Wing Commander 1 Mistakes

Or at least what look like mistakes. I thought it might be interesting to post mistakes I have been noticing in the game. I do not mean programming errors that manifest themselves as bugs during gameplay, like when all Kilrathi fighters explode for no reason. I mean something more innocent, things within the game that can easily go unnoticed, things that have no real impact on gameplay, mistakes within the content of the game.

As an example of what I mean:

Multiple bronze, silver, and gold medals can be awarded. Only one medal will be displayed and an appropriate number of small pips will be placed above the medal to indicate the medal count. The medals and pips are in different order: gold, silver, and bronze for the pips; but bronze, silver, and gold for the medals.


I will be adding more, but feel free to add you own.
I've never noticed the medal pips glitch before, but then I've played the majority of WC1 on Amiga and Kilrathi Saga. Which version is that from?

The exploding ships bug is well known and can affect both Terran and Kilrathi vessels. Back in the day it was considered an exploit. It happens when you go from one NAV point to another but you're still 'looking' at any ship outside the new NAV area. For instance you can blow up pursuing fighters by flying away from them and watching them out of the rear window. Or you can just use F9 to object view an any capship whilst holding down your afterburners and flying away. At times this causes seemingly random explosions during dogfights where you move out of range of your enemies. It doesn't seem to affect wingmen, but it does affect escorted Draymen, the Tiger's Claw and other friendly capships.

I forget whether or not the bug translates on to the Amiga platform but seems unlikely given that the engine was rebuilt.

The problem did however carry over into WC2. The only difference being that in the second game you get the kills credited to your character.

There are a few minor bugs and glitches throughout the game, but what you have to remember is that in 1990 a game on the scale of WC1 was groundbreaking in terms of graphics, gameplay, branching storyline and engine dynamics.

All things considered, it's rather polished.
The screen capture is from the original DOS version, although I would guess the mistake is there in Kilrathi Saga as well. The problem comes from the images being in reverse order in the BRIEFING.VGA file.
A favorite of mine: the first mission is always dated 2654.110 at 0600 hours. All later dates have a random element, but the first one is always the same.

... which would be fine except that Colonel Halcyon begins the briefing saying that the Tiger's Claw arrived in the Enyo System seven hours ago at 0800 hours. It should be 1500 hours and not 0600!
Nice catch on the medals. I don't remember if I ever noticed that.
I seem to recall someone saying that some of the ribbons received didn't match their image in the Claw Marks. Is this true?
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Yes it is true; the depiction and the naming in the Claw Marks do no match the in-game ribbons.

This is what I could determine as the correct naming of the ribbons.


Top row: Academy Graduation; Flight Training; Vega Sector Campaign; Hornet Qualification
Middle row: Rapier Qualification; Scimitar Qualification; Raptor Qualification; Ace (5 kills)
Bottom row: Ace of Aces (25 kills); Five Missions; Ten Missions; Fifteen Missions
I actually noticed the medals right away, but I always assumed this was done intentionally for arttistic reasons. I kind of think it looks better this 'glitched' way.

And the only bug that was really bothering me was the overflow one that would kill Spirit in the expansions. I tried for days to replay the mission to keep her alive back then.
If we are including differences with Claw Marks, there are plenty of stat changes that happened between when the manual went to press and the final QA balance pass. Mostly armor values, but lots of loadout changes too. There are some typos too... I doubt the Jalthi ever had three and three guns.

The random nature of the dates also means that it's pretty much impossible for the Port Hedland missions to happen on 2654.140 as advertised on the back of the manual, too!
Another mistake, this one tiny, literally. One of the Tiger’s Claw ship image (SHIP.V08-block-034-image-000) has a few superfluous pixels in the upper left corner. If you try hard enough, you can see these extra pixels in game play.

Ah, if we're talking graphical errors too, Kilrathi Saga WC1 has a weird one.

The red planet and nebula are both missing, in their place we see the sprite for a tiny fragment of space junk instead. So small that you wouldn't normally notice it. It's most obvious when you autopilot as often you see your fighter heading right towards it in the brief autopilot animation.
@-danr- There is a patch that fixed that error.
@UnnamedCharacter If we are talking about Pixel errors Iceman and Angel both have pixel errors in their base image. Middle right hand side.


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Well, speaking of pixels, here is one more, this time concerning the mission briefings.

The opening shot of the briefing presents a wide view of the briefing room. The view is created with multiple layers of images, but I want to focus on the background image. You can see above the Colonel there is a black pixel that is out of place. Actually the pixel is not black, but missing. It is transparent and what we see is the black background behind it. Also, that image is 319 pixels wide instead of 320, leaving a 1 pixel column on the right with a black background.


During the briefing, the view changes several times and when the briefing ends, the view is reset to the initial wide shot. This time, the transparent pixel above the Colonel is now red because we are actually seeing through to the previous view. This even more apparent for that 1 pixel column on the right, now it is incorrectly filled with the previous image.

Wow, interesting stuff.

I was always wondering what people thought about the "timeline" of Wing1. I mean, you can only fly a mission on 2654.110 at 0600 so many times (ie. once) before players start to notice something strange about the continuum of time in the game!

But, hey. If it doesn't bug anyone else, it doesn't bother me either. And even if it does, it still doesn't bother me. It's now a funny little game mechanic that makes me smile whenever I enter the briefing room.

Looking forward to more stuff like this! Hope you get to the other Wing games too. ;)
I guess the call signs of our characters changed during development; for some, the labels on their helmet are different.

From left to right:

Dart (Hunter)
Joker (Maniac)


What I find impressive is how much personality they could give these character with so few pixels and colors; the wide eyed and dumbstruck look of Maniac (Joker), that dead serious look of Iceman, ...
... which would be fine except that Colonel Halcyon begins the briefing saying that the Tiger's Claw arrived in the Enyo System seven hours ago at 0800 hours. It should be 1500 hours and not 0600!

Been playing though WC1 myself these last couple of days (got up to Gimle 1 last night but I didn't kill Bhurak so I'm liable to replay McAullife 3). Noted something peculiar regarding the debriefings. So far all of them - every last one - has been at 0600 hours on the same day as the briefing.

I guess that means that apparently time has completely stopped on the Tiger's Claw and its environs during Enyo 1 (what with both the briefing and post-mission debriefing taking place at 0600). Which makes the physics behind sublight drive in the WC universe waaaaay more interesting, IMHO......
The cockpit of the Hornet is not airtight; there are holes in the side walls. Bare with me, I will try to explain using a series of images.

The first row of images are the familiar cockpit views. The second row are the masks, which indicate the "transparent" areas of the cockpit views; I highlighted a series of stray pixels. These pixels line-up with what could be considered controls in the side wall of the cockpit.



You can fairly easily see the effect of this in game play. Just line-up the Tiger’s Claw or the stellar background, move the ship slightly and you will see these little dots change colors to reflect the background. You can also see these pixels change when taking enemy fire.