Holding The Line Chapter 171

Apologies for the late update, it has been a busy day here. Still, Raptor will make things better with a Holding The Line chapter.
Hey all, Raptor here.

HTL continues with the second half of Scraps Of Honour 13, "Red Sky At Morning". As you saw last time, the Scrappers got the news that the reserve units would be fighting a full on fleet action in the coming battle, and were assigned training with the Reapers to sharpen their skills. This story picks up from there, and is written by Nick "Chaeronea" Deane. Please send any and all comments to him at babylons@tpg.com.au, not to me.

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

Best, Raptor

EA Not Working on E&B Expansion Pack

We missed this one last month. EA has announced that it is not working on an Earth & Beyond expansion pack. From what I've seen the first just didn't sell well enough to warrant it, however Ultima Online expansions in the past have done well to invigorate the game. There are a number of things they've officially stated are not in the works, however EA has countered that by saying they are committed to generating regular content for the game.
All of our resources are being used to develop additional content for the existing game including sectors, missions, epic encounters, updating skills, holiday events and items.
You can read the full update here. It's great to see that holiday events rank up there with new sectors and epic encounters.

GameSpy Does Penny Arcade

Last week Delance notified us about an interview that GameSpy published with the guys from Penny Arcade. It turns out that it's quite old now, but we don't remember seeing it before. According to the PA guys, when they first met they would sit and play Wing Commander 3 on the 3DO.
Tycho - Yeah, the 3D0 was great. Wing Commander 3 came out first for the 3D0. We hooked up a stereo, and we had it set up with surround sound. Gabe didn't grow up playing computer games, that was me. It was all consoles.
You may remember that back in August when I visited Chris in Seattle, we met up with Tycho. Chris forced him to play Prophecy Advance and gave him a CIC pen for his troubles. I stood around irritating him with a video camera. Anyway, you can read the interview here.

Freelancer Soundtrack Released

An anonymous tipster noticed that Amazon has a little picture for the new Freelancer soundtrack that has been released. They don't have the actual item in stock, but the previously mentioned Best Buy link does for $12.99. I don't recall Freelancer's music as being super memorable, but it's nice that it apparently was popular enough to create this addon package. Freelancer was one of our best recent shots at having a real popular space sim. Amazon is listing the game itself for the amazing price of $16.99 here. It's definitely worth it at that price. That's less than I paid for the Strategy Guide!

Happy Day After Thanksgiving

Today in the US and many places around the world, the Christmas shopping season begins with a bang. I and many wingnuts will be venturing out today to brave both sides of the retail counter. Several places have some cool GBA deals if you've been waiting for the right opportunity to slide into Prophecy Advance. Toys R Us and Amazon have a limited edition exclusive Starlight Gold GBA SP bundle available beginning now. For the regular MSRP of $99.99, you can pick up this SP plus Mario Advance 4. That's a pretty killer deal. Target in the US and Zellers in Canada also have a similar deal on a limited edition Lime Green SP. If you're interesting in playing Mario Kart with us in #Wingnut, Walmart will also begin selling a $79 GameCube bundle with a special Zelda disc today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's Thanksgiving in the US today, so we've dug up the Christmas lights and started decorating the CIC. You might have to Shift-Refresh in order to see them. LOAF's off to France for the weekend, but the rest of of are still celebrating in #Wingnut. Come visit us if you've got nothing better to do!

Penny Arcade Child's Play For The Holidays

PeteyG thought some of us might be interested in donating games to hospitalized children through the new Penny Arcade Child's Play holiday event.
I plan on donating some money via PayPal, but they are also accepting new items sent directly to them. If you can't think of anything to donate, there is always Prophecy Advance and give the kids a bit of Wing Commander cheer.
That's a great idea. If you might be interested in contributing, you can find out more about the program here.
With that in mind we have put together a little something we like to call “Child’s Play.” Penny Arcade is working with the Seattle Children’s Hospital and Amazon.com to make this Christmas really special for a lot of very sick kids. With the help of the Children’s Hospital we have created an Amazon Wish List for the kids. It’s full of video games, movies and toys. Some of these kids are in pretty bad shape and just having a Game Boy would really raise their spirits.

Wing Commander Movie Showing Tonight

If you're in the US, Sci Fi will be showing the Wing Commander movie in a few hours tonight. It begins at 8 pm Eastern. Sounds like a great way to kick off the holiday weekend. Hopefully you get at least Thursday to relax.

Standoff Shows Off Huge Cockpit

Eder has posted the first two pictures of Standoff's cockpits to the Forums! The two images are from the Stiletto's cockpit (and will double as the Morningstar in TrainSim missions). These certainly look impressive - the color and style of Wing Commander 2 in the high-tech Vision Engine!

Last Days of Jean Talvert

Here, at long last (well, four days last) is Stiletto's final official bio outline - taken from Origin's Official Guide to Wing Commander Prophecy... I can't help but think that the 'Empyrean Zephyrs' is some sort of sly genre-reference - but I can't figure it out.
1st Lieutenant Jean "Stiletto" Talvert
Stiletto is the very model of the post-war professional officer. She's young, intelligent, career-focused and ambitious. She's also a hell of a pilot.

Stiletto's father is a professional deep-space racing pilot, her mother is a commercial shuttle pilot, and both are combat veterans of the Kilrathi war. They taught their daughter to fly atmospheric craft by the time she was 10, and space ships by 15. A straight-A student, she was heavily recruited by numerous top colleges, but her goal was always firmly set on a Space Forces Academy appointment. Upon her Academy graduation she auditioned and was accepted for a one-year tour with the Space Forces exhibition flight team, the Empyrean Zephyrs, before transferring to the Midway for her first regular tour of duty.

In the engagement against the Demon's Eye pirates, Stiletto was assigned to a flight of five Piranhas making a fly-by recon of the pirate base. On the way back to the Midway, they were ambushed by nine Dralthi. Although two ships (including the flight's wing commander's) were destroyed in the first seconds of the ambush, Stiletto managed to rally the other two survivors and fight through to the Midway. Six of the Dralthi were destroyed in the chase (three by Stiletto herself) even before relief arrived from the Midway and the remaining three pirates were dispatched.

As a result of this action, and her generally high evaluations and flight scores, Stiletto was given interim command of the Midway's junior Diamondback Squadron.

She's Still-etto

Here's the second draft of Stiletto's character bio - taken from the second draft of Wing Commander V (later Prophecy). As you can see, very little has changed - unlike Dane (who became Casey) and Maestro (who lost his wife).
2ND LIEUTENANT JEAN TALVERT (CALLSIGN: STILETTO)

Wingman. Early twenties. Athletic. Strikingly attractive. Also ambitious, driven, and just a bit subborn. Stiletto is a superb pilot and, though more by-the-book than Casey or Maestro, she's not above taking some serious chances.

Stiletto's feelings toward Casey are complex, to say the least. She thinks he is unnecessarily foolhardy; often a danger to himself and those around him. But she also knows he's the only pilot on the Midway who might give her a run for the title of "best." As a result, Stiletto is always competing with Casey; always on the lookout for a way to top him.

Additionally, though Stiletto would never admit it, she is more than a little attracted to Casey. When the two of them interact, sparks fly.

Console Battlestar Galactica Game Ships

While I was out with the flu last week, the XBox and Playstation 2 version of the new Battlestar Galactica game were released. Far from being a cheap television tie-in for the new series, the game comes out quite well and ends up being about the base space combat simulator for the consoles right now, though with the exception of Mace Griffin and some Star Wars stuff, there's really not much. The going rate is $49.99 in the US. While Crimson Skies and Ace Combat 4 come off as probably the best flying games overall, if you're into a space fix Battlestar Galactica should do nicely.

You can find some of our earlier coverage here. I'm thinking some Dance Dance Battlestar with my new pad sounds like fun about now.

Remembering Goddard

Saturday marked the -651st anniversary of the destruction of the Goddard colony in the Deneb sector by the KIS Sivar. Remember, the CIC now has a timeline and encyclopedia which you can waste hours on, reading an obscene number of records.
The Kilrathi attack the Goddard colony in the Deneb sector with a new type of weapon. The colony manages to transmit a distress call, but contact is lost before the extent of the Kilrathi fleet and the extent of the damage is made clear. The TCS Tiger's Claw is ordered to investigate and assist. Landing crews investigate the Goddard colony. They find that the devasatating attack by the Kilrathi has left no survivors, only wreckage and ruins. A quarter of a million colonists have been killed. The TCS Tiger's Claw is ordered to pursue the Kilrathi weapon in to Kilrathi space and to destroy the weapon.

Scrye WCCCG Scans

Back in the early days of Scrye magazine (issue 9 to be precise), the magazine ran an advert for the WC CCG and a complete card list. When the magazine was new, it got by off Wing Commander thanks to this ad. Now we have scans of these pages. Sadly the card list scan didn't come out too well, but a text card list is available in our CCG section. For those who don't know, Scrye magazine is a monthly CCG magazine which is available in the US.

Strikingly Attractive Pair of Jeans

As we did with Maestro (two, three) and Casey Casey (two), we now present... the evolution of Stiletto! Here's part one of three, taken from the first draft of the Wing Commander V script.
2ND LIEUTENANT JEAN TALVERT (CALLSIGN: NEMESIS)

Wingman. Early twenties. Athletic. Strikingly attractive. Also ambitious, driven, and just a bit stubborn. Nemesis is a superb pilot and, although more by-the-book than Dane or Maestro, she's not above taking some serious chances.

Nemesi's feelings toward Dane are complex, to say the least. She thinks Dane is unnecessarily foolhardy; often a danger to himself and those around him. But she also knows he's the only pilto on the Midway who might give her a run for the title of "best." As a result, Nemesis is always competing with Dane; always on the lookout for a way to one up him.

What's more, and Nemesis would never admit this, she is more than a little attracted to Dane. When the two of them interact, sparks fly.

Like her alot. Is Nemesis too much of a mouthful? Perhaps.

More Macross Screenshots

Blackwulf has posted more screenshots from the Macross:DYRL mod for Secret Ops. These show off the U.N.Spacey model using nice high-res textures. I have no idea what a U.N.Spacey is, but it looks good all the same. If you think so too, you can post your comments in this thread.

A Different Kind Of Mod

Berserker79 reports that UnExoticA, an Amiga game music archive, has a section on Wing Commander. You can download an lha archive of Amiga Wing Commander tracks in MOD format. The music for the Amiga port was arranged by Mark Knight. MOD files sound best when played through a good wavetable soundcard, but they'll play just fine on any setup. Berserker79 also supplied us with a handy zip archive that should be easier to work with on a PC. You can download that here. (1.95MB)

The Future.. 1995 Style

While clearing out some of his old magazine archives, HoTT dug up this little number. It's an article from the May 1995 issue of Computer Gaming World where Chris Roberts talks about what kind of game he would like to make if money and technology weren't an issue. The game he goes on to describe sounds exactly like Freelancer, if you ignore the bits about Hollywood actors. I can't decide if the picture in the article was photoshopped by the magazine or if HoTT did it himself.

Two Shots of WC Movie

Too cheap to spend the $4.99 on the Wing Commander DVD at Walmart? Well don't worry, we have a solution! The Sci Fi Channel will be airing Chris Roberts opus twice in the next month! You can catch it at 8:00 PM EST on November 26th (Wednesday) or at 12:30 PM on December 6th (Saturday)... or, why not watch both?! It's not like you had anything better to do!

This Saga Has {Blood}Fangs

Lynx has posted two more images of two more ships which will be used with the Wing Commander Saga Freespace 2 conversion project: a Paktahn and a Bloodfang! You can see them below - they certainly remind me of the countless youthful hours I spent staring at those Wing 3 'Warbirds' fold-outs...

Map Progress

Here's the latest change to the Wing Commander Universe Map - a charting of the Charybdis Quasar from the Wing Commander movie. The links, shown in blue, are based on a chart which appears in Chris McCubbin's Confederation Handbook. I'd like to hear the opinion of the community regarding this change - some people find it more confusing, but others seem to like being rid of the 'C' Quasar markers that dotted the map before. Please contact me with your thoughts.

Staring So Long At These Pictures of Frosty

I'm back from visiting ace and company in Boston! And here's the photographic proof...

Frosty meets his match... which is, unsurprisingly, a 2D plastic picture of an eel.

aceHyphenOne is coming at you... IN 3D. We saw two 3D movies. One was very good, and one was very bad. Just like Freespace games. Except one was good.

Ask not what Frosty is doing to the cat - ask what the cat is doing to Frosty.

Each day, thousands of 3DO owners go to their graves. They were truly our greatest generation - yet to this day, the Federal Government refuses to honor them with a memorial.

For some reason, Boston is full of things named 'Wang'. This one, however, is twice as funny.

From left to right: Frosty (and Gloves), LOAF, LeHah, ace and Blonde (edited in).

Last Chance to See

Nominate, people! Nominate! Nominate like your lives depended on it! Contact vote@wcnews.com immediately with your nomination for Fan Project of the Year and/or Wing Commander Site of the Year! This is your absolute last chance as voting for these two prestigious awards will begin next week! Don't just assume someone else already nominated your favorite project or site - do it yourself! I'll thank you! Chris will thank you! People adding triangles to ships for no reason will thank you!

Cam Gets His Vampire Dirty

Cam has developed his very pretty Vampire a bit more for the Wing Commander Raiders project. He's added some realistic dirt and updated the design. I'll let him describe the changes.

This is what I've done so far. I've been dirtying up the textures some, but I haven't fixed the spec maps so it doesn't shine right just yet. I've also done some minor texture changes like removing the forward vents and replacing them with a pair of eyes to match the shark mouth.
And I thought it looked pretty darn real before. You can find more about the Raiders project here.

New Macross Project Screenshot

A couple of days ago, we reported on a new Macross mod for Secret Ops that is in the works. Now over at the forums, Blackwolf has released a new screenshot showing off one of the mod's ships. It's not the first screenshot featuring this ship, but it's the clearest one yet. You can see the uncropped version or comment on the project in this thread.

Holding The Line Chapter 170

It has been a couple of weeks since the last chapter, but fear not! Raptor is back with the latest instalment of Holding The Line.
Hey all, Raptor here.

HTL continues with part one of Scraps Of Honour 13, "Red Sky At Morning". As our regular readers know, the SOH series follows the Border Worlds reserves and pilots who were sent to Nifelheim to back up the Combined Fleet, and who now find themselves in a far bigger battle than anyone had bargained for. This story is written by Nick "Chaeronea" Deane. Please send any and all comments back to him at babylons@tpg.com.au, not to me.

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

Best, Raptor

Macross Total Conversion Begins Work

Blackwolf and a team of Macross fans have begun work on a Secret Ops total conversion for the Macross anime series. They don't have much Secret Ops modding done yet by the looks of it, but a variety of Macross craft have been prepared for the project. A site has been set up for the project here and their forums are now open here. They're still in the process of building parts of their website, so expect more to come online in the next few days.

Prophecy Advance Price Cut at GameStop

GameStop has recently dropped the price of Prophecy Advance to $14.99. It appears they're the only major place to do so as yet, and their online site is out so it's only in stores. If you have a GameStop near you and they're not sold out, this is a great opportunity to pick up a copy. I do expect any remaining copies to disappear over the holiday season if they haven't already.

Freelancer Price Drops

Brian Little reports that Circuit City has dropped their price on Freelancer to $19.99. Their online site appears to be out of stock, but a quick look around reveals some other price drops. Electronics Boutique and Best Buy have lowered the price as well and they do appear to have copies in. Amazon.com has the best deal we've found at a whopping $16.99. GameStop seems to be about the only place that hasn't yet dropped, and I expect them to follow soon. Best Buy is also listing an interesting Freelancer Soundtrack.

Fun in Boston

Well, LOAF has made it to Boston and has met up with ace, and they're having a great time. LOAF has already been attacked by vicious Boston birds who stole an entire sandwich from him. Meanwhile Frosty is trying to make his way there, but has somehow managed to miss several trains.

Update: Frosty reports that he is now on the train and heading to Boston. But there was no background noise at all on the phone, so he is probably lying.

More Obscure Action Figures For Your Amusement

Stephen from BttF.com sent us a note that we missed the rare Tom Wilson action figures last week. These are small Japanese Kubrick figures for each of the three movies. From left to right are Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Tom Wilson.

Pretty neat, and as Stephen said, "We'll take what we can get." You can check out his site for all your Back to the Future needs here.

Reduced Price UK DVD On Sale

Starman found a deal for people in the UK who might not yet have the Wing Commander movie on DVD. The import site PlayUSA currently has the Region 1 version of the movie for £7.99 including shipping. That's not quite as cheap as the $9.99 Fry's price we've posted in the past, but after shipping it might end up being better. Be aware that this is for people with a Region 1 or multi region player. Although several Region 2 DVDs were made, I don't believe one specifically was marketed for the UK. You can find the movie here.

Veterans Day

As you are no doubt aware, today is Veterans Day (though the denziens of the Wing Commander universe no doubt celebrate September 24th). Please remember to take a moment and remember the many sacrifices our fighting men and women have undertaken throughout history to keep us playing video games.

Put The Fear of God Into... Well, Juni, I Guess

Ben Moore informs us that The Lancers Reactor has posted an awesome model of the TCS Vesuvius for use with FreeLancer. The ship was done by Plauge and skinned by Nephilim. Here's what they have to say about it:
The TCS Vesuvius, the Super Carrier from Wing Commander 4 and prophecy. This massive ship has 25 turrets, 2 torp launchers and a massive cargo bay. As a warning, this ship uses large moors and can not dock at planets, but it can at any space station. Be warned, it's huge. It can be purchased at Manhattan for 8 million and the custom battleship turrets can be bought there as well. Special Thanks to all the Tutorial writers!
You can find it here.

Rock the Fan Site Vote (Nominations)

Please remember to be sure and nominate your favorite Fan Site and Fan Project for the CIC's prestigious 2003 series of awards! They've done plenty of work to keep you happy - so e-mail vote@wcnews.com to let us know they're the best! Full details on the awards are available here.

Maestro3

To complete our Maestro cycle, here's his biography from the Official Guide to Wing Commander Prophecy. Let me know who you'd like to hear about next.
2nd Lt. Max "Maestro" Garrett Max Garrett is the original golden boy. Son of the attorney general of Delta sector, he was the BMOC and star athlete at his exclusive prep school, but was stung in his senior year, when his father revealed that he didn't feel Max had the discipline to make it into politics or business. To prove his father wrong, Garrett applied and was accepted to the Academy. He not only survived his military education, but did so with the same feckless confidence with which he'd coasted through prep school. He racked up an all-time record number of disciplinary demerits, but managed to graduate on the strength of equally impressive flight scores. His father's influence had much less to do with Maestro's eventual graduation than most of his classmates believe (in fact, at least some demerits can be attributed to the senior Garrett's spreading the word that the Academy should take no guff from young Max). In his freshman year, an influential friend of Maestro's father, Senator Taggart, suggested Max look up a fellow plebe named Casey and keep an eye on him (a suggestion he has had some occasion to regret).

For his first assignment, Maestro pulled strings his father didn't know he could reach to land a soft assignment for both Casey and himself ferrying diplomats around Confed space. It did not take the two long to shake down their tour of duty for everything it was worth. When he was prematurely rotated to a new assignment onboard the Midway, Maestro was resigned to his fate, and secretly a bit eager. At least he and Casey were sticking together.

They're Not Talking About Hunter

Haesslich points us towards "We Know Drama", the November 'Culture Clash' column at the International Game Developers Assosciation's monthly 'Culture Clash' column. The article cites Wing Commander as an example of excellent characterizations in video games:
Developers interested in fashioning more compelling characters should look first to the games that do it well: Warcraft 3 and NOLF, Starcraft, Flashback, Thief, Sacrifice, Wing Commander, Summoner, and so forth. Look not only at the protagonist – who is presumably the individual the player controls – but at secondary and even peripheral characters.
Read the entire article here.

Wing Commander Academy Online

We've been working up to this for several months now - every episode of Wing Commander Academy is now available through the CIC's FTP! You should be able to view this show using the latest version of DivX. Enjoy! Edit: Episode 8 & 9 Links should work properly now. Be aware that these are numbered in premiere order. You can find their chronological timeline ordering here.

Maestro: Reloaded

I'm sure you've all been waiting on pins and needles to read the next short blurb about Maestro... so here it is! This is his character description from the second draft of Wing Commander Prophecy...
2ND LIEUTENANT MAX TRACY (CALLSIGN: MAESTRO)

Wingman. Early twenties. Bright, winning, immediately likeable. Casey's closest friend since their first day at the Academy.

Though not quite as capable as Casey, Maestro is a precise, calculating pilot -- hence his callsign. But first and foremost, Maestro is Casey's friend. Secondly, he's still one of the best pilots Confed has on its roster. And thirdly, Maestro is something of a ladies man. Or at least he thinks he is. Quick to flash holos of various ex-girlfriends, this kid sometimes comes off as a younger version of Maniac; a braggart and womanizer in training.

It's not surprising that Maniac abhors Maestro. Perhaps he reminds him too much of the worst side of himself -- or maybe he just can't stand the competition.

I Married Maestro

This segment of the First Draft Wing Commander Prophecy script is part one in a three update series charting the development of the Maestro character!
2ND LIEUTENANT MAX TRACY (CALLSIGN: MAESTRO)

Wingman. Early twenties. Bright, winning, immediately likeable. Dane's closest friend since their first day at the Academy.

Though not quite as capable as Dane, Maestro is a precise, calculating pilot -- hence his callsign. But first and foremost, Maestro is Dane's friend. Secondly, he's still one of the best pilots Confed has on its roster. And thirdly, Maestro is a happily married man. It should be no surprise that Dane was the best man at his wedding. Maestro is quick to flash holos of loved ones; in hit scase his very pregnant wife. His only fear is that he won't be anywhere near Earth when she gives birth in a month or so. And, considering the current campaign, his fears are justified.

Maestro worries me. The way he is written in this rough is that he is very up. Initially, when this character was first thought up, he was supposed to be dark..Very dark. And, frankly, a little twitchy. This was suppsoed to be the thing that attracts the aliens to him in the room. He is, in effect grabbed, because he is different, not because he is there alone--or by mere chance. There needs to be something in his make up that will make the image of the DEATHROOM make a serious impression on him and make him worth capturing. I know that youa rere tryinh(sic) to make this character light and their (His and Danes) relationship warm so that it can all change later, but.....maybe we can work out a better blend of the two.

Horrible Jokes Stun Local Man, Film at 11

TC informs us that Editing Room has a parody script of the Wing Commander movie... which you can read here. They call the characters by the names of the actors! Eh? Eh! Take that, hilariousness! It's no Wing Commander 4.123106... but then, what is?

Hey, Kids!

Wing Commander action figures are few and far between. So what is a fan to do? Well - you buy the figures belonging to the movies they're more famous for. Paladin? Lord of the Rings. Mister Obutu? Star Wars. Rachel Coriolis? Well...

PORN! That's right, a Ginger Lynn action figure is coming out next month! PR copy reads:
Each highly detailed figure in Adult Superstars Series features an anatomically correct physique, display base, removable clothing and even more articulation than Series 1! Each action figure features an exclusive and unique removable costume. This line of action figures are not sculpted but created using a state-of-the-art laser scanner to capture even the most intimate details of each starlet.
Hoo-boy. The official site is here (features plastic nudity) and you can order one here (just in time for Christmas). Who wants to be in charge of making little mechanic smocks for her?

Obi-Wan Slaps Blair, Mentions WC

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal recently held a chat with Mark Hamill about... well, mostly Star Wars. In answering a Star Wars question, however, he barely mentions Wing Commander! Hurrah! Here's the quote:
Q: Padraic Durkin of Wisconsin Rapids - Did the late Sir Alec Guinness really slap you for calling him just "Alec"?

A: Mark Hamill - He playfully corrected me when I called him Sir Alec after knowing him about a week. He patted my face twice and then mock slapped me. Firmly. Just to get my attention. And he said, "I want to be known by my name, not my acolade." And that was him telling me to stop calling him "Sir." I really want to get that clear because like when you play the game telephone, all these years later, the story is that he slapped me when i didn't call him Sir Alec or calling him just Alec. It was the absolute reverse of how gracious and wonderful a man he was. I miss him every day. I wish he could come see my play. I used to see his plays on the West End. He was very loyal. People should know that that. People always ask if all of us are still friends. Well, no, life goes on. Time and circumstances change, but he always impressed upon me that it was important. He gave me an example of someone who had hurt his feelings by totally ignoring him in their success when he had really given them their first break. And I remembered that, so everytime I was in England, I would at least give him a phone call. In fact, the last time I had slipped over the pond to do promotion for "Wing Commander," he saw that I did not call him. He was not well and had been in the hospital for his eye. His last letter contained the lines, "Don't dare ever come to my country again without contacting me." It really touched me. That was the one time that I hadn't contact him. He was absolutely right and I regret having done so.

You can read the rest of the article here.

WC Saga Gets More Kilrathi

Lynx has been busy lately, and has been posting renders of various Kilrathi ship models which will eventually be used with the WC Saga mod for Freespace 2. If these screenshots are anything to go by, things are shaping up quite nicely.

You can discuss these screenshots in this thread.

First Post-War Poll

The TCS Victory won the Wing Commander III poll with some 50% of the votes. The two giants, the Confederation and Kilrathi Dreadnoughts, Behemoth and Vorghath respectively, came in second and third with 17% each. So far each poll has been won by the carrier the player served on. It'll be interesting to see if the BWS Intrepid can continue the trend, or if the Vesuvius class will come out on top.

Old poll results can be found here.

Introducing Jeremy Reimer's FS2 WC1 Mod

This is one we've neglected to report on before, which is a shame because it looks really great! It is an independent Freespace 2 mod from some of the others out there, and has a distinctly Wing Commander 1 style. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. You can discuss the mod at Crius here or find a history on the mod at Mr. Reimer's website forums here.

Standoff Picks Voice Actors and Roles

In other mod news, Wing Commander Standoff has announced its cast of voice actors and what roles they will play in the upcoming Secret Ops mod. You can find a list of the actors and their characters at Crius here. It's pretty exciting that they've reached this point. I can't wait to see and hear how things turn out.

Fan {Variable} of the Year Nominations!

It's that time of year once again (November 4th) -- when you get to nominate your favorite fans for the honors of Wing Commander Web Site of the Year and the Fan Project of the Year! Do you stand up for StandOff? Are your sights centered on that WingCenter site? Let us know today! In two weeks we'll ask everyone to choose their favorites from those nominated - so the only way to be sure your favorite is listed is to e-mail us now!

The nominated site and/or project (you may choose one in each category) must have been active within the past three months (ie, you can't vote for the TCU or that 'Marine Corps' mod). Past winners may be viewed in our archives: 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Winner receives a coveted 'winner' graphic. Runners up will be shot at (with a slightly less impressive graphic).

Don't delay - send your nominations here today!

It's Academic!

It's time for another round of Wing Commander Academy episodes. Now available (below) are episodes 12 and 13 in DivX 3.11 format (~65 megs each). This fantastic two-parter concluded the Academy series way back in 1996. Boy, that was a great year for Wing Commander. Now, I don't want to spoil anything, but both episodes prominently feature pink girl Kilrathi. Enjoy! Edit: Links should work now.

Isn't That The Guy From Star Wars?

CNN.Com is running a short biography of Mark Hamill titled "Not Just That Luke Guy From 'Star Wars'", as part of the promotion for Hamill's new Broadway play "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks". In a rare exception to the Star Wars focused rule, the article goes on to mention the most important part of Hamill's career:
On TV, he made appearances on shows like "V.I.P.," "Amazing Stories" and "SeaQuest DSV." He hosted CNBC's magazine-style show ".COM" and developed "Wing Commander" CD-ROM games. He also lent his voice to hundreds of TV cartoons, specializing in villains like The Joker on various "Batman" series and The Hobgoblin on "Spider-Man."

MIDI'l of the Road

Wedge009 has extracted a set of MIDIs straight from Wing Commander III. You can download the set here. Here's his explanation:
I know there is already a ZIP of WC3 MIDIs in your files archive, but none of those files are named. After digging through the WC3 TREs, I found the MIDIs, so I've put together my own collection, similar to one put together by someone else for the Privateer MIDIs.

All the MIDIs were cleanly extracted by myself, using HCl's TRE Manager as well as Ripper 5, and converted using Winamp (give credit where it is due). As far as I know, they are General MIDI format, and I have also added RIFF tags. Perhaps others might find it useful, I think it would be a good idea to add this to your archives - I have spent much time checking where each tune plays in WC3.

I'm no MIDI expert, but I believe Wing Commander III's MIDI files may actually be GS MIDIs (like those from Privateer and Armada). Does anyone know for sure?

Seems To Be the Case-y

Today we move forward to the synopsis for Prophecy's second draft, written October 28th, 1996. You can compare it to the First Draft, which was written only a month earlier! This one is a lot more like the way the game turned out -- although we'll see some interesting character differences in our next update...
WING COMMANDER V -- SYNOPSIS

Nearly a decade has passed since the Border Worlds conflict. CHRISTOPHER BLAIR is now the chief architect of Confed's newest and most advanced attack carrier, THE MIDWAY. This one ship can provide all the offensive capabilities of an entire task force; sparking Confed the cost of a fleet of support vessels. Blair is determined to see this ship, his final contribution fo the cause of peace, succeed. Because when the Midway is finished, so is Blair's career -- he'll be headed into a long-overdue and much deserved retirement.

As the Midway completes her final space trials, a corps of mostly rookie pilots are assigned to train with her. Most have never seen action; and none are prepared for what's in store for them when a giant wormhole appears near the shattered remains of Kilrah.

A huge alien fleet of unkown origin uses his swirling gateway to invade Confed space. And, despite Blair's misgivings, the Midway's "nugget" pilots are ordered to confront this seemingly invincible armada -- and to stop it before it reaches Earth.

Our story centers on LIEUTENANT LANCE CASEY. The best of the new pilots, this brave young man will engage in a series of critical missions against a variety of opponents; enemy aces, capital ships, and ultimately, a Dreadnought-class vessel.

Casey must fly recon, escort Space Marines to designated drop points, and battle alien fighters. With each mission, he helps Confed move closer to its primary goal of stopping the invasion. But the cost will be high -- blasted ships, dead civilians, and lost wingmen.

Casey will also confront a variety of personal obstacles. Friends are killed -- a beautiful young pilot is constantly (and aggressively) competing with him -- and he will blame himself when Blair is captured and tortured by the enemy.

Our hero perserveres through every challenge -- right up to the moment when he leads his wingmen against their final and most important objective: the alien-built Command Center which generates and maintains the wormhole portal.

During the battle to destroy that Command Center, Blair will be lost. But, thankfully, as the wormhole collapses, the invasion armada poised on the other side of it, is denied access to Confed space. Our hero managed to buy Earth some desperately needed time... at a tremendous cost.

Holding The Line: Chapter 169

We begin the month with the latest HTL chapter from Raptor. I'll let him do the introduction.
Hey all, Raptor here.

To be honest, I had been hoping to do an HTL Halloween special this year just like we did in 2002, but the schedule for writing the big Finale precluded that. It's probably just as well though, given that the Finale will have enough bloodshed and killing to satisfy the most ghoulish. HTL continues with the fourth part of the "Inferno" series, which is written by yours truly. Your comments and feedback are most appreciated.

The story is at: .../~theraj/archives/ch169.htm

Best, Raptor

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