Of all things, the recent announcement that Wing Commander 3 is free on Origin got me thinking of my online identity and the names I've used in the past. Incidentally Wing Commander 3 is a great space sim, and if you have Origin anyway, why not grab it? Mark Hammill, Malcom McDowell, and life size cat-person Muppets in space. How can you go wrong?
Adventure games are my favorite, but they're hardly the only sort of game I play. When I was young, I remember playing Might & Magic and Ultima VI with my cousin. One of us would control the game while the other mapped and made suggestions. We never got very far while I was visiting, but it was fun. Eventually, when I had my own PC, Ultima was high on my list of games to continue playing. That led me to other Origin games, particularly Wing Commander.
I love Wing Commander. I can't properly convey how much I love Wing Commander. The gameplay, the setting, the whole package. I'm sure nostalgia plays a part, but that game was fantastic. It also was the first game I played that asked me to provide not just a name, but a callsign. A callsign! Top Gun style, like Iceman, or Maverick! So I needed something punchy, something badass.
I had also recently been introduced to Marvel comics by a classmate; he brought comics to school and would let me read them. The comic he brought the most issues of was the New Mutants, a book about a new class of teenage mutants at the Xavier School. Most of the team were normal human-looking kids, but one was way out there. Warlock.
Warlock was awesome. A techno-organic alien who had fled to Earth to avoid having to fight his father to the death. And his name was perfect. Short, hard k sound at the end. Ideal for a fighter pilot callsign. So that's what I picked. When I later joined the local BBS scene, I needed a screenname. So I went back to that callsign, and my online identity became Warlock.
Of course, as you can see, I don't go by Warlock anymore. When the World Wide Web, online gaming, and so forth became a thing, I found that Warlock wasn't a unique enough name. I would have to be Warlock2734 or some such. I never cared for numbers on the end of screennames; I wanted an identity that was mine alone. So I had to find a new handle. My new handle, oddly enough, also connected back to Wing Commander. And also to Street Fighter II. I'll explain how that happened tomorrow.