Why indeed . Obviously, we couldn't do a pirate campaign, but I still very much regret that we didn't have a proper ending for that situation. It feels rather cheap to just throw Bradshaw in jail. Still, at the time, we were above all concerned with getting the game done at all, and given the scope of the project, it's not surprising that we had to cut a few non-essential things out.
FWIW, our original plan was to let the player fly one mission with the pirates, in which the Lionheart would be assaulting the base (think being on the other side of M5)... but ultimately we decided that it would be too much trouble to make a mission that'd have to be unwinnable anyway.
I finally got access to a Windows machine *with* sound after all these years. So I played through Standoff 1... excellent work--yet the real gem is standoff 2, with the simulator and the kilrathi (and the epee!!). Amazing--- So far I'm thinking this is the best campaign-based wing commander since WC2... The flight certainly feels more Wing Commander than WCP and even moreso than WC3 or 4...
A+ for gameplay and for revamping that old Prophecy engine (has anyone gotten it working on linux? Maybe with wineX?).
Really the only issue I've had is that the game segfaults(access violation) often on Win2k with GF2mx (yes I turned off hardware accel on Sound, otherwise it would crash more often)...but I find that if I restart before each mission there's a >50% chance it won't crash until I finish the mission, so it's at least playable, and luckily the load time is zilch.
Query, so in response to spirit's question: how do you end up defecting--I couldn't find that option anywhere....Though I note that if I selected the gladius the mission unfolds slightly differently (that version crashes 75% of the time, so I haven't been able to get through it yet because of the numerous cutscenes)