This was published by Prima back in 1997. It follows more or less the same structure as all the other WC guides before it so I’ll keep this brief. It’s starts with a history of the Wing Commander universe so far, starting right at the beginning with space colonisation and working its way quickly through most of the games and one of the books. There are then lengthy bio’s of all the pilots covering a lot of the same ground but also giving all sorts of little details I’ve not seen anywhere else. For a Wingnut, these are a nice insight into all the characters if you ever wanted to know their backgrounds.
The tactics sections includes some notes on the differences between Prophecy and it’s predecessors, and how this was a step forward for the series. It’s perhaps a little disparaging to the older games and I might argue that Prophecy was different rather than better. It certainly excelled in the combat sections but it didn’t come close to WC4 for an overall experience as far as I’m concerned. The actual tactics in this section are for the most part the same sort of thing we’ve seen from the other games and most of this is common sense stuff, like attacking bombers first when trying to protect cap ships.
There are then lengthy guides to each ship and weapon in the game, with all the unnecessary detail you could ask for, before getting into the mission descriptions. These let you know how the missions are structured, what will happen on each mission and how best to approach it, along with the FMV’s you can expect to see. On standard difficulty Prophecy wasn’t an especially difficult game, certainly for anyone who has made it through the rest of series before this so this section is largely redundant but you could hardly call it a guide without it. The book predates Prophecy Gold so you don’t get anything on all those extra missions unfortunately. We do get a couple of pages of memo at the end of the book to set the scene for games to come, which more or less spells out what we don’t know about the attacking aliens.
Something I did notice was that in the movie descriptions for the games final mission, the alien Blair sees is referred to as the same Alien overlord that had interrogated him when he was captured. He supposedly sees this alien and attacks it at point blank range in his rage. There wasn’t any mention of an overlord in the game itself though and the book contradicts this description a page or two later.
I’ve never been entirely convinced that the Wing Commander games needed guides but most of them have been fun to read if you wanted to know a bit more about the game and they could potentially help you out if you were struggling on a certain mission. This was along the same lines and had some history and backstory for the fans. I should also mention the concept art by Sid Meir that is peppered throughout the guide. The sketches are basic and along the lines of storyboards but it’s good to see them included.
Just 7 books left to go now, and only 1 that I haven’t already scanned in. I’ll be looking at the RPG Companion next which isn’t an Origin book but someone asked about it, and I happen to have it on hand. It’s the largest book of the lot and I’m still playing Fallout 3 so don’t hold your breath. I have made it to the end of the main plot but I have 2 and a bit DLC’s still to go and a lot of places left to explore. The main plot was something of an anti-climax, I got through it in a couple of hours after basically ignoring it up to that point. Fallout 3 is far more about exploring the world and the side quests.