Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger

aka: Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger, Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger for Macintosh
DOS Specs
(prices updated 9/29 6:50 PM )

Description official descriptions

The war against the Kilrathi is going badly for the Confederation. Its flagship, the Concordia, has been destroyed, battles are lost on all fronts. War hero Colonel Christopher Blair is transferred to the old carrier Victory. Take the role of Blair and ensure the success of the Confederation's last-ditch attempt for victory: the destruction of the Kilrathi homeworld.

Wing Commander III has the usual mix of space battles and cinematic storytelling. Changes from the first two games include SVGA graphics, the use of texture-mapped polygons instead of bitmaps for spaceflight sequences, and real Hollywood actors appearing in the cinematic scenes.


  • 银河飞将3:虎之心 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (DOS version)

232 People (230 developers, 2 thanks) · View all

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Writing Credits
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Average score: 88% (based on 37 ratings)


Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 108 ratings with 8 reviews)

A technical feast, but slightly tedious gameplay.

The Good
This was one of the relatively few FMV-games that managed to maintain a certain level of quality. The movie choice-branch thing is ever charming, and the space 3D-engine used to kick ass back in '94.

Specifically, I think Jason Bernard as captain Eisen plays his part convincingly. Comm-exec Rollins is an endearing character, and there's a couple of delectable female crewmembers also.

The Bad
The missions are repetitive and tedious. Nearly every mission is of a sweep-and-clear nature, flying your ship to a number of navpoints and clearing out enemy presence. This is the only major flaw of the game, but it is a huge one. Compare the missions in WC3 to those of Tie Fighter or indeed Wing Commander IV, and you'll see what I mean.

The Bottom Line
WC3 was a gigantic gaming-project; it had a budget size that was previously unheard of in the gaming industry, and was really hot stuff back in '94. Alas, all the live acting-business and technical mayhem (it was one of the first SVGA releases) stole Roberts' attention away from the stuff that really matters: the gameplay. If you want to play a better game, try WC4. In WC4, they rectified all that was wrong with this one.

DOS · by mobster_lobster (24) · 2001

Bigger, but not that much better.

The Good
Going to true 3D makes for a much more realistic experience and allows for better Kilrathi ship designs. Addition of ground missions (albeit extremely limited). The video sequences are much more engaging than the simple computer graphics...

The Bad
The CGI sets makes the camera angle static, and not quite realistic. Missions are sometimes quite repetitive, no improvements in gameplay at all (just faster/more/better ships/weapons), still no multiplayer.

The Bottom Line
WC3 is a logical evolution of the WC series. WC2 introduced better graphics and better cinematic angles. WC2 added true 3D space and real actors. The gameplay haven't changed... You still go from mission to mission, following the "mission tree" where the success of the Confederation war effort is in your hands...

As a space combat title, WC3 has no peer at the time, as Freespace is still in the future. The action is fast and furious. The ships are faster and more powerful than before. The AI is better as they will deploy missiles properly. The wingmen still doesn't behave that smartly though. Its single-player experience is unique in engaging you in the Confederation war effort.

However, its complete lack of multiplayer (a WC universe deficiency that was NEVER addressed) and lack of camera angles means the title has little if any replay value.

DOS · by Kasey Chang (4601) · 2001

We sure waited a long time for this...

The Good
It was a solid game. We all waited nearly four years for the cliffhanger at the end of Special Ops 2 to be resolved, with mostly mediocre WC games coming out in the interim. At the time, the graphics were the best ever made, and the ability to get right up to a CapShip and fly down its length (or even inside it, Anakin-style) were wonderful. Plus, the use of the Strike Commander terrain engine for ground missions added depth that hadn't been there previously. Plus, of course, there were the ground-breaking cinematics with the best bunch of actors ever assembled for an "interactive movie." (and the full-sized anamatronics for the Kilrathi were impressive, even if they moved a bit too much like the Skeksis)

The Bad
It didn't feel like Wing Commander. The missions were fun, and generally had enough variety to be interesting, but somehow the tweak of gameplay that made WC distinctive was lost when they switched to polygons. (and never regained) Also, the script to the movie was more than a bit loose - it felt like they had two possible plotlines, and instead of picking the strongest, they strung them together with an extremely rough transition midway through. And, more bizarrely, a major plot twist (involving a surprise defection) is never explained - they decided to cut out the scene that let it all make sense.

The Bottom Line
Definately a turning-point in the computer industry; the first "interactive movie" style game that anyone took seriously and the first that the actors involved could list on their resumes without shame. Due to the somewhat dated gameplay, it's probably best played for the sake of the movie, but entertaining for that purpose.

DOS · by WizardX (116) · 2000

[ View all 8 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Free on Origin chirinea (47013) Sep 5th, 2014
A question about EA Classics release. Virgil (8569) Jan 3rd, 2008



Charlton Heston was initially approached by Origin to portray the role of admiral Tolwyn, however several monetary drawbacks (such as spending nearly $15,000 on the purchase & processing of 16 mm film only to discover later that videotape served their digitizing needs better) made Heston's fee of $100,000 less than attractive.


At the time, it was the most expensive video game ever made, at approximately $3 million. It was dethroned by its sequel, Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom.

Bugs (Spoiler)

This game has an interesting example of how bugs can critically hinder gameflow. As most people know, once you've defeated Hobbes and Thrakhath the game is pretty much over, since the trench run is a piece of cake. This wasn't intended to be so, since the cloaking device is supposed to function only once. However a bug exists that resets the cloak once you enter Kilrah. In reality you should have been going through the trench while avoiding endless swarms of fighters, which is a really difficult thing to do.

Of a somewhat less importance but equally exemplary is the pretty undramatic finale for both Hobbes and Thrakhath. In reality both of them send you a final message when you blow them up, however you can't hear them while playing normally. You've got to pause the game just as they blow up, and for some weird reason they'll play just after the explosion sfx dies out.


While the manual and test program clearly state you need a double-speed drive to play the game, over 90% of the video sequences play just fine with a single-speed drive.

Cut scenes (Spoiler)

Several FMV scenes were cut from the final release of the game, including several newscasts from anchorwoman Barbara Miles (the one that appears in the opening sequence), three rendered action sequences, and most importantly of all the so called "Hobbes explanation" a scene in which Hobbes leaves Blair a holographic message explaining his betrayal.

This scene appears on the 3DO version of the game but was left out of the PC release because of lack of space (no one has ever explained why they removed such a critical scene and left others which were of absolutely no importance), however all these scenes appeared later on other sources (the behind the scenes interactive cd, etc...) and are all available for download on several sites around the 'net.

Also removed from the game was a scene which supposedly played in the final stretch of the game (when you reached the first secret asteroid base) and only if some key wingmen were with you at this point. In the scene Blair addressed his wingmen and prepared them for the final fight. It is unknown if this scene was filmed or not, but it does appear on the master script included on the Behind the scenes CD.


There's a novelization of the game published by Baen Books.


  • The phrase "Atomic Batteries to Power, Turbines to Speed'" listed at the bottom of the pre-flight checklist displayed before each flight is a reference to the old, campy Batman TV show from the 60's. Everytime the Dynamic Duo would get in the Batmobile in the Batcave, Robin would say this line (after buckling up like a good passenger, of course).
  • Besides the standard manual, the game came with a booklet called Victory Streak - Your personalized guide to the TCS Victory, which gives new recruits all kinds of background info. In the back of the Victory Streak there's a section with HoloVid reviews, one review is for the HoloVid "Hail SHODAN":

Hail SHODAN radiates with cyberpunk action and the good looks of Clint Mason. After streetwise hacker James Finn (Mason) accepts the challenge to punch deck into Citadel research station, he unknowingly removes the logic systems behind the station's artificial intelligence. Finn finds himself trapped in a steel jungle with nothing but his good looks and a few electro-magnetic grenades. The furious pace of this game-based HoloVid will send you reeling through the aisles... the ending will astonish you. (2.24 hours) ***

Shodan is of course the A.I. from the game System Shock.

Special Edition

The Special Edition was a special release only available trough a select few retail outlets (like Sam's club). It includes all the original documentation plus the T-shirt, the film canister packaging, and a "behind the scenes cd" which is not the one included on the premiere edition, it's actually the VHS tape documentary encoded as an avi file.

Story branches and endings

Unlike most games, there's actually an entire branch in the story that leads to a so-called failure ending aka The (Last) Battle of Earth. Failure on some plot-critical missions will lead the storyline into the Proxima system, where confederation forces fight a losing battle; retreating to Sol in an unwinnable scenario. Obviously since the activation of the dialog/videos for this branch require LOSING, it's probably a minority of players (or people who download from fansites) who have seen all this, flown the missions and most would probably just restore from a saved game. There are also three separate "good" endings, depending on your choice of who to befriend.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • May 1995 (Issue #130) – Action Game of the Year
    • May 1995 (Issue #130) – Best Male On-Screen Performance (for Tim Wilson's performance as Maniac)
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) - #54 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – #9 Most Innovative Computer Game
    • May 1997 (Issue #154) - Introduced into the Hall of Fame
  • Mega Fun
    • 1996 - PlayStation Game of the Year
  • PC Gamer
    • April 2000 - #30 in the "All-Time Top 50 Games" poll
    • April 2005 - #48 in the "50 Best Games of All Time" list
  • Power Play
    • Issue 02/1995 – Biggest Hype in 1994

Information also contributed by Kasey Chang, PCGamer77, Ray Soderlund, Roedie, WildKard, WizardX and Zovni

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Terok Nor.

Windows added by Picard. PlayStation added by Quapil. 3DO added by quizzley7.

Additional contributors: Trixter, MAT, CaesarZX, Patrick Bregger, ZeTomes.

Game added February 5th, 2000. Last modified September 24th, 2023.