Wing Commander III acting...

-danr-

Vice Admiral
...is superb.

I'm not just saying that because I love the game, and it will always be my favourite. I try to give the whole series a fly through at least once a year, but it's a couple of years since I last went through WC3 - and this time around I became more absorbed than usual, particularly by the quality of acting in the cutscenes. It's not often I start a new thread, but with the game fresh in my mind, felt the need to talk about it.

Yeah there are some big names in the cast, but even the supporting actors do a superb job of setting the mood. I hadn't really noticed that Francois Chau (Vagabond) for instance paints a very striking picture of a man with a troubled history, and wrapped up past yet a warm and kindly colleague.

Also, I never really paid too much mind to Cobra's backstory, yeah it helps understand why she hates the Kilrathi, but that scene where she describes being taken "at 10" actually sent shivers down my spine.

Jason Bernard also puts in one hell of a shift.

Which of the games would you say has the best acting?

III, IV or Prophecy?
 

wcnut

Rear Admiral
I doubt prophecy is on anyone's list. It is clearly the weakest of the bunch story wise, and the acting isn't that great. Not that I dislike the game, but next to the masterpieces of III and IV it's just not on that level.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Hard to say between 3 and 4 honestly. Hamill in 3 really nailed the war - weary pilot and while he wasn't as good in 4, Tom Wilson did such a good job in 4 that he carried many parts of the script. I'm going to give 4 the nod overall because the story was so good. Just my two cents.

But I liked Maestro in Prophecy, he was a good character.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I think Wing Commander III, far and away. Which is sort of interesting. We were watching Revenge of the Sith last night and remarking how BAD the acting was, a result of the fact that all these great actors had no idea what they were doing in front of a green sheet and tennis ball... whereas Chris seems very much to be the opposite of Mr. Lucas, completely at ease directing in actors in front of a green screen (years before that became mainstream!) but then losing a slight something with the real sets...
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
I think Wing Commander III, far and away. Which is sort of interesting. We were watching Revenge of the Sith last night and remarking how BAD the acting was, a result of the fact that all these great actors had no idea what they were doing in front of a green sheet and tennis ball... whereas Chris seems very much to be the opposite of Mr. Lucas, completely at ease directing in actors in front of a green screen (years before that became mainstream!) but then losing a slight something with the real sets...

Chris is definitely (going by the way he makes games) a person who sees what he wants in his head and goes for it. I think working with greenscreen allows him greater chance to realize his vision.

With real sets that gets expensive fast. For every cut you have to set up all your lighting, and reset it up if you change camera angles. You are also limited to how much you can spend on the sets themselves. Wing commander 3 mostly reuses the same camera angles to it's own benefit and rarely bothers with any kind of shot where the camera moves. You save a lot of money on set up time so overall you get to focus more on the acting part of the scenes. There's not very many WC3 FMV scenes that can really be considered 'action'. The demands of the game, and the way the script for WC3 is written, pretty much all the FMV are character scenes. The difference between a 200 million and 20 Million dollar movie is not just how many locations you can shoot or how many sets you can build. It's also how much time you can spend doing new setups and getting multiple takes of everything.
 
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Mindcrime

Commodore
I gotta give the slight nod to WC4. WC3 is a close second. Prophecy is a far away third. Towlwyn was amazing in 4 and Maniac as well. Seether was probably the only weak point. I don't know if it was the acting that was better or just the real sets that puts 4 on top for me.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Wing IV for me. It might be that it was my first game but it felt like a movie, or my association of green screen with childhood TV gameshows (ahh Knightmare).
I was just that much more taken with the performances in 4, even the same characters such as Vagabond felt that much less chessy (and no Vaquero or Flash) .

That said I'd take 3 over 5 in a heartbeat. Prophecy easily has my favourite engine, and years of fanmods have made it the Wing Commander that sticks in my mind the most - but the acting was embarassing. I realise the budget had been cut but there must have been better auditions... surely.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Overall, I have to give WC3 the nod, but WC4 has a scene that makes my top 5 list of best moments in sci fi ever: As the BWS Intrepid is closing on the TCS Vesuvius approaching the Sol jump point, Tolwyn orders the Vesuvius to come about, much to the surprise of his helmsman. McDowell delivers awesome line about how, when you have a junkyard dog nipping at your heels, sometimes you have to turn around and kick it in the teeth. The game then cuts to the Intrepid, and as Sosa reports that the Vesuvius is coming about, you see Hamil's eyes get big and panicked, as he call all hands to battle stations. That moment gave me chills, and it was all the amazing acting.
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
My favorite moment - not just as dialogue, but for acting - is:
- We're headed to Kilrah with that thing, aren't we?
- Well, what would you aim for if you had the biggest gun in the universe?

Privateer 2 has some great acting, if it weren't for McDowell I might say it better than WCs.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I think Wing Commander III, far and away. Which is sort of interesting. We were watching Revenge of the Sith last night and remarking how BAD the acting was, a result of the fact that all these great actors had no idea what they were doing in front of a green sheet and tennis ball... whereas Chris seems very much to be the opposite of Mr. Lucas, completely at ease directing in actors in front of a green screen (years before that became mainstream!) but then losing a slight something with the real sets...
see I disagree while the acting is really good in three, I think 4 is much better as a whole, for one the returning actors know their character and each other more. Chris could set up different shots bc there are real sets, and the actors do a better job bc they do actually have something to look at. I love the set designs of 4. the two main carriers look soooo good for so many different reasons. one ship is all shiny and new showing how far confed has come, and the other cap ship looks dated and broken; bc the border worlds are barely hanging on as they try and set up a government and union. I just really do love everything about 4 except the spam missiles in missions lol.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
I gotta give the slight nod to WC4. WC3 is a close second. Prophecy is a far away third. Towlwyn was amazing in 4 and Maniac as well. Seether was probably the only weak point. I don't know if it was the acting that was better or just the real sets that puts 4 on top for me.
I really liked seether he prob did need one or two more scenes though
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
see I disagree while the acting is really good in three, I think 4 is much better as a whole, for one the returning actors know their character and each other more. Chris could set up different shots bc there are real sets, and the actors do a better job bc they do actually have something to look at. I love the set designs of 4. the two main carriers look soooo good for so many different reasons. one ship is all shiny and new showing how far confed has come, and the other cap ship looks dated and broken; bc the border worlds are barely hanging on as they try and set up a government and union. I just really do love everything about 4 except the spam missiles in missions lol.
I totally agree. The confed ship you serve on in the beginning is clean like the enterprise from star trek tng. Then you go to the gritty borderworlds ship that is dirty old and broken like the mill falcon in star wars. Kinda got the best of both worlds in 4.
 

gingersonny

Captain
I personally love all three games, even Prophecy (although in a campy cheesy sort of way). Did they ever explain how Casey survived the attack on Iceman's homeworld? Was he taken as a slave as well as his sister was? If they did I've forgotten.

I really couldnt choose between III & IV though, the cast,the plot, in both is so good. I think if I had to choose I'd lean for IV but who can really pick that over the run on Kilrah.

But as for my fav scene, it's the one Farbourne mentioned above
 

capi3101

Rear Admiral
Did they ever explain how Casey survived the attack on Iceman's homeworld?
Iceman lost his first family in a raid on Vega Prime IIRC (Vega VII? That sounds right for some reason) some time before the events of WC1 - which explains his warm, fuzzy personality during the game...

As the story goes, after the events of Operation Crusade (Secret Missions 2), Iceman took a shore leave and met Kylie Sarah Richards, a waitress; a few months later they married. He recorded holo-videos for her and their unborn son, Lance. Six weeks after his second marriage, Iceman was killed in action "on a deep space patrol in the B'shriss System."

So canonically, he hadn't been born yet.
 

gingersonny

Captain
Iceman lost his first family in a raid on Vega Prime IIRC (Vega VII? That sounds right for some reason) some time before the events of WC1 - which explains his warm, fuzzy personality during the game...

As the story goes, after the events of Operation Crusade (Secret Missions 2), Iceman took a shore leave and met Kylie Sarah Richards, a waitress; a few months later they married. He recorded holo-videos for her and their unborn son, Lance. Six weeks after his second marriage, Iceman was killed in action "on a deep space patrol in the B'shriss System."

So canonically, he hadn't been born yet.

Thanks so much for the reply, that's really cleared it up!
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Iceman lost his first family in a raid on Vega Prime IIRC (Vega VII? That sounds right for some reason) some time before the events of WC1 - which explains his warm, fuzzy personality during the game...

As the story goes, after the events of Operation Crusade (Secret Missions 2), Iceman took a shore leave and met Kylie Sarah Richards, a waitress; a few months later they married. He recorded holo-videos for her and their unborn son, Lance. Six weeks after his second marriage, Iceman was killed in action "on a deep space patrol in the B'shriss System."

So canonically, he hadn't been born yet.

This is a little off topic, but it's something I've wondered about.

I was always unclear about what ship Iceman was serving on when he was killed. The Tiger's Claw is the obvious answer. But because Prophecy places Hawk on the flight roster with Iceman and Blair when Iceman was killed, this is apparently inconsistent with Jazz's vendetta in WC2. He swore he would kill "everybody on that damn ship [the Tiger's Claw] ... Spirit was so easy ... [he] just had [Blair], Angel, Paladin, and Maniac...". Did he simply overlook Hawk? Additionally, when Blair first comes aboard the Concordia in WC2 and meets Angel, Spirit, Doomsday, and Jazz in the rec room, Doomsday comments that it's a reunion of the survivors of the Tiger's Claw, and that all they need is Paladin and Maniac so that they can all die together. Again, no mention of Hawk.

Besides just Jazz and Doomsday overlooking Hawk, the other possibilities I can think of are that:

(A) Hawk was not on the Tiger's Claw at the time of Thor's Hammer (the destruction of the Goddard colony) and therefore not on Jazz's hit list, but that he joined the Claw later. This would be consistent with Doomsday also not being on Jazz's hit list. In this case, Hawk would have been flying with Blair and Iceman sometime after SM2 and before K'Tithrak Mang when Iceman was killed. He would then have had to transfer off the Claw prior to K'Tithrak Mang in order for him to not be considered "a survivor of the Claw" (although, curiously, Doomsday seems to consider himself and Jazz as survivors despite apparently transferring off the Claw and back to the Austin at the end of SM2).

Or (B) Hawk served on the Austin, not Claw, and in the brief period after the Claw was destroyed but before Blair's court martial, the Claw survivors (including Iceman and Blair in this scenario) flew a few missions off the Austin, and it was during these missions that Iceman was killed.

Anything canonical that clears this up?
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
All of this is relying on the fact that EA did that much research on the history of wing commander canon. Since the roberts bros weren't involved with Prophecy which is when Hawk says he served with Iceman and Blair when he Iceman died. Honestly it doesn't make sense at all since Hawk and Blair are meeting for the first time in WC4. I think EA just kinda threw that crap together. As I write this I wish i could easily go back to the moment where Blair and Hawk meet ij WC4 to be sure. If I'm wrong I apologize.
 

Mindcrime

Commodore
Ok just watched the scene where they meet in WC4. Blair and vagabond recognize Panther and Hawks names but they haven't met at this point. So I gotta chop this up to EA just screwing this up. Iceman, Blair, and Hawk didn't serve together. Atleast in the games which cover Blair from being a rookie to the end of the Border World war.
 

Richard H

1st Lieutenant
Timing is everything. I have been binge watching MASH on Netflix, and last night I got a case of the feels. I came to you guys to commiserate, but found this thread, so I'll just leave this screen capture right here. (Fun fact, he was playing a Captain in this episode S10.15: an Army Captain Dentist, pretending to be a Major from Personel Affairs, but it kind of full circled for me
 

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Richard H

1st Lieutenant
Iceman, Blair, and Hawk didn't serve together.
Not all together, but I got the feeling Hawk was older than Blair, so he could have served with Iceman before the Tiger's Claw, or on the Claw before Blair graduated the Academy. Maybe at Custer's Carnival? (but it's been forever since I played Prophesy, does Hawk say they were all flying a mission together?)
 
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