Initial reactions to WC3?

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
As a WC vet who cut his teeth on Wing Commander 3 initially, I did not have the luxury of knowing the full story until later. I was curious from the "Old Salts" who actually started on 1 or 2, what was your initial reaction when you heard about the Cast of Wing Commander 3?

Specifically those who were playing the roles of Angel, Blair, Paladin, Maniac, and Tolwyn. You guys were used to cartoon movies and somewhat loony voice acting (they caught me with my kilt down!), so I was just wondering what the reaction was when they turned Paladin from a blond hair Scotsman into a dark brown haired, heavy set one, turned Bluehair into... Luke Skywalker, made Biff your wing man, curled Angel's hair, and SANK THE CONCORDIA!

Who do you think they portrayed the best? Looking backwards, Malcolm McDowell's portrayal of Tolwyn was dead on, they could not have chosen better for him.
 

Confed

Commodore
As someone who played the games in chronological order, I have to agree that Malcolm McDowell as Tolwyn was the most true to the original character from WC2.
My favorite actor in WC3 was Tom Wilson, however. He made Maniac less crazy, but a lot funnier, wich worked really well.
And after playing through the game, if I have had the choice between Mark Hamill or an actor who actually looked like Bluehair (as the one from the movie did), I would have gone for Mark myself. He did a really good job, as did John Rhys-Davies.
I was disappointed that we didn't get to play at least a few missions on the concordia, but it fits into the trend of the story (Confed losing the war)
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Blair;
Well, I figured Mark Hamill had the age blair should be(though the manual lists him as 32 I think, chronologically I presumed he'd be in his 40's), and he fits the role of space superpilot.

Maniac;
That also made tom wilson a good choice, since Maniac would be thesame age as blair, or even older).

Paladin;
Initially if I had a choice of actors I would have chosen Sean Connery to play paladin. But budget would also count. John Rhys Davies is an excellent actor.

Angel;
Remained a french, reddish-haired woman.

Tolwyn;
Based upon the presumation that tolwyn was a black man, I'd say louis gosset Junior would fit the part, or for evil tolwyn, James Earl Jones.
 

Rittmeister

Swabbie
Banned
Back in the early 90's I was mainly playing Commodore Amiga games, so the 1st WC game I actually bought was WC4. I have seen WC1 on a friends machine though once and was a bit jealous of the cool 3d graphics :)
I bought WC4 when it came out, and also the best Joystick EVER: Gravis Analog Pro (because you can rest your hand on the lower part, and not on some flap on the Stick itself which gives my arm cramps after a short while).
WC4 was one of the best game experiences ever. There's not been much until then that can compete.

2 Years ago I bought the double sided DVD version on ebay which rested on my cupboard until now, because i finally got my old Gravis Joystick working again (put an old SB Audigy w. gameport into my machine finally).
I'm now playing the whole series backwards from WC4 - WC3 (currently), then 1+2, then Prophecy and the Privateer stuff.

BTW which privateer should I play the original or one of the new fan-created ones which will certainly run better (but maybe lack some of the original content?)


About the actors:
Hamill - I like him alot, although he isnt a very versatile actor. I guess he has like 4 different facial expressions: dumb looking (most of the time) - a smile - determined - sorry, cant decide on his 4th.

Tolwyn - simply the best, awesome actor, his madness shines through
Eisen - Top guy too, plays the general perfectly
Maniac - my favourite!!! he is real funny. I love how he grabs his crotch and makes a stupid face when you select him as Wingman.
Paladin - great actor!!! love his voice
Vagabond - does his job good enough, nothing special though
Adm. Paulsen - he looks like an evil general and plays one perfectly, cool voice tool. too bad he got whacked so soon.
Seether - plays his arrogant role good, besides that not very remarkable.

the only other memorable actor is Rachel / WC3
she's really a hot seductive slut! :)
I'm still playing WC3, hope I can ditch my "lost love" and get her instead (working on it, hopefully)
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
Tolwyn - simply the best, awesome actor
Eisen - Top guy too
Maniac - my favourite!!! he is real funny
Paladin - great actor!!! love his voice
Vagabond - does his job good enough, nothing special though

Its funny that you should mention Vagabond. My new g.f just bought the second season of Grey's Anatomy and made me sit through it with her. Between escape attempts, there was one Episode where I see this Hmong family at "Orgy Hospital" and head of the house is Vagabond. I looked at him and was like, "Hey! He flew on my wing in the Heart of the Tiger!
 

Sylvester

Vice Admiral
Mace said:
Blair;
Well, I figured Mark Hamill had the age blair should be(though the manual lists him as 32 I think, chronologically I presumed he'd be in his 40's), and he fits the role of space superpilot.

The Victory Streak manual has the wrong age. Blair graduated from the TCSF Academy in 2654. Assuming he was 22 when he graduated, that would make him born in 2332 and therefore he's 37 in WC3 (2669).

And interesting sidenote - Mark Hamill originally wanted the role of Maniac (and hearing him as the Joker, I think he could have done the authentic WC1/WC2 Maniac perfectly) but the producers convinced him to play Blair instead.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
The Victory Streak manual has the wrong age. Blair graduated from the TCSF Academy in 2654. Assuming he was 22 when he graduated, that would make him born in 2332 and therefore he's 37 in WC3 (2669).

And interesting sidenote - Mark Hamill originally wanted the role of Maniac (and hearing him as the Joker, I think he could have done the authentic WC1/WC2 Maniac perfectly) but the producers convinced him to play Blair instead.

"And I initially said 'Well Maniac is the most fun part!" -Mark Hamill in the interviews/blooper reel.

The thing I like about him is that he has no qualms about making fun of himself. He knows he's an unusual person and just goes with it. (See Mark Hamill's appearance on the Simpsons).
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Mark is great like that. I remember being very excited when I heard he was going to portray the main character in WC3. I didn't know the other actors and actresses as well, so I was a bit miffed at the huge changes in appearances some of the characters underwent, but I learned to go with it.

Strangely enough, my order of WC experience went something like WC2, WC1, WCP/SO, WC3, WC4.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
As a WC vet who cut his teeth on Wing Commander 3 initially, I did not have the luxury of knowing the full story until later. I was curious from the "Old Salts" who actually started on 1 or 2, what was your initial reaction when you heard about the Cast of Wing Commander 3?

Specifically those who were playing the roles of Angel, Blair, Paladin, Maniac, and Tolwyn. You guys were used to cartoon movies and somewhat loony voice acting (they caught me with my kilt down!), so I was just wondering what the reaction was when they turned Paladin from a blond hair Scotsman into a dark brown haired, heavy set one, turned Bluehair into... Luke Skywalker, made Biff your wing man, curled Angel's hair, and SANK THE CONCORDIA!

The first thing to understand is that fanbases weren't as obnoxious fifteen years ago; the internet hadn't made us all anonymous and given us huge entitlement issues yet. There were, indeed, many fans of the first two games who didn't like the changes in Heart of the Tiger... but for the most part that simply meant that they stopped playing and posting. The unprecedented success of the game meant it gained a lot more fans than it lost, though... so the old Compuserv group (including the guy who wrote Secrets of the Wing Commander Universe) quietly moving on to other pastures didn't really register.

Also understand: no one considered Wing Commander I and II 'cartoony' when they came out. They were *state of the art* 'interactive movies'; someone picking up Wing Commander II in 1991 had exactly the same reaction as someone picking up Wing Commander III in 1994: I can't believe they've pushed the technology so far that I'm literally playing a movie! The voice acting, similarly, is only cheap TODAY in an era where everyone has millions of dollars and Hollywood-level casting (... because of later WCs!); it was so astounding then that it made the Soundblaster card the standard.

Who do you think they portrayed the best? Looking backwards, Malcolm McDowell's portrayal of Tolwyn was dead on, they could not have chosen better for him.

I don't agree here. Admiral Tolwyn in Wing Commander II had a lot more subtlety than Malcolm McDowell's version ever did. There's absolutely nothing likable about Tolwyn in WC3 -- he's an egomaniac whose war plan makes no sense and he hates your character. Tolwyn in WC2 was a good leader who cared about his ship... and genuinely believed Blair was a traitor. They got along swimingly in the addons, after Blair had been vindicated and Tolwyn admitted he was wrong.

The Victory Streak manual has the wrong age. Blair graduated from the TCSF Academy in 2654. Assuming he was 22 when he graduated, that would make him born in 2332 and therefore he's 37 in WC3 (2669).

I don't know whether this was the intent at the time or if it was something that derived from those wrong ages, but it's related to the initial Wing Commander Academy pitch in which the cadets are younger versions of the Wing Commander III crew (Blair, Flint, Cobra, Maniac, Vagabond's brother, etc.)
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
I want to second what LOAF just said...when the games came out, there was nothing "cartoony" or "loony" about them.

I remember when I first started playing PC video games in the late '80's, I got a hold of some flight simulator game, that was grainy and 16 (or maybe even only 8?) color and inexplicably full of pyramids...and I loved it. And I remember making the comment:

"You know what would be really really cool? If they could do two things with a flight simulator. Actually make it so the other pilots in the game could talk. I know, it's a pipe dream because sound files are way too big to bundle with a game, but it would be neat. And then, if there was some way that people with different computers could somehow link them together so that they both could play the same game and fly against each other."

That's what gaming was like back then...Caterpillar and Zork were still state of the art.

Then a friend sold me the entire Wing Commander suite of games at the time for $20--WC1, SM1+2, WC2, SO1+2, and the speech pack add on for WC2. I had to personally save up to pay for upgrades to my parents computer, namely extra memory and a Soundblaster, and wow! This was as slick looking, high tech, amazing game, with actual voices!

When I saw WC3 for the first time, I was blown away that they actually managed to use real actors. At the time, it seemed like live action FMV was the new wave of the gaming future (no one knew then it was a dead end), and Wing Commander once again delivered.

As to the actors themselves:

-I didn't mind Hamil as "bluehair". I didn't think he looked the part so much, but his acting was perfectly good (except for the scene in WC4 where he is channeling a little too much Luke Skywalker when he's dashing down the corridors of the Death Star...I mean, the base on Axius).

-I was thrown for a loop at Tom Wilson as Maniac, but he quickly became my favorite character. His personality was completely different from what it had been in the games (I thought Lilliard actually did a fantastic job of capturing the "original" maniac in the movie...his performance was my favorite from the movie). But he was fun, and most importantly, he had good chemistry with Hamil (although it did seem at times that he was Biff Tannon in a flightsuit).

-I didn't care for Angel. I'd always pictured her as sophisticated, measured, and reserved, and instead we got some frilly-haired cheerleader. But this wasn't a huge dealkiller, since she had so little screentime.

-Likewise, I was unthrilled with Paladin. Rhys-Davies is a decent actor, but I thought he underperformed as Paladin. Granted, he didn't have much screen time or lines to work with, but I thought his character was a little flat and wooden.

-I loved McDowell, not so much for his role in WC3 (which was all right), but for his role in WC4. I didn't have so many pre-concieved notions about Tolwyn from before...I had never read the novels, so all I knew was the s.o.b. from WC2 and SO1+2. I actually thought McDowell's Tolwyn was less egotistical and idiotic than the one we see in WC2, so I guess I disagree with LOAF there.
 

Bigt028

Rear Admiral
i will add my 2 cents...

my initial reactions to WC3, i was completely shocked...
i am an old timer and have played WC from the begining on old 386 and 486 PC's. so when i got a 100Mhz processor and new motherboard i booted up WC3 and saw Hobbes standing there...actualy standing there, the interactions were amazing.
After playing WC2 and dealing with those issues, Memmaker, emm386, converting extended and expanded memory to get every last inch to play and not get that dredded message "you do not have enough memory" those were the days, toying with IRQ and DMI switches to get your sound Blaster to work, especially for the added "speach pack". i could go on and on.

the idea that green screens used as sets, played out in a Computer Game..Earth Shattering....

so to see and hear and intereact with actors...nothing beats jumping into the cockpit with Luke Skywalker..
i also really enjoyed seeing Ginger Lynn Allen as Rachel...John Rhys Davies as Paladin or was it Sallah...and of course Maclom McDowell as Tolwyn.
well done...i couldnt wait for WC4!
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
I first played WC1 on the SNES, and was instantly hooked. Stayed at my friends' place while I was on leave once, and when he and his wife left the apartment to go to work, I was still playing the game. Felt bad...not too much though. ;) Originally played WC2 after that for my PC (which I specifically upgraded it from a 286 board to a 386 board for the sole purpose of playing it), and bought my first SoundBlaster card when I was able and replayed the game again with the speech pack...wow.

To this day, I still haven't played SM2 or either Special Operations games, and I still need to try to find which box my Kilrathi Saga is in to finally up and install and play them.

As for WC3:

Blair: Hamill was a good pick, though I rather thought they made the character extremely unsure of himself, which I didn't care for. Understandable when the Concordia went down, but to have it throughout just about the entire game was kinda irritating after a while.

Maniac: Tom Wilson transferred a little too much Biff at first, I thought, but he fit the ego-laiden Maniac perfectly.

Tolwyn: The choice of McDowell was perfect. The arrogance, the reluctant (but still not quite full) acceptance of Blair he transferred was great.

Paladin: John Rhys Davies was a great choice indeed, though I agree that the character "facial" didn't exactly translate. He did the grizzled war vet Scot persona quite well.

Angel: Didn't really have much of an opinion, considering the "red shirt" role that was written for the character. Didn't really have a chance to care, what with little screentime she was given.

Frosty, I have one memory where the "...SANK THE CONCORDIA" line is in: By the time I got around to playing it (didn't have the money to grab a PC with the sufficient specs for the PC version), it was the PS version, which I ended up playing after Star Trek: Generations came out. I found myself thinking, "Great...kill another main ship just to introduce a different one" in much the same way they keep killing Enterprise's just to design a new one with a new letter suffix. :p
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
I'm another who first played the original WC on the Amiga. Even with the dreadful refresh rate I was in love with it from the first mission. With no secret missions and no WC2 released on it I was annoyed.
Then one day I went to PC world with the parents and they had WC3s intro on a loop on a MASSIVE screen and I was completely overawed(sp?).
It wasn't long before I got a PC (with WC2 bundled but severely unplayable on a 486dx4's speed) and then got WC3.

I used to take it around my mates (the whole machine) to play it and loved it. Having not played WC2 before WC3, I didn't really mind at all about the character changes I was just so happy to be playing more WC.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
I'm another who first played the original WC on the Amiga. Even with the dreadful refresh rate I was in love with it from the first mission. With no secret missions and no WC2 released on it I was annoyed.
Then one day I went to PC world with the parents and they had WC3s intro on a loop on a MASSIVE screen and I was completely overawed(sp?).
It wasn't long before I got a PC (with WC2 bundled but severely unplayable on a 486dx4's speed) and then got WC3.

I used to take it around my mates (the whole machine) to play it and loved it. Having not played WC2 before WC3, I didn't really mind at all about the character changes I was just so happy to be playing more WC.

I remember having the same attitude when WCP came out... no compy to play it on. Pissed me off to no end. The worst was trying to make my computer compatable to play WC2... thought I'd never fly off the Concordia. Then KS comes out. :D
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
KS, funny story that.
I went out and bought it, brought it back home and it didn't work, because it was Win95 only and I still had the old Dos6.22 Win3.1 combo.
So off I go to the store to buy the upgrade for about £100.

Most expensive game EVER! :D
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
I got WC3 2000, but hadn't played WC4 or WCP (except demos) by then; while I had for many years and times played all of 1&2.
You know, long ago I used to play WC2 on a PC with 40 meg harddrive. Add Special Ops 1&2... Don't have often these day a game that takes up half of HD.

I liked the SO2 Maniac and so I'm not a fan of Wilson. Also Paladin is too different for me (and playing a Scot after Arab, Russian and who knows what else is streching too far).
I've never thought Hamill to be very good actor, but he does to role well enough. Actually he's perhaps 3rd best of the cast. Allen does what she can with the lines and Angel... badly written, reasonable acting.

Of course McDowell is the greatest, he's one of best an most underrated living actors there is. The 2nd best for me was Eisen.


I was disappointed to see Concordia gone, it was Tiger's Claw repeated (well not exactly but...)
Most I disliked
the truth about Hobbes; having a good cat around kept the story from being black and white, with him gone Kilrathi became simple demonised enemies.


Btw got to say the pre-3 WCs have rather good voice acting compared to many other games.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
KS, funny story that.
I went out and bought it, brought it back home and it didn't work, because it was Win95 only and I still had the old Dos6.22 Win3.1 combo.
So off I go to the store to buy the upgrade for about £100.

Most expensive game EVER! :D

I wouldn't go that far... but come on, NOTHING worked on Win3.1!

ALso I STILL Haven't played SM2 Crusade :mad:
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
I think the thing with Hobbes is that Hobbes had an implanted personality. He was genuinely the cat you knew, but when he got 'switched on' the new personality took over. Atleast that's the way I understood it.

Having not played WC2 at the time, I had no feeling at all to the Concordia being gone, but before I owned a PC, I remember looking at the Box for WC2 and the screenshot of Thrakath saying 'My pilots have distroyed the Tiger's Claw', I remember the fury I felt and left the shop pissed off, thinking 'That wouldn't have happened if I had been there'
I guess I was just well into the universe. When a certain pilot dies in Fleet Action, I just stopped reading for a second or two and felt very sad.
 

Flashpoint

Rear Admiral
I wouldn't go that far... but come on, NOTHING worked on Win3.1!

ALso I STILL Haven't played SM2 Crusade :mad:

Even with KS?
I have but on my current replay of WC1, I'm on SM1 and the Gwynhevar(sp?) mission is giving the usual headaches.
Still never played all the way though WC2, so I'm looking forward to it, but am trying not to let all this gaming distract me from coding my WC1 campaign editor
 
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