Photos From The Convention, Day Two

Our second full day was filled with excitement and fantastic events. We awoke bright and early and marched tall and proud down the streets of Atlanta holding our mighty banner and wearing our very stylish uniforms. Tom Wilson was kindly signing autographs at a table in one of the dealer rooms and he was gracious enough to sign a pile of Wing Commander items for us, including our banner. He was happily surprised to see all the Wingnuts that attended the convention and we'll be visiting him again during the remaining days. We then went to a panel that John Rhys-Davies was scheduled to attend, but unfortunately he canceled his appearance at the entire convention. Once again we spent the night asking people if they were familiar with Wing Commander and taping their inevitably strange responses. We've discovered that an encouraging number of people recognize our uniforms and are generally quite knowledgeable about the series. The response here will be incredible when they finally make a new Wing Commander game. We're all having a really great time here and some of the reactions we're receiving are a neat indicator of the popularity of Wing Commander today.

Forum Thread Achieves Staggering Popularity

The Word Game thread at Crius.net celebrated a surprising achievement this past week. It exceeded 2,000 replies. The thread was started in February and receives approximately ten replies a day. It gets about sixty views per day and this has pushed it over 13,000 total views. It's still going strong today, and it's not too late to add your reply. With the new quick reply feature on the thread page it's easier than ever to join in.

Photos From The Convention, Day One

Today was the first full day of the convention and we had a blast! Many events didn't start until around 1:00 pm, so we hosted a nice viewing of the Wing Commander Movie in the sky lobby. The dealer rooms opened today, so there is plenty to buy. Famous author Margaret Weis was holding an autograph session today, and she kindly invited us to take a group photo when we told her we were big fans of the Wing Commander card game she was involved with. Friday night is also the first time that everyone parades around in their costumes. We were very excited to make an entrance as a squadron from Wing Commander. There were a few cool thumbs-ups from people who recognized us at first, but then we cranked things up and went on the offensive. Frosty and ace interviewed anyone we could find standing around. A surprisingly number of people correctly guessed what we were from and walked away with a special CIC pen. We'll have plenty more cool pictures and more in-depth commentary after we all get home. The Convention parade will also be taking place Saturday morning. It will be proceeding north from Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta beginning at 10:00 am.

Prophecy Advance Infiltrates Australia

Joukhadar let us know that Prophecy Advance should be fairly well distributed around Australia with Electronics Boutiques now stocking the game. Topshop.com.au is also stocking it here for AU $66.75, a bit pricier than you can get it for stateside. Order three or more and get free delivery!

Academy Episodes Temporarily Unavailable

Our most recent Wing Commander Academy television show episode mirror has become unavailable. We're currently working out a system to put them back online, but in the mean time they will not be up for download. If you happen to have a 850 megs of webspace and a spare hundred gigabytes of bandwidth per month, drop us a line and we might be able to restore the series sooner. We owe Lord Nightwalker and Ulyssis.org a huge thanks for supporting our downloads for so long.

Almost Live Photos from DC2003, Day Zero

We'll have a lot more cool shots with better descriptions and commentary once the Convention is over, but for now we've selected a few shots highlighting our arrival in Atlanta. In the first shot Hades and I overlook downtown Seattle from the observation deck of the Space Needle. Shot two shows the registration badge pick-up area here at the Con. Next we've got two shots showing us unpacking and issuing everyone's flight suit for the weekend. Most of us got together for dinner in shot five, and shot six shows our makeshift Mobile CIC HQ. From there we have wireless linkups to #Wingnut and the CIC server. This is our link to the world for the rest of the week.

A Few Pearls For Japan

As we sit in Atlanta and play multiplayer Prophecy Advance, Japan is anticipating two more GBA SP colors. I noticed at a French site that both Pearl Blue and Pearl Pink will make their debut on September 5. Meanwhile, the US will get its third and fourth colors, Onyx Black and Flame Red, on September 9.

Two Million NedStat Hits!

In the last twenty-four hours our Nedstat tracker logged our two millionth hit to the front page. Tracking traffic is quite an imprecise science, but that approximately how many unique daily visits we've gotten in a little over five years. On average we serve about 525,000 pages a month across our entire network. For the last complete month, July 2003, traffic was more than 50% up over June 2002. Thanks for the visits, we'll keep digging to bring you more interesting Wing Commander stuff in the future.

A Sneak Peek at LOAF-Hobbes

We're here and we're ready to be Wingnuts! LOAF was so excited, he couldn't resist getting a bit dressed up early. That's actually him under there. He'll be a Hobbes-clone in the Wing Commander parade on Saturday.

Electronic Arts Signs Up For The N-Gage

There's a new Reuters article announcing that EA has signed up to make twenty games for the new Nokia N-Gage. The specific titles to be converted over have not been announced, but Prophecy Advance developer Raylight is also a certified N-Gage dev team. Because of the complexities behind the current Prophecy licensing arrangement I wouldn't expect much to come of this, but it's a possibility. I've also gotten a chance to try the N-Gage first hand, and while it's an impressive concept, there are some flaws that really hurt it as a gaming deck.

Memories From DragonCon, 0 Days To Go

In this shot LOAF and the Grinch pose for us somewhere at last year's convention. This'll be our last 2002 shot on the main page, since we're now in Atlanta! We're still working the bugs out of our internet connection and getting everything sorted, but we'll have a few new pictures to show off soon. I believe LOAF is on the left.

Comments:

Byydo: This picture looks familiar...
Joe: LOAF fails the screentest for the part of 'Wendy-Lou-Who'.
Hades: The photo from the year before with LOAF and "Lara Croft" was greater if only because Joe almost got in a fight trying to take the picture.

Holding The Line Chapter 164

We wouldn't dream of leaving for Dragon*Con before giving you your Holding The Line fix. We're getting ready to leave right now, so this is about it for today unless a breaking news story occurs. We plan to update continually from Atlanta throughout the week, so stay tuned. Here's Raptor to tell you about the latest chapter.
Hey all, Raptor here.

HTL continues with the start of a new series called "Welcome To Hell". (Which incidentally, is what I tell new writers. *G*) This chapter follows the Confed reserve pilots and crews you met previously in "The Road To Hell" and "Toeing The Line" series, as they come face to face with the Nephilim. The first chapter, "Ship Of The Line" is set roughly parallel to our last story "Old Friends And New...", and is written by James Andrew "JAG" Greenhow. Please send any and all comments to him at Rambo.123uk@btinternet.com, not to me.

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

Best, Raptor

Memories From DragonCon, 1 Day To Go

In this picture Hades has his way with a copy of Independence War in the bathroom. It's a neat enough game, but the spirit of Wing Commander just took over.

Comments:

Weasel: I don't think any comment of mine can do this picture justice.
Monee: NOW, it's dead. Good stomping there, Hades.

A Brazilian Wing Commander Opera?

Delance was doing some random searches for Wing Commander and came across a portuguese site devoted to "science fiction operas." Sounds pretty neat, huh? On further analysis and translation, opera is more like "role play" in this case. The people behind this site have translated quite a bit of Wing Commander history and backstory into portuguese and formatted it in a starters guide for people engaging in their opera adaptions.

You can find out what they've done here.

New Space Sim's Similarities to Wing Commander

Guilherme Mesquita was checking out upcoming space sims and found X2 by EgoSoft. Aside for consistencies common among all space sims, he came across a couple screenshots that look like they could be straight out of Prophecy. The first shot below is from X2, but it might as well be a Triton in front of Kilrah in an asteroid belt. Nearly identical scenes are present throughout WCP. The next shot features some sort of capital ship escorted by fighters. The prominence of the bow and positioning of the bridge and escorts is very similar to the big inner flap display on the original Prophecy box. A picture of a Triton and the box flap are in third and fourth positions.

Memories From DragonCon, 2 Days To Go

This is a shot of one of the many miscellaneous costumes we ran across at last year's convention. For those who don't recognize him, meet The Flaming Carrot. I actually made him quite mad at one point before escaping into the crowds. Who wouldn't be scared of a seven foot carrot with a gun, brown corduroys and a set of green flippers on?

Comments:

Byydo: You again! Go away :(
ChrisReid: I think that's what he was saying to me.

A Few Shots From Vancouver

Cam and TC couldn't make it to DragonCon this week, so we brought the fun to them. Here's a few shots of our adventures in and around Stanley Park. We had some great four-player Prophecy action going on there. The Nephilim aces get cool code names taken from Raylight developers. TC's in yellow, Cam is in jeans and a gray shirt, and Hades is in a blue shirt. I'm in the last couple shots in gray.

Prophecy Easter Egg Cheat Code Roundup

All our Prophecy Advance codes are out now. Here they are in one place for you to try. To use these cheats, press the button combinations at the Prophecy splash screen with the flashing "Press Start" text.

God Mode (invulnerable):
Up, Down, A, B, Left, Right, L, L, R, R, B, A

Unlock Flight History (all missions available from Flight History terminal):
Up, Up, L, R, Down, Down, A, A, B, A

Unlock alien ships in tactical database:
R, L, A, A, A, B, Up, Left, Down, Right, Up, A

If the cheat is entered correctly, the screen will flash white briefly.

Memories From DragonCon, 3 Days To Go

Below Hades holds up his airbrushed Mr. Kat shirt. He supplied a copy of the Mr. Kat customizable card game card to an artist in the merchant area. It's a pretty sweet shirt. We can't wait to show the creators of the game later this week.

Comments:

Weasel: Mr. Kat is watching you...
Monee: Remember the receipt for that? "Teddy Bear?! Uhhh..."
Joe: I secretly wanted to steal that shirt from Hades!
And the real Mr. Kat:

Higher Res Prophecy Advance Wallpaper

A while back I posted an image like this to show some of the Prophecy Advances we had to give away at our last party. I finally got ahold of a higher res camera, so you can use this image as your desktop if you'd like. It's 1280x960 and about 375 k.

Wilson Scheduling Update

Stephen let us know that Tom Wilson, who played Maniac in Wing Commander 3 through Prophecy and the Academy cartoon, will actually be able to make the originally scheduled Friday-Sunday run at DragonCon. Yay!

Memories From DragonCon, 4 Days To Go

This is a picture of Margaret Weis and Don Perrin being assaulted by Wingnuts. Both have successful careers in the sci-fi/fantasy industry, and we were happy to report we surprised them by showing up en masse with people who knew them exclusively for their work on the Wing Commander customizable card game. Yeah, it was all fun and games for us.. but I felt really bad for the Holy Grail actor all suited up in armor to the right of this picture. He had like one guy show up for an autograph while a dozen crazy Wing Commander fans waited in the Weis/Perrin mob.

Tom Wilson Scheduled for Saturday & Sunday Visits

Stephen from BttF.com let us know of a schedule update for Tom Wilson. He and John Rhys-Davies will be some of the bigger Wing Commander guests attending DragonCon this year. Wilson will be appearing on Saturday and Sunday only. Due to a television filming on Friday, he will be unable to make it that day as perviously announced. If anyone is in the Atlanta area and would like more information on attending, let us know.

Brazilian Movie Theater Data

Delance recently found a Brazilian cinema website with data on the Wing Commander movie's theatrical run. As we reported earlier, in Brazil the movie got the subtitle "A Batalha Final" or "The Final Battle." Apparently the movie began showing on September 3, 1999, and lasted in theaters approximately five weeks which seems more or less typical there. You can find the LDF Brazil data for 1999 here.

Memories From DragonCon, 5 Days To Go

Here's a nice group shot of the 2002 attendees. Everyone is holding their commemorative patch plaque courtesy of Joe & Paula. For all the Hades fans out there, he landed safely in Seattle last night. Justin and I took him to Applebees.

Comments:

Weasel: Do we have any pictures without robots in them?
ChrisReid: Nope, you're in every shot.
Joe: I can understand why Hades isn't smiling....we worked late, putting all those together...but JEEZ! SMILE, DAMMIT!
Hades: I am smiling. :(

Breaking News: Ultima X Odyssey Officially Announced

Origin has announced their next game: Ultima X Odyssey. This isn't a complete surprise, since the announcement coincidences with the San Francisco Ultima X event today. There has been a lot of speculation about the actual style of gameplay that would be employed. It will be a massively multiplayer game like Ultima Online, but not in the same RPG style. UOX will be powered by the latest "UnrealĀ® Engine" and focus on specialized combat and character development.
Strategic combat is another key differentiator for UXO that engages players in a fast-paced, real-time exchange of attacks and easy-to-use special moves. Players can choose their level of aggressiveness and a variety of combat styles, making the outcome of the battle as dependent on players' actions as on their characters' strength. In addition to individual combat, player guilds can challenge other guilds to gladiator-style dueling in privately created zones.
There will be extensive character customization through development of eight Virtues as well as customized quests and combat. OSI vice president and chief operating office Andy Hollis has this to say.
Ultima X: Odyssey takes the genre to the next level through its innovative new Odyssey Adventure System ensuring that players experience a greater sense of adventure and reward from both questing and combat.
They expect to release the game this winter. It's hard to tell how good the game will actually be from screenshots, but there is also a video trailer you can access here.

Sure is nice to see Origin being active.

We've Got Wing Commander 4 Funny Money

On further examination of my old Privateer 2 materials, I discovered this nifty $10 rebate for Wing Commander 4. It's a check-style instant rebate that you don't really see too much anymore for regular stores. Free movie passes tend to look like this these days. It's funny because Tolwyn's head is on it.

Congratulations on your purchase of Privateer 2! We hope you enjoy the new worlds of The Darkening! If you like this game, ORIGIN would like to encourage you to buy a copy of wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom, the fourth chapter in an epic series of space combat games. Wing Commander IV chronicles the struggles of Colonel Christopher Blair as he battles to save the Confederation. Classic space combat is your milieu as you control Blair's actions both in space and aboard his massive space carrier, the Lexington.
I was pretty unhappy with the scan above, so we also have a nice clear super sized 450 k jpeg here.

Memories From DragonCon, 6 Days To Go

The picture below is pretty much how I'll look later today when I manage to grab a few minutes of sleep here and there. As I write this Hades is somehere over the Atlantic Ocean. He'll be getting into Seattle this evening to begin our international Wing Commander blitz. This scene was taken in the Marriott lobby during some good old MechWarrior robot gaming.

Comments:

Byydo: I was gonna say something about Fat Albert's clubhouse here, but I'd probably get murdered.
Weasel: Chris has issues with consciousness.
TyeDyeBoy: Given his freakish nap cycling, I bet there are many doctors that would love to put him through some kind of sleep study.
Monee: Chris has now gone into screen saver mode again.
ChrisReid: I can't believe I slept through a guy searching the floor with a pocket flashlight.
Joe: LOAF's late night stints at the all-you-can-eat cabbage bar can be devastating!
Mmmm.. cabbage bar.

Standoff Mod Needs Voice Actors

The Standoff Secret Ops mod has reached the point where they need your help. They've got plenty of cool ships, but they need fans to contribute voice dialogue for the mod next. Here's Eder.
Most voiceovers for the Prologue are well underway, and we're about to start writing specific dialogue for the main campaign... so this is a good time to start looking for voice actors and actresses.

If you have a good microphone and a good English, contact us via email to lend us your voice! We will need people for various parts, ranging from the smallest of roles to some of the main characters, so no matter how much or how little time you have, you can probably help us. We also are in serious need of female voices and Kilrathi voices, so if you are a member of the fairer sex or someone with disfunctional vocal chords, we really could use your talents! We're going with WCP-sounding Kilrathi, so if you can do anything like that (no matter what sound editing program you use, or whether you can only apply this effect to others' voiceovers or record them yourself) you're exactly what we're looking for.

If you'd like to help out, email standoff@solsector.net to apply. Hopefully the script has a part for Ghost.

Memories From DragonCon, 7 Days To Go

We're going to run through a whole bunch of last year's DragonCon shots over the next week as we count down to this year's convention. This is the first shot in a series of famous ones where the rest of the group got a bunch of strangers to walk up to me, freak out, and ask for my autograph.

Comments:

Byydo: Who wins? You win. CLEAN THE CAT HAIRS OFF YOUR SCANNER.
Weasel: OH, MY GOD! ARE YOU CHRISREID?
ChrisReid: Yes I am.
Joe: For those who don't know--Hades, Paula, and I printed up about 6 of these pictures, and secretly asked total strangers to ask for ChrisReid's autograph--ALL WEEKEND LONG! He had no idea what was going on!--RIOT!
Hades: It's great how the people behind are trying to figure out if Chris is someone famous.
ChrisReid: And Yes I am.

High Res Privateer 2 Schematic Map Online

Yesterday's documentation round-up included files for Privateer 2, but those particular files were somewhat poorly scanned. There are several versions of the P2 schematic map floating around on the net, but here's a nice high res one. It's a little big at 1800x1500 and 350 k. Perhaps I'm overcompensating for all the low resolution scans I've seen over the years. Any basic graphic editing software or a copy & paste into Microsoft word will bring this to a size suitable for printing. The European Privateer 2 didn't come with this map originally, so it's a big help for some people's mission planning.

The Wing Commander Guide To Dating?

Delance and his active imagination put google and Wing Commander together and found one of AskMen's guides to dating. It uses some sort of crazy Wing Commander analogies to present its information. Fortunately it's not our Wing Commander, but it's terrifying nonetheless. You can find what Delance reads in his spare time here.
The first move you must make is to gather your squadron together. Because you located your woman first, you become the Wing Commander. The next step is for the Kamikaze Pilot to move in and start a conversation with the Girl-goyle of the group. The purpose of this step is to infiltrate and set up contact with the female group.

A Galore of Wing Commander Documentation

Ghost stumbled across ReplacementDocs.com, and that got us into compiling some of the various documentations and guides for Wing Commander games that people have posted online. The first batch are all in PDF form and require the Acrobat Reader. There are miscellaneous ones below that. The following actually cover a wide swath of the primary Wing Commander games. Other items are also available online. TC has digitized Wing Commander 1's Claw Marks and Wing Commander 2's manual here and here, BlackJoker has put Wing Commander 3's Victory Streak together here, Jetlag has compiled Armada's Voices of War here, and the CIC is hosting the Secret Ops documentation here in a zip. ReplacementDocs is actually quite a useful resource with guides for games such as Starlancer and Freelancer as well. They accept contributions in the form of high quality scanned manuals if you have one they're missing. Perhaps we can get some more Wing Commander ones for them.

Memories From DragonCon, 9 Days To Go

I can't believe the 2003 WC Convention is next week. It looks like we'll be able to to readily update the CIC from the convention itself, so look for the raw coverage beginning next week. Don't worry, the entire CIC staff won't be at risk of a terrorist attack. Kris will be secure in a safe and undisclosed location. The photo below is a picture of us harrassing Aaron Alston. While he was there to speak on behalf of his famous Star Wars novels, we were sure to constantly mob him with copies of Claw Marks, which he wrote in 1990. He was pretty freaked out by the end of the convention. Thanks for being such a great sport Aaron!

Comments:

Byydo: Yay, Bob Ross's autograph!
Weasel: Poor Aaron Allston probably never wants to see another Claw Marks ever again.
TyeDyeBoy: We did the same thing to him last year, just not in such large numbers. Poor guy's heart probably won't be able to take it next year.
LOAF: I'm already buying more WC1s for next year.
ChrisReid: Me too.
Hades: We got kicked out of the room we were in. Again. But the signing continued outside.

Underused Wraith Appears in Standoff

The beautiful Wraith Medium Fighter has made an appearance in Standoff. Keeping with its characteristically low profile, the Wraith will only be playable in the simulator when this Secret Ops mod is complete. You can find more shots of this fighter, as well as other recent additions such as the Grikath and Kamekh, in the screenshots area of the Standoff site here.

You can leave feedback at the Standoff forum here.

Oh Yeah!

Looking for better ways to spend your money than on the new Robocop game? Justin found an incredible working (BB) replica for just $299.99 here. Those on a budget can find an $18.99 model here.

More Fan Gathering Gear Ready To Go

As promised, here are some shots of our nice big vinyl banner. If everything goes without a hitch, we'll be carrying it in the Wing Commander portion of the science fiction parade at DragonCon. If you're in Atlanta on August 30, we'll be marching from the Centennial Olympic Park at 10:00 am.

You can see our flight suits here.

A Little Advance Activity Warning

It's a little early now, but in a few months we'll be conducting our annual "Fan Site of the Year" contest. This year it looks like we'll be adding a requirement that sites have to be active to be eligible. "Active" will probably mean having some sort of relevant update during at least the last third of the year (or since the CIC's birthday party). We're not looking for much at all, but we'd just like the give priority to the sites that are continuing to grow.

WC Zone Open For Match Play

The Subspace mod WC Zone is open and ready for custom matches as I type this. A few people are playing off and on to get reacquainted to the game, but you'll generally want to arrange matches or practices through #Wingnut before you drop into the Zone. Subspace is a top down 2D shooter that can be a lot of fun. You can check out some shots of us playing after the Birthday Party here. If you'd like to give the game a try, stop by #Wingnut or check out the instructions at Crius here. You'll can use the mod with the following four files. Download and install Continuum. Unzip the Shipset in \graphics\, Replacement Pack in \graphics\ and Sounds in \sounds\ under your Continuum directory. Then follow these instructions.
After installing, in the zones menu, click "add custom."
You can call the Zone whatever you want, I suggest "Wing Commander Zone." In the IP address field type: 66.155.127.83 & in the port field type: 5800
Click ok and return to the main screen. Make a Profile for yourself.
Wing Commander Zone (or whatever you named it) should appear at the bottom of the zone list. Select it and click play to...well...play!
You may or may not find other players if you stop in on your own without arranging a game. Once things get going we hope to eventually organize some times for everyone to meet and play. If you'd like to meet other people or help us schedule a time, check out the Crius thread here.

Memories From DragonCon, 12 Days To Go

We're really close now! There's just a week and a half until the Wing Commander Fan Gathering in Atlanta. Below is a cool shot of the first annual science fiction parade through the streets of downtown Atlanta. This year we'll have a Wing Commander element as well. Tomorrow I'll have some shots of a neat accessory we'll be using in the parade.

Comments:

Weasel: That's a lot of Stormtroopers...
TyeDyeBoy: We kept yelling for the Stormtroopers to go beat down the Klingons, but I guess we had a bad transmitter.

Post-Party Logs Online

For those that missed some or all of our Birthday Party this week, or those who just can't get enough of #Wingnut, the logs from the event are now online thanks to TC. You can find the long five hour log of the larger event here, and a concise ninety minute log of the countdown to zero hour is available here.

Adjusted times to GMT & killed colour codes. Short log goes from the beginning of the 1 hour countdown to the end of everyone yelling happy birthday after the update. Long log goes from like 2 PM to me getting disconnected for a few minutes while playing SS at 9ish PM

Vancouver Fan Gathering In A Week

It looks like several CIC staff members and a couple fans will be getting together for a quick thing in Vancouver, British Columbia a week from this Sunday. If this is something you might be able to drop by for, send us an email.

Post-Party Encyclopedia Upgrades

Hot on the heels of our Fifth Birthday we've made some improvements to the Encyclopedia user interface. The obligatory search engine has been added, and hyperlinks to related records have been added to most of our entries. The links were generated by a script, so some of them might not make a lot of sense. But at least you can waste a whole afternoon going from one record to the next, including some of the more obscure entries like Kilrathi Beowulf clusters. For those who have been wondering, there are still a number of records missing that we will be adding in the near future.

Game Stores Adjust Freelancer As Well

Specialty video game retailers such as GameStop and EB have recently both marked down their Freelancers to $29.99. As I said earlier, this is a pretty decent space sim for $30 and probably worth your time to pick up.

Lost Regiment Movie In Pre-Production

At noted Wing Commander author William Forstchen's website, there was recently a news post announcing that his series of Lost Regiment books will be turned into a movie.
On the movie front. Lost Regiment is moving forward with Cruise/Wagner Productions and Paramount Studios. The option was purchased in June and they are currently doing first run through of screen play development.
If you're not familiar with the series, you can find information on the latest novels at Amazon. It's a series about a Union regiment fighting the civil war that has been transplanted to an alien planet where they must fight. Kinda crazy, but it's pretty popular.

Post-Party Wing Commander Zone Action

After the Party on Sunday Filler helped a bunch of us get into the Wing Commander Zone to play some Subspace. It was pretty great, and we're trying to work out a system for scheduled games so a lot of us can get together again. Here are some shots of the action.

If you'd like to help us figure out how we could schedule more events, reply to our thread at Crius here.

Super Cheap Wing Commander Movies for Canadians

It looks like the Fox Classics rerelease of the Wing Commander movie has made its way to Canada. Unfortunately these are region 1 discs and FutureShop.ca seems to only ship to Canada, but anyone who hasn't seen the move there should jump on this opportunity. Their current price is $7.99 Canadian. Not bad at all. If you're looking to kill time, there's a poll on their WCM page to rate the movie as well. Currently it's at 4/5 (stars I guess). You can find the deal here.

MS Blaster Worm Follow-up

Hopefully Windows NT, XP, 2000 and 2003 users have already patched here, but there is a much easier cleanup tool available today. Symantec has an automated utility that searches for relevant files and registry keys to clean once you've patched after infection. You can download that here.

Post-Party Prize Recovery

We're still recovering from the exhaustive final hours leading up to our party, but everything went quite well. It seems our highest concurrent #Wingnut count was about 77 people, and we had a lot of people come earlier/later because of school and other obligations for a total of over a hundred guests. Don't worry if you couldn't make it, you can stop by our irc channel any time to say hello, and next year we hope to have an even bigger turnout. Because things were a little crazy at the actual event, we need to do some checking up on prizes. Here's what people won.
  • Starlancer - Tainen & Jetlag
  • Earth & Beyond - robert1
  • Autographed Descent & Confed Patch - Stormin & GryphonGuitar
  • Blair Action Figure - Twigboy
  • Kilrathi Action Figure - mav23
  • Action Stations Novel - NewCommanderOnDaBlock
  • End Run Novel - Natanya
  • Fleet Action Novel - Quarto
  • Heart of the Tiger Novel - originalTHP
  • WCA Divx & Movie Card - TheFraix & Bob
  • Movie Press Kit - Wedge009
  • Movie Poster - Delance
  • Movie DVD - Mustang
  • Movie Soundtrack - Omega280 & TrashCan
  • Movie Shirt - Darkpetzi & fms52
  • Prophecy Advance - Worf
  • Game Boy Advance & Prophecy - Meson, Starkey, ChanceKell & Filler
  • Kilrathi Saga - Rylex
Let me know if there's someone I missed. If you have not done so already, the winners above should email me their names and addresses to ChrisReid@wcnews.com. Thanks to BlackLance.org for donating the autographed Descent novels and Confederation patches. The party was a ton of fun, and a bunch of us had a great Wing Commander Zone Subspace game afterwards. We'll be posting pictures of that soon. Don't be shy, drop by #Wingnut any time. Any trivia winners who missed the earlier update should also send me their addresses for their CIC Pens. Here are the top rankings for Game Four again.
  1. Wedge009
  2. Death
  3. Haesslich
  4. PeteyG
  5. Viper61
  6. Phoenix
  7. Bob
  8. Black Joker
  9. cff
  10. Apollyon

msblast RPC Worm Causing Problems

We typically don't report on these sorts of virus and worm outbreaks on the internet, but I've personally encountered a lot more people affected by this one than previous high profile infections. A big handful of our #Wingnut regulars report having to fix this as well. CNN, Slashdot, Yahoo and others are reporting about the incident, but not all are providing links for tools to fix it. The above Slashdot link is a good reference, but basically if you're running Windows NT, XP, 2000 or 2003 you should quite quickly install this patch if you have not done so already. The worm causes an RPC error when you go online and then ititiates a 60 second shutdown counter. If you've been infected, check out removal instructions here. Typing shutdown -s or shutdown /a in your Run command box should take care of the shutdown timer long enough for you to download the patch.

HAPPY FIFTH BIRTHDAY!

It's been a big year with lots of encouraging news. The biggest news is that our traffic is way up and Wing Commander fans around the world are more interested in our community than ever before. With over a hundred people visiting us on irc to wish us well (70 concurrent), we're having our biggest birthday bash ever! Below a good assortment of various fan projects have contributed something neat for you to see, so please enjoy. Thanks for coming!

Sunnie Days Are Here Again!

The topic doesn't make sense to most people, nor does it appeared to be spelled right, but it very much expresses our sentiments as we push this project out the door. For many years people have been asking us where they could find a complete Wing Commander Encyclopedia. What we have available today is far from complete, but it is also a chunk of the most comprehensive Wing Commander database available anywhere. With over 1500 records already compiled, there is still much work for us to do, but we're proud to present what we have tonight. We'd like to thanks Wedge, TC, Raptor, Haesslich, Death and Tainen for working with the rest of the CIC staff to put what we have together. Kris and Hades have especially been beating themselves to death to make things presentable. We'll be continually updating it until it's complete, but for now, you're welcome to check out our attempt at the Wing Commander Encyclopedia.

Final Prophecy Advance Cheat

If the God mode cheat for Prophecy Advance didn't help you enough, how about a cheat to unlock every mission in the game? After entering the following code, you'll be able to load any mission from the Flight History terminal the Midway's ready room. Enter the following code at the Prophecy splash screen with the flashing "Press start" text:
Up, Up, L, R, Down, Down, A, A, B, A
If you see the screen flash white quickly, you'll know that the cheat is active. Now go enjoy playing the missions that you didn't play on your first run through the game!

Eder Flies A Special Edition Rapier I

Eder from Wing Commander Standoff sent these awesome shots of him flying the newly modeled Rapier I. This is the latest in a long line of cool ships from all eras that he has imported into the mod. It's hard to believe they can make the Secret Ops engine look so good, and it's really cool to see ships from the movie flying around. Eder spraypainted a special message for us on the side of his fighter, but it might be a little hard to see in the shots below. You can download a 2.5 meg zip of this fighter from different angles in higher quality here (BL.org mirror here).

If you'd like to give this beauty a test drive, follow the link from the Standoff site here or you can download the model directly from here and insert it with WCPEdit.

The Reckoning Shows Its Stuff

Bob from The Reckoning, a Freelancer mod, has whipped up an in-engine shot to celebrate our Fifth Birthday. I see what appears to be a Talon skimming over a Concordia Class Supercruiser. I sure love to see those Movie era ships simulated in game.

Unknown Enemy - Download It Again Soon

Wing Commander Unknown Enemy was one of the first mods to be completed. It pioneered some of the Secret Ops engine modification and editing. They're currently offline because their mirrors have all had to shut down, but they should be rehosting it very soon. You will need the Secret Ops starter pack to begin when they're back online. Here is a nice 1280x1024 wallpaper that the UE team has contributed.

That's Not All From UE

Needaham from the UE team also made what can only be described as a Wing Commander themed orchestral "Happy Birthday" song. It's a short mp3 they've zipped up for us. You can download the 325 k file here. It's pretty neat.

Wing Commander Saga Preview Trailer Released

Wing Commander Saga: Battlegroup Serpent has released a four minute trailer for their upcoming Freespace 2 mod. It's a pretty exciting look into the basics of the story with some very nice in-game shots. If you haven't been following this one, the trailer might surprise you. You can download their 33 meg trailer here (BL.org mirror here). You need divx to see it.

originalTHP Releases WC3 and WC4 Trailers

Previously available in forms such as 35 mm film and obscure DOS files, originalTHP has properly updated and encoded the original Wing Commander 3 and 4 trailers for our Birthday. They're quite exciting to watch, and I wish I could've caught the WC4 trailer in theaters many years ago. That would have been great. You can download the 15 meg WC3 trailer here (BL.org mirror here) and 22 meg WC4 trailer here (BL.org mirror here).

You can find these and other cool things at his Solsector home here.

Summer Trivia Comes To A Close

Our six-week summer Trivia game has come to a close. There were some easy weeks and some really killer weeks, and each time there were a surprising number of rabid fans that were able to pull up obscure answers. Every week we heard stories about fans going out to purchase new materials in order to research questions and deliver the most thorough answers possible. It's quite inspirational. Though it was a tough battle throughout, our winner this time was Wedge!. He wins a Wing Commander Movie Press Kit. Death, Haesslich, PeteyG, Viper61, Phoenix, Bob, Black Joker, cff and Apollyon round out the top ten and win official CIC Pens! Congratulations! You can find the final scores here.

Wing Commander Cell Phone Rings Online

Hadrian has put a number of sound files suitable for cell phone ringtones online. Not all phones will support this, but it's worth a shot to check these out if you have a fancier phone. Point your phone's web browser to http://members.shaw.ca/hadrian01 and you may be able to download and utilize the .mid files available there.

The Black Lance HQ Behind the Scenes

While we generate news updates, create features and find new files to post here at the CIC, over the years our friends at the Black Lance HQ have been there to support our continued expansion. Today we'd like to give them special thanks for mirroring a number of videos and features that different fan projects have created. Without their help, you might not be reading this right now (as our server explodes). They also prepared a message.

The Black Lance Headquarters congratulates Wing Commander CIC - the vanguard of the Wing Commander fan community - on its FIFTH BIRTHDAY. Thank you for your many years of service to the community and your never ending quest to secure the latest in WC information and fun. May you continue for many years to come and have a great Fifth on us!

Your friends at the BLH
MNelson

Thank You Everyone!

This year Destination Software and Raylight Studios really helped boost the enthusiam of our community. Many active fan sites have bolstered our ranks and many fan projects have extremely impressive results to show. Beyond that, the CIC exists because thousands and thousands of dedicated Wing Commander fans visit each week. We'd like to thank you for keeping us going for five years now, and I'm confident we'll be together for quite a while longer.

You Are Cordially Invited...

In just a handful of hours the Wing Commander Combat Information Center will turn five years old. As much as I enjoy writing on the CIC main page each day, I would love it even more to be able to talk directly to you all at the party. The rest of our staff has been working hard to prepare some things for you to see on the site this evening, but hopefully a number of you will attend our live event on irc. We're franticaly preparing as you read this, and we hope to see you soon.
Sunday evening, August 10, 2003 or Monday morning, August 11, 2003 depending on where you live. At around 7:00 pm US Eastern (4:00 pm US Pacific, 11:00 pm GMT or 7:00 to 9:00 am in parts of Australia) we will all be formally getting together online at our new IRC server (irc.wcnews.com) online in #Wingnut to begin the celebration.
Connect to irc.wcnews.com or use our simple Java Client to join the fun. I'd strongly recommend you drop in an hour or two early to synchronize your times. We've had a couple people visit already and discover they would have arrived late had they not compared time zones beforehand.

The Fatman Performs at CGE2K3 Today

One of several famous Wing Commander musicians, the Fatman & Team Fat, will be performing today at the sixth annual Classic Gaming Expo.
The Fat Man and Team Fat have been doing videogame soundtracks since the early 1980's when it all began with the original score they composed for Intellivision Thin Ice. The music for titles such as 7th Guest, Loom, and Wing Commander can also be accredited to them. They will be performing LIVE on Sunday at CGE 2003!
Anyone in Las Vegas near Jackie Gaughan's Plaza Hotel & Casino might want to check it out.

Don't Forget Your Final Trivia Answers

Just one more day to get your Week 6 Trivia in for our summer game. Don't delay, because the winner will be announced at the Party. Your answers are due before the party starts at 4:00 pm Pacific Time. You can find the questions and submit answers here. Good luck!

It's CIC Birthday Eve!

You've heard me talk about this way too much, so instead I'll repost what we called the first completed fan project. Wing Commander: The Heart of the T, Mr. T vs Wing Commander, was released by Byydo for our Second Birthday in 2000. If you missed it, it's a fun read to tide you over until the party. You can find The Heart of the T here.

Imperium Galactica 3 Cancelled

GameSpot has just reported that Galaxy Andromeda, which was to be the third game in the Imperium Galactica series. Like Stars! Supernova Genesis it was a strategy space sim that had several years of positive development under its belt, but couldn't make it the last mile. The developer CDV didn't believe it had high sales prospects, and canned it rather than spend funds on the final dev time and marketing. It's kind of a shame, but we all know this kind of stuff happens. GameSpot has some very nice screenshots of the game in a gallery here. If the game looked like this in June 2001 and this in October 2002, you'd think there'd be something quite presentable to publish today.

Freelancer On XBox?

Since Digital Anvil was bought by Microsoft there have always been rumors of a potential move to the XBox for the series. It looks like a number of fans would welcome the port if it were to happen. The question presented in the September issue of the the Official XBox Magazine asks, "Which PC game would you most want to see on XBox?" Freelancer came in at fourth place. Although this corresponds to only 8% of the vote, I'd attribute that to the whopping 53% that EA's Battlefield 1942 received. The difference there is that Freelancer would undoubtedly support the XBox Live multiplayer network while all EA games do not (which is the reason the multiplayer-centric Battlefield was scrapped long ago).
We don't own this place.. but we have an understanding with the people who do.

CIC Birthday Weekend Is Here

We have teams working day and night to make things presentable for the Birthday Party, so I hope everyone will check us out Sunday evening/Monday morning. There's a rather tense excitement between us as we gauge how much we can make presentable in the time left. The Kilrathi Saga that we plan to give away at the Party has arrived and is ready to go. There's still a lot left for the entire staff to do, so today we have some miscellaneous stories. Have a good weekend.

EA Super Sizes Its Offices

Reuters and many other places are reporting that Electronic Arts has secured a new 250,000 square foot compound for the EA Los Angeles development arm. EA LA has absorbed much of the remaining staff from the former Westwood Studios (Command & Conquer) and a few higher level Origin personnel. This new Water's Edge compound is in the Playa Vista area. This is not intended to replace their headquarters, also in California, but will eventually be a thousand-strong facility for game development. You can find more here.

New Nintendo Device To Be Announced Next Spring

GameSpot, Slashdot and the rest of regular sites have reported on this, but it's gotten to the point where CNN felt it necessary to do a blurb on it as well. Nintendo has announced a new mystery product is in development and it was be unveiled in around six months. Next year Sony's portable will be released and its universal media discs could easily carry all the video from the original Prophecy and more. Although the Playstation Portable will not actually play Playstation games, if it sees ports in the way that the GBA has, something like Wing Commander 3 and 4 become possibilities. I do expect Nintendo to fully meet this challenge head on, so next year should be an exciting one for handheld gaming.

Holding The Line Chapter 163

Since the CIC staff are all working really hard on birthday/party things, we figured that we'd give you the latest HTL chapter a little earlier than usual. So here's Raptor.
Hey all, Raptor here.

HTL continues with a great new story called "Old Friends And New", which follows the TCS Yorktown, flagship of the Third Fleet, and her battlegroup. You saw at the end of our last arc how the Border Worlders reacted the Combined Fleet's arrival in Nifelhiem and the possibility of an end to the long battle. This story written by Joe "Wraith" Guida looks at the Confed point of view. Please send any and all comments to Joe at captpowell1@earthlink.net, not to me.

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

As this will be the last HTL chapter published before the CIC's big birthday bash, I would like to take this chance to congratulate and thank the CIC staff for all they've achieved over the past five years. I've been part of the online Wing Commander scene since the days of the old Origin Wing Commander chatboard (RIP), and it's hard to think of any other site or group who've given so much to the Wing Commander community online. In addition to providing us with up to the minute WC news and all the WC info we could want, the CIC has always provided a great place for Wing Commander fans to get together and talk about their common passion, and been a boon to anyone involved in WC fan projects. Personally, I doubt HTL would have gotten as far as it has without being able to showcase our stories at Solsector or being able to bring our stories to an audience outside the Aces Club. Here's looking forward to the *next* five years of success for the CIC.

Thanks Raptor!

DragonCon Flight Suits Prepped

Monee and Tye have been slaving away in Atlanta to prepare our convention attendees for the Wing Commander portion of the annual parade. They've completed a number of Prophecy-era flight suits and are modeling them below. The suits are somewhat material and labor intensive, so mass produced suits for everyone is out of the question right now, but they've posted a draft tutorial on how to make a set at Crius here. We hope to assemble more detailed instructions or kits for fans to make their own suits in the future.

If anyone in the Atlanta area wants to come and see the parade, we'll be marching from the Centennial Olympic Park to the Marriott Marquis/Hyatt Regency beginning at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 30. You can also check out shots of Maniac and Maestro wearing the original suits.

Freelancer Price Drops Beginning

Although most places in the US still seem to carry Freelancer for $49.99, DemolitionMan in #Wingnut reports that Circuit City has the game for sale at $29.99 now. A lot of us here at the CIC had quite a bit of fun with this Chris Roberts inspired game. It does draw quite a bit from Privateer, and I'm really happy with how they solved the autopilot situation over interplanetary distances in a semimassively multiplayer space sim. People have been sending me reviews for it that discuss Wing Commander to one extent or another, so here are links to several. If you know of others, feel free to email them in.

Trivia Game 4, Week 6 Is Out

Sorry for the delay here. Week 6 Trivia is out and ready to be answered. It's a little harder this time, but this is the last week of our summer trivia game. Be sure to get your answers in early, because all answers are due before the before the Birthday Party starts. The winner will be announced at the party. Here are the questions.
Question 11: Research on what piece of Kilrathi technology led to the development of the Phase Transit Cannon?
Question 12: Research from a Kilrathi R&D project to develop what weapon was used in the development of the flash-pak?
Bonus 6: What are at least two other pieces of Confederation equipment or technology based on Kilrathi research or technology?
You can answer by filling out the Trivia form here.

Exact Birthday Party Times For Everyone

Wedge and TC dug up a site for everyone to check their time zones at. We really don't want anyone to come to the CIC's Fifth Birthday an hour or two late and miss out! You can check out timeanddate.com for the exact start times in 150 major cities. So we're starting at 4:00 pm August 10 in Seattle, 8:00 pm in Buenos Aires and 3:00 am August 11 in Baghdad. You can look for your closest city here. We do still strongly encourage you to stop by early to double-check your times with ours, and I expect people to be massing in #Wingnut before the official start time this coming Sunday evening/Monday morning. If irc sounds confusing, the Java Client is for you.

The Fearsome Bloodfang Reappears

Here's a Johnny-riffic Bloodfang from Wing Commander 2.

And here's an old related quote from another Originite, 16 year veteran Denis Loubet.
I can tell you the cockpits and talking heads were done in DeluxePaint, and the ships you fired at were sprites rendered in early 3D modeling packages like the old DOS 3D Studio version 1. (That was used for WC2, WC1 utilized an early Amiga program I can't remember the name of.) Hope this helps.

An Arrow In The Making

Smoke_Saibot has begun work on a highly detailed Arrow light fighter. The pictures below aren't very large, but a lot of nice stuff is clearly evident. I'll be looking forward to even more polished and larger shots in the future.

No textures yet all 3d. I would say it is about 90% done. Cockpit still needs to be done as well as some detail work. The detail on it is ridiculous...It has about 300000 faces so far. It will be a combination of all the different versions of the arrow. It's mainly the Armada version, which I like best.
You can post feedback at Crius here.

Memories From DragonCon, 24 Days To Go

In this shot we're walking to (or perhaps from) the DragonCon first annual parade. It was great seeing hundreds of storm troopers and Klingons march down the streets of downtown Atlanta. This year we'll have a Wing Commander contingent represented as well.

On the subject of fan gatherings, some of the staff will be massing around Seattle, Vancouver BC and the greater Baltimore area in the week prior to the event. Schedules permitting, it might be possible to meet up with some local fans who won't be able to make the jump to Atlanta. Send us an email if that might include you.

Comments:

Byydo: Hehehe, you can't tell me the big glowing sign above monnee's head wasn't intentional. Tye needs to kick somebody's ass around here.
TyeDyeBoy: Byydo is under the mistaken impression that I care. Besides, Monee could take Crid any day.
Monee: HAHA!
LOAF: Monee could take any of us any day.
ChrisReid: Take me where?
Joe: LOAF again maintains his "I'm not with these guys" posture.

Only One Week To Go!

Where has all the time gone? Suddenly we're only a week away from the hottest party in town. We've seen dozens of new faces online in #Wingnut over the past few weeks and I'm hopeful that even more will show up as we get closer. Everyone here is working frantically to make things presentable in time, and we've seen some impressive stuff by fan groups we're working with who will be releasing stuff in tandem with us next Sunday. There's still a lot of work to do, so some regular CIC functions might be slightly erratic this week. You're welcome to check out the our irc server early, and if you're new to it, use the simple Java Client. Here's the time to meet.
Sunday evening, August 10, 2003 or Monday morning, August 11, 2003 depending on where you live. At around 7:00 pm US Eastern (4:00 pm US Pacific, 11:00 pm GMT or 7:00 to 9:00 am in Australia) we will all be formally getting together online at our new IRC server (irc.wcnews.com) online in #Wingnut to begin the celebration.

Did Someone Say Kilrathi Saga?

I promised a more complete prize list this time, so we've rounded up a tentative list of items up for grabs at the Fifth Birthday Party next weekend. As usual we have a variety of Wing Commander action figures and novels ready to go. There'll be copies of the Wing Commander movie on DVD and an official press kit for the movie. We have some Wing Commander soundtracks and a couple types of official Wing Commander shirts. I've already mentioned that we'll have several Game Boy Advance systems with Prophecy Advance to match. If there are any GBA owners out there without Prophecy, we'll have some standalone games going as well. It also looks like we'll be able to give away an original copy of Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga to a very lucky fan!

Some related material is available in limited quantities. Earth & Beyond, Ultima Online, Starlancer and the like are options. We may hold a few impromptu contests to test your Wing Commander knowledge, but generally most prizes are door prizes awarded randomly every few minutes to the guests that are present. You only have to be there to win! Depending on the number of actual attendees, it looks like chances may be better than not that you'll pick something up to take home. See you there!

Prophecy Price Drop at GameStop

GameStop has just lowered its price for Prophecy Advance in stores across the US to $19.99. Their online store is sold out, but retail locations might have a copy or two left. You can type in your zip code here to find the closest one to check.

See Our Ad in the Souvenir Program Book

Now when the CIC advertises on television, we can say "see our ad in print for details" like all those prescription drug commercials. Filler and TC have helped us put together a neat spread for the hefty book that all 20,000+ DragonCon attendees will receive. It took a couple months of back-and-forth tweaking, but I really like our final product. At this size it can also make a decent wallpaper image.

The print one will be in grayscale. Let us know if you need a high res copy to print out and post to the walls of your dorm, workplace, bathroom, etc.

Calling All Trivia Players

Remember folks, tomorrow is the deadline for getting your week 5 Trivia answers in! Week 6 is the final week and that starts on Monday. As usual you can either email your answers or use the form on this page.
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.

God Will Save You

No, the CIC hasn't suddenly turned religious, though feel free to praise us. Today we give you the second of three cheats for Prophecy Advance. This one is for God mode which will make your ship indestructible. As with the previous cheat (or easter egg), enter the following code at the Prophecy splash screen with the flashing "Press start" text:
Up, Down, A, B, Left, Right, L, L, R, R, B, A
Thanks go to Destination Software for these cheats. We'll be releasing the final cheat on the CIC's fifth birthday. We're working full time on our super-secret birthday projects so this will be our only update today unless something special happens.

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