Demo at Work

Thanks to Raymond Chau, Karl Frank and Jetlag for sending us a working Wing Commander 2 Demo! If you haven't tried it, here's your chance! It's basically an 'earlier' version of the Wing Commander 2 intro... the voices aren't anywhere near as cool as in the finished product, but there's some great alternate artwork and odd bits of information (Thrakhath's title, for instance). You can grab your working copy here.

WCPolaroids (8/11)

Hey, it's Blair... looking at the set painter's ass... moving on!

In the Name of Action

Wing Commander's first serious mod has a new release! Here's Newcommanderondablock with the details:
Hello fellow wingnuts.

There has been a release for the Wing Commander Fleet Action MOD for Homeworld. It contains over 10 ships including:

Dragon (CANNOT be build, add them to a map if you want to use), Ralari, Sabre, K'Ha'Haf, Venture, Exeter and the all-famour carriers: TCS Concordia and the TCS Tiger's Claw.

They are available for download (985Kb) at the Wing Commander Fleet Action MOD's webpage here.

A direct download link is: here.

The original packs needed are: here and here.

I hope everyone enjoys this new release. If there are any problems, just go to the forums on the site and tell us.

Over and out
Newcommanderondablock

WCPolaroids (7/11)

Finding out that Blair was being interrogated by a Nephilim Warlord was, of course, a key moment in Prophecy... but did they have to reinforce that Casey would rather daydream about Mark Hamill covered in goo than talk to Finley?

Ritual of Pukcal

Today marks the second-most important holy day of the Kilrathi religion. The Ritual of Pukcal is a day-long ceremony of atonement which takes place at Temples of Sivar. Unfortunately, it's Saturday, so 'Kilrathi religious event' can't be used as an excuse to skip work. Now, come Monday you can probably take off for Kilrathi religious event observed...

WCPolaroids: Blair (6/11)

If Blair were an Enterpise cast member, this would be his publicity shot! Actually, I believe this is the outfit he wears during the 'torture' scene... without all the goo and silly string all over it it.

Breaking News: Eight is Great!

The guys over at Raylight report that Puissance Pocket, a French GBA site, has an excellent article about Raylight and Prophecy GBA... complete with eight new screenshots! The new screenshots and a translation of the Prophecy-relevant portions of the article follow:

But Raylight is not satisfied to simply create video games: in March, the company announced the development of a new 3D engine, BlueRoses. This technology is very impressive, and it shows the power of the Game Boy Advance's hardware. This is truly 3D, and the character animation looks fantastic.

All of this is memory intensive: Wings will need an 8 megabyte cartridge, while Wing Commander will need 4 megabytes. Why are the sizes so different? Massimiliano di Monda, Vice-President of Raylight, explains: "Wing Commander uses a 4 mb cartridge because it makes use of our 3D Blue Roses engine, while Wings uses a sprite-based engine." The difference is clear!

From Star Giants to Wing Commander

Raylight Studios will use their own engine in several of their games, like Wing Commander Prophecy, which we showed you in January. Bicouli presented a game called Star Giants, which was very "Wing Commander-ish". Since then, we have learned that Star Giants has become Wing Commander. Crazy, yes?

The game is a beautiful example of what Raylight is able to do: use the existing technology without becoming a slave to it! Raylight has tried to bring new life to a game which 386DX owners discovered eleven years ago, adding new music to an ambience that will always be... special.

The game of the last century has thusly found a new youth, with ships and environments designed with the style of the day. There will be about thirty ships available, twenty fighters and ten capital ships.

50 missions will be available, with many varied objectives: capture an enemy base, defend your own base, defend yourself, the missions will not fail! As in the original game, you can discuss your missions with other pilots in the bar, and the scenario will change according to your results.

Raylight is happy to add an original feature: a multiplayer mode is included with the program, making it possible to play the missions with four players! Most importantly, though, it remains faithful to Wing Commander by having rich, complex scenarios where your actions will have major consequences on the outcome of the game.

Got WC2 Demo?

Apparently our local copy of the Wing Commander 2 demo is corrupt! Does anyone out there have it backed up somewhere? The WC2 Demo is awfully neat... it's basically the WC2 intro with different artwork (you see a closeup of the Kilrathi guards) and different voices. If you've got a copy, please send it to the CIC; we'll post it for everyone and then we'll go on and on about how great you are. Thanks!

-- Updated -- Kris: We've got a working copy.

WCPolaroids: Blair (5/11)

We're about to go over the Blair-hump (staring Ginger Lynn and Jennifer MacDonald)! That said, here's Blair in his flight suit:

Happy Birthday, Wing Commander!

Wow -- it's been twelve years to the day since the original Wing Commander was released. Happy birthday! The games (and movies and TV series and novels and cards and so on) have meant a whole bunch to a lot of different people. We've been through a some really great times following Wing Commander... and I honestly believe there's a great future for the series. Here's to the next twelve! Beat Ultima!

WCPolaroids: Blair (4/11)

Ever wonder what Blair's wearing under that uniform? A cashmere sweater, apparently.

Drawing nUEar

Good news from the Unknown Enemy front: the team hopes to release the final mod in "mid-October". Lets cross our fingers and hope that's true! You can see all sorts of crazy details at their news page. Until then, they've posted a new shot showing off the HUD:

WCPolaroids: Blair (3/11)

Here's... Commodore Blair's chest! As you can see, his rank insignia is upside down... Fun fact: In Wing 4, Blair and Seether wore the same sets of ribbons -- arranged in the opposite order. So if you were really, really anal you could tell that Seether was the anti-Blair the moment you saw him in uniform (trying to knife a guy and blowing up a space station in the intro were also good clues).

Before They Were Stars

Chris Reid reports that John Spencer won the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Emmy Award for his work on The West Wing. Spencer played the ill-fated Captain Hugh Paulsen (or Paulson! You decide!) in Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom. Congrats... but, no, we still don't want any pretzels.

WCPolaroids: Blair (2/11)

Commodore Blair doesn't know what's what! Is it just me, or does the pipe he's grasping look remarkably like a light sabre?

Prophecy GBA Preview Surfaces

InsideGamer.nl has posted their preview of Prophecy GBA. The article talks about the Wing Commander series in general, and some of the specifics of the GBA port. There's nothing in this preview that we haven't seen before, but it's great to see the press take notice. We reported earlier on an article in an Italian magazine that had some information on the multiplayer option Raylight is adding. You can read more about that here and here.

Holding The Line: Chapter 143

Here is Raptor with the introduction to the latest release:
Hey all, Raptor here.

Just to prove that a bloody, prolonged and possible futile battle against massively powerful and total ruthless alien invaders doesn't have to be all doom and gloom, we're going to be doing something a little different for the next few weeks. It's now Feb 14th 2681, Valentine's Day. The combat fleets might not have had much time to celebrate romance, but it's a different story away from the frontlines. HTL continues with the eleventh story in the Scraps of Honour series, which follows the Border Worlds reserve force. Like most in this series, it's a whopper, and has been split into three chapters. It's been written by Nick "Chaeronea" Deane, so please send any and all comments to him at chaeronea@bigpond.com, not to me.

Apart from that, there's good news and bad news. The chapters here on the CIC are now fully caught up with those on the Aces list, and this chapter is the same one that I'm mailing to the club. From now on, you'll get new chapters at the same time the Aces do, rather than settling for delayed coverage. The bad news is that you'll only get chapters every fortnight from now on, the same as the Aces do. We've got some great stuff coming up though, including this Valentine's Day special, a Halloween special and of course the conclusion to the Loki battle, so stay tuned.

Best, Raptor

You can read "Till death do us party" here.

MovieFone Love for WC

In its promotion for Ecks vs Sever, MovieFone asks "Which came first, the movie or the game?" After Tomb Raider, Resident Evil and others, Wing Commander is the final question.
The fact that Freddie Prinze Jr. stars in this movie should've clued you in. Has this guy ever been in a movie that wasn't an adaptation? "I Know What You Did Last Summer" was a book. "Scooby-Doo" was a cartoon. His next film? "Happily N'Ever After" - based on the Cindarella fairy tale.

In Other News

Speaking of Prinze, if you didn't catch it in the magazines, Freddie Prinze Jr. and his fiance Sarah Michelle Gellar of "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" were married a few weeks ago. They recently starred together in "Scooby Doo" and met on the set of "I Know What You Did Last Summer." There's a joke about Matthew Lillard in there somewhere.

Wing Commander on German Television Tonight

As Stardust made us aware last week and CFKoch reminded us today, don't forget to catch Wing Commander on the "Pro 7" network at 8:15 pm tonight. It appears to be the first television showing in Germany.

Threes a Crowd, Fours a Prophecy

Here's another translated segment from the Raylight article in the recent Italian Nintendo magazine. It includes some fascinating new information on Wing Commander Prophecy's multiplayer mode. Read on:
NRU: Wing Commander Prophecy was called Star Giants for a time, wasn't it?
Raylight: Given the lack of a similar game in the GameBoy Advance's "library" we began to develop a clone of Wing Commander. After we discovered that Destination Software held the rights for the use of the title, the conversion became possible. R-Type 3 has had a very similar beginning, starting with our idea and then joining with Irem (copyright holders) and Destination (producers).

NRU: What can you say about the multiplayer option implemented in Wing Commander Prophecy?
Raylight: The challenges will be played with a maximum of four player-controlled spacecraft and equally as many from the CPU, for a total of eight craft in combat simultaneously on-screen. Gameplay will include numerous additional characteristics for deathmatch and cooperative missions, including the defense of particular outposts. Unfortunately the volume reduction through the connection cable means that four cartridges are necessary in order to enjoy these extras, though we think it's worth it!

WCPolaroids: Blair (1/11)

And dancing his way into the next segment of Prophecy polaroids is Commodore Christopher Blair! As with before, these are thanks to Adam Foshko, the Origin Museum and the scanning efforts of Cpl Hades!

Register Early, Register Often

Pre-registration for Dragon*Con 2003 has opened, and if you register before November 15th you'll be paying only $40! That means you save $35 over paying at the door -- and there's already guaranteed excitement as Hades, Chris and I have already signed up! Head over to the membership page for details. As with 2001 and 2002 there'll be a bunch of Wing Commander fans getting together and a lot of fun to be had!

WCPolaroids: Anderson (4/4)

The woman next to him is CAG Drake... and we're not sure who's bending over in back of him. And sure, he's smiling here... but have you ever seen Anderson yell at you when you turn traitor around the Midway? Give it a try -- lob a few shots at Maniac (you know you want to!). It's scary acting on par with Eisen's "elves" speech in Wing Commander III.

Picture Plus 100 Words

Thanks to the kind folks at Raylight we now have the article that goes with yesterdays Wing Commander Prophecy image. Translated from Italian:
Wing Commander Prophecy
(Destination Software)

In what will probably be Raylight's first product, they show how they can use their technology effectively. It recieved "best runner-up award 2002" at the most recent E3, recognized for its mission design, multiplayer options, freedom of play, amazing sound effects and use of artificial intelligence, not to mention its use of polygons and fluid scrolling. Originally called Star Giants, a quality clone of the legendary Wing Commanders, it changed its name after the rights were aquired officially from Electronic Arts.

Image Caption: Exiting the hangar is done entirely with polygons.

WCPolaroids: Anderson (3/4)

Sure, another picture of Lieutenant Anderson is great -- I'm not saying it isn't... but today's polaroid reveals something truly frightening. That's right, Bob-O-Matte somehow survived being blown to bits in Wing Commander 4, only to become a tarot-dealing Colonel on the Midway. Cue eerie music.

The First Just Got Better

Thanks to Raylight we now have a direct version of the first Wing Commander Prophecy screenshot -- so you can see a fair bit more detail than you could in the mis-colored, grainy magazine scan. They ask that we point out that this is not the final cockpit design, as more has been added since the shot was taken. They also confirm that the November release date for the game is possible, although nothing has been set in stone. If you're in Italy, you can find the screenshot in the local equivalent of Nintendo Power. If there's an article, we'd love to see it!

WCPolaroids: Anderson (2/4)

Lieutenant Anderson sure is happy... maybe because he doesn't know what kind of Lieutenant he is! Now there's a bad segue! But a serious issue: according to the Wing Commander Prophecy Official Guide Anderson is a First Lieutenant... but according to his rank in these pictures, he's a Second Lieutenant.

Movie on TV

Stardust has good news for German fans: the Wing Commander movie will be shown on "Pro 7" on Friday the 20th at 8:15 PM. Everyone should try and watch the movie on TV whenever possible -- at some point a TV station is sure to air a version with the cut scenes included...

WCPolaroids: Anderson (1/4)

Thanks to Prophecy director Adam Foshko and Joe Garrity's Origin Museum (scanning by Hades) we now have a large lot of Wing Commander Prophecy polaroids... and we'll be updating with one each day. These are 'continuity photos', which were taken between shots during the filming of Wing Commander Prophecy to ensure that characters looked the same between takes (ribbons in the right place, proper ranks used, etc.). To start the feature off, here's Second Lieutenant Liam Anderson (played by Seth Walther). A good view of the silver (naval) second lieutenant's insignia.

Cartoon Week Day 3

I don't think HoTT could have fooled anyone with this cartoon, except maybe the Lancer's Reactor crew.

That's the last cartoon for now. You can visit HoTT's website for more creations.

Holding The Line: Chapter 142

Raptor is here with the introduction to the latest release in the Holding The Line series:
Hey all, Raptor here.

As I said last time, we're taking a break from the fighting in Loki to look at what's happening in other parts of the universe, and we continue that theme with Part Five of the "Toeing The Line" series. This time around, we're going to follow the Confed reserve troops who have been sent to Nifelhiem to backstop the Combined Fleet when it retreats there. It also follows on from the story "Hades Rising", which was published in our last arc. This chapter was published by James Andrew "JAG" Greenhow, so please send any and all comments to him at Rambo.123uk@btinternet.com, not to me.

Best, Raptor

You can read the new chapter here.

CIC 9/11 Update

Well, it's the rock and the hard place: everyone in the universe is tired of bland, meaningless memorials... but to not update would be disrespectful. Last year the Wing Commander online community responded to the attacks with a remarkable amount of tact and maturity -- let's let that be the memorial, and let us hope that the rest of the world will follow this lead.

New WCP GBA Dates

The online retailer release dates for Wing Commander Prophecy GBA have been updated with more realistic expectations! KB Toys now lists the date as November 21st, and DVDBoxOffice now lists November 29th. No other stores seem to have added Prophecy to their catalogues yet.

Cartoon Week Day 1

The first of three cartoons HoTT sent in deals with everyone's biggest nightmare:

Vega Strike Releases Screenshots, Announces Features

Vega Strike's HellcatV has released the first new screenshots in a long time. You can admire them here.
Soon Coming to a Vega Strike near you............

You'll be thankful to note that the next version will include missile trails, ship damage (leaking fuel) and animated shockwaves like prophecy but with an animated texture as well! The next version will also have some missions where you hire wingmen... and even meet and save some people who become your loyal comrades! Remember Shift-F is form on my wing! Also a number of other improvements are continuing due to help at the forum, new musics, improved cargo and description, and some easier to get started features...!
He also asked that we mention the upcoming 2002 Award for Free Software for which he's probably hoping to get nominated. Instructions on the page.

But What Does It All Mean?

Wow, I got one heck of a response about the strange Chinese box: thanks to Neo Huimin, Jumpstart, Castle, StarLancer523 and engine for help! It seems that there are a whole bunch of very intelligent CIC readers! Game Buster 4.0 is apparently a game cracking/modifying/trainer-type product which lets you edit values of various games. It apparently also has a mode (seen on the back of the box) that lets you play your game in four windows at once (for reasons unknown). So... anybody want to give it a try? Here's a great translation of the back, by StarLancer523:
When you play this GAME, which usually does not take too much skill, do you encounter problems that may require assistance? "GAMEBUSTER 4" It can help remedy your problems in the game. If you use this program to fix your problems, nothing can stop you from finishing and having fun.

[For the next section, it's small descriptions of what it does. I don't even know that some parts mean.]

New Upgrade
-can be used with MS-DOS 5.0
-uses little memory, uses the main memory LIK
-can lock up any memory fragments you may be looking for in the program, you don't need to keep changing values
-can use the mouse, even when some games don't
-can change the game frame rate skip up to 19x
-can change the game's controls and buttons to make it easier for you to play
-uses MAGIC WINDOWS for mutiple pictures [see right]
-can go from the GAMEBUSTER straight back to DOS

[what's at the bottom of the box are system requirements. It's pretty easy to make out, like memory joystick, price, etc.]

According to Castle, the vertical characters on the front say "Part 4" and the horizontal characters mean "Play" and "Badluck". Neat!

Holding the Line: Chapter 141

Today Raptor checks in with the next chapter of Holding the Line, "Maluk Tawus" (Part 141). Take some time to read it here! And now, Raptor...
As you saw in previous chapters, the plan to split up the enemy fleet in Loki had succeeded, but the cost had been heavy, and the survival of Battlegroup Valkyrie still hung in the balance. Being the sadist that I am, I'm going to keep you in suspense about how that turns out for a while longer. HTL is now going to take a break from the Loki fighting to look at what's happening elsewhere in the Universe. We start off with a story called "Maluk Tawus", written by Brandon "Avatarr" Alspaugh. Please send any and all comments to him at avatarr@sprynet.com, not to me.

On another note, the chapters that we've been posting here on the CIC have almost caught up with those that we're publishing on the Aces mailing list. That means that you guys will soon get chapters at the same time the Aces do, rather than getting delayed coverage. I've also realised that it's been an year since we started publishing HTL chapters in conjunction with the CIC. Time certainly flies when you're having fun. Here's looking forward to another year of successful partnership.

TV Shows Up

WildFire was kind enough to transcribe part of an article ("AVP, Wolfenstein Head to Big Screen, October 2002") by Mark Asher from the new Computer Gaming World... which references the upcoming Wing Commander TV show! It's, to my knowledge, the first time that the fact that the show is being produced in Canada has appeared in the media. Here goes:
Some long rumored movies, like Doom and Duke Nukem, are in the same freezer as Ted William's head. Don't expect them soon. Hotter prospects include Grand Theft Auto and Max Payne. And like a Wolfenstein zombie that won't stay dead, Wing Commander may be getting some more screen time - this time as a Canadian TV series that's on a budget, we're guessing, of maple syrup and bacon.
Well... at least it's a pretty far cry from Mr. Asher's ranting about how dead WC is. And I, personally, will never doubt Chris Roberts' apparently innate ability to convince people to throw away money on Wing Commander!

Who You Gonna Call?

You got Wing Commander 2 in my Chinese box! No, you got Chinese box in my Wing Commander 2! Wait, you're both right! Whilst rummaging through an unusually vast collection of ten year old Chinese games I accidentally acquired, the Origin Museum's Joe Garrity came across this... well, for lack of a better word, thing. According to the box it's called 'Game Buster 4.0'... but that's pretty much the only part that's not in Chinese. It's got three unusual Wing Commander 2 screenshots on the back. If you can translate it, drop me a line.

^Death_ Takes a Holiday

It's been one heck of a weekend, and Team CIC is back from Dragon*Con with a tale to tell (with the exception of poor Hades, who's still stuck in Atlanta). As soon as we get everything organized we'll fill you in on all the details of our misadventures, creepy Freespace ceremonies, scary brochures and an exciting possibility for a future Wing Commander product! And next year, you're coming too.

We're Back!

We had a blast at Dragon*Con this year! As we all trickle back, we're working on compilation writeups and picture galleries for everyone. After we get a chance to catch up, we should have some really awesome images from the last week. LOAF, Hades and I have already paid for our tickets for next year.. have you? Saving $2 a day for a year equals a trip!

Waiting for ECTS Results

While we're waiting for Prophecy information from the ECTS show, you can take a look at the official Nintendo.com page for the game here. Apparently that info has been there for quite some time, but you may not have seen the details added since the page first went live with just "Wing Commander" across the title bar.

Where Have The Downloads Gone?

Blacklance.org is being moved to a different webserver. As a result, Files and Music downloads are temporarily unavailable while they're getting settled in. We hope to have our downloads available again soon. In the meantime, if you urgently need a patch, you can try asking in #WingNut.

ECTS, Dragon Con, Slowness

Sorry if things around here have been a bit slow. With most of the staff at Dragon Con it's just me running the show (or weaseling out, as the case may be). If you hurry you can get Chris, Hades or LOAF to sign your CIC magnets. Last year the CIC, together with the Origin Museum, had a booth at DC. We have some pictures online here but they're currently offline while Blacklance.org gets relocated. That other Big Thing, the Electronics Consumer Trade Show came to an end last night. Raylight went there to show off Prophecy GBA, so hopefully we'll have screenshots and some more information to post soon.

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