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|Publisher: Electronic Arts (US), Sega (JP)|
|Developer: Game Arts, Bits Laboratory, CRI|
|Publisher(s) of original games: Origin Systems|
|Developer(s) of original games: Origin Systems|
|System(s): Sega Mega-CD|
|Original system(s): PC|
|Number of players: 1|
The game was also reportedly in development for the Sega Mega Drive, with the cartridge containing an extra graphics chip for scaling and rotation. This was cancelled in favour of the Mega-CD version.
Wing Commander was originally released in 1990 for the IBM PC, with the Mega-CD version debuting three years later. It is a relatively accurate conversion, with most of the content being retained, though some cinematics are missing scenes while others are simplified. The move to CD-ROM also means the characters could be fully voiced - a feature missing in most ports of the game, though in return, all subtitles were removed from the game for unknown reasons.
While the game provides CD quality audio for its introduction, the vast majority of the music tracks rely on standard Mega Drive audio capabilities. Sound effects too are mostly driven by the Mega Drive, as are curiously in-game voices, resulting in much lower quality audio during play.
All of the art assets were altered to better suit the screen resolution (320x224 vs 320x200) and more restricted colour palette of the Mega-CD (256 (VGA) vs 64 colours, although the PC version also supports 16 colour EGA cards). Cinematics can also be briefly interrupted while data is loaded from the disc. While the game does not resort to dedicated loading screens, it can lead to unnatural pauses during conversations.
Wing Commander simulates its 3D world by heavy use of sprite rotation and scaling. On the Mega-CD, these sprites are often smaller, leading to blockier graphics when up close to an object than on the PC. The frame rate is also lower than some versions of the game, such as the Amiga CD32 conversion released some months later, however Wing Commander on the Mega-CD generally performs better than its standard Amiga and Super NES counterparts.
It should be noted, however, that a high level of performance running the original PC version requires a high-end Intel 80386 or an early 80486 processor (as if system is too modern, the game will run too fast). Most PC users at the game's launch were unlikely to have access to these then-expensive configurations, meaning performance of the Mega-CD version would have been typical of what many end users would have experienced in the early 1990s (and indeed of most "3D" games of the era).
Origin: Chris Roberts, Steve Muchow, Paul C.Isaac, Steve Beeman, Ken Demarest III, Herman Miller, Erin Roberts, John Miles, Denis Loubet, Glen Johnson, Daniel Bourbonnais, Keith Berdak, John Watson, Jeff George, Steve Cantrell, Philip Brodgen, George A.Sanger, Dave Govett, Marc Shaefgen, Warren Spector
|Sega Retro Average|
| Based on|