Today's updates are brought to you courtesy of the year 1991. A little while back we put up a copy of the Wing Commander 2 demo, but at the time, running it may have been difficult for some people. It's not a playable demo, and if it weren't based off the WC2 cinematic engine, it would just be called a trailer. The sequence is an extended version of the Wing Commander 2 intro. Dralthi (not Drakhri!) are seen escorting Thrakhath's Bloodfang. Then you actually see the imperial guards that the Emperor dismisses before Thrakhath speaks. Additional commentary including the prince's new title as "Slave Lord of Terra" is also included, and the voices are unrefined. The sequence is runnable in DOSBox now, but the voices may be a little choppy if you use an emulator. A few screenshots have been selected below. This was one of those amazing things that PC owners showed off to their friends and family back in the early nineties. You can grab the 2 meg demo here.
A few key backgrounds were also changed. The shots on the left are from the demo. The right side is the actual WC2 intro. It's interesting that they made the decision to remove the guards and create a darker and more private mood in the final version.
While doing some of his research, LOAF stumbled across a text file detailing someone's trip to Origin in October 1991 to meet Richard Garriott and Chris Roberts. The file apparently originates from a BBS, which alongside Usenet and magazines were the main methods of distributing information in the pre-Web era. It offers a fascinating insight in to what went on at Origin in the early days.
I mentioned the recent success of WING COMMANDER, and Richard nodded
vigorously. "It's a fantastic game, Chris [Roberts, the designer] has done an
incredible job. However, I admit to some ambivalent feelings. Till now, the
success of Origin depended to a large degree on my work with ULTIMA. Now that
isn't true, which of course is an adjustment for my ego." He laughed a bit at
this, and seemed obviously pleased with the new situation. He also gave credit to Chris for inspiring some of the new interface ideas used in ULTIMA VI through Chris's game, TIMES OF LORE.
We've always known that Origin was a pioneer of new technology, this article also suggests that Wing Commander may have been the first game to break the 640K (conventional memory) barrier. The article also mentions that Secret Missions 1 was originally not going to be available through retail outlets. It's an interesting read for Wing Commander, Ultima and Origin fans alike. We've also mirrored the file here. There are some other interesting mentions within.