danr has put together a neat video that shows off some of the differences between pilots that played WC1&2 with and without expanded memory. In our modern world of DOS emulators and glide wrappers, carefully tuning a struggling PC to get the best experience is a bit of a lost art. Getting games properly running in the early '90s required a pretty good working knowledge of boot disks, conventional memory optimization, loading device drivers into extended memory, taking advantage expanded memory and more. And the rewards for a good setup were great! Full EMS usage enabled things like the moving hand on joystick, cockpit damage, faces for the communication VDU, richer explosions and WC2's speech. Wing Commander Academy actually required EMS just to run, but by later games, simply having the necessary amount of extended memory RAM was sufficient - until Prophecy introduced hardware acceleration modes.
Going to be making a few WC1 related videos for the anniversary, since I've not done this much before, figured I'd test out the software and my microphone with this oddball curiosity video.
Inspired by a thread from earlier this week, this one's aimed mostly at the kids that don't remember seeing Wing Commander in low memory environment, or even in EGA. The music I've used is from the Amiga version.