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Wing Commander Privateer


Wing Commander Privateer Civilian Centurion Fighter Civilian Gladius Fighter

Wing Commander Privateer delved into the seamy side of the Wing Commander Universe, giving the player complete freedom to roam the Gemini sector with the goal of accumulating wealth through any means he or she chose – legitimate trading, smuggling, bounty hunts, piracy, and more. The game was open ended, meaning that the player could carry on flying even when the main story-based game had been completed.

Wing Commander Privateer is currently (since 3rd June 2011) available from gog.com. A nice collection of information on Privateer and its add-on, Righteous Fire, can be found at the Old Skool web site for classic PC games. Extensive background information for Privateer, Righteous Fire and even what might have been Privateer On-Line is also available at the CIC. The latter is an on-line version of the Privateer On-Line design document, and a second version featured the ICIS style of Wing Commander Prophecy.

Manual

The Privateer manual is available as a PDF from the CIC. It is also included in many CD-based re-releases of the game.

Game Guides

When stuck on a mission, try the CIC’s very thorough game guide. Wedge009’s listings of commodity prices and bases from Wing Commander Privateer, which may aid in gameplay decisions, are also available.

Dialogue Script

Wedge009’s interpretation of the dialogue from Wing Commander Privateer.

Music

A few single-file MIDIs extracted straight from the game and converted using Winamp are available here, with some RIFF information added. The complete MIDI collection (sans the Victory track) is available at the CIC, unnamed and named.

Steltek Scout Steltek Derelict

Several of the music pieces from Privateer are also available in various formats from the CIC. The higher quality tracks were recorded by Mad Hatter and C75 on the Roland Sound Canvas. The older pieces seem to be AdLib versions, and unfortunately, some of them have quite a bit of background noise. In addition, the one labelled “New Detroit” is actually the music played while on agricultural bases. Tracks 6 and 16 of the Origin Audio CD Volume 3 includes high quality recordings of a medley of combat music as well as the credits. Some arrangements of Privateer music can also be found at Scrap’s site.

Speech

Most of the inflight plot-related speech are available here as MP3s, although some liberty may been taken with the enemy comms (enemy destruction is good). At the low bit-rate used, some distortion is evident in the audio output, however, the files contain speech only and such noise should be acceptable. If not, inflight comms can be extracted from PRIV.TRE and RF.TRE using Game Audio Player (download). However, it is quite a task going through literally hundreds of VOC files and manually pasting them together into WAVs.

Steltek Drone
Privateer
Title Size Description
Introduction 116 KiB Self-explanatory.
Brilliance 9 KiB Oh dear, looks like the Privateer has been a naughty boy…
William Riordian 71 KiB The loud-mouthed fool whom Tayla ‘dumped’ in favour of the player.
Captain Seelig 40 KiB The poor guy Lynch is “disappointed” with.
Salman Kroiz Part 1 68 KiB Hard to find someone with such good manners these days…
Salman Kroiz Part 2 43 KiB …especially one with a fake English accent.
Felon 17 KiB Perhaps Regis is not so innocent after all…
Felon 24 KiB …as if anyone would take Lynch’s word for it.
Miggs 48 KiB Lynch’s intelligent henchman.
Hunter Toth 31 KiB His first name is clearly not his job description.
Unlawful Execution 29 KiB Retros on a murder spree…
Unlawful Execution 31 KiB …or so they wish.
Oxford Data Thief 23 KiB Male pirate cracking into Oxford’s libraries.
Oxford Data Thief 20 KiB Female pirate cracking into Oxford’s libraries.
Oxford Books 12 KiB Male bounty hunter looking for a finder’s fee on Oxford’s rare books.
Oxford Books 8 KiB Female bounty hunter looking for a finder’s fee on Oxford’s rare books.
Palan Blockade 8 KiB Male bounty hunter in the Palan blockade.
Palan Blockade 6 KiB Female bounty hunter in the Palan blockade.
Monkhouse Wanted 50 KiB Even the Kilrathi want to talk to Dr Lemuel Monkhouse.
Sticky Charts 9 KiB Male pirate giving a fair warning of what is out there.
Sticky Charts 8 KiB Female pirate giving a fair warning of what is out there.
Captain Garrovick 30 KiB Look what happens when you try to help.
Steltek Technology 44 KiB As if having a near invincible Steltek drone on your tail is not enough…
Steltek Technology 55 KiB …oh well, just means more cannon fodder.
Steltek Scout 223 KiB A close encounter of the third kind.
Admiral Reismann 31 KiB Since when do two destroyers constitute a “fleet”?
The Tin Idiot prepares for its next unsuspecting victim…
Righteous Fire
Title Size Description
Introduction 187 KiB Self-explanatory.
Oxford Transport 28 KiB Another merchant needing escort in Oxford.
Governor Menesch Part 1 91 KiB So this is the guy just about everyone in Gemini wants dead?
Governor Menesch Part 2 39 KiB Say hello to the cash rolling in…
Commodore Uhler Part 1 43 KiB The Confederation is spread very thinly in the Gemini sector
Kahl 115 KiB If he flew as fast as he spoke, he’d be dead already.
Commodore Uhler Part 2 35 KiB …and cannot even handle a few Kilrathi going their way.
Drake Invitation 65 KiB An unusually polite pirate extends an invitation to visit Drake.
Mordecai Jones 71 KiB Strike at the head and the rest will fall to pieces…
Vengeance 10 KiB …as demonstrated by Jones’ would-be avenger.

Miscellaneous

For a while, playing Privateer on a Windows 9x system was something many would-be privateers could only dream about, but thanks to Ross Ridge’s MyJEMM utility, this is now possible although it is not 100% reliable. It is only recommended if playing Privateer in pure MS-DOS mode is not an option, or only possible with severe drawbacks (eg no sound available). More recently, a popular option for Windows XP users is DOSBox (download). It attempts to emulate the DOS environment in modern operating systems, and has the capability of playing many classic DOS games.

Once the main game has been completed, this savegame editor and ship editor may be of some interest to players.

Many fan projects – and even commercial game releases – seek to recapture the gameplay and overall atmosphere of Privateer with its mix of space combat and entrepreneurism. Among the more popular of these projects is the Privateer Remake (download), built on the open-source Vega Strike engine – which in turn was inspired by the Wing Commander series. Privateer Remake strives to cover a broader range of the Wing Commander universe, while its Gemini Gold release (download) aims to remain true to the essence of the original Privateer game.


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