Can of (Good) Worms
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was about time we cracked open a Prophecy Gold box! I grabbed my copy of Prophecy Gold at a local Best Buy (Maryland, USA). At first glance it appeared to have the same box as Prophecy, except with a different color background. A later comparison revealed that it's actually new art -- the Vampire is at a slightly different angle and the backround is an explosion rather than a jump opening. The inside flap of the box has been changed, and rather than a big picture of the Midway and her fighter wing it has various scenes of CGI with interesting little captions. "Alien threat neutralized", "Confed forces secure the Ella system", "Integrated Combat Information System", "Confed Murphy class Destroyer" and "Alien Marlin class Cruiser" appear, Marlin being the original planned name for the Hydra. Oops... A bit of dissapointment inside the box -- no incredible map. I could have really used another one. Other than a lack of map, the box contained a registration card, card advertising Ultima Ascension and Fighter pilot, reference card, 140 page flight manual and CD box. The flight manual is particularly cool, it has the original ICIS documentation, added information for Secret Ops (similar to the 'pre fiction', with letters from Paladin and orders for the Cerberus). The manual has been beefed up with COMPLETE specifications for all the guns and Confederation ships in Prophecy and Secret Ops. Very cool, they even got the designation for the Thunderbolt right. The game itself consists of four CD's with new artwork, each marked Prophecy Gold or Secret Ops. As far as I can tell the contents of the CDs themselves are the same as their original versions. Biggest dissapointment: no fiction on the SO CD. Rather there's a link to the SO web site, which probably means that the fiction will indeed stay up after the episodes. All in all, Gold was worth the price, especially with the beefed up manual. Grab yourself a copy as soon as you can.
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