Wingleader Medals and Ribbons

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Wingleader Medals and Ribbons
Wing Commander - Medals and Ribbons 1.jpg
Creator Origin Systems
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Filesize 1359 kB
Date June 15, 1990
Pages 2

Wingleader Medals and Ribbons is a development document created during the making of Wing Commander. It is dated June 15, 1990 and sets forth the basis for the design of the game's ribbon, medal and promotion systems. The document is part of the Warren Spector Papers at the University of Texas at Austin's Briscoe Center for American History (box 2008-091/6).


WINGLEADER MEDALS AND RIBBONS Prepared June 15, 1990 =================================================================


Service ribbons are not awarded for individual deeds of exceptional merit, but for service, special training and qualification, and career accomplishment. Two ribbons--Academy Graduate and Flight Training--are awarded before the campaign begins.
Academy Graduate - awarded upon graduation from the Terran Confederation Naval Academy on Proxima Centauri IV.
Flight Training - awarded upon satisfactory completion of flight school.
Vega Sector Campaign - awarded upon completion of the first mission board the Tigers' Claw.

Fighter Qualification Ribbons (4 total) - awarded upon completion of first mission in each of the four fighter types: Hornet, Scimitar, Raptor and Rapier.

Ace - awarded after five kills
Ace of Aces - awarded after twenty five kills
Mission Ribbons - awarded for completing five, ten and fifteen missions


Medals are generally awarded for deeds of exceptional merit or bravery. When a medal is awarded to the same pilot a second or subsequent time, a bar is added to the original ribbon, reather than cluttering his chest up with a bunch of redundant hardware.
The Bronze, Silver, and Gold Stars are awarded for exceptional bravery; the Bronze Star is the lowest of the three, the Gold Star the highest. Every mission in the campaign will be designated as a Bronze, Silver or Gold mission, depending upon its difficulty. Exceptional peformance during a mission (probably just scoring above a certain level, according to whatever point-scheme we come up with for the game) will result in the player's winning the appropriate medal. Of course, the player has no idea how difficult a mission is, or what medal it carries, until after he has won the medal.
The Golden Sun is the Squadron equivalent of a Purple Heart--it is awarded for having your ship shot to shit, and then ejecting, without getting killed. Just getting into combat and ejecting won't do the job--you've got to keep fighting until your ship is fairly chewed up. Like the real Purple Heart, the Golden Sun is a dubious distinction. The Golden Sun is only awarded once, to keep people from wasting good ships just to win medals.
The Terran Confederate Medal of Valor, or Pewter Planet, is the highest medal awarded to military personnel. It is awarded in Wingleader only upon successful completion of the final mission in the two "best-case" final series on the campaign tree. (Successful completion of the last mission in the other three "final series" will earn a Gold Star.) The Pewter Planet is only awarded once in a lifetime.


At the beginning of the campaign, the PC is a 2nd Lieutenant. At the end of each mission, he is evaluated for promotion. To recieve a promotion, he must achieve a total score of 7, based on the final criteria:

Missions successfully completed 1
(ie: mission objectives were achieved regardless of casualties to either side)

Every five kills


Every wingman lost


Every ship lost because PC ejected


Random factor representing military foolishness

At the end of the mission, a total score is calculated; if the result is greater than 7, the character is promoted and the promotion score wiped clean. Otherwise, the value (less the random factor, which is re-rolled with every check) is saved for the next check, immediately following the next mission.
Ranks available to the player are:
2nd Lieutenant* (Gold Bar)
1st Lieutenant (Silver Bar)
Captain (2 Silver Bars)
Major (Gold Oak Leaf Cluster**)
Lt. Colonel (Silver Oak Left Cluster**)
* 2nd Lieutenant is starting rank.
** Glen hasn't done the Oak Leaves yet, and I doubt they'll work well in the picture anyway--they'd be awfully hard to distinguish on the guy's shoulders. As an alternate plan, we might stick to bars, with the following progression:
Captain (2 Silver Bars)
Major (3 Gold Bars)
Lt. Colonel (3 Silver Bars)
Captain (2 Silver Bars)
Major (3 Silver Bars)
Lt. Colonel (Gold Planet or Comet)
Colonel (Silver Planet or Comet)
In any case, Lieutenant Colonel is the highest rank you can achieve as a player in Wingleader; the squadron commander is a colonel.