Listen To Full WC1 Voiceovers In Mega CD Walkthrough (August 2, 2015)

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
completewalkthroughs has posted a full recording of Wing Commander for the Mega CD (commonly known as the Sega CD in the US). It's not the first time we've seen someone on YouTube profile the game, but playthroughs are still fairly rare. While the Super Nintendo version of the game was quite popular, relatively few people are aware of this console port. It's really a shame too, because this was the only direct DOS derivative to get full speech! Only the full Super Wing Commander remake comes close. Some of the voice actors are better than others, but all of the spoken lines really add a new dimension to the experience. Any favorites? Or do some grind on your nerves? Hit the Comments button and let us know!

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Original update published on August 2, 2015
 
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Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Very interesting! Not only full voiceovers (although I didn't hear any Kilrathi during the first mission - do they speak at all?), but also completely different music. Quite the overhaul!

Regarding voiceovers, the thing that really blew me away was the mission debriefing. The colonel (...Sommer?) actually said who killed how many ships. That's remarkable, because it means that they had alternative lines recorded for every amount of kills possible. No other Wing Commander game did that - ever (well, SWC might have?). In fact, it is probably because of voiceovers that classic debriefings were dropped after WC2 - in later games, nobody ever tells you how many you killed.

I do like the characterisation on the actors I've heard so far (I watched through the first mission and the recroom conversations of the second), but I must say - with voiceovers in there, you start really noticing what one of the writers (I think it was Ellen Guon) mentioned in the WC1/2 guide, namely that WC1 characters are a bunch of walking stereotypes. It never really bothered me with just text in there, but voiceovers seem to really nail the point across.

Has anybody ever tried extracting music and voiceovers from the Sega CD version, by the way?
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Very interesting! Not only full voiceovers (although I didn't hear any Kilrathi during the first mission - do they speak at all?), but also completely different music. Quite the overhaul!

Regarding voiceovers, the thing that really blew me away was the mission debriefing. The colonel (...Sommer?) actually said who killed how many ships. That's remarkable, because it means that they had alternative lines recorded for every amount of kills possible. No other Wing Commander game did that - ever (well, SWC might have?). In fact, it is probably because of voiceovers that classic debriefings were dropped after WC2 - in later games, nobody ever tells you how many you killed.

I do like the characterisation on the actors I've heard so far (I watched through the first mission and the recroom conversations of the second), but I must say - with voiceovers in there, you start really noticing what one of the writers (I think it was Ellen Guon) mentioned in the WC1/2 guide, namely that WC1 characters are a bunch of walking stereotypes. It never really bothered me with just text in there, but voiceovers seem to really nail the point across.

Has anybody ever tried extracting music and voiceovers from the Sega CD version, by the way?
The additional(Portions of the game also use the Megadrive's FM-synth) music you hear are simple redbook audio CD-tracks, I can get you the MP3's if you like, but I remember them already being hosted here on this site somewhere... The problem with this port was when too much was happening on the screen, the game became unplayable because of slowdowns, forcing you to put some distance between you and the rest of the fight so you can manouver normally... If you use the Neogenesis emulator and overclock the emulated CPU, the game won't start, so that's no solution.

My opinion on the voice-overs;
On my first playthrough of the MegaCD I was playing it on a tiny tube-screen like most of us kids had in their bedrooms in the 90's, and used it's build-in speakers... The "quality" of the audio was not that apparent(Hey, it was a full-talkie version of Wing Commander!), However, if I run it through an emulator on my home cinema now, the voices, especially Iceman's, sound kinda ridiculous, like cobra commander from the 80's GI-joe cartoon. For the voiceovers, I think someone was working on an extraction method sometime ago in the forums..
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Very interesting indeed! Though I have to say that I prefer the DOS music by far.

(...) (although I didn't hear any Kilrathi during the first mission - do they speak at all?) (...) The colonel (...Sommer?) (...) namely that WC1 characters are a bunch of walking stereotypes. It never really bothered me with just text in there, but voiceovers seem to really nail the point across.

(...)
Yes, the Kilrathi speak as well (though it does not sound so great I think). Try 36 min. 40 sec. for a generic Kilrathi pilot and about 01 h 02 min. 40 sec for Bhurak (though sadly he's killed too quickly and you don't hear "The void...the void!".

The Colonel has teh same name as in the dos version (Halcyon) though on his door his given as "commander".

And I also agree, the voice overs really make the clichés stand out. Still great and not as bad as Star Lancer.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Super Wing Commander does also read the kill counts, though it's not pretty (you got... SIX... enemy ships, Maverick. And Spirit shot down... NONE...)

Re: the music. There are indeed Redbook tracks, but only a few that are mostly for cutscenes (one even has dialogue burned in.) Here's copies: https://www.wcnews.com/wcpedia/Category:Music#Wing_Commander_SegaCD

The most interesting thing about the music is why it was totally changed. Unlike most other WC ports, this one was arranged entirely by Electronic Arts rather than Origin. And while Origin was fine with their pre-corporate handshake agreement for the music rights in WC1, EA was not... and so to get around the fact that The Fatman retained music rights, the music was all redone. It's the same loophole that eventually got us Wing One!
 
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CrazySpence

Rear Admiral
Pros:
-Voiceovers are cool and some of the characters are how I imagined them
-Doesn't do the same single ship at a time thing SNES did so moar action!!
-Wing Commander everywhere!!!!!!

Cons:
-The soundtrack is what really got me into this game moodwise and on the SNES it sounded amazing so the redone music is unfortunate but the reasons make sense
-There was a very good reason why SNES did 1 ship at a time and when the game gets busy here you see why
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
Regarding voiceovers, the thing that really blew me away was the mission debriefing. The colonel (...Sommer?) actually said who killed how many ships. That's remarkable, because it means that they had alternative lines recorded for every amount of kills possible. No other Wing Commander game did that - ever (well, SWC might have?). In fact, it is probably because of voiceovers that classic debriefings were dropped after WC2 - in later games, nobody ever tells you how many you killed.
Super Wing Commander does also read the kill counts, though it's not pretty (you got... SIX... enemy ships, Maverick. And Spirit shot down... NONE...)
That sounds like SWC used what TVTropes calls Mad Libs Dialog. For the Sega CD version, the lines are so fluid that I think Quarto is correct, they must have recorded separate versions of every line for every number. I hope someone does manage to decode the files so we can find out how many separate audio clips were made for all debriefings. However, the medal sequences don't read out the exact date of your achievement.

Speaking of medals, the playthrough in the video ends with quite a haul by the end of the Vega Sector Campaign - 3 bronze, 5 silver, 4 gold and a Terran Confederation Medal of Honor. The best I ever managed in the DOS version was 5 bronze, 5 silver and 3 gold. While I've sometimes gone to absurd lengths in search of medals, I don't have the patience to go through 5 hours of video checking where all theirs were awarded, and seeing if it can be repeated.)

Curiously, the credits seem unchanged from the DOS version, including George Sanger and Dave Govett for the soundtrack. MobyGames lists a separate Genesis Unit Credits - does that come from the printed documentation? [EDIT: The Sega CD version ends with scrolling credits listing the "IBM Unit" and "Genesis Unit". That'll teach me to post without watching the whole video.]

The artists must have worked hard dithering the 256-color MCGA graphics to look good under the Sega CD palette, but the programmers seem to have let them down a bit. Objects often move too slowly in cutscenes - the scramble animation looks particularly silly. Halcyon's arm disappears while gesturing at the briefing screen. The opening credits also repeat the same pattern of asteroids every few seconds, instead of randomizing them. One slight difference I'd say is an improvement is that the closing sequence of the Tiger's Claw at Venice has one Gratha shot down by a Rapier, and the other Gratha destroyed by a shot from the Tiger's Claw. Turns out those green beams actually achieve something in the Sega CD version...
 
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Mace

Vice Admiral
The graphics come close to the original PC version, but they only had to lower it down to 64 colors instead of the EGA version's 16 colors...

The "bad graphics on SegaCD" reputation comes from the FMV games.. Wing commander is one of the rare non-FMV gems the system has.
 
This is my favorite console version and not just for the voice overs. It's a pretty faithful re-creation of the game especially compared to the SNES version which couldn't handle multiple ships and just didn't have the same dog-fight feeling to it. I'm not a big fan of the new music but I get they wanted to show off their CD tech. I just wish they had done CD quality versions of the Fatman's score.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
It certainly adds dimension to the characters.

...but as a British person with some Scot ancestry, I'd like to formally object to Paladin's voiceover which is in awful attempt at a Scottish accent!
 
Bumping here since it seems like the most recent thread for this version of the game.

I just finished it today for the first time and had a lot more fun than I expected since I thought it would be as rough as the SNES version. The game grinds to a halt when there's a load of stuff on screen and is slower than the DOS original in general but it's pretty darn faithful.

The voices were also not half bad. Better done than Super Wing Commander in my opinion anyway. Cam Clarke's Halcyon at least doesn't sound like a speak-and-spell when he goes over the kill numbers with you (though SWC's Halcyon's very sarcastic sounding "You will be missed." was so bad it was good). Bhurak screaming, "The voooooid!!!" had me in stitches.

I liked the music, it wasn't quite as iconic as The Fatman's score but it was alright to have something different. The simulator song is really freaking catchy. Some tunes sound like they belong in a Japanese RPG though.

One weird thing I wanted to bring up is the game is just the Vega campaign, but the manual includes bios for Jazz and Doomsday for no apparent reason.
 
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