Wing Commander is the first game in Chris Roberts' space flight simulation Wing Commander franchise by Origin Systems. The game was first released for MS-DOS on September 26, 1990 and was later ported to the Amiga, CD32 (256-color), Sega CD and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and re-released for the PC as Wing Commander I in 1994. An enhanced remake Super Wing Commander was made for the 3DO in 1994, and later ported to the Macintosh. Two expansion packs for the game were released: Wing Commander: The Secret Missions in November 1990 and Wing Commander: The Secret Missions 2: Crusade in March 1991.
Wing Commander (MS-DOS)
The game was considered a major step forward for space dogfight games, featuring graphics, audio, and a story campaign that invited comparison to the Star Wars films. Set in the year 2654 and characterized by Chris Roberts as 'World War II in space', it features a multinational cast of pilots from the 'Terran Confederation' flying missions against the predatory, aggressive Kilrathi, a feline warrior race (heavily inspired by the Kzinti of Larry Niven's Known Space universe).
Wing Commander is a space flight simulation game, with the player piloting a ship, completing missions, and engaging enemy ships of various capabilities. As the title suggests, there will generally be an AI-controlled wingman which the player can give orders to. Missions will generally include multiple objectives, but the game can proceed even if objectives are failed as long as the protagonist survives. The game features a branching, open-ended story where overall performance affects the campaign: succeeding at objectives results in medals, promotions in rank, and progressing to missions with better ships; failing at objectives leads to more difficult missions and piloting inferior ships. The mission tree is designed so players on the 'losing' path could work their way back to the 'winning' path, and conversely players on the 'winning' path could fail subsequent missions to fall into the 'losing' path. In addition, the wingmen can be killed permanently in combat, and thus be gone for the rest of the campaign.
The player takes the role of a nameless pilot (later referred to as Christopher Blair in sequels) aboard the TCS Tiger's Claw, a Bengal-class Strike Carrier. The player names the pilot and choose his call sign. The pilot, known in-production to Origin personnel as 'Bluehair' after his most notable feature, quickly rises through the ranks of the flight wing. The campaign will split to various different planets and scenarios depending on the player's performance. If the player performs overall well, they eventually lead a strike on the Kilrathi High Command starbase in the Venice system and force the Kilrathi to retreat. If the player fails too many objectives, missions become increasingly defensive in nature. Human refugees abandon the sector, and eventually the Claw is forced to retreat as well. Of the two endings, the 'winning' path is considered canon by the game's two expansion packs as well as the sequel Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi.
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This version of Wing Commander was designed for personal computers with operating system MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System),
which was operating system developed by Microsoft in 1981. It was the most widely-used operating system in the first half of the 1990s. MS-DOS was supplied
with most of the IBM computers that purchased a license from Microsoft. After 1995, it was pushed out by a graphically more advanced system - Windows and
its development was ceased in 2000. At the
time of its greatest fame, several thousand games designed specifically for computers with this system were created. Today, its development is no longer continue
and for emulation the free DOSBox emulator is most often used. More information about MS-DOS operating system can be found
Available online emulators:
5 different online emulators are available for Wing Commander. These emulators differ not only in the technology they use to emulate old games, but also in support of various game controllers, multiplayer mode, mobile phone touchscreen, emulation speed, absence or presence of embedded ads and in many other parameters. For
maximum gaming enjoyment, it's important to choose the right emulator, because on each PC and in different Internet browsers, the individual emulators behave differently. The basic
features of each emulator available for this game Wing Commander are summarized in the following table:
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