We've Got This Sector Bottled Tight, Friend...

We've got a new poll out today that asks which of the the galactic sectors in Wing Commander is your favorite. This obviously isn't an exhaustive list, and there are some omissions like the Landreich or Hari Sectors that have quite a mystique about them, but we went with eight mainline areas that are particularly noteworthy. Sometimes sectors are short-hand named after the stars and quadrants within them, so if you're looking for Antares or Deneb, you can find them within the larger Epsilon cluster. After you select your favorite, hit the comment link and let us know why you picked that one!
The previous poll asked how long you've been coming to the CIC. More than a quarter of you have been around since the our grand opening in 1998 - or earlier - and another quarter have been with us since the turn of the century. There's quite a few old timers still in the mix! However, about one in eight visitors have just discovered wcnews.com in the past year, which is pretty impressive. Welcome aboard to the new faces out there too!

I Like This A Hole Lot

LOAF was poking around in Wing Commander 2's background files and discovered a hilarious easter egg that would ordinarily never be seen by the player. The game frequently uses a red and green communications interface for dialogue sequences between a fighter and larger carrier or base. A small rectangle on the right features a graph intended to depict signal strength or something like that. However in the base art file, the talking head is blank and the graph spot has a button labeled "DONUT TOUCH." Origin definitely had a sense of humor back in the day!

Taste That Synthi Meat

The Wing Commander series has had quite a few large and elaborate print advertisements over the years, but even by the franchise's often lofty standards, this one's a whopper. This ad is spread across six full pages and follows a "five senses" theme with a late '90s vibe. Sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch are all emphasized along with a smattering of FMV screenshots, gameplay scenes and a handful of commodities. Then everything is wrapped up with the box art and tag line. Pretty cool stuff! Thanks to Anatoly Shashkin for finding this one - follow his DOSNostalgic feed for more neat stuff like this.
Why should innocent animals and plants suffer just so humans can eat? Synthi meat, created from 100% pure non-organic minerals, is the universe's most efficient food. And many find its gravel-seasoned-saddle-leather taste surprisingly easy to get used to.

A Localization Interrogation

Most Wingnuts are familiar with all of the cool contents of a basic Wing Commander Prophecy box... but this one's a little different. Can you spot everything that makes this setup unique? Thanks to Andi Green for posting this!
Standard Origin

Upgraded Corvette Ready For Vision Engine

Version 0.32B of the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack was just released, but work continues at a rapid pace. The Kilrathi are the next focus, and they're led by the fearsome Corvette. I don't mean that to be facetious - that thing is a tough nut to crack with scary effective gun placement - and DefianceIndustries agrees! We're looking forward to see it looking better than ever in the project's next release.
No rest for the weary! The team is starting on the next batch of assets - Alpha 4 is shaping up to include the rest of the Kilrathi assets (Not-Kamrani corvette, Destroyed Fralthi, Kilrathi Debris field assets), The long-overdue TCS Midway, and Confed space stations. We will likely have a few more Nephilim models as well. We are working to lock down what is realistic for the next release.

To start us off however, here is the new Kilrathi Corvette, the most lethal anti-fighter platform in the game for some reason...

Catch Up On Strike Commander's History

The DOS Game Club is a really cool place dedicated to gaming highlights of the '80s and '90s. Their community selects a game each month, and then they jointly play it together and discuss in their regular podcast. A recently selection was Origin's Strike Commander, and our own Bandit (LOAF) was able to participate in their episode on it. They had a super fun time! Download or stream the show here. And how much do you love DGC's website? Everything is done up in ASCII text with DOS GUI menus - fantastic!
In episode 5 of the DOS Game Club Podcast, Martijn (“Tijn”) and Florian (“rnlf”) discussed Origin System’s Strike Commander with the excellent Ben Lesnick.

Ben has been a Wing Commander fan for a long time and somewhat of an “Origin historian”, who has gotten to know many of the people involved with the development of the Wing Commander games, as well as Strike Commander and other games by Chris Roberts and Origin Systems. He helps to run the Wing Commander CIC fan site over at wcnews.com and is currently working with Chris Roberts on Star Citizen.

Wing Commander Composer David Arnold Interviewed

Modern Vinyl has posted an interesting interview with David Arnold, the composer behind the Wing Commander Movie's famous Overture theme. Much of the article focuses on the recent vinyl release of his work on Hot Fuzz, but it also notes his wide ranging involvement with films from James Bond to Stargate. Check out the full article here. On a totally coincidental note, interviewer Brock Wilbur goes by the handle The Pilgrim's Regress on Twitter. It's also still possible to find the movie soundtrack on disc relatively easily, and the album is available for both digital download and streaming at Amazon or iTunes.
You’ve also written music for video games, like “Wing Commander,” that often involves someone else arranging the final songs and so forth. Is that a strange situation?

Arnold: It’s the hardest job in the world to score, unless it isn’t. Writing something and handing it off for arrangement is probably the easiest version of this. When I approach a film, the toughest thing is coming up with the key music solution to a film: the main theme. It dictates to everyone else what the film will be and you don’t have restrictions of making it fit a thing. And sure, not every film needs a theme, but when one does I write it away from the film. I’ll watch some of what was shot or read the script and hopefully come up with something. To link this back, Wing Commander had an air about it, so writing a theme came quickly and handing that off to Kevin [Kiner] was quite easy. He’s extraordinarily talented and he knows the style. He’d also send me pieces of what he was making as he worked along. Soundtracking is about being in love with coming up with solutions. I like coming up with solutions.

Homeworld Mod Removes Bugs & Fixes AI

There's another new update to the Homeworld Remastered mod, Flag Commander. L.I.F. recently rolled out a special module to add Wing Commander 1&2 ships to the mix, and that's been the focus on his recent work. Improvements in the new update fix torpedos, tweak which ships have jump ability and adjust the landing pattern around the Kilrathi dreadnought. There's also been a big AI fix for that gets the computer properly acquiring resources for their competitive conquest! Grab the latest update here.

OldiesGames Does Vengeance Of The Kilrathi

We've been following the OldiesGamesTV series of Wing Commander reviews for a number of years, and now they've completed their three-part profile of Wing Commander 2. The videos are in French, but even if you can't speak the language, seeing all of the minor differences in the game are really cool if you originally played in another language. And where you understand their words or not, it's clear that they're big Wing Commander fans that we're happy to support!

Wing Commander Album Track List Complete!

George Oldziey is back with another update on the progress of the second Wing Commander album. He's been quiet for a little bit, but there has been tons of progress on the orchestration front. The basic track list is complete and PDF scores will even be sent out soon. Plans are in work for the live WC jazz recording to take place early next year, which will allow the album to be wrapped up. George is still dedicated to eventually crowdfunding enough to get everything remade with a live orchestra in the future, but it's great to see that work on the digital remaster is well on its way!
Greetings all! My sincere apologies for taking so long to send a new update. I've had my head buried in orchestrating the music for the eventual orchestral recording. The big news is I'm finished! See the list at the bottom of this update. Thanks to those that submitted their thoughts!

So the next steps are having my team finish formatting the scores so as to send the PDFs to those that contributed at that level. I'll also be reaching out those who pledged at the level which will enable them to attend the recording of the WC bar music in my studio in Austin, TX. The recording will most likely occur late January or early February so as to not conflict with holiday travels. Once that is completed I'll create the CD which will feature the MIDI mockups of all these pieces below as well as the live recording of the bar music.

I'm super excited, as well as super thankful to all of you for your faith! I promise to deliver to you all a great CD and downloads, as well as the future orchestra recording once phase 2 is complete. I'll keep you posted!

Musically yours,

George

    WC Volume 2 Orchestral Pieces
  • Wing Commander 3 - Cutscenes: Destruction of Kilrah, Kilrathi Surrender (these two will be spliced together)
  • WC3 - Gameplay Music: Mission 3, Combat 8
  • WC4 - Cutscenes: Tolwyn's Betrayal/Blair Escapes, Vagabond Dies, Blair Lands on Telemon
  • WC4 -Gameplay Music: Mission 2, Mission 5, Mission 7, Combat 7, Intense Combat Medley 2
  • WC Prophecy - Cutscenes: Prophecy Intro, Blair’s Abduction
  • WC Prophecy - Gameplay Music: Combat 4, Mission 1
  • Bonus Track: Action Music from “Silverheart” (an EA/Origin game that never got released!)

Secret Ops Is All About Squashing Bugs!

Fans have been running the new Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack through its paces hard since the latest version was released last week. As intended, the test managed to tease out a few bugs, and the team quickly responded. DefianceIndustries and PopsiclePete have already managed to put out a new version that resolves the issues identified so far. Of particular note is an installer glitch and a bug where missiles launched from outside the ship. While that produced a pretty cool looking effect, it was not quite how the game was meant to be played! Grab the new 0.32b version here (75 meg exe).
Good news all - the latest release of .32b is up and has fixes for the reported bugs. If you have the previous version (.32a) please download the new build HERE and install on top of your existing version

Three Cheers For WC2 Manuals

Wing Commander games can come in all shapes and sizes, and today we have a look at the different colored manuals of Wing Commander 2. WC2 was one of the most ubiquitous titles of the early '90s thanks to several factors: the popularity of WC1 was key, but it also was a major showcase for in-game speech and eventually mass-produced for inclusion in a large number of different OEM and budget CD-ROM releases. The red manual below was quite common and the black lesser so. The nifty blue edition was a particularly rare release included with a Reveal Computer Products bundle. It was even reformatted slightly!
Did you know: the Wing Commander II Deluxe manual was available in several delicious flavors. Pictured: licorice, cherry and blueberry.

Shapely New Wing Commander 3D Prints Available

Carter3D is a cool Shapeways outfit with a whole bunch of neat ships. There are quite a few Star Wars designs, but there are also about a dozen detailed Wing Commander models available to 3D print. Carter seems to be a Prophecy fan, but there are also a handful of ships from WC3&4 mixed in as well. They're not colored or textured, but both white and frost material is available to facilitate your own artistic painting. The WC craft are linked below, but there's also one interesting mislabel. The Wing Commander Missile Destroyer is actually a Macross ARMD carrier, which then bears quite a bit of resemblance to the Academy television show's Achilles. It may very well have been the inspiration for the WCA design. You can find all the designs here. Thanks to Whistler for the tip!

Wing Commander 3 Play-Through Remade At Nightmare Difficulty!

It's been more than ten years since the legendary Queeg released his consolidated Wing Commander 3 movie. The original film set download records at the CIC and garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. Now he's back with a brand new take on The Heart of the Tiger - this time he's completed the entire game on Nightmare difficulty! On top of the amped up difficulty, Queeg also played through with the mouse, did not let any wingmen die, destroyed every capship (including optional kills) and used the default Rachel loadout in all but the first Loki System mission. That's some serious piloting skill! Grab the entire 9.1 gigabyte monster here (.mp4) or catch the ~9 hour epic on YouTube below!
Hi guys, it's been years since I've posted anything here. However, I've recently got back into WC3 and enjoying it more than ever.

I saw on youtube someone had uploaded a video with a full playthrough of the PC game. I thought, that's awesome so I watched some of it. However, the guy playing looked like it was his first time, it seemed like he was playing on a rookie setting and wasn't too familiar with the game.

However, I really liked the idea of a full playthrough. So having recently completed the game on nightmare (took a while, it really is seriously difficult). I figured it would be cool to have a full playthrough of the game but entirely on nightmare. I've ripped the videos from the playstation version to get the best quality. I've recorded the missions using fraps which has come out quite nicely.

Hopefully someone hasn't already beaten me to the punch. Although, I'm not a hard core gamer myself. I imagine there's others who can play the game much better then me, and I feel we should encourage people to do the same and showcase their skills.

I did put together a WC3 movie a few years back, but I was younger and impatient back then. It came out a bit sloppy and looking back I wish I had spend more time on it. This, however, should be much better. It will be a lot longer too, I have 7 hours with the movie scenes and missions together already.

Let me know your thoughts guys. Hopefully there will be people here who will be interested.

GalCiv 3 Mod Continues To Expand

Hellakazoo has posted some additional screenshots of his Galactic Civilizations 3 WC mod that highlight some of his latest additions, such as the Tarsus and Clarkson jammer. There's also a neat screenshot of one of the game's menus that feature the character portraits. Some of the recent CIC Forums discussion has been about what to add next. The larger Confed carriers are likely, and then there may be some interest in adding ships from other factions such as the Border Worlds. You can hit the Comment link below to share what you'd like to see or find more information on the mod at the Steam Workshop.
I still need the Confederation to finish out WC2 (WC1 is done) but that ship will likely take up as much if not more time than the Bengal did (few weeks of fiddling) so I feel like it's a toss up between Vesuvius and Concordia ATM.

I've also begun putting together factions for Union of Border worlds and Free Republic of the Landreich. Since they share some ships with Confed the ship sets are actually more than halfway there for both already.

Wing Commander Scores Lucky #7

Here's a throwback to a twenty-one year old issue of Computer Gaming World. Back in November 1996, when we all were just getting into the Wingnut scene online, CGW posted a comprehensive "best 150" games feature. Wing Commander came in as the 7th best title of all time, just behind other famous contemporaries like Sid Meier's Civilization, Ultima IV, Doom & Sim City. Crusader: No Remorse also came in at 3 and Wing Commander III 54. Mid 1996... what a time to be alive as a WC fan. Chatting with fellow Wingnuts on the nascent internet of the day, WC4 had just made a big splash, secondary items like the CCG, Academy television show and novels were being released, and we were just months away from Privateer 2. Articles like this one were dropping left and right, so it was no surprise to see WC up there in the rankings. Thousands of games have come and gone in the intervening years, but WC is still on top as long as we're all still here to share awesome memories like this one! Thanks to Now is Not Good for the tip. You can check out the entire CGW issue here.

New Prophecy, Secret Ops Update Adds Ships & More!

The newest version of the Prophecy and Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack has been released! It includes a whole pile of exciting ships that have been gracing the news over the last few months. There are additional bug fixes as well as some new features to smooth in-game graphical loading. And if you dare, there's a tantalizing new option called 'ultraNightmare'... Grab the new update here! (75 meg exe)
It's MUP Release day! Version .32a is packaged and ready for you to try! Changes in .32a:

New Models:

  • Barracuda Corvette
  • Orca Destroyer
  • Plunkett Artillery Cruiser
  • Squid Interceptor
  • Stingray & Stingray Cluster
  • Vaktoth Heavy Fighter
  • Howard Day's TB-81 Shrike
  • Excalibur 2.0
Other Enhancements:

WCP Unlimited now includes new features for pre-loading materials and bitmaps. The intent is to correct the "pause" that occurs in-game when ships are dynamically generated (ie. second waves, ships that jump in, etc.) This will minimally increase load times at the start of missions, but will provide a smoother and more stable in-game experience. If this causes instability you may disable pre-caching by adding the following lines to your WCPUNL.cfg file:

preloadMaterials=0
preloadBitmaps=0

For those pilots who think they have the sand for it, try adding the following setting:

ultraNightmare = 1

Bug Fixes:

  • Corrected reported issue with Tigershark rocket pods
  • Corrected Tigershark mesh - added fuselage mounted mass-drivers
  • recolored WCP tigershark texture to make it more like FMV model
What are you waiting for cadet?

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