The Wing Commander 5 Poll Results!
Hello, fellow Wing Commanders!
At long last: the poll has closed, and all the results are in! Before
telling you the winners, let me thank all of you for voting, and for waiting
patiently for over two months (!) for these results. Now, let's cut to it!
- HOW THE VOTES WERE COUNTED:
I made two tables: one with 'favorite' votes, and one with 'runner-up'
votes, then I used the following system: 'favorite' votes are worth 2
points, 'runner-up' votes are worth 1. So every voter had the power to give
Luckily, most people explicitly mentioned their favorite and runner up. Most
others simply mentioned two titles, and I then assumed that the first one
mentioned was the favorite, and the second one mentioned was runner-up.
Still others mentioned just one title. Of course, I made those 'favorites',
so unfortunatly, those people only used up 2 of their 3 points. If I had the
time, I contacted these people to ask their runner up, but I very rarely got
it after that.
A few people mentioned more than two titles. Some just couldn't decide,
others gave whole top-5's. Depending on the wording of their votes, I either
split their votes up in THREE 'runners-up', or deduced one 'favorite' and
one 'runner-up' as was usual. This way, some people got to vote for three
titles, but NO-ONE gave away more than 3 points. Four people also mentioned
least favorites which weren't counted. Many people added additional comments, which are discussed below.
In total, 75 people voted. I counted 70 'favorite' votes and 59 'runner-up'
votes, for a total of 199 points.
- THE TITLES AND THEIR VOTES:
The format is: F:# of 'favorite' votes - R:# of runner-up votes, TOTAL:
Total # of points
|"Private War"||F:16||R:4||TOTAL: 36|
|"The Battle Forever"||F:15||R:9||TOTAL: 39|
|"The Darkest Lance"||F:11||R:6||TOTAL: 28|
|"Eye of the Kilrathi"||F:10||R:6||TOTAL: 26|
|"Wing Commander Origins"||F:3||R:13||TOTAL: 19|
|"The Tragedy War"||F:4||R:9||TOTAL: 17|
|"Shadow of the Cat"||F:6||R:7||TOTAL: 19|
|"A Dark Confederation"||F:5||R:5||TOTAL:15|
So, the 'official' top-8 is:
1. THE BATTLE FOREVER: 20 % of all points
2. Private War: 18 % of all points
3. The Darkest Lance: 14 % of all points
4. Eye of the Kilrathi: 13 % of all points
5. Shadow of the Cat: 10 % of all points. More 'favorite' votes places this
slightly higher than....
6. Wing Commander Origins: 10 % of all points
7. The Tragedy War: 9 % of all points
8. A Dark Confederation: 8 % of all points
(some rounding-up problems give us a total of 102%, but these are the right
If counting simply the number of votes, without discriminating between
favorite and runner-up, the results are:
1. THE BATTLE FOREVER: 24 votes, 19 %
2. Private War: 20 votes, 16 %
3. The Darkest Lance: 17 votes, 13 %
4. Eye of the Kilrathi: 16 votes, 12 %
4. Wing Commander Origins: 16 votes, 12 %
5. The Tragedy War: 13 votes, 10 %
5. Shadow of the Cat: 13 votes, 10 %
6. A Dark Confederation: 10 votes, 8 %
and finally, if ONLY counting favorite votes:
1. PRIVATE WAR: 23 %
2. The Battle Forever: 21 %
3. The Darkest Lance: 15 %
4. Eye of the Kilrathi: 14 %
5. Shadow of the Cat: 9 %
6. A Dark Confederation: 7 %
7. The Tragedy War: 6 %
8. Wing Commander Origins: 4 %
Although most voters only gave their winning and runner-up titles, many
other voters added some comments. Some just commented shortly on the title
they voted for, others to all titles or specific other titles. Here are all
the plots again in full, with a brief summary of the comments given.
Sometimes I've added my own personal comments as well (humor me).
"Private War" (#2)
Blair as a privateer. The Heart of the Tiger goes undercover to find (the
missing) Rachel and teams up with a rag-tag group of 'Confed rejects' (which
you may, yourself, assemble) to infiltrate a mysterious evil organization
that's holding her captive and is threatening peace..
COMMENTS: This idea scored very well. I think some of it's popularity is
because of the link to the much-loved Privateer game. One person commented,
however, that this plot was best suited to the Privateer series, and I tend
to agree, personally. Another voter (who actually voted this title his
favorite) said he'd like to see some adventure-elements in this one, as you
try to find clues to go after Rachel. That would be pretty cool, I think:
kinda like WC meets Spycraft. No less than three people mentioned they'd
like to see Flint rather than Rachel: frequent readers of the newsgroup know
that the pilot is far more popular than the mechanic. However, I think the
suggestor of this title just wanted to keep the continuity straight: in the
semi-official WC3 novel, Flint dies and Blair chooses Rachel as his girl.
"The Battle Forever" (#1)
The Confederation is attacked by an ancient engergy-based race (the Mantu?),
that needs carbon-based bodies (to possess) to keep alive and live forever.
Colonel Blair fights on the side of the Confederation and proves that
humans too can live forever by passing on what they have learned: although
Blair is killed/possessed by the enemy, his most talented pupil from the
Intrepid-school then follows in his footsteps.
COMMENTS: First off, I'm going to do something dangerous here and admit that
I, myself, contributed this title. Dangerous, of course, because it WON, and
that casts a bad light on the reliability of these results. I'm hoping
you'll take my word for it that I have not messed with the votes. Actually,
I was really hoping some other title would win so that I didn't have this
explaining to do :-). Right then, on to the comments:
What was immediatly striking when reading the votes was that many people
(and that includes mostly people who *did* vote for this title) HATED the
idea of Blair dying. No less than SEVEN people noted this, which may not
seem like a lot, but considering only about 1 in 4 people added comments to
their votes, then that's over 25 % of all people voting for this that had
added additional comments, and it's also very possible that this was why
this plot got two of the four aforementioned 'least favorite' votes. Indeed,
this 'Don't let Blair die!' line was actually the single most mentioned
comment in the votes. In the early days, when votes were merely starting to
trickle in, I had time to discuss this 'nag' with two of the people who
mentioned this, and came to the conclusion that a parallel could be drawn
with the anti-climactic death of Captain Kirk in Star Trek: Generations. I
maintain that if done well, it could turn out far better than that, though.
Three other people actually found it to be an especially good idea that
Blair would 'pass on the torch' in this fassion, so Blair's death is
controversial to say the least (see General Comments & Observations, below).
A reason why I think this plot was so popular was that it had the Mantu in
it. This enigmatic race that has thusfar received only as much as a mention
in one of the WC-novels has been the source of much speculation of many
WC-fans. This incarnation allowed them to finally appear yet maintain their
air of mystery. Also, see Tragedy War and General Comments & Observations
below for more on the 'new race' idea.
"The Darkest Lance" (#3)
The remaining Black Lance forces threaten Earth with the inheritance of
their late leader Geoffrey Tolwyn: a new Behemoth superweapon, created in
secrecy by the BL since before the Borderworlds conflict. You (as Blair or a
new hero) must stop them, but remember that they still have connections in
COMMENTS: John Gallardo contacted me via E-mail to tell me he had suggested
this high-scoring idea back when possible plots were being discussed on the
newsgroup. That may very well be true, but I remember various people
contributing to a thread discussing the future of the Black Lance and a
possible second Behemoth. This idea is more of a sequel to WC4 than anything
else, and if Origin would do something along these lines then the new saga
that has been rumoured to start with WC5 would have already started with
WC4, eliminating the odd 'in-between' episode. The question is, however, if
such a sequel would retain the 'punch' of WC4's intrigue.
By the way, the sentence 'You (as Blair or a new hero)' caused five voters
to add 'with Blair, not a new hero!' to their vote (see General Comments &
"Eye of the Kilrathi" (#4)
Return to the war, but this time we see it from the Kilrathi point-of-view.
You are a Kilrathi pilot. Fly Kilrathi fighters and find out more about the
Kilrathi than ever before. (Note: this can also be a new story, placed after
the war and WC4).
COMMENTS: Two people noted that this would be more fitting as a spin-off
than a full-fledged WC. Perhaps this is because of it's 'prequel-ness' (see
Wing Commander Origins and General Comments & Observations below) or because
of the fact that you don't control a Confed hero. I added that "Note: this
can also be a new story" line because I didn't want this plot to lose votes
because of it's prequel-ness: playing the Kilrathi was the main premise
here, and it's obvious that idea was much liked. Two people commented they'd
like to play Hobbes in this game, and one of these two also mentioned that
playing Trakath might be a good idea. I think that would give some nice
insights in Kilrathi-society and thinking indeed. Either of these ideas
would of course require the game to be a prequel, so that adds more credence
to the notion that the prequel idea isn't as disputed as was thought (see
Wing Commander Origins and General Comments & Observations below) .
"Wing Commander Origins" (#6)
The axed prequel idea. From the destruction of the Iason, the event that
started the four decades-long war, to the first major Confederation victory.
Meet a new cast of characters as well as young versions of old favorites
such as Captain Eisen and Admiral Tolwyn.
COMMENTS: A favorite 'second choice', this idea got more runner-up votes
than any other. 12 % of all voters thought this would be a good idea, so
apparently this axed prequel idea isn't as stupid as some people think.
Again, several people noted a spin-off would be a better idea than making
the fifth installment a prequel. See also General Comments & Observations below.
"The Tragedy War" (#7)
A new race (The Steltek?) wage war upon Confed, but no-one understands why:
The race is reclusive and mysterious. Slowly you find out more about this
enemy, and eventually, Confed makes contact and peace with this race, as the
war was just a big misunderstanding or communication error.
COMMENTS: Some people voted for this purely to 'kick in a new race', but I
think that if this plot is done well it could have the strength of sci-fi
literature. Sadly, the suggestor of this plot gave too little information to
make the synopsis sound attractive.
"Shadow of the Cat" (#5)
The Mirathi return, the race of Kilrathi (all but) destroyed during the
Kilrathi Civil War. They request asylum to Confed, which raises tensions
between Confed and the Kilrathi to dangerous levels. A new clash between the
two may be inevitable.
COMMENTS: The suggestion for this plot went something like: 'I'd like to see
the Mirathi return! The Kilrathi sub-race that the ruling Kilrathi beat
during the Civil War!". I myself added the asylum plot to make this idea
presentable, and, if I do say so myself, was quite pleased with the
'political tension' idea. I received some intelligent comments, one
suggesting a moral choice between keeping the peace at all costs or doing
what's right and helping the weaker party. One voter suggested to being able
to choose between a Human and Mirathi-pilot at the start. Two people noted
that this plot may be inconsistant with the WC-universe because the Kilrathi
don't pose enough of a threat nowadays to make the story work.
"A Dark Confederation" (#8)
Confed is the enemy in this episode, and not just one faction either. It has
become cold and evil. You control the (weaker?) race being assaulted by
Confed, or possibly human Rebels fighting against what 'their' Confederation
COMMENTS: This plot suffered a fate similar to the Tragedy War: the lack of
detail in these synopses can't do the idea justice, and I think that this,
too, has potential if intelligently written. A voter noted that this plot
sounded a lot like Star Wars (a good thing, of course), and another
suggested Confed be portrayed as a mega-corporation not unlike, say, OCP in
the Robocop movies.
- GENERAL COMMENTS & OBSERVATIONS:
Here are some comments that don't fall under one particular plot, and some
- First off, it was striking that many, many voters thought that this was an
official poll by Origin, the softwarehouse that created the WC-series. It
isn't, and I'm sorry if I gave you that impression. The only way I'm
associated with the company is that I play and love their games. This poll
was by a fan, for the fans. I *will* pass the results on to Origin, and they
can do with it what they want. My guess is they'll appreciate the feedback:
these results paint a picture of what the fans want to see happen to the
series, and there are some interesting things to be deducted from it (read
on!). The people who thought I was with Origin did mention they loved their
games in general and the WC-games in particular. So there.
- Some time ago, the future of WC was fiercly debated on the WC-newsgroup,
and it appeared many people were against introducing a new "superrace" as
Confed's enemy because that would imply the saga was a neverending story
with enemy after enemy to be fought. The poll's results show, however, that
this idea isn't that much hated afterall. Most people that voted for Tragedy
War, voted for the Battle Forever as well, so there are a lot of people
dying to see a new race. Maybe it's because these are semi-established races
(Mantu and Steltek), but having a new mysterious enemy to explore proved an
interesting notion to many. No less than four people also mentioned they'd
like to see some alien crewmembers or civilians or even pilots 'hanging
around' in the game, three of which mentioning, in that vein, a return of
the Firekkans, who haven't surfaced since their appearance on that WC2-data
disk. Also, a comment added both to Tragedy War and Battle Forever for a
total of four times was that Confed should team up with the Kilrathi to
fight the new opponent. As for WC being a neverending saga: it sells very
well, so for the time being, it is :-).
- Something else (that I have noted above) is that the prequel idea isn't
that hated either: Both the semi-prequel idea Eye of the Kilrathi and Wing
Commander Origins raked in many votes. Many people voted for both, just like
with Tragedy War and Battle Forever, so we can conclude a WC-prequel
wouldn't be without fans. One person even suggested linking WC-Origins with
Eye, to create one 'super-prequel' where you can choose to play either
Kilrathi or Confed (WC meets Command & Conquer?). Still, there were also
three people who said a prequel would suck. My personal take is that it
would be good, but as a spin-off, not in the main series now that we're up
to part 5 already.
- Two people suggested their own plot rather than voting: one short premise
revolved around the return of Angel, the other was a very elaborate
time-travel saga called WC: Eternity. The person in question claimed to have
30 pages of script done, which I've suggested he posts (in part) to the
- From the comments with The Battle Forever and The Darkest Lance, as well
as some loose comments, it was obvious that many people would love to see
Blair remain the hero in this saga. Apparently, Blair/Hamill is still mighty
popular, so if Origin is reading this: revoke your decision of axing him,
'cause the fans want him to stay! If not as a pilot or the protagonist, then
in some other roll, just to remind us that he's still around. Also, Angel,
Vagabond and Jazz were mentioned as characters that should return. I think
they're all dead, personally...
- Only one person mentioned this in his vote, but as the discussion raged on
the WC-newsgroup some time ago, I'll mention it here: Origin would do good
to put those cockpit-views back in rather than just HUD's. Personally, I
didn't miss 'em for a moment, but apparently many people did, so the least
Origin could do is make it an option, as it was in WC3.
- Finally, something which no-one mentioned, but which was discussed on the
newsgroup recently: a funeral scene for Captain Eisen as a tribute to Jason
Bernard (the actor portraying Eisen, recently passed away). Personally, I
think it's a fabulous idea, although Origin should of course get permission
from the family first.
- THE END:
Well, that's it for this poll! I hoped you enjoyed reading it and
participating as much as I enjoyed running it! Any response is welcome, but
the best place for it is the WC-newsgroup alt.games.wing-commander, so that
all on-line fans can discuss the results and the future of Wing Commander.
Thanks to all voters (my in-box will be empty without you!:-) and all
suggestors, who ever you were. A very special thanks goes to Chris Reid for
creating the WC5-poll web-page at
http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/7575/WC5Poll.html. I can't confirm how
many votes came from the web and how many from the newsgroup, but I think
the webpage brought in at least half the votes! Thanks also to Worlds Of
Origin and all other WC-fan pages for linking to Chris' page.
a fellow Wing Commander.