Ultimate Sci-Fi Pack

I was making my usual software store rounds earlier this week and a number of stores are selling discount software packs. They looked somewhat cheap and didn't appear to have a nice brand name logo on them, but as far as I could tell only EA games were for sale (Westwood, Origin and Jane's games). Anyhow, the "Ultimate Sci-Fi Pack" has Dune 2000, BladeRunner and Wing Commander Prophecy for $30. Since you can find Prophecy Gold for $25 for less, you might not want to look into it unless you wanted Dune 2000 or BladeRunner for whatever reason.

The Continued Discount Movie Search

SX Glory reports that the Palace 6 cinemas in downtown Montreal, Canada is now showing Wing Commander. He notes that seeing it once there is even cheaper than renting the video will be. Palace 6 is charging $2.50 Canadian. And in regards to our previous Moberly, Missouri update, Patrick Thieman found out that the Moberly Five and Drive will actually be showing the movie from July 2 till July 8.

Firing Squadron Review

There was an honorable mention of Wing Commander in the latest Might and Magic VII review at Firing Squad. You can find it here. Thanks to Chris Geroux.
Honorable mention goes to the other Quest series (Police Quest, Space Quest), which are both up to 6 titles now. Wing Commander has 5, 7 counting WC : Armada and WC : Academy. Wizardry has 7 games in its flock.

VCDs Out Of Stock

Previously we reported that the Wing Commander VCD (here and here) was on sale at VCD Paradise and might be a good option for those who haven't seen the movie yet. VCD Paradise now shows that Wing Commander is out of stock. We're not sure yet if they plan to get more in.

Our Daily Crid

Wow, people paid attention to my Trivia Update about getting responses in before Sunday. And it really helped this week. I had a very busy weekend and although I got the new Trivia out a day late today, if I hadn't gotten all the responses scored Saturday night I might not have gotten the new questions out this week at all. Thanks a lot.

There's Always Wing Commander

Patrick Thieman reports that the Moberly Five and Drive drive-in theater in Moberly, Missouri was showing Wing Commander last week. If you missed it in the US or just want to see it again, you might want to check your local drive-ins and discount theaters now.

Program To Bring Fans Together Kicks Off

Jamie Wilkinson of the "Black Lance HeadQuarters" wanted us to let people know that he's beginning a program to try to smooth out relations between various online Wing Commander clubs. I'm not too sure how that would actually happen, but it's a nice sentiment. You can find the Wing Commander Compendium popup here.

A Better Translation

Yeah, Hades' update the other day scared me. It scared Karl Frank too, so he decided to properly translate it for us.

Ouch that hurt... I tried to smoothen the translation a bit:

Wing Commander Film To Be Killed Off?
WCNews reports that after the lousy cutting off in the states the release date of the Wing Commander Movie was postponed in Belgium for an indefinite time. In England it was deleted from the schedule by Fox. The movie should be available on video by 2004. Italy is currently playing the film, but whether it ever appears in Germany is still uncertain. The official date announced by 20th Century Fox Germany is 04 November.

Oh, and I vote for D and E ;)

New Cover Coming

Vincent Formosa reports that he's working on a new version of his DVD box cover, designed to list the same features as the real one. His original one can be found here. The new one will be available here soon...

More on England (or Why FOX Sucks)

Donald Marshall reports that he called FOX UK (0171 437 7766) and asked about Wing Commander. Apparently because it didn't do well in the US they decided not to release it in England, and the earlist that it would be available on tape would be 2004 -- although there are currently no such plans.

Go to Italy!

Geiser reports that Wing Commander has been released in Italy! It's titled Wing Commander: Attack To Earth -- people who want to see the film may want to head down there...

Freelancer vs WC

Edward Pang found an article which both compares Wing Commander and Starlancer, and gives a bit of insight into Chris Robert's future... it's located at Gamecenter, here. Here's some of the more important parts...
Of course, one of the big questions gamers will have is how closely related to the Wing Commander series these games will be--after all, Roberts created those games, too. "Starlancer is a space-combat simulator just as Wing Commander is," said Roberts. "What takes it beyond Wing Commander is the attention [to] and quality [of] detail. Missions are very detailed and are much more than just showing up at a nav point and fighting a dozen ships."

OK, but what about Freelancer? "Freelancer is way beyond anything I've done in the Wing Commander universe. It's going to be a fully functioning, living, breathing universe with a whole ecosystem. You can see the promise in something like Privateer, but this is geometrically beyond that game," said Roberts. "It's like building a city. Compared to Privateer, the scope, the dynamic universe--it's all 3D--is much more interesting. There's much more intrigue the player can get involved in. Everything's rule-based vs. scripted. Commerce happens, trade happens, and piracy happens because of what's going on in the game universe and not because of scripted events."

I asked Roberts if there is any chance he will work on the Wing Commander franchise again. "Never say never...but working on Wing Commander seems pretty unlikely at the moment," replied Roberts. He did mention that he was a bit disappointed that Origin has no plans for any more single-player Wing Commander games.

Finally, I wanted to know if he has plans to direct any more movies. He replied, "Directing is on hold right now. I do have a small film I want to do about a guy who has to deliver a package on New Year's Eve and what happens to him. I cowrote it with a screenwriter friend. It's called The Package, and I may shoot it in Austin this winter." Hmmm...I guess there are no Kilrathi in it, eh Chris?

Wing Commander Film Before the From?

Yes, I wonder about this update title too, but hey, that's the Babelfish translation of a news update on Gamers.de about the WC movie. Here's the rest of the Babelfished article:
WCNews reports that after miserablen cutting off in the states, the release date of the Wing Commander of motion picture film was postponed in Belgium for indefinite time. Also in England it was deleted by Fox and should be available on video only 2004. In Italy is it outside, but whether it ever appears in Germany is still uncertainly. The official date with 20th Century Fox Germany is set for 04 November.
What can we read in to this? Well here are the options:
A) FOX plans to release the movie in Germany in November and nowhere else.
B) FOX plans to release the movie everywhere around November time.
C) FOX Germany web guys are stupid.
D) FOX sucks.
E) Babelfish sucks.

Which is it? Who knows...

The Lucky Ones

Amidst scattered reports of Fox pulling the movie from various European countries, Valmar Kont reports that the movie came out in Estonia on Friday, June 25. Sony did get the rights to distribute the movie in some places. Perhaps all the countries that have shown the movie have the Sony distributor in common. Anyhow, seeing the movie in Estonia might be an option for an especially fanatical few. Here's also a link to our original VCD update.

VCD Report

Who among us was brave enough to order the Wing Commander VCD from VCD Paradise? KnightWolf was! And he reports that the film ships on a pair of CD's, and is of a quality slightly higher than a normal AVI. Although it's not ideal, perhaps this is a good solution for the Europeans who have been denied the movie?

More on Hirings

Gamecenter posted the below article on the recent Origin hirings... although fairly similar to AVault's, it contains a bit of extra information... including speculation on the possible WCOL.
Origin Adds to Management Team

Today Origin Systems announced several new additions to its management team. Flush with the success of Ultima Online, Origin has decided to shift its focus to online-only games.

Perhaps the most prominent addition is that of Alan Pavlish, most recently the head of Interplay's Tantrum action division. Pavlish, a 17-year industry veteran responsible for such titles as Wasteland, Descent 1, 2, and 3, and Stonekeep, will serve as an executive producer at Origin. However, Origin did not disclose which projects Pavlish will oversee.

Jessica Mulligan, the founder and former executive of Engage Games Online and also the driving force behind AOL's first graphics-based online RPG, was named Origin's new director of external relations for online service.

Rounding out the new appointments is Jason Bell. Bell, soon to be a producer and lead for the Ultima Online Live development team, was previously an executive producer for Aliens Online at Kesmai. He has also worked on other titles such as Multiplayer Battletech, Air Warrior III, and Legends of Kesmai.

With these new additions, it appears Origin is intent on solidifying its hold on the online gaming market, and it's not hard to see why. The company claims more than 100,000 subscribers who each pay $9.95 a month to play Ultima Online, its flagship online-only product. And with the next Wing Commander, another Origin trademark, rumored to be in consideration for online-only play, these additions might just be the prelude to a new type of Kilrathi invasion.

Something's Rotten in Denmark

Well, Belgium. Kris has located the final film listing, and the news isn't good. Wing Commander isn't listed -- and movie releases are available up through December. I'm hoping that FOX is just waiting until after TPM is out internationally to do WC...

New Origin People Announced

AVault posted this article about three new people who have joined Origin's team. What *IS* Ultima Online Live?
Origin Taps Fresh Management Focused on Online Titles

Origin Systems today announced several additions to its management team as the company moves forward with plans to solely create online-only games. Alan Pavlish will be joining the company as an executive producer. Pavlish is a 17-year industry veteran who comes from Interplay, where he helped create the Descent series and Die by the Sword, among other titles. He will begin his duties July 5.

Jessica Mulligan is Origin’s new director of external relations for online service. During her 12-year career, she was the driving force behind the industry's first graphics-based online role-playing game at America Online and became the first product manager for General Electric's GEnie online service. She is also a founder and former executive of Engage Games Online.

Jason Bell joins Origin from Kesmai Corporation, a leading developer and publisher of online multiplayer games. Bell will be stepping into the role of producer and will lead the Ultima Online Live development team. At Kesmai, Jason was the executive producer for Aliens Online and served as creative director for other successful titles, such as Air Warrior 3 and Legends of Kesmai.

Summer Cleaning

We've finally gotten around to putting up descriptions on some of the ambiguous files in the files area. Another section that we're looking to improve is the links list. If you have a link you'd like to add or know about a broken link, we'd appreciate if you mailed us here. In other site related news, the 38 members of our SETI@home group have sent in over 100 data packets. We would need about 600 more packets to make it to the Top 100 list.

Silly Fox

Kris Vanhecke also notes that it appears that FOX has pulled the movie, scheduled for release today, from distribution in Belgium as well. Kris is still waiting for confirmation from one theater company in Belgium, and we highly recommend keeping your fingers crossed.

Our Daily Bread

Wow, sorry for not updating yesterday, but my ATI All in Wonder 128 finally came... and dash, but it is sweet. I no longer have to divide my attentions between the TV and my computer... and I never have to stand up again. Expect some cool movies and such (some 'Making of the Wing Commander Movie' stuff, in particular) as soon as I've got the whole record and encode thing figured out...

NOT WC

Several people reported that the new issue of PCXL reports that Freelancer will be sold as Wing Commander: Freelancer. I asked Digital Anvil, and this is NOT true...

Prophecy+ 1.01

Scrapper has made a new version of Prophecy+ available! It now has its own install program, making running it much easier... Scrapper warns that everything must be unzipped to c:\windows\temp, the default directory. Stay tuned for 1.02.

Not at all Like a Virgin

Wildshot reports that the automated Virgin Cinema Phone says that the Wing Commander movie is not going to be showing. We're not sure whether it will be at any other movie chains...

A Good Review

Vincent Formosa sent in a review of Wing Commander from the newest issue of SFX... here goes.
"Awful" cried our armerican flunkeys on seeing Chris Roberts Game adaptation. Could be right we figured. It was made in Luxembourg after all and the what the hell do they make of note in Luxembourg? Would it be worthless overly CGI-heavy sco-fi frippery desperately trying to mount the Star Wars wave and thus safely coast to the beach on a badly pixelated surfboard? Would it outrun the humongous white horses of star wars hype before they smacled into patches of digital matchwood?

Sheathe your pens critics. Rather than the expected hamfest, what you actually get is a competent though not inspiring space adventure with a huge international cast of familiar faces.

A cunning opening sequence gives a potted history of the future, played out in newcast soundbites and political speeches. Human colonists are in conflict with the Kilrathi, a bunch of feline ne'er do wells who are not predisposed towards peaceful co-existence.

Things have reached a crisis point as the film opens. Humans use AI's to number crunch accurate jumps in space. The Kilrathi lack this technology but an overwhelming attack delivers an AI into their paws, opening the way to earth. Only one ship can delay the invasion force long enough for the Earth fleet to assemble. Interest is added by a subplot concerning the pilgrims: genetically enhanced humans who turned on their own kind a couple of decades ago.

Effectively a World War II naval movie thrust into the space age, there are torpedoes, destroyers, depth charges, cruiser, broadsides and boarding actions. Even the command structure is the same and it works really well, alkthough sometimes it's a little too anachronisitic and unreal battering the films credibility. Silent running? In space? Come on!

The production design is excellent and the effects are consistently good too. Only the cheap looking Kilrathi let the side down a bit, but at least there are no duff CGI sequences as seems to be obligatory in bigger budget films.

Salted with the ood wince-worthy line and thesping moment, Wing Commander is not great, but its good unpretentious fun. It's also completely refreshing to see truly international crews on starships for once. Even the casting of two fresh faced US stars seems quite natural and the whole affair has a distinctly European feel. Perhaps thats why our yankee pals found it so unpalatable.

The film scores four out of a possible five stars.

Bad News for England

Vincent Formosa checked in again, having checked with a number of Showcase and Warners theaters -- all of which report that FOX has pulled the movie from its intended Friday release without giving a new release date...

Conquest Similarities

Rob Morton noted that the July issue of Computer Games Strategy Plus has a preview of Digital Anvil's upcoming Conquest. This sci-fi strategy game centers around capital ships. Morton noted that most Terran ships bear a resemblance to the Tiger's Claw. You might remember that in our last Infoburst, Hadrian asked Chris Roberts about a similarity between a Conquest ship and the Concordia.

Action Figures Still Available

SX Glory found out that you can still obtain Wing Commander action figures from the X-Toys distributors. The easiest way is to go through your local comic or hobby shop. Their item code and description is: "JAN992351 WING COMMANDER ACTION FIGURE." To find a comic or hobby shop in your area, call 1-888-COMIC-BOOK (1-888-266-4226). On a related note, X-Toys will also be making the Wild Wild West action figures.

New Gamespot Space Sim Poll

Gamespot is running another space sim related poll today. The choices include Freespace 2, Freelancer, Starlancer, I-War Deluxe and others. As the next WC game has not been officially announced, there is no WC choice on the poll, but we know who would be on top if there were. You can find the poll here.

Exact Dan Bennett Quote

Nighthawk was kind enough to dig up the PC Gamer quote we mentioned yesterday.
"I'll never forget meeting Mark Hamill and Malcolm McDowell on the Wing Commander IV set (the fact that it was on the same sound stage where the 'Dick Van Dyke Show' was once filmed just made it that much cooler)."

Another Double Week

Due to circumstances, we've got another Trivia Double Week. Weeks 30 & 31 have been released. As usual, these are especially good times to play because twice as many points are available. This week we've also reached one hundred players. You can find the Trivia materials here.

Star Light, Star Bright

Here's Lancer on why Wing Commanderwas so dark in US theaters...
I thought I might add a comment as to why so many US people commented on how dark the effects were in the film.

this came to light recently when I visited a film SFX house at shepperton studios two weeks ago, they are working on the new Bond film BTW.

anyway, they had done the SFX start for Lost in Space last year and they told me they had to re-render a lighter lit version of the opening ten minute sequence for the US as the original version was playing too dark on US screens.

it played fine on the UK screens they tested it on and couldn't figure out why.

the explanation is actually quite simple once they looked into it.

Projectors can run at varying light intensities. and they have set light hours they are supposed to run between maintenance.

British Projectors in Cinemas are run at full intensity and stick to the scchedule for maintenance.

As it turned out a lot of US cinemas intentionally choose to run their projectors at about 75% output light power, giving them longer gaps between maintenance and down time. economic sense but something that plays havoc with film companies. the effects work and shots are mixed and printed on the premise that projectors run at 100% intensity like their supposed to, so when run at 75% intensity like a lot of them are in the US, the film comes out darker than it is supposed to. it probably explains why watching it on DVD is a lot clearer.

I think Wing fans might find that of interest, particularly after the film got heavily criticised for dark effects work by the so-called critics.

A New Club

Genesis asked that I post some information on a club he's helping start... here goes!
The BlackLance HeadQuarters is now officially taking applications. We are working on getting the RPG setup. We are sending out a call for anyone to join this RPG. We need at least 15 players in a room at the same time before anyone will make a program to help with the RPG. If you are interested you should contact the Personnel Director at belenus@strategyplanet.com. We are also done with the Black Lance Patches and lightening bolt pins. This has been the one incentive that you have to join the Black Lance HeadQuarters. Apply now for the Level One Membership. The Black Lance HeadQuarters now has two levels of membership. Level One gets you a BL patch and lightening bolt pin but you must provide your real life address. Level Two is for those who do not want to provide that information. They just want to participate in the RPG. All they need to join is to fill out ALL the RPG character profile information.

Help Peter Telep

Peter Telep sent me this... I suppose you should drop him a line if you can help.
I'm teaching a class on War in literature. What I need are as many war story concepts as you can think of.

For example:

The rescue of POWs story.

The escape from a POW camp story.

The taking of a location story.

A demolition story, etc. etc.

If you have time, would you mind emailing me a few or posting this somewhere so people can email me as many as they can think of? I need to put together a huge list for my students!

Thanks so much!

Peter

More from Hollis

Here's a tidbit on Wing Commander Online from the June issue of Maximum PC, courtesy of Hadrian.
Then there is Andy Hollis, who is leaving the hardcore Jane's sim line to manage the creation of a persistant-world Wing Commander online game, which is still a couple of years from fruition. As Andy said "It's the next big frontier in computer gaming. The last time I was this excited about the future potential for computer games was back in the old days (Commadore 64, Atari 800). Building products in the online space is more about growing player communities than just building the product itself."

PC Gamer

The July PC Gamer features a goodbye column from Dan Bennett. He reminisces about his time at PCG and mentions visiting the Heart of the Tiger set... anyone have the exact quote?

Fear and Loathing in England

Wildshot reports that there's some scary question as to whether or not Wing Commander will be in England. He called two Virgin Cinemas people, one of whom reported that it would definatly be at the Virgin Trocadero -- the other said that it would be released directly to video. Hopefully the UK version of moviephone will be able to confirm that the movie WILL be out on June 25 as soon as today.

There's Something About Seether's Knife

Lots and lots of people have helped in regard to Seether's Knife. We've reached the conclusion that it is indeed the knife featured in Crusade and that it is called the Double Shadow. The Double Shadow, from United Cutlery, is no longer in production, but was available in Silver (UC453) and Gold (UC453G). Here's a picture... if you can find somewhere that still sells them, let me know!

WC Fans With SETI@home Work Together

Now that school's over for the summer, I was able to put together the first of one of our new sections. We're aware that a number of CIC visitors are also users of the SETI@home program. If you're unfamiliar with it, it allows individuals to aid in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence by crunching satellite data on their own computers. The SETI@home coordinators have recently added the capability for users to group together and work in "teams." There's no tangible benefit to joining a group, but it'd be fun if WC fans were recognized in this way. For more information on SETI and to join the new wcnews group, check out our new SETI@home section here.

Alan Pavlish Joins Origin

It was reported yesterday that the notable Alan Pavlish from Tantrum Studios, part of Interplay, will be ending his fourteen year career at that company and joining Origin. We'll be looking into whether or not this will affect Wing Commander. You can find the original GA-Source article here.

UK Release Date/European Convention

There hasn't been much in the way of UK movie release date news, and the UK IMDB upcoming releases page still lists June 25, so I'll update the Up And Coming section to reflect this. Kris is also progressing on a UK meeting to see the movie. He sent the following message to those subscribed to the UK Movie Meeting mailing list. You can find out more about the list in the Conventions area here.
Okay, things are finally falling into place. Right now, the release date is set for Friday June 25th in the UK. That means that Saturday would be the perfect day for the meeting.

Patrick Hogan, a London resident, has been very contructive. He recommends we go to the Virgin Trocadero theatre at Picadilly Circus. I've always wanted to visit Picadilly circus, so I agree! It's easy to get there via the underground. Just take the Picadilly line and you'll be fine.

Assuming the release date won't change AGAIN, we need to set up a reasonable timetable. I'd like to get some input from you as to what's feasibly and what is not.

I'd suggest to get together at noon. Then we'd have time to get a bite to eat, perhaps even drop by Picadilly Circus and get all excited. This Tuesday I'm going on a mission. I'm going to get details about ferries, the trains, fees, etc. You too may want to do some research as well.

Everything is dicussable of course. So if you have any ideas or comments, by all means contact me. For now, everything should be set, except for:

- time and place (something big preferably, so everyone knows where the rest of us is)

- exact day (although I think we can be pretty sure about the June 25 date).

Again, if you'd like to participate, check out the European WC Movie Meeting mailing list accessable from the Conventions area.

Our Daily Bread

Updates galore, yay -- and an exciting new poll -- the MOST offensive, non WC, CIC poll ever! Yay! I'm completely neutral, of course, but VOTE FOR KERRI LEE NOW! Oh, a quick correction, my new email address is loaf@mail.utexas.edu -- although thanks to the talented Kevin Kwast, my old address will forward there. Here's TV's Kerri-Lee...

Seether's Knife

Lots of people had lots of things to say about Seether's Knife! If you know where to get a knife like Seether's, let us know! Here's a few opinions comments...

The New Damage (keen name) reports that United Cutlery (he thinks) sells a smaller version of the knife (sans the middle cut) called "The Wasp".

Shades saw a similar knife at the mall in 1992 -- ironically titled "The Dragon".

Byydo reports that an old US Cavalry Magazine he has sells a knife called the "Double Shadow Dagger", designed by Gil Hibben. From the ad: "Clearly a design that leaves the beaten track of standard daggers. A split down the center creates an awesome double 420 stainless steel blade. Black leather sheath is specially designed. Overall 11 1/4", blade 6".". He also sent this picture, taken with a webcam...

A Bit of Movie Stuff

I watched it! I hate to say it, but this may have been the way the movie was supposed to have been seen -- I'm not sure whether or not it was an intentional change or simply the effect of the TV instead of the theater, but the special FX are much clearer and lighter now. The action isn't as dark, and you can actually make out what's going on. Other than that, it's pretty much the same film -- except one line was removed. The tagline on the box is hilarious...
Starship Troopers meets Top Gun in this high-flying $12 million box office blast!

Starring hot young stars Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard.

It's a no-holds-barred battle for the future of all mankind when a vicious alien race, the Kilrathi, discover the coordinates to Earth and hear our way with plans for total destruction. Now it's up to two young hotshot fighter pilots to blast their way through the Kilrathi's defenses and save humanity from this new breed of enemy.

Based on the best-selling, legendary Wing Commander computer game series.

Trailered on Waking Ned Devine, Office Space and 20 Dates.

Oh, and that yellow logo thing says "FOX EZ Lease Program Title!".

No WC Movie DIVX?

It's all over the 'net now, but apparently Divx has decided to stop marketing their products... which I suppose means that there'll be no Wing Commander divx discs. No corny jokes, please -- it's kind of a shame. Your format could be next!

More Skin!

That's the option we decided to remove from last week's poll about what the CIC needs most. That said, Oleg Bulavsky has converted the Prophecy WinAMP skin to OS/2's PM123 player. He's working on a conversion of the Secret Ops Guide from Word to StarOffice, too! Grab the new skin here.

A Screen Saver

Dude has created a keen little Wing Commander screensaver -- Confed logos fly across the screen while playing the WC3 theme. Grab it here.

Another Kind of Knife

Ramrod (bet you couldn't see THAT coming?) reports that he's spoken to United Cutlery and the cross will be delayed until July. Oh, woe is us...

Book Signing Update

Ramrod (who's up for the June 1999 award for most news submitted to the CIC) reports that the Peter Telep Waldenbooks signing is in Winter Park, Florida -- near Orlando. If you're in Florida, go ask about the next books and report back!

Wing Commander in Holland

According to Tafkaw, the Wing Commander trailer is playing in theaters in Rotterdam, Holland. There are also posters up. He asked the local employees when they expected Wing Commander, and although they thought August, Tafkaw notes that posters usually only go up a few weeks before a movie shows in his area. This would seem to agree with the release date the CIC is currently reporting, June 24.

Our Daily Bread

I'm back from swinging Austin, baby! I love that city... aside from the fact that it was hotter than TV's Kerri-Lee. I'm all registered for August and such -- and my email address will soon change to loaf@utexas.edu. I can't believe it wasn't taken... Oh well, Chris did a kickass job of updating while I was away!

Correction!

The below update about Gamespot's Top Ten Soundtracks isn't entirely true -- the soundtracks are listed in alphabetic order, not order of quality -- Wing Commander is simply tenth in that respect. We all know it is number 1!

Some Pictures

Speaking of the aforementioned site, they've added some new pictures of Mr. Telep and the movie novel from a recent convention since the last time we mentioned them... I wish I lived in Florida.

Peter Telep Signing

I saw over at The Official Descent Site of Peter Telep that the man is going to be doing a book signing at Waldenbooks... somewhere in Florida on June 26th from 2 to 4 pm. An address is given, but it doesn't specify what city... if you live in Florida, I guess you can figure it out here.

Prophecy+ Update

Scrapper informs me that a new version of his keen mod for Prophecy, Prophecy+ is available here. This version improves the particle gun's damage rate, lowers the porcupine's reload rate, increases the afterburner speed on the Shrike (in exchange for lowered maneuverability), updates the Midway to add ion turrets and trades the Wasp's shield strength for for increased speed and acceleration.

Where's My Cross?

The Pilgrim Cross was supposedly shipped to retailers today -- if anyone finds one, or hears anything, let us know! It's by far the most non-SPAM related thing I get mail about...

Crusade Knife

Spooky reports that the promo for next episode of Crusade (I missed the premiere! Eek!) has a knife much like the one Seether uses in Wing Commander IV. Anybody know what sort of knife that was? This may not be a coincidence -- JMS is a big WC fan, and Robert Rusler (Seether himself) was a main character during a season of Babylon 5. The episode itself will be on tommorrow night at 10 EST.

Our Daily Crid

Finals week for me at last. On one hand, it's great because school will be over Thursday, but on the other, I've got a long way to go before Thursday. :)

Trivia Notice

Because of things like finals, I wasn't able to put up Week 30 Trivia yesterday. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get it out today or if we'll have a double-week next week yet. The double-week looks more likely at this point. There is one thing I've been meaning to say about Trivia for a while now though. A lot of people send their answers in on the Sunday the next week's questions come out. The trivia rules say to get answers in "*before*" the coming Sunday, not on the coming Sunday. It'd save me time if people got their answers in *before* Sunday, and it also has benefits for the players. If you get your answers in early, you may have the option of correcting incorrect answers. Also, sometimes I put out new questions Sunday morning and sometimes I put them out Sunday night. If you wait until Sunday, your answers might not get to me until too late and they wont count. Anyhow, that's for Week 30 (probably Week 30/31).

Wing Commander in Venezuela

LocoMan has been asking around at local theaters and it appears that Wing Commander will arrive in Venezuela on July 15. LocoMan's also in the process of trying to get us pictures of Venezuelan Wing Commander posters. Star Wars, which has earned nearly $300 million in the US so far, is expected there later this month.

Our Daily Crid

Yay, LOAF's home from Austin! It'll be a few days before he gets caught up, but things should be back to normal soon.

Wing Commander in Czech Republic

Nitrate informed us that various Czech magazines have been carrying information about Wing Commander. The mags include CDs with trailers and a possible release date, July 15. We're looking into getting the names of the magazines and checking if the trailers are new.

"Bones" Passes Away

Many WC fans will mourn the recent death of DeForest Kelley. He died yesterday, June 11 after being ill for several months. Kelley was best known as Dr. Leonard McCoy on the original Star Trek television series. You can find more in-depth stories here and here.

Another Famous WC Fan

Tim Cook was watching a rerun of the Howard Stern Show last week and something caught his attention. They were discussing how much work they had to do on weekends. Stern apparently was disappointed that he had to miss a screening of the WC movie because of prior commitments. He joins such celebrities as Freddie Prinze, Matthew Lillard, Robin Williams and J. Michael Straczynski as rumored (and not so rumored) WC fans.

Wing Commander in Brazil

ggmesquita took the time to contact his local Fox outlet about Wing Commander. He reports that they don't expect the movie to come out on the rumored August 20 date. Instead, it will likely appear some time in September. In Brazil the movie will go under the name "Wing Commander, A Batalha Final" which means "Wing Commander, The Final Battle" in English. If you'd like to contact Brazilian Fox yourself, the phone number is code 55, area code 011, phone 7295-5999.

The Time Has Come For South Africans

The movie should be showing up in theaters in South Africa today. If anyone can confirm or deny this for us, you can reach us here.

Our Daily Crid

Yay, LOAF's trip is half over! If everything goes okay, he should be back to news updating this weekend or next week.

If You Don't Know, You Don't Go

I don't think we ever mentioned a deadline, but Jibbo is planning to order the CIC t-shirts two weeks from today. He must have your money by then if your order is going to go through and international mail can be slow (it may take the full two weeks). If you're interested, check out the CIC updates here and here and contact Jibbo.

The Numbers About The News

If our (Hades') calculations are correct, the last update was our 1000th news update ever. Since the CIC's birth approximately 300 days ago, we've averaged a bit more than 3.3 updates per day. Here's looking forward to our next 1000.

Release Dates Keep Creeping Nearer

Johannes Mengel sent us a message about KinoNewsOnline, a German entertainment news site. They report that the WC Movie is expected in Germany on August 12 compared to the August 16 date that we are currently listing in our Up And Coming section. Although our policy is to err on the side of caution, as I currently can't find where our August 16 date originally came from (to compare reliability), I've tentatively updating the Up And Coming list to reflect the August 12 date.You can check KinoNews for yourself here.

It Had To Happen Sooner Or Later

It's sad to see it go, but at some point WC had to leave theaters. WC will have been released in the US for three months this Saturday. At last count they'd pulled in $11,576,087 and were in 75th place at the box office. In related news, Star Wars is up past $255,000,000 after three weeks.

Another Item To Collect

Edward Pang sent us a note to tell us that the June (current) issue of Starlog contains an interview with Freddie Prinze and related articles about WC Movie stuff. I'll pick one up later today (Tuesday) and see if there's anything new.

Starlog Hunting Update

I went down to the local Barnes and Noble to check for the June Starlog magazine and they were sold out. The July one is already in stock.. so if you're going to try to hunt the June one down you better go quick. The only magazine with WC-related stuff I could find there was the Volume 5, Number 3 movie preview in Cinescape Insider. While I was out I also happened to hunt down original copies of WC1, SM1 and WC2.

Our Daily Crid

LOAF's off to Austin again for college orientation. He'll be back this weekend. In the mean time and during the first half of June various CIC staff members will be in and out as school and college obligations are completed. Please bear with us, come summer we'll have more time to dedicate to the site. :)

Our Daily Bread

I am out of here! I'm heading to Austin for orientation tommorrow night, and I'll be gone for the entire week -- the rest of the staff will hopefully cover the daily updates as well as continue doing all the other kickass stuff they take care of.... if you need to contact me, do so immediately, as I fly out tommorrow at 7 pm!

Happy D-Day!

In memory of all of those who served at Normandy over half a century ago... not including Tom Hanks.

Happy Iceland Release!

Admit it, you were wondering what would happen to the Up & Coming counter when it reached one day as much as I was... anyway, Wing Commander is supposedly out in Iceland now. According to NedStats we've had 24 visitors from Iceland. Ever.

Happy More Shirt Info

Hadrian sent me these images of what the t-shirts will look like... as always, contact Jibbo if you'd like to purchase one. There is a deadline for money to arrive if you're ordering a shirt.

DIVX Pun Goes Here

Hey, you, the two people who actually own DivX sets -- now you can finally use them for something.Wing Commander will be available on DivX starting July 6th, at the normal price of $4.49 for the first use, and 3.25 for each additional two days. Grab your copy at DivXFlix or Circuit City, the only place in the entire universe that actually supports the damned format.

Just Who Is He?

Lanced.net posted a bit of information on this Phil character -- he's Phil Meller, an art manager & game designer. He's worked on a number of previous Origin games, including 2400 AD, Bad Blood (Chris Robert's first game for Origin) and Privateer 2.

Another Huge Improvement For mirc

For those of you who hang out in irc channels (such as #Wingnut), Khaled has released the new mirc version 5.6. As usual, it's full of amazing improvements such as the capability of the program to automatically insert a timestamp at midnight into the logs of those who stay online 24 hours a day. You can download mirc 5.6 here.

Our Daily Bread

When the first update of the day involves OS/2, you know it's going to be along day... Anyway, Graduation today! But I've been traumatized by the 'game' at the Taiwanese Wing Commander Movie Site. I just don't get it... oh well, my sources (Hadrian) tell me that it was Kevin Kwast who fixed the server for us yesterday... so, thanks Kevin!

A Cry for Help

Want to host half a gig of Wing Commander Academy RM's? If so, let us know, because the server we currently store them on is going down! If we don't find a new place to keep them, they'll be unavailable for an indetermined amount of time. If you don't have them yet, be sure and grab them quickly!

It Was the Best of Times

Mailman reports that Wing Commander was released in Taiwan several days ago, and has been very popular! It's been re-titled "The Star Battle: The Warrior of the Future"... scary. There's a web site, located here which contains information about the movie, as well as a trailer, two screensaves and some wallpaper. If anybody is interested in translating the Chinese(?) for us, let me know...

Prima Talks

HaHaRich! mailed Prima about the questionable Privateer 3 Official Guides... here's what they had to say!
Thank you for your letter. We have researched this due to your information and have found that the game was cancelled. We will not be doing a book for Privateer 3. Thank you for letting us know. Sorry for the confusion.

Help WCUE

Asterix asks that I note that he is running a poll to decide what capships to use for Wing Commander: Unknown Enemy, a fan made addon to WCSO. The poll can be found here.

ICISAmp for OS/2

Oleg Bulavsky has converted the ICIC WinAMP skin to PM123 format (an OS/2 MPEG Player). I have absolutely no idea how to test this file, so just grab it here.

New WC Movie Trailer

As reported earlier in the week, Total Film, a UK magazine has a new WC Movie trailer on the CD, but for those of you who can't get the magazine or even find it in shops (I know I can't), Skyfox has been kind enough to make the file in to an MPEG and send it in! Download the trailer thats complete with hundreds of Kilrathi ships even in the first few seconds here!

Our Daily Bread

Hiya people, sorry for the downtime -- between getting sick and the server being mixed up (a BIG thanks to whoever fixed it!) I wasn't able to update yesterday... not that there's much news, unfortunately. Anyway, I'm feeling better and the site is working again... so all is good in the world.

Posters, Get Yer Posters

Remember those two Wing Commander movie posters from Scorpio? The ones of Blair and Maniac? Well, All Wall is offering them for sale at only $8.99 each! They also provided some nice higher quality images of them...

Shirts Off Our Backs

We're preparing to order CIC T-shirts for the staff, and are wondering if anyone else would be interested in acquiring one! They have the CIC logo over the left breast and our URL on the back. It's a one of a kind collectable for people who collect shirts with our logo on them (you know who you are, Alex). If you're interested, contact Jibbo. The XL's will cost $20 US for people in North America and $25 US for overseas orders. XXL will be two dollars extra... this includes shipping!

Our Daily Bread

Wow, it's Tuesday morning and I don't have to go to school... I can just lay around doing nothing. I feel like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate. Except without all the sex... and I have to finish that dashed encyclopedia. Anyone out there follow Forstchen's Star Voyager Academy Series? If not, do -- the first two aren't that great (SVA & Article 23), but they're definately required for appreciating the incredibly cool Prometheus...

Happy AHM!

It's June 1st, the first day of Ace's Happy Month! Head on over to the newly redesigned ace-1.com and find out what the CIC staff sounds like... there's lots of kick ass new Pepper stuff, too, so head on over! Now!

Monthly Positions

Just got the new (July) issue of CGW, and Wing Commander makes a few appearances in the Top 100 lists. Prophecy Gold is ranked as the number one Top Simulation/Space Combat Game, as well as the number 13 total. Prophecy is ranked 4 & 27 on each list, respectively.

Brits Rejoice!

In the quest for glory and pictures of really hot film stars, Skyfox bought a copy of a British magazine called Total Films, and whaddya know? It's got a WC Movie review inside it. Okay so it's a fairly typical review (you can read it below), but the really good part is the release date it mentions - 25th June! That gives the UK two release dates, 2nd July being the other. Which is it? Who knows, but July 2 can stay on the "Up and coming" section for now. The other really cool thing is the CD on the Total Films magazine has an all-new never-before-seen WC trailer, but because of some scary codec that it uses, we can't upload that right now. When I get my copy of the magazine tomorrow, I'll work on bypassing all that. For now, here is the wonderfully British review:
Release: 25 June (Cert 12)
Wing Commander

Sci-Fi War Movie, USA, 1999
Director: Chris Roberts
Distributor: 20th Century FOX
Starring: Freddie PRinze Jr, Saffron Burrows, Matthew Lillard, Tcheky Karyo, Jurgen Prochnow, David Suchet, David Warner
Running Time: 103 mins.

What's the story? Space, 2654: the Earth-defending Confederation is waging interstellar war against the nasty Kilrathi, who want death to all humans. The Kilrathi capture a super-special navigation thingy, which they're going to use to launch a direct attack on Plent Earth. But they don't reckon on the collective chutzpah of an elite team of young, pretty fighter pilots. Soon space is filled with computer-game inspired battle...

Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros and now Wing Commander. Will this game-to-movie madness ever end? Probably not - in fact, given the continuising popularity of pixellated action-babe Lara Croft, things are only going to get madder.

Still, at least Wing Commander is directed and written by the very man who developed the space-blasting original, which is good, right? Actually, no. Wing Commander looks like a computer game and everything about it is of computer game standard: the acting, the story, the dialogue...

To put it bluntly, creator Chris Roberts should have never given up the day job. He may have set out to turn his successful shoot-'em-up into a testosterone-fuelled sci-fi war flick, but the result is simply bland. The fight sequences are sporadic, and when they do occur, they hardly ignite the screen. Visually unsatisfying spaceships engage in pseudo-Star Wars dogfights while the pilots shout "Bogey!" at each other lots. The effects themselves are saggy and the 'scary' baddie aliens look like giant, lumbering fiberclass cats.

The rest of the, ahem, action takes place in dingy spaceship interiors where the troops shuffle about in tight sweaters and silly felt hats. The jargon-laden script squeezes in a few intriguing references to a godlike race called The Pilgrims, but this turns out to be just acheap plot device: "Hey Blair - you're half-Pilgrim! The Pilgrims can navigate through space without supercomputers. I think I se a way out of this..."

Wing Commander does, of course, have a cult following, and its most devoted fans will probably forgive the Thunderbirds acting and plot simply because they've been given a chance to see their favourite PC game on a multiplex screen. THen again, most people tend to skip the demo and get on with the game.

Final Verdict
Can't wait 'til Star Wars to feed your insatiable sci-fi appetite? Then you could see Wing Commander, which does have space-fights and aliens. But unless you're a fan of the game, you'll regret your impatience when confronted with this dull, uninspired B-flight.

Two Stars.

Make Your Opinion Known

Harbinger reports that Gamespot's current poll is asking what we think about Origin's descision to stop making single player games. The choices are excitement, indifference and disappointment, with the latter in the lead.

Follow or Contact Us

Forums: Recent Posts

Current Poll

Where to Buy

WCPedia: Recent Contributions

Site Staff