Wing Commander (retroactively referred to as Wing Commander I or WC1) is the first, eponymous game in Chris Roberts' science fiction space simulation franchise. The game was first released for the PC (MS-DOS) on September 26, 1990 and was later ported to the Amiga, CD32 (256-color), Mega-CD and the SNES. In August 2006, GameSpot reported that Electronic Arts would also be porting the SNES version to the PlayStation Portable as part of EA Replay. It was released in the United States on November 14, 2006.
Released by Origin Systems in 1990, the game was a marked departure from the standard formula, bringing space combat to a level approaching the Star Wars films. Set in the year 2654 and characterized by Chris Roberts as "World War II in space," it featured a multi-national 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). Most impressively, cockpit performance affected gameplay: going above and beyond the call of duty resulted in medals, promotions in rank were awarded at regular intervals, and success or failure on certain critical missions would even decide the player's plot progress, "winning" or "losing".
The player takes the role of a nameless pilot aboard the TCS Tiger's Claw, a Bengal-class Strike Carrier. The player gets to name the pilot and choose his callsign. The pilot (known in-production to Origin personnel as "Bluehair," after his most notable feature) quickly rises through the ranks of the flight wing, and (presuming the player performs ideally in the cockpit) eventually leads a strike on the Kilrathi High Command starbase in the Venice system. On the other hand, if the player does not perform optimally, missions become increasingly defensive in nature and eventually the Claw is forced to retreat. Of the two endings, the "winning" path is established as canon by the game's two expansion packs, as well as the sequel, Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi. In 1994, Wing Commander was retroactively renamed Wing Commander I in a bundled re-release of both games, in preparation for the release of Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger.
The rebundled remakes however do not contain and do not support the Secret Mission addons.
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