From: Bexian Brewers Association

We are planning a beer festival on Bex which involves nearly every brewer on the planet. This event usually brings trouble with it, mainly pirates, so we usually hire mercenaries to patrol the area around Bex, cutting short any involvement by the major pirate clans. We think the Jincilla and the Chirichan pirates have agreed to behave themselves, and the Papogods have little interest in parties. It's the damn Kiowans who can't be persuaded to stay away, and they usually cause the biggest ruckus. We need someone to sweep the NAV points around Bex (NAV2) to make sure the Kiowans will not be alive long enough to cause any trouble.

Armada Sector of the Day: Sector 4

The Beto Sector... a Strike Commander references! (Armada Maps are full of crazy Origin references).

One Of Life's Big Secrets

Jetlag found something really strange -- it's a Wing Commander IV DVD... that's not Wing Commander IV DVD! Make sense? Heck no! This version is the standard Win95 PC version, on a single sided DVD disc... and it was apparently created in December, 1996! What the heck does it mean? More interesting, it contains the infamous SHPSTATS.TXT.

Cross the StarCraft

Raging Daemon from the Chat Zone found an interesting mod for StarCraft titled Prophecy -- it's not the Wing Commander story, but it makes use of a whole bunch of Nephilim ships! Prophecy mod for StarCraft. You can see the Moray, Stingray, Squid, Devil Ray, Hydra, Leviathan, Tiamat, Shipyard, Comm Station and Wormhole in this picture...

Attack, Fish, Attack!

The Invasion team is working hard... Filler pointed us to these two shots of the Nephilim ships in the Star Trek: Armada engine -- click on 'em to be impressed!

From: Conrad Bikunski - Special Ops. Division - CIS

Assist the CIS in a small skirmish against Papogod forces at NAV 200. We are expanding our interests to include a mining operation on Hades. Your reward will be based on how many CIS ships are left standing at the end of the fighter. By the way, we are out numbered.

Blair and Maniac Play Baseball

Kn'thrak reports that you can download the trailer for Summer Catch, a movie starring Wing Commander alumni Freddie Prinze Jr. and Matthew Lillard, here. Summer Catch, which opens August 24th, is Prinze & Lillard's forty-bazillionth movie together.

From: Rutger O'Malley - Special Ops. Division - CIS

There are three Kiowan cargo ships carrying illicit drugs leaving Hermes with ane scort. THeir markings match those of the Kiowan space pirates, so we can assume that their route will be from Hermes at NAV 5 to the Kiowan space station at Nav 151. They will probably employ a formidable escort. You will need missiles to deal with the cargo ships while you attack the escorts with lasers. Unfortunately our fighters are deployed elsewhere.

Destroy them all if you can.

Which Came First?

Remember that old fighter pilot game called Wing Commander for the C64 that we mentioned a while back? Here's a very blurry picture of the box... which looks eerily familiar!

Hornet Control

Bob McDob posted something interesting to the Chat Zone... apparently there's a fan-made Star Control game called TimeWarp -- with a great Wing Commander ester egg! It features a Confederation Hornet class fighter... the same we flew in the original Wing Commander! Here's a sweet little picture of one...

It's Patch Day!

Former Origin employee Ares has posted one heck of an eBay auction -- and he's asked us to report about it. It contains four Wing Commander patches, which were given only to members of each development team... a rare prize indeed! See the picture below, or place your bids here... but hurry -- there's less than two days left!

From: CIS Headquarters, Hades

The Jincilla and Kiowan clans have been negotiating a hostage exchange. Each clan has occupied one of two adjacent Nav Points, 192 and 193 and at each one is their respective hostage, held in a cargo pod. As a precautionary measure both clans have surrounded each pod with six laser turrets. THe turrets are primed to fire if the deal turns sour, or if any hostiles approach. The clans aim to complete the exchange using escorted shuttles. Your job is to take out the turrets and capture both hostage pods and deliver them to Hades local space, before the exchange can take place. Pull this one off and we'll be impressed!

Visual Basic Help Required!

It's not often that you get an opportunity to help make the universe... but that's exactly what Darkmage wants you to do! He's looking for Visual Basic programmers to help develop Wing Commander Universe 's system editor... drop him an e-mail to find out exactly what's needed.

Armada Sector of the Day: Sector 1

Here's the first of the Wing Commander Armada sector maps in an updated format... one each day, for 11 days!

Weapons of War

Chat Zone denzien Bob McDob is creating a big giant weapons stats document... that spans universes! Included, of course, is Wing Commander... you can take a look at the thing here , in .doc format.

Crazy VCD

If you're in China, (or on eBay) you can pick up one of these nifty new 'legit' Wing Commander VCDs...

Crazy Sexy WCMusic?

While surfing MP3.com, TC has found... an entirely different sort of Wing Commander music! A group called The Theta Project has a song posted titled Wing Commander... and it's described as "The basis of this song is an answering machine message from 1993 that a friend left for me, describing his completion of the original "Wing Commander" PC game." That's pretty darned crazy!

Vega Strike Gets Real!

Here's HellcatV with a very, very large update on the state of Vega Strike and why realistic physics are a Very Good Thing (tm)...
HellcatV here: I have finally implemented a system to control a starship using realistic physics in space (no air resistance). Note that many people have previously decried "realistic physics" as evil or uncontrollable. I tried them in vegastrike classic, and agreed with the masses. However, upon reading a manual, I was struck with a rather interesting idea...the whole idea behind afterburner slides made me realize: "Wing Commander Physics" == "Real Physics": it's just that in Wing Commander Universe, the computer is smart enough to correct for the lack of oxygen by applying counteractive forces in such a manner that the pilot won't know he's flying in space. With this in mind, I constructed a system I called "fly by wire" after the AI computer in the F16 Falcon that turns that unflyable craft into a pilotable craft (it would tumble out of the sky) I designed a method in "real physics" to make it feel like wing commander physics...that brought along with it afterburner slides, missile collision bouncing (like in WC1 and 2) and all sorts of wonderful Wing Commander realisms :-).

So let me pronounce with conviction (and 10 seconds of successful testing) that Realistic Physics are a GOOD thing...because it lets the player have the flexibility of turning off the computer (wow what if the nav computer gets shot) and flying where forces don't get compensated and doing terribly cool maneuvers, and then switching it back on again and seriously having fun fighting just like WC1! Here are the details also available at my page (http://vegastrike.sourceforge.net):

  • Major AI code modifications have been accomplished. Navigation orders have been slightly fixed so a starship doesn't going off careening in some random direction tryin to get where it's going and never getting there and hence never stopping. (note the exploding midway demo on the web)
  • A "Fly By Wire" interface has been completed conceptually. It is as of yet almost untested except for a very brief 10 second test by myself...seems to work.
  • This "fly-by-wire" is what was mentioned in the manual in regards to 'afterburner slide'. In space (and hence in vega strike) no forces exist to compensate the thrust of your ship or the sliding of your craft--or even the turning of your ship. The manual states that the computer cannot properly compensate for hitting the afterburner then turning. This gave me the idea that unlike in prophecy where a magic water exists to slow your ship down and make sure you don't go too fast, your ship computer compensates every control on your joystick to attempt to boost you straight forward even though your inertia is pushing you to the side. Falling naturally from that, your natural maximum speed is that which your computer can compensate for and keep you moving more or less straight ahead at the instant after a turn. Punching the afterburners will give it a few seconds of trouble, but no problem.
  • The computer is completed... its never-ending job being to attempt to get the ship you're piloting to travel at the "SET-SPEED" in the cockpit, no matter where you're flying after a missile blast or a collision--or a tight turn.
  • A system for interacting with the computer is also underway...where you can tell it 'stop compensating...I really do want to fly backwards because that's the way I'm heading' This will allow both players and AI to do seemingly impossible maneuvers...though mostly letting the computer control is the only way to seriously fight.
  • A system for humans interacting with the control computer via keyboard has been completed. Mouse support will follow closely behind if necessary; however, joystick control is pending a decent API choice. (recommendations?)
  • What does this mean? You keyboard jockeys can FINALLY control a ship instead of just a lame camera--a ship with pitch,yaw, roll limits, etc etc etc.... it's--wonderful! When can you expect a demo? In a matter of days/weeks depending on how done it really is (this computer doesn't have the hardware to conduct a thorough test of the movement)

From: Kiowan High Council

Normally we would not resort to hiring mercenaries to take care of our problems, but the bulk of our fighting force is near Crius, settling some unfinished business. We have one convoy, however, which was sent to make peace with the scum-sucking Papogod clan. They betrayed us and destroyed one carrier, along with its crew and fighter squadron. Another of our carriers which is on its way will be attacked soon at Nav Point 20. We are calling upon any mercenaries who are available to help stamp out the Papogod scum. Revenge will be ours.

Crius.Milestone

Crius.Net's incredibly popular Chat Zone reached a new record yesterday -- 1,000 registered users. So... join in the fun at a 'zone that can now literally boast a thousand of different opinions!

What's in Store

Want to get one of those zany TCS Concordia mousepads from CafePress, but don't want to pay $12? You're pretty darned cheap! But luckily CafePress is having a sale on mousepads... you can pick up a 'pad for just seven dollars for this week only! Visit the CIC store at this link.

Happy BirThdayC

Happy birthday to TC -- BL.org webmaster, CZ admin, beloved husband, father of three, fireman and robot. Trillin'! To prove we love him so much, here's the blank space where the picture Trelane once made of him would go:

Some Like It Hot

Shaggy has contacted a company called Hot Wings -- which makes die-cast airplanes and spacecraft. They say that they'd be interested in doing a line of Wing Commander ships... if there's enough support. If you'd like to see toy Wing Commander ships, contact them at info@hotwingsplanes.com to let them know!

From: Davis & Co., Armaments & Supplies

We have a cargo ship under escort, and we've just recieved word that the Jincilla are en route to ambush her. She is at Nav Point 20.

Trivia 3, Week 35

Page 35 of False Colors includes the quote "Don't forget, our President's a wanted mutineer and our fleet would likely lose an engagement to a squadron of target drones."
Welcome to Game Three, Week Thirty-Five 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 (July 1, 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 33 (starting June 18, 2001):

Question 67: What was a Confederation base or outpost destroyed in the mid 2630's?
Most Popular Answer: Alexandria Base

Question 68: What was a Confederation base or outpost destroyed in the mid 2650's?
Most Popular Answer: Pegasus Base

Bonus 34: What was a Confederation base or outpost destroyed in the early 2680's?
Answer: Confed Astronomical Station K-105 or Surveillance Outposts Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and Delta

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New Questions for Week 35 (starting June 25, 2001):

Question 69: What is the primary role of the Pelican Class craft?

Question 70: What is the primary role of the Zartoth Class craft?

Bonus 35: What is the primary role of either the Odysseus Class craft or the Copernicus Class craft?

Submissions are due by July 1, 2001.

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

From: CIS Headquarters, Security Div.

The Papogod terrorists seem hell-bent on destroying our space carriers. They've already destroyed one, the CIS Whatley, and are now attacking the CIS Stryker. We don't know what their ultimate goal is, but we are beginning to suspect the Kindred have some sort of secret alliance with them. She has plenty of fighters to protect her, but they are all rookies. We need you to go to Nav Point 20 and defend the Stryker from these pirates. Your skill is needed for this one, Ser Arris. Don't let us down.

You'll Ralar-Far

Unknown Enemy is currently afflicted with the virus that troubles all Wing Commander projects -- exams. They're slowly making progress, and can prove it with... a picture of a Ralari!

Check Out the Gratha

Brad McKinstry is working hard for the fans... he's developing 3D models of the various sprite based ships -- for use with the Vega Strike engine! Isn't that just the best model Gratha you've ever seen? He's captured the ship perfectly, in my opinion...

SuperCruise to a Beta

Many, many people have written to let us know that UbiSoft is now taking applications for the next stage of the Conquest: Frontier Wars beta. You can apply for the beta here. Conquest was a game developed by Digital Anvil, but dropped when Microsoft took over the company. As such, it is Concordia-tastic. You can find information about a WC mod for Conquest here.

More On Music

LeHah spoke more with The Fatman regarding the Wing Commander Soundtrack...
Q: Your brother works for what label?
A: owns lazySOB records, and texasmusicroundup.com

Q: Will this be a "big" release or an "In-house" release?
A: small out-house. Very texas, dontcha know. Doesn't make any difference--a record is a record.

Q: Estimated number to be made?
A: I dunno. A thousand to start.

Q: Any thought toward the inserts on the CD?
A: It'll be pretty slim in that regard, I imagine.

Q: And how much of the score will be on the CD?
A: Every stinkin' bit.

From: The Rand Corp

The archaeological dig on Anhur has uncovered some very interesting artefacts. These are to be taken to the moon of Leviatha for study. The only problem is the Jincilla pirate clan. We know through our sorces that they have heard of the shipment and are planning to seize it. We need you to meet this cargo ship at Hermes (NAV 5) and make sure the artefacts are delivered safely to Leviatha (NAV 116).

From: CIS Headquarters

To: ML Mercenaries
We have a transport full of Kindred prisoners, destined for the super space station Curium (NAV 150) where they will be questioned. She had an escort, but as she neared the system jump point she was ambushed and her escort destroyed. She managed to make the mump, but now is on her own. Meet the transport ship at Nav Point 55, and escort her to Curium (NAV 150). The Kindred are aware of her presence, and will stop at nothing to destroy her and all the prisoners.

Enter Jacinta

Mysterious IRCer Zero has finally revealed himself... in a good way! He's working on creating a sprite-based Wing Commander engine -- with a list of features that seems to put similar projects to shame! Check it out...
  • A cvar, bind and console system similar to that of Quake 3.
  • Network game abilities, including:
    • Ability to fly missions as a group in different ships, either on the same team or against other players.
    • Ability to have a networked player control your ships' turret(s).
    • Ability to just simply watch a game in progress.
  • Support for many types of music and sound formats, including MP3, MIDI, and WAVE.
  • Animation and movie playback using Smacker, Bink, MPEG1, AVI and a custom per-frame/game engine animation engine.
  • Multiple game resolutions supported, from 320*240~1024*768.
  • Simple game data file formats for ease of creating new missions and campaigns.
  • Decision based storylines.
  • Use of sprites of up to a near unlimited size.
  • Game physics which can be altered per game, or even per mission.
  • Use the same pilot file for every game you play, keeping track of your total kills, assists, and defensive achievements.
  • Customizable enemy/AI skill levels, including individual properties such as reaction time, agressiveness, intelligence, pilot skill, reliance and support of wingmen and more.
  • Support for WinDirect, DirectDraw, Direct3D, OpenGL, MiniGL via the SciTech Software Meta Graphics Library (MGL).
  • Eventual support for non-windows OSes such as MacOS and Linux.
  • Multiple game modes for any storyline, for example, allowing you to have two modes of play for say WC1, with both the original and new graphics.

Flying Colors

WildCat has created high-res Wing Commander logos... and he's posted them to the WC Invasion site in .psd format! The package includes 1024*1024 versions of the blue Confed star, the Black Lance triangle, the Kilrathi Imperial sigil and two different Border Worlds logos. You can download it here (1,927k).

Music, Music Everywhere

Gamasutra is running an article about George Sangar (the Fatman) -- best of all, it talks about his upcoming Wing Commander CD! We're mainstream! The feature itself is absolutely amazing... it includes a number of fascinating mp3s -- including the original Wing Commander 1 theme as surf music (which will be included on the CD as a bonus track)! There's also plenty of other interesting stuff for fans of gaming history... including music from Savage Empire, WC, the unreleased sequel to MULE and many others. Thanks, Beef (a comment oft-repeated around stately LOAF Manor)!

Stuff That Might Look Like Things - Part 1

Here's word from LeHah that we should be watching Men in Black this Saturday at 11...
I recently saw a commercial for the Men In Black cartoon. Apparently, Earth gets invaded...by the Kilrathi?! The fighters used in the episode look strangely like ones from the cover of WC1 (Forgot the class...brain fart!), all the way down to the lasers pointing out of the half circle wings! Anyone else notice this? MIB has done good spoofs of the genre several times (Predator, Alien, Fantastic 4 and the Marvel Universe) and I think this is another tip of the hat...

It's Only a Paper Ship

Brad McKinstry sends in these three pictures of Wing Commander ships he created using graph paper, tape, a pen and colored pencils... they're pretty dashed cool! He's planning on writing out the plans -- so drop him a line and let him know you're pretty darned interested! Plus, they're better armored than your average Epee...

From: CIS Flying Squad

To: ML. Ace Pilots
You've probably heard on the grapevine that we've got Ronula Smitts in custody, a former Kindred operative who is about to spill his guts on certain Kindred operations. He is currently in transit between Tersa (Nav 147) and Hades (Nav 6) We need you to meet up with the transport at Nav 147 and escort him to Hades. The Kindred want this guy dead so keep your eyes open.

Music Update!

LeHah has a status report on the upcoming Wing Commander 1 soundtrack (ten years in the making!)... Fatman has this to say regarding the choice between re-doing the music or keeping it true to the original sound: "One could justify reproducing the music either way. My choice is to reproduce the music closely to the best way that a person could authentically hear it at the time. When this question came up for the 7th Guest music, it seemed like a nice idea to allow the music more opportunities of evoking memories of playing the game. I'm not that interested in showing off how realistic I can make music sound. THIS TIME!" He also reports that he's recently met with his brother (who apparently works for a record company) regarding the CD...

Vega Strike Update!

HellcatV sends us this Vega Strike status update... sounds like we'll see something great from them real soon now!
I apologize for the lack of updates, but due to some oddities in sourceforge along with me having moved physical location, I have been unable to edit the webpage.

Progress has been moving forward! Beams have been completed, with a standardized weapon format being written into the unit.xml files. The names of weapons reference a master weapon list which contains the properties of all weapons a starship could have.

In addition, major effort has been spent on making a fast collision detection system. One might argue that collisions are rare as starships do not often crash...however each laser beam or mass driver cannon needs to collide in order to do damage, so a breathtakingly fast collision system is important!

I store all starships and beams in a 3d collision table that has divided space into sectors. starships are only compared with others in their sector. If their farthest out points are somewhat touching then more difficult and accurate tests are used. BSP's are not fully functional yet, so the collision system right now utilizes only bounding spheres and boxes (2 levels)

Lots of debugging effort has been put in to remove some very stupid bugs in the collision system...it now appears to be working:

***MESH midway.xunit - Unit DELIVERS DAMAGE TO Planet - sun.bmp
Killing velocity: (0.28409,-1.81515,-2.15836), 1.23215
***MESH midway.xunit - Unit DELIVERS DAMAGE TO Planet - moon.bmp

And lastly extremely preliminary code has been put into place for a slow port of the graphics libraries to C (as opposed to C++). AI and the collisions will remain C++.

So all is looking bright for vegastrike. We're still looking for AI programmers or programmers willing to port large quantities of C++ code to C. Please let me know at Hellcatv@hotmail.com

From: Davis & Co., Armaments and Supplies

There is a cargo ship fully loaded with top secret nerve weapons which would spell disaster for our corporation if they were to get out in the open. We need an experienced escort pilot, and your name has been mentioned to us as a likely candidate to get the job done. We need the cargo delivered from Crius (NAV4) to Karatikus (NAV 0), and, due to a security leak we are still attempting to uncover, this information is now known to a small number of Kiowan pirates. They will stop at nothing to get this cargo, so beware.

From: Serra Helena Shlegel

To: ML Ace Pilots
I am a humanist and normally would never stoop to using this technology, but currently I have no choice. I am being pursued by the Kiowan pirate clan for reasons I do not wish to divulge, and I would rather use the technology of your booth system than die. I understand there is a Kiowan fighter detachment somewhere near Anhur, my home. I need a daring and impartial pilot to check the immediate area around Anhur (NAV 7) for these warships, and to destroy them if contact is made. My family is in danger. I need you to help me.

... and I'm All Out of StarLancer

Shaggy has sent in three nifty screenshots from his Wing Commander/Duke 3D mod... check 'em out! The project is called Wing Commander Marine Force Recon, and is currently having its second level designed. Plans are currently to do three episodes with seven to eight levels each. A web site will be available soon... keep watching the news.

From: Ser Ragnar Dannes

To: ML Mercenary; ML Ace Pilots

Please help me! I was told that the pilots on these mailing lists were usually reliable, and at the very least would do anything for a buck. I need someone to save me from a rogue band of Papogod terrorists that I may have pissed off.
I need to leave Crius and I fear they may be preparing to ambush me.
You've seen the amount I'm offering. That will be paid to whoever goes to all four NAV points around Crius and kills any Papogod warships present. Please help, I'm desperate.

Veteran at the Helm

The Lancers Reactor has posted a very cool interview with Phil Wattenbarger and Jörg Neumann, the producers of FreeLancer. They finally credit the game's script to Wing Commander veteran Adam Foshko; and there is, of course, the required WC reference...
There are currently around 20 missions in the story line, and they are all quite multi-part. When you look at a game like Wing Commander, you jump from one point to the next, and each place is an action-bubble, where something happens. You do not get the sense of place and dimension in a game like that, but only see some disconnected places. In Freelancer, everybody you meet has a "mission" or a plan, and they do come from somewhere, so they do have a "home".

I'm Board!

Here's something you might not have seen (because before Joe Garrity kindly gave it to me last weekend, I'd never seen it either)... it's a promotional monitor cover thing for Wing Commander IV! It's a cardboard square with all the keys and such that you place around your screen... it was given out at software stores circa 1996. You can find out more about rare Origin items at The Origin Museum!

Trivia 3, Week 34

2634 marked the beginning of the most terrifying war in history. Now play trivia.
Welcome to Game Three, Week Thirty-Four 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 10, 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 33 (starting June 11, 2001):

Question 65: What were the details surrounding a destruction of Jeannette Devereaux's fighter during a mission?
Most Popular Answer: Angel's Rapier was knocked out as she destroyed an incoming Skipper Missile during a sneak attack attempted on Sol System in '54.

Question 66: What were the details surrounding a destruction of Todd Marshall's fighter during a mission?
Most Popular Answer: Maniac sacrificed his craft to cover Blair during the Kilrah Temblor Run in '69. Some sharp trivia players came up with some good answers from his academy days as well.

Bonus 33: What were the details surrounding a destruction of Troy Carter's fighter during a mission?
Most Popular Answer: Catscratch got cocky during a milk run to retrieve a satellite and wound up leeched. His craft was destroyed to prevent Confed from retrieving the item.

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New Questions for Week 33 (starting June 18, 2001):

Question 67: What was a Confederation base or outpost destroyed in the mid 2630's?

Question 68: What was a Confederation base or outpost destroyed in the mid 2650's?

Bonus 34: What was a Confederation base or outpost destroyed in the early 2680's?

Submissions are due by June 24, 2001.

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

From: CIS

Rogue transport ships have left Anhur ferrying Humanist rebels. Normally the Humanists would not condescend to travelling in such vessels, but these Humanists are different. Some of them are infected with a terminal disease that is extremely contagious. These transports must be prevented from reaching populated areas. Single out and terminate any ships carrying these infected Humanists.
The humanists know of our intentions and will be prepared to defend themselves.

Sound Off!

Shaggy is looking for someone to provide good Wing Commander .wav files for use with a Duke Nukem 3D conversion. He's looking for both pre-existing Kilrathi taunts as well as voice talent to record lines as the main character and as Mandarins. E-mail him or post to this thread if you can help.

Trivia Reminder

As always, please remember to turn in your Week 33 Trivia scores to Chris Reid by midnight tonight. If you don't... well, that'd make Trelane angry. Scores and Week 34 questions will be posted Monday morning.

From: CIS

WANTED: Bounty hunters who can keep calm in the face of great odds!
A bandit going by the name of Cravien Shard has been causing us untold problems. Intelligence informs us that Shard has been recruiting for a raiding party at Nav Point 149. Jump to Nav Point 149 and erase all traces of Shard and his crew. Proceed with extreme caution.

WCA Mirrors Down

Unfortunately, our Wing Commander Academy full mirror will be down for the forseeable future... someone apparently set their auto-getting program to download the entire series at ten connections per episode, effectively ruining the bandwith of the people who were kind enough to host the episodes for you. So... a big thanks to Lord Nightwalker for keeping the series up as long as he did -- you helped a whole bunch of fellow fans! TyeDyeBoy's episode-a-week downloads will continue to cycle.

From: Messineo Couriers, LTD.

There is an ex-mining base at Nav Point 225 that contains extremely valuable information stored in a device independent from its main computer. The Kindred are after this information, but not to steal it, merely to destroy it. They have already tried swarming the base with infantry and engineers, but we repelled their attack taking Kindred prisoners as we went. We were hoping to use them as a human shield but they are only interested in their sole objective to blow up the entire station. Kindred ships are now massing at a nearby navpoint. Get to Nav point 225 A.S.A.P. and defend the base.

From: CIS Special Div.

We have ourselves a major problem.

The crew of the CIS Kaitlin have mutinied and jumped ship. Although the mutineers have not yet been located (believe me, they will be) the Kaitlin has. She is now stranded at Nav point 120.

Two CIS Cruisers have been posted to oversee the recovery operation. However, no CIS fighter units are available at this time to help. We require a mercenary to help defend the carrier while the recovery units make their way to the Kaitlin. Let us stress that the Kaitlin is a very valuable piece of military hardware which must not fall into enemy hands.

Deadly Messengers

Well... here's a scary picture from a game called Deadly Messengers (pointed out by the Chat Zone's gryphon) -- is that not a Hellcat V class medium fighter? Interestingly, this site claims that the game is from 1995 (they had C64 games in 1995?)... the soup thickens; which came first, the Hellcat or the egg?

From: Meredith Textiles, LTD.

To: Ser Lev Arris
A rather large and valuable amount of Cerillian is to be transported from Ferix (NAV 125) to Nav 142. It will need the utmost care, and we have decided that you are the right candidate for the assignment. SHe needs to reach Pletirat with her cargo intact. This is an extremely valuable cargo. Do not let us down, Ser Arris.

Snakey Name Here

Brad McKinstry was kind enough to send us a sneak preview of the Snakeir class SuperDreadnought he's modelling for the Black Widow project... check it out!

From: Meredith Textiles, LTD.

The Jincilla are hovering around the space station Curium (Nav Point #150), most likely to intercept a cargo ship full of Neo-Arnen fabric we need to deliver there. Meet the ship at Pletirat (Nav Point #142), and escort her to her destination. This is extremely important, for reasons I do not wish to discuss.

Crius.Net Milestone

Another exciting number from Crius.Net: the Crius.Net free mail service now has 500 active users! If you don't have an @Crius.Net account, you're missing out on what could be the finest Privateer 2 based free e-mail service in the world...

What Came Before

TC has found something interesting... a flight sim called Wing Commander for the Commodore 64 that pre-dates our favorite series by six years. Read a bit more about it here.

Wonderful Pictures

Zohrath has updated his page with four beautiful new pieces of Wing Commander art -- and he's providing the made-from-scratch models (of the Lance and the Tallahassee) he used to all who want them. Check 'em out... and grab the models at members.nbci.com/Zohrath/.

From: Hermes Lumber Co.

Three jettisoned crates full of lumber from Hermes have been drifting around NAv Point #14 for a while now, rotting away while Anhur awaits its shipment. It is rumoured that the original courier of the ship was taken over by Jincilla pirates, who are fanatical about the protection of rainforests. They seem to think that if they just let the wood rot away in space, they can stop the production of it. So they capture lumber barges and abandon their cargo. We came across your name as a likely cndidate to do well on this mission, so we need you to pick up the crates and drop them off in the vicinity of Anhur.

You Want to Build an Orion?

I'm telling you, you do! Bob McDob has created more Wing Commander LEGO instructions... you can find the Talon, Orion and Concordia battlecruiser at his web site (along with updated battleship and Scimitar models).

Monk Found, WCU Continues

The Wing Commander Universe mod for Vega Strike has announced that it will include a single-player character based storyline... Darkmage is requesting that people submit Quake and UT models for use as characters -- he's already found... well, a monk. (He's looking for Kilrathi and Confed marines, as well as a 3D artist to design bars).

Trivia 3, Week 33

This week's trivia is the hull number of the TCS Victory minus the hull number of the TCS Tiger's Claw.
Welcome to Game Three, Week Thirty-Three 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 10, 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 32 (starting June 4, 2001):

Question 63: What was an incident that caused Christopher Blair to be investigated or court martialed?
Most Popular Answer: The destruction of the TCS Tiger's Claw

Question 64: What was an incident that caused Jason Bondarevesky to be investigated or court martialed?
Most Popular Answer: The mutiny aboard the TCS Gettysburg

Bonus 32: What was an incident that caused Geoffrey Tolwyn to be investigated or court martialed?
Most Popular Answer: The Black Lance Affair

------New Questions for Week 33 (starting June 11, 2001):

Question 65: What were the details surrounding a destruction of Jeannette Devereaux's fighter during a mission?

Question 66: What were the details surrounding a destruction of Todd Marshall's fighter during a mission?

Bonus 33: What were the details surrounding a destruction of Troy Carter's fighter during a mission?

Submissions are due by June 17, 2001.

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

From: Phat-Tunes Inc.

There is a Bexian band in a beat-up cargo freighter, ID'd as "The Buckaroo Boys". It's rumoured they were once booed off stage and now think that no-one is 'cool' enough to appreciate their music. They have vowed to rid the world of musical philistines and play their music at a frequency that vibrates the brain causing haemorrhaging and death. They need removing before any unsuspecting concert crowds suffer at their hands. By the time you arrive, they'll be at Nav Point 185.

Black Widows Have Formed Up

The Black Widows page has been updated with five new non-player ships, one new player ship and a lot more general information about the game. H.E. Day would also like to thank everyone who contacted him to help with the project -- he reports that an entire team has now been assembled! Good luck, guys...

WCA Mirror, Episode 3

It's Wing Commander Academy switching time again... You can now download Episode 3 from Tye's server... here! The episode is titled "The Most Delicate Instrument", and is considered by many to be the best of the series -- certainly, it's the first of the series that really begins to take the characters seriously.

Happy Birthday, BLHQ!

Happy second birthday to BlackLance.org! In addition to being one of the worlds most prominent Wing Commander RPGs, BLHQ is kind enough to host many of our files for us... So congrats on the big two, guys! And, especially, congratulations to MNelson -- who created something that's fun and helpful for Wing Commander fans everywhere. We're all deeply in your debt!

From: CIS Headquarters, Security Div.

We need the help of a mercenary with a fast and well equipped ship. We have been told the Jincilla clan has amassed a large amount of weaponry, but we don't know where because one of their shuttles is equipped with a jamming device. There is a cargo ship at Nav Point #93, that is trying to smuggle supplies to the Jincilla, and he may be heading towards this base. ID this cargo ship, it's supposedly carrying lumber. When you find his destination go there and take out the jamming destroyer. We will be monitoring our scanners and if the base appears we will be straight in with back-up. Good luck.

Space Battle Upgraded

Sadic's ultra-keen Space-Battle movie has been updated. The movie is now of a higher quality and features improved music... the space battle is a ten minute 3D film of... well, a space battle. And it's got some ship models from Prophecy!

From: Messineo Couriers, LTD.

We have had information that the Papogods have lost some cargo and are very keen to get it back again. We are very interested to find out what it is and anyone who can pick it up and transport it to Crius will be richly rewarded. The cargo was last seen at Nav Point #37.

From: Messineo Couriers, LTD.

Kiowan pirates have been seen lurking around that area of Nav Point 185. We have a cargo station there, and it contains "material" that the Kiowans are notorious for savouring. We cannot divulge what this cargo is, as we are bound by confidentiality but we are prepared to compensate you a little more than usual for trusting us when we say it is very valuable.

AR, it's The Movie

Ghost reports that Cinecanal in Argentina will be airing the Wing Commander Movie twice this month. Locally, the movie is titled "Escuadron Espacial" -- Space Squadron. Times as follows...

Wednesday, June 20th - 20:15
Sunday, June 30th - 18:40

A Very Regional Review

CFF got his hands on a German Region 2 Wing Commander movie DVD -- and he was kind enough to review it for us. Here are his first impressions... You can order your own Region 2 DVD from Amazon.De.
K, got the WCM DVD, Region 2 - German today. Pretty much a disappontment at the first glance (compared to the US release).

DVD-case is the same as the English version. A bit different size of images and different text. They rather concentrate on advertising it as extension of the game as as a crossover of StarshipTrooper and Top Gun. BTW: German version is FSK-12... So we can see it one year earlier then you :P

Opening the box I noticed the lack of a a booklet. Also immediately a writing error jumped into my eye: "Chapter 5 - The Tigerk Claw" Ah, yeah - well...

The case of the DVD again lies (The english version said that there is French language which isn't) about the content - or I am just to dumb to find them? In case of the R2 DVD they say English and German 5.1 sound. That one is correct. However Subtitles are only in German while they claim English ones. Ditto for the menu. I could only see a German menu, no switch for it. The claimed Widescreen 16:9 also doesn't seem to be present. Only 2,35:1.

But as I said I did only have a first look.

The menu on the DVD is even worse then the English ones. They skipped any animations when switching through the (very few subpages). Also there are no trailers on the German version.

Mmmm, that is pretty much it. Oh, yes. As expected the dubbing is kinda odd. Especially Paladin sounded awful to my eyes. Actually all actors I did hear in a quick glance got too much of mickey mouse voices for me.

Black Widows

H.E. Day has, once again, updated the Black Widows site... the site now features new landing animations, as well as updated versions of the old ones (now in MPEG format). New ship specs and descriptions have been added... as have a pair of new ships! Remember to contact him if you're a programmer, character artist or musician interested in helping out with his game.

Happy J-Day

A belated (one day) Happy Birthday to Captain Johnny Guentzel -- veteran Wing Commander designer, Stellar Cartographer and Midway Pilot. Have a good one!

No P3 Yet

We have recieved confirmation from Electronic Arts that they have not announced a third Privateer title -- putting to rest a current influx of rumors. Someday...

From: Meredith Textiles, LTD.

Our factory on Leviatha has been recieving bomb threats from radical Jincilla environmentalists, claiming that the waste produced by our factories is ruining the environment. We have reason to believe these threats are to be taken seriously, so we need an able pilot to patrol the Nav Points around Leviatha (Nav Point #116). This will include three patrol legs, Nav Points #116, #113, #117, #117, #126, #194, #195, #199, & #200.

Jalthree-Dee

Sadic has been hard at work on his 3D models... check out these Jalthi! He plans to do a Kilrathi cap ship next... that'll be really neat!

More War

The Star Wars: Galaxies web page has been updated with a new Team Comments article... with commentary from longtime WC developer Jeff Grills. (Thanks, Tye).
Then, Origin Systems was looking for a programmer to work on Wing Commander Armada, the first multiplayer game that Origin had done in that product line. The experience I had in computer communication landed me that job. I worked on a wide variety of systems in that game and became familiar with 3d computer graphics. I stayed at Origin and worked on Kilrathi Saga, and eventually wrote the 3d graphics engine for Wing Commander Prophecy.

Rebel Forces

Ladiesman has sent in a WC mod of sorts -- fans of Star Wars: Rebellion can download this pack (342k) to replace a number of ships and such with Wing Commander themed units. He's looking for someone to grab screenshots, so if you make use of the mod, please take a few shots for him.

From: University of Hermes, College of Biological Research

We have finally achieved success in a set of experiments previously untried. The results are very volatile, very confidential, and very valuable. We are probably being paranoid, but in our efforts to trensport the "results" from the moon of Destinas (Nav Point #98) to our new research lab on Draknor (Nav Point #153), we've discovered unusually large numbers of Kindred in the area. We must make sure that our route is clear before we attempt to transport this shipment. Anyone who will complete this mission will be well paid.

Whispers of Privateer 3

Rumors have surfaced from multiple sources regarding plans for a third Privateer game -- unfortunately, at this time, these rumors are unfounded. Apparently, several online stores are now taking pre-orders for such a game (here's one, sent in by Iceman) -- Electronic Arts has not announced such a game, yet. We'll have to wait and see if there's something more to all this -- but please, don't get your hopes u.

Missing Excalibur

Can't find the Excalibur at that Rebellion mod site we mentioned the other day? You're not alone... for some reason, the fighter is listed as "CLOAK" instead of Excalibur in the fighters section -- so, now you know.

A Work of Art

After months of anticipation, Phoenix has premiered his newest Wing Commander web site. Phoenix is both a true artist when it comes to web design and a master of creating things in the Wing Commander Universe. His new site, Task Force 16, is a pure joy to take in.

From: Messineo Couriers, LTD.

A cargo ship carrying hardware from Cargo Station Lironas (Nav Point #133) to the Equipment Station Corsas (Nav Point #94) has been attacked by pirates just after leaving the planet. The original escort was killed and some of the cargo taken. The Captain is unhurt but shaken and we need someone to escort the rest of the cargo back to Lironas.

Trivia 3, Game 32

Check your scores here. Regular updates will be delayed until tonight.
Welcome to Game Three, Week Thirty-Two 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 10, 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 31 (starting May 28, 2001):

Question 61: What are three fighters that carry exactly three main guns?Most Popular Answers: Broadsword, Morningstar, Piranha and Drakhri.

Question 62: What is a fighter that carries exactly three regular missiles?Most Popular Answer: Hornet

Bonus 31: What are the distinctions of three different Excalibur variants?Most Popular Answers: Reaper Cannons on the 103A, Ion Cannons on the 103B, Increased Shields on the 103D and a Stealth Loadout on the Recon Excal

------
New Questions for Week 32 (starting June 4, 2001):

Question 63: What was an incident that caused Christopher Blair to be investigated or court martialed?

Question 64: What was an incident that caused Jason Bondarevesky to be nvestigated or court martialed?

Bonus 32: What was an incident that caused Geoffrey Tolwyn to be nvestigated or court martialed?

Submissions are due by June 10, 2001.

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

From: The Tight Violinist LTD.

There's a cargo ship full of hops that needs to be escorted from Anhur (Nav Point #7) to Bex (Nav Point #2) for the big beer festival. Thousands will be descending on the planet to taste classic Bex brews such as 'Gut-wrencher', 'Old-bloater' and 'Ring-bleeded'. We need these hops to brew enough beer to keep the drunken masses happy otherwise there will be a riot. See that it gets there in one piece.

The Last One Left

Lum the Mad reports that longtime Origin director of Public Relations David Swofford, a noted friend to the Wing Commander community, plans to join the Destination Games team... his loss is a shame for all of us, but here's to hoping he's getting a good deal. And hey, this means none of the people listed at Origin's page under "Executive Management" are still employed.

Rebel Against Conformity!

The Chat Zone's Lunatic has found a web site that posts new units for Star Wars: Rebellion (the RTS game). What's so great? The Panther, Piranha, Shrike, Devestator, Vampire and Wasp can be imported!

From: Go-Cargo Co.

Pirates have attacked and destroyed a cargo ship travelling between the moon of Athos (Nav Point #120), and the space station Reva (Nav Point #136). The Captain ejected his cargo before the ship exploded, however the pirates must have missed this as it is still floating in space. There may still be pireates in the area, so the reward will be higher than a simple recovery operation. Simply defend the cargo at Nav Point #138, retrieve it, and drop it off near Reva (Nav Point #136).

Black Widows Form Up

H.E. Day has updated his Black Widows project page with weapons specs, movies of landing zones and a new ship! You can find out all about it here -- he's still looking for programmers, character artists, musicians and "anyone with a cool idea for a Privateer-esque game"... this one looks like it could be a winner, so it'd be great if someone out there could lend him a hand. Here's his new ship...

Dessert Toping or Floor Wax?

No, it's both! There's been some debate as to whether or not the picture of a Confederation carrier posted yesterday is a Ranger or a Concordia... luckily, WildCat has cleared up the mystery for us: it's the Ranger model (WC3) with modified Concordia textures (WC4). Another case closed.

WC1Amp v1.1 Released

Mike Rohde has created a WinAMP skin based on the Wing Commander 1 box -- and he was kind enough to send it to us! You can download it here (353k), and check out a picture below...

Mini-Heretic!

reports over at the Chat Zone that a British Company called Brigade Models manufactures tiny space ship miniatures for a boardgame called "Squadron Commander 3600"... it's interesting because, in addition to sharing a dozen different names with Wing Commander fighters, they also have a pair of craft that look just like the Freij and Heretic. If you've ever wanted some little Privateer 2 ships, this is a great opportunity... check 'em out!

From: Cargo Couriers LTD.

We have lost all communication with a cargo ship travelling between the moon of Petra (Nav Point #95) and the space station Tersa (Nav Point #147). Her last known position was Nav Point #149. There is a history of magnetic disturbances in the area, and she may have been crippled as a result of a powerful burst. The cargo holds are powered electronically, so expect her cargo to have been jettisoned and drifting. If it is, pick it up and drop it off in Tersa's local space. We will find it after that. When you find the ship, be sure to identify her so we may lock on to her position and begin recovery measures. Also, watch out for Jincilla pirates.

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