Your preferred way to play Wing Commander 1

Discussion in 'General Wing Commander Chat' started by Pedro, Oct 25, 2017.

  1. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    Putting aside buying a classic PC what is the ideal way to play Wing Commander 1 in 2017?

    The reason I ask is I recently I tested the SNES version not expecting much and found I was enjoying it far more than the last time I tried (and failed) to do a GoG playthrough; this despite the complex control mappings and various shortcomings. The reason for this was it performed as it did the day it was released whereas GoGs version the mouse felt too slow in the bar, too sensitive in spaceflight (indeed spaceflight on PC felt too fast in general); it just didn't feel like I was playing the game the way that was intended.

    So which of the many ports is your recommendation? KS? GoG? Origin? Super Wing Commander on the 3D0 perhaps?
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
  2. DefianceIndustries

    DefianceIndustries Commodore

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    I'm replaying SWC on my 3DO emulator and having a blast.
     
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  3. Mace

    Mace Vice Admiral

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    The original is actually the best.. the FM-towns might be superior in sound, and somewhat "different" is the MegaCD/SegaCD version. The SegaCD version becomes unplayable with too much fighters on the screen(where you can adapt to somewhat ofcourse)
    The 3DO version is, to me, very contemporary... One of those remakes who beat out the original back then by far, but aged less gracefully..
     
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  4. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    Any recommendations for the best way to play the original on a modern system?
     
  5. Stinger

    Stinger Vice Admiral

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    I'll just leave this here...
     
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  6. LeHah

    LeHah 212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"

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    GOG.com has all the games plus has DOSBox native to the install, so it runs as it should.

    (Depending on your system. If ever, it requires a little tweaking in DOSBox but I don't remember having to do that myself.)
     
  7. AD

    AD Finder of things, Doer of stuff

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    Pretty much Dosbox is the only way to play WC1 on a modern PC these days. GOG comes prepackaged and ready to play though a lot of people still have to tweak the dosbox settings for the game to get it to run right. Changing the core/cycle settings from Auto to a fixed amount is pretty much a must.

    WCDX mentioned above is a good option too. WC1 suffers the least from the rework done on the Kilrathi Saga package, and WCDX alleviates a number of the finer sticking points. Also I believe you can still download the PC gamer cover edition from the CIC... so there's an added bonus, and because it's a windows version it's probably a bit easier to configure a modern joystick to run with the game.
     
  8. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    Good question. There is not a perfect way to play the original Wing Commander on a modern machine. GOG+DOSBox give you a solid experience, but it's NOT the same as playing Wing Commander on a 286 or a slow 386 in 1990. You can tweak it quite a bit, you can futz with the speed until it feels natural (you'll run into slowdowns when missions get busier!) and you can pretty closely emulate an MT-32 without owning oneā€¦ but it's not quite right. So sadly the best way to do it right is to build an old machine. Which is a hobby that has been picking up steam in recent years! Though I can certainly understand why it wouldn't be very accessible to most people.

    Many of the console versions will emulate better, but they aren't really the intended experience either. There's so much content cut from the SNES version (in addition to awkward controls, fewer animations, etc.) that I'd lean towards GOG. The same is true with the Sega CD port, the FM Towns version and either version of Super Wing Commander. The Amiga CD32 version may be your best bet if you want to go in that direction; it has the 256-color graphics of the PC version on a system that emulates very nicely. The music is great, but won't be what you're used to!

    Now, if anyone is interested and capable, we could dig up the source code and work from there...
     
  9. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    If recompiling it isn't an issue I'd certainly be interested in doing so. Given there wasn't any timing code in place in the original it'd be the one title that would really benefit from only minor tweaks
     
  10. Stinger

    Stinger Vice Admiral

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    Wait... is that realistically an option? Aren't there tons of legal hurdles?
     
  11. UnnamedCharacter

    UnnamedCharacter Ensign

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    What are our options here? Even with all the work done on the WCToolbox, I still have tons of questions.
     
  12. delMar

    delMar Rear Admiral

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    Absolutely :)

    Besides that, I think that @Stinger's WCDX is currently the best way to play it; it provides the smoothest framerate, gameplay speed, etc.
    Funny thing, I think WC2 still plays a lot better than WC1 these days.
    So, playing WC1 in the WC2 engine would be my favorite. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
  13. Mace

    Mace Vice Admiral

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    Find a 486dx at a garage sale and cram it's interns in a modern case :)

    If I would were to look for a 486 I would aim for the run of the mill 486DX/2 66, one of the most sold and therefore common computers of 1992/1993, and preferrably upgrade it with:
    - gravis ultrasound extreme(features both a physical Sounbastard(soundblaster clone) and a gravis ultrasound, a software wavetable that features MT32 emulation. Still find these cards factory sealed at computer events in stands today. Does require some tinkering to set up.
    - a tseng labs ET4000 ISA or ET4000/W32 VLB card(the panning/scrolling shots common in lots of games will be a LOT smoother)
    - one of those VGA to composite or component(preferred) convertors to hook it up to your TV set.

    Actually WCDX is the more clever way to go on this one, but you'll legaly need Kilrathi Saga first.
     
  14. delMar

    delMar Rear Admiral

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    actually, you can grab it for download here on the CIC, as it was part of a cover disk once.
     
  15. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    Thanks for the recommendations - wcdx is definitely better than gog.
    Still the space flight is a little too fast except when a fighter is in full view - I wonder, couldn't code be inserted to asses the time taken for the previous frame and adjust accordingly?
    Apart from the over sensitivity in space flight when not much is going on it is near perfect.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2017
  16. Vidmaster

    Vidmaster Commodore

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    What was cut from Super Wing Commander? I thought the game was complete, with Secret Missions 1 and some extra Chapter in place of Missions 2 included?
     
  17. Bandit LOAF

    Bandit LOAF Long Live the Confederation!

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    The biggest change (other than the redone visuals) in Super Wing Commander is that it loses all the 'reward' cutscenes... it replaces them with fewer, less interesting ones. Other than that it's mostly little changes, like losing the Hhriss... or things resulting from the control scheme change, like ejecting requiring you go the Nav Map.
     
  18. Stinger

    Stinger Vice Admiral

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    <ahem>
     
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