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alt.games.wing-commander Control Message and Charter

 
From mcmahan@cs.unca.edu Wed Apr 26 16:07:55 1995
Path: uunet!usenet.eel.ufl.edu!news.ultranet.com!zombie.ncsc.mil!news.duke.edu!news-server.ncren.net!concert!balsam!mcmahan
From: mcmahan@cs.unca.edu (Scott McMahan -- Genesis mailing list owner)
Newsgroups: alt.config
Subject: cmsg newgroup alt.games.wing-commander
Control: newgroup alt.games.wing-commander
Date: 26 Apr 1995 18:52:47 GMT
Organization: University of North Carolina at Asheville
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Approved: by Wing Commander fans!
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This message is a newgroup for the group alt.games.wing-commander,
following up the discussion on the group in alt.config and in
various games groups.

An introduction will be posted to this group as soon as it shows
up at my site. The attachment below is a rough draft intended just
to give a feel for the group.

NOTE: alt.games.wc3 is obsolete, and very badly named. It should be
removed, or aliased to alt.games.wing-commander.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

INTRODUCTION AND FAQ

Welcome to alt.games.wing.commander! This newsgroup is dedicated to
discussion of the Wing Commander universe. This file you're reading is
an orientation tour that explains what Wing Commander is and what the
newsgroup is for.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Revision History
----------------------------------------------------------------------

        Initial version, April 23, 1995.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
What is Wing Commander?
----------------------------------------------------------------------

        Wing Commander is a game from Origin that has revolutionized
        computer games with every release. It combines arcade-style
        action with flight simulation, and augments the usually
        one-dimensional genre with a fully realised science fiction
        world and a plot.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
What is this group for?
----------------------------------------------------------------------

        This group is for discussion of the Wing Commander universe.
        This includes but is not limited to:

                * Installing and configuring the games (often as much
                  of a challenge as playing them!)

                * Playing the games

                        - overall strategy, how to win

                        - winning individual missions in games

                        - general piloting techniques

                * Story, "meta" discussion of the world of Wing
                  Commander, including fan fiction.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
The Wing Commander games, in roughly chronological order.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

WING COMMANDER

        The original game, which started it all. This game is the most
        action oriented of all of them, and the least plot and
        cinematically inclined chapter. It should run on any computer,
        but on 486s or better it is incredibly fast and requires you to
        torpedo your processor to get it to run playably. (It isn't
        you, it's the game that's too fast!) The original has been
        rereleased by Origin recently and should be widely available.

SECRET MISSIONS 1 and 2

        Two add-on modules that use the same engine as WC. (You must
        have WC installed to run these.)

        These have more story to them, and are actually more
        interesting than the original game in terms of plot. In 1, the
        Tiger's Claw goes behind enemy lines for a strike, after
        learning that the Kilrathi used a new secret weapon to destroy
        the Goddard colony. In 2, you go on a mission to save a new
        Confederation colony.

WING COMMANDER II

        After being railroaded by the evil Admiral Towlyn, being made a
        scapegoat to take the fall for the destruction of the Tiger's
        Claw, you weasel your way onto Towlyn's carrier and try to
        prove yourself to him. What? Starting from a weak premise, the
        plot gets better.

SPECIAL OPERATIONS 1 and 2

        I don't have these yet. They seem to be harder to find than
        Secret Missions.

ACADEMY

        Do you often wonder how inept people got to be Colonel and in
        charge of fighter assignments? I do -- there are a lot of
        missions where you're just plain in the wrong fighter for the
        job. Here, you get to set up your own missions and fly them,
        just like you were at the Academy again.

PRIVATEER

        A big departure from the We're The Good Guys M.O. of the Wing
        Commander games, you're an independant freighter captain a la
        Han Solo. You can be good, or bad. Or both.

        Without the backing of the Confederation taxation system and
        war bonds, you have a strong economic motive in this game. You
        must earn money to survive.

        This is a throwback to an even older game in the apsect of
        the story that deals with a race of aliens that are no longer
        around but whose artifacts can sometimes be found.

ARMADA

        A multi-player Academy. I don't have this one yet.

WING COMMANDER III

        A cinematic adventure that will only run on very high end PCs.
        Most people who play it say the minimum requirements are too
        minimum. This episode features real actors, including Star
        Wars' Mark Hammil, in the cinematic sequences, as well as newer
        3D graphics.

WING COMMANDER IV

        A forthcoming sequel, slated for sometime late in 1995 or early
        1996. They're trying to get the same actors. But isn't the war
        finally over!?

PRIVATEER 2

        Another forthcoming game! It is expected to be like WCIII,
        cinematic.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Other resources
----------------------------------------------------------------------

BOOKS ABOUT THE GAME

There are only two books about the game that I know of.

        The Official Strategy Guide

                I'm expecting this in the mail Any Day Now. Review to
                follow.

        Secrets Of The Wing Commander Universe

                by Mark Minasi, Sybex, 1994, ISBN: 0-7821-1505-5

                Very nice book that details everything up to but not
                including WCIII. All the missions are explained, and
                have maps. All the ships are discussed in great
                detail. Some great strategy tips, some that I don't
                entirely agree with.

                The author sticks to playing the game, and doesn't make
                much of the rich story and character elements. That's
                a shame. He also doesn't like Angel, and continually
                rags on her throughout the book, which is deeply
                annoying.

                The illustrations are very different than the actual
                ships in the game. I guess Sybex didn't have the rights
                to use screen grabs of Origin ships.

BOOKS ABOUT THE UNIVERSE

        Freedom Flight

                A very straightforward retelling of Secret Missions 2,
                from Hunter's point of view. Good characterization, but
                limited to only a few characters. Hunter was perhaps
                not the best choice for the point of view, since he's a
                pretty boring character, but they couldn't use Insert
                Your Name Here since he didn't have a name -- and
                giving him one would ruin the whole game setup.

                By Mercedes Lackey and game story writer Ellen Guon.

                The cover art on these books is worth looking at and
                wondering ... why did they choose it? This book has a
                generic sf type ship that looks like nothing from any
                Wing Commander game.

        End Run

                Two, two, two books in one. Part one is a recon mission
                in a Venture class corvette, very interesting in that
                you don't get to command one in the game. The second
                part is an all-out assault on the Kilrathi inner
                planets.

                End Run and its sequel, Fleet Action, are much more
                successful in terms of story, since they don't try to
                parallel the games. The action takes place in between
                game episodes.

                The cover art on this book is the weirdest, if you know
                anything about the game. A bunch of Dralthi are
                attacking some kind of Confed ship. A human hand is on
                a joystick inside a cockpit (Sabre?) but the capital
                ship is targeted!

        Fleet Action

                Gripping novel about a very narrow victory in which the
                Earth fleet is almost destroyed. Very interesting
                military strategy. It's a little low on character
                development, though, other than Towlyn.

                Generic sf cover art, but nothing from Wing Commander!
                Sheesh, they could've got someone to paint a Hornet or
                something!

        Heart Of The Tiger

                As far as I can tell, without having played the game, a
                very linear retelling of the plot of Wing Commander
                III. At least Insert Your Name Here gets a name this
                time, Col. Christopher Blair.

                This is the first book whose cover art has anything to
                do with the Wing Commander universe.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Who are all these people?
----------------------------------------------------------------------
With the game and novels, it is difficult to keep people straight.
This index is a who's who -- under construction. It pulls from the
games, novels, and other sources to provide a brief bio of characters
so you can keep them straight.

Angel

Bear: See Bondarevski,

Blair, Col. Christopher: When Origin got an actor to play Insert Your
Name Here, they gave him a name insterad of letting you name him.

Bluehair: Who I call Insert Your Name Here (qv), the main hero of the
first two WC missions. Origin calls him Bluehair based on his blue hair
in the graphics. (Later given a name, Col. Blair, qv.)

Bossman

Hunter

Iceman

Insert Your Name Here: what I call the hero, the character you play,
the guy you have to give a name. See also Bluehair.

Knight Knight is very self-conscious, and has developed a reputation as
a "cat lover" for his less than spectacular flying ability.

Maniac:

Paladin: See Taggart, James

Shadow: See Sherwood, Elizabeth

Sherwood, Elizabeth "Shadow": Reservist at Cadaveron, flies with Insert
Your Name Here until her death is used to advance the plot.

Spirit:

Taggart, James "Paladin": Taggart left the Navy proper

Tanaka, Mariko: (NB: She is called "Tanaka Mariko" in the first WC
manual, and afterwards "Mariko Tanaka". The former is the more proper
way to write it, since she is Japanese.)

----------------------------------------------------------------------
"Navy"? But the ranks are Army!
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Don't ask me why, but the ranks for pilots in WC are Army ranks! (2nd
Lt, Lt, Cpt, Major, Lt. Col, Col; and all pilots are commissioned
officers.) Repeated references are made to the "Confederation Navy". In
End Run, the crew of a Ventura class corvette has Navy ranks, so maybe
just the pilots have Army ranks. "Admiral" Towlyn has a Navy rank, and
commands a carrier, but in the books the high command (which is called
the "Admiralty", a British term) is composed of all branches of
service. I don't think the pilots are Marines based on the second story
in End Run. At any rate, "promotion" is very arbitrary for Insert Your
Name Here, since it is based on merit and a formula, and the character
gets no additional responsibilities or perks.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Where can I get things on the net?
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Where do I get...

        ... slowdown programs for my PC?

        ... WC information?

From news@fh-aachen.de Wed Jul 1 00:56:01 1998
Newsgroups: alt.games.wing-commander
Message-ID: <6ncp5j$mr319@ultra1Aether.noc.fh-aachen.de>
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Date: 1 Jul 1998 07:40:35 GMT
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Subject: cmsg newgroup alt.games.wing-commander y
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