Emotional Multimedia Ride has posted its fifth - and possibly final - installment in their retrospective on the Wing Commander series. Both Prophecy and Secret Ops are grouped together in a review of the Gold package that GOG has for sale. While there are certainly some high points, they find the overall reduced number of cutscenes, lack of video choices and less seasoned cast to be somewhat less compelling than Wing Commander 4, which ranked as one of their favorite games of all time. On the other hand, they do credit the game's alien artwork and engine effects for making the space combat aspect pretty fun. Note that Prophecy's movies can be upgraded to DVD quality after downloading the VOB files and applying the correct upgrade patch, which alleviates one of the issues they have with the game. Check out the full article here or catch up on their entire series here.
Flat Universe Pilots Help Hold The Line
This week's Wing Commander Flat Universe preview isn't very flat at all! It shows a wing of Hornets rushing in to assist a Confed destroyer under siege by several larger Kilrathi combatants. On the positive side, it appears that the Fralthra in the lead has taken quite a few hits. It's nice to see the Maslas Brothers putting Klavs' beautiful ships to good use!
Wing man: “Still holding, sir!”
Wing leader: “Yeah, I reckon so. Hold tight kid! One more pass and she ain’t gonna make it.”
Pandora Handheld Plays WC Saga
Oceankhayne likes to take his Wing Commander on the go, and so he's a fan of items like the Nvidia Shield Portable combined with DOSBox for Android. He's recently upgraded to a Pandora, where he's managed to even get WC Saga running. It also plays the standard Wing Commander games through about WC4 quite well, and you can find a video of Wing Commander 3 in action on the device here. The Pandora has actually been around for a number of years, so it's due to be upgraded to the even fancier Pyra handheld later this year. We're anxiously awaiting your reports of how well it runs Prophecy and Secrets Ops when it's released!
Hidden in the Pandora repo was Wing Commander Saga built for the Pandora. It's quite playable and controls quite well too as you could imagine. So not only does this play all of the games that the Shield can run, it can also play Saga.
WC Saga Deutsch Up To Version 1.07
Luke continues to refine the German edition of Wing Commander Saga, and his latest updates further enhance the experience. Version 1.07 includes improvements to the fiction viewer, overall improved compatibility and mod-ability through new LUA script options. There have also been fixes to the overall "Saga Plus" project in the form of crash fixes, better usability in the menus and modding improvements behind the scenes. German fans are lucky to have such a Wingnut that's so dedicated to this long-lived fan game. Download the full game here or jump straight to updates here.
New Patch Removes Asteroid Damage From WC1&2
Sheppard still loves to play the Wing Commander games, except one thing drives him crazy: asteroids. He didn't want to just cheat his way through the space combat, so he's been determined to figure out a compromise solution. With the advice of a few fellow Wingnuts and some old editing tools, Sheppard managed to isolate the games' space rocks and neutralize the damage they do by slashing their collision radius. The specific coding needed is slightly different for each of the game executables, so he's created pre-patched files with the modifications already made. Note that these have been designed to work with the GOG versions of WC1 and WC2, although his method could also be applied to the pure DOS files as well. Grab the WC1 (270 k zip) and WC2 (460 k zip) .exes and copy them to your game folders. Don't forget to back up your originals before you overwrite! Read up on exactly what he did here: WC1 & WC2.
One of the most frustrating aspects of the original Wing Commander series was the asteroid fields. They seem to have been put in solely for nothing other than to lengthen gameplay via frustration. I could slowly navigate my way through them with patience as a twelve year old...but the thirty-something me can't stand them anymore. So, without further ado, here's how to adjust the difficulty of asteroids in Wing Commander.
Note: Does not prevent collisions with Ayer's Rock!
Cerberus Looking Good From Above
Here's the latest on a very nearly complete TCS Cerberus by DefianceIndustries. The upper superstructure is all textured in now, so the ship is about ready to rock in the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack. Defiance saved the best for last, so just weapons and a few minor structures remain. I especially like how the cruiser looks in the dark. It's almost like a city skyline with all of the layers and windows sticking out against the black.
I'm going to take a few weeks off the MUP so I can switch gears and finish out the Black Lance faction for the HWRM mod. I'm also still hammering away at the evil that is BSP trees in the background. But I did manage to squeeze in texturing the Cerberus' bridge and get started on the recovery deck. That leaves just the plasma turret and the launch tubes...
New Raspberry Pi 3 Meets The DOS Wing Commander Challenge
CrazySpence is back with great news on the Raspberry Pi 3. A couple years back he had good luck getting WC1&2 to run on one of the first models, but things started fizzling out around Privateer. The new system-on-a-chip is significantly more powerful with its 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core processor, so everyone's been anxious to see what it can do. The video below demonstrates that pretty much the whole DOS WC series can now be emulated smoothly! Privateer, Armada, WC3/4 and P2 all appear to run quite well. A starter kit will only set you back about $35-50, which is crazy when you think about the thousands of dollars each of us spent to meet the hardware requirements back in the '90s! We've come a very long way!
The Wing Commander Series on the Raspberry Pi 3. Pardon the quality but the point is made. The Pi 3 is powerful enough to enjoy the series' DOS games. Using Retropie 3.8 to play the games.
Announcing The CIC's 18th Birthday Party!
The middle of the year is fast approaching, and that means one thing here: it's almost time for the CIC Birthday! We now hold the event on a Saturday near to the actual anniversary, and this year we've selected August 13. Most old timers know the drill, and they'll tell you that the party is a blast! If you've never used IRC chat before, it's easy to get started with our simple web interface. Feel free to stop by and get acquainted any time. As usual, we've got some cool site upgrades planned as well some fascinating things to share. We're also cooking up a couple surprises. Everything gets going on irc.wcnews.com channel #Wingnut at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT) on the 13th. Mark your calendars and stand by for an awesome night!
All news for June 2016 can be found here. Older news can be found in the archive.