More Deals on Prophecy Advance & the Movie

I just had a giant Fry's Electronics open near me, so I thought to look into their Wing Commander offerings. It appears that local Fry's stores should have Prophecy Advance in stock for $19.99. Their website also offers that price here. Although I haven't seen any copies of the Wing Commander movie in stock, their online site also sells them for $6.99 here. It seems they have a free ground shipping deal going, but the minimum order is $500. These are still better deals than the Amazon offers we have on our menu, and I doubt we'll find much cheaper any time soon. If you've already gotten something through Amazon, we do appreciate the support though.

For those in the UK, Pedro discovered that the Virgin Megastores seem to be carrying Prophecy for £9.99 instead of the regular £24.99. That's a pretty good deal. The European Prophecy Advance sold in the UK includes a language choice selector on startup and has an expanded credits section in the manual.

Based on a popular series of video games, Wing Commander introduces us to an elite fighter squadron in the year 2654. The Earth confederation is at war with a vicious race called the Kilrathi. The Kilrathi have captured a navigational device which will allow them to jump through worm-holes in space to arrive behind enemy lines. Only this highly trained squadron, led by three young pilots, stand in their way.

New MyJEMM Released

For those who still had problems getting Privateer to work with Ross Ridge's JEMM emulator, a new version of MyJEMM has been released. Version 1.4 has support for disk and CD versions of Privateer, Righteous Fire, Armada, and Proving Grounds and floppy support for Strike Commander. Note that the program only works in Windows 95/98/ME. As mentioned earlier, running these games in Windows will also give you support for USB joysticks and sound cards that would not have been available otherwise. His homepage and walkthrough are available here. We've also mirrored the file here.

Suburban Jungle Salutes Hobbes

Edward Pang tipped us off about The Gneech's latest Suburban Jungle comic relating to Wing Commander. The September 27, 2003 edition features a sharp rendition of Hobbes quoting from Wing Commander 3. We previously reported about his July 2, 2001 comic that was pretty well done. You can find all his work here. I wish more people would become well established in various occupations and slowly begin to spread Wing Commander vibes around the world.

Ferret in Freespace

The WC Saga mod for Freespace is coming along quite nicely, and they have started a Crius thread to show off their latest models. Not only is there a pretty looking Ferret as seen below, but also an in-progress Tallahassee, a Jalkehi and an Excalibur. You can see the screenshots of these ships and comment on them in this thread.

In Today's News

On 2655.271 (September 28, 2655) Ralgha nar Hhallas defects to the Terran Confederation. He and Kirha are questioned on the TCS Tiger's Claw. Ralgha's cruiser, the KIS Ras Nik'hra, is the first intact Fralthi the Confederation gets their hands on.

On the same day Kien Chen dies in a Kilrathi ambush and the Tiger's Claw receives a new shipment of novels for its library.

You can read the rest of today's events here.

New WC Zone Ships Available

Bob designed an alternated ship set for the Subspace WC Zone for some reason. If you want to fly a Rapier, Centurion, Gothri or Broadsword in the zone, now you can! You can compare to two shipsets below. To use these, download Bob's Ships and unzip them in the \graphics subdirectory of the Continuum folder. Filler's Ships would need to be copied back over to switch back. If you have any questions about playing in the WC Zone, check out Crius here or stop by #Wingnut.

And this is our 5000th update, so we're going to take a break today. Yay!

Wing Commander Compatible With PocketPC

Over at Crius King Graham found a DOS emulator called PocketDos. With mobile computers and PDAs easily surpassing the power of computers from a decade ago, it's no wonder people tried to get the original Wing Commanders to run on these. Their site advertising compatibility with a number of games from Elite to Space Quest to Wing Commander. You can download an evaluation copy or buy the full emulator for $39.95. I wonder about the controls though. I can see it being kind of difficult to move and do other things simultaneously with the on-screen keyboard. You can discuss this program at Crius here.

Official Wireless GBA Link Announced

Nintendo has announced that they are teaming of with Motorola to produce a five player wireless adapter for the GBA and GBA SP. Right now no game supports more than four players, so perhaps that will change in the future. This'll certainly be big competition for the Triton Labs wireless link that was supposed to be coming out. This also takes away one of the advantages of the upcoming Nokia N-Gage (wireless gameplay). The N-Gage still has a variety of online game arenas however. The GBA could really use that. You can find the Yahoo article on this announcement here.

The 2.4GHz radio frequency (RF) chipset enables up to five players to play each other wirelessly, allowing for flexible, mobile game playing.

Wing Commander Movie DVD Back In Stock at Amazon

Amazon has gotten a new shipment of the budget priced FOX Classics Wing Commander movie DVD. I know a number of people had been itching to get a copy but not interested in searching too much or eBaying one. Their price is $9.98 and shipping is free in the US if you go over $25. It's a good reason to buy three copies. Note that they say this is the December 17, 2002 (Classics) DVD release. There's not any substantial difference between this and the July 1999 original release. The VHS Selections rerelease is also available for $6.98. Buy from the link to the right (and anything else you purchase from that link actually) and we get about 10%. Thanks.

Wing Commander Movie DVD
Order
Wing Commander DVD

Earth & Beyond Birthday Parties This Saturday

Privateer Online's sibling Earth & Beyond has made it to its first birthday. On Saturday, September 27, 2003 live parties will be held in eight locations across the United States. There will be three West Coast parties, two East Coast parties and three Middle Coast events. One is actually behind held a few miles from here where Hades, Justin and I met Tycho from Penny Arcade last month. If you're an E&B player and know you can come, RSVP to get a free t-shirt.

Tiger's Claw Comes Out On Top

This past month we asked which Wing Commander era capital ship you would most like to serve on. The Tiger's Claw, a Bengal class Strike Carrier, won by a landslide with more than 50% of the votes. The Exeter and Sivar came in with about 15% each. The new Wing Commander II poll should be a much closer call, with the TCS Tarawa type Escort Carrier and TCS Concordia (a Confederation class Dreadnought) going head to head. Thanks to Kenta Petersen for the poll suggestion. Previous polls can be found here.

Wing Commander Raiders Wallpaper Available

Cam has released an image that will represent background scenery in his upcoming Wing Commander Raiders project. Raiders will be a fan made movie. If you're not familiar with this one, there's already some impressive content on display at Cam's site. This image is suitable for desktop wallpaper at 1280x1024.

It's going to be the background. The cool thing is, it's never going to change. Since space is so vast anyway, the background will be static. I added the planets because I realized there was a lack of visual reference points in the environment, so the viewers had no way of orienting their vision. Movement directions would quickly become confusing. Except for my editing and cinematography, there would be no way of distinguishing who was going in what direction and who were the good/bad guys. I'm going to refine the rings (probably make the outer one a bit more harsh ending) and I have to make some graphics for the opposite side of the environment. Probably going to be a galactic rift looking thing like the great ice barrier in Freelancer.
It should be pretty neat. You can find some of our previous Raiders coverage here. Some of you might notice the pretty "# 5000" below. Yup, this is update number 5000. Due to some deletions and/or duplicates, our actual 5000th update will follow later this week.

In Today's News...

Kris has implemented yet another function in the Timeline database. Now when you visit the Encyclopedia today's events are dynamically generated for you. On this day in 666 years (2669.267) Kilrah was destroyed.
Christopher Blair drops the Temblor Bomb on Kilrah, destroying the planet. Much of the Grand Fleet, still in orbit, is destroyed along with it.
Random 10, Top 10 and Bottom 10 encyclopedia entries have also been added. Head on over to the Encyclopedia and have some fun.

Command & Conquer Generals Zero Hour Ships

EA's Zero Hour, the expansion to Command & Conquer Generals, should be arriving in stores around the world this week. While I loved Generals, EA's closure of Westwood Studios and movement of the C&C franchise to EA Pacific in LA produced some notable changes. Westwood was one of the few non-Origin studios to really attempt an honest run at live actor video cutscenes, and Generals completely stripped that. All you got to introduce the missions was a disembodied voice and picture of the globe. I'm happy to say that Zero Hour has improved on Generals tremendously. There are dozens of new units, upgrades, buildings and features to play with. These have been combined with nine actual character generals with strengths and weaknesses. The single player campaign is roughly the same size, and although basic, actual live actor video progresses the story between each mission. Graphics and AI have been improved throughout. It's practically a full game and not an expansion at all (though the original Generals is required). We play a lot out of #Wingnut, so stop on by if you pick up the game.

New Vega Strike Released Today

Vega Strike, the original spaceflight engine project based on Wing Commander, has released its latest update today. Windows, Macintosh and Linux versions are available. I'll let Hellcat take it from here.
Both Vega Strike and Vega Trek have released a new release today. The Vega Strike release (0.4.1) has been filled with art from Howard Day, a professional game artist who likes to style his art in a similar manner to that in Prophecy. You will probably enjoy the rlaan or human fighters-- :-) The interface has been redone and much of the code was rewritten from scratch. The stars are garnered from the NASA data and you can see the familiar star positions if you end up visiting Sol.
PeteyG has also released a new Vega Trek add on mod. You can check out Star Trek ships available for the engine from here or download them here. You can find some of our previously posted Vega Strike shots here.

Old Chris Roberts Interview Resurfaced

TC dug up an old interview at Salon.com that talked with Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts at the time of the launch of the Wing Commander movie. I think it's one we originally missed. If not, it's been nearly five years since the article was published so most people should find it an interesting read. Part of what makes it stand out is its position in time for Roberts. In mid 1999 he was still with Digital Anvil and working on Freelancer, but he talks about his love of movies. As time would progress, Roberts would leave DA to exclusively make movies. He's currently executive producer of the upcoming Punisher film.
Besides "Wing Commander" sequels, are there other movies you'd like to direct?
Definitely. I don't think anyone's done a great fantasy film yet. I hope "Lord of the Rings" turns out really well -- I'm actually quite jealous of ["Rings" director] Peter Jackson. I love swashbuckling and sword fighting, like "Zorro," and I love World War II. [Directing] a "Saving Private Ryan" kind of thing would be cool. I'd like to not get pigeonholed as the guy who does science-fiction stuff.
You can find the full interview here.

Encyclopedia Reverse Look-up Implemented

Kris has added a reverse look-up for the Encyclopedia entries that are currently in CIC Blue. In addition to having relevant related articles highlighted within an entry, you can now find entries that link to your currently viewed subject. This helps considerably when reading about someone such as Roman Lynch. Now a variety of related Wing Commander items are referenced below the regular article. As usual there's quite a work backlog here at the CIC, so no new content entries recently.

Holding The Line Chapter 166

It has been an unusually busy Sunday for the CIC staff so far today. Fortunately Raptor is never too busy to send us a HTL chapter.
Hey all, Raptor here.

HTL continues with part one of "Into The Inferno", a series about the final battle in Nifelheim written by yours truly. This chapter "Something Wicked This way Comes", picks up where my Tiger Hunt series finished with the main fleet's arrival in the system and the plans for the climactic battle, and parallels our more recent chapters. Your comments are most welcome.

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

Also, for those of you who can't wait till the stories are published on the mailing list or the CIC, we're undertaking another big update of the HTL Archives. Watch this space.

Best, Raptor

Homeworld 2's Kinda Neat

After playing Homeworld 2 a bunch, I realized how badly I'd actually like to play an updated Wing Commander mod. The gameplay is spread pretty well between small fighters are larger capships, and with the production element of it all, it's almost like a real time 3D Armada game. We've also had some more questions about the original Homeworld Wing Commander mod. Support for it dropped off about two years ago, but a page that still exists with information for it can be found here. An early beta is available to download. Some newer files can be found here (GameSpy account signup required) as well. Check out Hadrian's neat Confed logo from our Homeworld 2 game the other night.

Freelancer Reckoning WC Mod On Hold

Bob announced at Crius today that the Reckoning Freelancer WC mod is on indefinite hold for now.
Well, for one thing, I completed everything I set out to do, with some notable exceptions. Almost all the ships I wanted converted have, along with weapons, and I'm satisified with their stats. I think the progression is fluid enough, as well. If there are any future changes to this, it will likely be at the expense of the ship skins, which I fully intend to upgrade to WCS standard once I get off my lazy ass and get around to asking Tolwyn.
If you have anything to add or ask, check out Crius here.

New Wing Commander Saga Graphical Effects Highlighted

Tolwyn from the WC Saga Freespace 2 mod sent in a few shots to show the difference that new upgrades to the open source Freespace 2 engine have created. Specular mapping is utilized in the second and third shots to improve the look of the ships. Engine trails and other minor improvements have also been implemented. The first two shots show a before and after of the Morningstar, and the third Vesuvius image also includes glow maps.

About the current progress: as always a lot of new ships have been added: Amadeus-class (transport), Waterloo-class, Midway-class, K'ha'haf, Korlarh and Olympus Starbase, just to name few. I'll upload screenshots as soon as we put a few finishing touches on texture maps.
You can find more information on the overall WC Saga project here.

More DragonCon Pictures Available

Since we're not quite started (begun) our own CIC DragonCon gallery, we've decided to point out that the Official DC photo area and fan submitted links are available. We've got a few samples of us in the parade and then the impressive march of storm troopers below. Since all of us were walking, we've relied on the crowd for a lot of shots of this event. The parade pictures below were found in the Official DC Gallery and Bruce Bracey's gallery linked from within. A great shot of The Flaming Carrot and a Spaceballs is included to round it out. The photos don't begin to capture how many storm troopers there actually were. More than a quarter of the 400-strong group served the Empire.

Other Ways To Go Multi-Cart

Karl Frank reminded me that long before the GBA Changer, people have been using flash carts to dump several games onto a single cartridge for easy Game Boy playing. Although these devices are often used for piracy, copying your legitimate games for more mobile play is a real application for these items. Lan-Kwei is one of many import websites with these tools available. The difference is that the flash kits cost $50-150 compared to $10 for the GBA Changer. I'd probably prefer a flash cart myself though.
A word of warning up front: You won't be able to copy the Prophecy savegames (one of the main reasons I bought such a kit) that way without hacking the rom first (so you can only copy between the copies, but not copy <=> original)...

Game Changer Manages SP Games

Here's a neat accessory for those of you who've gotten around to acquiring a Game Boy Advance SP. Radica has designed a Game Changer that allows you to plug in three cartridges at once. A switch determines which one you'll be playing. The unit itself is slightly bulky compared to the actual sleek SP case, though it makes the unit itself more manageable if you have larger hands. The combined unit is probably smaller than most bags, and you don't have to worry about keeping track of the small games with it. If you don't have three copies of Prophecy Advance, I'd recommend Advance Wars 2 as a second must-have game. My third slot would probably have a Mario or Zelda game in it. You can order one of these devices for $9.99 or search for one locally in the US here.

Noninterlaced Kilrathi Saga Trailer Released

Tolwyn from the Wing Commander Saga project has processed the original Kilrathi Saga intro so it is now playable with the divx codec instead of xanmovie. It's a few megs smaller than the original at 15 megs, and the interlacing has been filtered out at the cost some some sharpness. Tolwyn has provided the space for this video directly from the WC Saga server here. I always loved this movie and its really great use of the Hornet, Sabre and Excalibur.

Homeworld 2 Ships Today

The space based real time strategy game Homeworld 2 ships out today. Certain stores should see it by tomorrow. The original was the first to get this type of game implemented well in three dimensions. Information on the first game's Wing Commander mod can be found here. It would be nice if the sequel got a similar treatment, because what was released of Fleet Action looked pretty neat. You can find reviews and other information about Homeworld 2 here.

CardTable Wing Commander CCG Mod Released

Version 1.0 of CasperXJ's online revision of the Wing Commander Customizable Card Game is available now. It's missing a couple cards and things, but otherwise sounds like an interesting recreation of the game. You can download the 3.5 meg starter pack here. You'll need to learn out to play the game and figure out the CardTable interface, but once we get it all figured out we hope to organize some games and simplify things for everyone. If you have any questions, check out the Crius thread here or XJ's info page here.

Space Exploration Act Introduced in US Congress

Justin tipped us off with an interesting link to the US House of Representatives site on the Space Exploration Act of 2003. Mixed in with the space wariness some government officials have exhibited because of the Columbia disaster, many in congress feel that NASA just needs a set of clearer goals and a plan for implementing them. The proposed act sets target dates for further manned lunar and martial exploration, and outlines some of the budget to fund the new Office of Exploration that would carry this out. Although some people are against the new proposal because of the United States' current budget and economic situation, the funding for the entire project would be really tiny compared to some of our other (conspicuously military) expenditures. Texan Representative Lampson can be found here for more information.
Within 20 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the development and flight demonstration of a reusable space vehicle capable of carrying humans from low Earth orbit to and from Martian orbit, [u]the development and deployment of a human-tended habitation and research facility on the surface of one of the moons of Mars, and the development and flight demonstration of a reusable space vehicle capable of carrying humans from Martian orbit to the surface of Mars and back.

Music Section Cleaned Up

Kris spent the last week with a mop cleaning out our Music area. A number of names and ID tags have been fixed and dozens of new and higher quality tracks have been added. Mad Hatter has also contributed some music.
I have made some mp3 recordings (in fact, almost everything) of WC3's midi files. The recordings were made using a genuine Roland Sound Canvas, which is the original hardware the music from the game was intended to be heard with. Just ask LOAF how good the music sounds on one of those modules, I believe he owns one too.
In related news, it sounds like the gaming soundtrack by Team Fat featuring Wing Commander music is still in production. We'll let you know when we hear something more concrete.

Several Jobs Open at Origin

Recently we ran across some people who were surprised that Origin was seeking to fill a number of positions at their Austin offices. This isn't a very unusual circumstance, as they've always been looking for staff to maintain UO Live. With the recent announcement of Ultima X, there continue to be a number of openings. Right now OSI is looking for Client Programmers, a Database Administrator, an Artist/Animator/Modelers, Server Programmers, and the almightly "Lead Programmer." If any of this sounds like your kind of thing and you live in the Austin, Texas area, check out the Origin jobs page here.

Holding The Line Chapter 165

You want to read the next HTL chapter? I'm telling you, you do! Here's Raptor:
Hey all, Raptor here.

HTL continues with part two of "Welcome To Hell", written by James Andrew "JAG" Greenhow. This chapter again follows the Confed pilots who have been waiting and preparing for the final climactic battle against the Nephilim, and picks up shortly after the last story. As you saw last time, both the frontline pilots and their commanders had more problems than just the Nephilim to worry about. Please send any and all comments to JAG at Rambo.123uk@btinternet.com, not to me.

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

In other news, the main HTL archives (kindly hosted by the good folk here at the CIC) have had a major update. The first half dozen Finale chapters are now online, including a couple that have yet to be published on the club mailing list. You can check the site out at:

http://htl.solsector.net/

Best, Raptor

More Obscure Vega Maps Online

We've got two more representations of the Vega Sector today. Both are from Japan this time. The one on the left is from the FM Towns system and the right map is from the Japanese MegaCD release of Wing Commander 1. You can find higher quality versions of all these maps in the Map Archive area of our Universe Maps section.

Secret Ops Fiction Still Available

Lately we've had a few people ask us if the original Secret Ops fiction was still online because they couldn't find it. There are some issues with navigating the online SO interface, but we've also provided links to each individual file that is available. The winning and losing fiction outcomes are both listed, and at the bottom we have some extras. The origina Lost Fiction about the Blue Horizon is availble here and a fictional set-up leaked before Secret Ops is available here. If it's been a while since you've read these, they're pretty fun. You can find our Secret Ops fiction here.

Comparing Regional Vega Sector Maps

Most of us know and love the black & white Vega Sector map included with Wing Commander 1's Claw Marks, but below some of you will get your first glimpse of the color Japanese version. The Super Famicon version of WC1 comes complete with a 50 page manual that comes in full color. The booklet is a remarkably faithful translation with a few minor changes and additions. They very faithfully recreated the star positions and territorial lines of the Vega Sector and improved on the graphics and presentation. It's the same basic thing, but much nicer. Japan always gets the most elaborate packaging.

Pictures like these makes you wonder about how much rare and exotic Wing Commander merchandise was actually made. There's plenty more for us to show you in the future, and once in a while even we're surprised when we stumble across something really neat. We'll have to show this one to Aaron Allston next time we get a chance.

X² Rolling Demo Now Available

I'd like to bring a couple new game demos to people's attention again today. Neither are really tied to Wing Commander much, but both games have a lot of potential and new space sims always give me goose bumps. A quick look around the X2 Egosoft website reveals that they have a 43 meg rolling demo available. They also have a web forum here. I always find web chat zones useful for reading up on upcoming games. Along with promotional bonuses for preording, it's cool that they also have X2 clothing for sale at the Egosoft site. Not many non-Wing Commander space sims have gotten that sort of send off. Their own shop is preselling the game for 49,99 Euros with a special trading card game, while Amazon.co.uk has it for £25.99. You can find the X2 demo here. The game is set to be released in Europe at the end of October.

Homeworld 2 Demo Now Available

Although this isn't exactly a traditional space combat simulator, the Homeworld series has always done a decent job of presenting space ships and space combat in a fun way. The official Sierra site has plenty of pictures and information on the game if you're into a more real time strategy oriented experience. The original Homeworld was also the basis for the neat Fleet Action mod. You can download the Homeworld 2 demo here and access community forums for the game here. Homeworld is set to be released in the US in the middle of next week.

Something Awful Looks at DragonCon

Tre noticed that Something Awful put up a review of the recent DragonCon. You can find Part 1 of the SA review of DragonCon here and Part 2 here. This is the most Wing Commander related topic they've reported on since posting a picture of LOAF and me in 2001. Until we come up with our own witty look back at the Wing Commander fan gathering, this is an sad, funny and somewhat accurate look at the convention. Last year we didn't finish our DC gallery until late December. We'll definitely beat that this year, I swear.
It's hard to believe these massive highways that President Eisenhower spent years of his life building with his bare hands were now serving as parking lots to fleeing motorists. This mass exodus could mean only one thing: the entire city was evacuating to make way for the invading hordes of greasy, costume-clad nerds making their annual trek out of grandma's basement to spend the weekend on foolish and embarrassing pursuits.
And also promote Wing Commander! (a very noble pursuit)

New mIRC Released

One of our most often used and reliable programs, mIRC, has released version 6.1. Apparently there's 166 improvements in this version, but so far all I've seen is a new bar that ticks away the 30 days you have left in your shareware trial period. We'll see in a month if it continues to let me talk in #Wingnut after the bar expires. I'd imagine it would, or everyone could just go back to version 6.03. Though this month I'll actually register, I swear.

Original Prophecy Back from the Past

The CIC recently managed to get hold of a copy of the Prophecy Press Kit CDs distributed to the press to promote the game in 1997. Among other things, there was a teaser for the Prophecy introduction. It's quite different from the game version so we've posted it for your enjoyment along with an early version of the Prophecy logo. There were also some pretty pictures which we'll post later, but for now you can see the original logo and read how the game's intro should have been here.

What's Chris Roberts Doing Lately?

People often ask us what Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts is up to. Most recently, his film related work via Ascendant is ongoing, and he is currently executive producer of the upcoming Punisher movie. You can find a trailer here. Occasionally he gets invitations to become involved with gaming projects, and he has additional movie prospects in the works. Thanks to Deathlok for the tip.

Forstchen's Newest Book Flies Off Shelves

LOAF noticed that William Forstchen's Official Site is now reporting on the status of his latest novel, Gettysburg. New York Times and Wall Street Journal have ranked the book #12 and #9 on their Hardback Fiction Best Seller lists. Gettysburg also reached #1 in the hardback fiction alternate history section at Amazon. It's also nice to see that his front page highlights three books, one of which is Wing Commander False Colors. Following that link points to an Amazon.com link that indicates the product is still in stock and more are on the way. Perhaps the book recently got another printing. I'd be curious to see if a copy bought today still has a spot on the cover advertising the "upcoming" Wing Commander movie.

Wing Commander on Sci-Fi Tonight

Sorry for the super last minute heads-up, but Wildfire just noticed that the Wing Commander movie will be showing at 11 pm tonight in the US. Good luck trying to catch it if you read this in time.

Renewed Interest in the CCG Online

A number of people at Crius, organized by XJ from Casper Station, have come up with a new solution for making the original Wing Commander Customizable Card Game playable online. Rather than create an application from the ground up as we attempted several years ago, they will be using premade ccg module engines now available. They need a lot of help translating the cards into a format the program can use, so check out Crius here if you think you can help.

A Closer Look at the X: BTF Sequel

Tye was poking around gaming sites the other day and came across more information on the sequel to X: Beyond the Frontier. The original was a somewhat average space sim in its day, and I hadn't given much though to its new incarnation. Some aspects of X2 look really good however. Cockpits are nice and sleek and some of the ships are decent. And it wouldn't be complete without some big Nephilim-looking alien ships mixed in. You can find more on X2 here. We first highlighted some similarities between this game and Prophecy a few weeks ago.

Tye also dug up an older GameSpy interview with the developers that compares aspects of it to Wing Commander.

Wing Commander is a good example. Players who liked those games will feel at home with the control system and flight model instantly, although mouse, keyboard and joystick are all supported and the plot will take them on an exciting adventure.
You can find this interview here. It's a good read for miscellaneous background info on the game.

Going Like The Energizer Bunny

On second thought, when was the last time anyone heard from the Energizer Bunny? Anyhow, I meant to mention this last week when we hit a hundred, but now is just as good a time as any. With the launch of Prophecy Advance giving us a little boost, we've updated every day consecutively for 106 days now. Thanks for visiting and reading all this stuff. Here's hoping for another hundred.

Lord British Returning To Britannia?

No, it doesn't look like Origin founder Richard Garriott has anything to do with this, but his alter-ego Lord British may be resurfacing in the Ultima Online world soon. According to a recent UO news report rumors now say the character is making various minor appearances here and there. You can find out more here.
Eyewitnesses say the King was vague and understandably weary from his long journey, and when he retired that night, many were left with more questions than they had when they first arrived. However, assurances were given that all would be made clear soon.

Sports Team Themed GBA Hitting New Zealand

Wing Commander fans in New Zealand will soon have an opportunity to snap up a limited edition Onyx Black GBA SP with the national rugby team's logo printed on the cover. The "All Blacks" SP is the first sports oriented SP, though there were a couple regular GBAs with something along these lines. The US will be getting standard Flame red and Onyx black this Tuesday. You can find more information and pictures at GameSpot here.

Aaron Allston Appearing at Stellarcon 28

Aaron Allston, author of WC1's Claw Marks book, will be appearing next spring at Stellarcon 28 from March 19 to 21, 2004. At DragonCon 2002 our group surprised him numerous times with handfuls of Claw Marks for him to autograph. Anyone near High Point, North Carolina in the US is welcome to do same for his next appearance. Also appearing at the Con will be Fred Saberhagen, John Ringo, Michael Stackpole and Timothy Zahn. You can find more information on the event here. It's a multipurpose sci-fi, fantasy, and gaming get-together organized by the Science Fiction Fantasy Federation at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Let us know if you need Claw Marks.

Every Little Bit Helps

Yesterday's IGN Poll is closed now, and Wing Commander fans definitely had an impact during the latter half of the voting period. When we first noticed that IGN was asking if the general internet population had played the original Wing Commander game, 56% said no. Within a matter of hours of the CIC posting, this dropped to 51%. Not bad. IGN gets a ton of traffic, so any measurable change at all is neat.

It was actually a little better than this even, but I didn't get a picture.

Played Wing Commander? You Betcha!

Aaron was the first to notice that the major gaming site IGN is running a Wing Commander themed daily poll. They ask, "Have you ever played the original Wing Commander (1990)?" They're at about half "Yes Votes" right now. That's a pretty decent number considering they're asking about the thirteen year old original game in the series. Even if it were asking about WC experience period, 44% of the current audience having played WC is excellent. Don't forget that the internet population now includes people born after Wing Commander 1 was first released, and someone turning 18 this year was only 13 when the last new PC WC game came out. This is a one-day poll, so there's no time to lose. Head on over to IGN and cast your vote!

Higher Resolution Arrow Model Pictures Up

Smoke Saibot's Arrow has a new home at Overmortal's Site. You can find a variety of higher resolution shots and new angles to check out his cool piece of work. I kind of like the way those guns are clustered. Seems like there's a lot of weight on those tiny wheels though.

Pretty nice. You can post your comments at Crius here.

A Look Back At Community Engagement

Last week's Nedstat two millionth hit got me digging up ancient traffic logs. After we opened in August 1998 we got about 8,000 unique front page visits each week until Secret Ops was released. Then it boomed to 30,000 per week. That subsided a bit to 17,000 or so during the weekly episodic releases, then dipped to about 8,000 until the spring of 1999. With the Movie we jumped to 13,000 visits per week. After Privateer Online was cancelled, the initial shock knocked us down to around 5,000 for quite some time. However steadily throughout 2003 we've somehow climbed back to 9,000 visits per week. You've helped us to reach a new record in sustained community engagement. This will be our busiest and biggest year yet, and your continued enthusiam and support will eventually bring us all even more good fortune.

Pick Up Your Birthday Presents

Now that we're back from Atlanta we're trying to sort through a few older items. There are still some Birthday Present winners who haven't sent in their addresses. I still need to hear from fms52, Worf, Stormin, GryphonGuitar, Haesslich, Bob, Black Joker, and Apollyon. You can find a complete list of prizes and winners here. If you sent me your address you should have received some sort of confirmation email last week. About half of the people who got an email have had their prizes sent.

Summary DC2003 Gallery Now Online

Part one of our overall DragonCon 2003 gallery is now up. It's just the shots that we've posted to the front page, so nothing new if you've been following each day. We'll hopefully have more detailed pictures and commentary soon. You can find our summary page here. Sorry for the temporary lull here, we're still recuperating from the trip.

Photos From The Convention, Day Four

Everyone is back home now. We're all pretty exhausted, but we had a lot of fun at DragonCon. The final day tends to focus on relaxation and preparation to go home. On Sunday night ace and Frosty went on a late night Coke run that took much longer than it should have. It can be surprisingly difficult to find a bottled Coke in the home of Coke. We have a few pictures of us hanging out in lobbies while wearing our neat flight suits and catching up on old times. For some reason when the rest of us finally went to bed around 4 am, Hades decided it was time to grab Frosty and go to the red-eye anime music video shows. He somehow ended up hosting an improvised panel somewhere around 6 am. Nobody got much sleep that night. After packing and checking out of our rooms, it took forty-five minutes of elevators, stairways and service access areas to make it to the lobby. Monee and Tye might have had an easier time getting there from Jonesboro. Monday afternoon finally came and we exchanged our sad goodbyes. Most of us have already bought tickets for next year, so we'll see you at DragonCon 2004!

Photos From The Convention, Day Three

It's 4 am and we just got back from crazy Sunday night events. Most of us chose to wear our flight suits again today because they're pretty neat. There's still plenty of Convention attendees out and about in costume, but we've decided to return to the Mobile CIC HQ and show you a couple pictures. We had quite a few people walk up to us and recognize the group this time. Some areas were less crowded, so we were able to meet with Tom Wilson a little more and snap a couple photos. He and Stephen from BTTF are really nice guys. Below you can also find us waiting at an elevator bank to get back to our rooms. This hotel has a dozen elevators, but it can take a good 20 to 30 minutes to get through the jam during peak hours. Once we decided to just walk the 26 flights of stairs to the lobby. We've also got a shot of ace demonstrating the kinder gentler method of appreciating non-Wing Commander games. Finally Monee, Tye and Frosty pose with the Space Pope.

Wing Commander 4 for Playstation Level Select Easter Egg

Over at the official Prima Games website, Wing Commander 4 for the Playstation console has an easter egg code to pick your level. I'm not sure if this refers to skill level or mission, but I'll assume mission there. Here's the details.
At the Wing Commander copyright screen, press Up, Down, Down, Up, R2. This will give you access to a cheat screen and you will be able to pick your level. Press R1 or R2 to select a level.

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