Wing Commander Easter Egg Discovered In The Stygian Abyss

Andi Green spotted a little known secret tucked away in Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss. A set of runes includes a defiant Kilrathi message from the future! "Thou canst not defeat the Drakhri!" The old-timey English was obviously reworded slightly, but Drakhai (Kilrathi Imperial Guards) ended up becoming Drakhri (medium fighter). Both emerged in Wing Commander 2, but they're definitely not the same thing!

There's the pessimistic reference to Wing Commander II deep in the Stygian Abyss.

While Origin was working hard on Wing Commander 2, a separate team was developing the original Ultima Underworld title to be "the first continuous-movement, 3D-dungeon, action fantasy." Both games were actually rereleased on a special combo disc to cross-promote the series in the early days of CD-ROM. The Stygian Abyss managed to make it out the door before first person competitor Wolfenstein 3D, and the group behind it would later go on to produce System Shock.

Always Hungary For More Wing Commander News

One of the missions of the CIC is to research obscure Wing Commander information and share it with the community. AD is particularly good at digging up bits and pieces relating to the Wing Commander Movie, and he's recently started tracking yet another lead. We know some things about the film in Brazil, France, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Central Europe and many other places, but there's still a big world out there! It's fascinating just to see how many different promotional posters there are. AD's latest investigation takes us to Hungary...
The WC movie was released in Hungary under the title 'Wing Commander - Az űrkommandó' in September of 1999... Beyond that we really didn't know much about that release. We've previously come across some minor tidbits on the film. A WCNews reader once sent us pictures of his theater ticket stub, and LOAF once ordered a promo booklet for the film that was released in Hungarian... and that's about it.

So I decided to do a little more hunting. I had previously found the website of the company that released the movie in Hungary but no success in finding any info on their site. I can't even tell if the movie officially had a DVD release in the country. I came across this DVD cover a while back. It looks kinda official but the font feels like something homemade, so I assumed at the time it was a fanmade cover, but now I'm not so sure. It appears there was at the very least a VHS release of the film in Hungary and it looks like the Hungarian version was dubbed as well.

Here is the Hungarian voiceover cast:

Blair - Dévai Balázs
Angel - Kéri Kitty
Maniac - Kálloy Malnár Péter
Paladin - Vass Gabor
Gerald - Csernák János
Tolwyn - Barbinek Péter
Forbes - Liptai Claudia
Obutu - Hankó Attila
Wilson - Áron Laszlo
Falk - Szokol Péter
Sansky - Szersén Gyula

Finally, it does look like the movie airs periodically on TV in Hungary.

If you can help us out with more info on any of the many different language releases of the WC movie, not just Hungarian, let us know.

If you have anything else to add, please stop by the CIC Forums!

"I'm Poppin' The Pod! Make Sure I Get Picked Up..."

Today's new poll asks about your philosophy on ejection. Are you a pilot that always goes down with their ship? Or is Control+E a legitimate strategy for tough situations? Speaking of key combos, did you know that the Playstation requires six buttons to punch out? It takes the L1, L2, R1 & R2 triggers plus Select & Start to make sure you really want to go for it!

Our annual birthday poll asked how long fans have been visiting the CIC. A significant number of people have been following us since wcnews.com opened in 1998, and even more people have been around since our early precursor websites in 1996. But the winning option centers on the turn of the millennium 1999-2001. It's also great to see from the results that new fans keep showing up!

Ace Ferrara Launches on Android

Philipp Seifried reports that his Wing Commander-inspired space sim Ace Ferrara and The Dino Menace is now available on Android. It was released for iOS devices earlier this summer. The price has been temporarily marked down from approximately $4 to about $2 on both platoforms to celebrate the release. In our initial posting, we noted some fun similarities between this game and both WC2 & Arena. It feels like a charming homage to classic space sims, and positive player reviews starting to roll in seem to agree!

Workhorse Fighters Rebuilt Closer To Original Specs

ScoobyDoo is well known for tweaking familiar Wing Commander designs to come up with interesting concept models, but some situations ask for fewer liberties to be taken. He's answered that call and put together these shots of his Scimitar and prototype Thunderbolt with a bit more familiar profiles. The designs still contain his trademark flair such as hefty hull plating, refueling markers, stylized engine inlets and a nifty transparent radome on the TBolt. Since this updated Scimitar was actually modeled a while ago, you can also compare it to the heavier fighter to see how Scooby's artistic techniques have evolved over time.
A more standard view, albeit more boring view of the Scimitar

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There... tore the wings off...

Amiga Retro Games Reviews Classic WC Port

Mind Wipe has posted a video overview of the Amiga version of WC1. The Super Nintendo and Amiga both got ports in 1992, so many players who didn't have access to high end PCs in the early '90s fondly remember these as their first interaction with the franchise - and often 3D space sims in general. Since this was a less common way to play, however, we like to take opportunities like these to share alternate WC experiences. The first visible difference in the Amiga edition is its smaller color palette. Although most things look very similar, the colors look just different enough to cause a double take. Although slightly less advanced than the classic DOS edition overall, there are also a few curious improvements such as rotating fighter images (rather than simple VDU line drawings) in the TrainSim. The music is also a bit different, and you can hear its altered tone throughout the video here.

Rapier Render Revisits Powerful Prototype

Klavs has posted the latest iteration of one os his most popular fighters, the Rapier II. Many of his takes on the craft draw from Super Wing Commander or WC2 elements, but this version gets its cue from the original Wing Commander and famous Dean McCall render. This gives the design some nice hard angles on the leading edges, engine inlets and stabilizers. There's also a very satisfying blue engine glow. On top of the familiar Vega Sector fleet greens and grays, Klavs has also put together a snappy red YF-44 that makes a nice contrast. If you think this, or other ships in Klavs' fleet, would make good kit models, also be sure to check out this post for information on how to provide feedback for his latest project.

Fantastic Foundry Figures Featured For Fun

Mwikan of The Redoubt has painted some pretty nifty Kilrathi fighters and is preparing them for battle at this year's Millennium Con. The gathering is dedicated to tabletop miniature gaming, and these ships look like they'll fit right in! He'll be using the 5150 Fighter Commander game as a backdrop for the action. The ship designs might look familiar to you - they're the same base models popularized by AAN and Astro Commander a couple years back, and they're available as 3D prints via the Dream Foundry if you're one of the many talented Wingnuts who'd like to paint their own!
4x Dralthi IV, a Vaktoth, and a Kilrathi Torpedo Boat for 5150 FC. Primed with cheap Wal-Mart flat black spray paint, base coated with Reaper Gray from the core set and then painted with Vallejo and Army Painter acrylics with a wash of Army painter Soft Tone ink wash.

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I am doing some prep work for this year's Millennium Con and am planning on running two sessions of 5150 Fighter Command with a "Wing Commander" setting... I'll have Dralthi II, Dralthi IV, Vaktoth and a Custom ComCon ship (Frigate) for the Kilrathi and the Confederation will have (at least) Hornets, Rapier II, and some Longbow Bombers.

Should be a blast!

Trip Report: Citizen Con 2014

The CIC Staff is all back home after nearly a week in Southern California. While KrisV, AD & Dundradal held the fort online, LOAF, Frosty, ace and I kept busy in Los Angeles. We got a chance to check out the latest on Star Citizen at Citizen Con 2014 last Friday. Chris Roberts presented a status update on what Cloud Imperium Games and its affiliate studios have been up to, revealed new ships, gave a planetside demo and set forth the roadmap for the next year. The collage image pictured below includes the logos from thousands of different player organizations, including the CIC's group. On Sunday, there was also an open house at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. We saw functional mockups of the Mars rovers as well as the actual SMAP satellite in final testing before it launches in a couple months. The team was also happy to meet up with a couple of long time CIC visitors/contributors, Mark Thornton and Eddie Benowitz. We love meeting other diehard Wingnuts like us!
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