3DO Magazine Previews Wing Commander III and More Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

A tweet from 3DOgaming alerted us to an article scanned from the first issue of the UK 3DO magazine (Winter 1994). It's a very nice preview of the then-upcoming port, with a special look at some of the updated ship graphics.

The rest of the magazine proved to be something of a Wing Commander bonanza, with a review of the other 3DO Wing Commander title, Super Wing Commander, and a very nice single sentence preview of Wing Commander III (then scheduled for January 1995).

Wing Commander also appears in two third-party ads, one promoting the entire 3DO lineup and one advertising the very magazine you're already reading. Look closely at the 3DO ad's Super Wing Commander screenshot: it's an alpha build that still includes the original Hornet VDU artwork as a placeholder.

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We're All Set (Photography) Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's a great week for never-before-seen Wing Commander imagery: AD has discovered the official website and social media presence of Wing Commander III, IV and Prophecy set photographer Mike Kubeisy. A fair amount of Wing Commander III set photography has been made available over the year but almost none from Wing Commander IV and Prophecy was ever released... it's pretty neat seeing some of the sets and costumes in high resolution! We've reached out to Mr. Kubeisy to see if he has any other Wing Commander photographs available.

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Claw Marks FLIPPED! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Wing Commander I's manual, Claw Marks, includes sixteen pages of hand drawn art of the game's ships. These schematics were part of a larger group draughted by Origin artist Glen Johnson as reference for the game's outsource 3D artist. While the original art consisted of 21 ships with 5 views each, Claw Marks reproduces only 16 ships with 3 views, two of those split in half to save space. We thought it would be a fun experiment to 'unsplit' the top and bottom views from the Claw Marks artwork! Here are the results, quick-and-dirty edits to show what the ships looked like when they were originally drawn:

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PC Powerplay Pictures Perfectly Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The kind human behind the X-Wing Game Series Twitter account has sent us a wonderful vintage interview. This piece from the May 1996 issue of PC Powerplay magazine talks to Mark "Hammil" (Hamill) about his experiences on the Wing Commander games. Mark is in rare form and it's a compelling transcript -- I wonder if he ever played that 3DO! -- but even more exciting than the text is this rarely seen production photo of Hamill as Colonel Blair wearing a Confederation flight suit with a Border Worlds patch. Awesome!

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Super Famicom Advertising Unearthed Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've been on the hunt for Japanese advertising relating to ASCII's 1993 push for Wing Commander SFC for several years and now preservation-minded gamers have begun providing the Internet Archive with vintage scans of Famitsu, Japan's Super Famicom publication of record. This has allowed for the discovery of not one but two print ads for the game! The first, from issue 241 (July 30, 1993) includes the game's stunning cover painting and stats for the four human fighters:

The second comes from the following issue (242, August 6 1993) and seems to include a sort of flow chart showing how a mission works:

Issue 239 (July 16, 1993) includes an article covering the game:

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See German Amiga Translation in Action Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

FekLeyrTarg shared this neat clip of the German Amiga translation of Wing Commander 1. Both the Amiga and SNES editions of the game got proper German localizations, but the more common PC DOS version did not. Both FekLeyr and Dennis Mull confirm that the text comes across quite well here. If you're a PC player looking to try things out in a different language, Marty2Life made a German conversion package available here (also French and Spanish!).
Footage from the German Amiga version of WC1. And I must say the translation is pretty good.

Happy Birthday Armada! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It was only just last month that I saw my first Wing Commander themed short form video in the wild, and today I've spotted another. There's really nothing newsworthy about this, except yesterday happened to be Wing Commander Armada's 28th birthday! So enjoy a vertical slice of an Arrow dogfighting a Dralthi to celebrate. It's a little bit unsatisfying as is, but they also posted a full frame version of the first gauntlet mission where this was sampled from. If this leaves you wanting more, stop by the CIC Discord right now where LOAF is doing a close read of Voices of War!

Arena Emulation Makes Good Progress Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Cpl Hades reports that the Xenia emulator continues to make improvements in how it handles Wing Commander Arena. When we last reported on this progress, we noted that players could start the game and go through menus, but actual gameplay would cause a crash. Hades is now able to get the single player modes going, although multiplayer support is still not present. We 1000% recommend everyone buy the game for $9.99, but as a two-generations-old console game that depends on special Microsoft servers to operate, it very much seems like a time will come when the game will not be regularly playable. It's great to see that when that unfortunate day arrives, alternatives should exist to keep the game running!

Star Citizen Makes Half a Billion Dollars Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Star Citizen has surpassed the $500 million crowdfunding threshold! It's probably not a milestone even Chris Roberts could have imagined back when the project kicked off in October 2012, but the Roberts Space Industries engine continues to print money. It's not even slowing down - the most recent $100 million has come in just the last ten months. At that pace, they're on track to hit a cool billion dollars in just about four more years. It's hard to fathom how they could even spend that much money on development, but I'm sure they'll find a way. All of this is just in time for the 10th anniversary of the game's unveiling. They will be celebrating a Digital CitizenCon to celebrate on October 8! Thanks to Dennis Mull for the tip!

My Money's on the Tbolt Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Sci-Fi King has put together a little demo of the Thunderbolt VII taking on a Stargate F-302 Fighter-Interceptor. Who will win in this epic battle between the Wing Commander and Stargate universes... in the Star Trek Bridge Commander engine? You'll have to watch to find out!
Sci Fi Here. We got The ThunderBolt Going Against F-302. Who You Think Will Win? Lets find Out. Hope You Guys enjoy This Video As I Did Making Them and make interesting Scenarios. Thank You 4 Watching!!!

Fodder for Funeral Fans Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The world has seen a lot of a particular funeral today, but have they seen enough Wing Commander funerals? Decidedly not. LOAF is here to fix that with a handful of screenshots!
We’ve talked about how Wing Commander doesn’t have many queens… but it has PLENTY of funerals! One of the craziest things about the movie is that it /doesn’t/ have a space funeral.

Prophecy - And Privateer Online! - Ships Appear in Voodoo Advertising Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I love hardware ads where assets from a bunch of games are hanging out. We've got spaceships! And scantily clad ladies! And monster trucks! (PC Gamer, May 1998)

I am finding so many of these that it will require a deep dive... but look at THIS ONE which features a Vaktoth from Privateer Online!?!?!?!?!? So it looks like there were four of these paste ups for the original Voodoo cards in 1997. No Wing Commander in the first one! Then two more for the Voodoo 2. After that there’s not such a focus on advertising how much developer support 3dfx has… Just way more butts up there than are usually in one of my posts.

I had the Canopus Pure 3D and it had *6* megs of memory instead of 4. Still have no idea what that even did.

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Alien Double Helix Craft Animated Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got an updated look at the exotic Double Helix design that Klavs is experimenting with. Instead of a static image, this time we've got a subtle video where it ominously hangs in space. It's both beautiful and eerie at the same time!

Playing with the Double Helix spaceship again, fiddling with camera angles & focal lengths to make the ship appear to shift and stretch in slightly unsettling ways. It all happens probably too slowly to notice, but then maybe that's the poinnnnnnt.

French Preview Reveals Amazing WC4 Set Detail Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Greg14 has uncovered another great vintage publication dating back to the golden era of Wing Commander's FMV production. This comes from the July 1995 issue of Joystick magazine in France. It's got lots of gorgeous set photographs, including some new ones to us. The article itself covers a range of topics such as the production values, extensive story, Chris Roberts as a director and more. Check it out below!
The filming of the cinematic scenes of Wing Commander 4 in Hollywood studios. French magazine "Joystick" July 1995.

TCS Johnny Green in the Spotlight Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's been getting teased for months, and now Mac's lore video about the TCS Johnny Greene is here! Mac does an excellent job building up the ship and detailing its heroic efforts as detailed in the End Run substory, Milk Run. Along the way, we're treated to scene after gorgeous scene of Klavs' models in action. The narration is spot on, but all of the snazzy artwork would make this a dazzling video even with the sound off!
A battered old corvette gets called to perform a "Milk Run" recon job on a planet. What they find are suicidal odds against their survival and the means to turn the Kilrathi War around for Humanity.
Thanks to Heart of the Tiger for the tip!

Vintage Review Heaps Praise on Armada Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's another Spanish retro review from Maxi de Sokar. We've seen several of these articles recently, but this time OKPC really liked Wing Commander Armada! It earned a whopping 93% to beat out other top scorers like WC2 and Privateer each at 90%. The game got a four page spread littered with screenshots. They credit Armada's replayability, option to play as the Kilrathi and the multiplayer - including split screen mode. These are all things I love about Armada, but I don't often see reviews agree so enthusiastically. "Excitement will be served!"

Early Roberts & Hamill Interview Hypes Upcoming WC3 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Greg14 found a really cool video from the inaugural issue of the French gaming mag PC Fun. In November 1994 this would have been one of the first magazines to include CD-ROMs that packed in "multimedia" enhancements like recorded interviews. Chris Roberts and Mark Hamill are included together here, and their responses are all in English with French translations on the screen.

There are some lovely vintage touches to see. The footage is a "postage stamp" - taking up just a quarter of the screen in what's already a classically low res interface. Each answer is prompted by clicking a giant red button with the question on it. And just listen to Chris Roberts talk about how the game will run at 8-10 frames per second in SVGA on a 486/33 - those were the days!

Start Your Week Off Symphonically Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I'm just loving how Symphonic Remakes is starting to make their way through Privateer, which is chock full of moody and edgy music that really takes me back to the Gemini Sector. Their latest reorchestration tackles the game's initial spaceflight and combat music. Listening to this really conveys the sense of launching in your Tarsus or Centurion, heading out into the unknown and encountering some dangerous foes.
If that's got you wanting more, here are a couple of their earlier Privateer tracks!

Slick Replacement Container Offered for Prophecy Advance Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

CustomGameCovers has a cool product for Wingnuts who own Prophecy for the Game Boy Advance. Since the game comes on a cartridge, it's very popular on the resale market - although it's commonly without a box. This solution fills that need with a reusable DS-style container that has a slip cover based on the game's original cardboard box. It's not really a collectible piece itself, but it could be a nice complement to the Prophecy Advance in your collection! You can order them for about $10 on eBay. There's also a deal where you can buy two and get one free.

DOS Days Turns the Clock Back to 1991 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

BastichB 64K has posted a new video in his DOS Days series. This episode focuses on Wing Commander 2, and it's been a long time coming since his WC1 profile originally dropped way back in March 2020. This isn't a particularly long clip, but it's nice how the narrator tries to set the stage and describe the early '90s pop culture context. WC2 gets a lot of credit for its new gameplay mechanics, narrative-driven story, interesting characters and engrossing expansions. Check it out below!
A look back at Wing Commander 2 a classic sequel to the much beloved original space opera by Origin Systems.

The State of the Monarchy in the 27th Century? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Does the British monarchy still exist in Wing Commander's 27th Century? It's not directly stated but it is implied by the "sir" in Admiral Tolwyn's formal title. As seen on office doors in Wing Commander II:

Tolwyn's knighthood isn't mentioned very often but the novel Action Stations calls him "Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn, VC, MOH, DSC, KCB" which means that he's a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath. The VC stands for Victoria Cross, which would also suggest Britain still exists in 2673. It's the nation's highest military honor. As for England itself, Fleet Action has Tolwyn stopping to fret about England CONSTANTLY!
He thought for a moment of a distant ancestor of long ago, who, when contemplating the invasion and destruction of England, announced that even if England fell, the Empire, and with it the fleet, would still continue the fight. England. No, he didn't want to think of that now. ...

But it was the simple truth: the actual existence of his entire species rested in their hands. One wrong move on his part and it might all be over with. All of it gone forever, two thousand years of England gone, a cold silence of death, of extinction.

... think about that. The only bright spot was that for some reason the Cats had not launched a wave of strontium clad thermonukes. England had been spared as well, though it seemed at the moment to be an almost selfish thing to think about.

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Mac Sings the Blues Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

If you caught Mac's short video last week, you got a taste of what he's up to with Klavs' amazing Rapier models. His last scene went heavy on the red tones while this one emphasizes more of the blue notes. You can now pick whichever is your favorite as a glorious 4K wallpaper!
So yeah, I'm doing a #wingcommander thing. A small thing mind you, based on a story about a little Corvette that could. Somehow I seem to be having difficulty getting back into the ~*Youtuber Grindset*~, so I figure a small warmup project is just what's needed.

Spanish Scans Highlight Privateer and WC3 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got two pairs of scans from Maxi de Sokar. They once again come from the Spanish language OKPC magazine circa 1994. The first is a review of Privateer and Righteous Fire from issue 21. It talks about the challenge of starting out fresh and building your ship but then says that unraveling the game's mysteries is rewarding. Issue 28 has a preview of Wing Commander 3. As expected, they focus on the game's amazing evolution with SVGA graphics and live actors. It also features the cringeworthy doctored Spanish WC3 art that we've seen before. Weird!

Wing Commander Makes the Short List(s) Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's a holiday in the US, so I'm going to cash in my "slow news day" credits and report on a couple of listicles that AD just found. As a reader of this site, you're already well aware of the WC entries in each article, so the larger topics might be of more interest. First up is a ScreenRant piece on movies with an unconventional cast list, which definitely includes WC and its hybrid America/international suite of stars.
Wing Commander is one of the rare movies adapted from video games that audiences actually seemed to enjoy upon its release, a trend that wouldn't really make it out of the '90s. The film follows a group of fighter pilots who join an intergalactic war in order to fend off the dangerous Kilrathi race.
I don't quite remember the reception being so positive, but I'll take it. Next up is a brief rundown at C86 on The Best Cartoons Based on Video Games.
7 Wing Commander Academy: The Series Was Lovingly Accurate To The Games

Most cartoons spawned from video games attempt to keep the story moving forward or put it all back together, but the 90s cartoon Wing Commander Academy is something of a loose prequel to the Wing Commander game. The main focus of the series is a group of young cadets who fight against the Kilrathi warrior race. Known for being relatively faithful to the Wing Commander games, even details like instrument panels were accurate in Wing Commander Academy. The series also had a notable voice cast, such as Malcolm McDowell, Thomas F. Wilson, and Mark Hamill, who also appeared in the games themselves.

Also not so sure about those instrument panels, but the "relatively faithful" bit is definitely true!

New Fat Man Interview Covers WC History Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Level with Emily Reese show has conducted a new interview with famous Wing Commander musician George Sanger. It's an extensive two hour conversation that covers a wide range of topics including his inspiration for early Wing Commander tracks and how he met fellow composer Dave Govett. If you're enjoying a long weekend, it's a good way to pass the time! Listen in below:
Legendary video game composer George Sanger talks with Emily Reese about his music for Wing Commander, The 7th Guest and a long list of other topics including math and The Beatles.

Reminder: GOG Sale Final Weekend Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

GOG's latest sale has had a good run, but it's quickly coming to a close. The Wing Commander series continues to be marked down by 75%. The price goes back up mid day Monday, so get your last minute purchases in before then!

Mac's Rapiers Kickstart the Weekend Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Mac is gearing up to do some new Wing Commander Lore videos, but first he's got this short video to show off some of his models (designed by Klavs) and animations techniques. Those Rapiers have some pretty smooth moves!
Audio was taken from an online trucking night w friends. We might have been a little tipsy.

Take a Trip to the Tri-System Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

People post a lot of Wing Commander streams on the internet these days, but we don't report on most of them since they can tend to get repetitive. But it's not every day you run across a nice long Privateer 2 session. I was a little surprised to find this two hour tour of P2 posted by The Psycho Fox. He starts at the beginning and works his way through the unique storyline kickoff before orienting to the menus and interface. That's followed by a good amount of flying, shooting and upgrades. It's not until an hour and 14 minutes in that someone in the comments tips him off that this is a Wing Commander spinoff. Crazy times!

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