New 'Cult Law' is Passed

A report by political observer Matara Leigh. The Council for Morals and Ethics has succeeded in passing its new 'Cult Law' which subjects all religious groups to restrictive guidelines. It is now illegal for religious leaders to accept money from followers, for religious groups to have access to any opinion forming medium, and for a cult to offer any intangible service, such as 'soul cleansing', for money. On the other hand, productive religions, such as the Avuncular Order of Hom, are highly praised, and are being offered added incentives for concentrating on improving the material world.

Want to Buy a Secret?

Cinema Secrets' web site is back, and better than ever... now with ordering information! If you've been holding off on that essential purchase of a Kilrathi helmet and mask, now would be the perfect time to grab yourself one...

Splash Democracy

You can help the people over at WCUE decide which splash screen (from their splash screen contest) to use by voting in this poll -- there are some excellent ones! It appears as if they've solved the problem of the missing room picture, too, so that's another load off of our backs...

Grab a Threesome

A number of people have noticed that Electronic Arts is now marketing a three pack of 'The Best Sci-Fi Games Ever' which contains Blade Runner, Dune 2000 and Wing Commander Prophecy. Reports are that it retails for about $30. I've never played Blade Runner, but I loved Dune 2000, and I'm sure you all know how I feel about Prophecy...

Tragedy Strikes Rocket Derby

Sevastian Hague reports. A veil of sadness hangs over the famous track here at Volsen on Hermes, following the tragic death of Rocket Bike veteran Vlotr Karstein. It was in the 18th lap of the Opi-Ola Derby that Karstein, who had led the race from the outset seemed to suffer a loss of power, and plowed his Wakashiri 5000 into spectator stand D. 27 people were killed and 150 injured in the crash, which saw Karstein's body shatter into hundreds of pieces at the force of the impact. As I write, race officials are guiding around a Vacbot, collecting his remains for ceremonial burial. CIS agents are investigating, and there is talk of banning the sport. All in all, a sad day for Rocket Biking.

Die Befreier Cover Scan

Bjoern Hellebrand was kind enough to scan the cover of Die Befreier, the first Wing Commander novel. That's Freedom Flight to those in English speaking countries. In Germany, Die Befreier is published by "Bastei Luebbe" and costs DM 8.90. If you think this is interesting, you can also find the previously reported German cover of Heart of the Tiger here.

Make a Splash with WCUE!

Here's a another status update and request for help from the Wing Commander: Unknown Enemy team... (thanks to Pedro).
Our splash screen competition is drawing to a close, all entries must be sent by Friday in order to be taken into consideration as we have already received enough to offer a good choice. On Saturday the poll will be altered so that you can decide on your favourite splash screen and we will use the winner. The only problem that we have not been able to find a way around is the disappearance of MK84 who was rendering the CIC room for the BWS Dauntless so once again we must ask for the help of the fans. What we need is someone to create one room for the Dauntless, it could be 3D Rendered, hand-drawn etc, the only requirements are that it is 640*480, color, contains a door for entering the briefing and 4 computer panels. The Dauntless is a border world ship, extremely old and Bengal class so these factors should be taken into account. If you feel you can help e-mail us here, this is very important and could affect the release date.

Origin Movements

PrivateerOnline.de reports that former Ultima Online team members Raph Koster (Designer Dragon), Christopher Mayer (Faceless) and Rich Vogel (Dupre) have all been reassigned to an as-of-yet unannounced online project not based on Ultima. Could it be what we all think is next?

Ship Toys, We Hardly Knew Ye

I guess we all knew already, but we didn't want to admit it before it had been confirmed. According to Previews' August cancel list the two Wing Commander movie ship toys (the Rapier and the Dralthi) will not be released.

Buy-ed Out

Buy.com no longer lists Kilrathi Saga! Is this because they're not going to get any in stock or because some jerk bought lots of copies to sell for a higher price? If it's the latter, I must kindly inform you that you are indeed the very worst kind of scum.

Happy Birthdace

Today just happens to be the birthday of the CIC's own ace. Ace is one of the greatest guys I know, and I wish him all the best...

Boweled Over by Sheer Incontinence

Report by genitourinary authority Cally Pige. A desperate plea was made yesterday on behalf of the Lou Stall Hospice for the Chronically Incontinent, sited in Cruis. Large quantities of Iridium, a highly anti-corrosive substance that will not decay in the presence of Uric acid, are required for the manufacture of bladder plugs, mechanical devices that regulate the flow of urine out of the bladder. Iridium prices are said to have risen considerably.

Check Your Scores Please

Although we strive to be as accurate as possible in the Trivia scoring, occasionally things crop up. This past week something was overwritten and the result was that about twenty people didn't receive proper credit for Week 35. We're pretty safe about backing up and all the "lost" scores have since been recovered. The scary thing is that only one of twenty people noticed their score was incorrect. I goof up from time to time, so it'd be a good idea in the future if Trivia players checked both the Player Details and Scoreboard to ensure that I've correctly scored your answers. Feel free to email us in the future if you find an error.

EA Receives New Online Certification

In other online-related news, EA recently announced that they've received certification under a new online privacy program that will safeguard company and consumer interests while pioneering new online projects. Thanks to The Fatman.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., July 27, 1999 - Electronic Arts™ (Nasdaq:ERTS), the world’s largest interactive entertainment software company, today announced it has become the first company to receive certification under a new online privacy program designed to address and allay consumer concerns about the privacy of personal information submitted on the Internet. The new program, ESRB Privacy Online, is designed to ensure that its participants meet or exceed the requirements under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 and the Federal Trade Commission and Interactive Digital Software Association guidelines for online privacy protection.
You can read the rest of the press released here.

Alan Pavlish Discusses Origin's Future

Last month we reported that Interplay's Alan Pavlish ended his fourteen year career at Tantrum Studios to take a job at Origin. GA-Source followed that up with an interview. The interviewer makes a few noticeable assumptions in the interview, but the probing results in some interesting allusion to future online games. You can find the complete interview here. Thanks to ATFW.

First Glimpses of the Tiger's Claw Cut-away Poster

SX Glory from Realm of the Privateer sent us some neat new pictures of the highly anticipated upcoming poster by SciPubTech. They can be found in the magazine Previews, Volume IX, number 8, page 414, August 1999. Orders can be placed directly through comic book or hobby shops throughout North America. One curious thing is that the magazine says they'll be available in October as opposed to the previously reported September.
"From the recent sci-fi flick, Wing Commander, comes this cool poster depicting the computer-generated battlecruiser, Tiger Claw carrier in an explosive battle scene with the evil alien Kilrathi! (????/SPT120)Poster, 24x36, FC... $19.95"

Pecs-cellent!

Fitness reporter Arnold Viril writes. Hello, muscle fans. This year's Beautiful Body Bash is taking place on Janus IV; any iron-pumper who's got talents to display should get down there and flex their pecs. As usual, Warp Steroids are in great evidence, with companies such as PumpUp! and Bulge-U-Like displaying a range of new products. Demand is fast outstripping supply, though, and we're gonna need lots more of that liquid iron if we're gonna pump it like we can. Much-loved events such as the two-tonne shuttle tug and the man of Plasten competition may well be cancelled if we don't get more of that bicep-blasting zooty.

Privateer Online dot De-lightful

I just want to be sure and thank PrivateerOnline.de for the kind words about us in their latest update... I'm really looking forward to working alongside them once its time to start reporting some serious news on the next Wing Commander game!

KS Me, You Fool

Buy.com, source of what are no doubt some very annoying Buy.Com commercials, claims to have the oft-searched Kilrathi Saga package in stock for $30.60! Grab it while you can.

How The War Goes

I've had a lot of mail wondering about the status of my quest for Kilrathi Saga, Wing Commander IV & Prophecy DVDs. I'm happy to say that I've received about three hundred mails on the subject, all of which wildly support the idea! I've passed this information on, and only time will tell the end results...

Crunch Time at Crisp Factory!

Liam Drake is on the spot. Workers at the Crunch-u-want Crisp Factory on Janus IV went starch staring mad yesterday, following news of enforced redundancies. The lay-offs come as a result of the company deciding to cease production of its 'Crinkle-Dinkle' crinkly crisps, meaning that 500 skilled crinkle-carvers are now surplus to requirements. The irate potato artists have now besieged the factory, demanding their jobs back. Local police tried to intervene, which has resulted in guns being fired and people dying. I asked the leader of the revolters, the self-styled Field Admiral Generalissimo Bert Jones, what his demands were. He replied, "More guns and a packet of Prawn Cocktail, ta."

More Fan Help Requested

Steven Kouri reports that he is working on a Wing Commander fan made game called 'Wing Commander: Lost Universe'. He's looking for people to help with ship & mission creation, as well as voices for characters. If you'd like to help, contact him here.

Starlancer Article

Games Domain posted a preview of Starlancer saying, "What separates Starlancer from Wing Commander (and most other space sims) is that this time, the enemy isn't a slavering, prophecy spouting, harbinger-of-doom alien race." I'm not really sure how that makes it any different from Wing IV, though...

WCUE Request

A request for help with the upcoming Wing Commander: Unknown Enemy project from Pedro...
We are currently holding a competition for the design of our splash screen, we have 3 so far and will be posting them for judging as soon as we have collected enough. We would really like to get at least 10 entries. All entries should be 640*480 bitmaps with a logo and at least one fighter. Also Taliburn is back so assuming we get the voice overs completed we should have all missions, cutscenes and ICIS briefings for episode 1 finsihed for our August 10th deadline.

Tuscany Trading Email Message

Here's the message Tuscany Trading sent those who've ordered a Pilgrim Cross Knife.
You are receiving this e-mail because you have ordered a Pilgrim Cross Knife. We have received word from United Cutlery that they will not be receiving their next shipment of these knives until August 3rd. We, of course, will not be receiving them until a few days after that, but will ship all active orders within 24 hours of receipt of our shipment from United Cutlery.

Since it has been our experience in the past that such delays result in a loss of interest among customers, we are cancelling all outstanding orders for Pilgrim Cross Knives unless you notify us that you would like to keep your order active. If you decide to keep your order active, please be sure to include your name when responding to this e-mail.

Both we and United Cutlery regret the delay.

Donn
Tuscany Trading Co.

That's nice of them, although I somehow doubt that such a minor delay would sway many WC fans. Be sure to email them if you've ordered a cross and haven't gotten it yet. The address is pilgrimcross@tuscanytrading.com.

Fan Requests

The CIC is hoping to make updates about fan made Wing Commander projects more common. If you're working on such a project and have any particular information you would like posted, please let me know!

Rental Collectors' Items

A few people have spotted promotional items for Wing Commander's rental release. Blockbusters seem to have yard-stick length thin cardboard 'Wing Commander' signs, as well as variations of the original poster reading "Rent an Action-Packed Thrill Ride Tonight!"

3D Movie Pictures

As promised, Korax has sent some pictures from Wing Commander Incursion, a fan made 3D movie he's working on...

Ride Competition

Well, games like Freespace and I-War provided the first serious competition for the Wing Commander series last year... and now I-War is going head to head with Wing Commander's movie-ride! Here's part of a press release seen over at ATFW.
Infogrames may be headed to an amusement park near you as it has signed a deal with high-tech entertainment attraction developer, Iwerks Entertainment, Inc. The agreement between the two companies will allow the development of ride simulations, theme park attractions, and large format films - the first such attraction will be a 3D simulation film based on Independence War.

In the attraction, audiences will take part in the story as they experience the actions of the Navy commander as he battles against angry colonists who are fighting for independence from the Earth.

GameSpot's Lesser Evils

A number of people have noticed that GameSpot has made a grievous error... they've created a top 10 greatest villains article and neglected Wing Commander's Prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka. Luckily, there's a place to mail them write-in villains... head over and tell them what you think!

Random Events

I'd just like to thank Zohrath of Starlancer/Freelancer HQ for asking the guys at Warthog a Privateer 2 question for me during an interview about Starlancer... For those interested, I learned that the 'code numbers' for the random enemies are random -- not assigned to individual ships. Which makes the encyclopedia a bit easier to finish... Thanks, Zohrath!

More British Confusion

Nic Mazzei reports that the British Film Board now has 'no plans to release Wing Commander in the UK'. Will we ever understand England?

Our Daily Bread

Deadeye noticed a few things in the Wing Commander movie that are worth commenting on... First off, a mistake in the packaging. The small booklet that came with the DVD's description of Tcheky Karyo (Paladin) mistakenly has a picture of Jurgen Prochnow (Gerald). He also notes that Merlin is listed as being played by "?" -- as Chris Roberts explained after the movie's premiere, Merlin was voiced by Mark Hamill, who played Blair in the latest three Wing Commander games, as a sort of easter egg for the movie.

AVault Results

Here's the current results from the poll at AVault... (Results are thanks to Psychopath).
Double Dragon - 15.8%
Mortal Kombat - 7.1%
Street Fighter - 21.6%
Super Mario Brothers - 27.6%
Wing Commander - 11.5%
Other - 1.9%
Haven't seen any of them - 14.5%

Starlancer Ad

Exile was kind enough to scan a recent Starlancer ad for us... it's very reminiscent of some of the old Wing Commander advertisements, check it out.

3D Movie Update

Korax sent an update on the fan-made Wing Commander 3D movie he's working on... here goes... it sounds very cool.
Update: the movie name is Wing Commander Incursion.

At the moment it looks to be split into 2 or 3 parts and each part will be split up to make uploading and downloading easier.

The basic story has it that Angel has to get to Kilrah for WC3 and myself and B.R@DIU$, my partner in this, tell how she gets there. We have tried to have a story to this and not just make it a 3D animation show, there's a part were a pilot has his life flash before his eyes as a Kilrathi missile impacts his arrow, just as an example.

Within 3 - 4 weeks we wish to upload to www.wcnews.com a trailer that we are putting together, however this is with your permission of course as it look to be about 50 megs (we are trying to decrease this with different compression codecs in the movie).

Also anyone wishing to do some sound FX voices for the movie, e-mail me first with a short sound of your voice about 5 spec.

Thanks, I will also be uploading some tasty pics soon.

And for all those people who e-mailed saying that they hoped the movie would maintain the look from the arrow flyby -- we did better!

Privateer 3 Ramblings

Those great people over at PrivateerOnline.de found this article at a US gaming magazine's home page yesterday...
Privateer 3 Re tooled

While rumors on the Net suggest Origin's Privateer 3 has been completely scrapped, the reality is that it is being massively revamped.

July 20, 1999

The news of a major revamping is something of a mixed blessing to Privateer fans. On the one hand, the game is not canceled (as many had previously thought), but on the other, Origin is no longer willing to commit to a release date for the game.

Said a spokes person for Origin: "All developers have to constantly re-evaluate their products. The team is going to be changing a lot of things in the game."

Privateer 3 was originally slated for release this fall.

Tolwyn Poll

Well, the highly anticipated poll results are in: apparently 40.69 % of people firmly believe that Tolwyn was wrong to rescue the Tarawa in End Run...

WCUE Update

Pedro asks that I post this about Wing Commander: Unknown Enemy...
Unknown Enemy episode 1 now looks set for a release date of August 10th, as I will not be here from August 13th until August 25th it is important that we meet this date as I will be uploading the files so we need an artist to create the new HUD. While I am gone the project will continue under the supervision of Asterix and in anticipation of the upcoming episodes I thought that now would be a good time to ask for help in the following areas:-

Ship Creation: Episode one uses only conversions most of which have already been done however the later missions involve a new Black Lance fighter, 2 new Kilrathi fighters and a new Kilrathi capital ship also the models for conversions from WC1+2 are required as these ships were 2D

ICIS briefing & Mission Creation: We have only 4 people currently working on these two points, one of whom is will not begin working for one week, due to the large number of missions it would be helpful if we could get some more people working on these so that the later episodes can be released more quickly.

Also we will have a new poll as soon as the sever is back up so please vote

EA Press Release

I'm not sure whether this press release, which deals with a former Lucasarts employee going to Electronic Arts, relates in any way to Wing Commander... but about a dozen people have forwarded it to me (thanks!), so I figure it's worth posting...
Steve Dauterman goes to Electronic Arts

EA Australia, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts(tm) (Nasdaq:ERTS), the world's largest interactive entertainment software company, today announced the appointment of LucasArts industry veteran Steve Dauterman as General Manager of Studio Asia Pacific to head a new development studio located in Australia.

Dauterman, formerly Director of Development for LucasArts in San Rafael, Calif., had been with the Lucas group for ten years, initially as Financial Analyst for Lucasfilm before moving across to LucasArts in 1992.

Since working at LucasArts he has overseen the development of such worldwide hits as "X-Wing," "Rebel Assault," "Dark Forces/JediKnight," "Shadows of the Empire," "Rogue Squadron," Monkey Island," "GrimFandango," "Full Throttle" and the newly completed PC and console versions of the latest Lucasfilm blockbuster "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace(tm)".

Dauterman will relocate to the Gold Coast in Australia in mid September to manage the formation of EA's newest studio, named Studio Asia-Pacific, which will focus on developing games for the Australian, Asian and world markets.

Steve Dauterman said of his decision to change countries and work with Electronic Arts (EA), "The decision to leave LucasArts was definitely a difficult one for me personally, but the challenge to build a new studio and live in Australia is a unique opportunity I could not pass up. I am thrilled to join the team at EA Asia Pacific. My goal is to bring world-class talent to the Studio and build products that are both creative and innovative in the worldwide marketplace."

Shirt Information

Jibbo (whose e-mail address was wrong in my last update, my apologies) reports that there are currently 6 XL and 1 XXL shirts available... the cost is $20 US for orders in North America, $25 US internationally.

Fleet Command

Trash Can asks that we post this... sounds like a cool project!
We are creating a Wing Commander based strategy game. It is supposed to be a mix between Red Alert(in space), Privateer, Ascendancy and Elite. This will be a strategy game where you can command a fleet. You can build stations, cap-ships and fighters. More ways to make money, like transport troops for other players/cooperations(single play), build cap-ships/fighters/weapons and more to sell it to other players, or play as merchant. You will have full freedom and more importantly, it supports online play. It's like an rpg.

What we need is a lot of people. For programming, graphic editing, sound editing and every thing that involves creating a game. If you are interested please check the site here.

First Entry

The first entry for the Peter Telep Wing Commander contest has been posted -- and you can find it here. Looks good, can you do better? Give it a try! You might win...

CIC Shirts!

The shirts are in! And here they are... there are still a few available, contact Jibbo if you want one!

Riding On

The people at ShowScan were kind enough to let me know that their Wing Commander based movie ride is still in the works, and that more information may be available this fall! I'm really excited about this thing...

Read About ATFW

There's an interesting interview with the duo who run ATFW (Motto: "The Space-Sim Portal") over at the StarFighter League (Motto: "The Online Space Sim Community Center"). Check it out here. (Naturally, we noticed this over at Lanced.net (Motto: "Provoking the CIC into giving us 25% of our page referrals")).

Czech Movie Release

NITRATE reports that Wing Commander trailers are now being regularly shown on TV. The Czech magazine CINEMA gave the film a good review, including an 11 out of 10 for CGI. The posters call the movie 'a film based on the best computer game of all time', and I can't disagree.

Divx Version

Various reports indicate that the Divx version of Wing Commander was printed and is available. If you have a Divx player, it's worth the three dollars. Also, if you have cold drinks and want to avoid damaging your fine wooden table, it's worth the three dollars.

More Action Figure Mistakes

SX Glory reports that he's found a Marine Blair marked as Pilot Blair. It's interesting to note that the figures all appeared normal at first, but the ones released later had more packaging mistakes and improperly mounted collectible cards...

Captain Panaka Toy

Here's the upcoming Star Wars toy based on Hugh Quarshie's Captain Panaka character from Episode 1. Quarshie also played Mr. Obutu in Wing Commander, so a bit of customizing may be just what the doctor ordered...

Help WCUE!

Asterix asked that I post this...
I have some news here about the voices in the game. As you may know we are going to have speech for each pilot for this game. The other characters will have their own voices as well. But what we need right now is people choosing the characters and making the voices. What better place than the CIC when you need a lot of people? :)

People can visit the characters list and pick one here.

Once they select a character they have to go click on "stats" (is on that same page) or go here.

There they will have the information they need to check if that character is free. Once they have the character they can start making the voice. The type of wav and where to send the file is on the "stats" page.

More Line Confusion

Bob Morton noticed something odd about the muted line in Wing Commander... when he ran it through one VCR, it was as non-audible as ever -- however, when played on a Magnavox VCR it was normal! Is that not strange?

Incredible Examples

Not completely psyched about the upcoming Tiger's Claw cut-away poster yet? Chris Reid suggests you check out this picture of SciPubTech's USS Voyager poster. Their posters are VERY detailed and cost about $20 for a normal one -- with special versions clocking in at around $40. But check out the Voyager, it's very cool.

Order the Masks

Cinema Secrets has revamped their web page, and it looks like you will soon be able to order things directly from it. Online the Kilrathi mask costs $44.99 and the helmet costs $33.99.

Holland Update

Arthur Scheffer reports that according to his theater in Holland the Wing Commander movie will not be out until at least November... it's not on any current future release lists! Here's to hoping it'll come out...

Shirts are Close!

The shirts should arrive later this morning! We'll post more information about them as soon as it's available!

Shirts are Still Close

According to Jibbo, the shirt company had a bit of a last minute problem with the CIC logo. We still expect the shirts on Wednesday however. Stay tuned.

Rage Against Lanced.net!

Lanced.net (your source for Starlancer and Freelancer information) is at it again! "C'mon CIC, get a chick page goin! I myself want to see some Saffron Burrows pics, and you guys got enough resources to get about every possible one". As thus here's TV's Kerri-Lee with the hopes that the hottest woman ever will end this debate once and for all.

Mutated Figure

My brother Gavin found an unusual Wing Commander movie figure at Toys R Us yesterday... it's a Marine Blair in the packaging of a Kilrathi Pilot. How odd... (I'd have a picture, except my digital camera is apparently MIA).

Obutu Confusion

While watching the VHS version of Wing Commander, John Casey noticed that after the Skipper missile scene Obutu's line "The Kilrathi ships are closing" doesn't match his lips. I looked up the line in the movie's script, which doesn't even have Obutu in the scene... the same line is said by Radar Officer Falk! Very unusual...

Meet Peter Telep

Peter Telep will be holding a book signing on Sunday, August 28th (just in time for Pilgrim Stars!) from 12 noon to 6 pm at Barnes & Noble in Ovideo, Florida! For more information go here. You can also now check out The Official Wing Commander Site Of Peter Telep here! (Oh, and a big thanks to Peter's webmaster, Richard Bowden for keeping us up to date on these things).

Not for Sale... Yet!

Just a bit of clarification -- I'm not selling Wing Commander Prophecy & KS DVDs... just taking a poll to see who's interested in the hopes that it will be able to convince a company to do just that. Erm, but I got a bunch of offers to buy them from me, so I just thought people should know...

Poster on Track!

Well, here's some great news! The previously reported Tiger's Claw cutaway poster in the works from SciPubTech is now in 'final color work'. It should be ready by September!

Holland Correction

Raoul sent a correction to that previous report about Holland... thanks!
And on the site, I see that it says that there are posters in cinemas, but that's not true.. 'de Megasfestatie' is an event for a week where's also a cinema. But it's not a cinema for the whole year.

It's a Party...

It's just 30 days until the Combat Information Center's first anniversary! In that spirit, we're holding a party complete with guests, prizes and the final opening of some CIC sections you've been waiting quite a while to see. And you know what we're talking about! In celebration, Hadrian has made an mpeg that you can get here. So head for #WingNut on DALnet at 7PM EST (4PM PST, 11PM GMT) on August 10th! There will be punch and pie.

Our Daily Bread

After reading a post by SX Glory at agwc which mentioned Mark Hamill's Black Pearl comic series, I decided to nose around Dark Horse's web site and read up on it. I found an interesting quote from an old interview with Mark regarding a character from the comic... thusly, I'm off to try and find the book itself. Here's the quote: "I always like being on firm ground as far as writing about what you know. The reason I felt emboldened to write about someone who was once involved in the adult film industry was because I worked with an actress who had been a pornographic film star. I did that on Wing Commander. So I was fascinated by the way it could happen to someone who regrets that decision and tries to get on with her life. She seemed much more well adjusted about it than, for instance, the crew, who couldn't get over it!"

CIC Bites Back!

Wow, yesterday's update over at Lanced.net (your source for Starlancer/Freelancer information) had a picture of some chick with the subtitle: "Now, aren't we the kewlest gaming web page? Do you see the CIC with pictures of hotties?" For your information, Mister Lanced.net, we've had lots of pictures of hot chicks from Saffron Burrows to TV's Kerri-Lee. But now we're going to do one better and show you a picture of my monkey. Here he is, James the CIC Special Events Monkey. Eat THAT!

ATFW Chat

ATFW (complete with cool new menu bar) is holding a multi-developer space sim chat today at 1 PM EST. Although Origin won't be there, it'll be a cool way to learn about other upcoming WC-like games. For more information, head to ATFW's page on the chat here.

A-10 Canceled

It's all over the news now, but Origin has cancelled their upcoming Jane's A-10 project... here's an explanation from GameSpot -- that bodes well for us Privateer Online fans!
The move is an extension of Origin's shift of strategy, changing lanes from a boxed-game producer to an online games producer. This is not to say that Origin won't be doing boxed games (or any more Jane's games, for that matter), but this shift requires tangible resources - employees - and Origin wants to get started now, rather than later.

Some Posters...

LocoMan sends us a pair of Wing Commander poster pictures from Venezuela, where the movie will apparently not be released for some time. The tagline is (translated): "On the limits of the universe, the worst is about to begin".

Thanks GameCenter

Thanks to GameCenter for plugging the CIC in this article... although Sivar knows why that bad French review was the most interesting bit of WC news... as if there aren't enough American bad reviews.

AVault Article

Here's another take on the A-10 cancellation, this time from AVault. Anyway, the interesting thing here is that this one says that Andy Hollis is going within EA, NOT with Origin... perhaps he won't be overseeing Privateer Online after all?
Origin Systems is moving forward with its strategy of solely developing Internet-only worlds. The success of Ultima Online has proven that there is massive potential in the area of Internet entertainment. In order to expedite this transition, Origin today announced it has canceled Jane's A-10 Warthog, a game that was in development at the company's Austin, Texas studio.

Origin plans to relocate the members of the team to the many opportunities within both Origin and its parent company, Electronic Arts. Andy Hollis, an Origin vice president and executive producer of the cancelled project, plans to remain with the EA family and is currently considering a variety of opportunities within the organization.

Pilgrim Summary

Borders has posted the following description of the next Wing Commander book, Pilgrim Stars.
In a new story based on the hit movie, "Tiger Claw" and crew are caught in the middle of a deadly rebellion, led by rogue Pilgrims who want to cleanse the universe and reseed it with perfect humans. Choosing sides isn't easy, especially when your former friends are more ruthless than the aliens.

Pilgrim Date!

After the last update, I decided to hit the other online bookstores... and found that Barnes and Noble lists the book as being available on August 20th! B&N has always been very reliable for WC books release dates in the past!

Privateer News in German

Florian informs me that he's started a Privateer Online fan site for German readers, located at www.PrivateerOnline.de. A large percentage of Wing Commander fans are German, so this will be a valuable resource...

Our Daily Bread

A bunch of people have noticed things in the Wing Commander Movie... some of 'em have been said before, but here's what's been discovered for those who are newly familiar with the film. Thanks to Rob Morton, Minh Doan and Boss for pointing these out! If you've found something else, let me know!

Chris Roberts' Cameo: In Chapter 25 a Concordia pilot in a Broadsword rescues Blair after he runs out of fuel. The pilot is none other than director Chris Roberts, who's had cameos in Wing III and IV as well.

Tolwyn Misspelling: During Tolwyn's briefing for Sansky his name flashes by the screen spelled 'Towlyn'. Furthermore, the closed captioning spells it the same way... although the DVD captions spell it correctly, as do the closing credits. This is very remeniscent of the first several episodes of Wing Commander Academy -- which spelled Tolwyn's name several different ways! Tallwood, for example.

The PAD: When the camera goes from outside Pegasus Station into the Pegasus Station CIC, it passes a computer that locks onto something. The locking sound is the sound made by the PAD in Privateer 2: The Darkening.

Thanks, Death

Our man Death was kind enough to go harass Baen for us at DragonCon last week... Wing Commander seems to be about as dead as before, but thanks for using your time to help everybody out, Death!

PCXL Comments

Dan Egger of PCXL posted this note to agwc about the mixup in the latest issue which incorrectly called Freelancer 'Wing Commander: Freelancer'...
Oops,
I wrote the piece for PCXL and I think that I inappropriately gave it the Wing Commander title.

BTW I saw the game in action twice, and hands-down it is the best looking game I have ever seen. The in-game were as pretty as most CG that you see today. And the ships were beyond anything I imagined possible. When I do play the game, I will probably spend most of my time just looking around out the scenery..it's magnificent.

Whether or not it still looks so groundbreaking when it hits stores two years from now is a question we will have to wait to answer.

Other Places to Get It

According to Fallout people who are having trouble finding the VHS version of Wing Commander at normal rental places should try local supermarkets... he found his copy at one!

WCAir Update

Steve Russell reports that US Airways is showing Wing Commander in July during flights from the US to England. Wouldn't that be the coolest way to see the movie? And isn't it great that the movie is being inflicted on others? According to the airline's movie page five minutes of the film have been edited out. Anybody found out what was removed?

Back in Belgium

Dude mailed a major theater group in Belgium regarding the cancellation of Wing Commander... and according to them, the film has been reset for a September 15th release date! Maybe it'll come to England then too! This isn't certain yet, but it looks good...

Shirts Inbound

Jibbo dropped me a line to let me know that the CIC T-shirts should arrive (and hence be distributed to everyone who's ordered one) on Tuesday! There are still a few available, so if you want one contact him soon!

Our Daily Bread

Since I got the DVD I've been watching the Wing Commander Movie... slowly. There are lots of cool little things you miss on one run-through, but if you take a while to freeze-frame through a scene you'll catch. For example, the recruiting posters and pin-ups in the officer's lounge... there's a picture of a Kat marked 'Warning", a sketch of a WC3 era flight helmet and a picture of KIA Confed pilots marked "Don't Underestimate the Kilrathi". There are a few others... I wonder what happened to them when filming ended? When Paladin announces that the communications ship is actually a transport, his VDU marks it as a Dorkir! Keen! There's a list of escorts for the Concordia, too! (Bracher, Toacka, Sommeria, Cahillier and Walleyer as far as I can tell)... lots of stuff. Spot something cool? Let me know!

Another Reminder

Just another attempt to drum up some support... anyone interested in getting WC4/P or Kilrathi Saga on DVD should email me. Erm, and a quick thanks to Beth over at ATFW for helping to promote this cause...

The Word from France

Thanks to everyone who wrote in to report that Wing Commander is indeed now playing in France. One unusual note, however... it was not distributed by FOX -- but rather by United International. Very odd...

No Knife News

Apparently people couldn't get enough of the Pilgrim Cross! Tuscany Trading Company has updated their web site saying that "Due to some unexpected free advertising for us on this item, demand has outstripped supply by a fair margin. We have ordered additional product and expect to fill orders by the end of the month." I wonder if that was us? If so... sorry! I'm still crossing my fingers and hoping that my order got through. A new shipment should be in by July 23rd, so go ahead and order so they'll know how many to get. For those interested in ordering a cross in Europe, Kris Vanhecke reports that the cost is $20 US for shipping.

Point of Interest

Interesting difference between the DVD and VHS versions of Wing Commander. At the beginning of chapter 16 of the DVD version you'll find the line "Security check, Alpha 2. Nothing to report in this quadrant. Everything looks A-OK. Wait, what the? {Explosion} Picking up three bogies, Kilrathi fighters. Tiger's Claw, this is Alpha Leader. I've got three, no, six bogies. I say again, six... mayday, mayday!" (The voice belongs to Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site's Dan Finkelstein, BTW). In the VHS rental version, however, the line is barely audible and possibly cut down... which makes the following scene where Gerald comments on radio silence being broken seem rather unusual.

WC in the Air

TARANTULA mentioned to me that Wing Commander was listed as one of the films shown by an airline during a trans-atlantic flight. He didn't get to see it, but wouldn't it be cool to see WC on an airplane? Let's all take trans-atlantic flights immediately...

The Movie in 3D

Shaggy over at Dan's Wing Commander Movie Site's Chat Board posted this about how the Wing Commander Movie works with 3D Glasses... sounds very cool, I'd test it if I weren't blind in one eye.
Smegmelon is a close friend of mine and he told me about using some 3D glasses on some movies that weren't meant to be 3D. Star Trek Generations and SW Episode one are great examples of films that weren't designed to be 3D but are. Wing Commander is one of the best films to date to show this quality. The best example is the scene when you first see the Kilrathi ConCom ship, while Blair and Angel are hiding in the asteroids. The forward thrust fins of the ship stick out quite well from the screen. Of course the film was designed for these attributes so some times the dimension effects come off looking kind of like the look of a Viewmaster, but in every scene is does create a better defined division between foreground objects and the background. Now what's that you say, you don't have any 3D glasses? That's fine too, just call 1-800-232-0324 and they should be able to hook you up with some of the right kind of glasses, the right lense needs to be light green and the left needs to be dark purple. When you start the movie watch the previews with the glasses on so your eyes have a chance to get used to the glasses, your left eye is supposed to dilate a little but it won't damage your vision. Have fun with it.

Our Daily Bread

I just want to thank Mark Day for sending me something VERY! cool. I owe you big time, man...

DVD Review

Well, I went against all odds and grabbed a copy of Wing Commander DVD from Circuit City today (and a shout out to my pal Samcat for making that possible). Here's my review...

Good: The video quality is far and away superior to that of the VHS version -- in particular, the CGI sequences look incredible. The interactive menus (by B1 Media are excellent! They're very animated -- very cool. The DVD's paper insert includes (in addition to the usual cast list) small cast bios (although Paladin's photo is wrong -- they used Gerald instead!).

Bad: At a list price of $34, this is an expensive disc... and although I wasn't expecting them, it would have been wonderful to have the extra scenes thrown in. That would have made the price more than worth it, and have given us a chance to decide whether or not it was confusing. Maybe if it sells well enough we'll see a special edition...

Amazing Sales

Wing Commander has appeared en masse at Blockbusters, Hollywoods, etc, everywhere -- and people report that it's selling very well! People have reported that the movie is 50 to 100 percent sold out at many locations. Over half of DVD Express' initial stock of 1100 copies have been ordered, and DVD Empire lists the movie as its number four best seller! Maybe it'll pull an Austin Powers and get a sequel off of video sales...

It's FINALLY Here!

Brace yourselves... after months of waiting the coolest possible thing you will ever buy is finally available to order! I speak, of course, of the Pilgrim Cross, which is now featured at Tuscany Trading Company -- and, get this, it's only $36! Buy it now! Have it in time for ten days from now! (Oh, thanks for delivering this news, Vaaseul.)
This authentic reproduction features a cast metal handle intricately detailed with gold color accents and a 4-7/8" 420 stainless steel blade that can be displayed in the fully extended position, mounted on the black lacquered plaque, or removed to wear the cross on the stainless steel neck chain included. This knife is officially licensed and each one includes a certificate of authenticity.

See it in France

Today's the day Wing Commander was to be released in France (useless fact: I used to live in Aix-en-Provence)... is there anyone out there who can drop us a line and let us know whether or not it was released?

Get Out There And Vote

It's something I've noticed several times and never given more than a frustrated second thought. LocoMan reminded us this morning that there's more on the Internet Movie Database than the Wing Commander Movie. The movie has gotten 557 votes, but according to the IMDB, Wing Commander 3, Wing Commander 4 and Prophecy haven't even received the necessary five votes to tally an average. Maybe it's an IMDB bug with video games, but on the chance that it's not, get out there and vote. You can find the WC3 entry here, the WC4 entry here and the Prophecy entry here. There is also an entry for Wing Commander Academy, but it doesn't have a voting option.

A Look Back at Wing Commander 2

Rick Stutz, CEO/Editor of 3dgaming.net sent us the following about their look back at the classic Wing Commander 2.
It's time to whip out your joystick and prepare for some raunchy action once again as... hold on, I think that sentence might have some innuendo if you take it the wrong way. Ok, I'll try again. It's time to plug in your joystick and load up an old copy of Wing Commander 2, because 3DGN's newest Look Back talks about just that. Warning, this article may make you wish to play the game again.
You can find the somewhat lengthy article here.

Unlimited Replayability is Here!

If you're in the US, today's the big day for July. The DVD goes on sale today and the video is up for rental. Here's Vincent Formosa's DVD case cover again. LOAF probably has something witty to say here, so I'll leave the rest up to him.

More WC Theater Sightings

Rob Murphy reports that several theaters up in the Vancouver, BC, Canada are once again showing the movie. He's also heard from friends that theaters Victoria are also showing it. If you're in the Pacific Northwest and want to catch it one last time before video/DVD, here's your chance.

New SETI@home Software Version Released

A new version of the SETI@home software has been released for Windows. I've found that version 1.05 runs at least twice as fast as 1.0. There are a couple other minor neat features as well. Newer versions for other platforms are expected soon. You can get 1.05 here. The CIC SETI@home section can be found here.

Who Says WC Is Dead?

Story time...once upon a time (Read: 5 minutes ago) I was searching with the domain search engine.. and what I found is the first real evidence that work on an online WC game has been started! All but 3 days ago, Origin registered two domain names : privateeronline.com and privateeronline.net. Right now there is nothing there, but hey, give it time...

Happy Fourth!

To all you Americans out there, here's to hoping you have a good 4th of July. I'm off to DC to watch the fireworks...

Copying a Copy

Several people (thanks!) have reported that the 'gold plate' VCD is simply a copy of a normal VCD burned with your average CD burner. If that's what you want, head over to VCD Paradise.

Aftermath

Equalizer asks that I post this -- about a project to create a Privateer addon... sounds cool, let them know if you can help!
Greetings Everyone. Well we've all waited a long time and there has been no Privateer 3. Now with Origin's announcement that they will be focusing more on multiplayer games a new single player Privateer is looking very unlikely. So it comes to us, the Wing Commander fans, this page is dedicated to the production of a fan made Privateer game. Privateer: Aftermath. This game will be distributed freely over the internet at absolutely no cost. The game is currently in the early stages and anyone with any ideas please e-mail me with them, please title the e-mail "Aftermath Ideas". Anyone interest in joining the project please e-mail me and title the e-mail "Interested In Joining The Team".

Send all your e-mails to Equalizer@collegeclub.com

And for more info go to http://confederation.simplenet.com/Aftermath/

An Exciting Contest!

Richard Bowden (Peter Telep's webmaster) informs be that there will be a contest to design a banner for Mr. Telep's Wing Commander site. The contest will run from July 15th to September 15th, and the prize is an autographed copy of Pilgrim Stars. Keen! The specific rules and such should be available soon. Check out the details here.

First DVD Report

Darkener reports that his Circuit City (in Atlanta) has already put out their copies of Wing Commander DVD. He grabbed a copy (at $30) and reports it has the trailer (a different trailer) and two television ads on it. It does not, however, contain the expected production notes or filmmaker bios. WC should hit the shelves everywhere on Tuesday.

Sticking it to WCP

John P. Wilson also reports that Prophecy and Prophecy Gold boxes at Wal-Marts and Targets now sport 2x2" stickers shaped like film frames identifying them as "The Game Series Which Inspired the Movie "Wing Commander!". I'll try to get a picture...

French Review

Here's a Wing Commander review from Viper -- it's from a magazine called Ciné-Live.
In 655 years, space adventures of a team of shock confronted with an unpleasant species of small beasts, the Kilrathi, on corridors of navigation in the hyperspace, trapped as an underwood in period of the hunting and, worst undoubtedly, with a production whose budget would make laugh many credit institutions. This film is before intended for all those, rather young, who liked the video game which it takes as a starting point. One would expect to find the shiver sympathetic nerve of the pleasure of playing ... Beautiful challenge when one knows the degrees of requirement which testifies this public.

Unfortunately, as for the game, it is very difficult not to think of some other adventures cosmic. (like Star Wars).

Special effects also suffer from an obvious lack of means. And we feel that the ellipses are there as much to circumvent a scene in CGI, that a budget which one could describe as 0. And all this would be still excusable without this extremely debatable esthetics néo archaic and a realization where each shock confere with the camera a extatic stability of power pick. Regret

In 2 words: which is the common point between the space vacuum, a black hole and the script of this film?

0 / 4 stars

Keen XvT Ships

Epsilon9 discovered a page with patches for X-Wing Alliance which allow you to fly several different Wing Commander fighters. Go here to check 'em out. There's a Hellcat, Banshee and Dralthi.

More from the Store

People from cities all over the US have written to say that their Blockbuster's have gotten in LARGE shipments of Wing Commander. John P. Wilson reports that the Blockbuster in South Austin has up two WC posters, and prominently displays the name on the 'Coming Soon' list. I'll head to my local store with the digital camera as soon as possible...

Same Old Reminder

Want WC games on DVD? Keep the mails coming! It's very very important! For more specific information check out the intial post here. And I'd like to thank everyone who's written in so far!

Norwegian Movie Review

J7 posted this Wing Commander review to agwc... it's from a Norwegian newspaper, and it's the first bad European review I've seen. Here goes...
ONE BIG BLACK HOLE

WARNING: Now the video-game "Wing Commander" has become a movie.

By: Anders Grønneberg
Friday 25th. June 1999 13:25

Watching this american science fiction crap is like being bombed back to the stoneage. The non-plot from the 27th century is set in 27-th century spaceships loaded with deathbringing missiles and actors without manuscripts. Young space pilots of both sex'es saves the world from the nasty and murderish Kilrathies {ndash} and wins eachothers hearts. If the earth ever gets invaded by evilness, the relief is that the evilness altso destroys all the crappy movie production.

Dice: 1/6

GameSpot Vote

GameSpot has a 'vote for your favorite Space Sim' poll set up here. You can win something I don't understand, so go support WC.

Bigger than we Expect?

Devin Howe reports that the Blockbuster Video where he works in New Jersey received an entire box of Wing Commander tapes for rental -- as opposed to the normal one or two copies. Apparently other stores in his area got in similar amounts -- and WC is mentioned in that advertising tape shown at Blockbusters. FOX is expecting something big, perhaps?

Keep 'em Coming!

There's been a great response to yesterday's post about Wing Commander DVDs. Please keep the e-mails coming, I need as many interested people as possible to contact me!

Our Daily Bread

Lots of image-laden updates today. I went to see South Park and Wild Wild West yesterday... and I highly reccomend the first -- I was really surprised at how good it was. WWW was so-so, and I sort of regret having seen it... because that stupid WWW song totally screwed up my memory of all the music in SP. The moral of this story is never see movies.

A Bit on the VCD

Brian Fasano reports on the Wing Commander VCD bootleg that's floating around... I think he says it best himself --
Hey, I got my copy of the WC Movie on CD. It came from Indonesia and was on two recordable CD's. I haven't had a chance to watch the entire thing yet, but it looks like somebody brought a video camera into the theatre and taped it that way because the edges of the movie are cut off. It also has subtitles in some foreign language, I'm assuming it is whatever language they speak in Indonesia.

GSAT Answers

GameSpot posted the answers to the GSAT! The GSAT was a difficult test we reported the existence of last year... it gauged your gaming knowledge. Not telling how I scored...

GameSpot Winners

The folks over at GameSpot have also apparently contacted the winners of their Wing Commander contest from a while back... and the grand prize winner was the CIC's own Hadrian. Since he wants to brag, here's what he won...

After Action Report

Ramrod sent in this report about the recent Peter Telep book signing... sounds keen -- if he does another one, I'll prolly head down there for it.
Attached is a picture of Peter Telep from the book signing in Winter Park, Fl. we were late getting there in that we hit bad weather along the interstate (a thunderstorm and it was raining cats (sorry Kilrathis) and dogs. When then got lost in Winter Park. We stopped and called ahead and asked how long Peter would be there and he was gracious enough to wait! I had to get a few books signed. Not only was he signing the WC books but Descent one too. I got both titles signed. He talked with us for about thirty minutes. We talked about books, educational matters (trying to convince him to teach a writer's course on the internet for us fan fic types, his research for war scenarios, his Sept book). Oh yes, he spoke VERY HIGHLY of you and the help you gave him with background material (Hmm...therein lies a tale Loaf) He is looking for those war scenarioes for his class to research. He is teaching a class "War in Literature" and is giving his students, as a project, the assignment to find examples in literature. Also spoke with his web meister, who works for microsoft. He was telling me that everything in the movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley" is true. We also discussed Windows 98, 2000, and 2002.

All and all it was a great trip. We are to keep in touch. He even dida special autographed one for my BL club that I scanned and had posted to thesite.

He also sent a picture...

France Release

Word from Marc Charlot is that Wing Commander is still due out July 7th. Posters have appeared with this date -- and here's the interesting thing... they're based on the 'early design' posters we found at the Digital Anvil offices when we went down for the premiere. It's been given the (much cooler) tagline "Among the stars, War has already begun." Here's the picture we took...

Shirts On the Way!

The shirts have been ordered, and they should be in by the 12th! There are about four extras left, so if you want to buy one you should contact Jibbo ASAP!

IMPORTANT Poll

Are you interested in the possibility of either a commercially available WC4/WCP or a Kilrathi Saga DVD? If so, e-mail me here. I should re-iterate that this is for research purposes and that no such product is in currently available... but if you want to see either of these things, write and let me know! It's VERY important!

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