Wing Commander: Covert Missions (was: SM 1.5 (Working Title))

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Btw, HCl posted the SWC videos here (the link can be found over at http://hcl.solsector.net/ near the bottom, below the September 9th, 2013 entry): https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BySt9lq7ClQ6V042d2F4dl9hTTQ/edit?usp=sharing

Just a single word on the SNES SM1 intro: afaik, no one played with the SNES data so far, right? Being able to extract the assets of the intro scene would be awesome and make converting it to the PC much easier.

Ah yes! I thought I remember seeing the videos, but I was coming up blank while searching my PC (only finding the raw vids and not the converted ones) and searching the CIC, since I presumed that they would have been posted in the news.

I don't remember if anyone has looking into the SNES files, but that would be a interesting challenge.
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
Is scene index 65 supposed to play regardless of whether you win or lose or for one or the other?
IIRC, scene 65 is the losing endgame. The winning endgame should be 64. Thanks for your email, btw.

There are no cut scenes referenced in the CAMP file for SM1.5, except for the last scene played at the end
That's unfortunate. Because when watching HCl's extracted videos, there were lots of scenes that seem to support the storyline. I guess I'll have to watch the Let's Plays that are available for SWC to learn how they fit the gameflow... Or could anyone clarify?

It would be great to be able to add or modify cut scenes, but that means understanding the animation block; probably not a small undertaking.
HCl succeeded in encoding a cutscene already. It was for Academy, but IIRC it should be quite similar to WC1 and WC2, except for some palette issues. (here's the thread https://www.wcnews.com/chatzone/threads/importing-new-wc2-animations.27235/#post-386349).
I shot him an email yesterday in the evening whether he'd agree to sharing his tools.

Concerning the SNES intro:
I found out that by using ZSNES each single background-layer and the sprite layer can be enabled and disabled separately. (finding out means: I googled whether it is possible and found a Youtube video explaining it)
So even if we're not able to directly extract assets, we should be able to screen-capture each layer individually.
There's one bg-layer for the non-animated parts (eg bodies), another one for the animated (hands, mouths, ...), one for just displaying text and another one for displaying the background artwork. The sprite-layer is used for displaying the audience, (which I wouldn't include in a "converted" intro, imho)
 
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delMar

Rear Admiral
Here are the screenshots of the assets of the SNES SM intro.
Some of them still contain too much things (like the text), but the relevant things should be easy to extract.
The filenames contain indices. They are good indicators for the playback speed. I tried to add no double images, so a gap of 3 or 4 means that the image changed only every 4th frame.
You might also watch the YouTube video for speed reference.

universe.png


I just post this here because some of you might be curious and besides that, I favor sharing stuff in case someone else wants to pick up something. And the forums proved themselves as a pretty reliable storage in case stuff gets lost on local harddrives :)

No news on any of the other ongoing topics so far.
 

Attachments

  • snes sm intro.zip
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delMar

Rear Admiral
So the text is included with the pictures! That's different.
Yes. And it's not always at the same position either.

I'll post an update this evening with the audience and text pieces removed. I also started a transcript, I'll add that to the zip file too.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
The thing that I find remarkable with this intro is that while it is radically and intentionally different in some aspects (e.g. the cinema audience thing), the graphical style fits almost perfectly with Wing Commander. WC1 never had any cutscenes that would include extensive dialogues and multiple scenes, so it would have felt a little out of place there, but put this into WC2, and nobody would bat an eyelid.
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
put this into WC2, and nobody would bat an eyelid.
Yes, that's right.
I think this clearly resembles the timeframe of the SNES version's release, which was even after WC2 (1991 vs 1992, iirc). Probably they just wanted to wipe the dust off :)
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
Here's the updated zip file.
Changes
  • added transcript with timecodes
  • removed audience and text from the images
Ah, I could spend my whole day staring at pixel art.
 

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  • snes sm intro (updated).zip
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AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Now that you mention it, that SNES intro reminds me a bit of the originfx screensaver that let's you watch the wc2 cinematics.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
delMar said:
Yes, that's right. I think this clearly resembles the timeframe of the SNES version's release, which was even after WC2 (1991 vs 1992, iirc). Probably they just wanted to wipe the dust off :)

It seems that way! Except: it wasn't done by the Wing Commander team at all... the two SNES games were licensed by Mindscape and put together by an entirely separate group. (And it's a case of Mindscape paying to license WC because they wanted the brand rather than Origin/EA contracting out for a port they wanted made.)
 

delMar

Rear Admiral
It seems that way! Except: it wasn't done by the Wing Commander team at all... the two SNES games were licensed by Mindscape and put together by an entirely separate group. (And it's a case of Mindscape paying to license WC because they wanted the brand rather than Origin/EA contracting out for a port they wanted made.)
Do you know why there was no SM2 and no WC2 for the SNES?


Oh, and I received word from HCl, he'll gladly share his tools. It'll take a few weeks though until he gets back home where all his data is.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Wing Commander 2 was done in-house at Origin in 1994/5. Finished, shipped for duplication and then never released. A true lost game and a tragedy!

As for the whens and whys of licensed versus in-house: Origin had a very shaky relationship with Nintendo in the early 1990s, resulting from a dispute over their porting things to the growing Sega console. They resolved not to do any more Nintendo ports around the time WC hit big... but then changed their minds about four years later when a high-profit deal with FCI came about. (Little known: it was the wave of extremely cheap in-house SNES games that made Origin profitable just after the EA buyout. That's games no one will think about again: Metal Moroh, Ultima Savage Empure and Black Gate SNES.)
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I guess the ROM file is lost forever?

You can read the story at https://www.wcnews.com/articles/wc2snes.shtml Finding WC2 SNES is one of the last few lost holy grails that we continue to search for (having found Prophecy on DVD, the Pilgrim Truth novel, the SciPubTech cutaway poster, etc).

As for why there was no SM2 on SNES, it's also helpful to consider the time period. WC1 and SM1 for DOS came out in 1990, SM2 and WC2 for DOS were spread across 1991. WC1 didn't come out on SNES until late 1992 and SM1 for SNES in late 1993 (three years after its PC counterpart). SM2 for SNES would have been quite "late" on top of being smaller and lesser known. As it was, WC2 SNES was being developed at the same time as Wing Commander 3 in 1994 (not by the same people, of course).
 
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