Wing Commander: Prophecy

aka: Wing Commander V
Moby ID: 486
Windows Specs
Note: We may earn an affiliate commission on purchases made via eBay or Amazon links (prices updated 4/22 8:20 PM )

Description official descriptions

Following the Border Worlds conflict of Wing Commander IV, the galaxy is once more at peace. Colonel Christopher Blair, hero of the Confederation has transferred into the Naval Forces. Blair helps design the TCS Midway, a state-of-the-art multi-role carrier that will help keep order during the Confederation's new peacetime. The luxury of peace allows Confed to retire many older pilots and assign younger pilots to piloting roles. Lance Casey and his friend Max "Maestro" Garrett are two such pilots, fresh from the academy, transferred aboard the TCS Midway along with several others for its maiden voyage along the borders of Confed Space. But soon into the mission, the Midway intercepts a distress call from the Kilrathi, the remains of a race of cat-like warriors who lost the war with the Confederation...

Wing Commander: Prophecy is a space combat simulator. Players take the role of Lance Casey on his new assignment aboard the ship. The player can click various hotspots aboard the ship to engage in non-interactive FMV conversations with shipboard personnel. By entering the briefing room, players can receive full instructions on their next mission.

Space Combat begins by launching from the TCS Midway carrier, and are displayed as first-person perspective inside the cockpit, similar to the rest of the Wing Commander series. Mission objectives vary between escort duties, patrol missions, search and destroy or defense of the TCS Midway herself. Depending on the ship being flown for the particular mission, the player will be able to switch between guns, missiles, torpedoes and mines with which to combat the enemy. The player, as wing commander, can give orders to nearby wingmen and communicate with any other ship. After each mission, the player must return to dock with the TCS Midway and will receive a mission performance rating.

Spellings

  • 银河飞将5:世纪的预言 - Simplified Chinese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Videos

See any errors or missing info for this game?

You can submit a correction, contribute trivia, add to a game group, add a related site or alternate title.

Credits (Windows version)

265 People (253 developers, 12 thanks) · View all

Cast
German Voices
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 82% (based on 25 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 50 ratings with 4 reviews)

One of the fastest and most beautiful space action games of all time

The Good
At the time of publishing this game by Origin has set new standards for graphic quality in space shooters (at least the Glide version). Dozens of missiles each with its own tail of smoke homing in on a target destroying it in a caleidoscope of colors (it was the first game to feature that famous "expanding space ripple ring"-effect nowadays found in most space action games). Add cool looking detailed space ships, a very rich background (with star nebulae, suns, planets) and many special effects and you get graphics that are extremely impressive even by today's standard.
Every ship has it's (sometimes very special) advantages and disadvantages.
The storyline is interesting enough to keep you playing, without 100s of MB wasted on mediocre acting.
And the aliens? They (actually their ships) have some very unique features. Some ships combine to form greater more dangerous opponents and if you try to destroy those ships, they fall apart and you are confronted with a horde of smaller drones. The biological look reminds a bit of some ships in Babylon 5.

The Bad
That you had to use a cheat to activate the (much cooler) industrial sound track by Cobalt 69 in the normal game (otherwise you could only listen to it in the simulator).
It's simply more fun blasting aliens with a syntetical techno throb in your ear :-)

The Bottom Line
Top style dog-fighting in space. Great graphics, great sound and nice handling.

Windows · by Zzap (56) · 2000

Gameplay's revenge! Die space-opera! DIE!!

The Good
Following Origin's tradition of setting tech standards this game had the most beautiful graphics of its time (this was the first WC to support 3d acceleration), and it's still pretty hot by today's standards, also the sound and video and pretty much everything is once again above and beyond everything know in space sims (altough the apparition of Freespace would but a serious thorn in the series technical supremacy). And lest I forget: I didn't realize how much I missed a cockpit since the last two games until I jumped on my first ship. The designers found a way to make attractive, dynamic cockpits that don't block your view and it is this simple addition which solves one of the WC series most persistent problems: the lack of in-game immersion. At best, you always felt as if you were commanding a bubble in space, at worst you were watching events played at a screen far, faaar away. No more!

Speaking of the game however, this one tries to recapture the spirit of the original WCs instead of trying to be another epic space opera, so fmv haters will be glad to know that this game comes on 3 (gasp! that's even less than WC3!) cds and you spend much more time in the cockpit than watching movies (tough you still get them). The whole Blair saga is left behind and you are now a new character, a rookie, which means that you are back to taking orders instead of giving them. Despite of what you have to endure as you play this new character I found it to be a much more enjoyable role to take on than old Blair. There's just something much more appealing about working your way from rookie to war hero, than being a war hero and just...save the known universe once again...Speaking of which, the threat this time has nothing to do with political agendas or ethical delusions, a race of bad-bad aliens (because they are always bad, right? ;D) comes to kick ass and it's up to you to stop them. Sure, the story is coated with the seriousness we have come to expect from the WC series, but it boils down to that, so if WC4's story gave you headaches this baby's for you! -Bad alien! sit! sit! play dead! BANG!, BANG! good alien!...

On the game play side things are more balanced than in previous games. You don't have any say on what equipment you get to take until the later missions, which can frustrate some, but done right (like in here) can be lots of fun. Also the time-honored tradition of "the ultimate fighter" is back with the original spirit, you get a ship which simply maneuvers better, moves faster and is harder to shoot down than the others instead of the "cheater" ships the last couple of games offered. In fact if you consider that the Dragon had unlimited afterburner, auto-aiming, cloaking capability and a super weapon, the all-new Vampire doesn't look "ultimate" at all.

Both the new ships as well as the new enemies provide some interesting new game play concepts and I generally had a blast playing trough most of the missions.

The Bad
Essentially, everything that has improved in the game play side of things was at the expense of the story, characters, ambience...etc. It's still good by any standards but to those of us who got into the epic space-opera thing, it is a sad loss. I cannot help thinking how good a game it would have been if it had combined both aspects. Something that really hurts is the acting too. The WC videos had been considered the best of the best in terms of quality and acting and the acting/writing in some of the scenes in this game will leave you either weeping or laughing hysterically, if you know what I mean. This is probably because they hired a lot more 20-something MAWs (models/actors/wathevers) for this one than before but well...

Enough with that. Because that's not everything that's bad with this baby. If you thought this was the holy grail of game play when you read the "Good" then sorry to disappoint you, but once again there are a LOT of kill-kill-kill shooting gallery missions, which gets boring pretty soon. In fact if on WC4 you found a couple of exceptional missions lost in a sea of crap, in here you'll find that everything is more..."average" there were truly fewer "memorable" missions, but then again the crap missions are not so prominent.

It is also a shame to see a lot of really good concepts completely wasted. Take the Wasp ship for example: it is the single most original ship in the game and it is used in what... 6 missions? and lets not even talk of the swarmer missiles.

The Bottom Line
Essentially this WC puts the emphasis on game play and tries to recapture the original's spirit. If you were all for the "Interactive Movie" thing then you still get some, but not nearly enough as in WC3. It takes a funnier, humbler approach to space combat than the previous games, so if that's your cup of tea go for it.

Windows · by Zovni (10504) · 2001

A decent space sim is marred by bad presentation

The Good
During the intro we hear a prophecy of the Kilrathi saying that the end is near, and that a mysterious race is gonna come and wipe everything in its sights. You play as a rookie Confed pilot named Lance Casey. As a routine patrol of Confed ships in space is commencing, a mysterious jump gate opens and reveals a huge armada of alien ships. The aliens destroy everything in sight. Your job is to go up the ranks while killing any alien ships you encounter (not much of a story, huh? We'll get to it later).

The gameplay is somewhat simplistic but it certainly gets the job done. The missions are very well done, from routine search-and-destroy to escort missions to defend your cruiser to engaging in huge battles with enemy ships and armadas.

The graphical design is very well done. Enemy ships looks just like alien ships should look like and are very lifelike. This is the first and only Wing Commander game that supports the use of a 3D accelerator and the game looks very well in 3D format rather than the polygonal graphics of the earlier games.

The Bad
Is this a Wing Commander game? I think not. And while it's a decent sim it has no place nor any relation to the early Wing Commanders.

There are good and innovative things about this 5th entry to Wing Commander series, but unfortunately the game is marred by bad presentation and a certain lack of life that was implemented far better in its predecessors (WC3, WC4).

My biggest disappointment comes from the fact the game simply doesn't have a strong enough story and lacks the cinematic feeling and character development that made the earlier games in the series so good.

As far as the story goes, you get the usual aliens-coming-to-destroy-your-homeworld kind of stuff. That's it. You do not have any kind of interaction with the aliens (except senseless fighting with them), unlike the Kilrathi who got a storyline of their own. Basically that adds up to the fact that you can't feel anything towards the aliens, not bad nor good feelings about them. You just know they're coming to destroy you. Now that might suit some people, but certainly not me. Without understanding and interacting with your enemy, you cannot relate to him in any way, and the enemy basically becomes, well, just another race you're gonna destroy.

As far as character development goes, it's bad as well. Colonel Blair, whom we love, is not absent here, but is featured only in some small scenes and mostly in the end of the game. Instead of the indomitable Blair, the hero you are playing is a kid with no experience in combat and flight that tries to rise up the ranks and show off his flying style. Maniac has lost much of the flair that we loved in earlier games in the series, and while he is still the joker on the ship, he just doesn't make much sense anymore without you as Blair by his side trying to straighten him out. You cannot relate to any character here, simply because none are presented well enough.

This all adds up to one thing. An enormous lack of life and you basically feel like you are piloting a ship senselessly in space with no real goal or purpose.

Another rant I have here is about the absolutely lame resolution. A 1997 game should have better resolutions than 640x480. This resolution was good enough in 1995, but not anymore. This resolution makes the game appear somewhat blurry, with a lack of life and I might dare say even downright ugly at times.

The last thing here and one of the most annoying things is the fact that you can select a ship only in rare occasions. You cannot select a wingmen and/or ship armaments throughout the game. You must stick to the default presets of "take what you can get". This makes the game even more linear than it already is.

The Bottom Line
After all is said and done this game is a disappointment for me. When I heard Origin was about to release a new game I got very excited about it, and as exciting was the wait, as unexciting was the result.

The Roberts' brothers left a legacy of space sim games like no other. Their absence is evident in this game.

While the game has some strong points as far as its gameplay aspect, its shortcomings in the way of story, character development, variety, linearity is just a bit too much to take.

If you want to enjoy this game you need to take it as is. Do not think of it as a Wing Commander game, but as another decent space sim and you just might enjoy it a little bit.

Windows · by Clark Gable (72) · 2004

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Development

This is the first Wing Commander which was not directed by Chris Roberts.

Extras

Included with some boxes was the Wing Commander Universe map/poster. There is no indication of it being included anywhere on the cover and it may be a bonus only for the first batch of copies. The German "Electronic Arts CD ROM Classics" re-release also contains the map.

Multiplayer

Wing Commander: Prophecy was never intended to have multiplayer. This is according to Billy Cain, who made the statement during a presentation entitled "Developers are from Jupiter, Marketers are from Saturn: Learn the Secret Codes for Working with a Marketing Team" at Game Developers' Conference (GDC) 2005. According to Cain, at some point, the marketing department asked that multiplayer be added as a feature to the game, and pre-emptively began mentioning it in project advertisements. However the development team had never had any time, or even intention to implement multiplayer features of any kind. As a result, Wing Commander: Prophecy shipped for PC without multiplayer.

Soundtrack

There is a soundtrack available for this game released by EDEL Ameria Records (http://www.edel.de). Billing itself as "music inspired by the game" the cd features licensed material from Industrial/ dance bands like KMFDM, Rammstein, Fear Factory, Juno Reactor, Junkie XL, Paradise Lost, Eskimos & Egypt, Brooklyn Bounce and completely original material from Die Krupps, Das Ich, Project Pitchfork and Cobalt 60.

The in-game techno music are actually completely original "instrumental" tracks composed specifically for the game by Cobalt 60. But they do not appear in the soundtrack cd, they can only be found in the Secret OpsProphecy (TerminalMix) which plays when you finish the game, and Darwin Was Right, which is actually one of the simulator/secret ops tracks, but re-mixed, extended, and with lyrics.

Trilogy

Origin intended Wing Commander Prophecy to have two sequels within the same story continuum named Revelation and Apocalypse.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • March 1998 (Issue #164) – Space Sim Game of the Year
  • PC Player (Germany)
    • Issue 01/1999 – Best Space Action Game in 1998

Information also contributed by Evil Azrael, Karthik KANE, Timo Takalo and WildKard

Analytics

MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Wing Commander
Released 1990 on DOS, 1992 on SNES, Amiga...
Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom
Released 1996 on DOS, Windows, 1997 on PlayStation...
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger
Released 1994 on DOS, 1996 on PlayStation, Windows...
Wing Commander 1+2
Released 2011 on Windows, 2012 on Macintosh
Wing Commander: Privateer - CD-ROM Edition
Released 1994 on DOS, 2011 on Windows, 2012 on Macintosh
Wing Commander Academy
Released 1993 on DOS, 2013 on Windows
Wing Commander: Privateer
Released 1993 on DOS

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 486
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]

Contribute

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by robotriot.

Game Boy Advance added by Kartanym.

Additional contributors: MAT, Kartanym, Zovni, CaesarZX, Patrick Bregger.

Game added November 28, 1999. Last modified January 19, 2024.