Academy DVD Marked Down for the Holidays

A number of people have written in to report that Amazon is now selling the Wing Commander Academy DVD collection for just $7.99. It's not clear if this price reduction is in any way permanent, but with the holiday season fast approaching, this is a great opportunity to pick up some additional copies for gifts. Just this Summer, Amazon increased the price to full MSRP ($35) after their initial batch had sold out. It's been confirmed that the set is region locked to North America for licensing reasons, but overseas fans can pick up a Region 1 player for cheap, or explore more creative solutions.

Long-time visitors will know that you can watch Academy in three ways: storyline order, production order or by original air date. LOAF recently shared where he currently stands on the issue:

Yes, the episodes on the disk are in production order; that is, the order they were finished by Universal. With a live action show, production and continuity orders tend to be fairly similar... since shows are shot in a fairly linear fashion. With cartoons it's more complicated, since a swath of episodes are written and animated at once.

Order doesn't matter a GREAT deal on Wing Commander Academy. As AD notes, there is a proper 'timeline' order that you can watch them in, but much of that just won't matter.

Red and Blue comes first and the two-parted (Price of Victory/Glory of Sivar) comes last. The Last One Left should be second (since it's introducing the Tiger's Claw setting and several secondary characters) and then The Most Delicate Instrument third (since it introduces Archer's oft-referenced story arc.) Other aspects of watching in timeline order are more trivial... Blair mentions the events of Expendable in Chain of Command, Word of Honor in Recreation and so on.

I actually kind of like the production order regardless, though, as it gives you Chain of Command, the show's strongest episode, early in the run. When the show originally airead the early episodes were swapped around and you ended up having both the "they eject and are stuck on a planet" shows one after the other. Which sort of made manifest everyone's fears about fighter pilot shows, that they could only ever be coming up with excuses to get the characters out of the cockpit.

Another thing to note is that Red and Blue is by far the series' weakest episode... and it's very different in style and tone than the rest of the show. It's clearly FIRST, but you need to watch it with the understanding that that's not what the rest of the series is going to be like.

Wing Commander on German TV Saturday

The Wing Commander Movie will be broadcasting on the German station RTL2 this Saturday, November 22, at 2 PM. We frequently mention all of the streaming sources such as HBO Go, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, XBox Video and iTunes, but occasionally people in certain countries have trouble accessing these. Even if fans don't have a problem going digital, the copies online may not be in their native language, so we especially like to point out opportunities to catch the movie on normal television in non-English speaking countries. And it's always fun to see how the plot synopsis's Google translation comes across.

The people are at war with a hostile alien race that is preparing an attack on Earth. A group of young fighter pilots receives the order to stop the invaders.

In a distant future, humanity is, which is now penetrated into the depths of space, at war with the evil Kilrathi. When the aliens invaded a space station while NavCom capture the navigation device, they gain a significant strategic advantage: With the help of the device they are able to get by Hyper jump directly to Earth.

The crew of the star cruiser Tigerclaw receives important order, the Kilrathi stop until the fleet of the earth has formed to defend. There is also the young fighter pilot Chris Blair and his hot-headed friend Todd Marshall on board. Together with their team mates they are the last hope of humanity ...

Germany is a special case when it comes to Wing Commander fandom. The franchise is popular around the world, but it has always been an extraordinary hit there. Even today, German Wingnuts make up one out of even eight visitors to the CIC - more than any other country outside the United States. If you were curious, the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Netherlands, Russia, Poland and then Greece (in that order) round out the rest of the top ten. People have logged in from 137 countries recently, including single visits from more than two dozen rather exotic places like Afghanistan, Namibia and the island of Tonga - Wing Commander is a truly global phenomenon!

Early Concept Art Hints at SC's WC Origins

Concept artist Rob McKinnon has mocked up images for both major Hollywood studios and video game developers like Cloud Imperium Games. His relationship with Chris Roberts actually goes back several years to some of the earliest fighter pilot and Hornet pictures for what would become Star Citizen. There are also some very interesting mockups in his portfolio for when the game was being pitched as a potential Wing Commander game. The soldier below is labeled as a "Confederation Marine" for an untitled Wing Commander project. Mr. Roberts is well entrenched in his new IP these days, but numerous references have made it clear that he originally wanted to make a WC game. That ship has sailed for the time being, but it's always possible for Chris to return to the franchise after WC Movie distribution rights revert back next year!

WC Invasion Sees Renewed Interest on YouTube

Timpedia has produced a multipart series of video reviews for the Wing Commander Invasion game. It's a Star Wars Empire at War (Forces of Corruption) mod that hasn't really been in the news for a couple years since the project reached a final stable release, but it's still available online and looking really slick. If you ever wanted to know what a fleet of Bengal class carriers, Confederation dreadnoughts and a Behemoth could unleash on the Kilrathi, this is your opportunity. Version 2.5 of the mod even adds the Nephilim as a third faction. Or if you'd just like to watch, Part 2 and Part 3 are also online. Not sure what's up with the Bengal cutaway poster being used as the video thumbnail... the author must have just thought it looked cool.

GOG Sale Cuts Wing Commander Prices In Half (80% Off Tuesday!)

Good Old Games has a sale for every season these days, and that's a good thing for Wing Commander fans! Our favorite franchise has gone 50% off, which means each package is marked down to $3. All of the DOS and Windows WC games and expansions are included across eight different packages, so the series is available for $24. If you're reading this, there's a good chance you already own these games digitally by now, but you can still gift the set to a friend. It's also possible to buy the games for one of your own alternate email addresses now and save the download code to give away as a holiday present. Once in a while GOG squeezes prices even a little bit lower than this, but you can't go wrong getting so much Wing Commander for less than half the price of one of the games' original prices! As an extra bonus, Strike Commander, Ultima and other Origin classics are also half off. If free is even more your style, don't forget that Origin's Crusader No Remorse is still being given away free by EA.


Update: The series is a whopping 80% off for 24 hours starting Tuesday morning. Individual games not purchased in the series bundle are 60% off, but for less than $10 for all DOS & Windows WC games, it's time to complete your collection! Note that most games come with bonuses like the strategy guides, blueprints, a novel or similar. Wing Commander 4 even includes the DVD quality videos, and Prophecy can be patched to include them.

Kick Kilrathi Butt Like a Superhero

Lord Savage has posted a neat scan the shows the famous SNES Wing Commander advertisement as it appeared on the back of a comic book. This appears to be the February 1993 issue of Avengers West Coast (the "91" above "Feb" means "Issue 91"). Many Wingnuts have seen this ad in magazines like GamePro, but it's neat to see how they cross marketed WC back in the day. The image itself was painted by Michael Winterbauer in 1992, and there's some neat backstory on it here.

Aussie Site Takes Gamers Back

AusGamers just threw a Throwback Thursday shout out to Wing Commnder 3, but rather than splash a one-liner across social media, they've put together a nice review of the game as well. The author does a good job trying to set the stage for an audience whose members may have grown up in the 21st Century. It's important to grasp how revolutionary full motion video was for the time and how the Wing Commander series was pulling off green screen special effects better than some movie studios. It's common for reviewers these days to say the space combat is hard to get in to, but I think that's more a commentary on space sims at large. Genres can be an acquired taste, and with few outstanding examples in the market in recent years, picking up any sim can take some getting used to again. Still, the article is helpful for recruiting new pilots for the war effort! Find the full writeup here
Wing Commander III starts with an intro cut-scene that is no less than 10-minutes in length. Let’s get that bit out there right away. And in this 10-minute sequence you’ve got credits, people dressed up in elaborate giant cat suits, the dwarf from The Lord of the Rings consoling Luke Skywalker amongst the ruins of a gigantic spaceship, a ritual sacrifice in a stadium filled with more cat people, more spaceships, a futuristic iPad, and finally another giant cat but this time in a weirdly tight flight suit. Basically, the stuff that would have been impossible to pull off on floppy disk.

Klavs Getting Ahead

He doesn't just model ships. This Halloween, Klavs had a cool new addition for the CIC's head museum: a pretty lifelike 3D render of everyone's favorite wingman.
It being Halloween and all, there sure are a lot of disembodied human heads lying around my desktop...
nedstat extremetracker

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