Take That, 1994 (October 5, 2007)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!

Humor website Something Awful has listed "Hobbes is a Traitor" as one of the "22 Worst Moments in Sci Fi History" (article). They say:
There are hundreds of terrible science fiction video games, but to make it onto this list it takes an epic saga like Wing Commander and an epic mistake like Kilrathi defector Hobbes going traitor in Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger.

The lovable fur-suiter from Kilrah appeared in prior Wing Commander games and his defection to the Confederacy was a source of much drama during the story portions. Many of the human pilots hated him and assumed he was a traitor. Even in Wing Commander III you were given the option of becoming one of the few voices sticking up for Hobbes while everyone else warns that he's an untrustworthy monster.


Then Hobbes transmits the plans for the human's war-ending bomb to the Kilrathi, kills a human pilot, and escapes. Some fans of the series claim double-traitor Hobbes did what he did because of his conscience, but all signs in the game point towards a totally retarded sleeper agent plot. He was evil all along.

The moral of the story is...distrust outsiders and never stick up for the weird guy everybody hates. Was the "Hobbes is a traitor" plot a genius double fake-out? Was Chris Roberts an overrated doofus when it comes to stories?

I think Chris Roberts answered those questions with his Wing Commander movie.
I don't think fans of the series claim Hobbes defected because of his conscience - we've seen his holo-message on the subject. It's also worth pointing out that Chris Roberts didn't write Wing Commander III - he was the producer and director of the film shoot. Thanks to all who submitted this!

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Original update published on October 5, 2007
 
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Pedro

Vice Admiral
It was a really moving twist, especially given his victim, Cobra, whom it was instinctive to ignore throughout the game.

Admittedly without the holo-vid explaining the personallity overlay it didn't make a great deal of sense (a very odd scene to cut), but with it even Freedom Flight makes just as much sense.

It's a shame to see these articles cropping up with such poor research.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
It was strange for me because like so many others, my first experience with the Wing Commander series was with this game.

In hind sight, the lack of the hologram explaination was a bad choice (of all the things to remove!) but the plot twist its self was effective. I kind of guess I understand what that guy/jerk at SA was getting at - but if you're expecting huge, life-affirming plot twists in your video game plot lines, you're taking your Hamburgers too seriously.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
After Hobbes' character development in WC2, I was rather disappointed with his role in WC3 too. One could argue that the more difficult alternative was to have the writers make up some other reason for a Terran pilot to turn traitor, and also to explain what would happen to Hobbes after the Kilrathi surrender. But the writers may not have realised that Hobbes wasn't the only Kilrathi to seek asylum with the Confederation.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Honestly though - was Hobbes's defection any worse or less surprising than Tolwyn's in WC4?
 

Jaric

Spaceman
I agree it was a huge cop out by the writers to have Hobbes being the traitor in WC3 particularly after his characters development in WC2. All that nonsense about personality overlay really made no sense at all.

It seemed a real pity too when we saw the cutscene where Hobbes says to Blair "It has been a long war that has turned all of us inside out" I thought there was some sort of epic conclusion to look forward to where Hobbes would suffer a great loss with the destruction of Kilrah instead all of the Kilrathi end up looking like treachorous monsters an opportunity for more depth in the story missed.
 

Michelle D

Captain
wow

I'm so glad I never finished WC3, If I found out Hobbes was a traitor I would never have bought or played WC Prophecy.
 

Pedro

Vice Admiral
Honestly though - was Hobbes's defection any worse or less surprising than Tolwyn's in WC4?
WC4 I was fortunate enough to have bought as my first title, on a whim, similalrly WC3, my second title I had not seen any reviews, press or tailers for so my opinion of both twists is likely much higher than that of someone whom was already a fan.
I suppose there is one good thing about having discovered the series so late atleast.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I think of the two, I dislike the Hobbes defection much more than Tolwyn's defection. But this, I suppose, stems from the way Tolwyn was changed (I was gonna say "ruined"... but this wouldn't be fair, as the change served a specific purpose in the game, and did its job very well) as a character in WC3 - by the time I got to WC4, I really didn't much care that the annoying asshole admiral from WC3 would betray us. On the other hand, had WC4 followed on directly from SO2... that would have been much worse.

In any case, yeah, Hobbes being a traitor remains, IMO, one of the worst plot twists in the WC series. What I have trouble working out, though, is whether I dislike this plot twist because it's such a horrible plot twist... or because, like everybody else, I got to like Hobbes in WC2, and simply resent that he was a sleeper agent all along. I think it's mostly the latter - but then again, apart from the idea of Hobbes defecting, I'm also bothered a lot by the whole "identity overlay" concept. It's a cheap trick - rather than developing a traitorous character, giving him motivations and all that, you just take any character and say "oh, see, he's actually somebody else from this moment on".
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Hobbes turning traitor was bad for me as well. I mean, it did surprise me but I was not happy with it. And before I knew about the missing HoloVid and the WC3 novel, I also assumed that Hobbes just couldn't stand the thought of having his home planet (better: the home planet of his species), with all the defining culture be destroyed. I liked that better than the personality overlay...
 

Bearcat

Captain
Agreed

Everything that article said is 100% true. Roberts played a LOT of "Here's something you love...now it's DEAD!" in his story lines. WC is a great continuity, but the plot twists should have been given to someone who could tell a better story.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
...before I knew about the missing HoloVid and the WC3 novel, I also assumed that Hobbes just couldn't stand the thought of having his home planet (better: the home planet of his species), with all the defining culture be destroyed.
Without the explanation video that Ralgha left to Blair, that would probably be the most reasonable explanation for his actions. And yet, the honourable Hobbes that we knew (at least as Humans define honour) probably wouldn't have killed Cobra in his escape - he could have easily just knocked her unconcious or otherwise leave her incapacitated if his only goal was to prevent the utter destruction of Kilrah. (Don't forget that Hobbes had a non-fatal fist-fight with Stingray in WC2, which was really quite foolish on Stingray's part, since a Kilrathi would normally tear Humans apart in hand-to-hand combat.)

I think Quarto put it quite well with regard to the bad plotting / attachment to character dilemma. Ultimately, however, I think Hobbes has become all the memorable a character for his double betrayal, however badly it might have been written. Which, I suppose, can only be a good thing.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
You're probably right. But Cobra was one annoying female dog, perhaps enough rage built up in him after all the abuse and he certainly didn't count on coming back.
Hmm, I just realize that's totally speculating in the blue. The story has been written and it does not even fit badly.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
Roberts played a LOT of "Here's something you love...now it's DEAD!" in his story lines.
Roberts only contributed his writing talents to the first Wing Commander game and the movie script.
 
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