From: Tri-System Travel Co.

There is a lone pirate in the system, called Coresh Fakhar, who enjoys killing innocent families who travel on holidays to the nearby resorts. This scum has always fancied his ability to stay quiet and lay low in every remote part of the galaxy accessible to him. But his luck is about to change. Word has just arrived that he is at Nav Point 20.

Kill him, and do a service to humanity.

Ikgara Kutgaga

Tye reports that Phoenix (of the WC: Rebel Assault project) is working on a side project -- a WC-related movie to explain the history of the Drakhai squadron for JumpGate. And here's a picture of the work in progress...

From: Hephaestan Medical Research Centre

A transport ship full of medical supplies has been stolen from a Hephaestan research centre at Nav Point #1, and is being carried now by a band of brigands to Bex, most likely to be sold on the black market. The drug is extremely addictive, so it needs to be destroyed.

It will be somewhere between Nav Point #1 and Nav Point #2. Identify the cargo in all shuttles along this route, and when you find one marked "Med Supplies: Hephaestus", blow it up. Many other cargo ships on this route are ours, so be careful not to blow up any innocent transporters.

Thanks...

... for the ideas! We've gotten some excellent suggestions for new news features -- and we're working to implement several of them very soon! For now, enjoy a Privateer 2 mission each day, while we get our gears turning...

SWC: Done

Well, that's all she wrote for Super Wing Commander ships and characters... I sure hope you've all enjoyed seeing how the other half lives! It was a heck of a lot of fun bringing them to you all -- so if you have any other ideas for cool features, please drop me a line!

Stuff that Looks Like Things, Part 47

The Steltek drone has been located! RFBurns has found it... on Mars! Check out this image, from the Mars Surveyor... hey, Steltek relics have been found on Mars before!

Select This!

KillerWave, known for his great Bablyon 5 ship conversions, has made significant progress on getting new ship models to have selectable compoments in the Vision Engine -- a wonderful advance that's sure to help projects like Unknown Enemy! Check this picture out, where he's targetted the bridge of the Intrepid (wait, the Intrepid has a bridge?)...

Coming to a TV Near You?

The Sci Fi Channel is running promos for the "Summer of Sci Fi" -- their lineup of movies and TV shows for this coming summer... and their TV spots end with a scene from the Wing Commander movie! The commercial ends with a scene of Maniac and Rosie freezing for the pulsar jump... does this mean that we can expect to see our favorite movie on a major cable network? Or has Chris Roberts masterwork been relegated to the cheap-clip bin somewhere? We may never know... well, we probably will.

Memorial Day

To those readers in the United States, today is Memorial Day -- a holiday for remembering those who have served to defend our way of life, and thus allow us to defend the Confederation in our own right. So take a moment to reflect on all that -- and whatever you do, don't go see Pearl Harbor. Because it was the worst movie ever.

Merry Chris-mas

And here's another worthwhile memorial: Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts turned 33 yesterday. Happy Birthday, Mister Roberts.

Victory, Melek...

The Wing Commander Music Petition has succeeded! The Fatman is now working on plans to release a Wing Commander 1 soundtrack, thanks to everyone's interest! You've all done Wing Commander a great service -- you've proved that fans still care, and you've gotten us a new product! You all deserve more than we can offer you... but accept our eternal gratitude, none the less.

Trivia 3, Week 31

If this week's trivia were a character's age in the PC version of Claw Marks, it'd be that of Major Michael "Iceman" Casey.
Welcome to Game Three, Week Thirty-One Trivia. We play each week. Every Monday two main questions and one bonus question are posted to alt.games.wing-commander and listed at the CIC. Please email answers to CReid1701@aol.com or ChrisReid@wcnews.com. Be sure to include a name you would like to be known under for the Scoreboard that will be up soon. Have your answers in before this coming Sunday (June 3, 2001) to ensure your answers are recorded. Answers submitted early may be returned and you may be able to fix incorrect answers, time permitting. Main questions answered correctly are good for 5 points, bonuses good for 3.

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Answers to Questions from Week 30 (starting May 21, 2001):

Question 59: Who said, "In the words of John Paul Jones, 'I have not yet begun to dogfight'?"
Hint: The actual quote may have been "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight."

Question 60: Who said, "Colonel, I respectfully request a real mission, not busy-work?"
Hint: The colonel being referred to is female.

Bonus 30: Who said, "I'm not going to do the Confederation's war effort much good if I'm dead, now am I?"

*****Because of the difficulty and late scoring, if you did not correctly answer Week 30 questions, you now have a short grace period to make another attempt before the answers are posted.

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New Questions for Week 31 (starting May 28, 2001):

Question 61: What are three fighters that carry exactly three main guns?

Question 62: What is a fighter that carries exactly three regular missiles?

Bonus 31: What are the distinctions of three different Excalibur variants?

Submissions are due by June 3, 2001.

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Please email answers to ChrisReid@wcnews.com and do not post directly to the Newsgroup. Thanks.

SWC Character of the Day: Jazz

So you're Lt. Blair? I hear you're a real hotshot pilot, the best on the Tiger's Claw. Call me Jazz. I'm a combat pilot on the TCS Austin, and a jazz pianist on the side. But what I'd really like is to be transferred to a ship like the Tiger's Claw. I'm already imagining what I could do if I was stationed here. It'd be great. You guys definitely need a piano in your Rec Room, though. Just like we have on the Austin. I usually play there several nights a week. You should come over and listen sometime.

Payvateer

Eldar-colonel, of the HQ Network, reports that the staff of the aforementioned website has done a Privateer flashback article. HQGaming is a pay network -- but you can test it out for free for a limited time, if you're especially interested in what they have to say about Privateer. Find out more here.

And Brains that Eat Lasers

Weird theories continue to show up, as you'll see below... Kn'thrak claims to have found a Grikath in an episode of Futurama! Here's what he says...
When watching an episode of "Futurama - 3x08 - That's Lobstertainment" I noticed a ship do a fly by of the Space Delivery Building. I put the video into slow motion and noticed it to be a Kilrathi ship from the series Wing Commander - Academy. I made a screenshot and a video cature of the Kilrathi shop.

Video Cature from Futurama Episode
http://users.bigpond.net.au/knthrak/Kilrathi%20Ship%20in%20Futurama.avi

Screenshot from Futurama Episode
http://users.bigpond.net.au/knthrak/Kilrathi Spotted.jpg

Video Capture from WCA
http://users.bigpond.net.au/knthrak/WCA Kilrathi Attack.avi

Screenshot from WCA
http://users.bigpond.net.au/knthrak/WCA - 1x03 - The Most Delicate Instrument - Kilrathi ships screenshot.jpg

Academy Mirror, Episode 1

Get Episode 1 of Wing Commander Academy here, thanks to Tye. I'm too tired to think of anything interesting to say about Red & Blue -- save that I'm horrified that you haven't downloaded it already. Go!

Trivia Reminder

Please remember to have your Week 30 AGWC/CIC Trivia responses in by Sunday night, so we can all see what happens next!

SWC Character of the Day: Doomsday

Good day, Maverick. I am Lt. Etienne 'Doomsday' Montclair. Yes, I can see that you're curious. What you see is the markings of a Maori warrior. Let me tell you, Maverick...I have considered our position here in the Firekka System. Even if we were to retreat immediately, I doubt we would survive. This is undoubtably the worst tactical situation I've ever seen. Aboard the Austin, many people laugh about my grim predictions. Despite my certainty that we will eventually be defeated by the Kilrathi--- ---we have survived to succeed thus far. But this time, I am certain there is no escape for us.

Evildence

Amazing happenstance or freakishly pointless prank? Read the below message from TecoFlager , and then MAKE THE CALL.
For three years I have had this...problem..with my privater game. It seems that this only happens to me, not quite sure why, but I have done this with two priv CDs. When I meet sandovol for the first time on New Detroit and finish speeking to him is where things become odd. Now If I click on sandovol a second time, he goes thru his speech about get to it..blah..blah your mission is ..blah ..blah.. For your soul! In a different voice none the less. I made the recording on a minitape recorder I got last summer. I stoped playing privater for a year the first time I heard this thing....

WC:TNG

The June 2001 issue of Next Gen magazine talks about Wing Commander in their 'Retroview' section -- located on page 94. Here's the rub: "Wing Commander established Chris Roberts as an elite game designer, a status he enjoys to this day." Wing Commander was the June 1990 coverstory for Next Gen.

Region... Two The Extreme!

It's a great big crazy world -- and large portions are just chock-full of Europeans... realizing this, FOX has finally released a Region 2 DVD of Wing Commander -- which, presumably, is twice as good as a Region 1 DVD (and 32,427 times as good as the DIVX version). Read all about it (in German) here.

SWC Character of the Day: Hunter

You're Maverick, right? They call me Hunter, mate. G'day. Spirit 'ere was tellin' me about your tumble with the hairballs. Sounds like you really mixed it up out there. 'At's the way, isn't it, mate? Just you and some hairball, twistin' about, tryin' t'get a missile lock... Formations, uniforms, medals, wingmen ... that's all sheepdip. All a bruce can count on out there is 'imself and 'is missiles.

Monkeys in a Tube

And in related news, I've ordered a package of Monkeys in a Tube, thanks to Frosty. Will they live up to the hype? Only time will tell -- so we'll follow this story as it develops, bringing you up-to-the minute coverage of Monkeys in a Tube. (Not pictured: a tube).

Happy Birthdeath

A belated Happy Birthday to Death, who is as much of a CIC staff member as I am... my only regret is that this update has to be posted next to the one about monkeys in a tube. Anyway, wish him a happy birthday, people...

Trailer Available!

RoboDan's previously mentioned Wing Commander teaser trailer is available -- the prelude to his full trailer! Think that sounds confusing? It sure as heck is -- but put it out of your mind and head over to his site (here) to download the video -- a 1:18 minute short (8.12 MB) which requires Windows Media 8. It's very well done!

SWC Character of the Day: Bossman

Sit down, Maverick. They call me Bossman. I've been watching you. You look good for a rookie. You handle yourself well in a dogfight... ...but we're going to be facing some bigger ships soon. A lot of young pilots get excited when they see their first destroyer... ...they lose their heads and go straight in for the battleship. Then a light fighter they forgot about blasts them from behind. Big ships move slow and turn like pigs. Thing to do is clean up the fighter cover first... ...then go in for the battleship.

Wing Commander and the Philosophers Stone

Wing Commander is mentioned in a not-too-flaterring comment as part of an article over at CNN (about Harry Potter, no less) -- any publicity you can walk away from...

SWC Character of the Day: Maniac

Hey, Maverick. I'm Maniac. Glad to meetcha. Bossman says we're gonna see some action against some battleships soon. I can't wait... Dodging flak and fighter cover to make a missile run at a destroyer... Man, that'll be a rush. Get in there quick, waste the mama cat... ...then pick the kittens off one by one. That's the way to do it.

Cultural Reference

Dralthi5 noticed an interesting Wing Commander mention -- Monday's edition of Jeopardy! had a catagory called "Sch"wing"", which included the following answer: "A rank in the Royal Air Force or a space combat video game." Neat...

Freelancer Mentions

GameKult has posted an interview with Erin Roberts -- who's still with Digital Anvil, and apparently working on FreeLancer. It's in French, so here's my translation... Thanks to LancersReactor!
Unfortunately, we could only see the combat portion of Freelancer, perhaps because this is the domain of Erin Roberts -- whereas the adventure portion is the work of his brother Chris. We have been able to confirm that the gameplay will be the same quality as Privateer, with a main plot and a mass of other missions. The player will actually be able to choice his methof od play (merchant, mercenary or pirate?). Although the main plot will lack the persistant online mode, Erin Roberts confirmed that new missions will regularly be added, and that it is probable that the offline game will profit from updates of this type. But lets return to the fighting: fast, furious and superb, with ships that are destroyed based on localized damage in the style of StarLancer and Wing Commander. The interface is simpler, and the entire vessel can be controlled by the mouse (movement, choice of weapons, targets, etc). The purists, however, will prefer the joystick.

SWC Character of the Day: Knight

Maverick, right? I'm Knight. Welcome to the Blue Devils. Ever flown Scimitars before? I think you're going to like them. A Scimitar isn't quite as fast or nimble as a Hornet... ...but she's got twice the armor, as well as heavier guns. And she handles like a Centaurian mud pig. Iceman here'll try to tell you speed and handling'll save your butt... ...but I'll take an extra three centimeters of durasteel plating any day.

Carrier Me Away

Remember that new design for a carrier WC Wraith made? Well, remember it, it's dead... wait, no -- now you can download the 3D model! It was created by Derrin Proctor, based on an original design by WC Wraith. Download it here (200k)...

Talon Responses

Can't tell a Pirate Talon from your left arm? You're not alone -- no one won the GOLD STAR (not, however, for lack of trying)! Well, here are the answers. Drum-roll please...
  • 1) Unknown Ship (Privateer 2)
  • 2) Gratha (Super Wing Commander)
  • 3) Talon (Privateer, Church of Man)
  • 4) Talon (Privateer, Militia)
  • 5) Talon (Privateer, Pirate)

Crius.Net is 60k with me!

Another Crius.Net milestone: 60,000 posts. That's a lot of people arguing whether it's a Dragon or a Lance...

Trailer on the Way!

Dan Choina is embarking on a Wing Commander movie project that certainly interests me! He says it best... we'll let you know when he posts more!
Hi there,
Name's Dan Choina. Or more well known online as RoboDan!

I want to say that I'm very pleased with the way that the CIC has been operating. I've been a WC fan for many a year, and I greatly appreciate all the work you guys put into the site!

I just wanted you guys to know that I'm currently working on a fan made trailer and TV spot for Wing Commander. Yes, even though many WC fans didn't like the film, I did. And I always wanted to show my respect by making a trailer for it. Hopefully I'll have it done sometime this week, in which I'll send you a confirmation email. I'll host it up on my site, which currently has some other fanmade trailers on there.

If you'd like to take a look, you can find it at www.crosswinds.net/~robodan/

Thanks for your time. And thanks for aiding us WC fans out there!
--Dan

What a Tease

The guys over at WCRPG have posted teaser movie #2 for their upcoming 3D Movie, The Long Cold Winter. You can download it here (8 mb).

SWC Character of the Day: Iceman

Maverick. They call me Iceman. Don't let Knight fool you. The Scimm's a gun-heavy slug. Forget finesse ... just head straight in, guns blaring. Give me a ship that takes skill... A Raptor, even a Hornet... ...or one of those new Rapiers... If half of what they say is true, the Rapier's a true artist's ship.

Match Game '54!

Can you properly match each Talon(?) to its faction? Send the answers to me if you want to win a GOLD STAR... answers posted on tuesday!

A Lego to Stand On

Couldn't load those Wing Commander Lego pictures before? Well, you can now! Bob McDob's updated his site with proper links... find them here.

There's Nothing He Krant Do

Sadic has posted another one of his wonderful renderings to the Chat Zone -- this time, it's the Kilrathi KF-402 Krant class medium fighter! Check it out... he's just finished work on the WC2 Confederation starbase model!

Have Spacesuit, Will Travel

It's no WCMC, but I've accidentally created the first Wing Commander FPS game! I altered a Darkening saved game to allow you to play as one of the games laser-welding space-men... and you can journey the Tri-System with your single laser and jetpack. It's remarkably fun, for something that has a top speed of 80 kps. Just put this file in your /dark directory -- it'll replace your first saved game. Load it up and... take on the universe!

Trivia 3, Week 30

If this week's trivia were a strength in centimeters of durasteel of a battleship, it might be the port or starboard armor of a Concordia class SuperCruiser.
Welcome to Game Three, Week Thirty Trivia. We play each week. Every Monday two main questions and one bonus question are posted to alt.games.wing-commander and listed at the CIC. Please email answers to CReid1701@aol.com or ChrisReid@wcnews.com. Be sure to include a name you would like to be known under for the Scoreboard that will be up soon. Have your answers in before this coming Sunday (May 27, 2001) to ensure your answers are recorded. Answers submitted early may be returned and you may be able to fix incorrect answers, time permitting. Main questions answered correctly are good for 5 points, bonuses good for 3.

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Answers to Questions for Week 29 (starting May 14, 2001):

Question 57: What was a heavy fighter that was commonly known to stock half a dozen torpedoes for special situations?
Answers Include: Sabre

Question 58: What was a light fighter that was commonly known to carry a Scatter Gun as a special weapon?
Answers Included: Banshee

Bonus 29: What was a light fighter that was commonly known to carry a Mark II Stormfire as a special weapon?
Answers Included: Piranha

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New Questions for Week 30 (starting May 21, 2001):

Question 59: Who said, "In the words of John Paul Jones, 'I have not yet begun to dogfight'?"
Hint: The actual quote may have been "Sir, I have not yet begun to fight."

Question 60: Who said, "Colonel, I respectfully request a real mission,not busy-work?"
Hint: The colonel being referred to is female.

Bonus 30: Who said, "I'm not going to do the Confederation's war effort much good if I'm dead, now am I?"

At this time we're not planning to end Game Three at Week 30.

Submissions are due by May 27, 2001.

------
Please email answers to ChrisReid@wcnews.com and do not post directly to the Newsgroup. Thanks.

SWC Character of the Day: Maverick

I say Blair, you say Armstrong, lets call the whole thing off!

UE Marches On

The Unknown Enemy team is busy with exams right now -- but the development marches on! They hope to release the first half of the game (Episode 1) in the near future... and Pedro is making significant progress in creating Prophecy capital ships. And here's their Ralari!

SWC Character of the Day: Halcyon

It's Colonel Peter Halcyon, commander of the 88th Fighter Wing and (during Operation Thor's Hammer) Captain of the Tiger's Claw... and he's never looked more like Colonel McQueen from Space: Above and Beyond!

SWC Character of the Day: Spirit

She flew straight into that space station, like destroying it was more important than her life. All of her torpedoes exploded on impact... And I couldn't do anything to save her. I'll never forget the last words she said to me... 'Tengoku de omachishi te imasu'...I will wait for you in Heaven.

Jumpgate -- IN THREE-DEE! (Oh)

Jumpgate has a publisher -- and it's 3DO! The game publisher, known to most viewers as the company that produced a Wing Commander supported platform years ago, will release the Privateer-esque MMP game in the United States. You can read all about it at this article at Planet Jumpgate. (As reported by Death himself).

Meet the Maniac

Tom Wilson -- Maniac in Wing Commander 3, 4 and Prophecy -- will be appearing at the Shreveport Hollywood Expo and Toy Show on June 30th-July 1st. He'll be signing autographs at the BTTF.com booth! You can find out more at www.hollywoodexpo.com. Thanks goes to Stephen Clark of BTTF.com for letting us know about this!

SWC Character of the Day: Shotglass

Belly on up, friend, and take a load off. You must be Maverick. I'm Shotglass. Welcome aboard the Claw. Used to be a pilot myself... ...till the fleabags shot me up so bad I couldn't fly. I guess I flew with most every pilot on the Claw. So if you want to know how one pilot or another flies... ...old Shotglass is the guy to ask. Stop by when you're off duty and we'll talk more.

Happy Birthday, NewsGroup!

It's also worth pointing out that today is alt.games.wing-commander's sixth birthday -- the venerable newsgroup turns six years old. Which is, of course, about as many posts it gets a month now...

Happy Birthday, Kris!

Here's a very important update we missed -- it's CIC staff member Kris "KrisV" Vanhecke's 20th birthday! We couldn't do it without you, Kris... we love you, man. (Morning updates will be delayed so y'all will see this and know to wish him a happy birthday...).

In Front of Our Faces

Remember the Black Lance carrier from yesterday? Apparently it was under our noses all along -- KillerWave had converted it to Vision format months ago! You can download it at his site here.

Destination Names

GameSpy has an interview with Richard Garriott -- providing more information on his new game and company... including a list of some of the ex-Originites who now hang their hat at Desgination: Starr Long, Carly Staehlin, Jeremy Gaffney, Jay Lee, Bill Randolph, Todd Hayes, Dave Aldritch, Jason Beardsley, Scott Jones, Victor Meinhert, Jennifer Davis and Rick Holtrip.

Help the Little Guys

DRAsvitt has sent three more pictures of his tiny little ships... the Broadsword, Rapier II and the mysterious Black Lance carrier. He's also got a very reasonable request...
Unfortunately, all of my attempts at creating molds to reproduce the Wing Commander ships have met with failure. Thanks to everyone who sent me e-mails to offer suggestions or to express interest. I'm about to run out of the Galoob Micro Machine display stands that I use to make the framework of the WC ships. If anyone out there has a lot of display stands and you would like to trade them to me for WC ships please e-mail me. The number of display stands you have for trade and the ship(s) you want will affect the deal we make since some ships are very easy to make and others are very, very hard (the Cerberus took me nine hours to make). Thank you everyone for your interest and the C.I.C. for posting my work.

Beta You'll Like This...

After a very exciting lead-up, the Invasion Beta has been released! This version, 1.0d, includes a full conversion of one of Star Trek: Armada's factions to the Terran Confederation. You can download the mod here (5 megs), and additional music here (10 megs).

Chris Roberts Returns

SciFi.com answers a question that's been on all our minds of late: What ever happened to Mister Roberts? This article reports that he has created his own LA-based production company, Point of No Return. Their first project is called "Earthfall", a futuristic Mars movie budgeted at forty to sixty million dollars. Roberts' company plans "to produce twelve films over the next five years, as well as TV series and interactive projects". Lets just hope he's given a chance to dance with the girl that brought him... Thanks to all who reported this.

SWC Character of the Day:

Hello, mon ami. I hope the flight goes well for you and all the others on the Concordia. I am about to set out for a covert operation with Admiral Tolwyn. So I'm afraid we might be apart a little longer. But always remember: je t'aime,.. I love you...

Hidden Gold

While looking through the pack of models that WildCat extracted from Wing Commander IV the other day, I found two very strange things: first, the Kilrathi rock fighter was included among them... and second was this Black Lance carrier! It never appears in the game... but it sure is neat!

SWC Character of the Day: Paladin

Just when you thought it was over, they pull you back in! I think you get the idea of this next run... first up, Paladin! He looks like me...

That's a Mass

Hobbes has found some more... oddly coincidential real-life news! Check out this quote from a recent article at Space.Com.
"Work done by Gerard O'Neill and teams of students to build a mass driver -- an electromagnetic accelerator -- is soon to be reactivated, said Valentine. Several versions of a mass driver were pursued in years past -- a concept originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, under the direction of Henry Kolm and O'Neill."

By the Skin of Our Hornets

HellcatV has re-textured the Vega Strike Hornet... the results can be seen below! The last image is the games new beam weapon feature...

Cannon Still Loose

According to a press release at FragLand, UbiSoft has purchased the Digital Anvil's Conquest: Frontier Wars and Loose Cannon. Both games were dropped by Microsoft several months ago.
PARIS, France – May 14, 2001 – Ubi Soft Entertainment has signed a deal with Digital Anvil Holdings to publish Loose Cannon and Conquest: Frontier Wars worldwide. With this agreement Ubi Soft acquires the rights to publish Loose Cannon on all platforms, and the rights to publish Conquest: Frontier Wars on PC. Ubi Soft’s objective will be to expand the Loose Cannon brand by developing it on next generation consoles.

The two projects were originally handled by Digital Anvil, an Austin, Texas based company founded by Chris Roberts. Roberts is one of the stars of the development world, best known for the wildly successful Wing Commander series. Eric Peterson, the original producer of the game, has opened his own development house called Fever Pitch Studios, Inc., to finish work on Conquest: Frontier Wars, which is slated for release in the 3rd Quarter of 2001. Sinister Games, Ubi Soft’s highly talented studio in Raleigh, North Carolina, will finish development on Loose Cannon, which is slated for release in the 1st Quarter of 2002.

Loose Cannon, created by Tony Zurovec, is pure action-adventure that combines an intense mercenary-style driving game with a shooting game. The year is 2016, and players take the role of bounty hunters in a country plagued by crime. Driving around cities from San Francisco to New York in a car equipped with weapons, players will hear police calls on the radio and choose whether to intervene in bank robberies, muggings and other crimes in progress. Two years of development and five million dollars have already been spent on the game. Loose Cannon uses the very latest technology to give players a unique gaming experience.

Conquest: Frontier Wars is a 3D real-time strategy game that takes place in solar systems around the galaxy. Aimed at RTS players aged 18 to 35, the game-play is reminiscent of tactical situations faced by the U.S. and Japan in the Pacific theater of World War II – but now those events are played out on the modern battleground of space.

Both games are in line with Ubi Soft’s strategy of acquiring strong brands. They expand the group’s adult offerings. “With these product acquisitions, Ubi Soft solidifies its strong commitment to the PC market,” said Ubi Soft President and CEO Yves Guillemot. “Loose Cannon and Conquest: Frontier Wars are both incredible games that are going to revolutionize their respective genres.”

A Bit of Wire for a Mod

The Wing Commander Invasion mod for ST:Armada's beta release has been delayed a few days... so that the team can update it with new wireframe models of the various ships... here's the new version of the Midway!

SWC Ship of the Day: Spikeri

And the very last SWC Ship of the Day is... the Spikeri class corvette! This ship was originally cut from Wing Commander 1... and it never appears in SWC, either! It's a secret lost ship...

Trivia 3 Week 29

If this week's trivia were a page in Freedom Flight, it'd include the quote "Except for Todd Marshall, who's completely slipped his leash".
Welcome to Game Three, Week Twenty-Nine Trivia. We play each week. Every Monday two main questions and one bonus question are posted to alt.games.wing-commander and listed at the CIC. Please email answers to CReid1701@aol.com or ChrisReid@wcnews.com. Be sure to include a name you would like to be known under for the Scoreboard that will be up soon. Have your answers in before this coming Sunday (May 20, 2001) to ensure your answers are recorded. Answers submitted early may be returned and you may be able to fix incorrect answers, time permitting. Main questions answered correctly are good for 5 points, bonuses good for 3.

-------
Answers to Questions for Week 28 (starting May 7, 2001):

Question 55: What did Dr. Singh attempt to do to the Kilrathi from Greenhouse?
Answer: She attempted to send a Kilrathi back to the Empire with a deadly contagious virus.

Question 56: What was a type of disease Christopher Blair escorted vaccines for?
Answer: Watson's Disease

Bonus 28: What was a major factor in the spread of the Nephilim virus?
Answers Included: Rampant black market smugglers distributing Nephilim items.

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New Questions for Week 29 (starting May 14, 2001):

Question 57: What was a heavy fighter that was commonly known to stock half a dozen torpedoes for special situations?

Question 58: What was a light fighter that was commonly known to carry a Scatter Gun as a special weapon?

Bonus 29: What was a light fighter that was commonly known to carry a Mark II Stormfire as a special weapon?

And let me know what you think about stopping this game at Week 30 and starting up a new one in June.

Submissions are due by May 20, 2001.

------
Please email answers to ChrisReid@wcnews.com and do not post directly to the Newsgroup. Thanks.

SWC Ship of the Day: Star Post

Here's the Kilrathi Star Post, as it appears in Super Wing Commander. Just one more ship left in our little campaign -- one you'd never guess! And here's a hint: it's not the Hhriss...

The Stars My Destination

In a piece of oddly overlooked news, Well Rounded Entertainment is reporting word of Richard Garriott's future plans... and you can read all about them here, with further details here. Basic summary: Garriott will be announcing his new MMPG company, Destination Games, (but no actual titles) across the street from the E3... during the E3. Also of note is the fact that Starr Long and Carly Staehlin are now working for Garriott... expect details on thursday. Meanwhile, EA plans to reveal 25 new games at E3... could one of them be a Wing Commander title? Probably not! But there's always hope!

SWC Ship of the Day: Sivar

SWC's rendition of the Sivar is absolutely beautiful -- despite the fact that it killed a quarter of a million people.

SWC Ship of the Day: Snakeir

And now, Kilrah's standard carrier -- the Snakeir class. Just three more SWC Ships of the Day after this!

Our Daily Bread

I'm recovering from a particularly painful 36 hour essay-writing session... but there's only one final to go until I can get back to updating the CIC at my previous level of quality... Wish me luck!

Zoned Out

What the heck happened to the WCZone? Here's the official line...
The ExS billing server has been updated; but unfortunately profiles were corrupted in transfer. Many squad names were swapped with the actual squad - or something like that. There is nothing amiss in the zone as far as security is concerned however it is always good to change your password regularly with the ?password= command. If there are any troubles just use the various squad commands to fix up any problems (like re-joining your squad, reseting your squad password and kicking any members of your squad that shouldn't be there[?squadjoin=(name):(password ?squadpassword=?squadlist and ?squadkick (player) are probably commands you will need.] ).

Transparencies Bite Man

Here's the latest highly-technical changes to Vega Strike, by HellcatV...
  • I just finished adding Transparency as an option to the mesh format (and the ability to specify a separate alpha file that would hold alpha (clearness) values in a 256 bit grayscale bitmap.
  • I added a weak optimizer to find adjacent triangles and hook 'em up.
  • ashieh finished a small converter that can transform from strippified(aka faster) .objf format to vegastrike... Unfortunate the strippifier clobbers texture coordinates. Perhaps I can fix it eventually. It's called Stripe, and is apparently the second oldest and greatest one out there.... if only it could preserve texture coordinates. (pending fix).
  • Also added checks for incorrectly specified quadrilaterals that have been causing trouble with some lazy formats. Quads that are not convex will be thrown out (divided into two triangles) ... geez how lazy.
  • There is also a nice util from nvidia that will strippify various models and respect the vertex cache on your card...considering using that... it apparently uses '.m' format...no idea how that works...maybe I can convert to xml.

Woo, HotT's Hot Today

HotT's site has been updated with lots of great Wing Commander themed pictures! But that's not all! He's also written some... (drum-roll, please) fanfic that deserves to be promoted! And I promise I'll finish reading it this weekend...

But Wait, There's More!

Here's even more ships from DRAsvitt -- this picture featurings the Behemoth and the SWC Dralthi! He reports that this will probably be the last update for a while -- he's going to be working on making molds so that he can sell replicas to the people who've shown interest therein.

Final Not The Last

As the saying goes, you can't keep a good man down -- Rylex is back to the WC community and has brought a new Final Conflict homepage with him! You can find the site located as part of rylex.de -- it features "unreleased and secret" videos!

Talkin' 'Bout JumpGate

Mark Asher's latest GameSpin at GameSpy is titled "Games You Will Want"; it includes this Wing Commander reference... (found by The Lancers Reactor).
A game that sounds a bit like Privateer but is set in a massively multiplayer game universe and isn't Freelancer? Who'd a thunk it? Netdevil might pull this off, though, and deliver the kind of experience we've wanted ever since Privateer was released years ago. Don't hold your breath while you're waiting for Freelancer.

A Healthy Grasp of the Insane

Hobbes checks in with another eerie quote pulled from today's headlines... this one is from an article at MSNBC.
"For now, the Air Force will remain the lead service responsible for space defense and warfare, but Rumsfeld and his fellow space commissioners held out the possibility that it would eventually make sense to create a separate branch of the military - the U.S. Space Force."

HOT SEXY WC4 MODELS

WildCat has extracted all of the Wing Commander IV ship models (minus the jammer transport, which is MIA -- please help) for the WC Invasion mod... but he's also posted them for download for the general public! Grab the pack here (4.76 mb).

SWC Ship of the Day: Fralthi

And here's the latest recon photo from McLaren... it's like a smaller, faster 'Claw!

Huge Tiny Fleet Redux

More from DRAsvitt -- he's painted some more of the ships from his original picture, and he's added three new ships from Privateer 2! This is sure to inspire more crys of "That's amazing!" and "He should sell those things!"...

SWC Ship of the Day: Ralari

Obscure as the fact may seem, I'll bet my last dollar that pretty much every veteran of Wing Commander 1's copy proection knows how much one of these things weighs...

Bex Beer and Cats

Cats, the famous musical, is turning twenty, with a special photo call featuring the original cast... but what does this have to do with Wing Commander? Apparently Brian Blessed, Privateer 2's beer-guzzling religious figure, was part of said cast! Read all about it in this article at iWon.

300 And Counting!

Our music petition has more than three hundred signatures! If you're interesting in buying a Wing Commander 1 & 2 soundtrack CD, add your name today!

Life Immitates Art

Here's a pair quotes from a story at CNN that just hits a bit close to home...
The Space Commission report issued in December warned that the increasing reliance on space satellites is leaving the United States vulnerable to a "Pearl Harbor in space.

"There are nations out there that are hostile to us and they are in space. They have such weapons as lasers, anti-satellite weapons and electromagnetic pulse weapons and we have to be ready to recognize that threat," Smith warned.

Huge Tiny Fleet

DRAsvitt has been very, very hard at work on physical models of Wing Commander ships -- he's made 44 of them in Micro-Machines style, using using Sculpey III clay. Check it out... this is incredible!

The Kilr-ipoff Invasion

Apparently sporting a heavy feline coat is all the rage this season -- the Kzin-rathi look is in-vogue! TC reports that both Wizardry 8 and the Shadows of Luclin addon for EverQuest will be featuring... well, Kilrathi...

First up, Wizardry 8 -- with this blurb from PC Gamer...

"An opening cinematic sets up the action: you're hired to escort a diplomat (who looks a lot like of the Kilrathi from Wing Commander) onboard his "magic flying vessel" to his home planet. On the way, the ship is attacked, forcing a crash landing on the world of Dominus. Then the game begins..."
And then EverQuest...
The new moon will also be the host to one of the game's other big features: a brand new race to play, called the Kerran. Jokingly described by the team as a "mystical space cat," the Kerran are a large, strong feline-type race. [Jeff] Butler said they were still working on balancing, but that in terms of abilities, Kerrans will most closely resemble barbarians. If you play as Kerran, you will start in Luclin, though you can freely travel to Norrath, where you'll be accepted by non-evil races.
And then, the pictures: Wizardry on the right, Everquest on the left.

SWC Ship of the Day: Bengal

First the Tiger's Claw, and now this! Wait, this is the Tiger's Claw... it's just eerily familiar in a different way. Anyway, thanks to popular demand, here's the SWC Bengal...

Lev Arris Everywhere

From WildFire: BMW Films has a number of shorts which star Privateer 2's ultra-cool Clive Owen... directed by people like Guy RItchie and Ang Lee.

SWC Ship of the Day: Exeter

If I had to Exeter a guess, I'd say that this was a pretty fine destroyer... wait, that doesn't make a lick of sense.

Smugglers

Niels Bauer forwarded us this press release -- it's about Smugglers, a Privateer-esque internet game...
5th May, Freiburg - Germany: More than 700.000 people own the full version of the strategy-trading game Smugglers now. Working hard on Smugglers II the development team hopes to finish the sequel in August featuring fleet management, factory management, planet management and real economics.

SMUGGLERS is a strategy-trading game for PC Windows. Play as a smuggler, pirate, trader or soldier in a science-fiction universe.

Smuggling is a tough business. You have to be careful not to run up too huge depts to the loan sharks, evade the planets military and make still a profit - fast! SMUGGLERS takes you to a fascinating tour into a growing science fiction world. Which role you choose is up to you. You can be a true smuggler, a common trader, a bounty-hunter, a pirate or even join the military.

"You maybe won't believe me, but I am addicted to this game" Avatar, one of our betatesters.

SMUGGLERS is a strategy-trading game for PC Windows. Its featuring a game of ultimate freedom of choice. Nobody is telling you how to play the game. You decide which challenges to face. Nothing is impossible in SMUGGLERS. Its action ranges from peaceful trading to attacking whole planets with large battleships.

Loyal Dralthi

RFBurns has found a very unusual easter egg in Privateer: Rightous Fire... it's a Kilrathi Dralthi class fighter being flown by a merchant! He's been able to re-create the situation... Read all about it (and see some screen-shots) here.

In the Not-Too-Distant-Future

WildCat reports that yesterdays reports of an Invasion Beta delay are not as serious as indicated -- he claims that the perfected download should be made public in about a week.

Quick and Light

Eder checked in at the Chat Zone with word on his as-of-yet unnamed and un-engined Wing Commander mod... He's been working on Krant, Dralthi and Ferret models... and here's the Ferret! Expect a site soon...

Trivia 3 Week 28

If this weeks trivia were a page in the Armada Playtesters Guide, it'd be the one that suggests that "your best friend against targeting missiles is your chaff pod."
Welcome to Game Three, Week Twenty-Eight Trivia. We play each week. Every Monday two main questions and one bonus question are posted to alt.games.wing-commander and listed at the CIC. Please email answers to CReid1701@aol.com or ChrisReid@wcnews.com. Be sure to include a name you would like to be known under for the Scoreboard that will be up soon. Have your answers in before this coming Sunday (May 13, 2001) to ensure your answers are recorded. Answers submitted early may be returned and you may be able to fix incorrect answers, time permitting. Main questions answered correctly are good for 5 points, bonuses good for 3.

Also feel free to try our new auto trivia submission device that Kris cooked up for us at http://www.wcnews.com/trivia.shtml

-------
Answers to Questions for Week 27 (starting April 23, 2001):

Question 53: What is a Kilrathi capital ship or pilot that crash landed on a moon or planet?
Most Popular Answer: KIS Frawqirg

Question 54: What is a Terran capital ship or pilot that crash landed on a moon or planet?
Most Popular Answer: TCS Concordia

Bonus 27: What is a starbase or orbital structure that crash landed on a moon or planet?
Most Popular Answer: The McAuliffe Skyhook

If the above three answers don't immediately make sense (and you can think of at least one or two valid alternate answers), you've got plenty of Wing Commander left to experience!

------
New Questions for Week 28 (starting May 7, 2001):

Question 55: What did Dr. Singh attempt to do to the Kilrathi from Greenhouse?

Question 56: What was a type of disease Christopher Blair escorted vaccines for?

Bonus 28: What was a major factor in the spread of the Nephilim virus?

Submissions are due by May 13, 2001.

------
Please email answers to ChrisReid@wcnews.com and do not post directly to the Newsgroup. Thanks.

SWC Ship of the Day: Venture

If I had to Venture a guess, I'd say that this was a pretty fine corvette...

Invasion Reviewed!

DarkAlpha has also sent... a review of Invasion! Here's the skinny on the Star Trek: Armada TC...
The WC:Invasion Project Public Beta 1
*************************************

1) The Good Stuff
2) The Not So Good Stuff
3) Full Report

*************************************

The Best Bits!

*************************************

Ok the easiest bit. Whats the best stuff in the mod?

  • The Ships are KICKASS!
  • The New Buttons are great!
  • The Stations are JawDropping!
  • The Research stations is AMAZING!
  • Building Effects are superb!
  • Weapons are powerful
*************************************

The Bad Bits

*************************************

So theres a downside huh? Yep. Them little niggling bugs that need to be fixed include:

  • The Installer - Text Corrupt - Image is Grainy
  • Ships can pass through each other
  • The cloakable phantom has no Special weapon energy meaning it cant cloak!
  • Its impossible to select and decomission the Weapon addon to the BattleStation
  • You can only have 1 battlestation at a time
**************************************

You start tha game and everything seems normal. The FMV sequence plays through and the borg cube goes boom but thats it. After that you can forget the Federation even existed! The game is currently best played in Instant Action mode with the player as the Confederation as the other races are yet to be made.

The mission starts and you have the TCS Midway for building the primary construction ship an arrow and a StarBase. The Midway cannot move while building so the arrow can be used for scouting out the map. Once the construction ship is done you can begin to build the stations. First comes the Refinary. A tube like structure that comes with a brand new moddeled transport ship. Next comes the LasSat. This fires 4 lasers at enemy ships and is incredibly effective. The Fighter yard is next. Obviously it builds the fighters. Loads of em there is too. Dandy little station really (assuming you like that kinda thing). The Missile Turret follows. This fires the lovely new missiles that even circle the target if they miss. They even fire at some ships and and constantly circle it! The Relay Station is the same thing as the standar Armada station but a new sod. The Capital shipyard allows for the building of the great WingCommander ships including - Intrepid, Hades, Vesuvius, Midway, Lexington, Hyperion and Murphy. The research station has to be built to be truly appreciated and man is it the best stations ever! Its fantastic but the names of some of the pods are a little obscure especially when some ships say they need a E.S.S. and you just think WTF?!? The next thing is the outpost. Large sphere that can build ships. The only other station is the battlestation. Its modular meaning you build the shell and then upgrade it with a command module that allows ships to be built and a weapon upgrade. Its truly lovely!

The only thing I can say is go download the beta as soon as WildCat releases it! You wont be sorry!

Where I'm Going for That Last Update

Apparently those new Confederation ship models will be worth it -- here are four shots of the newly update Hades class Quick Strike Cruiser model that will be used in Invasion!

The Law's Delay

Word from the Invasion mod for ST:Armada is that the public release of the v1.0 Beta will be significantly delayed while the replacement of several Confederation ships is enacted -- no word on the new release date is currently available... but to tide us over, here's the first of a series of Invasion screenshots. Shown below are the starbases used in the games...

WCA Mirror, Episode 11

Tye has posted Episode 11 of Wing Commander Academy for those who haven't yet downloaded it... grab it this week! The episode, titled Invisible Enemy, is a chilling prequel to Wing Commander II's storyline... and you can get it here.

Trivia Reminder

The usual reminder -- get in your Trivia Week 27 answers by midnight tonight, as the new scores and questions will be posted on Monday!

SWC Ship of the Day: Dorkir

Four days ago, I promised to end the transports with the most terrifying thing you'd ever seen... and here it is -- remember, this is an actual Dorkir:

Hidden Movies

Thomas Schmidt reports that the recently cancelled Wing Commander: Final Conflict 3D movie may not be so recently cancelled afterall -- he says that the web site has relocated here and that you can find a previously un-seen Final Conflict movie segment here . Very interesting...

Brazil Rocks!

There are a lot of Wing Commander fans in Brazil -- but they don't usually get their own news. Today is different, though, as Delance reports that Telecine , a Brazilian Cable TV station, will be showing the Wing Commander Movie four times this month! You can read about it here . Showtimes as follows...
May 8th, 1:20 AM
May 8th, 8:25 AM
May 16th, 5:30 PM
May 17th, 4:45 AM

Delance also notes that the same channel will be showing a Star Wars marathon, which includes Phantom Menace, this month as well.

Let Me Show You How We Release DVDs in Germany...

TAFKAW reports that the street date for the Wing Commander Movie DVD (Region 2) and VHS release in Germany has been officially set -- later this month, on May 17th. There's something to look forward to...

0.0.4th Time's a Charm

HellcatV has released another update to Vega Strike... you can pick it up here (1.8 megs). And here's the skinny on just what's in the new release... They're also still looking for developers who'd be interested in helping with the 3D physics, OpenGL or SDL work.
The current demo shows the helpless Midway on a course as far away from the Solar System as possible before sadly meeting its firey end. This release may be considered by some (especially those who consider Adm Blair still alive) a tragedy... but I consider it a celebration.... because with blowing up Midwaycomes 2 things:
a) blowing up
and
b) Midway!!! (and all other Wing Commander ships thus far) both happening in Vega Strike!!! Good times! And better ones to come:
Here are some of the newest features:
  • Vegastrike 0.0.4 is here and ready to download for Windows or Linux!
  • It features XML starship format with support for tristrips, trifans, and quadstrips as well as normal polygons.
  • There is an active obj-> xml and 3ds-> xml converter (and a texturizer).
  • A preliminary AI is being built around the developed quaternion physics.
  • Explosions are beautiful.
  • Objects may now be destroyed without causing major havoc!
  • There is some problem about an illegal operation upon quit in windows...I haven't been able to reproduce it in debug mode.
  • Speed has been improved 10fold since 0.0.3 release by grouping and minimizing calculations.
  • Logos have been added and fixed up.
  • Textures can now be deleted mid-game.
  • Subunits (eg turrets) can be placed at various angles and positions.
  • Keyboard queue has been fixed up some.
  • Lots of small improvements! and many more to come!

SWC Ship of the Day: Lumbari

Thanks to the addition of GIANT MISSILES, we can now rest easy knowing that SWC gives us more Lumbari support. *rimshot*

Vault-Result

A winner is us! Here's the results to the recent ActionVault poll which asked "Which of these classic space sim series is your favorite?". It just re-enforces my belief that anything is better than Descent...
Wing Commander - 32.9%
X-Wing - 23.8%
Privateer - 18.6%
FreeSpace - 8.8%
Other - 8.2%
Descent - 7.5%

Saga Updated

The Wing Commander Saga website has been re-designed with a great new look! Check it out! The proejct is a Wing Commander total conversion for Conquest: Frontier Wars.

SWC Ship of the Day: Drayman

The Drayman Project was our last, best hope for peace. A self-contained transport 96 meters long, located in neutral territory. A ship of commerce and military stuff for a quarter of sixty-four humans and aliens (well... 16 crew members on the military transport, 25 crew plus 100-150 troops in the landing craft version and 20 crew in the civilian version). A shining beacon in space, all alone in the night.

"Get In the Zone" Pun Goes Here

Will Sutherland e-mailed us asking for help getting the WCZone server added to the new SubSpace client list... and then he went ahead and figured out how when I couldn't! Here's his solution...
You've got to use the IP address within the old SS favorite.lst. Turns out it's actually on an adjacent line....which originally made me think it was for another arena, not the ExS WCZone. Within Continuum, searching for the "Wing Commander Zone", or any other combination string thereof...well....I didn't get any success with it! If you search for "199.232.158.6", that should do it...

Ex-DA Folk

From our WildFire department: an article over at AVault about what ever happened to all those ex-Digital Anvil folk... Yep, you guessed it -- they've formed an a new company to combat the evil tyranny of their previous workplace. Because that worked so well last time.

SWC Ship of the Day: Dilligent

So begins four days of terrific transports! And on day four... you'll see the most terrifying thing ever! I promise! For now, meet my pal... Tubesy McTubes...

Our Daily Bread

I know it's not daily... and LOAF doesn't come from bread... but I digress: if the news seems a bit slow for the next week or so, it's because I've just started a new job and am moving into the dreaded finals week... I'm so very good at planning things! Anyway, I'll still update each day, but reports may be a bit lighter than usual...

Ace of Angels?

Here's a Wing Commander mention in an article at CDMag about a new MMP space-sim game, from our Delance...
Massively multiplayer gaming is currently stuck in a genre rut. Fantasy roleplaying is the king of this digital mountain, and while upcoming titles like Anarchy Online and Star Wars Galaxies will offer much-needed science fiction settings, they still won't allow players to hop into nimble fighters and blast their foes to atoms. Flying Rock Enterprises hopes to change this sorry state of affairs forever with its upcoming release of Ace of Angels, a massively multiplayer universe where Wing Commander veterans may find a new online home.

SWC Ship of the Day: Scimitar

The good old 'Scim was retired in '54 after more than a hundred years of service -- so if you see one now-a-days, it's probably just a phantom...

Now That's High Technology

GameSpot is running an article on FreeLancer, that has all the required Wing Commander mentions...
In what looks like a merging of elements from his Wing Commander and Privateer creations, Chris Roberts will redefine the space combat sim once again later this year with Freelancer. The game's narrative is set in the early 30th century, when humans are traveling the stars and life on Earth no longer exists. Humanity is divided into four factions based on the cultures of the old Earth nations. It's an age of exploration and exploitation for humanity in the universe.

A surprising innovation is how this space combat game is meant to be controlled--the interface has been designed with a mouse in mind. It works much like the way it does in a first-person shooter, where you move the mouse to direct where you want to look. Most functions of your ship can be operated with it, including targeting your weapons. The mouse was chosen as the primary means of control so that learning to play Freelancer would be easier compared with previous space combat games, like Wing Commander, which had complex interfaces and steeper learning curves.

Destroyer Them!

Sadic, who created yesterdays amazing Dralthi pictures, has another treat for us... he's made his Orca class Destroyer model available for download in 3DS Max format! You can grab it here...

SWC Ship of the Day: Rapier II

The SWC version of the Rapier II is awfully smooth... like soap! Delicious soap...

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