With the public preview of Windows Vista beta 2 now available, we took the opportunity to test its compatibility with various WC games. The findings are quite positive with Windows XP suffering many of the same problems, and almost all of them have a solution.
Kilrathi Saga WC1/WC2 - The games start, but the graphics are distorted making the game unplayable. This is quite likely to be an issue with the PC's graphics card driver being unable to switch to 320x200 resolution since I had much the same issue with XP. I haven't found a solution for this as of yet, but with DosBox now able to run the DOS versions so well, this could be considered a minor problem.
Kilrathi Saga WC3 - Running the game straight after installation produces a problem with the wrong colors being displayed, but setting "Run in 256 colors" and "Run in 640x480" in compatibility mode options solves this, making the game perfectly playable.
Wing Commander 4 Windows - Installation proved a problem with the DOS mode installer refusing to run in Windows and DosBox crashing, but fortunately I found an old installation on my hard drive. Using that, the game itself ran with no issues.
Wing Commander 4 DVD - Tested with Gulilkoza's patch to run the game without a DXR board, and with the game set to Windows 98 compatibility mode. No problems at all.
Privateer 2 Deluxe Windows - The installer's colors were mixed up unless it was set to run in Windows 98 compatibility mode. The installer also has the well-known "not enough space" error which is fixed by simply creating a c:\dark directory before running the installer. The game also ran too fast until Jonathan Scobbie's speed patch was applied.
Wing Commander Prophecy - Tested with the latest version of HCl's high-res patch which will be released with the multiplayer patch. The game ran flawlessly.
Wing Commander Secret Ops - Tested with HCl's high-res patch. The version of the patch available for Secret Ops is older than the one used to test Prophecy. SO worked fine, but it was also necessary to set Windows 98 compatibility mode. This may not be required with a more up-to-date high-res patch.
So there you have it. You can play virtually everything current XP systems allow, which includes almost every Wing Commander game. Unless something major changes between now and release, there is no reason for anyone not to upgrade to the full version of Vista. Other than it not actually offering any major advantages over XP that is.
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2017-11-17 -- LOAF was poking around in Wing Commander 2's background files and discovered a hilarious easter egg that would ordinarily never be seen by the player. The game frequently uses a red and green communications interface for dialogue sequences between a fighter and larger carrier or base. A small rectangle on the right features a graph intended to depict signal strength or something like that.
2017-11-16 -- The Wing Commander series has had quite a few large and elaborate print advertisements over the years, but even by the franchise's often lofty standards, this one's a whopper. This ad is spread across six full pages and follows a "five senses" theme with a late '90s vibe. Sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch are all emphasized along with a smattering of FMV screenshots, gameplay scenes and a handful of commodities.
2017-11-15 -- Most Wingnuts are familiar with all of the cool contents of a basic Wing Commander Prophecy box... but this one's a little different. Can you spot everything that makes this setup unique?
2017-11-13 -- The DOS Game Club is a really cool place dedicated to gaming highlights of the '80s and '90s. Their community selects a game each month, and then they jointly play it together and discuss in their regular podcast. A recently selection was Origin's Strike Commander, and our own Bandit (LOAF) was able to participate in their episode on it.
2017-11-12 -- Modern Vinyl has posted an interesting interview with David Arnold, the composer behind the Wing Commander Movie's famous Overture theme. Much of the article focuses on the recent vinyl release of his work on Hot Fuzz, but it also notes his wide ranging involvement with films from James Bond to Stargate. Check out the full article here.
2017-11-10 -- We've been following the OldiesGamesTV series of Wing Commander reviews for a number of years, and now they've completed their three-part profile of Wing Commander 2. The videos are in French, but even if you can't speak the language, seeing all of the minor differences in the game are really cool if you originally played in another language. And where you understand their words or not, it's clear that they're big Wing Commander fans that we're happy to support!
2017-11-09 -- George Oldziey is back with another update on the progress of the second Wing Commander album. He's been quiet for a little bit, but there has been tons of progress on the orchestration front. The basic track list is complete and PDF scores will even be sent out soon.
2017-11-08 -- Fans have been running the new Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack through its paces hard since the latest version was released last week. As intended, the test managed to tease out a few bugs, and the team quickly responded. DefianceIndustries and PopsiclePete have already managed to put out a new version that resolves the issues identified so far.
2017-11-07 -- Wing Commander games can come in all shapes and sizes, and today we have a look at the different colored manuals of Wing Commander 2. WC2 was one of the most ubiquitous titles of the early '90s thanks to several factors: the popularity of WC1 was key, but it also was a major showcase for in-game speech and eventually mass-produced for inclusion in a large number of different OEM and budget CD-ROM releases. The red manual below was quite common and the black lesser so.
2017-11-06 -- Carter3D is a cool Shapeways outfit with a whole bunch of neat ships. There are quite a few Star Wars designs, but there are also about a dozen detailed Wing Commander models available to 3D print. Carter seems to be a Prophecy fan, but there are also a handful of ships from WC3&4 mixed in as well.
2017-11-05 -- It's been more than ten years since the legendary Queeg released his consolidated Wing Commander 3 movie. The original film set download records at the CIC and garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Now he's back with a brand new take on The Heart of the Tiger - this time he's completed the entire game on Nightmare difficulty!
2017-11-04 -- Hellakazoo has posted some additional screenshots of his Galactic Civilizations 3 WC mod that highlight some of his latest additions, such as the Tarsus and Clarkson jammer. There's also a neat screenshot of one of the game's menus that feature the character portraits. Some of the recent CIC Forums discussion has been about what to add next.
2017-11-03 -- Here's a throwback to a twenty-one year old issue of Computer Gaming World. Back in November 1996, when we all were just getting into the Wingnut scene online, CGW posted a comprehensive "best 150" games feature. Wing Commander came in as the 7th best title of all time, just behind other famous contemporaries like Sid Meier's Civilization, Ultima IV, Doom & Sim City.
2017-11-02 -- The newest version of the Prophecy and Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack has been released! It includes a whole pile of exciting ships that have been gracing the news over the last few months. There are additional bug fixes as well as some new features to smooth in-game graphical loading.
2017-11-01 -- We may have missed International Haiku Poetry Day by quite a bit, but idspispopz is there to make sure we're still covered with this simple yet elegant Wing Commander poem. Feel free to hit the comment link and add your own!
2017-10-31 -- After recently refining his slick Excalibur model, DefianceIndustries took a crack at turning it into the futuristic variant proposed in the Wing Commander Arena concept art. Its main vertical stabilizers have been moved inwards over the engine housings, and extended downswept winglets have also been added. The redesign really makes you think what new missions it might be called upon that would warrant these tweaks.
2017-10-30 -- Here's a new look at Klavs' groovy Waterloo class cruiser. Some of the most obvious detail is the addition of new windows and lighting, but there are also hull improvements throughout that give the ship a much more realistic facade. Additional gun emplacements are also present throughout that both fill in some of the blank spaces and give the ship some teeth.
2017-10-29 -- Hellakazoo has been working on a neat ship expansion to Galactic Civilizations 3. He's already added dozens of fighters and larger capships, and he's nowhere near stopping. WC1/2 are where he began, but work is moving into the later games with plans to even include designs from Privateer, Armada and the Movie.