Who Watches the Wing Commander? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Wow! Look at this awesome closeup of one of the large watches the Tiger Claw pilots wear in Wing Commander. Time for some more research!
28 minutes later: I am now a member of a Storm Watch collecting group on Facebook. Here's what we've learned so far! The watches were from a British company called Storm Watches which still makes cool sci-fi looking watches. They show up in the credits: Knowing that, I found a Storm Watch community on Facebook that has preserved 1990s catalogs! The watch R33VE kindly filmed is the "Camera". From there, AD and I started looking for frames in the movie where we could see the watches. Maniac and Blair are both certainly wearing the "Navigator" which seems to be one of the company's most popular designs. It also looks kind of like those scooping nurse robots that delivered Luke and Leia. We're also pretty sure Angel has a rarer storm watch called the "HMP". And then we've noticed other watches on Mr. Obutu, Paladin, Polanski and Captain Sansky but don't have enough to make a call on them yet. One more unidentified watch spotted, on the Tiger Claw's helmsman (actor Fraser James, his nametag reads DUCE).
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Two Weeks To Party Time! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The clock is ticking and we're now just two weeks until the CIC's annual Birthday Party! You can join in and celebrate our 24th anniversary on Saturday, August 13. We'll be hosting a huge bash in Discord #Wingnut. We'll have some fun things to share and it should be a great time for all. The main event gets going at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT). Hope to see you there!

Weekend Broadcast Focusing on Wing Commander Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Dennis Mull tipped us off about a Wing Commander-themed stream happening this weekend. The Sol Citizens show on Sunday will be about Chris Roberts' earlier games from Wing Commander to Freelancer. It'll be broadcasting starting at 5 pm US Eastern Time. Sounds like a good time!
What was the name of the "Bengal-Class" carrier introduced in Chris Roberts' game "Wing Commander"? Watch the SOL Citizens Sunday, July 31st at 8:00pm ET to see if you're right? http://twitch.tv/solcitizens or http://youtube.com/solcitizens
To his credit, I don't think Dennis will have a problem tackling these trivia questions!
Still unpacking boxes from my move but I already unpacked these.

It's No Moon... Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD noticed a new Hobby Lark article about the biggest space ships in sci-fi. Some franchises have absolutely ridiculous monsters that are the focus of the piece, but Wing Commander still got an honorable mention thanks to the 22,000 meter Hvar’kann class Kilrathi dreadnought. There’s really not much to the reference here, but it’s fun for sticklers like us to see people still bringing up this crazy 28 year old stat. While some have wondered if it’s a typo, the novel False Colors doubles down on the length and makes it part of the tactical landscape in its story. Likewise, the visuals in WC3’s losing endgame also imply a ship on the larger end of the scale.
Hvar'kann Class Dreadnought (Wing Commander): This monstrous showpiece of the expansionistic Kilrathi Empire is 22 km long; expectedly, armed to the teeth too. The sizable starfighter fleet it carried is also capable of defending the dreadnought from all natures of assault.
Here are some comparisons made over the year by LOAF, Deathsnake and Klavs:

Happy Birthday Wing Commander Arena! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We’d like to spend time in today’s news taking a moment to recognize Wing Commander Arena’s belated 15th birthday! We reached the milestone on Monday, but the unfortunate passing of the legendary David Warner preempted this story. Arena was released on July 25, 2007, which feels like a lifetime ago now. It was one of the few 2000s WC releases, including other notable titles like Prophecy for Gameboy Advance and EA Replay on the PlayStation Portable. Arena was made for Xbox Live Arcade, which was the platform for downloadable games on Microsoft’s Xbox system. As such, there were some major constraints. The size limit for DLC games at the time was a mere 50 megabytes and the selling price was just $10. So the game was built within some pretty major technical and budget limits. Despite these challenges, the team at Gaia Industries and EA Vancouver managed to pull off some impressive achievements worthy of the Wing Commander franchise. It was the first 16 player multiplayer game on XBLA, but despite the multiplayer focus, a handful of single player modes were also included. The game leaned heavily on familiar ship designs like the Arrow, Darket, Dralthi, Rapier, Paktahn and Longbow and creatively added a number of variants for each. The Rapier even pushed deep into the WC lore and borrowed the Super Wing Commander look. Although in some ways it’s a more simplistic experience than other games, there are some truly epic possibilities within. Conducting a massive cap ship strike with two full squadrons of eight fighters and two accompanying Battlecruisers is an experience like no other. We have been disappointed that it hasn’t jumped to modern Xbox Backwards Compatibility where it would surely see a second life. In the mean time, the game remains fully playable for Xbox 360 owners - and you can still buy it here! Here’s an extended clip recently posted on YouTube. It looks like a double length version of the streaming session we posted last week. Maybe we’ll catch you online some time!
Wing Commander Arena is a fast-paced space combat game where players can team up to attack other teams of ships. The game introduces the classic franchise to an arcade-style experience that allows up to 16 players online in battle at once. Players can propel their customized ship through space, fire torpedoes and unleash deadly gravity bombs as they try to climb the leader board. Online players will compete for Frag count, high score and dueling stats.

"We're really excited to deliver unparalleled multi-player arcade action," said Chip Lange, EA Vice President. "The design for Wing Commander will appeal to both long-time fans of the franchise and immediately engage anyone who wants the melee style action of an arcade shooter."

Wing Commander Arena will feature four styles of play: single player, multi-team, multi-player free for all and multi-player duel. Within the game there are eight game maps that include team maps, free for all maps and dueling maps, so Wing Commander Arena offers a gameplay experience for every Arcade gamer, whether they want a quick ten minutes of action or a longer more immersive game.

More Memories of David Warner & Extended Wing Commander Scenes Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I'm saddened to hear of the passing of David Warner. He may have had no more than 5.5 min of screen time in Wing Commander (if you count the disk audio), but it was memorable and added a touch of class. In his honor, enjoy a couple brief extended scenes...

First up, his call with Blair:

The additions there regarding Blair's mother are nice echos to the also-deleted credits voice-over. It helps to sell that Blair has a bit of a chip on his shoulder regarding his heritage. It also resonates a bit with the other scene below. Belegarde's objections are kind of left over from an earlier draft. There was a medal ceremony ending at one point they cut and never shot probably because making everyone wear dress uniforms (while awesome) for one scene would have been expensive.

Also, Tolwyn comes across as kind to Blair in the theatrical cut. The scripted ceremony would have had Tolwyn admit he had pretty much sent Blair and the Claw as sacrificial pawns and tell Blair he expected him to hate him, possibly setting up a rivalry for future sequels.

About Blair's parents: part of the main heart of the shooting script is Blair's accepting his heritage, and the realization that he's not fated to be terrorist simply because of who his ancestors were. It's a interesting thought exercise to imagine the reception of an uncut movie (hopefully with a better budget) being released two years later post 9/11.

Which brings us to the last scene of the movie. Blair returns Tolwyn's ring to him and their brief exchange is a nice little bow on Blair's journey through the movie, and again, note Tolwyn's mention of Blair's parents:

All in all, Warner probably wasn't on set for more than a day, and these are more or less the extent of his "deleted" scenes. There's one line of dialogue that shows up in a trailer that was leaked online in 1999, but it's really more of an alternate take than anything deleted. The final scene would have been the only one Freddie Prinze Jr. and David would have shared together on set. The comm message on the Diligent was done with someone reading the lines to FPJ off camera.

I'm not much of a poet, but I will add that while we knew David Warner from his work, his family knew him and loved his as a person, father and more. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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Goodbye, David Warner Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The BBC has reported that actor David Warner has passed away at age 80. To say that Mr. Warner was prolific would be an understatement; his stunning, sixty-year career had him effortlessly jump from lead roles to villains to supporting character roles. The genius of David Warner was not simply in his spectacular talent but in his willingness to apply that talent indiscriminately. He was as at home playing Lysander as he was ruling the Klingon Empire or acting in front of a CD-ROM's green screen. He brought the same deep dignity, respect and talent to every performance. Here was a man who could move effortlessly from a movie bound for Mystery Science Theater 3000 to the biggest, most acclaimed film of the decade (1993's Quest for the Delta Knights and 1997's Titanic, respectively). He elevated the material with every bow, impressing generations of genre fans who knew him best for the likes of Tron and Star Trek. Wing Commander fans knew him as one of a rare group who played multiple roles in our universe, with wonderful turns in both Privateer 2: The Darkening and the 1999 Wing Commander film. Privateer 2: The Darkening

"Remember, once a wolf always a wolf..."

Warner first joined the Wing Commander canon in 1996's Privateer 2: The Darkening, the series' third full motion video title. Warner played (code name) Rhinehart, one of Kronos' top consiglieres and a key leader of the evil Kindred. Much of the game's story is spent learning about and then ultimately capturing Rhinehart, who holds the secret to Lev Arris' lost identity. In a massive cast packed full of superstar character actors (and a future a-list of a lead), Warner manages to stand out not only for his performance but for the importance to the story for which his sheer presence is required. After a dozen missions spent learning his whereabouts, Rhinehart finally appears in the game's explosive climax. Here David Warner is tasked with what seemingly came so effortlessly to him: elevating material with his very presence. In a tense interrogation with with lead Clive Owen (Lev Arris) and Christopher Walken (CIS Commander David Hassan), Warner reveals everything the player has been seeking: his true identity, who is behind the evil Kindred and their ultimate plan for domination of the Tri-System. Who but Warner could effortlessly and believably reveal in just a few lines that you had been frozen by your previously unknown crime lord father to protect you from your similarly previously unknown twin brother who has become insane from an addiction to age-increasing drugs. Warner could make material that might have been best at home in a soap opera seem as natural and real as the setting required. Wing Commander

"We need a resounding victory, or this war is over..."

So begins David Warner in the first shot of the first trailer for Wing Commander (1999): "[Earth Command] don't believe they can withstand a Kilrathi battle group without the support of the fleet." Here, again, Warner was tapped to lend his grandeur to another intergalactic endeavor: the role of Admiral Sir Geoffrey Tolwyn in the film. As the august commander of the Terran Confederation's Fourteenth Fleet, it is Tolwyn who intercepts Pegasus' drone and dispatches Lieutenant Blair to save the galaxy. The character of Admiral Tolwyn was first introduced in 1991's The Secret Missions 2: Crusade and went on to become a key part of the WIng Commander world. Origin Systems' Vice President of Sales Marten Davies originally voiced the character in Wing Commander II and Malcolm McDowell performed the role in Wing Commander III, IV and for thirteen episodes of Wing Commander Academy. Malcolm McDowell was originally set to reprise the role in the film but was forced to drop out when his Fantasy Island reboot was picked up as a series. Warner, who had famously co-starred alongside McDowell in Time After Time (1979) stepped in and made the role his own. Warner's plays Tolwyn as a wise, stoic fighting commander who feels like he would be equally at the helm of an age of sail frigate, managing also to come across as something of a father figure to Freddie Prinze Jr.'s Blair despite sharing a set with him for only one concluding scene. As in The Darkening, Wing Commander relies on Warner to make sense of the story for the audience, featuring him in several essential cutaway scenes that serve as small pauses to properly establish the narrative. Primarily paired with John McGlynn's Commodore Richard Bellegarde ("I'm bloody well aware of that, Richard!"), Warner gives the film both purpose and pace. Perhaps the simplest tribute of all to his mastery of the role is the fact that though the film was notably ravaged by fans for recasting familiar characters, seemingly no one took issue with Warner's Tolwyn.

Last Words

To end with a short personal recollection: I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Warner at Dragon*Con 2013. I was working the convention to promote Star Citizen and opted to skip lunch for a rare chance to meet both Admirals Tolwyn who were both signing autographs in a hotel ballroom. The line for Malcolm McDowell was long and took about half an hour; he was friendly but clearly busy and had to move quickly to serve his considerable crowd. David Warner, sitting under a banner showing him in alien makeup from various Star Trek roles, had no line at all and I was nervous to approach him because there would be no one waiting behind me. I shouldn't have been: he was the kindest, most effervescent convention celebrity I ever met. It is absolutely no fun to sit in a sweltering room packed with thousands of autograph seekers in every direction and one can never fault celebrities for their willingness to make such an appearance, but Warner seemed genuinely interested to chat with me, which is either a tribute to his dignified patience or his ability to act. He explained to me that he had never seen the final cut of Wing Commander and did I like it? Did I remember his part? What did I think of how he'd played the Admiral? He recalled being so impressed with the sets and costumes, presumably recalling the Concordia's battleship bridge and his naval sweater and peacoat. While his old co-star had happily signed my copy of Action Stations (a fictional biography of the Tolwyn character) without question, Warner was seemingly fascinated and wanted to know what it was and what the connection to him was. It was a small, memorable encounter that I'm so happy to carry forward with me. To paraphrase that same book on the subject of that same character: kind soul, may you rest in peace.

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No Lacks of Barracks Here Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The topic of Wing Commander I's save slots came up on Discord this evening and I jumped at the chance to escape to 2654 for a little bit and look at the barracks in different ports. And so, here's the Wing Commander bed time post! The save system in Wing Commander I is one of those famous Chris Roberts immersive touches. Instead of a save menu you have bunks and when you save your game a sleeping wingman appears! And instead of alt-x'ing to DOS, you open the airlock, etc. This is the PC version: The environment is also amazing at bringing you into the world, from the low tech dripping bucket to the clearly-inspired-by-2001 vital signs monitoring the pilots (but only when one is present!). In Secret Missions 2, you can even click on the pin-up and get... this. (And who put up the headless one?! I mean, I guess obviously it was Maniac.) Anyway, let's look at the different ports! These three are extremely similar, MS-DOS, Amiga CD32 and FM Towns: MS-DOS VGA, that is! Here are the EGA and Amiga versions: Here are the SNES and PSP (EA Replay) versions. This version of the game uses a password system so this is mostly an appendix, the beds don't do anything. The room is removed entirely in the Secret Missions SNES port. And here's one I love: the Sega CD port has only four beds if you're playing with the default hardware... but if you've got a RAM cartridge in your Genesis slot you get four more saved games! Here are the 3DO and Macintosh versions for Super Wing Commander. The characters look up from what they're doing when you mouseover them! I was also really surprised by the difference in the image between the ports... Now, on Wing Commander Academy the Tiger's Claw pilots seem to have their own cabins. Here's Blair's, first seen at the start of The Last One Left. In the movie, Blair and Maniac share quarters (Blair's bed is to the right, Maniac to the left). They even have a pinup! The text reads "do it for me, boys". I suspect but have never been able to confirm that this is intended to be actress Saranya Carr from the TCSO show mentioned in Claw Marks. The movie sequel novel Pilgrim Stars even tries to explain the difference in sleeping arrangements, with the Tiger Claw having changed to more private quarters at the last refit. Where are the pilot quarters? Based on the airlock they must be along the hull and from the movement of stars in the window in Blair's quarters on Academy his must be on the port side of the ship... ... which is actually supported by both our Tiger Claw cutaway sources which both place pilot quarters on the upper decks amidship (above the crew and marine detachment).
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Brazilian Mag Review Highlights WC3 for 3DO Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Guilherme Poggiali sent along this Ação Games scan of a vintage 3DO review of WC3 from Brazil. Look at that crazy header art! Classic '90s magazine formatting has such a distinctive style. It's always fascinating to see what they choose to point out, such as the detailed diagram of what each cockpit/HUD element is. That speckled starscape background doesn't help legibility, but again, it sure is a product of that era.

A Different Take On Emotional Angel Scene Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a short musical piece that was written as part of a film school project. The artist, Sean Sumwalt, used about a minute of footage from the end of the Wing Commander Movie right after Angel ejects and Blair is forced to keep moving. A new instrumental track accompanies the scene and attempts to set the tone. AD found it while looking for Overture covers, and it's definitely not that, but it's not bad.

Gemini Sector RPG Gears up for Their Most Difficult Mission to Date Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's been a few months since we last checked in with the crew of the TCS Majestic and the Gemini Sector RPG, but they've been very busy! The group has been involved in a whole host of missions ranging from hunting down a Kilrathi battlegroup to warding off an incoming strike force. They've also done escort duty and seen the famous Kilrathi defector Hajjnah. Everyone behind the game puts a ton of creative energy into it, and if you'd like the join the fun, hit up their Discord server. Events are held almost every Friday night! Here are a few of their recent mission briefings:
The crew scramble trying to find the hidden colony base in the Ragnarok sector.
The professor Hajjnah speaks to a new client. He will not need all his charisma and wits about him.
The team must escort a shuttle to the Oxford system to allow their resident doctor to pass their quals and be allowed to practice.

New Gameplay Vid Highlights Diverse Arena Modes Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Demon27248 has posted a nice capture of several rounds of Wing Commander Arena. Modern streaming content for WC Arena is sorely lacking, so clips like this are unfortunately few and far between. The foursome playing the game hits several different types events: they take down a Battlecruiser in capship combat, hunt down satellites and conduct a team deathmatch in the Boneyard. Arena is a unique WC experience and it's really a shame that it doesn't run on modern Xboxes. But it's good to see people still having fun with it in 2022!

1995 3DO Magazine Gets Excited for Super Wing Commander Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

3DOgaming has posted a neat scan from a 1995 special edition of 3DO Magazine. It's interesting to see people's perspectives from the time. A lot of people now might consider Super Wing Commander a curious oddity, but this review considers it "massively upgraded for the 3DO, and as addictive as ever." They give it a solid four stars with the game's difficulty being pretty much the only thing keeping it from a higher score.
Combat certainly feels realistically hectic. Enemy ships whirl about desperately jockeying for position, your wingman invariably flies into your line of fire and loudly protests over the radio while your instrument panels flash red, then explode under enemy fire. Your various weapons all look great, laser bolts sparking quite cinematically while the excellent sound effects could well have been sampled out of Star Wars.
Wow, cinematic laser bolts and Star Wars quality sound. I want to play this game!

Have Your Fill of Privateer Ads Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Another little discovery tonight is there were two versions of this Privateer ad. The update corrects a nasty typo ("fill" instead of "kill") and rewords some awkward copy. They also reworked it for the CD-ROM release about six months later. These ran from November 93 to February 94, then June 94 for the CD-ROM. Privateer also had an earlier teaser ad that ran January 93. Note the bullshots, dropped logo and wrong future date!
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The Prince of Printscreen Does Wing Commander Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The King of Grabs has turned his attention to the Wing Commander series. The concept here is to take a whole pile of screenshots for all sorts of classic games. We love giant walls of WC screenshots, so this is right up our alley. They do run into a bit of a classic pitfall: there are dozens and dozens of pictures of WC1... which are all flying the Hornet in the Enyo System. Likewise, the WC2 images are all flying the Ferret in Gwenydd. It's a missed opportunity to see a greater variety of ships and some of the cooler late-game set pieces, but it's still a pleasing sight. Stay tuned for Hellcat dogfighting in Orsini!
Wing Commander was developed by Chris Roberts and his team at Origin Systems and first released for PC MS-DOS in 1990. It’s a classic cockpit-based space combat game with cinematic cut scenes, and it developed into a long-running series. The Wing Commander series.

Wing Commander is considered to be a major step forward in the evolution of the space combat game and features tactical, first-person dogfighting in space and a storyline that allows the player to gain ranks, improve performance, and buy better spaceships. The plot is also driven by the results of your actions.

In a war between humans and a race of aliens called The Kilrathi your story unfolds as you do your service. Missions are briefed to you during cut scenes. Missions can have multiple objectives, but you can fail them and still proceed, as long as you survive.

The original Wing Commander is still an interesting game to play now and is easily bought online. With this first game you can see the seed of a great idea; one that would develop into something very special over the following decade.

Twice as Much Symphonic Joy Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Symphonic Remakes is back with a double dose of reorchestrated Wing Commander music - FOUR new tracks to help make your weekend more fun. Victory, Mission Objectives, Mission Failed and Kilrah are up on this week's slate. They're each lovely tracks in their own way!

Getting Deep Into the Weeds of Privateer’s Faction Reputation System Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Privateer has different comm responses depending on your reputation with a particular faction (friendly, neutral or hostile). The one exception is the Retros for whom there's no way to increase your reputation; it's always negative. Except... ... if you destroy 6528 Retro ships, an incredibly unlikely number, you'll max out the value and flip around to friendly status. But there are no recorded comms... just warnings and weed jokes that the game's designers thought would never be seen! Folks asking why this happens: each Retro ship you destroy subtracts 5 from the reputation, which starts at -128. Killing 6528 of them subtracts 32640 which hits the 16-bit negative maximum. One more and an integer overflow jumps you to +32763 (decidedly friendly)! Which is to say, maybe those Retros aren't so bad after all. This may also explain their amazing temple in Righteous Fire.
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Rare Origin Prophecy Poster up for Auction Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Wing Commander Prophecy lead designer Billy Joe Cain has an exciting new auction up and running. He's been steadily releasing items from his personal stash to support REEF, the anti-human tracking charity that he founded. A handful of fellow Origin teammates sold their posters back in the early 2000s, but Billy has held on to his for almost twenty-five years. But now's the time for it to go - with proceeds going towards a noble cause! You can find the auction here. It's currently listed at about $210.
Wing Commander Prophecy movie-style poster brought out of the Time Capsule for its 25th anniversary!!

Are YOU ready for the Ultimate Sci Fi Combat Simulation COLLECTIBLE?!?!

Help end #humantrafficking with your purchase!


CIC Birthday Party Set for August 13! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I'm very excited to announce the date for the CIC's 24th Birthday Party! We're one month out: this year's gathering will be on Saturday, August 13. You can mark your calendars now for 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT) on that night. We've got some fun ideas that we are pulling together now, and we've also been talking with some of you who are also building some awesome fan items that will be ready by then. The action takes place in Discord #Wingnut. Feel free to stop by any time beforehand to get acquainted with how everything works - and see you there!

Academy and Armada Get Some Streaming Love Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Milquetoast Gaming has been steadily progressing through the WC series in a livestreaming adventure dubbed 'Wing Commander-thon'. There's lots of people out there broadcasting playthroughs of WC1, WC3 or even Privateer, but Milquetoast has been hitting them all. This includes games like Academy and Armada. These titles are often overlooked - people today may consider them too simplistic to take up - but they were both quite revolutionary in their own way at the time they were released. They're chronically underappreciated, so we love to see people having fun with them! It's wonderful to see people poke through all the unusual menus and options that each game provides. Academy and Armada are super unique in the franchise, and they hold a special place in our hearts!
The next stop on our trek down Wing Commandathon we jump into one of the game that lets you manage your own ship, mining planets and building your own fighter squadrons and taking the battle to the Kilrathi in your own strategic way.
Strap in Cadets for the next step in the Wing Commander Franchise! Academy is primarily a mission builder based on technology and assets developed for Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi. And I take requests to build missions and to have me try to complete them.

All Over the Map Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's the nav map from the original Wing Commander. That "Sector: Vega XR-231.3" is my favorite kind of texture... you know what the Vega Sector is and you assume the designation makes sense to the character; the world is implied to have history and rules beyond what you see.

Unfortunately, the mission disks let us down by not changing it (they're set in the Deneb and Antares sectors, respectively). The name is stored in WC.EXE so it couldn't easily be changed for Thor's Hammer... while Secret Missions 2 is probably a case of just forgetting about it. HOWEVER! We have to again praise the Mindscape team that did the SNES ports... they thought to swap it to XR-41.8 for The Secret Missions. Which is not only right, it continues the implication that there's some sector classification system we don't understand. The folks adapting Super Wing Commander, on the other hand, solved the problem the opposite way: they hacked 'Vega' right out of the executable so it just displays an inscrutable XR-231.1 no matter where you are. This concludes another episode of meaningless tiny details starring 2 AM Ben.
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Something to Talk Obutu Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a short clip of a deleted line (and alt takes and temp cues) from the Wing Commander movie. Hugh Quarshie's Mr. Obutu utters an apparent African expression that I'd love to learn more of its origins and meaning. I feel it gives the scene an interesting flavor.

One thing that was always great in the WC games (and to an extent the movie too) was the international representation on the crew, and cutting the line feels like a missed opportunity.

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More on Killboards: WC3/4/Prophecy Edition Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This is a followup to last month's killboards post.

I wondered if there was any difference in the starter kill board in Wing Commander III. Here's the PC version, with no entry for Blair since I hadn't entered my callsign yet:

Sure enough, the values change from port to port! Here's the PSX version and the Macintosh version (which really surprised me!): But the best discovery here was the 3DO port which starts with drastically higher numbers... and a different 'saying' for the total?! Ones I've seen:
- Fragged Kitties
- Macavity's Fate
- Total Kills
- Our Favorite Cats
- Kitties Flambe
- Roasted Kitties
- Cat Chow
- Road Kill
- Neutered Kitties
- Kitty Pate
- Kitty Litter
- Life Impaired Cats
- Toasted Kitties
- Feline Fatalities
- Toast
- Spammed Kitties

The Wing Commander III novel even adds a little kill count related backstory for Flint, who has supposedly scored 18 kills in her lifetime and is trying to reach 22 to avenge her dead brother. Oddly, this is also exactly how the Kilrathi believe the afterlife works!

The Wing Commander IV novel has something similar for Hawk, who scored 96 kills during the war which was four short of a "century award". Which brings up a good question: how many kills is the player 'really' scoring in the lore? You typically score 100-200 kills over the course of an average game, which added together is higher than any real top ace. The games left this vague until the Prophecy manual which leaned in and confirmed Maniac had scored 2001 kills in his career (14th highest of all time). Prophecy's official guide went on to say that Blair was the 11th ranked ace and it also came up with this pretty interesting bit that explained why they weren't the highest of all time (I want to play something set in that earlier era!). Speaking of Wing Commander Prophecy, here are the starting kill counts from the PC version. (WC4 doesn't let you see the first killboard until after you play mission a mission that changes it so there's no canonical starting point.) Then here's the GBA version. It drops the redshirt counts but look closely at the numbers... they match the PC release exactly! Nice one, Raylight.
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That’s a Lot of Space Games Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

One cool collectible deserves another - or many more! If you liked yesterday's copy of Privateer, we hope you love Dennis Mull's assortment of autographed Wing Commander games. Both Chris and Erin Roberts signatures are present depending on the game. You definitely don't see too many autographed WC speech packs out there!

Slick Portuguese Privateer Added to Collection Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got another amazing Wing Commander collectible found by Dominus of Exult. This one is a copy of Privateer potentially localized in Portuguese. It's got a really cool slip cover and a handful of local publisher markings on top of the translated text.
I found this on ebay: a Portuguese Privateer. A while ago I found a Portuguese Strike Commander and since then suspected there must be more... (it’s a slide cover and top/bottom are only black, no code).

New Enhancements Keep WC4 Fan Remake Demo on Track Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The WC4 Fan Remake team has another giant update to share all of their recent progress. Major advancements have been made designing and coding how ships explode, what the ejection pods look like and how the cockpit audio sounds. There's also a dazzling new jump effect. These are teased in the new screenshots and video below. You can read all the juicy details over at WCRespace.com.
As the team continues to march toward our playable demo release, we thought we’d take a minute and look at a few of the updates between the original game and the remaster.

We’ve spent a fair amount of virtual ink reviewing the assets themselves as we ready them for gameplay, but we would be remiss if we didn’t do some side-by-sides as well as mention all the amazing work done by our programming and audio teams; not to mention all the outstanding work to rescore all the original MIDI tracks by our composer (which is a separate article all its own). We wanted to take a minute to showcase some of the efforts that are being readied for launch in the very near future.

So, without further preamble…

Blast Off Into That Wild Purple Yonder Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Mac is back with another lovely Rapier wallpaper. This one is a crossover with a new Homeworld mothership model he's been working with. It's a lovely swirl of blues and purples. Enjoy!
"So I say it looks like a Croissant."
"No I think it's more like a banana."
"I think it's a ship sir."
"Ok Mav, you're out of the betting pool for being a smartass."

Weekend Sale Discounts WC Games 75% Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

You might think GOG's Summer Sale is still in full swing, but it actually came to a close on June 27. Don't despair, however, as a new Weekend Sale is discounting Wing Commander, Ultima and more! The GOG Twitter account also put out a little trivia message that included references to Ultima 8 and Wing Commander Academy. There's only about 24 hours yet to go as of this writing, so act fast! And if you miss it, don't worry, I'm sure there will be another Wing Commander sale in our near future.

Language Lesson: Grimalkin Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Embarrassing discovery: “grimalkin” is a real word which means cat, often a witch’s familiar. This means I have been missing a joke in Special Operations 2 for THIRTY YEARS. Paladin renames a captured freighter the Grimalkin for the titular special operation. I always assumed it was just a second Kilrathi name because the cats knew the Gamal Gan had been captured! Additionally: I learned this not by noticing it in Shakespeare or Hawthorne but because ballroom_blitz got me PYEWACKET, an old children’s book about a gang of cats. We’ve been reading a bit before bed each night!
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Symphonic Remakes Revisits WC3 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This weekend we have more Symphonic Remakes for your aural enjoyment! This time the SR composer took a crack at digitally reorchestrating both the Patrol and Rescue tunes from George Oldziey's Wing Commander 3 soundtrack. Both are pretty great! Give them a listen below and find more here!

Strange New Wing Commander Remix Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

At the CIC we're all huge fans of the new Star Trek shows, and Mark Glass must be an even BIGGER fan because he's combined his two loves - new Star Trek and Wing Commander - into one project. The Strange New Worlds introduction is already near perfection, but Mark wondered how he could make it better. The answer is clear: add Wing Commander. His version features the WC Overture theme. Check it out below!
And here's the originals for comparison!

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