Yesterday, we reported on footage of an early build of Wing Commander II digitized by the University of Texas. Today, we have a second treasure from a VHS provided by Origin producer Warren Spector: early footage of Super Wing Commander in action! The video clearly shows an early, unfinished build that has a more elaborate 'loading' screen for the VDUs (and is still using some Wing Commander I art as placeholders!) But look carefully, there's another surprise: during the course of the mission being demoed, the player faces several Salthi… and then starts to fire on a capital ship. But it's not a capital ship available in the final game!
But wait, you think, I've seen that silhouette before. You have: the ship in question was found in a file dump of 3D source assets from Origin alongside the other models from Super Wing Commander. The file labels it the Fralthi, but it is not the Fralthi which appears in the finished game. The model itself is an edited and retextured version of Wing Commander II's Sabre mesh, which may sound odd but was not an uncommon practice during the creation of Super WIng Commander's menagerie.
Adding to the mystery, no mission in Super Wing Commander has you fly a Hornet with Spirit as a wingman against Salthi and a Fralthi together. In fact, the only time Spirit, a Hornet and Salthi are present with a capital ship it's a Confederation Drayman in Enyo 2. Was this ship intended to be a Drayman or a Fralthi? Or something else entirely? (Interestingly, the Super Wing Commander intro incorrectly identifies a Snakeir as a "Fralthi target"... so there may have been quite a bit of confusion about Kilrah's cruiser.)
Black Lance Transport Certified For Covert Cargo
After leading the charge with a pair of exotic Black Lance designs earlier this year, DefianceIndustries has circled back around and completed the Evansville class transport that we see in Wing Commander 4. It has a fairly sleek profile for a transport as well as oversized engines, which form a pretty effective combo. There's no better way to sneak clandestine cargo to out-of-the-way places! (2018-03-18)
Happy St. Patrick's Day From The Green Salthi
Confederation hull plating is well known for its green texture, and terran soldiers even occasionally sport a green tinted outfit, but it's a far less common color on the Kilrathi (aside from the kats that actually have green skin). We know the common brown color of Kilrathi ships comes from the hue of their local durasteel, but there's one major exception to this: the green Salthi - or Jalthi, rather. The Secret Missions for the Super Nintendo had to squeeze to fit everything on the cartridge, and one noteworthy cut was the elimination of the six-shooter Jalthi model. (2018-03-17)
Explore Wing Commander History as Prelude to Star Citizen
Magnets & Miracles Gaming has put together a historical overview video series going through some of Chris Roberts' older games and how they formed the genesis of what we see being planned for Star Citizen. It's similar to what the Cloud Imperium crew put together in their series of RSI Museum videos. Part 1 focuses on basic back story, Wing Commander and Wing Commander II. (2018-03-16)
Un Juego de Chris Roberts
Christian Klein, the Pixel Engineer, has dug up another awesome European localization. It's a second Spanish DROsoft box that includes a combination of both Secret Missions in the same package! The reverse side of each has been translated and combined into one, but the included paper inserts appear to still be in English. (2018-03-15)
Goodbye, Stephen Hawking
The extraordinary theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has passed away and tributes are pouring in from across the internet. As a genius thinker and pioneer in space, he made his mark on the whole genre of science-fiction, including Wing Commander. On the universe map, star systems are often named after developers, authors and even fans. (2018-03-14)