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So do some of the hostile human pilots in Wing Commander IV. Black Dude Dies First: However this is ONLY if you choose not to get revenge by going after her attacker. Averted with Doomsday; clearly intentional as the man has practically embraced the likelihood of his death in each of his appearances; thirty years after the war's end, and he's one of the few still flying! Blaming The Railroaded Player Character: In one of the games, you shoot down a traitor pilot who ejects. You get a cutscene where you could shoot him in his survival pod, but you don't shoot him before your squadron leader swoops in and takes him into custody. The traitor later escapes and a fellow pilot berates you for not shooting him when you had the chance. Except, of course, you didn't - there's no way to affect the way the cutscene and the subsequent plot plays out. Several of the Wing Commander games had a scoreboard on the ship, showing the kills of all the pilots onboard. The wingmen would gain kills even if they weren't selected as a wingman for a particular mission since the player isn't the only pilot flying sorties , and some were much better at killing than others. Almost any pilots including the player that die gets one of these, complete with 21 gun salute as the funeral crew sends the coffin flying into space. In the first game, if it's a wingman that dies Blair vows to avenge the dead pilot AI pilots launching torpedoes will announce the launch on the comms, mirroring Real Life Western-style air forces having their pilots call fighter missile launches so a wingman doesn't accidentally get hit. Not that it seems, in the fictional version, to stop your wingmen from themselves stepping in front of a fired torpedo. The fission cannons on the Dragon. They're so powerful, they will push you backwards if you're at zero throttle when you fire. Besides running on Rule of Cool "plane," each game has a "super fighter" that is a reward for good gameplay toward the end. Wing Commander Secret Ops has "Black" special operations versions of every fighter from Wing Commander Prophecy even the Tigershark, though the Black Tigershark can only be accessed through third-party mission editors , taking the characteristics of each ship up to The spinoffs get into the act, too, with Armada having the Terran Wraith and Kilrathi Jrathek a proper successor to the unplayable Hhriss in Wing Commander: Secret Missions II , and Privateer having a whole gaggle of Cool Planes but especially the Centurion, gushed about in-character by many secondary characters and actually worth the hype. These games run on the Rule of Cool Ship. Roberts also appears as the Black Lance officer saying "and I couldn't go on! The Eject alarm, which goes off when your fighter is likely to be killed by the next hit. Fortunately, Deflector Shield regeneration turned it off. Averted throughout the entire series, actually, as your fighter would lose certain capabilities shielding, radio, guns as those systems were damaged or destroyed. Well, averted with your ship; this kind of damage only infrequently affects enemy fighters. Starting with Wing Commander III, capships started to have components, or at least weak gun turrets , which could be destroyed separately from the ship itself. The series as a whole made extensive use of cutscenes, originally with animated art and then later with live-action Full Motion Video , to tell the story between the missions and provide the general atmosphere for the setting. Happened little by little over the main series, with the situation growing ever more desperate and moral ambiguity creeping in. The first game depicts humans and Kilrathi being evenly matched in the war, with humans standing a good chance of winning. The second game introduced a faction of human traitors, and the Kilrathi ready with plans to recoup their losses in the end. The third game makes it clear that humans are slowly but surely losing the war, and the only hope of victory is a sneak attack on the Kilrathi homeworld with an experimental Weapon Of Mass Destruction. With the Kilrathi pacified, the fourth game deals with a civil war between humans, with more WMDs and an Evilutionary Biologist cabal orchestrating the events. Prophecy made a deliberate return to straightforward righteous battle against evil aliens. On the other hand, its storys makes it very clear that the Nephilim pose an even greater threat than the Kilrathi and what the player faces is more or less a 'scouting party' and the much creepier mission music makes the game feel a lot scarier. The Wing Commander games would have both friendly and enemy pilots scream over the radio at you if they were destroyed. Before they coded in the actual dialogue for the speech pack for Wing Commander II, they had placeholder sound files, such as "forming on your wing" or "attacking" in a complete deadpan. Hilarity ensued the first time the player lost a wingman, who calmly stated, "I'm dead. Particularly in the earlier games, Asteroid Thickets and Space Minefields were placed in and around navigation waypoints, forcing the player to either have to fly carefully or travel off the straight-line path to the next point to steer around it. Death of a Thousand Cuts: The preferred method for capital craft destruction in the Wing Commander games when you don't absolutely need a torpedo to kill a capship. The more pertinent question is how strong the capship's " Phase Shielding " is: AI in the higher levels use decoys to distract your missiles more frequently, and will use their own missiles more freely - and effectively. Given the deadly nature of missiles in all but the easiest difficulties, this becomes a nasty case of Reality Ensues. When Secret Ops first came out, you were required to fill out an online registration before you could download the game. One of the questions the registration asked was your experience with the Wing Commander series. If you said that you had beaten a Wing Commander game in the past, then the game would automatically be set to the " Nightmare " difficulty level without telling the player. To access the difficultly settings, you must press Alt-O while in-flight Ctrl-O in Prophecy and Secret Ops to bring up the gameplay options screen. If you haven't read the manuals closely, it's easy to never discover this and you could complete the whole game without discovering how challenging it can really be. Due to the Dead: When a named character even the player character, if the player screws up dies, more often than not there's a funeral cutscene , with a 21 gun salute as the character's coffin drifts off into space. There was supposed to be an adjustment of AI skills, in the games before Difficulty Levels , but for many there's often little to no notice of much of a difference in any of the games where this trope was in effect. Followed by a ride in an Ejection Seat if you actually do punch out. Better hope Kilrathi ace Dakhath nar Sihkag, from the first game, isn't around though. He likes using ejection seats for target practice. Interestingly, in the first game the first time you eject, you get a special medal and award ceremony they're trying to discourage Hot Blooded recruits from Suicidal Overconfidence. Any subsequent ejections get you reamed out by your commander. Ejecting means that you just failed every remaining objective because your wingman Can't Go On Without You , but it can occasionally be a wise move, especially if you don't like Save Scumming. Ejection in many missions, however, was still a loss. And one Kilrathi ace in particular was known for shooting up ejected pilots. In the Wing Commander series, most of the games had the elite, named opponents with personalities. Many, as often as not escorting a civilian transport as a military vessel. Some are more tolerable than others, particularly warships that have defenses stronger than tissue paper and can shoot back at enemies attacking them. Some engagements during a mission are triggered at random when passing a certain point in space other than the designated navigational waypoints. Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: In addition to most pilots usually being referred to by their callsign only, the first game had a bartender named "Shotglass" his callsign from his pilot days and the second and fourth games had mechanics named "Sparks" and "Pliers" respectively. The latter two did have spoken-on-screen names - Janet McCullough and Robert Sykes - but nobody ever used them. Wing Commander's EU includes ten novels both adaptations of other material and original stories , multiple game guides, a Western Animation series, a Collectible Card Game , and a movie, all of which count fully towards continuity. The Kilrathi are noted for their disinterest in symmetry and aesthetics in general. This is carried over subtly with their ship design, especially after Armada was released. Faster Than Light Travel: In the games, a Swirly Energy Thingy opens and the ship goes through. Faux First Person 3D: Until Armada, the games used a series of sprites drawn at different angles, the exact sprite displayed depending on the orientation of objects in relation to the player's view. Terran Confederation is, in general, a benign association of planets built up by humanity, and for the most part the heroes of the series. Origin in general was good about this: When they created collection releases Kilrathi Saga, for the first three "main" games", and Prophecy Gold for Prophecy and Secret Ops they didn't just slap together the original manuals, but created new ones that included extra information that the originals didn't have, as well as the information from the individual releases. The first game's feelies were legendary; the instruction manual was completely separate from the "shipboard magazine," the box also came with complete blueprints of each of the fighters in the game including some somewhat pungent jokes like rating missile explosive power in ESKs. Spinoff strategy game Wing Commander Armada one-upped the original by including an in-universe book written in parallel, telling the story of the war from both the Terran and the Kilrathi viewpoint. From the first game on the player's ship is shown launching from their base du jour, some times with a Red Alert going on. Some characters are plot-related deaths, but usually whether or not a shot down wingman survives depends on the specific circumstances. Despite committing numerous atrocities with his Black Lance henchmen in order to prove that humanity was behind in intergalactic warfare, Tolwyn's admonition to Blair during the endgame of The Price of Freedom of an unknown race that will try to dominate mankind wasn't far off when in Prophecy, that particular race would indeed show up and attempt to do so, having already established their superiority over the remnants of the Kilrathi. Played straight with most of the guns, none of which have bolts that travel at lightspeed. The Tachyon cannon is a special case. In the main games, for the most part your opponents will be flying ships entirely different from your own side's, so it's easier to tell who's who. This doesn't, however, help too much if your wingman flies right into the path of the torpedo you just launched, resulting in an insta-kill of said idiot and everyone else declaring you a traitor, in all but the very first game. The manuals measure both the damage output of a weapon and the protection armor and shields provide in units of "ESK". This stands for Earth-Shattering Kaboom. The series includes a level lattice based on the success or failure of the campaign in each star system, each system composed of several missions. Others have employed the Free Space 2 engine, Vega Strike , or even built their own. Multiplayer functionality was originally planned for Prophecy but never finished, and the incomplete code was commented out due to time constraints though not before an ad touting that functionality was published. Many fans were disappointed by the lack, but one was bothered enough to polish off the code and make it a viable option. Good Is Not Soft: Spirit, Angel, Maverick, Hobbes, and several others are genuinely nice, friendly, caring people. They are also ace fighter pilots who can and do get downright vicious. Technically, the option exists for any craft in the series with a rear turret to have a gunner, but for the most part they go unnamed. The games allow you to switch to that turret and operate it, but while doing so you can't control the rest of the ship. Any time you pilot a Broadsword in Wing Commander 2, however, you're explicitly stated to have a full gunnery crew, one for each turret.
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