September 26th 2012
It’s hard to believe, but the original Wing Commander I turns 22 years old today! On September 26, 1990, the original Wing Commander shipped to stores and started to show an unsuspecting public just how immersive a PC game could be. The “3-D Space Combat Simulator” spawned dozens of immitators and many acclaimed sequels and spinoffs… and as you will learn in October, its legacy lives on today!
Wing Commander was the first true ‘interactive movie,’ casting the player as a rookie pilot in the Terran Confederation space force, sent to fight the evil cat-like Kilrathi. Through an incredibly variable campaign—ranging from twelve to forty missions depending on your performance—you would meet new wingmen, follow the story of the war and gain promotions and awards leading up to the final battle against an alien starbase.
To celebrate, check out this copy of the original proposal that started it all. Then called “Squadron,” this document outlines Chris Roberts’ original vision for a game pitting a fighter squadron of the human “Empire” against the Kilrathi. If anything, the proposal is much bigger than the finished product, suggesting a game whose story is less of a straight action movie and more layered with shades of gray surrounding your involvement in the war.