All of WC4’s Flight Deck Damage Models in One Place (January 19, 2023)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Wing Commander IV dropped the traditional attaboy landing cutscenes but it did have visible damage states in its gameflow screens after a mission. Here's a little post with all of the ships!


The Banshee:





The Vindicator, which was always one of my favorites to fly. Jack of all trades, master of none!





The Avenger bomber, the great flying brick:





Here’s a Bearcat in various states of disrepair!





The fearsome Lance (aka Dragon). I don't think I've ever suffered enough damage flying one to get either of the non-pristine versions after a mission!





And here's one of those great Chris Roberts touches: there are damage states for the Hellcat even though you can only see it landed on the Intrepid once (after you defect).





The Lexington fighters have damage states, too! Here's the Hellcat:





... and the Longbow!





And a couple of special cases: Bluepoint Station, both carriers without a fighter present and a shuttle on the Lexington which displays at the start of the game and after Captain Paulsen arrives.




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Original update published on January 19, 2023
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
And here's one of those great Chris Roberts touches: there are damage states for the Hellcat even though you can only see it landed on the Intrepid once (after you defect).


Or is it a case of "we did this up to the spec of the others because we didn't know how often we'd be using it"?
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
I took a lot of damage in WC4, but if I got home at all my fighter usually looked like the second pictures, not the third. I hadn't realised how much work they put into redrawing the ships with entire fins ripped off...

I also remember how they might not have had cockpit graphics, but they did show damage by shattering little circles of the "glass" in front of you. Other games did this; the Dynamix "Aces" games seemed particularly keen on it. But WC4 impressed me by distorting the picture where the glass was shattered.

If you got destroyed the entire cockpit view would turn into a giant shattered circle, moments before cutting to the external view of your ship exploding. But I think I had a couple of times where I took a lot of damage and got the big circle, but was still alive and in control. That just left the problem of staying alive and getting home while the entire view was crazed and distorted. Does anyone else remember this?
 

Bob McDob

Better Health Through Less Flavor
Actually looking at the images I noticed something else - the yellow hangar tubes (fuel lines?) on the Intrepid are arranged slightly differently. That doesn't strictly seem necessary; they probably could have rendered it with the hangar and then overlaid the ships on top, and even if they did it all in one pass they didn't need to rearrange them. For aesthetic reasons maybe?

Of course Lexington doesn't have that; I'm guessing that happens in the little side compartments (are those a real thing?) I wonder if having maintenance take place on Intrepid's main deck was something consciously decided on, to accentuate the ramshackle nature of the BWM.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
There was a conscious effort to vary the gameflow scenes even though it wasn't strictly necessary - each of the 'rooms' on the ships has multiple screens with different lighting/positioning of props. I should do a post with those extracted!

I suspect the big fuel lines match a virtual set that ended up being virtually unused when they had to cut takeoff and landing cutscenes and (Border Worlds) transitions.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Those yellow hoses are a real aeronautical thing today. They're typically used for ventilation of cabin air or, or more likely in this case, for confined space. The thought is if you're working inside a fuel cell or other enclosed structure, there's a risk of low oxygen or being overwhelmed by chemical smells. I think you usually have just one per area that needs fresh air, but maybe the two could imply inflow/outflow. Fuel would usually travel through smaller diameter hoses and you ideally wouldn't want them running all across the deck where they could be leak/rupture and cause a hazard.

 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Or is it a case of "we did this up to the spec of the others because we didn't know how often we'd be using it"?

I suspect the fighters were locked down pretty early; allowing the Hellcat to keep being used after you defect would've had a bunch of knock ons... you'd need new renders for the Circe ground missions and a third set for Telamon.

The big yellow tubes also show up at Axius (and by extenstion in Hazardous Duty, I guess).

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