Apparently flying a space fighter is actually very complicated, as this design document about Wing Commander Prophecy's keyboard and joystick input paths explains. Most of it is entirely beyond me, but I am very interested in the proposed Playstation controls. This same team spent quite a bit of time trying to develop an improved input for WCIV PSX, so all of this complicated madness might have worked quite well had the game been released. Also great is a note from Billy Cain: "THIS NEEDS TO BE MADE EXPLICITLY CLEAR. RIP OFF THE BEST SYSTEM OUT THERE, OR COME UP WITH A COMPOSITE".
These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!
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Date: March 25, 1997