Got Any Brilliance?

In honor of April 20th, here's a quick rundown on some of the recreational drugs of the Wing Commander universe! Blaze up some Arakh Leaves or swallow an Elysium capsule and let's get started...

Brilliance

Brilliance is probably the Wing Commander universe's signature drugs. Introduced in Privateer as a commodity available only at pirate bases, Brilliance is frequently namechecked as 'the' narcotic of the 29th century. Unit cost averages about 200 credits each. Most famously, Privateer features three missions in which the player is asked to run Brilliance from Oakham pirate base for Tayla; if you refuse, the game is over and you can never earn the Steltek gun. As hard as it is to imagine today, this upset a number of fans in 1993 who were not happy to be made to play a 'drug smuggler!' To address the feedback, Origin left a second set of Brilliance runs in Righteous Fire as optional missions.

Ultimate

Ultimate is Brilliance's much harder cousin (and likely named after Wing Commander's famous sister series of CRPGs.) Like Brilliance, Ultimate is available only at pirate bases... but at a much higher cost, averaging around 1,000 credits per unit. It does not appear in any of the scripted missions. Militia and Confederation patrols that scan Ultimate aboard your ship will attack on sight.

Tobacco

Welcome back to one of the oldest Wing Commander message board topics: smoking in WC is illegal?! The answer is yes, tobacco is considered contraband in Privateer and Confederation Broadswords will happily sink your Orion for transporting it... but it's also claerly smoked in cigar form in mixed company by Hunter in both the original Wing Commander and various novels. Perhaps a case where only transporting it is considered a felony?

Warp Steroids

The premiere drug of the Tri-System, Warp Steroids are all over Privateer 2: The Darkening. Warp Steroids (or "WaStes") are taken by humans hoping to improve their physique... with the unfortunate potential downside that overuse can shrink or collapse body parts. The Tri-System seems to be much more lax about drug use: versions of Warp Steroids are manufactured and advertised by large companies (including PumpUp! and Bulge-U-Like) and are not considered black market goods even they are repeatedly referenced as being typical 'party' drugs (used by rock stars and the like.) Perhaps anyone who wants a real trip in the Tri-System needs only to visit Karatikus... (Note that there are illegal drugs in the Tri-System; you are occasionally called upon to destroy pirate shipments of narcotics in booth missions.)

Elysium

Another product of the Tri-System, Elysium was invented and produced by a company called Stapleton Brothers. The drug returns the user to the cognitive state of a seven-year-old, providing a sense of innocent joy for several hours. It is distributed in capsule form, taken two at a time. In the Tri-System of 2790, Elysium was sold on the open market with an MSRP of 35 credits per capsule. Elysium also made its way to the Terran Confederation, where it was available illegally (as of 2701.)

Happy Death

Happy Death originates in Action Stations in an offhand remark by Senator Jamison More about how addiction is an epidemic that needs to be addressed in the pre-war Confederation.

Arakh Leaves

The Kilrathi enjoy a good trip, too! Arakh, introduced in the novel Freedom Flight, is said to be "like catnip" for the Kilrathi. Arakh leaves give a calming effect and are either chewed or infused in a drink. Kilrathi society does not outlaw the leaves--Ralgha even chews them on the bridge of his Fralthi--but it does seem to judge those who over-imbide and become intoxicated from them.

Kilnip

It's not clear exactly what Kilnip is, but the name certainly suggests it's intended for the Kilrathi! It's one of several illegal narcotics listed in the 'Life at Port Broughton' article in Star Soldier, the Wing Commander Arena manual (also mentioned are many of the above: Brilliance, Ultimate, Elysium, Warp Steroids and Happy Death.)

Sorry, Hunter!
--
Update published on . View all news from that day.

Wing Commander CIC - Visit the front page

Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans. Recent updates:


Videogames: On Set with Mark Hamill
2017-06-23 -- We have two more sets of scans from 'Videogames' magazine to close out the week. The first set (October 1995) is the most interesting, a report from the set of Wing Commander IV complete with an interview with Mark Hamill. The second pair of scans (November 1995) explain how to access the debug menu in the 3DO port of Wing Commander III...

Kickstarter Fails to Launch
2017-06-22 -- George Oldziey has updated the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 with some sad news, the campaign is not going to make it. But he also reports that this is NOT the end: he has a plan for first funding the music and then the orchestra separately. Here's the post:The next phase.

Pak it Up
2017-06-21 -- We recently ran an article running through the history of Electronic Arts' "CD-ROM Classics" line of re-releases. This week, I made a cool discovery on eBay: a bundle containing five of the first wave CD-ROM Classics together in a slipcover. Bundling unsold software in this way has a long tradition; in fact, Origin's own "Ultima Value Pak" (1990) is one of the more sought-after Ultima collectibles!

Custom Wing Commander Controller Stuns
2017-06-20 -- djfx has an incredible fan project to share: a custom Wing Commander arcade controller! It's designed to seemlessly play Wing Commander I, II and Privateer... and boy does it look cool!

Kickstarter Progress Update
2017-06-19 -- George Oldziey has posted an update on the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2. The numbers aren't looking good for the current Kickstarter, but it sounds like he's willing to keep fighting! Whatever happens, we'll be there for the ride.

Everything Looks Worse in Black and White
2017-06-18 -- Computist magazine was something of an ‘alternative’ gaming publication in the 1980s. Originally conceived to cover Apple ][ gaming, the magazine had a special focus on how users could remove copy protection from their games. As a result, it was treated as something of a black sheep by contemporaries and the nascent gaming industry.

RSI Museum Looks Back at Wing Commander III
2017-06-17 -- I was honored to get to spend another hour talking about the history of developing Wing Commander games on this week’s RSI Happy Hour. Wing Commander III marked a major shift in the scale of how games are managed and created… setting the stage for games like Star Citizen. Enjoy!

COMBAT ALERT: George Oldziey Live Q&A Tomorrow
2017-06-16 -- Wing Commander composer George Oldziey will be holding a live Q&A tomorrow in support of his Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 Kickstarter. We'll be joining in to help get your questions answered (and some of ours!) Here are the details, straight from the main himself:Greetings everyone!

Wing Commander Prophecy... to the XTREME!
2017-06-15 -- Continuing our theme of including ridiculous images of Tomb Raider, today's magazine article scan comes from a February 1998 issue of Argentina's "XTreme PC." This article features a two-page review of Wing Commander Prophecy, which seems to be very positive (earning a 94% overall rating.) Also included is the back page of the magazine, an advertisement for local retailer 'CD MARKET' that prominently features Wing Commander Prophecy.

Bankruptcy, Space and the Great Games
2017-06-14 -- RadioShack, the lion of the American strip mall, is dead. Once a leading electronics retailer, RadioShack fell on hard times in recent years as buyers shifted in favor of larger superstores and then e-tailers and this year declared bankruptcy. Of special interest to classic computing enthusiasts, they are holding an impressive series of auctions that include vintage items from their long history once stored for their historical office.

Pillowrathi Inbound!
2017-06-13 -- Did you miss out on Mike Winterbauer's Classic Game Covers book Kickstarter but still want a Wing Commander print? We have good news for you! He has posted the artwork to Fine Art America, a CafePress-style print-on-demand service.

Ad Ben: 3Dfx Technology
2017-06-12 -- This is not an excuse to post Lara Croft's butt! Note the F-108 Panther-class space superiority fighter in the upper left-hand corner. For Wing Commander Prophecy, Origin made an agreement with up-and-coming 3D accelerator group 3Dfx to support their platform.

Wing Commander Prophecy: Trumpets Beware!
2017-06-11 -- George Oldziey has updated the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 with a video showing one of the Wing Commander Prophecy tracks from the previous volume being recorded! We're trying to set up a livestream for later in the week, so you can ask Mr Oldziey your questions directly. Watch this space for details!

Re-Orchestrated Mission Music!
2017-06-10 -- Good news: the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 saw some pledging overnight, crossing the $13,000 level! We're still under the gun, but George Oldziey is hopeful and is continuing to work on the music for the recording. Here's his latest update:Even though we're about 1/2 way through the campaign with only about 25% of what we need I'm still hopeful.

Orchestral Recording Project - Why We Fight
2017-06-09 -- Hello everyone! We’ve posted a lot of interesting articles recently about George Oldziey’s Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 Kickstarter. No matter the occasion, it is always a joy to collect the bits and bobs that make up Wing Commander’s history, and doing so in support of this noble project has felt right to me.

Arrows Inbound
2017-06-08 -- We have a good news/bad news update tonight. First, the bad news: the amazing 1:48 Arrow fighter model kit developed by Alfred Wong has run into a small delay. Mr.

Kickstarter Adds PDF Extra
2017-06-07 -- The Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Volume 2 has crossed the $10,000 threshold! It still needs a lot more support to happen... so please keep pledging and sharing the link!

GOG Summer Sale Launches
2017-06-06 -- The GOG Summer Sale is here! From today through June 20th, you can pick up any of their Wing Commander releases for just $1.49 each!

Kickstarter Adds Volume One
2017-06-05 -- Composer George Oldziey has added a requested option to the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Project Volume 2 Kickstarter campaign: the ability to purchase a copy of the first album as an add-on! For $50, you can add the original, finished CD for Volume One of the project... and at the risk of editorializing, that is a steal.

George Oldziey Interview Restored
2017-06-04 -- The Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Project Volume 2 has crossed $9,000. If it's going to succeed, we're going to need a big push this next week... so please keep sharing the campaign!

Follow or Contact Us

Forums: Recent Posts

Current Poll

Where to Buy

WCPedia: Recent Contributions

Site Staff