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Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga
Review by Al Giovetti
Price: $40
Genre: graphic adventure - flight simulator
Release: now
Developer: Origin
Music: George Olsdziey
Publisher: Origin
Phone: 800-245-4525
Website: www.origin.ea.com
Requirements: Windows 95, Pentium, 60 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 2X CD ROM,
wctks4.jpg - 6.9 K Company line:Wing Commander: The Kilrathi Saga brings the three games of the Galactic War back for Windows 95. It's the award-winning, best-selling space adventure trilogy to ever be available on the computer. It's provided adrenaline-drenched action to avid fans around the world. It's better than ever.

The epic war against the Kilrathi (Wing Commander I through III) is now available in one box. Ported to Windows 95, the installation, gameplay and uninstall are an effortless experience. Not only have the first two games been enhanced to run flawlessly on contemporary machines, but the music has been re-orchestrated by George Oldziey (acclaimed Wing Commander II and IV composer) and also remastered to digitally streamed surround sound. Watch what happens when the best gets better!

Overview: If you want to play one of the classic games of all time, you were in a real pickle before this product came along. The original Origin Kilrathi Trilogy games will not work on Windows 95. So the guys at Origin cooked up this Windows 95 version anthology for you to play these enjoyable older games. wctks25.gif - 17.0 K

The original Wing Commander Saga in all its glory of the first three games, including Wing Commander I, Wing Commander II and Wing Commander III . The five CDs also contain a patch to play Wing Commander IV. These games have been optimized to run on Windows 95 and take advantage of DirectX.

You can tell from looking at the original game animation, especially in the earlier titles that the graphics are not as good as the current games. The full motion video (FMV) sequences shot with Hollywood actors, such as the one with Mark Hammill below, are not as good on the game version, this is a company screen shot. The original game version has horizontal black lines running through the pictures.

New in this version is the drop-away or invisable cockpit for Wing Commander I & II and rudder pedal and throttle support for Wing Commander III. The invisable cockpit allows you to play the game with a greater field of view of the action with all the instrumentation as text or graphic pop-ups which only slightly obsure the action. This is a nice feature, which most flight simulators come with standard.

Missions: There are 137 missions in all three games for over 150 hours of gameplay. The series was one of the winningest series in the history of gaming wining game of the year in one and two and best full motion video or the year and golden triad for number 3. Good games which are a little dated but still classics worth having.

Animation: A frame rate limiter makes the games playable even on the quickest Pentium, something the original games could not do. The interlaced video playback gives smoother full motion video.

Music and Sound: New for this edition is the Dolby remastered soundtrack with stereo surround sound.

Utilities: The Secret missions I and II are free for the asking on Origin's web site. The missions do not come on the CD.

Summary: Whether it is your first time through or your tenth, these games are a real treat. A must add to the collection of every Wing Commander fan. wctksblair.jpg - 20.0 K

AS, Boot, volume 1, number 5, January, 1997, pg. 110, (70%).