Last month we reported about Zeckensack's Glide Wrapper and its ability to allow modern video cards to run Prophecy and Secret Ops in 3dfx mode. At the time some people had difficulty running the 3dfx Test. Theo discovered a tip that has helped some people get the test running. After downloading and installing the wrapper, run its Configurator and try the 3dfx Test. Make sure you right click on WCP3DFX.EXE, go to the Compatibility tab and enable Windows 98 compatibility mode, or else the game will definitely crash in Windows XP. If you still encounter an error, rerun Zeckensack's Configurator and try lowering the texture memory amount.
Texture memory: You can select 2MB, 4MB, 8MB or 16MB. Generally more is better, but there are two possible reasons to go with less. First, some games use, um, interesting texture management schemes that do not work well with the wrapper and the OpenGL driver behind it. These tend to run smoother with less texture memory. Second, games that were not designed to handle large amounts of texture memory may simply crash. There have never been real Voodoo I boards with more than 4MB of texture memory, so this kind of "bug" was impossible to detect in that era.
Many of us have vivid memories of lucky Wing Commander fans splurging on the $150 Pure 3D Voodoo 1 card with 6 megabytes of memory. Nobody ever needed the card for any other game (besides Secret Ops), but everyone was happy to spend the money to get the best Wing Commander experience possible. The 3dfx Test was everyone's first taste of the exciting Vision Engine that was in the works. Although it's almost eight years old, the game is tons of fun and still looks amazing today.
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Sure, you've played Prophecy... but did you ever play the demo? If not, you're missing out on a special little chunk of the game. Unlike most game previews, the Prophecy demo contains regular plot missions not available in the retail game. There are four missions that fit nicely in to the game's storyline, but if you'll only see three on your first try due to the branching story. You can still download the 38 meg demo from Electronic Arts' FTP server here. You can also download the demo movies pack, which adds a few basic scenes such as your ship launching and briefing introductions. There's even a German version linked from our Files section if that's your preferred language.
Intrepid Enters Spacedock
Spacedock has profiled another Wing Commander vessel! The BWS Intrepid is the star this episode of "Sci-Fi Ships You've Never Heard Of." Daniel, the author, has a huge soft spot for the WC series, and he's especially fond of this one. (2018-09-18)
Sienta la Ciencia y la Ficción
Christian Klein marches ever closer to having a complete set of Wing Commander games translated for Spain. This looks like a pretty thorough job with everything from the box to disc to manuals in Spanish, although no in-game audio has been revamped. The front doesn't have the big Midway flap that opens, but the static front and rearranged rear screenshot collage make it its own unique collectible! (2018-09-17)
Homeworld Mod Locks & Loads
The Homeworld Remastered Mod has gotten another update to more fully implement the fuel & ammunition mechanics that L.I.F. (2018-09-16)
The Edge of The Darkening
We've unearthed a fascinating piece of pre-history: a detailed preview of Privateer 2: The Darkening from the August 1996 issue of Edge magazine... written when the game was still just called 'The Darkening!' The article includes a beautiful two-page gallery of artwork, plenty of pre-release screenshots and a surprising amount of technical detail about the game's development team. (2018-09-15)
Sticker Shock: Cross Promotion
eBay find: as part of the marketing for the Wing Commander movie in 1999, they sent out little promo stickers retailers could add to their existing stock of Wing Commander games... so you know this copy of Prophecy was still on the shelves about 18 months after release! (2018-09-14)