Impressive, Aren't They? (February 12, 2006)



In our new poll, we ask which Wing Commander games were the most technologically impressive at the time they were released. The original game featured incredible detail, dynamic music and branching campaigns. The second title expanded on all this and introduced amazing speech, which caused sound card sales to surge. Everyone remembers Wing Commander 3 for boosting CD-ROM sales with its liberal use of live actor FMV, and WC4 expanded on this with incredible production values, live sets and recording on real film. Prophecy pioneered 3D acceleration technology, and Privateer is well known for its open ended nature and tremendous freedom of choice. Armada pushed the multiplayer envelope many years before the market was ready, and dazzled dial-up modem users with the ability to play friends in different locations and across local networks.

Wing Commander has always made use of the very latest technology at the time of release, but vote now to support the game which you think produced the most impressive results at the time.

Our previous poll asked which WC role you would prefer to have. It should come as no surprise that nearly half of you would like to be a Wing Commander. Second and third places went to Captain and Admiral, so it seems more people would prefer to command a single ship rather than an entire fleet. Spy was the least popular option, even though they get to play with gadgets such a the D 3S 5.

What WC role would you prefer?

Marine: 7.89%

Wing Commander: 48.80%

Captain: 11.36%

Admiral: 10.56%

Mechanic: 5.41%

Spy: 4.28%

Bartender: 6.89%

Ship's Mascot: 4.81%

Total Votes: 1496

Original update published on February 12, 2006
Last edited by a moderator:


Vice Admiral
So far, the leading results are WC1 and WC3, with WC3 twice the number of votes.

Funny, I was expecting WC2 to be second behind WC3, considering the breakthroughs WC2 in terms of storytelling and speech recordings.

Well, I voted WC3 though.


Mission programmer
Although WC2 is probably IMHO the best WC game and was very impressive for it's time (speech ! a dozen floppies ! 1-hour install !), I think the poll result reflects well the impression WC3 made of the fans and the general public. WC3 was indeed very impressive.

I could tell you a funny story about our former Premier (province Prime Minister) Lucien Bouchard actually walked down the stairs of my basement to take a look at WC3, curious about the description I made of the game during diner. He just had an accident with the flesh eating bacteria and had lost a leg a couple months before, yet he walked down the tiny narrow staircase of our home basement to take a look at WC3 :p

It was WC's glory days :)


Rear Admiral
Although WC1 had no competitor when it was released, and WC2 brought a deeper development in the story, I think WC3 was the most impressive game in the series.


When I first got WC3, I had never seen a FMV game before, so I was blown away by the video scenes, despite their being only 8-bit color.


I love Wing Commander: Prophecy
The cut-sceans and choice of story-line were amazing in Privateer 2.
Back on topic---When WC3 came out, most of us were blown away, like ljuin.


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
When WC1 came out, talking to pilots in the bar and flying the fighters (with the hand the moved to match your joystick movements!) blew us all away too. In 1990, if you had a hot new 386 machine, you used Wing Commander to impress your friends. A short time later, you bought a sound card and used WC2 to do the same.


Victory, you say?
I brought a sound card to play WC1, but later on it lacked the memory to play the speech of WC2.


Super Carrot!
Armada was pretty amazing. Unfortunatly, the cockpits left alot to be desired. I think the lacked the character from the earlier games. In Wc 1, 2, and 3 you could instantly see what ship you were, you couldn't in Armada, or maybe they simply werent intresting enough to remember. Quite sad, since it was so great in most other ways. I aslo missed talking heads.:(


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
There's a few reasons why the cockpits might not be as memorable. The designs had more of a common theme in Armada than most of the other games. It was easy to tell the Hornet/Scimitar/Raptor/Rapier apart because they were Green/Rust/Silver/Beige. But all the Armada ships were mostly metallic, except for the Kilrathi ships, which were all brownish. This comes to the next reason. There were ten flyable ships. I had my favorites, and most people probably didn't play all the fighters regularly. So I can pretty distinctly picture the ones I flew often. On the Confed side, that'd be everything except the Banshee, and for the Kilrathi, that'd be the Jrathek and Goran. Armada also debuted the invisible cockpits, so a lot of people jumped on that too. Overall, I don't think the Armada cockpits were any less distinct than the WC3 designs, and they were a whole lot better than the struts and huds we got in later games.

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I would go even farther than that and claim that Armada had some of the most memorable cockpits of all.

The asymetrical Kor-Lahr? The low-visiblity Phantom? Awesome, memorable designs - however frustrating (in the case of the latter). Who can forget the Kilrathi claws-on-a-stick in their fighters? Neat, neat stuff.

What's more, at least three of the cockpits (so... 30% of them!) weren't even unique to Armada.


Super Carrot!
Yeah, the stick-claw was amazing, it was the first thing i noticed when playing Kilrathi. The "scanning" animation on the Right VDU was also pretty great. I think the reason for me not thinking of them as very memorable is what Chris said, they werent as colorful as the earlier, or as... (I dunno) as the WC 3 ones.

Which ones werent unique to Armada BTW? the Arrow looked alot like the WC 3 version, with less lights and switches, but i cant recall any others.

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Well, the two Wraith cockpits were extremely similar - the only real difference is that the Armada one was rendered (like the ones in Privateer) and the Academy one was hand-painted. The Jrathek ones have more differences - armor and power displays are in different locations - but the general look of the cockpit is the same. Again - the Armada versions were rendered, while the Academy versions were hand-drawn. They did a remarkable job in getting the rendered versions to look almost exactly llike the hand-drawn versions. Remember - you can do anything you darn well please when you're just drawing stuff - actually making that drawing into a 3d object often presents difficulty.


Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Dyret said:
Unfortunatly, the cockpits left alot to be desired.

The Armada cockpits called. They said you leave a lot to be desired.

Dyret said:
Neither of them had the same cockpits as in Academy, though.


Last edited by a moderator: