The Wonderful, Wonderful Manual (your e-mail)From Tim Steffes:
I too remember those days of long in the past where you'd get not only an excellently designed manual, but lots of other goodies along with it. Included is a so-so cellphone shot of my Wing Commander 1 collection, from back in the day where floppy discs were actually floppy, and games (good ones at least) included forms to mail in your discs to get the other sizes instead.
As a bonus, WC1 includes four posters that are also 'technical specs' of the ships you fly, and a manual that is actually written 'in character' as if you're reading a magazine on board the ship you spend the entire game on.
It even includes something you'll never, ever find in modern PC gaming - the comment card.
I have its sequel around as well, but it's not quite as old-school looking as it actually has 3.5 inch discs in it (but I did buy a 'speech pack' instead for the game, as things like 'sound cards' and such were just becoming a thing for IBM PC Compatibles). Also, Wing Commander 3 was never on disc that I know of simply because it was absolutely filled with FMV (and very well done FMV at that). CD only.
Since I saw you mention Origin in your last story, as well as ancient PC gaming, I figured I might as well show off some little treasure of mine from that era.
One last bit - some of the screenshots on the back of the box, as well as on the front itself, are doctored or preproduction pictures (mostly there's something wrong with all of the screenshots of you in the cockpit). Everything else is real though.
I've mentioned this before, but I played Wing Commander on the 3DO (it was titled "Super Wing Commander"), and it was just fantastic. The 3DO version was CD-based, and it was substantially enhanced (both graphically and with full speech) from the original PC version. But I don't think I got all that cool stuff.