Play Whole Kilrathi Saga From One Disc

Are you fed up with having to change CDs in order to install and play the Kilrathi Saga? Forums member Mash has just the solution for you: copy everything on to one DVD. You can even have it automatically install the WC1/2 expansions. There is a touch of tweaking to do in order to get this working, but it's nothing that the average user can't handle. Simply copy all of the files and folders from the CDs to a temporary directory, rename the files as instructed, edit a single file, then copy the whole lot to disc. For full instructions read this post and this post.

Clive Owen Shoots 'Em Up

Rick Salemi reports that Privateer 2 star Clive Owen is starring in a movie called "Shoot 'Em Up" which is due for release later this year. While it has what is possibly one of the most terrible titles ever, the movie's plot is described as "A man named Mr. Smith (Owen) delivers a woman's baby during a shootout, and is then called upon to protect the newborn from the army of gunmen." We'll keep an eye on this one and see how well it performs.

Any Network Executives In The House?

AD noticed that 20th Century Fox maintains a neat website about the Wing Commander Movie in its online catalog for television distribution rights. It's accessible by searching for Wing Commander at FoxNow here. The resulting page includes synopsis information, updated cast biographies and miscellaneous credits for the film. HBO and CineMax purchased the movie for numerous standard and high definition television broadcasts all throughout last year, but Fox is looking for a new distributor in 2007. The FoxStore has also lowered the price of Wing Commander on DVD to $7.98.
In the mid-27th century, the Terran Confederation is at combat with the Kilrathi Empire. After destroying a Terran base, the Kilrathi have seized a NAVCOM unit that can coordinate hyperspace to Earth. They've stolen the Pegasus Navicom A.I. device that enables them to "jump" behind enemy lines and destroy the Earth part of the universe. Freddie Prinze Jr. stars as Blair, a specially gifted "Pilgrim." Matthew Lillard plays Maniac. With Terran reinforcements planned to arrive two hours after the Kilrathi strike Earth, it falls upon the star fighter carrier TCS Tiger Claw to keep the Kilrathi distracted.

Based on the best selling video game, WING COMMANDER is a science fiction-war movie spectacle.

Get Wing Commmander Cheap

FoxStore's $7.98 is a good deal, but akula65 reminded us that Amazon.com is currently having a $4.97 sale. Amazon Prime members and people buying six copies can even get free shipping! This is one of the best prices we've ever seen on new copies of the Wing Commander Movie on DVD, so act quickly if you don't own it yet. For collectors and Wingnuts in Europe, Franz29 let us know about Play.com's sale. They are listing the recently released Region 2 Wing Commander DVD for £4.99 delivered.

Cover All Your Bases

Chris Knudsen has published more screenshots from his amazing Privateer: ASCII Sector project! He writes: "It's an agricultural base, hence the yellow fields of grain. The green dot is the player. The other dots are randomly generated characters." The second screenshot is the inside of the Merchant's Guild -- it makes one nostalgic for Islands of Danger!


Join The Action Extreme Team

Eager Wing Commander fans have already grabbed more than two terabytes of files from the CIC so far this year, but we have more bandwidth to use up before the month is out. One of the most popular downloads continues to be the Wing Commander Academy television series. Despite all the updates we've written about the series, we continue to find people who've never seen it before. Fans who are completely new to the show might want to check out this update for tips on which order to view the episodes. Our Academy section also includes character bios, production slides and information on the shows' writers.

Clear Flight Deck For Combat Launching Sequence

Klavs81 has returned with a breathtaking shot of the TCS Tarawa flight deck. His familiar Rapier, Ferret and Sabre fighters are back, and this scene shows them in the middle of action-packed flight ops aboard a cramped Light Escort Carrier. The individual craft and flight deck have been newly rendered, and the detailed effects were carefully added to the image in Photoshop.

The Sims: Your Favorite

Our new poll asks which simulator in Wing Commander was your favorite. What's the best way to train for upcoming battles with pirates, Kilrathi or Nephilim without risking your life in the process? The classic TrainSim aboard the Tiger's Claw was the very first cockpit that a generation of pilots saw in 1990, but the Academy CyberSchool's holographic simulator is the most flexible simulation around. Wing Commander 3 and Prophecy's sims provide pilots with elaborate mission objectives to complete, while Academy Training in the Wing Commander card game also gave pilots the nerves to ignore Kilrathi taunts. Not all practice goes as planned however. Wing Commander 4 and the Academy TV show showed us that simulated combat in outer space could lead to a few surprises.

Our traditional January 1st poll asks Wingnuts to think about what they expect in the year ahead. Although not everyone is as optimistic as we are, the percentage of fans with a positive outlook has doubled in the last couple years. New releases like Wing Commander on the PSP, the Homeworld WC4 mod and WC Saga's Prologue shocked a lot of fans, and we're confident that even bigger and better things will arrive this year.

Das Erwachen Stille Cover Released

Deacan continues to make progress on his next fan novel, and he's just released the cover art for it. The colors for his Das Erwachen series will be blue, red and green to match the Privateer 2 disc included with the original German release. The colors actually varied considerably depending on the region they were released and the version of the game. Below you can compare the brown, blue and maroon of a US P2 Deluxe and the orange, red and blue of a US P2 DOS version. Deacan is still looking for help translating portions of the book from German to English to share the story with more fans.

Something Old, Something New

Ed was looking around at old experimental fighters and found one design that looked familiar. He had come across a 1950s VTOL jet with special rotating pods on the wings. If the physical similarities weren't enough to consider it the inspiration for the Vampire, both share the same numerical designation. The original was known as the Bell XF-109, and the Wing Commander variants are the F-109A and F-109S.

Kilrathi Kamekh On The Prowl

I always liked the Kamekh. After all the torpedo bombing missions in Wing Commander 2, it was nice to be able and chew through a big ship's phase shields with regular guns and missiles. The modest capship also appeared in Academy, Privateer and Freedom Flight. Marc took this classic Kilrathi corvette out for a spin to update the textures, and the results look pretty sharp to me.

Paladin signaled him with a thumbs-up, and the cargo bay door slid open silently a moment later. Hunter shoved the throttle and was out of the hold a moment later, pulling back to spin up and over the bulk of the freighter, turning back toward the station and the five Jalthi fighters that were pursuing them. Far beyond the station, he could see three Kilrathi Kamekh corvettes and a huge cruiser slowly starting in their direction. We'd better be out of here before they're in range, Hunter thought.

DC Guest List Updated

The 2007 DragonCon guest list got its first big boost this month with the addition of Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes and Roberto Picardo from Star Trek. In addition to friendly folks (with Wing Commander credits) like Margaret Weis and Bill Fawcett, this year's list of celebrity attendees is off to a decent start. Four-day convention passes are $50 until February 15, so order soon if you plan to attend. You can check out what the CIC staff and friends did at DC2006 in last year's gallery here.

TacOps Rules Revised

Ironduke has updated the manual to his Wing Commander board game with feedback that playtesters have provided over the last week. Some weapon and speed adjustments have been made, and the document's font has been adjusted so that it is more legible. The individual ship stat cards (pictured below) are no longer in the rule book and will be made available separately with other counters and markers later. You can download the TacOps manual update here and discuss the game at Crius.net. Use the downloadable directions with this test board to play around and experiment.

Edit: Download additional stat cards and the Kilrathi Escort Pack!

New Year, New EA Replay Reviews

Reviews for EA Replay continue to surface two months after its release. The Gamers' Temple take on the game knocks off points because Wing Commander on the PSP was ported from the SNES version, but they make some odd comments about how the game worked on the Super Nintendo. As we've noted before, the PSP has similar controls, so adapting the well-established SNES interface makes sense. Wing Commander is one of three games (along with Mutant League Football and Syndicate) that at least get specific critiques however. Electric Playground only names three titles in the compilation, including Ultima and Wing Commander. The author there points out that allowing the player to invert controls would have been nice, but such options weren't included in the original. Both Gamers' Temple and Electric Playground give Replay a 6/10. Game Vortex has the most extensive review, and they give the pack a high 92% rating to match the time they spent thoroughly playing through the set. The author compliments Wing Commander's classic music and comprehensive control scheme.
Wing Commander's controls are tweaked quite a bit to give you a "easier" access to the many options and control the game gives you. Since the PSP has more buttons than the SNES, the developers mapped a few more of the more frequently used commands so that you don't have to go into the Advance Dialog screen quite as much. You use the D-Pad to turn or tilt your ship's nose and the shoulder buttons to accelerate or decelerate. Circle and X are used to fire your weapons and Triangle will let you cycle through your arsenal. There is a wide range of other controls you have available to you based on combinations of button presses, but since the game lets you have such minute control and gives you tons of options, the Advance Dialog screen is still available for controls the porters couldn't figure out button combos for.

Though not as retro as Capcom or Activision's collections, EA has put together a fairly solid collection of games that any long-time gamer will want to play if and when they get nostalgic. If you remember a time before the PlayStation, then EA Replay is a pretty good game to pick up.

Note that using the "advance dialog" screen in Wing Commander PSP isn't actually necessary to play. This menu only handles new features like mid-mission save games, adjusting the aspect ratio, reviewing the control layout or browsing art files.

Eloquent Pilots Wanted

Big established projects aren't the only ones that could use Wingnut voice actors. If you've got a microphone handy from Saga or Standoff's recent rounds of audio sampling, WingFan could use your help. He's looking for someone with a Wing Commander-sounding voice to narrate the intro of his upcoming fan fiction project. The person who turns in the winning submission will have the opportunity to choose the main character's name and gender. A sample monologue script is available here for prospective speakers. You can also read the prelude to his actual story, "Eternal Vigilance," at Crius.net.
Eternal Vigilance is my adaptation of what I think should have happened a month before and 5 years after Wing Commander IV. This is in no way ‘canon’ as most fan ficts aren't… So, a few of the things we know in the Wing Commander series may change. View this as an alternate reality if you will… I'm just trying to see how this idea would play out. Everyone who reads: I appreciate any feedback!

I really would like submissions as my voice acting leaves much to be desired. I only decided to do the recording myself 'cause I wanted to see what the intro would sound like spoken, but there are probably other fans that could do a much better job than I did.

Ultima Online Town Halls Starting Up Again

Electronic Arts and EA Mythic are rededicating themselves to Origin's Ultima Online through a new series of Town Halls. Nine events have been announced so far for 2007, beginning with one in Atlanta this weekend. Check out the schedule for additional dates and times. These free conventions allow players to meet each other, interact with developers and get a look at what's coming in the future. Members of the CIC staff have been attending these events since 2000 to let EA know that Origin's other franchises continue to have considerable support and active online communities.
EA Mythic invites all players to join us at the Town Hall Events for Free! Join us for a chance to meet fellow players and the development team, get a sneak peak at new game features and have a ton of fun with contests, games, raffles and more. Check out the map to see when we are coming to a town near you.
EA is also prepping a fancy upgrade to UO, Kingdom Reborn, for release later this year.

Bengal Model Gets An Escort

Kiyara's Tiger's Claw now has a small fleet to interact with. A Light Carrier, Drayman, Clydesdale, Shiraak and Exeter are visible in the flotilla below. The large ships are about 15 centimeters in length, and the smallest is currently the Drayman at 4 cm. Each design began as a 3D model before a casting machine turned the CAD file into a physical ship. Kiyara has been very receptive to feedback to help make the vessels more accurate, and you can head over to Crius.net to post additional comments.

Standoff Episode 4 Fights Development Hurdles

We continue to get questions about Standoff's next episode, so here's a brief status update from Quarto.
It's definitely too early to tell when it'll be released, but things are looking up. I don't want to promise anything, but I am hoping that in a month or two, the progress chart for episode 4 will be mainly green, with isolated bits of yellow and no red at all.

This depends on a lot of external factors - for one thing, as far as the voiceovers are concerned it's now all up to the actors, who have to record them and send them in. Even if most of the actors do so, it still probably won't be enough to take the voiceovers status up to green, because most of the voiceover work is concentrated in the hands... well, throats of just two or three actors. And of course, our own spare time is always a critical factor.

All in all, we're actually making good progress at the moment. I would even say there's a good chance you'll see episode 4 released during the first half of this year (though it would definitely be closer to the end of this half than its beginning)...

Steltek It Away, Boys

Here's one for the history books. The original Privateer features a spectacular opening cinematic... but the ending, in which the Steltek Drone tows away the Delta Prime derelict, has left many players underwhelmed. There's a good reason: a longer cutscene was removed to save memory, as the game initially shipped on 3.5" diskettes. It's unknown whether or not the original scene was ever animated, but the subtitles do appear hidden within the finished version of the game... and here they are!
BROWNHAIR: Rest in pieces, you bastard.

Meanwhile...sector Delta Prime.
Aboard the Steltek Scout, an officer notifies his captain of the drone's destruction.

OFFICER: Vessel recovered. Drone no longer.
CAPTAIN: To be good. However, weapons still in alien control. Wise?
OFFICER: No. Choice none. Damage acceptable. How much can single Privateer do?

EA Arcade in the News

Electronic Arts' recent announcement of Boom Boom Rocket for the X-Box Live Arcade has been followed by a whirlwind set of press interviews. The latest comes from Gamasutra, where Chip Lange answered questions about both the new game and EA's future prospects. Who knows, Wing Commander Arcade could be just around the corner.
GS: Can you tell us a bit about Electronic Arts' position with Xbox Live Arcade going forward?

CB: We're excited about the market potential that Arcade brings. It's a fun new category for us to publish games on. Electronic Arts publishes games on every meaningful interactive platform on the planet that makes financial sense. You've seen our recent releases - we've even been putting some games out on the iPod lately.

Obviously the Xbox Live Arcade is a place where there's a lot of personal passion at EA, there's a lot of us that are trying to beat each others' high scores at Geometry Wars or what have you, so there's a lot of personal interest in the business. What you're seeing now is that the business case is justifying the development, so I'd say EA is an enthusiastic participant in the platform.

Ascii Sector Nav Map Complete

Chris Knudsen has posted a few more shots from Privateer Ascii Sector. He's completed work on the nav computer, and like the rest of the game, it looks and functions remarkably similar to the original design. Weapons programming is also complete. Missiles and torpedoes work about the same as they did in Privateer, but the Friend or Foe projectile will take over for the Image Recognition missile.

I haven't decided on how to do the autopilot, yet. I'm leaning towards just showing the progress on the system map (i.e. the white dot representing your ship will move towards your destination), but I'm not sure... Any suggestions?

Check Out Pioneer's Pyrotechnics

It's been a while since our last WC Pioneer update, so here's a few shots of the explosion effects that Howard has been working on. Things like this are best seen in motion, so click the links below to see several different explosions that will be featured in the project.

Since the time's been limited, I've worked on easier stuff, namely, explosions. I know I've spent a lot of time on these in the past, but I was still not satisfied with the way they looked. They just didn't have a feeling of scale. They just seemed...weak. Anyhow, I'm much happier with them now.

Holding The Line Chapter 214

Wing Commander's longest running fan fiction experience marches on, with another chapter of Holding the Line already available! Here's Raptor's introduction:
HTL continues with a new story called Check And Mate II, jointly written by Joe "Wraith" Guida and myself. As you may recall, in the original Check And Mate, the TCS Yorktown detected the two surviving Nephilim carriers coming in from Ymir. The carriers along with their escorts, were making a break for the inner system, the region around Avernus system.

This region, of course, is where the reserve forces from Taskforces Alpha and Bravo are operating. If the Nephilim carriers break through, the reserves and the refugees around Avernus will find themselves sandwiched between the Nephilim coming in from Loki and those pushing in from Ymir. In order to prevent that, the Yorktown will be working with Battlegroup Valkyrie. The carrier forces will be supporting each other and providing tanker support and landing for each others' fighters.

The first mission for the joint effort in Check And Mate was a strike by the Yorktown's craft, accompanied by a pair of observers from the Valeria's Reaper Squadron. The strike was designed to thin out the carriers' escorts and slow the Nephilim down by crippling one of the carriers. This chapter picks up straight afterwards. Please send any and all comments to myself or to Joe at captpowell1 at yahoo.com.

Read the new chapter here.

Help Tell the Saga

Are you enjoying the Wing Commander Saga prologue? Good -- but now it's time to do your part! The Saga team is looking for artists, mission designers, voice actors and modelers to help make their next release even better!
Candidates have to be able to work well with other people and be able to keep a secret. Here is your chance to prove to the rest of the world that the Wing Commander Community is still more than alive. You can post here, or send Tolwyn an email, it is up to you. Tell us your qualifications and why we should take you on. If possible we would appreciate it if you can show us a sample of your work.
The main Saga release is still a ways off -- so this is an excellent chance to have a major impact on the final project. Releases like Saga and Standoff truly are one of the best ways for Wing Commander fans to show their devotion to the universe.

TacOps Hex Game Manual Released

Ironduke has released a preliminary rule book for the Wing Commander board game he's working on. It's complete enough for fans to proofread, and Duke would like a few people to begin playtesting using a Flash-based test mission as the setting. User friendly tools for printing out and playing at home will be developed if there is enough interest. A quick reference guide to the ships in the game is also available online. You can download the manual here (zipped PDF), and head on over to Crius.net with your feedback.

That's Not A Kilrathi...

But this giant lion hugging its caretaker looks pretty neat.

Ana Julia Torres, who runs the Villa Lorena animal shelter in Cali, fed and nursed Jupiter the African lion back to health years ago after it was found abused and emaciated in a traveling circus.

"It is amazing to see an animal like that be so sweet and affectionate," said Torres. "This hug is the most sincere one that I have received in my life."

EA Replay Getting Closer In Europe

The dates for the European release of EA Replay appears to be firming up. Electronic Arts' European press site and Amazon.co.uk have synchronized with a February 23, 2007 ship date. The advertised price is still £29.99, almost triple the North American price. Amazon.de, on the other hand, is currently listing a substantially cheaper EUR 19,95 figure, so there's still hope for British WC fans. The German shipping date is noted as February 22, as is the French release, although the advertised price in France is EUR 8,75 higher. Despite these minor differences, all indications at this time suggest that Wingnuts in Europe will be playing Wing Commander on their PSPs in just over a month.

  • Wing Commander™—Lead your elite Tiger’s Claw squadron against the forces of the Kilrathi Empire.
  • Wing Commander™: Secret Missions—Come face to face with the ultimate threat to mankind—a weapon capable of destroying entire planets!

Multiplayer Crusader Expansion Surfaces

Goku reports that an unreleased portion of Origin's Crusader universe may yet see the light of day. The team at Echo Sector is working with one of the original programmers to recover a portion of Crusader No Survivors, a partially developed multiplayer expansion. Owners of the original No Remorse and No Regret will eventually be able to add online multiplayer via downloadable patch. It should allow four players to connect on modern computers. Some prep work on the game is expected to take a couple months to wrap up, but the script to the game's brief single player campaign should be released shortly. A level editor was also planned and is partially complete. The attached screenshot from the cancelled sequel, No Mercy, might give fans an idea what to expect. It's pretty neat that Origin stuff like this continues to fall out of the woodwork after more than ten years. Quite a few people are looking into uncovering artifacts like this, and there will be more exciting discoveries in the future.
The plot behind No Survivors is to explain the Silencer Training Simulator. The simulator is a virtual reality sim that the WEC uses for the training of its raw recruits to the Silencer Corp.

EA Enters Live Arcade Arena

Electronic Arts is entering another video game frontier: X-Box Live Arcade development. Live Arcade is a game download service available to X-Box 360 users. A variety of developers routinely release both classic and original games to the service for a minimal cost -- it wouldn't be at all surprising to see Wing Commander make an appearance in some form in the future. Their first title, however, is Boom Boom Rocket, a popular arcade game. Here's what they say:
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) today announced its launch onto Microsoft’s Xbox Live® Arcade with Boom Boom Rocket™. The game is a hypnotic rhythm music game conceived by EA’s Pogo.com™ casual games design team and developed by Bizarre Creations, the developer who brought Project Gotham Racing® 3 to the Xbox 360™, and fan-favorite Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved to Xbox Live Arcade. The game is scheduled to go live Spring 2007 and is EA’s first title on Xbox Live Arcade.

You can read the rest of the press release here. EA's online marketing vice president, Chip Lange, has been making the rounds and answering questions about their downloadable game strategy. Here are some interesting comments from GameDaily and GameSpot.

GameDaily BIZ spoke with Chip Lange, EA's Vice President of Online Commerce, who when asked why it took this long for EA to get on XBLA, simply responded, "Now feels like the right time. Across EA there's been a lot of internal excitement about Arcade and we're at a point where we can dedicate resources to building Arcade games. We're very excited to be entering this space.

Indeed, now that EA's on board XBLA, it seems that the company is quite excited about it. Other XBLA games (yet to be announced) are currently being developed, and they're not all from Pogo. "While Pogo, with their expertise in the casual game segment, were quick out of the gate with some great concepts, they certainly won't be the only studio involved," Lange explained. "We'd like to use Xbox Live Arcade as a new place for EA and our studios to innovate and surprise gamers, and that's a challenge that we're opening up throughout EA."

GS: Can we expect EA games to be appearing on the Wii's Virtual Console service and the PS3 PlayStation Store in the future?

CL: I think it's safe to assume that any platform that has a good, solid business center and a community around it will be supported. I think we develop products on more platforms than any other publisher in the world. I'm not announcing anything on the Virtual Console or the PS3, but certainly we evaluate all of that, and we've got the development capacity to get our content to any platform where it matters.

GS: On these platforms, are the plans just for new titles like Boom Boom Rocket, or will we start to see catalog titles from the SNES and Genesis era, maybe a mix?

CL: What you can assume is that we're looking at the whole landscape. One of the nice things about EA is we've got such a wonderful library of classic IP...

Extreme Desire For Wing Commander Sequel

Voodoo Extreme 3D is running a feature about the video game sequels they'd most love to see. It should come as no surprise that a new title in the Wing Commander franchise is high on their list. The site is also running a poll that asks which games their readers want the most. Games like Starcraft 2, Diablo 3 and a new Tie Fighter are in the lead, but Wing Commander is in a strong fifth place among such lofty competition. It's even got more votes than a new Half Life sequel or Ultima X. You can add your own vote here.
Wing Commander is another fabulous series left to rot in EA's house of gutted developers it's purchased over the years. Space-combat sims aren't in favor these days, but maybe they'll make a comeback someday.
Electronic Arts surprised Wing Commander fans with renewed support in 2006, so a comeback could come sooner than many expect.

Fleet Complete In P2 CCG

Deacon has announced that his team has completed integrating all the ships from Privateer 2 into his spinoff card game. After a smattering of Chirichan, Papogod and Kindred craft were added, the final design was the massive Krono. Planets and stations are up next on the schedule, and then the focus will turn to smaller planet-side establishments.

The Krono was the flagship of the Kindred. She was one of the largest and most heavily armored capital ships in the Tri-System. The Krono had a flight deck capable of carrying a complement of fighters and transports. She was commissioned - and named - specifically for The Kindred's crazed leader, Sar Ricaud (aka "Kronos"). Only one Krono-class ship was built. She was destroyed by the CIS in 2790, during a failed operation to assassinate Shiela Nabakov. Many have observed that the Krono-class bears a striking resemblance to the Nephilim Tiamat-class dreadnaughts which terrorized human space a hundred odd years earlier.

License to Thunderkill

Amazon has posted the title for the second book in Wing Commander alumni Peter Telep's "The Mercenaries" series: Thunderkill. The book, written under the pen name P.W. Storm, will be released on August 1st, 2007. These series tells the story of a group of mercenaries who become involved in modern day conflicts around the world. The first novel, Blood Diamonds, came out last November to positive reviews. You can read more about Mr. Telep's recent novels here.

Ascii Sector Gameplay Videos Released

Last week we reported on a 16-color, text-based version of Privateer, Ascii Sector. Now Chris Knudsen has recorded a few gameplay movies for us. These were made by pointing a video camera at the computer screen, so the quality suffers a bit, but they give you a good idea of what this unusual game engine is like. What do you think of the jump effect in the third clip? Let us know on the Forums!

Here I encounter another ship (a Talon, but that's pretty hard to see) and shoot at it until it explodes. As I haven't programmed the AI yet, the Talon doesn't move or anything.
Download (1.2 MB)

Here I pass by a planet. I can't land on it yet, as I haven't finished programming the bases (planets, asteroids and space stations).
Download (0.9 MB)

Here I jump to another system. The jump point at the other system is surrounded by asteroids, so I shoot at them a bit. Then finally fly into one too many and explode.
Download (1.4 MB)

Space Sim First Look: Tomorrow War: Factor K

akula65 noticed that 1C and Crioland have announced a sequel to Tomorrow War called Factor K. The story picks up shortly after the original left off and follows the popular science fiction novel series by Alexander Zoric. Interface enhancements and gameplay tweaks will be implemented along with various graphical improvements. New ships, locations and characters will be present, and a ship viewer will be included this time. One of the features that makes this series noteworthy is its seamless transitions from space to atmospheric flight. You can see some of the flying "fluggers" capable of this here. No release date has been announced, but an English version of the original is being prepared for a North American release this spring.

Saga Reminder

Released two weeks ago, the WC Saga prologue demo has been downloaded almost a thousand times from the CIC server alone. Wing Commander Saga joins Unknown Enemy, Standoff and Flight Commander as a major fan project to be released to the public. The standalone mod uses an updated version of the Freespace 2 engine and is available for Windows and Mac.

Inmates Running The Asylum?

Games Asylum has posted a review of the UK release of EA Replay. The word is overall negative, with the specific exceptions of Road Rash and (somehow) Haunting Featuring Polterguy. As did many British magazines in the 1990s, the reviewer seems to have a special scorn for Wing Commander:
Wing Commander and the Secret Mission expansion are okay for a while. A while being about ten minutes... As a package things don’t really stick together. The games load up quickly, but generally the presentation is poor; it’s like EA gave the project to a group of new graduates to knock out on the cheap. Fourteen games - or thirteen, if you remove the pointless Wing Commander expansion pack - is a paltry number...
These guys also managed to pan Prophecy Advance, back in 2003. In that light, it seems important to note that Secret Missions isn't actually an expansion pack -- it's the full-fledged SNES release of the game, and it features quite a bit of added material (including an introductory cutscene, new takeoff segments and two different endings). You can read the full review here.

The More (Pixels), The Merrier

Remember the preliminary renders made by Space Pirate last week? Well now he has made a few more based on his Centurion and Talon models - and this time they're wallpaper sized! Each image has been altered slightly, but the contrasting whites and blacks have returned and should bring a touch of class to any desktop.

Crusader Community Hub Gets Big Update

Goku has created a useful information database for his Crusader website, Echo Sector. He's been scrubbing documents and building entries since September, and the first batch of entries went online yesterday. The data is arranged on the left menu bar under the Articles heading. It's a great resource for Crusader (and Origin) fans who would like to learn more about equipment, factions, characters and more in the game's universe. The site's first fan fiction has also been posted, and their new logo is below. You can reach Echo Sector here.
Back in September, I went through every official document included with both Crusader games -- including strategy guides & those cool fiction documents (the Topline newsletters, Resistance handbook, etc.) to combine them all to make a perfect composite of all the information about things in the game, such as the weaponry, WEC forces, and Resistance members. There is still some stuff that needs to be added, but the Echo Sector info database has some great stuff in it.

Tiger's Claw Resin Cast Created

One of the newest members at the CIC Forums, Kiyara, has posted some neat pictures of his cool Wing Commander project. He has been working on creating 3D representations of Wing Commander and Starlancer ships that can be input into a Japanese hobby shop device for casting resin models. His first physical production is the Bengal Class Strike Carrier. The cost was around $45 to create the prototype. Kiyara would like to create additional designs and is entertaining the idea of taking a batch order. You can find some of the other ships under consideration at his website here or provide feedback at Crius.net.

Tabula Rasa Beta Sign-ups Begin

Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa is now accepting applications for a closed beta test. Fans who signed up for game information long ago were sent direct invitations early this week, and all players can sign up at the TR website now to be considered on the standby list. Although the game has gone through several painful metamorphoses since it was begun, in recent months Destination Games seems to have pulled things together and created a more cohesive game. It'll be interesting to see if they can recover from these development issues to create a competitive MMO title. You can apply for the beta test here. A 2.5 GHz processor and 128 meg video card are required. NCSoft recommends a 3.5 GHz processor and 2 gigs of RAM.

Tabula Rasa is a massively multiplayer online action game that takes you into the heat of battle at the frontlines of an epic war between a xenophobic alien race bent on galactic conquest and the coalition of rebel soldiers who’ve traveled across the galaxy to stop them.

Combining fast-paced action with the immersion of a role-playing game, Tabula Rasa takes the player on an intergalactic adventure where the individual has an opportunity to significantly impact the pace of battle on a global scale. Players enter the game as rebel soldiers wielding a variety of futuristic weapons, potent demolitions and the mystical power of “Logos.” It is up to each individual to use their stealth, ingenuity and skill to assist a ragtag coalition of rebels in their efforts to stop an enemy known for its intelligence and unyielding determination to enslave the Universe.

A Real Kick in the ASCII

Here's a story that seems unbelievable: Chris Knudsen has been developing a fan project called "Privateer: Ascii Sector"... a sixteen color, text-based take on Privateer! Here's what he says:
For the past 4 or 5 months I've been working in my spare time on an ascii game based on the classic Privateer (my absolute most favorite game!). I've got most parts of the actual flight engine worked out and am currently working on the bases and interaction with the characters in the game. Anyway, I'd like to post a few screenshots and get some feedback. As the entire game will be made up of ascii characters in 16 different colors (such as Adom, if anybody is familiar with that game), this game will mostly be for the retro-gamers out there.
Absolutely amazing! Here's what it looks like:

Replay, Re-rumors

Rumors of EA Replay 2 are making the rounds with the legitimate gaming press -- here's GameSpot and PSXExtreme articles on the rumor. There aren't any new details, but it's good to see that the rest of the world is as interested in what could be included in such a game. Is Replay 2 a real project? Well, here's an online resume for an Electronic Arts employee who lists the game as one of their credits. Only the big question remains -- will it include more Wing Commander?

Presenting The Coolest Present

Marc, the creator of our wonderful 2006 Christmas Tree, got an awesome gift of his own over the holidays. Ironduke wanted to show his appreciation for all the beautiful retextured ships that Marc's made available lately, so he used one of the designs to personalize a shirt. I love creative stuff like that. Duke (and his fiance) did a great job!

Open Source Media Player Gets WC Support

The FFmpeg project is an open source system being produced to play and record various video formats. Among other game related video formats such as those used by Westwood games, the program will also play back movie files as used by WC3, and possibly also WC4. It is a function performed very well already by HCl's movie player, but it's nice to see this kind of support from outside the WC community. If you'd like to try FFmpeg, the program will run on both Windows and Linux, you can download the source code from here. Unfortunately you'll need to compile it yourself.

New P2 CCG Fighters Ahoy

The cybernetic Chirichan Pirate Clan got a beefier arsenal today as Jacob Hudson completed fighter cards for his customizable card game. Two variants each of the yellow-accented Demon, Heron and Testmos are visible below. All of the Chirichan craft are pretty unique designs, so it's great to see some of the lesser known ships get more face time in a project like this.

NAME: Chirichan Pirate Clan
BACKGROUND: Colder than 10 minutes in a vacuum, faster than a Bex Monk when last orders are called, more terminal than a Taxi fare on Janis IV, this highly organised and calculating band of Cyborgs have one and only one purpose in life: find humans, kill them and steal their ship and/or possessions. After becoming rather irritated at having to do all the dirty work for humans, they opted to take the old Cyborg cliche of bloody revolt, and haven't looked back since. As one of them was heard to say recently over the sub-vacuum frequency, "We've never had it so good." Would you argue the point? Don't even think about messing with them.

Clan Logos Drawn Up Too

In addition to variety of fancy card designs, Jacob has also created icons for each of the factions in Privateer 2. They feature characteristic colors from each group and may be used to more clearly mark their cards in the future. Additional graphics were made for the different organizations created for Das Erwachen. You can see those here.

Kilrathi Durasteel Just Looks Great

We've got a couple of nice Kilrathi designs to get the week going. For starters, Marc's put a new spin on the self-sufficient Shiraak carrier. He's polished up the bronze Kilrathi armor plating and repainted the ship in a WC2-inspired scheme to blend into his favorite era. Marc's other recent project gives the carrier a home starbase too. A preliminary image of the large Kilrathi station is included below to show you a bit of how these things look before they're all decked out.

If I fool around with the Fralthra model and dish out some new engines real fast I can make a WC2 style Shiraak Carrier...

Battlestar Galactica Online Game Rumored

Early last week, the EB Games website started listing a Battlestar Galactica Online game for the Xbox 360 prompting excitement from Battlestar Galactica fans everywhere. The title has never been officially announced, and within a day the listing was removed. An official statement from the listed publisher Vivendi Universal stated that "EBGames has removed the information because it was not accurate. Vivendi Games has not announced a Battlestar Galactica game. We cannot comment any further as it is our policy to not comment on industry rumors." So neither a confirmation nor a denial.

It should be noted that EB Games has a history of listing unannounced titles then removing them - EA Replay 2 is one such title. Such listings are sometimes accurate but can often turn out to be completely made up. Battlestar Galactica was voted the show with the best WC vibe in our poll just two months ago, and in the following poll the Xbox 360 was voted the preferred non-PC platform for a new WC game, so if the game is real it could have a large following of WC fans.

Guess Who Loves Clive Owen

Clive Owen, star of Privateer 2, is one of the featured actors in Amazon's new Why we love... section. What do they say about him?
There are some actors whose body of work really catches our eye. The name may not ring a bell, but you'll know the face. And after you say, "Oh, I knew he/she looked familiar!" you'll thank us for bringing them to your attention.

Why We Love Clive Owen

Because he fits the definition of a classically trained British actor, but has a dangerous edge. Because he always holds his own in the most crowded of star vehicles. And because he's devilishly handsome besides. Owen was one of the hottest names to take over the role of Bond (ultimately filled by Daniel Craig), but he's become a major star, even without a license to kill. --David Horiuchi


You can stock up on Clive Owen DVDs here.

Saga Seeks Voice Talent

The Wing Commander Saga team is in need of some extra voice actors. If you own a decent microphone and this sounds like something you'd like to be a part of, then you should get in touch with Tolwyn here.
With the Prologue campaign finished, we're need more voices to round out our voice talent. Previous voice work for another mod is preferred, but not required. Candidates should be serious and be able to sound like someone in their 20s. Openings are for miscellaneous ships and roles, with a strong emphasis on Confed fighter pilots.

We're also auditioning for a few major roles in the campaign, candidates must sound like an older person in their 30s to 50s

To become a candidate for this process, reply to this thread to officially let us know and then PM or email to Tolwyn@gmxpro.net for more information.

Then try your luck on these 26 lines. Voice recording should be done in 44 khz mono. I shouldn't say this, but you guys need your own microphone. Please make sure to eliminate breathing into microphone sounds.

You are free to say your interpretation of the theme as long as it doesn't deviate too far.

1) "All fighters are destroyed, area is secure"
2) "Enemy fighters have arrived"
(continued here)

The guys with the best "comm voices" gets the fighter pilot roles, but there is a strong chance that the people not selected for this role will be delegated for other roles as well, they are as equally important.

New Comic Cover Leads The Way

NinjaLA has been practicing his Wing Commander sketches quite a bit lately, and now he's ready to explore a larger project. The image below is the cover for a comic idea that's going around lately. Both original ink and colorized versions are available to reveal a bit about the artistic process. Believe it or not, NinjaLA actually came up with this idea and drew it all out without having ever seen the Kilrathi Saga box before. Very impressive!

Partly nostalgia for my favorite game franchise, and partly due to excitement caused by the new availability of Privateer and Wing Commander 1, I decided it was high time that there was a Wing Commander comic as well. It is my hope that it will aid in convincing EA that there is a very healthy and vibrant community and fanbase still around, patiently waiting for a new Wing Commander title. This is a teaser that will probably be the cover of the first issue. It features three of the characters from Major Striker's comic idea from a few years ago: 2nd Leutenant Thomas Halcyon on the left, Captain Sarah Molynieux in the middle and 1st Lieutenant Jonathan "Shadow" Craft, as well as a very important Kilrathi yet to be disclosed.

PC Gamer On Wing Commander

Goku tipped us off about a Wing Commander discussion in the latest PC Gamer Webcast. In Episode 65, the PCG editors discuss the continued enthusiasm of the Wing Commander community and recent goings-on such as the WC Saga release. They're off on a couple facts (Saga is not a remake of a WC game) and aren't up on the status of the series (Electronic Arts has owned the franchise since 1992), but they're pretty excited that the fans continue to keep things going. Goku cut out the six minutes on Wing Commander and converted it to mp3 format. You can check it out for yourself here (1.5 megs). The entire audio recording is available at the PCGP site.
"It's fantastic that this kind of stuff is out there and I love the fact that the PC gaming world has these communities that will keep this stuff alive... I'd love to see Wing Commander come back as a multi-billion dollar mega-game... The real hope for these homebrew ports is that they send a message to the publishers that there's still a lot of fan interest in these games."

"I'd be surprised if whoever owns the IP is not aware of this."

Classic Battle Brewing

Space Pirate was inspired by all the pretty fan art that Wingnuts produce, so he's begun a new animation based around some of his favorite ships. The contrasting whites and blacks of his preliminary renders already look pretty classy. These models are just the first step on the way to a battle scene that he's planned out. My money's on the Centurion.

Amazon Founder Unveils Spacecraft

The founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, has unveiled the first results from his new company's attempts to reach space. Bezos' company Blue Origin posted a video from a test launch of their development vehicle "Goddard". Starting from a launchpad, the craft managed an altitude of 285 feet before beginning its descent back to the ground. That's a little far away from reaching orbit, but it's a start. The project aims to eventually offer commercial flights to low Earth orbit, no doubt offering the flights for sale on Amazon. The full press release along with more photos and a video of the launch can be found here.

Embryonic Hatches

1Up reports that Traveller's Tales, the company responsible for Lego Star Wars, has purchased Embryonic Studios. Embryonic Studios is a UK development house started by several Wing Commander veterans -- including Erin Roberts and Paul Hughes. Here's to hoping this deal is exactly what they were hoping for! You can read the entire article here -- it does mention Wing Commander:
Embryonic is a name that has been around for quite some time now, though they've alternatively been known as Warthog and Digital Anvil over the years. Probably the best known game would be the old-school spacefarin' classics Wing Commander: Privateer and its lesser-know sequel, Freelancer.

Remember Pearl Harbor

Online retailers have posted the back copy description of Wing Commander novelist Dr. William Forstchen's next book, Pearl Harbor. The story, co-written with Newt Gingrich, is the first in a series of alternative history novels of the Second World War -- a subject the authors had previously attempted with the critically panned 1945. It is set for a May 15th release, and will probably be accompanied by a high-profile book signing tour. It's worth noting that one of Forstchen's Wing Commander novels, Action Stations, is an allegory for the real world history of Pearl Harbor -- it will be very interesting to compare the two books.
After their New York Times bestselling series on the American Civil War, Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen now turn to the events leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and examine how different decisions might have profoundly changed the history that was yet to unfold. Pearl Harbor departs from conventional WWII novels—it focuses on the Japanese perceptions and decision-making that led them to seek a conflict with America, and offers an unprecedented look into their war strategy.

Poignant and rich with memorable characters—from the Japanese Naval Academy, to the British garrison at Singapore, and the Americans at Bataan— Pearl Harbor is the account of the day that started it all. Layering the historical fact with fictional characters, political motives, and Western/Eastern theories, Gingrich and Forstchen once again prove their strength as historians and storytellers.

Saga Prologue Released For Mac

A new Macintosh build of the WC Saga Prologue demo has been released. It requires the 10.4 operating system, though high end specs shouldn't be necessary. The 274 meg .dmg file contains everything you need and is available from our server here. Windows users can also grab the game from our mirror here.

If you experience any problems, please notify us immediately. I hope all of you enjoy Prologue as much as I do, and I hope all of you stick around for "The Darkest Dawn". It's going to be a wild ride.

Ser Arris Wins IMDB Survey

Yesterday's IMDB poll asked a simple question: Daniel Craig or Clive Owen? The poll didn't stay around long enough for many of us to vote, but everyone's favorite Privateer 2 hero came out on top. Although Craig's currently flying high with the success of Casino Royale, both of Owen's films this year were very well received. Children of Men made it to US theaters last week, and Inside Man is now available on DVD.

New Ships Commissioned In Homeworld Engine

Aaron posted a new batch of WC4 Homeworld 2 mod shots today to start the year off with renewed momentum. Pictured below are modified frigates and jamming transports that Black Lance players will have access to in the game. The next items on Aaron's plate are the Axius Starbase and flashpak device. Head on over to Crius.net to help provide feedback.

Hi everyone, Happy New Year! I only just got back from vacation a few hours ago and fired up the machine and perhaps found the best present I received this year waiting for me on the CIC front page. Thank you to all who voted for the mod as the fan project of the year. It's been amazing fun for me to put this together, and it's been the fans' support and interest that has made me work at this mod with such continuous enthusiasm. Thanks to all who have helped in the growth and development of the mod to date. Thanks to all CIC staff for making this site the WC playground that it is and allowing us to enjoy Wing Commander in new and truely unique ways.

Ranger's Glory Wins FC Mod Contest

The winner for Flight Commander Mod of the Year was announced yesterday, and Ranger's Glory took the honor in 2006! A number of projects were active in 2006, but RG came in as the clear winner. Iceblade's last major release came out around Christmas 2005, but he has been working on a new update which should be ready soon.
Now about what the release will be this year. Well, I won't give it away, but I will tell you that this year's package holds more than just resources for other FC modders. We are still looking for voiceover actors and actresses, plenty of roles left. Ranger's Glory also needs a new 3d animator, so if you are interested, post in the jobs forum on the RG boards.

Happy New Year!

Last year has come and gone, so it's time for fans to make another prediction about the year ahead. With all the fan project releases, breakthrough patches, new discoveries and even an official Wing Commander rerelease, 2006 was an incredible year. 2007 has the potential to be even better. What do you think? You can vote above or click the discuss link below and talk about your predictions.

Our last poll took a sampling of various popular Wing Commander ports and asked which one you'd like to see in a sequel to EA Replay. A rerelease of Wing Commander 4 with high quality video took the top slot, but the version of Privateer with full speech and the jazzed up 3DO port of Wing Commander 3 were close behind. A good number of people would still like the SNES version of Wing Commander 2 to see the light of day as well.

Congratulations Contest Winners!

Now that 2006 is over, another annual CIC contest has come to an end. We've tabulated the votes and determined the winners for Web Site & Fan Project of the Year. The final tallies were even closer than usual, which means that a number of projects all contributed to the community in a big way. Although only a few can win, we appreciate all the people who were active over the past year and helped entertain thousands of Wing Commander fans with their creations. Good luck in 2007!
The Web Site of the Year winner is.. HCl's Wing Commander Editing Site! Over the last year, HCl added multiplayer and integrated high res videos to Prophecy. He also improved the patch he made that lets players take Armada online and assisted with fan projects such as Standoff.

The runner up for Wing Commander Web Site of the Year is.. Wedge's Wing Commander! Both of this year's winners tied for third place in 2005, but fans used Wedge's resource site more than ever in 2006. His streamlined site is packed with useful information and provides quick links for further research.

The winner for Fan Project of the Year is.. the WC4 Homeworld 2 Mod! Aaron Thomas put together this project at breakneck speed with beautiful results. Fans lined up to download a surprisingly complete test release only a few months after the project was first announced.

The runner up for Fan Project of the Year is.. the Das Erwachen (The Awakening) Fan Novel/CCG! Deacan, Hudson and team worked hard in 2006 to share his full-length Privateer 2-inspired story with the world. They are also hard at work on a customizable card game based on the universe created in his novel. Fans of Book 1 have a big year to look forward to: Book 2 - Stille (Silence) is being edited now and due for printing in the next few months!

Although we only do this once a year, everybody has an opportunity to contribute something each day. Thanks again to all of the many fans who worked hard to make 2006 such a great year.

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