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"I heard human blood boils in space..."
March 23, 2012 12:54 PM   Subscribe

Humanity’s long war with the nefarious space-cat Kilrathi has been revived in the fan made Wing Commander Saga : The Darkest Dawn!

The Wing Commander Series of space-combat games was made by Origin Systems, combining pulpy sci-fi with WWII history and combat. The series originated in 1990 and lasted through 1998 (G4TV History of Wing commander Parts One, Two). Late era games featured full-motion cut scenes starring Malcolm McDowell, Mark Hamill, Clive Owen, and John Hurt, but the series ended ignominiously with the release of the eponymous movie (game creator Chris Roberts’ first and last chance as a Hollywood director).

Darkest Dawn a culmination of 10 years of work has resulted in a two-campaign game with “50 missions, 2 campaigns, 60 voice actors, dozens of Terran and Kilrathi spaceships and roughly 70 cutscenes,” using the open source Freespace 2 engine.

Related mefi links : Origin’s Privateer, Richard Garriott’s manor.
posted by stratastar (35 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Still upset about the seismic genocide perpetrated by Earth on Hobbes's home world.
posted by steinsaltz at 12:57 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wing Commander was the first game I ever made. Still holds a very special place in my heart. I just may have to check this out.
posted by Scientist at 1:02 PM on March 23, 2012


See also: Wing Commander: Standoff.

I'm still not sure why nobody has made an MMO to be played this way -- Massively Multiplayer Privateer would be amazing.
posted by vorfeed at 1:02 PM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


This game, from WC II on, and Indiana Jones an the fate of Atlantis have been my first true loves in computer gaming. I really need to check this out once I have some free time on my hands.

And at the time (and age of something like 16), nuking the Kilrathi's homeworld seemed to be a good idea to end the war... well, amazing how worldviews can change...
posted by SAnderka at 1:05 PM on March 23, 2012


Apparently they did! Privateer 2 was still the greatest monstrosity committed on my childhood. I'm still pissed about it.
posted by stratastar at 1:05 PM on March 23, 2012


Still upset about the seismic genocide perpetrated by Earth on Hobbes's home world.

3 had some serious issues, plot-wise. Hobbes' suddenly becoming a traitor, Mark Hamill basically playing an older Luke Skywalker, the Ender's Game ending.. nuts to it all around, sez I.
posted by curious nu at 1:07 PM on March 23, 2012


Loved all the WC games, even upgraded my box for WC3.

I hated having to bail this guy out over and over and over again, though...
posted by WinnipegDragon at 1:07 PM on March 23, 2012


I can haz genocide?
posted by The otter lady at 1:08 PM on March 23, 2012


Still upset about the seismic genocide perpetrated by Earth on Hobbes's home world.

Eat shit and die, gato.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:08 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm still not sure why nobody has made an MMO to be played this way -- Massively Multiplayer Privateer would be amazing.

There was talk back ~2003 of a Freelancer MMO, but that never took off.
posted by hanoixan at 1:18 PM on March 23, 2012


They have one of those. It's called Eve.
posted by Malor at 1:21 PM on March 23, 2012


stratastar: "Privateer 2 was still the greatest monstrosity committed on my childhood. I'm still pissed about it."

When I was at university every time I went to a new town I would visit their game stores and see if any of them had a copy of Privateer 2 (I loved Privateer to pieces but didn't have a box that could handle the sequel when it came out). I never found a copy; years later I would view longplays and discover that probably those shops did me a favour.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:22 PM on March 23, 2012


I got the original game and a Roxette album on cd at the same time. It was the first cd I owned. Why I played the game and the cd at the same time is one of those forgotten decisions. Now I'm annoyed by flashbacks from frustrating escort missions, anytime I hear Sweedish pop.
posted by humanfont at 1:24 PM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


@This, of course, alludes to you's profile: bulgaroktonos is actually just quoting from Wing Commander III (Vaquero's combat taunt, if I remember correctly)
posted by SAnderka at 1:31 PM on March 23, 2012


Wow. I remember playing the hell out of Wing Commander on a box that was probably way too underpowered to run it, but that didn't stop me. I played some other Wing Commander game (on a newer box) long enough for the main character to start a relationship with Angel, but something about it seemed really awkward and I felt uncomfortable about it. Something about Angel crying and then having pity sex or something.

The movie that we should never speak of put me off Wing Commander for quite some time (and Freddie Pinz Jr. for that matter; thank god he was the only actor in the entire movie).

Anyways, I'm looking forward to this game. The first one had so much potential.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:44 PM on March 23, 2012


Loved the Wing Commander games and impressed that a fan-made game even exists.

But the main impact of that trailer is to give me a new understanding of the value of professional voice acting.
posted by Naberius at 1:45 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


The movie that we should never speak of put me off Wing Commander for quite some time (and Freddie Pinz Jr. for that matter; thank god he was the only actor in the entire movie).

I'm shocked that it took something to put you off Freddie Prinz Jr.

Also, Wing Commander 3 taught me the word vagabond, while Privateer taught me the word paradigm. Who taught me not to pronounce it para-dig-em, I don't know.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:48 PM on March 23, 2012


I so wanted to watch those Scooby Doo movies, though. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Lindsay Weir! What could go wrong? As it turns out, my Freddie Pinz Jr. rule prevented me from seeing them. Probably a good thing, of course.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:54 PM on March 23, 2012


Gaming never really got better for me than the first Wing Commander. I loved that game; it was one of those things where you could see a whole new mode of storytelling being born, plus space dogfighting. (Catfighting?) I actually have my copy, with the posters of the ships and everything, sitting about three feet to my left on a shelf next to my desk at work.

It was a really painful experience watching the movie in the theater: I got to hate it both because it shat all over the experience of the games and because it was just an incredibly bad movie.

I feel like probably there are all sorts of games now realizing the potential for the kind of storytelling that I first saw in WC, and I've long since stopped caring at all. The whole idea of sitting down to play a game now just strikes me as exhausting. I suspect this is what it feels like to get old.
posted by brennen at 2:06 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember Wing Commander! Those damn cat killed my video-game girlfriend, if I remember correctly.
posted by Fister Roboto at 2:22 PM on March 23, 2012


Maniac was the best wingman ever. And by best I mean worst.
posted by Justinian at 2:33 PM on March 23, 2012


Remember when they set up us the bomb? Good times, man.
posted by Mister_A at 2:34 PM on March 23, 2012


They have one of those. It's called Eve.

That's why I stipulated "to be played this way", i.e. with combat and flight mechanics which are more exciting than watching paint dry.

I like Eve, but it feels nothing like Privateer to me. The game mechanics don't replicate the feeling of being in a ship, and the overall atmosphere is much too serious.
posted by vorfeed at 3:00 PM on March 23, 2012


I played the original prologue for this a few years ago when I was playing with different FreeSpace SCP mods. It was a lot of fun. Wasn't quite as impressive as the Battlestar Galactica mod though, graphically.

Looking forward to playing the competed product.
posted by Muttoneer at 4:04 PM on March 23, 2012


I didn't know WC had such support here. I'm looking forward to playing the new entry.
posted by ersatz at 5:10 PM on March 23, 2012


All pixelated silhouettes of boots and legs to the crimson red launch bay immediately!
posted by benzenedream at 6:22 PM on March 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've really really missed the combat space "sim" genre. I won't bore anyone with old anecdotes.

Has anyone actually played "The Darkest Dawn" or "Standoff" ? How do they play? I have an old Saitek Cyber-something joystick moldering in my apartment's storage locker. I'd love to have an excuse to dust it out again.
posted by porpoise at 6:43 PM on March 23, 2012


"Time for a little MAAAANIAC MAAAAaagic!"
posted by herrdoktor at 9:16 PM on March 23, 2012


Oh man, Wing Commander. I actually played WC2 first before hunting down WC. Those two games and Falcon 3.0 ate up too much of my time.

Skipped WC3 and WC4 refused to run past the intro movies, which apparently was for the best.
posted by dragoon at 11:22 PM on March 23, 2012


I didn't play WC until after I'd already spent many hours in X-wing and I remember thinking "using scaled sprites like that for 3D graphics? That'll never work". But it did.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:18 AM on March 24, 2012


I'm still not sure why nobody has made an MMO to be played this way -- Massively Multiplayer Privateer would be amazing.

Yeah, I was really really hoping that Eve Online was going to be this, especially given that the devs were former UO PVPers (which is another Origin game). Too many things happen "off camera" in Eve for it to be like Privateer though.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:58 AM on March 24, 2012


I've been sad space story-dogfighters have fallen out of fashion. I'm looking forward to trying this out.
posted by frenetic at 4:20 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


When the hell did space-flight games quietly die? Because they certainly didn't quietly stop being fun...My theory is that space games died out because they're too easy to make. As mysterious and wonderful as space is, there doesn't seem to be that much in it. Rendering a big ol' cube of bugger-all and some particle effects probably doesn't look too good on a developer's resume.
posted by Chekhovian at 6:35 PM on March 24, 2012


Has anyone actually played "The Darkest Dawn" or "Standoff" ? How do they play? I have an old Saitek Cyber-something joystick moldering in my apartment's storage locker. I'd love to have an excuse to dust it out again.

Standoff is pretty cool -- I played through the first couple of episodes (there are five) before carpal tunnel defeated me, and it sure felt like Wing Commander to me. The voice acting isn't great, but the combat sure is (the engine is based on WC: Special Ops, only with Kilrathi to fight instead of the Bugs), and your choices cause the storyline to branch just as in the original games. There's a strategy guide wiki for Standoff... check it out if you'd like to get an idea of the missions it has.
posted by vorfeed at 7:11 PM on March 24, 2012


I have an old Saitek Cyber-something joystick

Part of the problem is that the gaming center of gravity has migrated over to consoles. I guess there are joysticks you can buy for consoles...but requiring extra hardware is a good way to reduce sales generally...

I suppose we could use Kinect and fly out Tie Fighters and Morning Stars by waving our arms around like the Taelon shuttles....

And apparently all of earth final conflict is on youtube now, and its totally not even worth paying "free" to watch it.
posted by Chekhovian at 7:32 PM on March 24, 2012


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