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Expansions, sequels, and spinoffs

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Expansions


Two expansion packs were released for Privateer:
  • the Wing Commander Privateer Speech Pack (1993), which added digitized speech voice-overs to the entire game; and the aforementioned Righteous Fire (1994) expansion pack, which continues the story.Wing Commander: Privateer was also released in a CD-ROM Classics edition that included the Righteous Fire expansion and full speech throughout the game, more than what the Speech Pack alone provides. The actor voicing the main character also changes between the Speech Pack and CD-ROM edition of the game.
  • Another Privateer game known as Privateer 2 the darkening was released in late 1996, helmed by Erin Roberts, the brother of Chris Roberts. However, The Darkening is not a storyline sequel, but a spin-off. The naming of the game as "Privateer 2" was not decided until rather late in its development. The Darkening' sets a century after the original Privateer and in a different region of space. This setting and the storyline of The Darkening is not mentioned in any other Wing Commander game, but since it was released as a Wing Commander game and does not necessarily contradict the established story, it's story is considered by many to be part of the Wing Commander universe. Privateer 2 was most notable for it's live action sequences featuring such talents as Clive Owen, John Hurt, and Christopher Walken amongst many others. After Electronic Arts shut down Origin, Chris Roberts created the game freelancer which featured similar art and story to Privateer, but was set in a new universe.


Remakes


Privateer was originally a game for the DOS operating system. Playing it on modern PCs with new operating systems is usually not possible. Therefore fans of the game have programmed versions of the game that can be played under the new systems or they use an emulator to simulate a DOS environment for the game to run on the new computer.

Vega Strike modifications - Vega strike is a space flight simulation computer game. Its code is Open-source software, allowing to make modifications. In 2005, fans of the original Privateer have created remakes based on the Vega Strike engine. The game engine allows all space simulation graphics to be shown in 3D while keeping the original plot storyline.

Currently, there are two remakes, both available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux operating systems. The first has a more liberal approach and the second one is more purist to the original game:
  • Wing Commander: Privateer Remake
    Known as Remake, this fan-made version has new additions not present in the original game, including fancier graphics (especially the ship models) and more gameplay-related features. The first version 1.0 of Remake was released for download on the project's website on March 6, 2005. The latest version is 1.2 and was released in the same way on July 15, 2005. After completing the plot and losing the steltek gun, the player can go on with the Righteous Fire missions.
    • Privateer: Parallel Universe
      is an expansion pack for the Remake only. The project already adds some new ships to the game and paves the way for the new release which is expected to be released in October 2007, rebalancing the game and adding new features (i.e. side-plots) to the storyline.
  • Wing Commander: Privateer Gemini Gold
    In contrast to the above version, Privateer Gemini Gold strives to be as true to the original Privateer as possible. Originally devised as a purist modification of Remake, Privateer Gemini Gold developed into its own project, which since then has shared resources with Remake. Version 1.0 of Privateer Gemini Gold was released on July 23, 2005 for download on the project's website, followed by the first patch 1.01 on November 15, 2005. 1.02b2 was released in April, 2007. The game also includes the Righteous Fire missions. Current ongoing developments include remodelling 2D graphics of bases in the original game into high resolution. The Remake itself has spawned an add-on called Wing Commander:Universe. It should include not only the Gemini sector and ships of Privateer but the whole known universe and additional ships of the Wing Commander series. In 2005 there were files of the playable beta version available for download.


DOSBox version of The Wing Commander Privateer - self-installing archive project is another fan project that made a Privateer version mainly for Windows XP using the DOSBox emulator. The latest version v0.2 comes complete with DOSBox 0.63 and was released on July 15, 2005 for download. It should also include the Righteous Fire story-line and uses the original in-game menus and game options, whereas Remake and Privateer Gemini Gold use new in-game menus and have no options to select.


External links

  • Wing Commander: Privateer at MobyGames
  • Privateer at classicgaming.cc
  • Privateer at angelfire.com: Fansite with information, screenshots, technical help and advice from the original game and Righteous Fire.
  • Privateer at iprimus.com.au: Fansite with dialogue, audio, and extensive screenshots from the original game.

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