German Top WC3 Ranking Details

originalTHP was able to scan in the article that Catweasel found earlier this week. He's translated it a bit, so I'll let that speak for itself.

Wing Commander 3 was probably the best reason to get 8 megs of RAM in December 1994. Just a few titles needed this - for that time - monsterous RAM size. But the purchase of additional RAM was totally worth it, because the second sequel of the space opera had it all. Chris Roberts put fascinating story with real acting in many impressive video sequences. Good hollywood actors like Mark Hamill (Star Wars), John Rhys-Davies (Indiana Jones) or Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek: Generations) were filmed. Above that, the new SVGA-Graphics-Engine put amazing graphic effects on your screen.
Therefore, Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger was the best space simulation for a long time. After part 4 (The Price of Freedom), Chris Roberts left Origin and founded the game studio Digital Anvil (Freelancer). With it, he produced the just mid-quality movie Wing Commander in 1999 - a total flop. Wing Commander 5 (Prophecy) satisfied us more, including a spin-off that is not readily available anymore. In 1998 this was the most recent chapter of the series on the PC.
Wing Commander has always been extremely popular in Germany. Nice to see big Wing Commander shots in print to this day.

EA Opens Ultima X Event Site

Electronic Arts has opened a site with a preview movie for Ultima X. The actual content is restricted to those that have been invited to an upcoming Ultima X preview event, but everyone can see a short movie with a variety of outdoor 3D environments. The site is either getting hammered of is on an unbelievably slow connection, because the two meg preview movie can currently take anywhere from five to twenty minutes to load.

The San Francisco bit is referring to the location of the two day game unveiling.

Zohrath's Dreadnought Leaves Drydock

The Dreadnought that we reported about recently has been completed, and it looks incredible. Zohrath has put the finishing touches on it and released a variety of perspective shots. I just wish I could fly by it in a game.

I've finally finished my Kilrathi Dreadnought 2.0 model! I've never made such a detailed capship before, this one weighs in at over 200,000 faces. I'll have it available for download in a few days, meanwhile, here are some pics.
That second shot makes my mouth water. You can find several other shots and provide feedback at Crius here.

Earth & Beyond Shaking Things Up

Despite rumors of its mediocre success, EA's massively multiplayer space sim Earth & Beyond has instigated the kind of sweeping changes to the universe that you'd expect from a persistent world with steady support. The aliens that provide the main antogonist for the game have successfully invaded key areas shaking up the balance of the game. You can read about the latest updates to the universe here.
Humanity suffers a stunning blow as the V'rix draw first blood and seize the mighty Progen Citadel of Praetorium Mons. Primus planet lies in ruins after a V'rix assault captures the base that was once home to Primarch Kahn himself. Amid the carnage, the leadership of the Progen lies in shambles, with the head of all Centuriata, Legatus Var, missing in action. The war continues in earnest, as the struggle to control the Ancient Gates comes to a head. While Jenquai forces fight a desperate battle against the invading V'rix and their deadly hive weapon, Terran EarthCorps forces square off against First Emissary Merjan in her bid to do the impossible and open the way to Aquitaine sector. Meanwhile, shadowy conspiracies and fanatical zealots make their plans to seize power. Players will face hard choices as they choose sides in the galactic struggle to control the fate of humanity.
The game has also held another Fan Gathering in Indianapolis. Good for them. Although E&B was the game EA cancelled Privateer Online in favor of, I'd much rather it succeed than fail and show EA that space sims are a less viable genre. Among other things, we'll be giving away copies of the game (including the first subscription month) at the CIC Birthday Party August 10.

Memories from DragonCon, 29 Days To Go

Wow, we're already less than a month away from the next Wing Commander Fan Gathering at Dragon*Con. Things are really coming together in one fashion or another. Even if you can't make it personally, this year we plan to put together some fun stuff at the convention to keep everyone entertained when we get back. In this photograph you can see us playing with our MechWarrior robot toys. Tye is measuring out an infantry squad's attack range as Weasel contemplates his next move.

Comments:

Byydo: Hmm, I like Battletech but I don't think I like it this much.
Weasel: Little plastic robots in action!
LOAF: I think I won every time. I'm a robot-winning machine. Go LOAF. I'm ever-so-insecure.
ChrisReid: We could come up with rules to speed it up.. like simultaneous turns in Monopoly Party. I haven't actually ever played this outside of Atlanta and Applebees.
Joe: In your DREAMS, TDB!
Hades: Remember the professional terrain from earlier? Those boxes were our terrain.

What Kind of Character Are You?

Matthew Arcilla has put together a personality test pertaining to the characters of Wing Commander 4. It only takes a few seconds to fill out, so everyone should go and see who they are. You can find the test here.

I'm an old Wing Commander fan and regular visitor and I thought you guys might like to know that i just finished an online personality test based on Wing Commander IV. I'm sure fellow fans such as myself would love to indulge in 30 seconds of frivolity, so there.
I'm actually Pliers.

Wing Commander Ranks Again

Catweasel found yet another magazine with an all-time ranking survey that places Wing Commander near the top. The a recent issue of the German PC Action puts the Wing Commander series as the third best of all time, just after Doom and Command & Conquer. Other Origin games take their place in the list as well.
Edition 7/2003 the German Mag PC-Action asked its readers for their favorite games to determine the "Top 100 Games of all Times," but only 77 games were mentioned by its readers. So they release in Edition 9/2003 the "Top 77 Games of all Times" where you can find some Origin titles:

1. Doom
2. C&C
3. Wing Commander 3
4. Diablo
5. Tomb Raider
6. Die Siedler (aka The Settlers)
7. Deus-Ex
8. Civilization
9. Leisure Suite Larry
10. Half-Life (German Version)
16. Strike Commander
35. Ultima 4
49. Ultima Online
55. Ultima Underworld

That "Top 77 Games of all Time" thing is pretty funny.

Bob Hope 1903-2003

Bob Hope passed away this week at 100. Our scholars are still examining the implications of this on the timeline, but either way, Hope continues to inspire people in real life and the Wing Commander universe for many years to come.

New 3D Animation in the Works

lorddarthvik over at Crius has posted new information on an upcoming movie/animation he's putting together. He's looking for feedback on a couple promo shots that he's released. The project looks promising so far. If you'd like to check out the rest of the shots and comment yourself, you can find more here.

I'm creating a WC animaton in 3DSMax5, and I would like to have your opinions about the things I have tried to recreate. I'm almost done with a Hellcat, a Transport and a Dralthi IV.
The first scene is still under construction: it will be an 'Academy' on a far planet. As you can see on the pics, I'm just a beginner and not really talented. Everything was created after the images and numbers which are included in the original WC3 box. The WC4 handbook doesn't have numbers for length and other measurement things.
The textures were created in Corel 9 PhotoPaint. I'm very bad at painting textures. The story will be the usual stuff: fresh pilots on a milk run escort mission get ambushed, only our heroine survives, and the wrecked hellcat gets picked up by a Confed carrier or by a Border Worlds carrier.

Week Five Trivia Hits The Dirt

Week Five Trivia is out now and you've got one week to work on your answers. The current game will end in two weeks at the CIC Birthday Party. It's never too late to join in on the fun however. You can find the rules and details in the Trivia Section here. Here are this week's questions. Hopefully a bit easier this time.

Question 9: Name a character with romantic feelings for Rosalind Forbes.
Question 10: Name a character with romantic feelings for Jason Bondarevski.
Bonus 5: Name a character with romantic feelings for Gwen Larson.

And to demonstrate a bit of how crazy people are into CIC Trivia, here's what Petey sent along with his answers.

"You sick bastards! I googled and googled for the answer to the bonus, but I couldn't find it. I tried to track down every single reference to Hunter and ended up buying 'Freedom Flight' from Amazon.com on a slim hope that it would contain the answer. It arrived JUST in time. That was a freakin' HARD question."
And he wasn't the only one with that story. You can submit your Week Five Trivia answers here.

Torchic GBA Launches in the US Today

The previously Japan-only limited edition orange Torchic GBA SP system launches in the US today. It's only available at the Pokemon Center in New York or through their website. If you've got a spice colored GameCube or love small animals, this is the handheld for all your Prophecy Advance needs.

You can find more at the Pokemon Center here.

Two Weeks Until Party Time!

Time flies when you're going crazy trying to get ready. We're now just fourteen days from the CIC's Fifth Birthday. This time I'm happy to report that a number of the community's fan projects and groups will be joining us in the celebration. The type of participation varies from group to group, but a handful of organizations are working now to put together something special to also release on August 10 with us. Once again, the event details.
Sunday evening, August 10, 2003 or Monday morning, August 11, 2003 depending on your time zone. At around 7:00 pm US Eastern (4:00 pm US Pacific, 11:00 pm GMT or 7:00 to 9:00 am Australian) we will all be formally getting together online at our new IRC server (irc.wcnews.com) online in #Wingnut.
Coming to the party has never been easier! Simply download mirc or click on our Java Client here. Feel free to stop by any time beforehand to get used to the environment. If you've never been to a CIC online Birthday Party before, we have the logs up for a few past events at the bottom of this page. We will be putting the finishing touches on some special CIC projects and giving away cool prizes throughout the night.

One Step Closer to Canadian Prophecy Advance

K1nG Gr4H4m has noticed that the Canadian Future Shop has begun listing Prophecy Advance here. This is one of the first listings of the game at a Canadian retailers, so perhaps there's hope for them yet. They list it as out of stock, but that was what was happening at American retailers prior to its launch when release dates were missed. At $34.99 Canadian it's a bit pricier than most places in the US, but it'll be great for the game if it finally hits store shelves. cff reports that the game has landed in Austria finally. You can discuss these developments at Crius here.

If you look closely, there's a dolby surround and 3dfx logo on there that's not present on the American or European boxes. The original PC version had those logos off the front flap on the side.

New Poll, Old Results

Many of you have already noticed we've switched the polls. We've got a fun one this time that asks which unconventional weapon is your favorite. This is a broad category that picks out a few of the more exotic weapons in the Wing Commander universe. I vote Nuke'em. You've gotta love a bomb that transports you to the future to avoid the massive destruction it creates in real time. Our old polls are available here. I believe our previously determined lack of GBAs affected these results quite a bit. Still haven't played Prophecy Advance? Stop by the Birthday Party.

Game Asylum Reviews Prophecy Advance

GameAsylum is a UK news site that's the latest in a round of places reviewing Prophecy Advance. They're fairly impressed by the controls and graphics but left to wonder about the story. It's actually not a very long review. They give it a five out of ten, and good score or bad, I'd have appreciated a longer explanation of how they came to that score.
There are absolutely masses of levels, and each one is entertaining in its own right, but you're unlikely to want to play more than one or two in a sitting, such is their stark similarity. For filling gaps of up to fifteen minutes, it's ideal. For anything more substantial, avoid.
And you don't even play through all the levels in one playthrough!

Game Informer Reviews Prophecy Advance

And we've also got the review from the major US based magazine Game Informer. This is from the new August 2003 issue. As I was saying a few days ago, there hasn't been a whole lot of print attention paid to Prophecy Advance, so this review is a welcome addition. They often really hate a swath of the new GBA releases with scores in the 2 to 4 range, so thankfully Prophecy earned a 7 out of 10.

While the quality of the polygonal models bring back memories of the 386 processor, the fact that developer Raylight Studios was able to create convincing and enjoyable gameplay around it is an impressive feat. The dogfighting even includes a target assist icon, wingman commands and a handy radar.
Prophecy Advance looks better than anything on a 386, but he means well.

Totally Awesome Robert Rusler News

PeteyG let us know that he's nothing short of excited with the announcement that Robert Rusler, who played Seether in Wing Commander 4, will be appearing in an episode of Star Trek Enterprise.
The synopsis of the episode says, "Enterprise starts experiencing the effects of spatial distortions pervading the Delphic Expanse and falls victim to predatory aliens taking advantage of the crippling conditions." Rusler's character will be named Orgoth, and is the only 'alien' sounding guest character, so in my opinion, there is a strong possibility he will be a bad guy.
Sounds about right. You can find more at TrekToday here.

Trivia Reminder

You only have a couple of days left to get your week 4 Trivia answers in. There's no time to waste, there's a prize at stake here! It's never too late to start playing either as you still have a chance of winning. You can either email your answers, or use the handy Trivia page form.
Question 7: For what reason does the Kilrathi Skipper Missile periodically drop in and out of cloak?
Question 8: For what reason does the Hakaga-Class Carrier have sealed internal access shafts?
Bonus 4: Hunter speculates that the Dralthi has its 'Flying Pancake' configuration for what reason?
Remember, Sunday 27 July is the deadline for your answers.

Holding The Line Chapter 162

It's been a few weeks since we've had a HTL chapter. Don't worry, it isn't finishing just yet! Here's Raptor with the latest chapter:
Hey all, Raptor here

When I and a handful of other writers began planning the HTL story over five years ago, we had no idea it would become the giant that it has. The original plan that I had in mind featured 50 or so chapters and maybe half a dozen writers, all wrapped in an year or two. What no-one expected was that over two dozen writers would join up, or that the ideas, characters and subplots they contributed would flesh out the bare bones of the story I had in mind so well. All good things come to an end though, and while it's not quite the end for HTL just yet, this story marks the beginning of the end.

That's because despite all the improvements and additions that have made to the story, the core plot has remained the same. The outnumbered fleet of Confed and Border Worlds vessels has been fighting to hold back the Nephilim tide long enough for the wormhole to be closed, slowly giving way before the enemy armada while making the Nephilim pay for each advance they make. Meanwhile, their reserves and support forces have been gathering to help them finish the battle once and for all. Now that the main fleet has linked up with the reserves, the defenders will be throwing all their resources in one final and cataclysmic battle, HTL's big and bloody finale.

A recurring complaint many characters have made throughout the story has been about the scarcity of those resources. Like most things in life though, it's not black and white. We kick the finale off with an interesting story called "The Other Side Of The Coin." This chapter is written by Brandon "Avatarr" Alspaugh, so please send any and all comments to him at avatarr@sprynet.com, not to me.

The story is at: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/...

Best, Raptor

THP Expands Workspace & Releases WC4 Video

originalTHP has been an active Wing Commander fan recently and now has a dedicated working area for his Wing Commander projects. His latest is a full divx 5 encoding of an older German Making of Wing Command 4 video that's often been hard to find. Though the documentary is in German, it's still a fun watch even if you don't speak the language. Video taken from the set is in its original English and there are some very cool looks at the prop design and backgrounds. THP has also written transcript of the video that can be translated to help you through. You can download the full 45 meg video here (you might have to wait a few seconds for it to connect). Head on over the originalTHP's new Solsector home here for full information on the video, extra photos, the transcript and more! His original Privateer 2 DOS to Windows upgrade patch is also available.

Stay tuned to his new Solsector home for more developments in the near future!

Want WC Zone Back?

Filler is trying to gauge interest in a relaunch of the Subspace mod WC Zone. If enough people would like to get into it, it might be possible to restart the project.
Some of you might remember WCZone, the Wing Commander subspace mod. Subspace is freeware and requires very few resources to run. For those who don't know, Subspace is a top-down 2D massively multiplayer space combat game.
The only catch is with these sort of games is that you need a stable population for it to be fun for anyone. I'm wondering if anyone would be interested in coming in at least on Friday nights or the weekend for regular duels with other CZers and other subspace players.
Head on over to Crius and tell Filler what you think here. With the boost in #Wingnut population lately, I would think it'd be easier to coordinate games.

Seven Thumbs Up

Zephyrmaster informs us that GameFAQs has posted his review of Wing Commander Prophedy Advance. He calls it "definitely one of the best game for this system to date" and then goes through a bunch of the games excellent points. Good job, Zephyrmaster!

Dragon*Con Update

Dragon*Con is just 36 days away! But don't go just to meet other wingnuts... Don't go just to meet actors... And certainly don't go just to beat the tar out of a copy of FreeSpace 2... The real reason you should go is because the woman who wrote this will be there:
(It's exactly what you think.)

GameBytes #19 Covers Armada, Righteous Fire & Audio Volume 1

Benjamin Dunham dug up an old Game Bytes that we previously never gave proper attention to. Game Bytes was an old electronics e-zine from the mid 1990's. Previously Issue #21 included a first look of Wing Commander 3. Issue #19 does the same for Wing Commander Armada, plus it packs in a full review of Privateer Righteous Fire and the ultra rare Origin Audio Volume 1. There are other Origin features as well primarily focusing on Ultima. 1994 was quite a huge year for Origin!

You can find this issue of GameBytes at IBiblio here.
For the first time, players will merge their space combat abilities with strategic responsibility as they personally pilot the ships they've assigned to take on a variety of missions. From quadrant maps and information provided by recon ships, the player plans an expansion of his or her fleet and weighs a ship's ability to succeed against the available resources . At the end of each decision lies a battle....and you lead the wing.
Armada was a bit of a surprise for me in 1994. Wedged between the first Privateers and Wing Commander 3, it was unique by incorporating multiple styles of gameplay and advanced multiplayer modes. Nearly ten years ago its space combat engine was the first to incorporate real three dimensional models and lighting effects. Think Secret Ops was the first Wing Commander game Origin gave away for free over the internet? Nope. Armada's Proving Grounds addon had it beat by four years. The box also had a little card advertising Wing Commander 3 and warning everyone about the system requirements. Everything about Wing Commander Armada screamed "ahead of its time!"

New Prophecy Advertising Pops Up

Recently a few people have asked me where all the marketing is for Prophecy Advance. Aside from prominently displayed articles at IGN and GameSpot, there haven't been many eye-catching advertisements on the web. I don't know if I'd call this one eye-catching, but the retailer Electronics Boutique now features a little button for the game in its handhelds section here.

It's good to see there's at least some persistent marketing, however small it might be. Unfortunately I haven't noticed any print advertisements in a while.

Standoff Adds Kilrathi Capships

The Secret Ops mod Wing Commander Standoff is still moving along. The news for this month is that they've finally added Kilrathi capital ships, and these sure are beautiful. I love what our beloved Secret Ops engine is capable of with the attention of some talented WC fans. Snakeir on the left and Fralthi on the right.

Mmmm.. I still remember when Colonel Halcyon first told me to watch out for my first big scary Fralthi like it was yesterday. Good times. You can find out more on Standoff here.

Trivia Game Four, Week Four Questions

Our summer trivia game is going strong. Click the link below to get started. The latest scores and answers are in, and you can check them out here.
Please email answers to trivia@wcnews.com or submit using the form on the Trivia page. Be sure to include a name you would like to be known under for the Scoreboard. Have your answers in before this coming Sunday (July 27, 2003) to ensure your answers are recorded. Answers submitted early may be returned and you may be able to fix incorrect answers, time permitting.
Question 7: For what reason does the Kilrathi Skipper Missile periodically drop in and out of cloak?
Question 8: For what reason does the Hakaga-Class Carrier have sealed internal access shafts?
Bonus 4: Hunter speculates that the Dralthi has its 'Flying Pancake' configuration for what reason?

You can email the answers to trivia@wcnews.com or fill out the easy form here. Submissions are due by July 27, 2003.

Vega Strike Wins Major Award

The Wing Commander fan project Vega Strike has just received a trophy (literally) for coming in first place in the games category of a major French Software organization. Hellcatv's been working on this one for many years, and it's turned into quite a versatile and capable program. You might have caught us reporting on some of their awesome screenshots a few weeks ago. I'll let PeteyG translate the original article.
The majority of (free) games have few levels and can last less than an hour. To the contrary, with Vega Strike, you evolve/move in a (vast) universe, experiencing many space phenomena. If someone likes to explore star systems and all their secrets, they could easily travel among the stars for weeks. Some users weary of such a game quickly, but others will adore the freedom which Vega Strike offers. Vega Strike allows the player to explore and earn money in a 3d galaxy. The player can attack, defend, land on planets, explore asteroids, nebulas, trade with aliens and humans, enter into a war with the ISO, become a pirate, defend humanity, or play against friends on a split screen.
Congratulations! You can find out more or see a picture of the actual trophy he won here.

Birthday Party Only Three Weeks Away

The tension is building here as we ramp up our preparation for the Fifth Birthday party. In recent weeks crowds in #Wingnut have swelled to around half where we'd normally be at a special irc event, so we expect this year to be our biggest ever. I promised last time that we'd have more specifics on prizes soon. Though I don't have quantities yet, we will have several Game Boy Advances with Prophecy Advance, Wing Commander novels, action figures, rare collectible cards, copies of the Movie on DVD, Movie posters, and the like. If people are interested, we have some related EA/Origin goods such as copies of the latest Ultima Online and Earth & Beyond up for grabs as well. If you haven't jotted down the details yet, here they are once again.
Mark your calendars for either Sunday, August 10, 2003 or Monday, August 11, 2003 depending on your time zone. At around 7:00 pm US Eastern (4:00 pm US Pacific, 11:00 pm GMT or 7:00 to 9:00 am Australian) we will all be formally getting together online at our new IRC server (irc.wcnews.com) in #Wingnut.
Joining the fun is easy. If you've never visited irc before, you can connect to us directly through most web browsers here.

WC BattleGroup Serpent Nearing Alpha

The central WC Saga page is reporting that the Battlegroup Serpent mod is nearing alpha phase. While this is still a ways from a full release, contrary to other projects, it indicates that the mod is on track for actual completion. Their latest news post also indicates they're searching for an IRC server. If you're a Wing Commander mod group or simply a few Wing Commander people who need a place to hang out, irc.wcnews.com is available for this sort of activity. Wing Commander fans can set up their own channels as necessary via chanserv.
Not only is it a home for the CIC's own channel, #WingNut, but it is a community server. Need a place for your fan project crew or Crius.net friends to meet and discuss things in real time? Just connect, join the channel that you want, and talk to ChanServ about registering it in your name.

Half Way Done With Summer Trivia

After this week we'll be half way through our summer trivia game. Although we're ticking down to our Birthday with this one, you can start any time. Answers for Week 3 are due tomorrow, so if you don't have yours in, head over the Trivia Section here.

Memories From DragonCon, 40 Days To Go

A waitress was kind enough to snap this shot of a partial group picture while we were waiting for Joe from the Origin Museum and others to arrive. Fortunately everything is built into the hotel complex or connected via air tubes, so we very rarely had to be exposed to fresh air.

Comments:

Byydo: The stray fibers on this scan make Tye look like he has rabies. Wait, what the hell is he eating? :~(
Weasel: It's a camera, Tye. There's no need to be afraid.
TyeDyeBoy: I look happy there, but that sandwich was a huge damn disappointment.
Monee: Uhh, so Weasel... what're you gonna have this time? Chicken strips?
Weasel: Hey, I happen to like chicken fingers. Leave me alone.
ChrisReid: I think Hades' straw has a lemon stuck in it.
LOAF: Champions: because it's there.
Joe: DEATH: "I'll be there in 15 minutes...save me a seat!"
Death: Die, Joe.
Hades: Joe mocks, but he never showed up for much of the day either.

Zohrath Builds a Dreadnought

Zohrath is getting back into 3d Wing Commander modeling, and his first new project is the gigantic Kilrathi Dreadnought for Maya. We might not know how they managed to build these things, but you can follow Zohrath's construction of the ship and provide feedback at Crius here. He has also put together a very cool two meg camera clip that pans around the model. We've mirrored that one here.

Dan's WC The Movie Page Consolidates

Those that were following Wing Commander events closely in 1999 knew that the CIC was not the only place to get breaking and exclusive information on the upcoming feature film. Dan's "Wing Commander: The Movie" Page doggedly followed the movie's development and premiere. Having outlived the official movie website by several years, this month the site had to be demobilized for Dan's other projects. Some of the cooler features are still up. You can find out about the site's history and check out his neat Premiere Report (featuring a shot or two of yours truly) for the time being. I always recommend that people save interesting things when they encounter them off the web. The Wayback Machine doesn't keep everything, and the web is ever changing. You can read more about Dan and his WC Movie site here.

Subspace Convention Next Month in Holland

We've previously reported that the Ultima and Earth & Beyond communities host international fan gatherings, and I hope you're aware that Wing Commander fans meet at Dragon*Con each year. But did you know Subspace players meet to play Subspace? If you're not familiar with the game, Subspace is a simple yet addicting top-down shooter that was extremely popular among some groups of Wing Commander fans prior to the CIC's founding. Hundreds of people could play together for domination of T-20 while "getting green" in virtual arenas around the world. All this was years before Origin coined the term "massively multiplayer." A few years back Filler created a Wing Commander mod for the game that is not currently in operation (thought it was very fun!). It's nice to see fellow communities going strong, so I was excited to see that many dozens of Subspace fans will be getting together in Holland next month to celebrate their community and play the game. You can find more at the Subspace HQ under June 2 news here.
A huge subspace convention will be held in Holland this summer. The party is planned for 5, 6, 7 AND 8th of August. It'll be absolutely great. There are AT LEAST 50 to 60 players so far, who are coming. And we are still getting a lot of requests from other players who also want to join in.

We will be renting a huge farm in a little place called Oss, where the Convention will be held. Everyone who is coming pays 100 Euros up front, with that money we'll arrange the building, unlimited drinks for everyone and more then enough food.

I can't wait until we get 50 or 60 Wing Commander people down to Atlanta each year. At least there's always the Birthday Party.

More Peeks at Wing Commander Saga

WC Saga, a Freespace 2 mod, has sent us a few neat new images to show off. The first is a set of the Tarawa style Escort Carrier from End Run. The models were created by Eder and textured by Tolwyn. Models for the Rapier and Crossbow are also shown below. You can find more information on this project here.

Casper Station Opens For Business

Sol Sector has a new resident. We're proud to announce the opening of Casper Station, a Wing Commander fan fiction novel project. There's quite a bit already up and ready to read. XJ, the site's administrator, is eager for feedback. You can check out Casper Station here.

Wing Commander The Reckoning Looking For Beta Testers

Bob is looking for beta testers for the Reckoning Freelancer mod. If you've got the game and have been dying to immerse yourself in a Freelancer style WC universe, this is your chance. I'll let him take it from here.
Since the core game mechanics of the mod are mostly down pat (although there still are a few ships models that need to be added), I'm going to conduct an open beta - which basically means if you want to try the mod, email me and I'll email you - with the URL!

I don't actually like betas all that much, but there are a few very good reasons for this. First, I'd like a bit of playtesting and tweaking before this goes out to the general (Freelancer) public, and second, there's a HUGE ASS FREAKING BUG THAT CRASHES THE GAME if you go into the New York (Sol) System. I have absolutely no idea why this happens, and I can't isolate the bug on my own. So I'll need your help.

If you're up to the challenge, go to CaptainObvious@mail2breakfast.com and put "I Want to be FreeLanced!" in the title for no reason other than it sounds amusing. I haven't actually given TC the file yet, but I will, very soon, and I'll notify you when that happens.

You can see the Reckoning Galaxy model we posted a few days back here. This mod sounds like it'll be really neat, so if you're got Freelancer and some spare time send Bob an email.

Another Day, Another New GBA Color in Japan

Nintendo is running yet another new GBA SP promotion in Japan. Yesterday the original Nintendo Famicon turned 20 years old, and to celebrate, a Famicon style GBA SP is being made. It won't be available for purchase, since Nintendo is running a promotion during the summer. People who buy the requisite products will be eligible to win one of only one thousand of these units that will be manufactured. If you're living in Japan (Byydo and others), get in on this! The instructions are available here. GameSpot has a very nice picture of the new model here.

#Wingnut Gets Its First Spam Robot

At 1:11 AM Pacific this morning #Wingnut got its very first spam bot. Apparently hobastankop had pictures of his girlfriend to show everyone. You know you've hit the big time when your've come this far. As we do our best to make sure Mr. hobastankop never connects to a port at wcnews.com again, come on by and join the fun. If you've never been to our irc chat channel before, you can use our simplified Java chat client to learn the ropes here. #Wingnut is where we'll be hosting our Birthday Party next month.
[01:11] * hobastankop (o1l11o86g9@211.24.43.186) has joined #wingnut
[01:11] hobastankop> See My Girlfriend Picture http://www
[01:11] * hobastankop (o1l11o86g9@211.24.43.186) has left #wingnut
[01:11] ChrisReid> wow
[01:11] SkyFlyer> oh god
[01:11] TC> wow, our first spammer
[01:11] TC> neat
[01:11] ChrisReid> is that our first spam on irc.wcnews.com?
[01:11] TC> yeah
[01:11] ChrisReid> wow, great
[01:11] TC> that deserves a news update

Picture Limit Lifted from Fan Directory

On or around the CIC Fifth Birthday we'll be updating the Fan Directory a bit. We've also removed the small picture limitation that was originally in place, so your shots can be a little bigger or higher quality now. If you'd like to upgrade your directory entry or add a picture, please send it in. The picture part is especially welcome. Everyone wants to see how you look.

More Toys for Game Boys

Someone has gone and done it. Soon there'll be a solar powered array for your Game Boy Advance. You'll be able to strap on a device that charges up energy in the sun and powers/lights your GBA in the dark. You can find this new device here. Perhaps this was made with the Boktai GBA in mind.

Europe Goes Arctic (GBA)

With the announcement that over a million GBAs have been sold in the area, Nintendo has announced that Europe will soon be getting the Arctic Blue and Flame Red GBA SP devices. Flame was recently confirmed for the US. The Arctic Blue looks a lot like the Platinum Silver at first, but has a frosty blue tint to it. It's similar to the Mana Blue color recently announced in Japan. You can find more on this announcement here.

Memories from DragonCon, 44 Days to Go

There's lots of different things at DragonCon (over 1500 hours of specific programming according to their latest schedule), including collectible miniature gaming. Wiz Kids' Mech Warrior is a popular addition. Here's a shot of a tiny portion of their simulated battle terrain where they were showing off the game. There's an entire programming track at the convention devoted to collectible miniatures. Did you think that was an obscure niche? Then you probably didn't know there's a programming track devoted to LARPs (Live Action Role Plays). Think Ultima Online played out in real life (though certainly not limited to fantasy genres).

Comments:

Weasel: This is the little plastic robot game that everyone got hooked on.
LOAF: I bought a starter of the robot game for my sister (Charlotte), and we played a few times at home (including outside once, which was cool). Unfortunately she *constantly* wanted to play, so I stopped buying the things.
ChrisReid: I've still got boxes of robots I've never opened.
Joe: There's something horribly wrong with any teenage-boys' game that includes a tape measure.
Death: Chris: What LOAF didn't mention was that between buying the robots and getting back to Merry-land he was able to 0wnz0r everyone else, with their pitiful, non-uber collections.
Hades: Notice the professional terrain set-up these guys had.

Today is also the last day to preorder your tickets for $60.

Trivia Game Four, Week Three Questions

This week will mark the half way point through our summer trivia game. Click the link below to get started. The latest scores and answers are in, and you can check them out here.
Please email answers to trivia@wcnews.com or submit using the form on the Trivia page. Be sure to include a name you would like to be known under for the Scoreboard. Have your answers in before this coming Sunday (July 13, 2003) to ensure your answers are recorded. Answers submitted early may be returned and you may be able to fix incorrect answers, time permitting.
New Questions for Week 3 (starting July 14, 2003):
Question 5: Name the religious group that, in its teachings, shunned advanced technology.
Question 6: Name the religious group that believed that to complete their salvation they needed to undertake the "Final Exodus."
Bonus 3: Name the religious group that believed: "There shall come a time when one who has the heart of a Kilrathi, but is not Kilrathi born, shall rain cleansing fire down upon us."

You can email the answers to trivia@wcnews.com or fill out the easy form here. Submissions are due by July 20, 2003.

Two Sites Help Out Francophone Wingnuts

It's recently come to our attention that two major French websites are trying hard to help Wing Commander fans in France communicate and gain exposure to the series.

I'm not quite sure I understand how/if these sites have given themselves a proper name, so we'll call the first one Alpha.Super-One's French Wing Commander site here. It focuses primarily on Wing Commander 3, 4 and Prophecy with a variety of universe information for those games in French.

The second site is the French Wing Commander + Dune site. It provides similar coverage and also has some information on fan projects with some decent pictures. EA's Dune games are also covered there. Since the CIC is primarily geared towards English speakers, Wing Commander hubs in new languages are always welcome.

Upgrade Your DOS Privateer 2 to Windows

OriginalTHP, #Wingnut regular, has been hard at work creating an easy to apply Windows patch for DOS versions of Privateer 2: The Darkening. The complete package includes Jonathan Scoobie's Privateer 2 Speed Fix, OriginalTHP's custom launcher program (pictured below), and select files from Privateer 2: Deluxe. By following the directions on his website, you can quickly have your own auto-launching version of Privateer 2 for Windows up and running. OriginalTHP has made this guestbook available for any comments on the patch.

To relieve his bandwidth, we've mirrored the file here. Check out his site for instructions.

Edit: Link to instructions has changed.

EuroGamer Reviews Prophecy Advance

The prominent European gaming website Eurogamer.net has recently posted its review of Prophecy Advance. Eurogamer gives the game a disappointing rating of 6 out of 10, citing problems with control, gameplay and an over-abundance of text. The positives of the review seem limited to the game's graphics, which, in the reviewer's opinion, Raylight has done a "sterling job" on.
We weren't particularly sure this was a genre that could be pulled off at all well on the GBA for the very reasons that have been outlined above. Wing Commander Prophecy is at times a wonderful effort and a tremendous tech demo that kept us entertained for all of a couple of hours, but that's all it eventually feels like - a tech demo. As a game, it's woefully shallow and it left us wanting something more.
The complete review is available here.

Don't Forget Trivia

Don't be like us and forget about the trivia game! Week Two questions are waiting for you to answer. Today is the last day to submit your responses. It's never too late to get started. You can find the questions and auto submission form here.

First New Fleet Action Shot In A While

NewCommanderOnDaBlock has published a few new shots with a Ralatha model for Fleet Action, the Homeworld Wing Commander mod. It's been a little while since we've seen anything new for this one, so some activity is welcome.

You can find more informatio on Fleet Action here. In the second shot the Ralatha is behind and left of the Fralthi.

I Reckon It's A Galaxy

Stannum has published phots of his Galaxy model for the upcoming Freelancing The Reckoning Wing Commander mod. Apparently he's got even sharper versions of the Dralthi, Paradigm and others in the works. A few days ago we posted some other great Privateer shots from Vega Strike. Lots of beautiful ships this week.

You can find his original posting at WingCenter here. Bob has also set up a Reckoning forum at Crius here.

More on WC4 in WXP

Thomas Perl was kind enough to send us a instructions on how to properly execute our Wing Commander 4 Win95 to WinXP patch posted earlier this week. You can follow these directions to create an autostarting Windows XP compatible WC4 install disc.
Take the WC4 Win95 Installer files, extract them into a dir.
Copy complete WC4 CD 1 to same folder.
Extract all of the WC4 Win95 Patch files into the same folder.
Rename wc4w.exe to wc4w.ex_.
Rename xanlib.dll to xanlib.dl_.
Install the game OR:
Create autorun.inf with this content:

[autorun]
open=setup.exe
icon=wciv.ico

Burn the contents of this folder on a cd => voila, you have a autostarting, fine WC4 Win95 CD-ROM. :)

Very cool. We'll have more patches to modernize other Wing Commander games soon.

Classic Gaming Expo Also One Month Away

August is a busy month, but if you happen to be in Las Vegas on August 9 & 10, the sixth annual Classic Gaming Expo is being held. We wanted to remind anyone in the area that The Fatman & Team Fat will be perfoming on Sunday at the event in Jackie Gaughan's Plaza Hotel & Casino. George Sanger, aka The Fatman, has composed music for games since 1983, including the soundtracks for a variety of Wing Commander games. We're currently hoping he still plans to release a compilation disc with WC music eventually. If you happen to make it to the convention, perhaps you can ask him about it. Don't forget that his performance day is also the CIC Fifth Birthday.

DragonCon Discount Pass Deadline Fast Approaching

There are a few DragonCon related things to catch up on. They've updated their site and highlighted a bit of news.
Note: one day passes will only be available if attendance numbers allow. Because of dramatic increases in present advance memberships, we are unsure if any one day passes will be available. We will make an announcement within 30 days of the event.
I actually talked to one of the convention organizers this week and it sounds like they're getting swamped with advance registrations for the event. If you're interested in coming, you have until July 15 to buy a four-day pass for $60. After next Tuesday the price will rise to $75, and there may be ticketing limitations at the door. You can order tickets here. You can discuss the annual Wing Commander Fan Gathering in the D*C Forum here.

Memories From DragonCon, 48 Days To Go

Speaking of the Wing Commander Fan Gathering, why not another Memories From Dragon*Con picture? This one's a group shot. We staked out this great mini conference area and played a whole lot of Advance Wars while waiting for everyone to register and arrive. Until they kicked us out. I can't believe it's almost been a year.

Comments:

Byydo: I want an After Dark screensaver shirt :(
TyeDyeBoy: Check it out, I'm camoflauged. And by "I'm camoflauged" I mean to say "Your camera sucks."
LOAF: Holy crap, the amount of fish increases as you go down? I never noticed that before. (Also, that would pass for 'erotic' on Star Trek: The Next Generation).
ChrisReid: This was also a nice table until we got kicked off. We played some good Advance Wars here though.
Joe: Austin Powers 4-dress rehersal-The 'Legion of Evil' scene....starring Hades as "Mini-Me".
Hades: Joe isn't here because he objected to being cast in the role of Fat Bastard.

CIC Fifth Birthday - One Month To Go!

We're excited to announce that there is exactly one month until the CIC's Fifth Birthday. We're already scrambling to get everything ready in time. This will be our biggest event yet, and we hope you can join us. Here's the most important details.

Mark your calendars for either Sunday, August 10, 2003 or Monday, August 11, 2003 depending on your time zone. At around 7:00 pm US Eastern (4:00 pm US Pacific, 11:00 pm GMT or 7:00 to 9:00 am Australian) we will all be formally getting together online at our new IRC server (irc.wcnews.com) in #Wingnut. Some people have been confusing the Birthday Party for our annual trip down to Atlanta. These are two separate events. Coming to the party has never been easier! Simply download mirc or click on our Java Client here. After the party start time, we will be putting the finishing touches on special CIC projects and giving away cool prizes. At 8:00 pm US Eastern (5:00 pm US Pacific, midnight GMT or 8:00 to 10:00 am Australian) we will count down the last few seconds to our official Fifth Birthday and unveil our special projects. This should be our most exciting party to date, and I hope many of you can join us.

So that's it! Please stop by #Wingnut prior to the party so that you can get familiar with the program and check your time zones with us. We'll be posting more details over the next four weeks. We've already mentioned that prizes for the night will include several Game Boy Advances and copies of Prophecy Advance. Hope to see you there!

Wing Commander Wins

Last week we reported on GameStar's latest poll. Here are the results. The question asks which EA franchise should be revived.
Ergebnis der letzten Umfrage : Welche Spiele-Serie sollte Electronic Arts wiederbeleben?
Wing Commander 35 %
Dungeon Keeper 34 %
Ultima 20 %
Lands of Lore 7%
Bard's Tale 4%
I'd have thought Ultima would have ranked higher actually. The German GameStar magazine has a long history of being at the forefront of Wing Commander news. Back in October 1998 their cover disc carried Secret Ops, in December 1998 they covered the transition of Privateer 3 into Privateer Online, and in December 1999 they rated Wing Commander as the fourth most important PC series of the decade.

Frequently Asked Questions for Prophecy Advance

Juan Gutierrez from Destination has let us know that a number of people have had questions about the Ship Killer Acquisition mission in Prophecy Advance. Here's all you have to do.
So far there has been alot of inquiries on how to beat this level. Could you post a hint on your site telling people that after the second "wave" on this level, simply destroy the ship killer (The big weird looking ship) and ignore the other ships to complete the level.
People have also been asking us about the Targeting Disc and Locating The Jammer missions most often. Hades got through the Targeting Disc mission by doing the following.
When you play the mission and you arrive with all of the enemy ships around, hold the L button and tap the B button until Mines are your currently selected missile. I'm not sure how close you have to be, but what I did was afterburn straight for the jump point beacon (it'll be a light blue dot on your radar), and when I got close I just dropped mines (B button) like crazy. After I'd dropped a certain amount.. not sure how many.. the game autopiloted me back to the Midway.. mission complete.
As for the Locating The Jammer mission, the easiest method of winning is probably to kill all of the enemies before the timer runs out. I don't believe failure on that mission puts you on the losing path, so don't stress about that one too much.

England Celebrates Cpl_Hades' Twenty-first

We were late on the updates today, so AOL and other major media outlets beat us to reporting on Cpl_Hades' twenty-first birthday. He's busy working on big CIC projects for later in the summer, but hopefully he'll get a chance to take a break and celebrate himself. We reported last month that the United Kingdom was issuing a postage stamp to commemorate the event. You can find it here. Happy Birthday!

More Ways To Run Old WC Games In Windows

A little while back we reported about VDM Sound as a potential option for clearing up a variety of sound card issues when trying to get older WC games to work. There's another popular program out there called DOSBox. The premise is similar. With this utility you can simulate an environment that more closely resembles what earlier WC games were meant to run on. The program even has a speed adjuster built in for those who're trying to get Wing Commander 1 or The Secret Missions running.
DOSBox emulates a 286/386 realmode CPU, Directory FileSystem/XMS/EMS, a SoundBlaster card for excellent sound compatibility with older games...
You can "re-live" the good old days with the help of DOSBox, it can run plenty of the old classics that don't run on your new computer!
You can get DOSBox here. Neeco spotted this one at Crius.

Force WC4 to Run in XP

Continuing our self help theme today, Hades has packaged up an installed to make sure you can run the Windows 95 version of Wing Commander 4 in Windows XP. If you have trouble trying to get the game installed, use this set of files to get around your difficulty.
The boxed native Win95 version of WC4 includes a Windows based installer. You'll probably need to extract the zip to a directory somewhere and then copy the contents of the first WC4 CD to that directory before running the setup exe. You might also need to edit a file once installed to change the CD path and then install the W95 game patch.
You can download the package here. The original Windows 95 patch for WC4 can be found here. This solution came out of alt.games.wing-commander. If you have further difficulty, check out our Tech Support Forum.

I've Got A Ticket For You

VG from Hungary sent me a scan of his Hungarian WC Movie ticket stub to show everyone. So I thought I'd also dig through my stuff and produce a few of my own. The first shot has a couple of my local viewing stubs, plus my ticket to the official premiere of Wing Commander in Austin. The second image is VG's Hungarian ticket. It's for "Wing Commander - Az Ürkommandó" which translates to Wing Commander: The Space Commando. He sent that to us in the hopes that other people have tickets from around the world that might be interesting. The third and fourth shots are the invitations to the WC movie premiere after-party. Number three is the elegant Confederation envelope, then the actual internal invitation is in shot four. Neato stuff! It's hard to believe this was more than four years ago.

You can find the feature on LOAF and my trip to the WC Movie premiere here.

Trivia Game Four, Week Two Questions

We've had a great turnout for our summer trivia game. It's not too late to get in on the fun! We'll be playing for six weeks until the CIC Birthday on August 10. TC has scored the first week, and the rankings are available in the Trivia Section here.
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 trivia@wcnews.com or submit using the form on the Trivia page. Be sure to include a name you would like to be known under for the Scoreboard. Have your answers in before this coming Sunday (July 13, 2003) 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.
New Questions for Week 2 (starting July 7, 2003)
Question 3: Which veteran pilot was killed covering Jeannette Devereaux's retreat in the Firekka System circa 2665?
Question 4: Which veteran pilot was killed during a raid on a communications station in the Orestes System circa 2673?
Bonus 2: Which veteran pilot was killed fighting the Kilrathi in the T’lan Meth System circa 2681?

You can email the answers to trivia@wcnews.com or fill out the easy form here. Submissions are due by July 13, 2003.

Dutch Prophecy Review

TC spotted that Inside Gamer has reviewed Prophecy GBA, but since it is in Dutch, we had to wait for Kris to translate it for us. According to Kris, the review starts with a summary of earlier WC games (I'm wondering what Klingons and Taliban have to do with the earlier games. That's as much of the introduction as I can read except for the screenshot comments which are in English for some reason). The reviewer thinks that there is a bit too much reading in the game, it should have had a tutorial for people unfamiliar with space sims and that it has a weak soundtrack. On the plus side, he also thinks the gameplay is great, graphics are great, explosions are great, and sounds are good. Overall, he says it is the best game he has played so far this year so he gave the game an overall score of 80%. You can read the entire review (in Dutch) here.

Have You Seen Vega Strike Lately?

Instead of artwork, how about some screenshots for a change? These screenshots were taken from Vega Strike, a game based on Wing Commander. Privateer ships never looked so good.

Memories From DragonCon, 52 Days To Go

In this shot LOAF and WildWeasel commandeer a random table. Unfortuately the authorities came to remove them before long. It wasn't the last table we lost at the convention.

Comments:
Byydo: There's something distinctly David Lynch-ian about this scene. Are they un-drinking the water?
Weasel: LOAF and I commandeered a table and held our own Wing Commander panel. Then some guy came by and told us to leave.
ChrisReid: I was really nervous someone would come and do that. But after that we sure did get a nice space on the floor next to some pillar.
LOAF: Damn, my vest is cool.
Joe: LOAF keeps the Gin flowing, as Weasel berates the the other attendees.
ChrisReid: And yes, Weasel's neck is broken.

A Darket From Beginning to End

Cam has created a beautiful Darket with a little aid from Crius poster commentary. Beginning with the simple model shown below, over time his work in progress evolves into the stunning final product. You can find the original thread detailing its creation here. Don't miss Cam's art site here.

Memories From DragonCon, 53 Days To Go

From time to time as we near DragonCon 2003, we'll be bringing you some of our fond memories from past Wing Commander Fan Gatherings. Depending on your point of reference, we have about 53 days to go until we get together this year. Our hotels are booked and most everyone's airplane tickets are locked in, but if you have a last minute urge to hang out with us in Atlanta, send us an email and we'll try to work something out. The following pictures will be taken from our Convention Section here. Our first picture is the Chick-Fil-A at the Peachtree Center at the corners of Peachtree Avenue and Peachtree Street. It was one of the first things that greeted me as I wandered aimlessly around Atlanta after my early arrival.

Comments:
Byydo: Didn't the "Cow disguised as a chicken" ad campaign peter out back in the last century?
TyeDyeBoy: No. No, I would not like a piece of you. Thank you for asking.
Joe: The worst DeNiro impressionist EVER!
LOAF: "Peece" looks a mite close to feces for my taste. It was funny to see Chris be culture-shocked by Chick-Fil-A (a disturbingly religious fast food restaurant).
ChrisReid: Yeah, these places freaked the hell out of me. You know you're in the south when there's a giant cow dressed up as a chicken. And they were closed on Sunday. What the hell? Half the stores were closed. That's insane.
Death: Welcome to Hel^H^H^Hthe Bible Belt, Chris.

Secret Ops Main Package Back Up

Some people have been asking us to mirror the primary Secret Ops package because the EA FTP servers hosting the file appear to be offline. You can now get the file from our FTP here. It's 112 megs, so a download resuming utility is highly recommended. Sometimes it takes a few seconds longer than usual to connect to our FTP during peak times. If you have any questions, there is a Crius thread on this subject here. Unknown Enemy and Standoff are two very impressive mods using this package.

You can register your Secret Ops here or here for a serial code to activate the package.

Don't Forget Your Trivia Answers

If you missed the update Monday, you have the weekend to answer the CIC's trivia questions. We're currently running a six week game that will end at the Birthday. This week we have several important quotes from the Wing Commander universe, and you get to figure out who said/wrote each. For the exact questions and our submission form, check out the Trivia Section here.

Sailor Moon Crossover Fiction

We've seen some interesting fiction over the years. We've seen club fiction such as Holding the Line, parodies such as Wing Commander 4.123106, and even continue-the-story threads which were once popular on the Forums. Now we have.. crossover fiction! Someone who is apparently a fan of Sailor Moon has created some curious pieces of fiction based on the Wing Commander universe.. but with Sailor Moon characters added in. You can read the original story here and the sequel here. Whatever next, WC erotic fiction? Here, have a quote:
"Admiral," Kunzite called softly, making all the students snap to attention. What they weren't ready for was a cloaked figure walking off the shuttle. Chris stared at the Admiral for a moment, trying to figure out why he would be cloaked. The entire academy got the shock of a lifetime when two slim hands appeared and pulled the hood of the cloak down, revealing sun colored gold hair, braided, bright azure eyes, and the fact that the Admiral was most definitely female.

'THE ADMIRAL IS A GIRL!' Chris screamed to himself.

One Hell-cat Of A Crash

Tolwyn sent us a nice piece of art which makes for a great background image. It features a Hellcat that has been shot down and has crash landed with two Ekapshi fighters flying in the background. You can read the comments on this artwork or contribute yourself in this thread. The moral of this story is: Don't fly Hellcats.

An Artist's Conception of the Future that Could Have Been

Last year we reported about a professional artist who had been contracted to do ship designs for a version of Wing Commander Online. The game didn't make it, but his concept art persists on the web. People got to talking at Crius, and the result was Eder thoughtfully modeling some of the designs. Below is one I really like and think would have been especially pretty in an "ugly duckling" sort of way. You can find the models Eder made here. The original Wing Commander Online art that prompted this can be found here. I kind of think of it as a Vampire gone wild.

A Look Back at Wing Commander From Germany

I don't speak German, but I know an in-depth Wing Commande feature when I see one. PC Player Forever has done a historical look back at the primary Wing Commander products. Beginning in 1990 with Wing Commander 1, they detail each main game and provide some good pictures for each. After hitting on the WC Movie, they talk about Chris Roberts and his new Point of No Return Entertainment company. Wing Commander has always been quite big in Germany, so it's not surprising to see something like this pop up in that part of Europe. You can find the article for yourself here.
Als „Wing Commander“ 1990 als zweite Arbeit des jungen Programmierers Chris Roberts für die texanische Spieleschmiede Origin erschien, sollte es zunächst als „Hardwarefresser“ Furore machen.
I couldn't have said it better.

Two Flavors of Dralthi for Your Desktop

Rylex is back again and has an eerie Dralthi wallpaper for everyone. His original had a shadow cast across a Dralthi in the rocks, and we've asked him to provide a brighter version as well. Both are available here for you to compare and pick the one you'd like. They're in 1280x1024 resolution but scale well.

Freelancer: The Reckoning WC Mod Forum Opens

Bob has opened a Crius forum for The Reckoning, a mod to add Privateer ships and elements to the Freelancer universe. You can discuss developments in the project at the new board here. To commemorate the forum opening, Bob has released a very basic version of the mod for people to try out. It's very preliminary, but you might be able to check out a number of the Privateer models that are workable. You can get more information on that here.

#Wingnut's A-Buzzing!

Well, perhaps not at 3:00 am while I write this, but since we announced the setup of our own irc network at irc.wcnews.com a few days ago, quite a few new people have dropped by to say hello. IRC is a scary mess for many newcomers, but it is be a great tool for hanging out with other Wing Commander fans once you get the hang of it. There's a couple easy ways to get started. You can download mirc and click this link or follow connection instructions in the #Wingnut section. Although the interface is a little clunkier, our Java client is a very easy way to join us. Click here, type in a name and you'll be automatically connected to us. You do have to be patient at first though. Even with a fast computer and a high speed connection, it can take a minute or two for the program to set up and a minute or two to connect to the network. IRC is where we hold our Birthday Party in August, so you can figure out how the system works now and be all set.

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