Wouldn't ship identification be harder if every ship looked the same? That seems to be the principal behind the series of four Kilrathi capital ships we'll be looking at next - four different classes of ships that all have the same essential design... a design which is, in and of itself, taken from the Hvar’kann-class dreadnoughts seen in Wing Commander III!
The Carrier appears in "Red and Blue" (in the simulation), "Recreation," "Invisible Enemy" and "The Price of Victory." The Carrier is, naturally, the most heavily armed of the ships: it carries two dual mount laser turrets, one single mount laser turret, a dual mount missile launcher, six single mount laser turrets and one dual and one triple mount laser battery -- in addition to a full complement of fighters in a forward bay.
This was a really tough one. Many people sent in a lot of great submissions that detailed very touching space sim moments. Eventually we had to narrow it down to top contenders and pick somewhat randomly. Don't feel bad if you didn't win, we plan to eventually put many of the submissions in a future Mail Bag for others to see. Let us know if you don't want yours included, but most everyone sent in good submissions to be proud of. And the Void War winners are... Edmo Suassuna, James Lillian and Tim Nguyen.
Here is Edmo's moment:
My favourite Space Sim moment was probably terrible at the time, but I fondly recall it. My first computer was an used 386 my father bought, and in it's HD there was WC1. I knew very little about computers, and nothing about pc games. I started the game, amazed with the images and the blips that came from he pc speaker. I talked to the people in the bar, tried the sim a few times and decided it was time to leave my mark on that killboard.
James' submission went like this:
My first mission was probably very hard for my meager skills, but I triumphed after a couple of tries. I talked to the other people in the bar again, thrilled with the imersion and interactiveness of it all. Then I proceeded to the second mission.
Spirit and I went on the escort the Drayman mission. I didn't know about the
autopilot key, no manual. So I flew with the cargo ship, and as Spirit tried
to keep formation, she crashed at the 'sport so many times that she simply
blew up and died!
The big moment is: I was so immersed and caught up with the game that I
actually despaired! When I returned to the Claw and attended her funeral I was even more distraught! I expected my fellow pilots to be mad at me for letting Spirit die, and stopped playing for that day.
I will never forget the level of emotional involvement I got from Wing
Commander after 2 missions! I think it is a great moment indeed, and that it summarizes the greatness of the WCU. I've had many others, but this was special.
My favorite space sim moment is from Privateer. It falls under the category of “Crap!” and gets your heart rate elevated. In Privateer I flew the Centurion (as I guess most did). You are exploring way out from civilization and enter an asteroid field. Then a bunch of Kilrathi show up and want you dead. So you have 2 options, fight the Kilrathi (and probably die) or hit your afterburners and pray you can dodge the asteroids! There’s nothing like watching your back shield being shot out while dodging rocks whizzing by your cockpit at max kph! And then you reach that jump point and hit hyperspace to get away! (Hoping you are not jumping into something worse!)
Tim Nguyen is the final winner:
My most favorite space sim moment was in Wing Commander IV. It was one of my first, if not the first, space sim I have ever played. I remember playing through and getting to the Border Worlds' mission where you had to drop Vagabond and Sosa off at the Comm station. It was my first time through so I was still a bit shaky on flying. I auto-piloted to the station and immediately cloaked. As I closed in on the radar buoy, I got a missile lock. I uncloaked and fired my missiles and destroyed the buoy. Then I locked onto the comm station and fired the two MIPs.
Many others submitted great stories as well. Runners up include Sphinx's great depiction of an epic Freespace battle, Raymond Shum's mention of Spirit's death at Heaven's Gate and Daniel Goodwin's first experience in Wing Commander 1. All six of the above contestants win a CIC glass, but thanks to everyone who entered.
By then, I received a message from Pliers telling me I was about to get some company. As if on cue, three Hellcats showed up on my radar. I switched my guns to the stormfires and took them head-on. I destroyed one Hellcat as the other two flew right by me. I flipped my Avenger to take on the two remaining Hellcats. Just as I finished flipping, I saw the two Hellcats bank right into each other and go up in a blaze. "What luck," I thought and started to concentrate on the laser mines.
Unfortunately for me, three more Hellcats came up and started pounding away at me. I turned to take them on at about this time the cutscene showing Vagabond getting shot popped up. Then, Sosa came out in her MIP. I was starting to get a bit panicky 'cuz my shields were gone now and my armor low. I decided that if I was gonna go down I was gonna take someone with me. So I turned and went head-on with one of the Hellcats, blasting away with my guns. Of course, its shields and armor were still full while mine were almost non-existent. I ended up ramming into the Hellcat and received the dreaded "cracked screen of doom" (that's what I called it anyway). What little was left of my armor went bye-bye and I watched as my ship twirled in space giving off explosions and finally turning into space dust.
Yes, it was a failed mission and yes, I had to do it again but I'll never forget how insane that battle was and how those two Hellcats in the beginning flew into each other.