| Wing Commander
- FM Towns
- SegaCD / MegaCD
- Super Nintendo (SNES)
|| Origin FX
| Release Date
|| September 26, 1990
Wing Commander virtually created the space combat simulation genre when it arrived in the fall of 1990. It wasn't the first game where players flew a ship around in space, but it was the first to combine cutting edge graphics, a branching mission tree, complex characters and an exciting storyline. As a rookie pilot aboard the TCS Tiger's Claw, the player was introduced to the vicious feline Kilrathi. Over the course of dozens of missions, the Terran Confederation managed to force the Empire of Kilrah out of the Vega Sector. PC gamers used the original Wing Commander game to show off their powerful new 386 machines to their friends. The game exuded style and polish from the cockpit hand that followed players' joystick movements to the dripping bucket in the barracks.
"Wingleader One! Wingleader One! Bogies all around! Can't shake 'em!"
"Hold on, Hunter, I'm on my way!..."
You're a starfighter pilot, the best of the best, but nothing in your training prepared you for action this hot. Deepspace dogfights against Kilrathi aces are deadly, and the future of humanity is on the line each time you fly!
Wing Commander puts you in the middle of the most intense starship action you've ever experienced outside of a movie theater. But in Wing Commander, you're the star!
- Experience ORIGIN's amazing new-state-of-the-art computer graphics and sound system.
- Marvel at the detailed, ray-traced, bit-mapped images in ORIGIN's cutting-edge 3-D technology.
- Thrill to the dynamic soundtrack that senses the action on-screen and alters the pacing, tempo, and mood of the music to match!
- Advance in rank while piloting one of four unique Terran spacefighters against a deadly array of enemy ships.
- See the action from all angles using Wing Commander's player controlled camera.
- Count on your wingman, a skilled pilot, thanks to the advanced Wing Commander artificial intelligence system, but don't get cocky. The enemy flies intelligently too!
- Play individual missions for fun or join in an elaborate campaign designed to test your reflexes and strategic skills.
- IBM PC or compatible
- 12+ MHz x86 CPU
- 640 KB RAM
- Dual FDD or HDD
- 256-color VGA/MCGA or EGA/Tandy
- Optional sound card (opt. General MIDI)
Cover art for the Super Famicom port.
Cover art for the Super Nintendo port.
Cover art for the FM Towns port.
Designed & Directed by
Chris Roberts, Steve Muchow, Paul Isaac, Steve Beeman,
Ken Demarest III, Herman Miller
Ken Demarest III
Steve Beeman, Erin Roberts
3 Space System
ORIGIN Graphic Systems
John Miles, Chris Roberts
ORIGIN Sound System
Denis Loubet, Glem Johnson, Daniel Bourbonnais,
Keith Berdak, John Watson
Additional Written Material
Steve Cantrell, Philip Brogden
George A. Sanger, David Govett
Marc Schaefgen, Philip Brogden, Steve Cantrell, Greg Paul Malone II,
Erin Roberts, Mike Romero, Jeff Shelton, Scott Shelton,
Brian Tompkins, John Watson
Chris Roberts and Warren Spector
- Deluxe Edition: Included WC1, SM1, & SM2
- Deluxe Edition CD: Included WC1, SM1, & SM2
- Kilrathi Saga Edition: Windows 95 version, SM1 & SM2 freely downloadable
This is 'Super Wing Commander'. All of the graphics are redone in Privateer-level VGA. It has some new 'bridge' plot points (characters occasionally mention stealth fighters) and a 'middle' set of addon (SM1.5!) missions about blowing up the Sivar's base. Full speech, ships look different, people look different, etc. Amazingly, of all the ports this one *plays* most similar to the original game.
Low (32?) color graphics version. The only real difference is that the fighters menu in the trainsim has 'rotating' images of the fighters instead of simple VDU line drawings. No one in the universe knows why this is. (People often say that the music sounds better in the Amiga version... but my experience is that it sounds fairly similar to the original game's music played on an MT-32 or LAPC-I.)
Identical to the original A500 Amiga version, except with 256 color graphics.
Visually identical to the PC version - the only significant change is that it has a Redbook audio soundtrack instead of MIDIs and Japanese speech inflight. The FM Towns is a Japanese computer. They were the first computers to ship with CD-ROM drives standard -- so the FM Towns ports of many early Origin games have full speech (Ultima 6 is the famous one).
SegaCD / MegaCD
The SegaCD version is visually similar to the original PC release, but it also includes full speech (and the requisite awkward console control scheme). The Sega CD was called the Mega CD in Europe and Japan.
Another low (16?) color version. The SNES version has a host of weird Nintendo-requested minor changes (the Blue Devils are the 'Blue Angels' - things like that). There's some obvious tricks to get around the low amount of memory on an SNES cart, too - for instance, SNES WC1 doesn't have unique graphics for the Jalthi... it's just a Salthi that's been turned green. There is also a seperate, stand-alone SNES version of the Secret Missions addon... it's fairly cool, as it includes a unique intro sequence (Kilrathi talking about the Sivar weapon) and an 'extended' Tiger's Claw takeoff scene that makes use of some Mode-7 landscaping stuff.
Mock-up of the original Wing Commander
box cover art shown at COMDEX, the Computer Dealers' Exhibition.
Computer Gaming World article about professional artists working on video games -- which, it's hard to believe, was a fairly new concept at the time. The exciting aspect for Wing Commander fans, however, is the picture seen below (left): a landscape which was designed for but not used in the original Wing Commander. The caption reads: "'Water World' (Glen Johnson) Landscape removed from Wing Commander." Where could it have appeared? It's anyone's guess -- but a water planet, Hurricane, does appear in one of Wing Commander's winning/losing cutscenes -- it's pictured below (right)
Patches / Addons
Tracks from Origin Audio CD Volume 1
Thanks to Sébastien Caty and Joe Garrity. (Details, more)
High Quality tracks
SegaCD audio tracks
FM Towns audio tracks
Manuals and Game Documentation
PC & Amiga
Fire guns Space
Fire missile Enter
Full stop Backspace
Look left F2
Look right F3
Look forward F1
Look behind F4
Chase view F5
Battle view F6
Tactical view F7
Missile view F8
Tail view F9
Cycle weapons W
Cycle guns G
Cycle targets T
Lock target L
Damage HUD D
Comms select C
Nav Map N
Fire guns Green
Fire missile Yellow
Roll left Red + Left
Roll right Red + Right
Accelerate Red + Up
Decelerate Red + Down
"Super Brake" Red + Green
Look left Left top + Left
Look right Left top + Right
Look forward Left top + Up
Look behind Left top + Down
Chase view Left top + Red
Battle view Left top + Blue
Tactical view Left top + Green
Cycle weapons Right top + Left
Cycle guns Right top + Up
Cycle targets Right top + Right
Lock target Right top + Down
Damage cycle Right top + Red
Autopilot Right top + Blue
Comms select Right top + Green
Comms cycle Right top + Yellow
Music on/off Right top + Left top + Left
Sound effects Right top + Left top + Up
Video suppress Right top + Left top + Right
Message speed Right top + Left top + Down
Missile camera Right top + Left top + Red
Version number Right top + Left top + Blue
Nav Map Right top + Left top + Green
Eject Right top + Left top + Pause
Controls supplied by Liz Calkins.
Fire guns B
Fire missile A
Cycle weapons Select+B
Cycle guns Select+A
Cycle targets Press X to view the Navigation Map;
press A to select an available Nav point;
press Start to confirm the new objective and resume play.
Comms select If there is one recipient, press Select+X to select a message from the list;
press X to send it. If multiple recipients are available,
press Select+X to select a person;
press X to confirm the choice. Then send the message as shown above.
Nav Map X: go to nav map
A: Select next Nav point (in nav map)
Start: Confirm Nav point change (in nav map)
Switch VDU Select+L: Choose between Weapons Display or Damage Display in left VDU
Controls supplied by Alonzo Wilkins.
D Move the cursor to select option
A Begin selected action
B Skip entire conversation/animation
A or C Skip one line of conversation
S Start game/Pause
D Move the ship left, right, up and down
A Fire gun
AB Launch missile
B and up Speed up
B and down Slow down
B and left Roll left
B and right Roll right
Bx2 Apply afterburner burst (keep pressed the second
time for continous afterburners)
S^ or S\/ Cycle views (External views and Cockpit)
S and up Cycle views up (Starboard/Rear/Port/Cockpit)
D and down Cycle views down
SAB Toggle Missile Camera (on/off)
SBC Eject from ship
VDU Functions, 3 button controller:
SA Cycle through Left VDU modes (Weapon/Gun/Damage)
SC Cycle through Right VDU modes (Communications/Nav/Target)
C Cycle through avaialble options
SB Lock/Unlock target (If in Autotargeting mode)
SB Select Reciever/Send Message (If in Communications mode)
SB Display Nav map/pause game (If in Navigational mode)
A Accept Nav point and return to cockpit (if in Nav map)
VDU Functions, 6 button controller:
X Cycle through Left VDU modes (Weapon/Gun/Damage)
Z Cycle through Right VDU modes (Communications/Nav/Target)
C Cycle through available option
Y Lock/Unlock target (If in Autotargeting mode)
Y Select Receiver/Send Message (If in Communications mode)
Y Display Nav map/pause game (If in Navigational mode)
Y Accept Nav point and return to cockpit (if in Nav map)
Afterburner Left top + Right top
Fire guns C
Fire missile A
Accelerate B + Up
Decelerate B + Down
Chase view Stop + C
Battle view Stop + A
Cycle weapons Left top + A
Cycle guns Left top + C
Cycle targets Right top + A
Autopilot Right top + C
Break and attack Stop + Up
Attack my target Stop + Up
Taunt Stop + Right
Request assistance Stop + Left
Request landing Stop + Down (with Tiger's Claw targeted)
On board computer Stop + B
Establish Joystick Control Clover key + J
Establish Keyboard Control Clover key + K
Establish Mouse Control Clover key + M
Toggle hotspots Tab (onboard Tiger's Claw)
Switch to battle view Clover key + D
Switch to chase view Clover key + F
Switch to cockpit view Clover key + Y
Increase speed +
Decrease speed -
Complete stop S
Cycle targets T
Toggle guns G
Toggle weapons W
Onboard computer C
Order Break and Attack B
Send taunt E
Order Help Me Out H
Request landing R (with Tiger's Claw targeted)
Order form on my wing R
Eject Available through onboard computer
Display small graphics Clover key + 1
Display medium graphics Clover key + 2
Display large graphics Clover key + 3
Toggle music on/off Clover key + U
Toggle sound on/off Clover key + N
- Start the game with "wc Origin" at the command line to enter debug mode.
- Alt-Del destroys target. Alt-Ins destroys targetted enemy wing.
- Start the game with wc.exe Origin -k.
- Same as above, plus invincibility.
Kilrathi Saga Edition
- With invincibility off, open wingcmdr.cfg. Make sure it contains -k -b. Turning invincibility back on may cause your name to change back to CHEATER.
- Player name is no longer replaced with "CHEATER" when invincibility is enabled.
Empire of Kilrah
Clicking on the system name will bring you to the first mission in that system.