Real life has been getting in the way of me posting anything on here for a while but I’ve made the time for a brief return. I’ve recently bought myself a CH flightstick for my 3DO, which means I’ll finally be able to play Wing Commander 3 3DO and give Super Wing Commander another go with the right controller. Both of those will have to wait but it appeared to be the occasion to parade this particular item which is a set of negatives dated 11/12/94 for a full page Wing Commander 3 3DO advert:-
The sticker on the front proclaims these to be “bad seps!!!” but I wasn’t going to let it put me off having a go at combining them into one image. They are a little too large for my scanner but the relevant part in the middle of each negative just about fit. 10 minutes of photoshopping later I produced this:-
It turned out that the fault on the seps is not exactly significant but still very apparent. I’d have been more concerned about the claim of being the first 3DO interactive movie which is highly dubious given that this didn’t come out until 1995 and the 3DO had already seen games like Mad Dog McCree and Hell – A Cyberpunk Thriller (not to mention the infamous Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties).
One of the collectibles that you occasionally see on Ebay is a Wing Commander flight suit as worn by one of the cast. I’ve bid on one or two of these myself, although I’ve never been prepared to pay quite enough to actually win the auction. They are invariably in the USA and the thought of paying all that customs duty never helps out. It appears that the one everyone really wants (Mark Hamill’s) is probably here in the UK though as it was up as a competition prize in the March 1995 PC Gamer magazine. The competition refers to the interactive documentary on the February issue (which I don’t have), but any Wing Commander fan should be able to reel off the answers. So does anyone want to admit to owning this?:-
I’ve a couple of things to catch up after being away the last week. First yet another X-Wing scan I found in the February 1995 PC Format:-
My Man On A Mission DVD arrived while I was away. There are some welcome extras with a handful of interview segments and the “Apogee Of Fear” short film. In case you haven’t heard of this it’s a sci-fi/horror movie shot entirely on the space station by Garriott and is as such the first feature ever shot in space. It’s only about 5 minutes long and the quality is about what you would expect when asking a bunch of astronauts to act. It’s stretching it to call it a movie but it’s far from serious and still entertaining because of it. A DVD commentary track would have been nice but it’s still not a bad package at all. My second dose of Origin DVD’s (Wing Commander Academy) was sent 3 days back also so I should in theory be getting it around the same time as most of the USA which is a welcome bonus. Expect a full review in due course.
Finally, I’ve been messing about with the site theme in the hopes of fixing my SEO problems and have reverted to a slightly modified default theme on the off chance it might help out. It could stand some improvement but it will do for now.
I should have known it was too good to be true but after briefly being reinstated on Google, this site has now been relegated down to page 20+ again for nearly all search terms. The net result once more is a huge reduction in hits and barely any referrals from searches. This is getting beyond a joke and I’m giving serious consideration to moving back to wordpress.com where my old site continues to fare better despite not having any content for nearly 6 months.
In the meanwhile, here’s a Wing Commander 3 review from the February 1995 PC Format. It gets a very respectable 87% with the main complaint being loading times which were a serious issue if you didn’t have more than the minimum RAM. I recall it taking a couple of minutes every time I started a mission on my minimum spec PC:-
I’ve got to take the chance to give a shoutout for the Tex Murphy kickstarter. This is one of my favourite series of all time and one of the fundraisers I’ve been waiting for ever since it was announced. Starting with Under A Killing Moon, the Tex Murphy games were some of the very few to successfully combine FMV and gameplay, with The Pandora Directive being one of the best branching storylines I’ve seen in any genre. A sequel is long overdue as the series ended on a cliffhanger 15 years back, much to the frustration of Tex fans everywhere. I honestly thought this project might struggle but aside from some communication issues with whoever they have answering PM’s sending out mixed messages early on, it’s off to a great start having raised over 40% of the target inside 3 days. More wouldn’t hurt though and it’s definitely worth putting down a few $$’s.
I do wish all these campaigns could have spread themselves out a little as it’s a bit much for adventure game fans like myself. Pinkerton Road, SpaceVenture and Tex Murphy will all end up on the same credit card bill and it’s not going to be pretty. There is no way on Earth I could back another campaign at this point and I expect most adventure gamers are feeling the same. If Toonstruck 2 or any other similar project is waiting in the wings I’d suggest staying there for at least two or three months.
This is a 32 page pullout from the September 1994 PC Format. It’s the first entry in their collector’s series which featured companies like Microprose, Lucasarts & Gremlin. Since it’s on here, it goes without saying that this first volume is entirely on Origin:-
It includes a brief history of the company, interviews with Richard Garriott and Chris Roberts, previews of coming games (with Warren Spector interviews) and a look back at the Ultima and Wing Commander series. There is so much misinformation in the Ultima history that it beggars belief but there is plenty of good content in here otherwise. According to the Ultima 8 article, at this time Garriott saw the Avatar as being separated from the human plane and more of a supernatural being in Ultima 9 and already had an Ultima 10 plot ready to go.
This is the second part of PC Format’s Wing Commander 3 preview, scanned from the August 1994 issue. It’s an interview with Frank Savage who was responsible for heading up the playable side of the game while Chris Roberts was busy directing the movies:-