&A that delves into how Joe got started many years ago buying up spare copies of Ultima games and meeting with their creators. It also highlights some of the good work that fans have done to preserve historic material, such as our 2008 trip to archive Origin source documents at Mythic or the assistance Wingnuts gave Raylight to develop Prophecy for the Game Boy Advance. (2018-02-17)
Wing Commander On Sale For Lunar New Year
We've seen this sale before, but not quite for this reason. GOG.com is running a Lunar/Chinese New Year event that lops 71% off the price of the Wing Commander series. (2018-02-16)
Daedalus Station Gets Major Facelift
The Maslas Brothers have kicked off their big 2018 push with a huge revamp to Daedalus Station, the home base of Wing Commander Flat Universe. There are some nice improvements to welcome in new players, plus a lot of back end rework to make future updates easier to make. Other subsections include an archive of the Destiny's Way magazine and a ship database that syncs with the actual stats of the fighters in the game. (2018-02-15)