Port Side Gallery: Wing Commander III 3DO UI
The 3DO port of Wing Commander III is known for being unique, featuring significantly altered mechanics to improve console play. In addition to adding video and re-designing every mission, the 3DO port also put quite a bit of effort into updating the in-world UI the player uses to do things like save the game and outfit his ship.
First, note the updated main menu. The game actually includes three of them, one for each base you can land on. The names and registries for the Kilrah 2 and Kilrah 3 asteroid depots originate here!
Ship selection is also a welcome surprise, with a complete set of statistics for each option:
The ‘weapon selection’ screens are also redone, complete with missile stats and additional lore! Did you know the mines used on the Victory were “Porcupine Mk. IIIs (a nod to the original Wing Commander) or that the torpedoes were Lances? Note also the option to load a Vampire missile, the replacement for the Leech. Vampires open holes in enemy shields instead of disabling general ship systems. Vampire missiles were introduced in this port and not seen again until Wing Commander Arena in 2007.
Finally, major props to the UI designer for a revamp of the Victory’s trainsim menus. They’re sprinkled with lore, including who last played the gauntlet and what fictional software companies built each VR mission!