The Big Music Video Feature

Kris tells me it's the end of the month and we've got some kilobytes to use up. We've posted a number of videos this month, and here's a rundown in case you missed one.


lt.Brovar did the first video back in March 2003. It was comprised of Prophecy footage and combined with Prophecy (TerminalMix) by Cobalt 60 off the official soundtrack. This one is a 30 meg divx video.


AD is hard at work splicing up Wing Commander 4, so he focused on that area in his video. The music in this one is "New World" performed by Leroy. Here's AD with more details:

I thought I would try my hand at a music video. The principles aren't a lot different from what I am doing with my WC4 movie project, so I gave it a shot. Plus this gives me something to share while we wait for my movie project.

This music video as well uses the WC4 DVD as source and could sort of be described as Black Lance propaganda, but that isn't an accurate description. Its a 3 1/4 minute video and I have provided it in high res divx (50MB) or a lower res Windows Media file (7.9MB).


The next one up is AD's combination of Prophecy and "All By Design" by Big Wreck. This one comes in the form of a 10 meg low res clip and a 68 meg high res version.


TomGaines took Hades' challenge and has created his own Wing Commander clip. This one samples from the Wing Commander 4 DVD and "Song 2" by Blur. A lot of good action shots have been linked together for a great feature of Wing Commander space combat. This is the revised version after some feedback from Crius.net.

You can grab the 10 megabyte video here.


Plywood Fiend started things off by creating this sequence a few weeks back. It features footage from WC3 extracted using HCl's movie player with Tourniquet by Evanescence for music. It's slightly fuzzy due to the low resolution of the original videos, but that aside it's an interesting piece. You can download the 6 meg file here.

A high res version was released here.


Plywood also sent us the Tribute to Thrakhath. The choice of music is what makes this one special. You can download the tribute here.


Plywood Fiend wrapped up his trilogy of WC3 themed music videos with this update. To the tune of "Armageddon" by Alkaline Trio, this clip explores all the many ways that utter destruction was shown in Wing Commander 3. You can grab the 22 meg file here.


Our second Prophecy music video was brought to you by Major Striker. It's a look at the confrontational and aggressive nature of the major players in the game. The events are tied in with "Headstrong" by Trapt.

It's on the long side for a music video, so the resolution was toned down a bit. You can grab the 16 meg divx here.


Just recently Kilrah Moreira put together a Wing Commander 3 tribute. This one isn't exactly a music video, but it is synced to the Braveheart Soundtrack. It has a variety of scenes extracted with HCl's movie player. You can grab the 44 meg wmv here.


Alternatively if you fancy something a little different, you can download LOAF's WC4 lala video.

Watch Out For Bootlegs

I was cleaning up some Wing Commander stuff the other day and found a Prophecy Advance instruction booklet that felt a little too light. I took a closer look and found some interesting things. The button controls don't seem to make sense, and under the "Bosses" section, there's a picture of a Vampire named "Wild Scissors."
A big-limbed mechanical alien that specializes in close combat. Destroy the arms, then the radar eye and finally the main body.
The descriptions of Felicia and Sheila G are just as weird. It seems that bits of the book are actually from Phalanx. Maybe the boss descriptions are as well.

Check Out Prophecy In Motion

To go along with out bootleg instructions update today, we've got the original two videos of Prophecy Advance back. Domains have shifted, companies have revamped their websites and some files occasionally get lost in the shuffle. These days we mirror everything locally to avoid this, but two or three years ago that wasn't always the case. The first video was originally from Destination Software and shows off a bunch of gameplay footage. The second video from Raylight shows a cutscene from the game. They're less than two and four megabytes each. Unfortunately there's no sound with the second clip. When it plays for real, the clip has music and subtitles.

Wing Commander 3 Tribute Sent From Kilrah

Kilrah Moreira has put together a Wing Commander 3 tribute video that was inspired by the music videos we posted over the last few weeks. This one isn't exactly a music video, but it is synced to the Braveheart Soundtrack. It has a variety of scenes extracted with HCl's movie player. You can grab the 44 meg wmv here.
This is the first time I've tried something like this, but I hope you like it.

Richard Riehle In The Spotlight

Lumino Magazine has done an interview with Richard Riehle who played Pliers in Wing Commander 4. We don't hear a lot from him, so it's interesting to hear a candid interview.
He loves talking about his character, Tom Smykowski. "He's such an interesting character because he constantly worries about everything," Riehle says. "So much stuff is out of his control, but that doesn't stop him from being in a panic about it. He has grandiose ideas about what he's going to do, but he never gets around to doing them."

"I did mainly theater for 25 years, all around the country," Riehle says. "I was in New York, doing a play, and they were casting "Glory." Riehle was cast, and then headed to L.A., where he played Rooney on the "Ferris Bueller" TV series. This is where he met "Office Space" co-star Jennifer Aniston.

He's been very active with a lot of secondary roles in movies and television. His most recent science fiction role has been as Dr. Jeremy Lucas on Star Trek Enterprise (he also played Batai in TNG and Seamus Driscoll in Voyager), and he is still a recurring character in Grounded For Life. Maybe if he gets just a tiny bit more scifi under his belt, he'll start hitting the convention circuit and we can meet him someday.

That's Just Super

BradMick reports that the latest version of the FreeDO emulator is capable of running the 3DO version of Super Wing Commander! There are still some problems: Since 3DO BIOS files are not available as legitimate downloads, erstwhile players will have to provide their own. Brad has also encountered some unfortunate graphical glitches - see the third screenshot! (For comparison, Brad is running the game on a 3.4 GHz Pentium IV). Good luck! Users who encounter problems with ASPI errors can solve them using the Force ASPI utility available here.

Concordias in Harmony

Cadet Tolwyn flew missions off the Concordia-class TCS Concordia during the McAuliffe Ambush... it blew up, but twenty years later Tolwyn was a Commodore commanding a battlegroup onboard another Concordia-class TCS Concordia. Then a few years later he personally took command of... the TCS Concordia (CVS-65) - flagship of the 14th Fleet. Confused? That's why we've updated and organized a Concordia FAQ for your reference! Impress your family and friends by being able to differentiate the histories, specifications and backgrounds of three different TCS Concordias.

Signs of the Times

AD has found a few interesting pieces of signage while scouring the Wing Commander movie. These posters decorated Blair's quarters and the Tiger's Claw's rec room in several scenes, and they range from cool references to just plain bizarre images.

The woman in the red swimsuit is a cool reference to the famous poster which appeared in the original Wing Commander's barracks (here). The man with a tiger for a head is... just plain strange -- but it is unlikely proof that there are tiger-looking Kilrathi in the movie! The 'movie star' picture is another original game reference -- it's signed by holovid star Saranya Carr, originally from the back page of Claw Marks.

Unfortunately, they haven't shown up in anyones collection since the movie was made -- I think we'd all love to see more detail!

Interest Check: PSP Movies

Kaarlo recently sent the Wing Commander 4 Origin logo intro to us, and it arrived in a format ready for play on the PSP. I've heard of a few more Wing Commander fans picking up the device, and here's a small little file that will fit on the memory cards included with the system. Unzip this file into the MP_Root\100MNV01 folder on the memory card and it'll appear in your movies menu. The clip is one megabyte, and anyone who can play mpeg4 video files on their computer can grab it as well. Rather than provide mp4 formatted clips for separate download in the future, if there's interest we can provide a short tutorial for encoding video clips. Academy Episodes are great for viewing on the go.

Playstation WC3 Midis Extracted

AD has created a pack to complement the Playstation sound effects released a couple weeks ago. The 3 meg zip we have today includes over 500 midi files from the game, though there's probably a bunch of duplicates between the four discs. They are arranged differently on each CD however, and the original directory path structure has been preserved in the zip. They range mostly from 30 second clips for special situations to two minute background sequences for missions. You can grab the pack here.

Mark Hamill's A Friendly Guy

Our latest poll results are in, and people picked Mark Hamill as the actor whom they'd most like to befriend. Tom Wilson came in a strong second. It's interesting to see how the results change over the course of a poll. Initially Malcolm McDowell and John Rhys-Davies were neck and neck with Wilson, but this changed significantly over the last week. Freddie Prinze Jr. lost the poll somehow.

Our next poll asks which situations were the most emotional and compelling for you in the series. Most options should be pretty clear for those who played the primary games. I wanted to give some of the slightly more obscure choices a chance at the poll as well though.

1) Archer kills Blizzard: After several pilots suffer mental instability due to stellar phenomenon in The Most Delicate Instrument, Blizzard tells Archer he loves her. In his twisted state, he then becomes convinced the Tiger's Claw has become overrun with Kilrathi and must destroy it. Archer launches and destroys his fighter after a tense confrontation. Later the ship's psychologist informs her that the mental suggestions that the affected pilots followed were based on genuine latent fears, beliefs and feelings.

2) Iceman finds his daughter: Iceman has nerves of steel and a bitter hatred towards the Kilrathi. Occasionally Blair is able to explore tiny bits of his personality and discovers his family was murdered by the Kilrathi years earlier. Finally in The Secret Missions 2: Crusade, the TCS Jerusalem intercepts a Kilrathi slave ship.. with one of his daughters aboard! "It’s been six long years, Maverick – but I’m going to see my little girl again."

7) Sheol overrun: Grayson Burrows was first office aboard the Scarab en route to Sheol, a deep space science station. The station's commander was overjoyed to receive the Scarab's supplies. Unfortunately it is discovered that the Scarab was allowed to arrive safely so that the hostile Retros could attack both targets at once. Though the Scarab manages to escape back to civilization, Burrows' captain and lover are dead, and the financially strapped crew disbands. Privateer begins as Burrows inherits his grandfather's Tarsus.

All of the poll choices are as emotionally charged as those three, if not more so. We've narrowed down the selection to seven situations to choose from. If you have another one you'd like to share, click "Discuss" below and head to Crius.

Big Russian WC Article Really Translated

A few months back we posted a partial translation for the huge Wing Commander history in Game World Navigator. A year and half ago the magazine created a twenty page profile of the series. The information we posted before was just for the numerous photo captions. We've now added the full article translation thanks to Akula65. You can find the text here. The article is quite a contrast to the PC Gamer bit we mentioned yesterday. You can grab the full PDF of the article (in Russian) here.

At the height of the military action, the player, under the guise of a student of the Terran Flight Academy, Christopher Blair, arrives on the carrier TCS Tiger's Claw and, in the capacity of one of the fighter pilots, takes part in a campaign for the liberation of the Vega Sector. For its time, the game contains so many interesting innovations that you don't even know which to start with. I will dwell in greater detail on the special features of the first Wing Commander, for they form the basis of the series, giving to all of its following games recognizable family traits. In essence, the genre of space combat simulators itself was opened - prior to this, only the very ancient Elite (published in 1983) is noted here, and other more or less contemporary examples on the space theme were, as a rule, arcade games where small ships were guided among crowds of alien enemies. As far as space combat simulators are concerned, there were only two simulators of flight technology published in 1990, LHX and A-10 Tank Killer, so "Wing" simply had no competition.

Calling Macintosh Pack Rats - Need SWC Files

After our recent Super Wing Commander Review, a number of people noticed that our Macintosh SWC files were missing. A technical glitch sent them missing shortly after the CIC opened, and we'd like to recover them. If anyone has swcdemo.sit, swcppc.sea, swcfat.sea or swc68k.sea, feel free to send us a message.

Graphics Are Everything

ZFGokuSSJ1 recently caught an early peek at June's PC Gamer and was upset at what he saw. There's a pretty odd article in the back where the editor takes a stab at classic series like X-Com and Wing Commander.
A couple of years ago I booted up the original Wing Commander using a mod that prevented it from running at a squillion frames per second, and discovered that it was - by every standard instilled within me by contemporary gaming - crap.
That's the extent of his explanation. Combined with his comments about other series, it mainly seems that he can't get past the graphics, because even the original Wing Commander's gameplay, storytelling, characters and atmosphere beat out most modern games. I'd also say the graphics hold up better than most of the games made fifteen years ago.

I've got the new Splinter Cell, Unreal Championship, Metal Gear and other contemporary titles, but last night I spent my free time taking out the hijacked Gwenhyvar. Eight Gratha, four Jalthi and four Krant, and that's not even counting the captured Rapiers guarding the destroyer! We have a DOSBox Tutorial online if you'd like to join the fun too.

Intelligent Life Not Found Yet

We're still searching for aliens with the help of the wcnews SETI@home group. Our local statistics page has been updated to reflect changes over the past five months. In those five months we've gained 27,000 results and 11 years of CPU time. At the bottom of the page we've also added the statistics from the new BOINC version of the SETI client. It seems that over the next month or so the old client will cease functioning and everyone will require the new BOINC client, so if you haven't upgraded already now is a good time. If you're a new user, don't forget to join team wcnews.

Description     Visitors, regulars and staff of the Wing Commander Combat Information Center (CIC) that run the SETI@home program.
Web site     click here
Members     132
Results received     168,922
Total CPU time     179.687 years
Founder     ChrisReid

Striker Hits Prophecy On The Head

Our second Prophecy music video this week is brought to you by Major Striker. It's a look at the confrontational and aggressive nature of the major players in the game. The events are tied in well with "Headstrong" by Trapt. It's on the long side for a music video, so the resolution was toned down a bit. You can grab the 16 meg divx here.

Wing Commander Meets Pinocchio

AD recently found a neat cinematics company that was involved with the flying-by-wire sequences in the Wing Commander Movie. Harry Wiessenhaan and team are an expert at all sorts of special effects. Their website has a whole lot of pictures from the various work they've done, including some neat flight deck scenes from the movie.

It's always fun to go back and watch scenes like these with the wire attachment points in mind. It's even more interesting if you consider they only had half a flight deck to work with at any given time. We detailed another special effects company's work in mirroring the deck a while back.

Book Your DragonCon Hotels

Rumors have started to suggest that certain hotel areas for DragonCon 2005 are beginning to book up. If you're taking a group to Atlanta for the party this summer, now's the best time to save your room. We'll be setting up our rooms this week. Feel free to post any of your questions about the event to our DragonCon forum. Information on the primary host hotels can be found here. And here's a picture of a few of us in the hotel last year getting ready for a night of Wing Commandering.

Wing Commander Paper Models Shown On TV

Wolf Dog was recently hunting for Wing Commander news on the G4 video game network. In an episode of Attack of the Show, a Hellcat V was featured with a variety of video game origami on on display. They were promoting Pepakura which lets modelers import preexisting 3D models and turn them into paper art. Pepakura was the neat program used to design the Wing Commander Paper Models.
Be the envy of your fellow cube slaves when you decorate your work space with a shockingly cool paper model you can build yourself. Just download and print the diagrams, spend many hours putting them together, and voila: paper-craft models that will amaze your friends.

This episode also airs on:
4/24/2005 11am ET / 8am PT
4/25/2005 3am ET / 12am PT

Other cool models can be found at the Pepakura site. The program costs $38 if any talented Wing Commander modelers want to get into the arts & crafts business.

New CIC Logo Live Today

At the CIC we follow a lot of traditions and are generally resistant to change. Occasionally there is talk of refreshing the layout and graphics of the site, but we really like the current look of things. The most prominent graphic is our site logo, which we are extremely attached to. Keen-eyed visitors might have noticed that the background of our logo is an actual screenshot from Wing Commander 4. Recently AD was able to help us pinpoint the original scene in the DVD version, and we've integrated that into our design. In this process we've managed to retain the same logo and its roots as a Wing Commander screenshot while sharpening it up quite a bit. You can see the comparison here. The little red ship is actually a Pirate Frigate and the blue bits are a Longbow and Arrow. The green is part of an asteroid.

AD has prepared a 17 meg divx video clip of the briefing that our logo originated from, and BradMick has created a high resolution avi wireframe render of the scene.

Prophecy Gets The Music Treatment

A few people were disappointed when we mentioned the last of the music videos last week, but that was specifically referring to Plywood Fiend. We should have one or two more over the next week, and the next one up is AD's combination of Prophecy and "All By Design" by Big Wreck. This one comes in the form of a 10 meg low res clip and a 68 meg high res version.

Happy Birthday LOAF!

LOAF has managed to do it again! Today he is officially one year older. With the set of images below, aspiring three dimensional modelers can accurately recreate a famous LOAF event that occured on the evening of June 19, 2004!

Captain Johnny Reveals Super Wing Commander

Quite a lot of fans have never experienced Super Wing Commander, and one of our most important tasks here is to highlight Wing Commander products such as this. SWC was a Macintosh and 3DO revision of Wing Commander 1 and the Secret Missions. Significantly improved graphics and full speech were added, and an entirely new Secret Missions set now takes place between the destruction of the Sivar and the Firekkan affair. The amazing Captain Johnny has created a video introduction to the game. The events occuring in his clips should be incredibly familiar for fans of the first Wing Commander, but the look and feel might be all new. There are five clips from the intro through the first mission. The capital ship you see there is the Tiger's Claw, and the model was later used as the Lexington in Armada. Paladin and Shotglass are next, and check out that crazy suiting-up process. The hangar and bay doors (along with the rest of the hull) are very similar to what the Claw featured in Wing Commander Movie.

Want more? A while back LOAF put together a feature showing off each of the redesigned characters in SWC.

More Privateer Resources For Russians

Elite-Games.ru is a pretty neat looking Russian website devoted to space combat trading sims similar to Elite or Privateer. They highlight a couple dozen major games in the genre, including Privateers 1 & 2. If you don't speak Russian and would still like to check it out, head on over to the Babelfish, plug in the URL and select the appropriate languages. The site's Privateer 1 features include general information on the game, commodity tables and some fairly well done character bios. The intro story with the Scarab has also been translated to Russian. Privateer 2's history has also been translated, along with ship details and recommended trade routes. Their Privateer 1 nav map also has the common Pollux/War jump tunnel mix-up that we mentioned on Saturday.

It's Armageddon Time

Plywood Fiend has wrapped up his trilogy of WC3 themed music videos with today's update. To the tune of "Armageddon" by Alkaline Trio, this clip explores all the many ways that utter destruction was shown in Wing Commander 3. You can grab the 22 meg file here.

New Colors For The Ferret

HammerHead wanted to take a minute to display the Ferrets he has been working hard on. He has been practicing his 3d art for a while, and this is what he's chosen to show off first. The left shot represents am In-Sys Ferret and the second is a P-64D in regular fleet colors. You can find additional angles and provide feedback at Crius.net here.

Can you spot the differences between the P-64C and Super Ferret?

Hit The Classic Privateer Stop

ClassicGaming.cc is a stylized resource for a small number of elite classic video games. Each one of their featured games gets an in-depth walkthrough and resource guide. Recently Wing Commander Privateer got a full treatment and a variety of information is now available. Everything from equipment details to commodity tips are up for eager new privateers. Some of the information can be obtained elsewhere, but this site does a good job of bringing it all together and organizing it for easy consumption. ClassicGaming has guides for both Privateer and Righteous Fire. I always liked reading different authors' mission suggestions, and our own Righteous Fire guide should be getting an update soon as well. ClassicGaming also features a pretty nav map of the Gemini Sector.

The map makes a common mistake with a jump line from Troy. Resident Stellar Cartographer Lesnick points out that the jump from Troy to Pollux should actually go from Troy to War. This shows up occasionally in various maps because of how the lines appear to overlap in the game, but there is no actual tunnel from Troy to Pollux. The Gemini and Exploratory Service Systems are also not marked. You can find a collection of various maps at the CIC here.

Got Cards?

If you're one of the few hardy collectors of the Wing Commander Customizable Card Game, we might be able to help eachother out. Even if you have a complete set, there's always room for a second or a play deck. And the cards you trade to us will help other Wing Commander fans finish their collection. If you're missing a few cards or have a few extra, you can contact us about trading possibilities.

EB Sale A Bust

Unfortunately, it looks like most people who tried to order cheap copies of Prophecy Advance during the EB sale last week won't be receiving their copy.
EBgames.com strives to fill all of the orders that we receive but once in a while a product that is on backorder does not make it back onto our shelves. This has happened with an item that you have on order. We will not be receiving any more copies of WING COMMANDER GBA. We have cancelled your order for the product and your credit card will not be charged.
So don't feel bad if you couldn't get to the site. Half.com still remains the cheapest place to grab a copy.

Holding The Line Chapter 200

It's a week of milestones for Holding The Line. First of all they've reached the huge milestone of two hundred chapters of the story, which is a big enough achievement, but also today marks the 10th anniversary of the WC Aces club which writes the story. Though the main WC Aces site is out of date, the club is still quite active through the HTL project.
Hey all, Raptor here

I'm sure you've noticed the lack of HTL chapters over the past three months. The reason is that several writing groups in HTL have been working on big chapters that will wrap up the fighting in Nifelheim. The first of these is Chapter 15 of the Scraps Of Honour series, which follows the Border Worlds reserves sent to back up the Combined Fleet. Here, they are preparing for a head-on battle with the enemy forces coming in from Loki. This chapter is written by Nick "Chaeronea" Deane. Please send any and all comments to Nick at babylons@tpg.com.au, not to me.

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

On another note, this story marks our 200th published chapter, and 1,000,000 words published. Don't worry, I'm not obsessed enough to count every word we've published. Our chapters average 5000 words, which by my calculation puts us at a million words total. As an added bonus, this April 15th is also the Aces Club's tenth anniversary. I would like to congratulate all the writers who have put so much effort into keeping HTL and Aces active over the years. Long may it continue.

Best, Raptor

It Seems Like Only Yesterday..

Around the time of the Wing Commander Movie release, a variety of tie-in promotions were announced. Some were released and others didn't make it, but one of the most fantastic projects to get the Wing Commander license was the Showscan WC Movie Ride. I believe the company had some hard times and a number of their projects like this fell through, but just the thought was absolutely exciting to us back in the day. Six years ago we ran the story that began like this.
LOS ANGELES, CA -- (INTERNET WIRE) -- 04/14/99 -- Showscan Entertainment Inc. (OTC BB: SHOW) Wednesday announced plans to produce two new simulation thrill ride films, "Wing Commander" and "Street Fighter II - The Ride."

"Wing Commander" has sold more than 9 million CD Rom games worldwide and is one of the top franchises in the computer game genre... Chris Roberts, who directed the "Wing Commander" feature film and created the game, said: "The Showscan ride is yet another evolutionary step for `Wing Commander.' We are thrilled about the opportunity to truly put audiences in the front seat of `Wing Commander''s spectacular action."

The partnership is currently in negotiations with several top effects and CGI companies in the film industry to round out the "Wing Commander" production team. Showscan, which will serve as producer and distributor of the ride, expects to release "Wing Commander" in January 2000.

I can vividly imagine what the Wing Commander Ride might have been like, but what would the Street Fighter one have been about? You can find the original press release here.

Venice Stormed By Atekimogus

Atekimogus has sent his Tiger's Claw on a mission to take Venice. After breaking through a Dralthi perimeter, the Claw and its escorts finally smash through to the Kharak Tar Star Post. You'll have to download the video (50 meg .wmv) to see the dramatic and emotional conclusion.

I recently finished my first animation with a few wing commander models I made. Since this animation takes place in the Wing Commander 1 timeframe I tried to give it a comic-style look and I hope you guys like it!
You can click the "discuss" link below to post your feedback.

Tell A Friend About Academy

Do you like cartoons based on video games? We certainly do. 1up just did a feature on them, but they missed the best one of all. They take a look at quite a few obscure shows, but Academy doesn't get a mention. It's too bad, because just a couple months ago they cited Wing Commander as a crucial classic series, and The Saga of the Warrior King was truly an amazing video game cartoon crossover event. Apparently most of the USA Network's cartoon block was overlooked. Looks like it's up to you to share the Wing Commander series with others.

HLP Makes A Comeback

After their April Fools joke backfired, the Freespace CIC was without a message board. The good news is that the site has now recovered, so you can continue talking about Alpha 1 and beam weapons here.

Wing Commander 2 Intro The Easy Way

Recently a few people have been requesting a video of the Wing Commander II introduction. It's just fortunate that there is already a video out there, but since it seems that it's not very well known, here's a reminder that it's out there. I feel nostalgic seeing it again and it's easier than trying to run the game itself. Besides that, with these fancy wavetable MIDI cards and the like, it's just not the same. You can download the video from our server here (33MB), but the original video comes from this site.

WC3 Special Effects Secret Revealed

Rylex took a closer look at Plywood Fiend's original music video and noticed something a little odd that no doubt most people have never noticed. In the scene where Thrakhath kills Blair, he lifts Blair off of the ground. A closer inspection of the video reveals what appears to be a human hand giving Thrakhath a helping.. erm.. hand. That sneaky hand may be helping lift Blair up, or it may be preventing Blair from delivering a swift kick to the groin to the Prince. If you think you know what that hand is doing, click the Discuss link below and let us know!

Music Video Madness Continues

Since I mentioned the lack of WC music videos exactly a week ago, the response has been great with several people contributing. First things first, Plywood Fiend has sent us a higher quality version of the video he sent us last week which you can download here. He has also sent us a new video called Tribute to Thrakhath. This video is also done well, but the choice of music is what makes this one special. You can download Tribute to Thrakhath here. Alternatively if you fancy something a little different, you can download LOAF's WC4 lala video.

Get Out Your Scissors And Glue

As impressive as many Wing Commander fans' digital creations are, I often find our physical arts and crafts to be especially exciting. In the past we've reported on a variety of construction paper models of Wing Commander ships. Akula recently found that I-War fans had made similar models, and some of them are quite elaborate.

The size of the I-War models is particularly impressive. The Wing Commander designs released thus far have mainly been high-quality recreations of various fighters. You can find instructions on how to build those here.

Playstation Sound Effects Extracted

As part of his continuing efforts to experiment with various Wing Commander video sources, AD has managed to extract the sound effects from Wing Commander 3 and 4 for the Playstation. Using a program called PSound, he was able to pull out the various clips and turn them into regular wav files. The WC3 clips are organized somewhat randomly, but the WC4 file structure made categorization much easier. All the voice overs for plot choices in English, German and French have been included, and the sound effects are also properly named. It's kind of fun to play around with some of these. A few files in the package might make good sounds to spice up your operating system environment, and various fan projects can utilize these as well. You can grab the full 13 meg zip here.

Will You Be My Friend?

Everybody has looked at celebrities and thought how really great it would be to know them in real life, so our new poll asks you which WC actor you'd most like to befriend. To keep it fair, we've limited the options to male actors in case it turns in to a contest of who is prettier. You could also click the discuss button below and let us know why you chose who you did. Our previous poll asked about your CIC visiting habits. The results make me happy with only 14% of people visiting less often and over 45% of people either new visitors or visiting more often than they did a year ago.

Privateer Remake Gets Introduced

MamiyaOtaru has posted a work-in-progress remake of the Privateer intro which has been created by Hadrian for the Privateer Remake project. Although only about 50% complete, it looks to be shaping up very nicely indeed. You can download the 22MB Xvid encoded file here, and comment on the work in this thread.
Hadrian just sent me an intro he is working on for Privateer. He has up through where the pirates launch their missiles. Although the framerate is halved for now and he says the visual look is not yet complete, what he has so far is stunning.

Hey, I think I have a version of the Righteous Fire intro that Hadrian made back in 2000 somewhere. Maybe the project could use that too.

ReplacementDocs Makes Comeback

About a year ago, the ReplacementDocs website lost their collection of videogame manuals when a hacker got into their server. C reports that the site is now online again and sports a more community-oriented design. If you contributed a manual in the past, they'd like you to get in touch with them so proper credit can be given.
replacementdocs.com pledges to bring you only high quality scanned images of instruction manuals in their full, original format with all original artwork and other graphical elements intact. There will be no text-only documentation unless that is how it was originally released. There will also be no conversion to monochrome images or any other quality degradation.
Their Wing Commander scans are mirrored in our manuals section along with more scanned documents.

Hop a Shuttle

Cyberion's been helping out with the Wing Commander Universe project. His latest creation is a stunning model of the trusty Confed shuttle. A small movie file (483 kB) showing the model in rotation can be downloaded here.

The 3D model (777 kB) is available to the general public and can be downloaded here.

Mark Hamill Joins Robotech Cast

Aside from being famous for being Colonel Blair and that Skywalker guy, Mark Hamill is a well known voice actor with 29 of his 45 post-Prophecy credits being voice credits. Even just for Wing Commander projects he voiced Blair in the WC Academy cartoon and the Rapier's computer Merlin in the WC movie. His latest project is no different as this update on Robotech.com announces that Hamill has joined the cast of the Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles cartoon. For those not in the know, Robotech is a long running anime series consisting of three separate series (Macross, Southern Cross, and Mospeada) combined. The Shadow Chronicles is a brand new series in the Macross universe being produced in the US. Hamill will be a voicing a currently unknown character for the series which is due to start airing before the end of the year.

Red Point Progress Updated

The Red Point(ango) fan project has performed a major update to its website. Background information for the story and general screenshots have now been collected into one place. The game will begin on Perry, and a really nice 3d recreation of the naval base has been revealed. There are even day and nighttime variations.

That's a nice addition. Hopefully there'll be a good variety of ships passing by the window, and I'll be able to sit there watching them for a while again. TanGO promises surprises down the line, so hopefully this will turn into an exciting project.

Allegiance Anniversary Party Planned

Grimmwolf@GB let us know that the five year anniversary for Microsoft's Allegiance multiplayer space combat sim is coming up. On the afternoon of April 17, the game's community is holding a large party and multiplayer battle. Allegiance's source code was released a year ago, and modders are currently working on upgrading the game and increasing its scope.
On April 17th, 2005, 3pm EST there will be a large game with a special map and lots of action. Most players of the squads of Allegiance will show up, hopefully plenty of new people as well. The game itself is completely free and can be downloaded here at www.freeallegiance.org.

If there are any technical problems, the forum has a section dedicated to helping people with connection, hardware, software, etc. problems. Should there be any gameplay questions, there is a site dedicated to helping new players academy.alleg.net where all the strategies, game details, tech info are listed. Also, there is a newbie training course (@cadet) on the forums, so new guys get taught by veterans and by completing the course gain entrance to a squad.

I hope to see plenty of people from CIC in game soon. The game is what comes closest to Wing Commander online.

You can download Allegiance after signing up at www.freeallegiance.org and setting up an ASGS anticheating account.

Black Lance Approves Of Music Videos

AD's project to create a movie based on footage from the WCIV DVD is progressing nicely, so he has taken a break to join in with the theme of the week: music videos! The music in this video is "New World" performed by Leroy, and like yesterday's video this is also based around WCIV DVD footage. Here's AD with more details:

I thought I would try my hand at a music video. The principles aren't a lot different from what I am doing with my WC4 movie project, so I gave it a shot. Plus this gives me something to share while we wait for my movie project. By the way, I'm over halfway done the gameplay videos, although I would like to try something more complex for the final fights.

This music video as well uses the WC4 DVD as source and could sort of be described as Black Lance propaganda, but that isn't an accurate description. Its a 3 1/4 minute video and I have provided it in high res divx (50MB) or a lower res Windows Media file (7.9MB).

If for some reason the above links don't work for you, the files are also available on our ftp by replacing "http://download" in the above links with "ftp://ftp".

No Guts, No Glory

If you grew up in the eighties you may remember a cartoon called Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. Truly, this show had it all: bionic cowboys with special powers, space ships, a mountain base and mechanical, talking horses. Some of the enemy ship designs look a little Kilrathi:

The show ran for 65 episodes in 1986 and the first DVDs are out now.

Wing Commander 4 Music Video Released

TomGaines took Hades' challenge on Monday and has created his own Wing Commander themed music video. This one samples from the Wing Commander 4 DVD and "Song 2" by Blur. A lot of good action shots have been linked together for a great feature of Wing Commander space combat. This is the revised version after some feedback from Crius.net. You can grab the 10 megabyte video here.

Space Sim First Look: Space Empires V

Turn based strategy games make up a classic PC gaming genre that doesn't always get a lot of attention, so today we're going to take a brief look at the next chapter in the Space Empires series. The SE games began as shareware many years ago and have attracted a loyal following. Space Empires IV was known for its extreme depth and built in support for easy modding. Some basic Confed and Kilrathi shipsets were made for SEIV a few years ago. The series has not seen a normal retail distribution, so it's great to see that Space Empires V is continuing on track and looking good. Other similar games have fallen to the wayside over the years as their developers ran out of money and couldn't find publishers.

Space Empires V features the usual host of detailed options available in 4X games. New ship technologies can be brought together to build a variety of ships as space is explored and conquered. There is a detailed planet interface with options for diplomacy and research. Multiplayer can be hosted over the internet, turns can be mailed back and forth or an automated web interface can conduct games. The last installment in the game supported 16 player galactic battles, but the SEV may do away with that limitation.

The first Space Empires game was created by Aaron Hall in 1993 as a pet project based on his love for other space strategy games such as Star Fleet Battles, Master Of Orion, Starfire, and Wing Commander...
Their fan community has become quite excited with the recent beta lottery that was just concluded. Space Empires V is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Prophecy Advance Blowout Sale At EB

The EB website is currently running a clearance sale on Prophecy Advance. The excellent Gameboy port of Wing Commander Prophecy is availably for just $4.99. GameSpot Complete members get it for $4.49 and shipping starts at $1.99. You can see if copies are still in stock here.

The sale has been mentioned at CAG, so quantities may be extremely limited. If you visit and receive an "Out of Stock" error message, just return later and try again. New copies apparently reappear periodically. If you can't get the EB sale to work and still want a cheap copy, Half.com has new copies starting under $9.

Classic Gaming Expo Dates Announced

The dates and venue for the Classic Gaming Expo 2005 have been announced. I've never been to the actual exposition, which is now in its eighth year, but I attended a sampling expo they conducted in Los Angeles last year. It was a tiny display compared to their full expo, but there were quite a lot of interesting things to see. It's pretty neat to see a whole aisle of different wood-paneled gaming consoles from 25 years ago. There were also classic Wing Commander products on display.
Thanks to the overwhelming response of our guests at CGE 2004, Classic Gaming Expo 2005 will return to the bay area, California on August 20th and 21st. The event will move closer to San Francisco and will be held in the convenient and exquisite Hyatt Regency in Burlingame.
I encourage Wing Commander fans in San Francisco to check it out and report back on the extent of the WC exhibition. If there isn't a notable presence, it'd be nice if someone set something up in the future. Team Fat performed at the CGE in 2003. Early registration for the event is $20.

WC3 Themed Music Video Released

It's the sort of thing that I'm surprised people don't create more often, but Plywood Fiend has created a WC music video featuring footage from WC3 extracted using HCl's movie player with Tourniquet by Evanescence for the video's music. It's slightly fuzzy due to the low resolution of the original videos, but that aside it's an interesting piece. You can download the 6 meg file here. If you're interested in movie videos, the only similar work that I've been able to find was released almost exactly two years ago here. Perhaps this will inspire people to make more.

First Confirmed Pictures Of Extrasolar Planet

A team of European astronomers has released what they have confirmed to be the first photograph of an extrasolar planet. A possible candidate was announced last year, but questions about its contents linger to today. The new image appears to have been substantiated as the real thing however. The smaller orange blob in the picture below orbits GQ Lupi about three times the distance that Neptune orbits our sun. Space.com has a full writeup on the story here.

It's Not A Load of Barracks

Cyberion has recently updated his Work In Progress page with this 3D reproduction of the Tiger's Claw barracks. It's missing a lot of the filth of the original Claw barracks, and I'm not just referring to the posters of scantily clad women, but remember that it's still classed as work in progress so that'll probably change. Here is Cyberion's picture next to a picture of the original for comparison purposes.

A Real Poll

Hopefully you weren't alarmed by our old poll. We asked you what other game you'd like to see on wcnews.com. It was only an April Fools joke of course; we've already decided that we're going to cover Nintendogs for the Nintendo DS.

We had to make fun of Freespace on April Fools, so here are the results of last month's multiplayer poll:

We were surprised at how many people were fond of Armada. Appreciation of the WCCCG seems very low, so we'll have to work on that in the future. Our new poll ties in with yesterday's traffic update. With 78,255 hits to the front page and over a million pages served, March 2005 was our busiest month ever. So this time we're asking if you're visiting the site more frequently now or if you've only started visiting in recent months. Previous polls can be found in the archive.

Wing Commander Fans More Active Than Ever

Here's another item that's not an April joke. The traffic numbers for March are in, and last month was the busiest month in CIC history! While traffic declined for a while after the release of Secret Ops in September 1998, our community has grown steadily for several years now. The recent exciting Wing Commander mods have attracted so much attention that I can barely imagine how many people would show up for a new game. But for now, we're incredibly happy that so many people are coming back to enjoy the old games and learn about the many Wing Commander products they might have missed over the years.

Website Plotting Anti-EA Activities

GamersAgainstEAGames.com has set up shop on the internet to educate the world about Electronic Arts' shady practices in the games industry. They are attempting to document various acquisitions, licensing deals and corporate decisions to illustrate a negative trend. This mission also apparently includes trying to get advertisers, affiliates and sponsors to generate a little cash on the side (to not buy EA games with).
What are we looking for in a game that we buy. Great graphics, good story line, Runs smooth, Good tech support, Fair price, Among many of the other things. If you agree with the above small list then our advice for you is to stay away from EA games.

Past history shows EA has dropped support on there games faster then any other company out there. Past history also shows the games are released before they are ready to be released which means games full of bugs that customers become beta testers instead of game owners.

With cold hard evidence like that, can the $3 billion behemoth hold its ground? If that's not enough, they're currently trying to hold a contest for its members to create anti-EA screensavers.

Oh man, the calendar says it's not April Fools' Day anymore. These guys are for real.

CIC Browser Enhancement Patch Ready

A lot of people have asked us whether newer space sims help the community grow or if true Wing Commander fans just want a new Wing Commander title. In order to make avoiding non-Wing Commander games easier, the CIC is unveiling its first Browser Enhancement Patch. With our upgrade in place, Google searches for terms such as "Freespace," "Starlancer" and more will actually request results for "Wing Commander." Fan sites for those series will be blocked and redirected to popular WC websites. We've decided to leave blocking of other games, such as Madden, Halo and GTA, as a user configured option. By the time you've finished reading this, the patch installation should be complete. FireFox users may have to download the patch manually here.

Wing Commander And More

Today we're going to begin polling suggestions for a new game to cover in addition to our Wing Commander news. Apparently the new cool thing for community hubs to do is introduce something called "Dual Coverage." After the recent revelation that Starlancer fans really love Dungeon Siege II and Freespace fans are nuts about Heroes of Might and Magic V, we've decided to let our viewers decide what new game will get second billing on our news page.

Our old poll has run its course. I was surprised at how many people were fond of Alpha 2. I had thought very few people felt connected to him or her. Appreciation of the main character, Alpha 1, seems to be relatively low however.

Akkbar Cereal Recalled

The ill fated "Apple Jack Ass" cereal featuring the likeness of Dan "Akkbar" Hardwicke has been recalled. Despite having zero nutritional value, Beto Foodcorp executives were counting on this horrible cereal for a profitable fiscal year-end. Its product launch this week was a nightmare as the vomit-inducing wafers terrified children across the nation. Consumers have been directed to destroy all boxes of the hazardous material and visit Beto's website for a full refund.

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