I’m not sure that it was entirely necessary to play through the entirety of the original Wing Commander but since that’s what I’m doing right now, Cloud Imperium Games have certainly provided me with a pretty handy tutorial.
You might be surprised, but even with the jankiness of a mouse and keyboard — we’re talking retro controls here — the original Wing Commander holds up rather well in 2015.
It’s a good thing, because this year marks the game’s 25th anniversary. Given that Cloud Imperium Games has a direct line of lineage to the game, the studio decided to livestream a playthrough — from start to finish — to mark the occasion.
Jared Huckaby and Ben Lesnick host the occasion, although they are joined by a suite of staffers who worked on the original game. Artist Denis Loubet joins the stream first after an hour, while the creator of the Origin Museum, Joe Garrity, hops on after that.
Chris Roberts himself even comes on halfway through and attempts to work his way through the first mission, but his joystick skills weren’t up to par and he was blown away by the Kilrathi (just after four hours, if you want to skip ahead).
Watching this video makes me want to plug in my Logitech joystick at home to see if that controls any better than the mouse and keyboard. It also reminded about the Wing Commander Saga, a fan-made remake of Wing Commander 3 built in the Freespace 2 engine that is absolutely worth checking out if you’re a fan.