One of Our Chris' is Missing

Attention all trivia players and Crid fans: unfortunately Chris Reid will be away offline for a while dealing with personal matters. Please join us in wishing him a speedy return.

Hilarity No Longer Ensues

After a year of posting a news update taken from Privateer 2 each day, the well has finally run dry -- people who didn't like them can now rejoice, and the people who thought they were amusing can find them all in the CIC's 2789 Archive. A much belated thanks to Cpl Hades for helping me extract them so very long ago.

Mod-ifications

Voidsurfer, webmaster of the Fleet Action Homeworld mod sends this response to the recent PC Zone article...
FYI, while it is cool that we got into an article, a lot of the info the article was inaccurate. They said that we have ships that are not released yet (carriers/perry naval base), and they refer to the old site (even though we had already moved at the time of the interview). Also, IMHO, I think that former WC fans like the mod, as opposed to the article's statement that they would not want it.

I should have our mod's model archive up in the next few days. I finally recieved the backups, but got slammed with a lot of college assignments. They are in *.MAX format, and some of them have the textures included.

So, in conclusion, our current site is at http://www.strategyplanet.com/homeworld/fleetaction/

The old page refers you to the new one, but it is easier to go directly :)

Call for Help Hoes Out as Famine Strikes Janus IV

Report by Colin McClarty on Janus IV. Panic has struck Janus IV since last night, when Prefect Dristil confirmed a planet-wide famine to be in effect. Blaming excessive solar radiation leading to poor harvests, Dristil highlighted drastic shortages of Grain, Fertilite and Livestock. An interplanetary appeal for aid has gone out, and any independant traders who can assist have been promised generous compensation for their efforts.

(Fleet) Action News!

Pedro sends the below extract from PC Zone -- articles on the Fleet Action mod for Homeworld from their Extended Play section...
Fleet Action
Filename:FA_MOD_5_29_0005.zip
Homepage: www.geocities.com/voidsurfer_2000
Size: 821kb
Rating: ***
In a nutshell: Subtitled as a tribute to Wing Commander, Fleet Action includes all the top ships from the top selling game, including Carriers, Thunderbolts and the Perry Naval Base.

Caption: Wing Commander fans will go damp at the thought of playing their fave game with Homeworld.

Both Wing Commander: Prophecy and Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom were stunning games in their time, and it only seems fitting that the slicker Homeworld engine should give craft from the WC series a new lease of life. Although not exactly a carbon copy of the Electronic Arts original, this mod should keep space combat fans happy with their hands clamped firmly around their joysticks: many of the evocative ship names from the original title are included, together with the rather large and imposing Perry naval base. Our only reservation is that many homeworld owners will already either have Wing Commander or Privateer on their shelves, and are thus unlikely to be that aroused by the thought of mutating their Homeworld game for something they've already played.

And a description of the original Wing Commander from an article on All Time Classics...
Wing Commander (8/10)
The Original space combat game spawned the first big-budget PC series. In fact, the Wing Commander series was so hugely successful that they went and made a film. Ineveitably, this was absolute rubbish and the public stayed away in their millions. Will these people never learn.

Happy Birthday!

"In the distant future, mankind is locked in a deadly war..."

It is exactly ten years ago today that those eleven words first drew us into the Wing Commander universe -- and we've had one hell of a ride since. From fighting Vega Campaign to seeing a major motion picture, we've been lucky enough to enjoy a decade worth of Wing Commander. It hasn't just entertained us -- it's brought us together, created some of the best friendships we'll ever have and given us something to believe in.

Here's to another decade.

Now. our present: the original design document for Wing Commander, which was then-titled Squadron. Thanks to Joe and Paula for finding this treasure.

The Worst of Both Worlds

TyeDyeBoy came across an interesting (by which I mean awful) piece of fan fiction:
Someone wrote a Star Wars fanfic. It was bad. Someone else came along and did an MST 3000 remix of that fic. It was better. But in that remix, they make a small mention of WC.
Here's a little snippet:
"Leia, please. Be strong. I've lived my life. I've been through too much, and now I deserve my rest."

MIKE: Yeah, it was hard not to notice the shift from enthusiastic youth of the Star Wars years to the melancholic warmonger of Wing Commander.

Leia pulled out of the one sided embrace and looked into her brother's eyes.

TOM: SLEEEEEP!
You can read the rest here, but you probably shouldn't...

For The Creditly Impaired

Luke Nowacki from England reports that he bought his Best Games 4 package in an Electronic Boutique near Sheffield for £30 ($40 US). He added that it's a great package, but that it doesn't come with the manuals like the originals do. EB is a pretty big chain, so it shouldn't be too hard to get hold of a copy. And you wouldn't need a credit card to buy it.

Kershwin Makes Plea to Single Mothers

Sirrek Engsley reports. Jak Kershwin, the Minister for People in the Interplanetary Congress, has appealed to single mothers to remain firm in adversity. He went on record yesterday as saying 'Statistics prove that single parent families often produce the largest and most varied section of new population, and are responsible for some of the most individualistic and ambitious members of our society. I would plead with all single-parents everywhere to stand fast, and ask all members to cherish this hugely productive and important population group for the resource that it is.'

Commodore Blair's Hair Salon

After killing billions of Kilrathi and nearly being eaten by a giant bug, Christopher Blair was ready for something new. So what was the logical thing to do? Right, open up a hair salon. I'm not sure what all the art is doing at ChristopherBlair.com, but Angelique will give you a Spiral Perm for just $125. Thanks to Delance.

Wing Commander DVD Region 2?

Alvin Ljoså lets us know that the Wing Commander movie will be released in Denmark on October 4. It's still unclear if it will be the Region 2 edition, but if it is, the rest of Europe could follow. Anyone can order the Region 1 disk, but most European DVD players can't play it (without some kind kind of hardware or software modification).

Are You L33t Enough?

Marcin Piontek seemed pretty excited about this, so I'll let him do the talking.
There is a very interesting article on WINE in Polish edition of September PC WORLD COMPUTER (http://www.pcworld.com.pl/nowynumer/index.html). WINE is an application which allows to run Windows based applications when using Linux operation system. You may imagine my surprise when I found out that http://www.linuxgames.com/wine/ to find some other info and even a couple of screenshots: http://www.linuxgames.com/wine/wc_screen.php3 Good news for those who prefer Linux! I wonder whether anyone tried to play Kilrathi Saga and WCIV using WINE and Linux? As linuxgames.com asks for any information about the games that can be played under Linux, perhaps it is a good opportunity to promote WC games also among theLinux users.
If you know of Wing Commander games that run on alternative Operating Systems with the aid of a Windows or DOS emulator, (i.e. Linux, BeOS,...) be sure to let us know.

New Trivia Questions and Commentary

We're up to week ninety in the second main trivia game. Ten weeks can be a long time, but before we know it this will be up to a hundred. Along with your answers this week I'd appreciate it if you added a little note about where you see the game going after Week 100. Possible options include suspension of general trivia, extension of this game beyond Week 100, taking a temporary break or starting a new game with a new scoreboard.
New Questions for Week 90 (starting September 17, 2000):
Question 179: Describe the circumstances surrounding the death of Mariko Tanaka.
Question 180: Describe the circumstances surrounding the death of Svetlana Ivanova.
Bonus 90: Describe the circumstances surrounding the death of Jeannette Devereaux.
Please send answers in here.

The Inevitable Freespace Mod

Some prelimary work in this direction sound familiar, but James Carthew wrote to let us know that they're working on a project to integrate various Wing Commander ships into the original Descent: Freespace. You might contact him if that's your kind of thing.

Homeworld Mod Still Looking Sharp

Fleet Action, the Homeworld mod, has made some definite progress and they're not awaiting tools to upgrade construction of it for the Homeworld addon. I'll let Voidsurfer hit the main points.
1) After Gamespy had some server problems, all of our file downloads were mysteriously deleted. While I recompressed and reuploaded the mod files (sneaking a bug fix into the mod), our model archive downloads are down. What model archive, you ask? Well, although we never really made a big deal of it, we do have a model archive of some of the WC ships in our mod, and some ships that we are not planning to use. These models are primarily intended for mod use. We do have a few ships that the Armada mod doesn't have in their model archive. While you can't download any of the available models until I contact the person with the backup files, you can still lookat screenshots of them. A direct link to our model archive pages is below:
here
Note: Model contributions are always welcome.

2) We are going to be porting the mod from HW to HW:C (Homeworld: Cataclysm). It has more features and a better interface, so that's the sensible thing to do. We are not sure if we will still make a version for HW, that depends on how much we have to change the mod for HW:C.

3) The mod is officially ON HOLD until editing tools are upgraded/developed for HW:C. In particular, the model format is slightly different and there is currently no compatible converter available at this time (to my knowledge).

While our team has several other mod ideas that we would like to try, we still plan to produce more ships with the FA mod. However, sometimes we might work on another project, then come back to the FA mod, and/or randomly release updates.

-Voidsurfer

You can find more on Fleet Action here

Cheaper Best Games 4 Package Found

Tarjei Cederloev found one more place with the Best Games 4 package that has a slightly cheaper price. SoftwareFirst has it here. It goes for £22.99 (US$32.99), which is even more appealing. They also ship worldwide (as opposed to Western Europe and North America). Worldwide airmail shipping is £3.50 (US$4.89). You can find their shipping faq here.

PC Games Prophecy Ranking Clarification

We've got a bit of an update on the ranking of Prophecy as the #1 PC Games simulation that we reported about last week. Earlier we stated the survey could have been an "of all time" sort of thing since Prophecy was on there, but apparently they do remove games more than a few years old. TAFKAW let us know that the earlier Wing Commander games earned even higher scores than the current-#1 ranked Prophecy. Compared to Prophecy's 90, Privateer received a 92, WC4 received 93 and WC3 got a whopping 96, which may have been the highest rating of all time in all categories.

Prophecy Gold Apparently For Sale Again

Tarjei Cederloev has found an exciting new game bundle that is apparently carrying Wing Commander Prophecy Gold. A package called "The Biggest Names, The Best Games 4" has six games including Dungeon Keeper 2, Sports Car GT, System Shock 2, World War 2: Fighters, World Cup Cricket, and Wing Commander Prophecy Gold.

It has been sighted in a local shop called Ram & Rom in Tromso, Norway for about NKR 299 (US$32.20). Two online stores have also been found to carry it: www.spillshop.no for NKR399 (US$42.97) here and www.gameplay.com for £25.99 ($36.54) here. There are probably other locations as well. I don't know of any people who have actually bought this yet, so if you do, please send a review in.

Crimson Skies Goes Gold

I know a few Wing Commander fans have been interested in the progress of a flight sim called Crimson Skies. It takes place in an alternate reality 1930's environment with air pirates and privateerish gameplay I believe. The game has just gone gold and so should be out around the end of the month. You can find a detailed Gamespot feature on the game here.

Wing Commander Subspace Zone Under Construction

The latest fan project in the works is a mod for Subspace. If you never played it, it's a multiplayer arcade shooter from 1996. At first it seems very simple, but it can be very difficult to master. It can also be addictive. For more information check out the Subspace HQ. You can download version 1.35 for free here. If you're looking for tips or someone to play with, occassionally some of us play. You might want to stop by #Wingnut and see if any players are around.
I'm currently planning a Wing Commander Subspace zone. The zone will be as close as technically possible to the WC style we all love. If all goes to plan, this will be what WC fans have been waiting for(apart from an official release of Wing Commader:Online).
What I have planned so far:
a.. Set in WC3, Confed Vs Kilrathi
b.. Confed ships:
Hellcat
Thunderbolt
Excalibur
TCS Victory(ranger class)
a.. Kilrathi ships:
Dralthi
Vaktoth
Strakha
Sar'Hrai(Bhant'kara class)
a.. systems intead of bases(based on WC system map(not all of it))
b.. jumping between systems(this will be worked on for a while, we will have stand-in methods while we are developing the zone)
c.. Carrier based tactics/using carriers(with all their 'turrets') will be a worth-while stratagem
d.. replacement graphics and sounds from WC
Well, I hope that was enough to whet your appetite. I'll update later on when I need some staff for various jobs. The main thing I need is a host for the zone. If you would be able to get us a host (please, no modems), you can contact me at Cfowler-Filler@powerup.com.au.
I look forward to shooting you full o'holes in WCZ (when it is finally running).
Did he just call me a name?

Answers To Life's Greatest Mysteries

Are you in the mood to let your hair down and relax? Well, if this were the mail bag we'd tell you to get a freakin haircut. But since this is the main CIC page, we'll just point you to our latest attempt at showing you the lighter side of things here. This time you'll discover exactly why the latest Wing Commander game was cancelled, how to properly use eBay, and why we didn't just play nice with the Nephilim. There's a guest appearance by Byydo, and we even perform all our own stunts. You can find the September 14 edition of the mail bag here. Back issues can be found here.

New Question Set Available

Week 89 is now up. Speaking of the mail bag (last week's update), hopefully we'll have another one very shortly. Anyhow, here's the questions.
New Questions for Week 89 (starting September 12, 2000):
Question 177: Who was a wing commander of the TCS Tiger's Claw?
Question 178: Who was a wing commander of the TCS Austin?
Bonus 89: Who was a wing commander of the TCS Tarawa?
You can send in answers here.

Wing Commander Prophecy Ranked #1 Simulation

Karl Frank has found an interesting simulation game ranking in the September 2000 issue of PC Games. They rank a wide variety of sims, from flight sims, to space sims to robot sims. Each game in the listing is ordered by its "class" and "review rating," then listed alphabetically with its peers. Prophecy received a score of 90. Just one game, Comanche Gold, received a higher rating with 92, however it was classed one step lower. So this effectively means that Prophecy is the number one ranked sim of all time in this multi-year survey. For comparison to Prophecy's 90, other high rankers included Diablo 2 with a 91 (not in the sim category), X-Wing Alliance with an 88 and the original Freespace with an 86.

Blast from the Past: Multiplayer Clans

Claw Marks came across an old relic from the days when a simple modern multiplayer Wing Commander game seemed mere months away. The online directory ClanList has an old forum for Wing Commander. It looks all ready to start building clans. I wish we could tell when it was made.. but the closest I can narrow it down to is "pre-1999." Which is about what you'd expect. You can find the WC Clan List page here. Someone should submit a clan for the heck of it..

Movie Video Available in Brazil

Guilherme de Mesquita was at a Brazilian Blockbuster recently and it appears the Brazilian translation of the WC Movie ("A Batalha Final") is now available. You can both rent it and purchase pre-viewed copies. This probably means it's also available in similar forms in many of the other countries that got late theater screanings of the movie.

Reader Responses to Best Game Cinematics

The July 31 batch of letters highlights the games with the best movies. I recall there being some upset because WC truly shines in this area and didn't get all that much credit. Things begin here.
I've always felt that the Wing Commander series had the best cinematics - particularly Wing Commander IV. I was introduced to the idea of cutscenes that furthered the plot in the original Wing Commander, and I thought they continued to be a huge portion of the game throughout the series (Hobbes' claw marks during the poker games in WC2 were an all-time favorite). In the days of The Price of Freedom, particularly, my friends used to gather around to watch Malcolm McDowell, Mark Hamill, and Tom Wilson ham things up. The production values were good and the stories great.
The production values were like historical all-time records. :) I really like that WC2 cinematic mention there though.
I noticed you missed all of the Wing Commander games! I know a lot of people don't like the gameplay in them, which I love by the way, but nobody can claim that the cinematics of WCIII and WCIV aren't top-notch! There simply aren't any other games out there that ever matched any one of them! Both had enormous sets, rich storylines and talented actors. For one thing, WCIV remains the most expensive computer game to date - because of the cinematics. Isn't that worth at least mentioning?
I recognize some of the authors of these as regular CIC visitors. And again, if you find a batch of letters we missed, please send them in.

Reader Responses to Best Game Series

Up next we have letters talking about the best franchise of all time. Wing Commander was mentioned in the poll if I recall correctly, but it didn't get a feature paragraph. It begins here and WC hum starts here.There's not much on the third page, but you can find dedicated letters after that.

Reader Responses to Massively Multiplayer

Today we've dug up three reader response sections to Gamespot questions of the weeks that each highlight Wing Commander. If you know of any we've missed here (and don't have in the old news archives), please let us know. The first is in regards to Gamespot's Massively Multiplayer editorial. There was a proper WC plug in the full feature, but people still wrote in to ask why there wasn't an actual Privateer Online game yet. You can find it here.
Why hasn't Origin started making an online Wing Commander: Privateer-like game? It seems like it would make sense and have plenty of people interested. Or would the speed of the Internet affect gameplay? Regardless, why haven't they at least tried?
There's a Gamespot editor's note that mentions Freelancer.. too bad they neglect to mention it's not a WC-like space sim nor that Origin did try and EA pulled the plug.

New Non-WC Telep Novel On The Way Out

Peter Telep has been up to the same old thing pretty much, and his next movie-to-novel publication is Red Planet. I think I saw a poster for this movie. Red Planet is scheduled to be published October 3, but there is still no definite word on Pilgrim Truth, but we'll see what happens. You can find more information at the official site of Peter Telep here.

Hmm.. if you replace the a in "planet" with an "e" you could make the word "Telep" out of the letters. Erm, nevermind.

New mirc 5.8 Released

Khaled has done it again! New version 5.8 of the irc client mirc was just released and, as usual, is full of tons of amazing bug fixes and new features. There's a sorta oddish new way logs can be named, there's a weird new beep that goes through your sound card instead of PC speaker, and the program now natively supports playing mp3s in a channel (although we couldn't exactly get that to work right). And it's a new mirc, so that's good enough reason for it to be time for all those who live on irc to upgrade. See you in #Wingnut.

New 'Best Story' QOTD at Gamespot

In their weekly editorial bit, Gamespot asks this week what games have the best stories. There are some games out there with some pretty mind boggling plots, so having a Wing Commander title in there would be arguable of course (that's the point of the QOTD though). However Wing Commander certainly ranks higher than some of the games in the assortment that they've provided us with this week. And for Nut-Boy's sake.. they even give The Sims a nod for allowing you to create your own imaginary story. So if you disagree with their picks, they ask you to email them a letter. It may be printed next week. Thanks to Asterix.
So although EverQuest doesn't provide you with any historical background, you make the story evolve as you write it... ...you're also creating a large interactive story that encompasses all the other players you might interact with.

I'd also say that The Sims has a similar open structure, which allows you to create your own home and family - then you are able to write a story based on lived experiences.

Come on..

Back to Trivia Schedule

After a bit of a break, we now have Week 88 up. What if the world put the same effort into our Mail Bag as the Trivia? We'd have a pretty funny assortment of stuff over there. Anyhow, here's the questions.
New Questions for Week 88 (starting September 3, 2000):
Question 175: What were the modified Raptors that participated in the Enyo Engagement in 2639 primarily carrying for ordnance?
Question 176: What was the modified Sabre that participated in the K'Tithrak Mang assault in 2667 primarily carrying for ordnance?
Bonus 88: What type of missile was the field-produced Gladius that participated on the special ops Heavy Carrier Lexington's 2669 mission to Kilrah primarily carrying for ordnance?
You can send in answers here.

End Run Transcription Now Scanscription

LeHah had this to say about the End Run Online project (hmm.. that's not a bad name). It makes a lot of sense this way and actually be delaying it here it'll probably get done sooner in the long run.
I've put End Run on hold temporarily due to I think I can get ahold of a scanner. If I can, then it'll be done lickety split. IF I can get it.
You can find more on the various fan projects here.

Hobbes Funeral Audio Available

Agora has recorded an mp3 for us of the "missing" Hobbes Funeral cutscene from Wing Commander 3. You might be thinking such a scene does not exist because Hobbes is slated to defect and is virtually invulnerable before that point. However disecting the game reveals there is such a clip. And it is actually accessable through the course of the game. If you lose quickly and often in the very beginning of WC3, you'll be sent to the Proxima/Sol series in short order. Everyone is vulnerable there, and if you lose fast enough, Hobbes will have yet to defect. If he dies there the funeral clip is available. Agora made an mp3 of the scene and we have it available here if you'd like a listen right now.

Happy Labor Day

A good number of you have the day off today and/or are getting ready to go back to school. If you've already started classes, that just sucks. But for the computer geeks in all of us, at least CompUSA, Circut City and the rest have generous Labor Day Sales this weekend. I have some unexpected stuff to attend to today, but trivia will be updated tonight. You have till then to get your answers in.

UO2 World Faire at Origin

Alright, I suppose it's really an Ultima Worlds Online: Origin Faire at the Austin development center for EA Games, but same difference. This November 10 and 11 the artists formerly known as Origin be hosting a big event in Austin. If you attend you'll get a special place in the "UO2" open beta, mingle with the programmers and receive other goodies for the Ultima fanatic. There are even special offers for guilds going down together and stuff like that. Space is also limited and it's not cheap to register. You can find more information here.
Join the ORIGIN and UO teams, as well as Ultima Online players from around the world, in Austin, Texas for the Ultima Online World Faire on November 10-11, 2000 and we'll automatically save a place for you in an early external test phase of ORIGIN. We'll also give you an exclusive sneak peek at the latest progress of ORIGIN at the time of the Faire, and invite you to a special happy hour where you can mingle with the ORIGIN team!

Polish Prophecy Gold Box Art

Although Prophecy Gold has been out in Poland for some time, it apparently got very little promotion which is a shame. However here for all to enjoy are images of the front and back of the box, which have rather a unique look. Copies can be purchased from Empik.com. Thanks go to Marcin Piontek for the info and the scans.

Picture of the Day

This one was also taken about the same time as the End Runs. It's unbalanced on the earlier novels' side. I could have sworn there's a pile of newer books (Action Stations and beyond) somewhere, but it didn't make the cut for this picture. I don't keep them spread out all the time, but it is pretty once in a while.

Movie on British Pay Per View

I'm pretty sure this isn't the first time, but over at the Newsgroup Donald Marshall found in the magazine Ondigital that Wing Commander will be showing on Pay Per View in the month of September. They never got it in regular theaters, so all showings of this sort should benefit a few of our fellow fans over there.

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