About Background

About the Project

Wing Commander was an incredibly popular space combat simulator series from the '90s known for its strong narratives. With Wing Commander III, the series switched to full motion video. With Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom the series created what is probably the greatest example of the medium, with Hollywood budgets, real sets and an outstanding cast including Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davies and Tom Wilson; and unlike many other FMV titles, each benefits from outstanding direction; which leads to excellent performances worthy of any movie.

Thanks to the release of a DVD version of the title, fans already possessed relatively high quality video that has aged incredibly well. This video has been further enhanced by AI upscaling. Gaming has never again made such an ambitious FMV title, and now the video quality is close to modern, high definition standards.

While the video (already ahead of its time) is now close to HD level, the game remains the same. This project is a fan attempt to allow owners of Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom to enjoy a more modern experience by loading the files from the original game into a new engine, complete with specially created, high definition assets.

For the visuals, our hope is to bring the visual quality of the gameplay up to the level of the 1996 FMV. We have no ambitions to exceed this level or compete with the likes of StarCitizen; we simply want to present a cohesive package where the switch from FMV to gameplay is as natural as possible.

Wing Commander IV was, in a way, a victim of the success of III; a sequel was quickly requested - and to launch in time, the focus was put on the FMV. As such it re-used the Wing Commander III engine which, itself, was a product of the awkward era of early 3D, pre-dating 3D acceleration. Motion and physics were not up to the level of the previous titles (except perhaps the excellent 3DO port of III). Later on Wing Commander Prophecy, which lacked the same quality of FMV, did address all of these issues with the handling and physics.

As such, in addition to attempting to match the visual quality of the FMV, we also hope to borrow aspects from both earlier and later titles to improve the gameplay. Again, we have no designs on creating a new experience; we simply want to bring the best of the existing titles to Wing Commander IV - although we do hope to take some liberties, improving elements such as atmospheric missions - for which there is no better reference in the franchise.

This site is called Respace as a nod to the original RealSpace engine, the assets for which we are loading. It was used by Wing Commander III, IV, Armada and Strike Commander. Eventually, if successful, other ports might be possible.