Screenshots on the back of the WCII Deluxe

J "Phantom" D

2nd Lieutenant
Hey guys,

I'm kind of curious as to where the screenshots on the back of the WC2 Deluxe box were pulled from. Most look fine, but the top one isn't the right background, text or character model for, what I assume is, the introduction.

Is this an extremely early prototype build? And if so, why is it on the back of the deluxe box, which came out long after the initial release?

Would love to hear if anyone knows the lowdown on it.


Vice Admiral
My guess would be those were concepts given to the box artist. It's common for packaging materials (box, manual, etc) to be completed before the game so it can ship faster.

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Good question!

My understanding is that the screenshot is from the original version of the cutscene, which was changed to save space. Remember that Wing Commander II originally came on floppy disks, so every byte was precious... the scene as originally written had the younger Blair portrait talking to Tolwyn in court. Instead they switched it to Tolwyn's office, which could be reused later in the game extensively... and then they stuck with the 'aged' Blair that would be used throughout the game and just hoped no one would notice that the scene was supposed to be ten years earlier. :)

J "Phantom" D

2nd Lieutenant
While I would agree with you on this, and that would be understandable if this were the initial release, it isn't. I'm talking about the Deluxe Edition, which came out in 1992, a full year (and 3 add-ons) after the initial release.

You would think that they would have had proper screenshots, especially seeing the back of the initial release box had nothing badly out of place if I remember correctly.

Thanks for the thoughts Bandit. It makes sense about the change, but not how that picture ended up on the back of the deluxe version.

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I can speak to that, too!

The thing to remember is that the box layouts were created back in the dark ages before things like Photoshop--they were done by hand.

Despite being tiny (and the white lie about "what you see is what you play" on many of the boxes), the screenshots actually needed to be of a much higher resolution than the game itself. The team would stop at some point in the process and create a set of maybe twenty promotional images showing the game and those would be kept on slides in Origin's creative services department and used as needed later on. When re-releases were developed they didn't have the team around to make new mockups--they just went back to the folder of slides.

Here's a photo from the Origin Museum showing the slide we're talking about:

Another place where this is really apparent is Wing Commander I--look closely at almost any of the screenshots on the box... the names and weapons are all completely different!
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