On the fringe of Human space, near the Kilrathi border, the industrial machine is running full-tilt to feed the war effort, and there is a lot of shipping... and a lot of pirates... and Retros (fanatical religious nuts who wants to destroy technology), military, militia, merchants, mercenaries, and privateers. In the darkness, a battle between ships has woken up something ancient... Something powerful... Something... deadly.
You are a privateer. Start with the lowly scout, and upgrade to one of the three other superior ships: Galaxy (superior cargo space), Orion (superior protection), or Centurion (superior offense). Buy optional equipment such as armor, engines, shields, weapons, launchers for torpedoes/missiles, and MUCH MUCH more. Take on missions (multiple sources, from the cheapest mission computer, to fixers who has the toughest but most rewarding missions) and earn money for upgrades. Use spare cargo room to trade commodities to further add to your account. Missions can vary from search and destroy to Fedex (i.e. delivery) to bounty hunting, and more.
Privateer is set in the Wing Commander universe, but is more of a free-form game similar to Elite. While there is a central plot, you can deviate from it somewhat and you can continue playing after you finish the main plot. It also has the infamous talking heads dialog Origin pioneered in Wing Commander, this time with higher resolution and more natural look, and still has the lip-sync.
- "Trade Commander" -- working title
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When you finish the game, your character was having a conversation with the admiral... Then all of a sudden they started talking back and forth about the game and its creators!
There is a hidden text adventure. Information on how to access it can be found in the hint section.
's player's guide was quite run-of-the-mill compared to other Origin game manuals it did come with a short story. The Frontiersman: Interview With A Privateer
was the account of an interview conducted to our very own Brownhair (with all names changed to protect the innocent, of course) and which told us his story to the point were he sets sail to the Gemini sector. The story also explains his relationship with the Retros and adds a more somber tone to the game, particularly to it's add-on, Righteous Fire
According to an early Origin press release the player character (brownhair)'s name is Grayson Burrows.
On the box of the German disk version of privateer there was as hardware minimum requirements announced a 386 DX with 25 MHz. But on the first pages of the manual suddenly they wrote that the minimum is a 386 DX with 33 MHz. From nowadays viewpoint, when clock speed is counted at hundreds, nothing important, but in 1993 this was rather annoying when you just owned a 25 MHz machine.
Information also contributed by
- GameStar (Germany)
- Issue 12/1999 - #59 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking