Fusion Visits Wing Commander IV (July 11, 2017)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Fusion was a short-lived magazine which ran for seven issues from 1995 to 1996. The publication billed itself as the "magazine of interactive entertainment," which is about as 1990s as a gaming magazine can make itself sound! The November 1995 issue included a wonderful set visit report from the Wing Commander IV film shoot. Don't let the overly 1995 layout fool you: the article is extremely human and goes into great detail about the people putting the game's FMV sequences to camera. The final scan is from the next issue, in which a reader writes in to thank them for the article. Apparently Wing Commander helped him through a drug addiction (... though it's not exactly clear how.)

Original update published on July 11, 2017
Last edited by a moderator:


Unknown Enemy
Interesting article. I found the last page somewhat bitter-sweet to read, though - all those plans Roberts had for the future, not just of WC, but of his other projects at Origin. Six months later, it would essentially be all over. You can't help wondering what could have been, had WC4 not ended with so much acrimony between Roberts and EA.


Unknown Enemy
Hehe, I was thinking more along the lines of his plans to film a WC movie in parallel to making a game. Obviously, he did get to make a WC movie in the end, but it wasn't connected to a game the way he seemed to have originally envisioned. And of course, he also didn't get to develop the next Privateer game, for which evidently his clout was needed, as the game never materialised without him.

As for Silverheart... err, well, I'm sure there's somebody out there, somewhere, who's still hoping to see that one ;). I mean, for all I know, it could have been a tremendously cool game - but it's hard to get excited about a project that we know almost nothing about. Still, it's neat that he's held on to the rights.

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
The crazy thing about Silverheart is that if we really WANTED to know more we could -- a novel based on the script was eventually published! But it's just not my genre...


Finder of things, Doer of stuff
The crazy thing about Silverheart is that if we really WANTED to know more we could -- a novel based on the script was eventually published! But it's just not my genre...

In some ways I kind of doubt CR wants to do another game after Star Citizen, but the technology they're making over at CIG really could be used for pretty much any genre of game. About the only thing I haven't seen them tackle yet are rideable animals...


Rear Admiral
I think my heart broke when I read the quote from Jason Bernard. They mentioned how nobody in the cast actually played video games, besides him... And I had no clue he was into games. I do recall seeing Mark Hamill remark, with big smiles on his face, how it was all above him... Despite Chris Roberts buying him a computer so he could play the game... Sigh... From all I've ever seen, there's no nicer guy than that man, and his infectious laugh almost pulled it off, but as a gamer I have to admit I was always a little disappointed he didn't even try... I mean he could have just gone invulnerable... Oh well.

But to see that quote from Eisen... "I don't see it as a game. I see it as more of an experience. There are few CD-ROM games that are more than games. Under a Killing Moon and SimCity 2000 are two examples, as is this one."

My heart leapt and broke. To me, he's "the" captain. Wing 1 never showed the captain, but of course Halcon was seen quite a bit, so you could put him in that role. Of course Wing2... The Admiral... And unless you read the books (and I actually did) you're probably not going to like the Admiral. Prophecy? Never felt a connection with the actual captain or even the so called "CAG". Eisen? He's my captain.

"GOD I LOVE THAT BOY'S SPUNK!" - That line was so genuine and honest I'd have no problem believing it was an unscripted outtake that they left in, I'd love it more if it was. What a terrible schedule both Hamill and Bernard would have had for Wing3. I didn't recognize him as being in other films prior to after I played Wing 3 and 4. But he was in quite a few, a great character actor. Especially good in While You Were Sleeping, I'd say. But he's many others, maybe even a bit part in War Games if I'm remembering right (which makes his computer use all the more wonderful to me).

But in 1997 I remember my father taking me to see Liar Liar. Besides the star, Jim Carrey, Bernard had the most screen time as the judge. And I remember being so excited and tapping my dad's shoulder to say "That's EISEN!" - And he was a great judge in that, given the craziness going on.

I didn't know until years later (through this site) that Liar Liar was actually his last film.... That he died in a car accident that year... I remember being a little angry that Profecy couldn't AT LEAST keep Eisen... I did not feel Blair's story needed to be up quite there, and all those changes with the people you love getting such small attention (although Blair was the hero at the end of the day, wasn't he?). I distinctly recall being disappointed that they couldn't even get him back.

Of course, they couldn't get him back. They did name a ship after him but he never got mentioned in the script, unlike Paladin, for example. When I read a post here regarding how the site had talked to his wife at some point, I genuinely felt sad. The fact that she mentioned how it meant a lot to her that the Wing Commander fans cared enough to send mail. Just goes to show you the power that can be in a video game, especially combined with talented actors... Something that may never be seen again....

I remember an interview Hamill did with Howard Stern, where Stern was trying to give him crap on banking on Star Wars fame... and he outright confronted him and said he did not need Star Wars, he had Wing Commander. Sadly the Star Wars fan boys don't even care about Mark enough to seek out something as great as Wing Commander.... That's always been a damn shame to me. I follow him on Twitter, and yeah, in regards to others tweeting at him, it's all either Star Wars or Joker stuff... Honestly I'd say his Wing Commander acting destroys anything he did in the 70's and 80's. - Sad how Lucas jipped them all out of the Star Wars cash, but that's mostly another story, other than saying Wing Commander made him a lot more money than Star Wars did. I do enjoy Star Wars (although I'm more of a Star Trek guy I have to say), but with Wing Commander you got to play and choose, what a connection it gave.

Back to Jason Bernard; the guy played video games... SimCity2000.... He built his own cities! He played and enjoyed Under A Killing Moon... For anyone that would say interactive movies were all terrible.... Except for Wing Commander.... Well, no.... Those Tex Murphy games were something special in their own right... And Tex Murphy the actor, was the guy who actually designed the game! That's another very heart warming story there, if any of you are not aware of the Tex Murphy games, they're worth checking out. But that simple quote... All I've ever seen is Mark Hamill and Tom Wilson having a nice big old laugh at the expense of how much they could not care about computer gaming, just disguised in a joke at how inept they were. But here, with that quote, it's from one of the oldest cast members, and the man had something insightful to say about video games. This game is not a game, it's an experience, just like these other games are.

My heart leapt, then quickly broke as I knew instantly, we've lost him. Who knows how many wonderful interviews may have been conducted, perhaps by this sites members, how many more great quotes he may have had. rip, he'll always be my captain.
Last edited:


Unknown Enemy
(I don't think Jason Bernard died in a car accident... it was a heart failure, wasn't it?)

Shot, I kinda get where you're coming from, but I find it hard to agree with this kind of sentiment. I think, back in the day when this article was originally published, it certainly would have been a very big thing, to hear that an actor the age of Jason Bernard plays games. At the time, the statistical age of the gamer was much lower (in the 20s), and the stereotypical age of the gamer was lower still - the stereotype of games being something only teens could care about was very much still alive. And of course, it didn't help that many of us (certainly me) were teens at the time, so we obviously resented the insinuation that our super-serious hobby was less mature than we thought it to be :). So certainly, we would have seen it as something very important that a real life film star (heh) plays video games - now, that's validation!

From today's perspective, though, there's just nothing noteworthy about this. Yeah, Jason Bernard played games - so did many other people his age at that time, they just didn't talk about it. Maybe because they weren't actors, and weren't being interviewed. Did it matter? Is a hobby any more "acceptable" because it's shared with an actor? It doesn't help that I think to myself now how silly that argument would have sounded to my parents or other adults back in 1996 - oh, an actor plays games? Oh, well, that changes eveeeerything... now, get to your homework! :)

Similarly, I just find it so hard today to look back at those days and resent the fact that an actor playing the lead role in a game didn't bother playing it. Again, I probably would have expressed similar sentiments to yours at the time - but, you know, teenage minds and all that. Games are not something that everybody has to get into, and with age, people find themselves less and less willing to do so. It's not just about time constraints, though that's important enough in itself. It's more than that - for many people of that generation (heck, even for many people of my generation), games were something completely alien. They had other forms of entertainment, and simply could not see the point of getting into a new form of entertainment, particularly one that was off-putting due to the inherent challenge involved. So, at the end of the day, I look at those interviews and I think to myself, isn't it cool that a bunch of people who for the most part didn't play or understand games, were able to play leading roles in a game and deliver great performances?