Kilrathi Sketches for the Win Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today I'd like to share a few of EmuMusicFan's latest Kilrathi sketches. We've got several soccer themed pictures first. I can imagine that the inspiration for these began around the World Cup time, but I'll also point out that they arrived just in time for the new season of Ted Lasso. We also get a bonus Firekkan in the stands. There's a couple of buff shots of Ralgha and Jahkai as well!
"In the last minute of extra time, the goalkeeper made the save!"

Pining for the Quine Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a rarely seen difference between the original disk release of Privateer and the CD. The 'kill breakdown' was a feature added to Righteous Fire and then ported back to the original campaign by the CD-ROM team! When extracting the assets from the game's files, the Quine plate has an extra button?! And the one that displays in the game is nowhere to be found. A new mystery to solve... Learn all about the Quine 4000 line of Personal Computers in our newly updated Wiki page here! And if that leaves you wanting more, check out the expansive entry on the civilian Navigation System computer (with maps of every quadrant and system!).
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How I Solved a Privateer Damage State Mystery Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here are the damage states for the Privateer cockpits, which can impact your various cockpit gauges and multi function displays. These range from pretty subtle on the Centurion to totally tearing apart your Orion. One tiny detail that I have always loved about the Privateer cockpits: the three modern ships all have bright speed indicators that are projected on their HUDs... but the old Tarsus has big physical displays you can't see through and their text is a duller green. But I couldn't figure out where this Tarsus damage went, though... and no amount of ramming things in the game until everything explodes triggered it. I thought it was maybe unused? BUT I FIGURED IT OUT! It isn't triggered in the game because it's designed for an earlier version of the Tarsus cockpit... THE ONE YOU SEE IN THE INTRO CUTSCENE!

So this was the setup:

Where does this damage fit on the Tarsus cockpit?

The lower part prevents it from fitting on any of the lower instrumentation... but it also doesn't fit over the AUTO or FUEL indicators above. I tried over and over in the game and it never triggered. Every other one in every other ship I had in two goes. This was the last thing I did before bed and I literally had it running in my head all night.

Somebody suggested the side views, which doesn't fit with how the game works otherwise, but was possible. Maybe a cut feature? No, didn't come close anywhere there either.

But two things got me thinking: the idea that the lower part might be scratches that appear on the cockpit glass... and that it might be left over from some earlier revision (since it didn't trigger in the game).

Then I realized: where else do we see a Tarsus cockpit that's not the normal one? THE INTRO FLICK

The intro Tarsus is actually totally different. It's a slightly different perspective and the instrumentation is different, especially at the top where there's a blank panel instead of an autopilot light! And sure enough:

What this research proves is that the primordial Tarsus cockpit seen in the intro was once intended to be the gameplay one!
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Take a Fresh Look at the Prophecy Demo Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The GouldFish has posted a nifty review of the Wing Commander Prophecy Demo. His version comes from the March 1998 PC Format cover disc, but you can also download it here (plus movie pack). I like his setup with the Prophecy box in the background behind the vintage HP machine. Note that this is the full demo, not the 3DFX Test. As Gould notes, players who skipped over this and just played the actual game miss out on a whole three/four mission series. It's absolutely worth picking up for that extra bit of lore and gameplay! Check out the video below (jump to 14:00 if it doesn't autostart at that chapter):
Sure, you've played Prophecy... but did you ever play the demo? If not, you're missing out on a special little chunk of the game. Unlike most game previews, the Prophecy demo contains regular plot missions not available in the retail game. There are four missions that fit nicely in to the game's storyline, but if you'll only see three on your first try due to the branching story. You can still download the 38 meg demo here. You can also download the demo movies pack, which adds a few basic scenes such as your ship launching and briefing introductions. There's even a German version linked from our Files section if that's your preferred language.

Get Your Origin FX Fix Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I couldn't find a legible scan of the Origin FX box online, so here's a quick one: Beautiful Kamekh render, though! Does Origin FX even have a Kamekh in it? Technically yes, since it includes a copy of Wing Commander II's post-credits cutscene and that is indeed a closeup of a Kamekh's hull: Learn all about the Origin FX screensaver/theater at our newly expanded and upgraded wiki page here!
Origin FX is a 1993 screensaver package developed by Origin Systems and published by Electronic Arts. Origin FX comes with 26 different 'movies', the term it uses for screensavers. Several of the movies include elements from the Wing Commander Universe including an air show which has jets and spaceships zoom around your desktop and an asteroid field that soars through familiar Wing Commander space debris. The movies are all customizeable. Origin FX also includes an slideshow option which plays bitmap files; two renderings from Privateer are included with the stock bitmaps.

Origin FX was released nine months before Wing Commander Privateer and offered one of the first looks at the game's ships. The T.C.S. Paradigm movie includes unique Wing Commander lore. The package is named after the Origin FX gameflow system used in games like Ultima VI and Wing Commander. Origin FX was designed to be modular with future Origin games adding additional movies that would utilize to their resources. Strike Commander was the only Origin title released with such an option.


ORIGIN FX™ SCREEN SAVER is more than just a Windows utility that protects your mointor from burn-in. At the same time, it delivers enough entertainment to keep you enthralled fo hours. These modules reflect the creativity and technical ingenuity that have taken the WING COMMANDER and ULTIMA series to the top of the charts. ORIGIN FX is as versatile and exciting as it is useful; a modular screen saver with the graphics, sound and imagination that have made ORIGIN a favorite of computer gamers throughout the world.

ORIGIN FX incorporates images and characters familiar to fans of ORIGIN game worlds, as well as novel imagery created especially for this unique package. Unlike screen savers which use limited colors against a black background, ORIGIN FX brings the hottest color graphics in the entertainment industry to your Windows environment.


  • More than 20 unique modules, with a selection of both algorithmic and graphics-based screen savers.
  • Award-winning ORIGIN music and sound effects.
  • Engage and hot key combinations to activate the screen saver at any time.
  • Customizing options -- you set speed, color, sound and other options.
  • Slide Show module allows you to cycle through bitmapped images from any directory, in any order, and for as long as you wish.
  • As a special feature for owners of WING COMMANDER II, ORIGIN FX offers a module that plays the cinematic sequences when Wing II is installed on your hard drive.
  • Players of the Ultima and Wing Commander games will recognize their favorite characters and space ships as they interact with your desktop.
  • Those new to ORIGIN's world will be introduced to the high quality graphics that made these games industry favorites.
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Build Your Own 'Fleet Museum' Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This week's Picard of course reminded me of the Wing Commander IV introduction. "Can you believe it? It’s an orbital museum now. A relic of the War – like some farmers I know." What displays do you imagine are found on the Victory museum ship? Here's mine:
The Kilrathi War gallery has a Rapier II (serial #55-810419, formerly of the TCS Eagle's Talon) and a Dralthi (recovered by Operation Meatball during the closing days of the war). They're hanging posed in faux combat in front of a big backdrop of the G'wriss System. They also have the front part of a Broadsword cockpit sliced off so you can see the crew positions. (A-17D, 443rd Bomb Wing, "Flak Magnet") The WAR IN THE AIR gallery has, of course, a Sopwith Camel, a SB2C Helldiver and an F-16 Fighting Falcon (the first two are on loan from the Smithsonian, the F-16 was provided by the Istanbul Aviation Museum). Controversy over plans to include a placard discussing the bomb decision scuttled initial plans to display Excalibur 300, which volunteers spent almost a decade restoring. It was put on normal display with less fanfare eighteen months later. WAGON TRAIN TO THE STARS: MERCANTILE SPACECRAFT has a 2669-model Galaxy and a Drayman simulator. It's sponsored by Douglas Aerospace!
Watch the clip that inspired this post here!
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Cool 3D Console Effect Barely Visible in WC Movie Time Slice Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's another little detail I've never noticed in the Wing Commander movie before. [[ChrisReid: "Which is saying A LOT coming from AD!"]] In the Time Slice sequence there's a 3D effect layered over the lights on the panels behind Blair and Angel. Alas, it's nearly imperceivable in the final cut due to the matting. Here's the final film version compared to a wider shot: You can see in the original takes from the rig that there's no effect in the shots. It was recorded on a separate pass and layered into the shot in post-production. It's an interesting effect and would have added another dynamic to the scene if we could have actually seen it. Technically speaking, it's not exactly the matting that's the issue though. At some point - possibly to try and mask the transition between the regular camera and the timeslice footage - they cropped into the frame for the freeze effect. Still, some of the home video / 4:3 aspect versions of the movie were presented in an open matte format and show a lot more of this effect as you can see in these very interesting stills from the airline edit. It's probably the best look at this special effect that we have: You can watch the sequence in question here in the middle of our extended time slice video:
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Learn About Privateer's Origins in Lead Designer Interview Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

St3lt3k spotted a really cool interview with the lead designer of Wing Commander Privateer, Joel Manners. This is a person we have not heard a lot from over the years, so it's really great that badastroza at Steemit managed to have a lengthy conversation with him about how the game came to be. They talked about how Joel got started at Origin and how the concept for Trade Commander evolved. There were big discussions about whether to include the Kilrathi, and a big push to ensure the game still felt like a Wing Commander title despite the unique setting. Check it out for yourself here!
Sometimes you’re working on a game that has that incredibly distinct feeling and sometimes you’re not and you have to search for it, but Privateer was one of those times where it just had it. It was very easy to do – I wish I could tell you about our creative debates and pathos and struggle to find our golden nugget, but it was all just kind of laid out for us so simply that it was more a case of trying to keep pace with the ideas and contain them into something that was accessible rather than searching for what its purpose was.

What's an ESK Anyway? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I *NEVER* do these, but what the hey! 1 like = 1 answer

The ESK rating for the Dart DF missile is... 11,000 ESK! What is ESK? The blueprints list it as the 'strength' rating for the missile and the numbers roughly correspond to the game's explosive force stat. In Secret Missions 2, Maniac proposes (suicidally) arming missiles with "a double load of ESK-5 explosives". So maybe its like TNT? The max range of the Mass Driver Cannon is 3,000 mrrs... later listed as simply 3,000 kilometers! *plonk* *plonk* *plonk* The ESK rating for the Pilum FF is... 9,500! Note also the Duck Dodgers reference on all the blueprint missile breakouts! The velocity of the Dart DF is... 900 kilometers per second! That means you'll need afterburners to outrun one... or you can just move out of the way. Oh, here's the rest of the answers!
  1. What is the ESK rating for the Dart DF missile? 11000
  2. What is the max range of the mass driver cannon? 3000
  3. What is the ESK rating for the Pilum FF missile? 9500
  4. What is the velocity of the Darf DF missile? 900
  5. What is the maximum range of a laser cannon? 4800
  6. How many cm of front armor on the Fralthi? 28
  7. The Tiger's Claw was launched in what year? 2644
  8. What is the weight of the Ralari? 18000
  9. How old is Maniac? 23
  10. What speed is safest in the asteroid fields? 250
  11. How many varieties of Terran trees have been transplanted? 7225
  12. How many kiloliters of Special does Goddard export? 75000
  13. How many square km is Conservation Forest? 12500
  14. What year was the neutron gun invented? 2618
  15. How many priestesses are in the Sivar Cult? 9500
  16. How many systems are used to find the Sivar-Eshrad planet? 25768
  17. In what year did Dr Kohl observe the Sivar-Eshrad? 2621
  18. How many warships arrived at the Sivar-Eshrad on Ghorah Khar? 3715
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Video Shows Off Ultra Ultrawide Gameplay in WC4 Remastered Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a really cool video of WC4 Remastered running at an impressive ultrawide 32:9 aspect ratio. We've known for a few years that the game would at least support 21:9, but this is a nice confirmation that the even wider 5120x1440 resolution will work. The example clip below might not scale up in the embedded version, so I'd recommend popping it out to a full YouTube screen for the entire effect. Also be sure it's running at at least 1440p so you can enjoy the game's beautiful graphics. If you haven't gotten a chance to give the updated WC4 Fan Remake for a spin yet, grab the demo here (900 meg exe).
Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom is probably the greatest example of the medium, with Hollywood budgets, real sets and an outstanding cast including Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davies and Tom Wilson; and unlike many other FMV titles, each benefits from outstanding direction; which leads to excellent performances worthy of any movie.

Ultra wide is supported.

Gemini Sector Frontier Expands With Discovery of Test Bed System Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

If you've been following LOAF's Wing Commander Privateer exploration lately, you've read about how the game's code refers to a Test Bed System that the Origin developers used while making the game. It's not linked from anywhere in the Gemini Sector, but it's still a "real" place that exists since it's pictured in the manual. To our knowledge, no players have managed to find it, until now! Rylex has accomplished an amazing feat by hex editing his way on over. There's not actually a whole lot to do - enemies spawn, but there are no asteroids or landing bases. But it's pretty incredible to be able to fly around in a previously undiscovered star system after nearly three decades. You can read up on the process and jump to the Test Best System yourself with these instructions!
So as you might know, it's possible in Righteous Fire to fly directly to Eden from the beginning of the game. Just go to Rikel and use the hidden jump point that I mentioned before. You can land on Gaea Retro base, but you can't visit the temple.

But now the interesting thing: You can use the jump point back to Valhalla. But as the jump nav point 4 is not yet visible, you don't get to the position of the jump point but to the coordinates 0,0,0 right to the center of the map. And there is no jump point, so you can't get back. Now I've played with the sector data. Even though there are casts and sphere IDs, you can easily change a nav point target. Just use the sector number in the JUMPTYPEJUMP block and change it. The game seems to look in the target sector, if there is a jump point that leads to the sector you are coming from and puts you there. If the target sector has no connection to the sector you are coming from, then you get to coordinated 0,0,0 and no jump point is there.

That being said, I've tried out Perry Nav 1 and changed it to all 68 err.... 69 .... yes, 69 ... sectors as target. In the systems, that are connected to Perry, you get to the specified jump point. In the sectors, that are not connected you get to 0,0,0. So that means, there is no jump connection from Perry to another system. Even not to Rikel... there's just the text "JMPRIKE" ... even if you use the reserved Cast ID 4 for Rikel ... it does not work.

Anyway, I've changed Nav point 1 in Perry to target system ID hex 45 (=69) ... and oops... I've reached the TestBed. The image shows the modified GAME.GOG file opened with an hex editor. I changed "2f" to "45". The positions 24 and 1d underneath show other system target IDs. 45 = TestBed.

New Artistic Rendering Gives Map a Vintage Look Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Klavs has produced a new take on the venerable Wing Commander Movie universe map. About a year ago, he made an electrified version that really pops, and now he's got another novel recreation that looks like it was sketched on old paper. Both are based in the wonderful 275 megapixel corrected image photographed by LOAF and Thomas Hennessy and straightened by Jetlag. You can imagine this as some kind of Pilgrim artifact or even in-universe artistic interpretation. I also love that all the details like nebulas/galactic arms and Charybdis are there, although they look like they could be aged or degraded patches. Very cool!
Fidgeting with the star map today and I thought an ancient looking paper version might be cool!
Here's the older two versions I mentioned, so I don't miss a chance to repost them!

Lego Arrow Zooms In Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

John Nelson has another built another classy custom Lego fighter. Like his exquisite Longbow, this one also comes from Wing Commander 3. I like the bubble canopy and especially the lines of the aft fuselage. There's some forced scaling necessary for the gun pod, but that's a nice touch too.
While I gather parts to complete another project, here is the Arrow. This one is far from perfect. The canopy should be down further and the fuselage should end with a point and the back wings aren’t great but this is as close as it’s getting.

Plier (would) say, “The Arrow is a fine dog fighter that runs circles around anything in space but ConFed cheaped out on the missile racks. Give me the Banshee anyday.”

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

Transmission Interrupted! I’m taking over your normal Wing Commander feed to wish a very happy birthday to CIC founder Chris Reid! Chris is the reason you’ve seen a new update in the space every single day for the past twenty years. Heck, most of the time you see my byline it’s because he’s taken the time to find something I was fooling with on Discord or Twitter. None of this site would be possible without Chris and he’s also one of the most thoughtful and competent people I’ve ever known. So in the greatest old IRC style, please put down your trouts and raise a virtual mug of Goddard Special to a real legend! Now, back to your regularly scheduled commlinks…
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New Privateer Ship Discovered at Perry! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Recently I extracted all of Privateer's gameflow screens (the planets and bases) and matched them to their correct palettes. 229 animations with over 5,000 frames! It's everything from flashing lights on the landing pad to the little cars that fly by on New Detroit. But behold my most exciting discovery: a never-before-seen ship! Thanks to the palette I knew it had to go, specifically, in the Perry Naval Base landing screen... but as far as I can tell it doesn't actually spawn there in the game. You can even see it says PNB (for "Perry Naval Base") on the side! This is about what it would've looked like, though it might've crossed the screen lower. Not such a bad day when you discover a new Wing Commander ship thirty years after it was made!
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Iason Incident Remembered Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

On this day in 2629, the Odysseus-class long range exploratory vessel CS Iason was lost with all hands after encountering the Kilrathi destroyer K’rath’kan. It was the first official contact between the Terran Confederation and the Empire of Kilrah.
Following the Iason incident, Confed interdicted all non-military exploratory, trade and colonization activity beyond the Vega sector frontier. At the same time they began a coordinated covert scouting operation to determine the extent of Kilrathi dominion. By the end of '38, Confed analysts had determined that the Kilrathi sphere of influence was at least equal to, and possibly greater than, that of humanity. Four separate envoys (under heavy escort) were sent into Kilrathi space in an attempt to at least open up lines of communication, but all such efforts were met by armed aggression. (All four missions were able to retreat under fire back to Confed space.)
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Exciting Discovery: Merlin's Holographic Emitter Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a recent discovery of mine regarding the unused hologram character Merlin in the Wing Commander movie. The film was shot to include all his scenes and his deletion had a knock-on effect for nearly all other elements of the film.

Merlin was Blair's PPC (Personal Portable Computer), a futuristic version of a Siri-ChatGTP crossbred with a holographic avatar. He would banter with Blair, make observations, and be a bit of comic relief. Here are a few early concepts of what he might have looked like:

Blair also would discuss things with Merlin while in the cockpit of his Rapier. When the decision was made to remove the character, they changed some of Merlin's in-flight dialogue to be from the Rapier Computer. We often speculated about what Blair's PPC unit (holo emitter base) looked like. Surely we must be able to see Merlin's base somewhere in the final movie. At the time, the obvious conclusion felt like maybe Blair's Storm Navigator watch would be a cool way for him to carry around the PPC... There's a couple problems though: most characters have watches so it's not something unique to Blair, and Maniac seems to have the same specific model as Blair. Second: the script required Blair to also speak with Merlin while wearing flight and Marine armor suits. Per the script, it's not entirely out of the question that it could be the watch, but it does make it less likely. Merlin does have an audio-only mode that was supposed to be used in most of the cockpit scenes. That brings us to the recent discovery: Merlin's hardware!

I was looking through some new-to-me footage and came across a few curious shots... a square device that seems mounted on Blair's armor! The center lights up with red bars in a roughly speech-like patern. This discovery led me to go back through the Bluray on a scavenger hunt.

Remarkably, Merlin's home had been inconspicuously under our noses the entire time. Blair is wearing this device in nearly the entire movie! The catch is that it's usually on his belt and gets cut out of the frame in any medium close-up. The first place the emitter is clearly visible is on the Diligent when Blair talks to Paladin in Paladin's quarters. You can also catch a brief unlcear glimpse of it under his jacket when he is getting out of the Rapier shortly after arriving on the Claw. The PPC is clearly on Blair's belt again when the Claw makes the jump to the Ulysses Corridor, and again later we can see that it's attached to Blair's jacket or waistband on his flight suit. Merlin originally played a key role is explaining why Blair leaves the Diligent during the comcon raid. We see there that Blair has attached the PPC to his arm! Since we never see it light up, it's easy to mistake it for just another part of his armor. You can see Blair is wearing his PPC just before he goes on his flight to Sol near the end of the film, as well as when he's rescued and visits Tolwyn. It's also apparent when he makes his eventual return to the Claw. While in some ways I think the Storm watch is cooler, it's great to finally put the pieces together regarding how this element of the film was intended. Lastly, I'll leave you with a brief clip of Merlin's audio mode in action. Enjoy!
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Comparing Privateer to Its Earlier Builds Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Fun, minor change to Privateer: the build used for the manual screenshots says 'engage' versus 'launch' in the final game.

There are a few more of these in the manual! Since printed docs had to go to print well before a game went gold you can often find little changes like this. The price for the plasma gun was increased (inflation!) as has the location where the weapon gumps appear on the Tarsus: The mission computer screenshots all show that this build had a '+' before the credits. Additionally, neither of the briefings for the missions on the greyscale shots are possible in the final game's mad libs random mission generator. The Merchants' Guild mission example IS possible, though! Still has the old credit display: The Orion cockpit has a Centurion VDU showing upgrades only possible on the Centurion... and one that isn't in the final game, a central tractor beam slot. Big change in scanner prices! The Galaxy is traveling a lot faster than is possible!
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Happy Birthday Wing Commander Movie! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Wing Commander Movie turns twenty-four today! As crazy as that sounds, it also means we're just a year away from it being a quarter century old. The film may be getting up there in age, but there's still plenty to learn about it. Check out the list below for some of our recent analyses and stories from just the last year! For a nice visual pop, here's an upgraded trailer that AD put together as well as a gorgeous Rapier wallpaper by Klavs:

All Your Base...s With All Four Privateer Ships! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

My Privateer challenge was to get a screenshot of each ship in each base. So here's a quick post! Mining/pirate asteroids:

Agricultural/pleasure planets: Refineries! A reminder that Privateer shipped on 6 3.5" diskettes: only the asteroid version has an animated spotlight. New Constantinople... New Detroit... Oxford! Perry. Technically, this is a "hangar bay" instead of a "landing pad". The more you know! And of course by far the biggest pain in the butt to collect... the derelict! These are all bound for the WCPedia where I've been doing some pretty neat insane person stuff but also that I've been too brain exhausted to talk much about. You can check out the newly completed Hangar page here!
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DaveO's Massive WC Video Archive Restored Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've got great news for Wingnuts today! DaveO's extensive archive of Wing Commander videos has returned to the internet. Dave started this vast archive some fifteen years ago with playthroughs of most main story games and their expansions, but over time some segments became unavailable.

There's all kinds of reasons why fans might want to have this at their fingertips. It's very helpful to be able to quickly check how something looked in a mission, consult a video for strategy or grab a certain screenshot. You get game flow, cinematic and gameplay here for a complete experience. A few samples are below, but you can find all of his various game-specific playlists here on YouTube.

The CIC also has its own large scale WC video archive, but it's a little more focused on things like trailers, promotional vids, behind-the-scenes content, fan projects and similar material. The two archives complement each other! Find our Holovids area here.

Iconic Privateer Intro on the Retro Miyoo Mini Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a cool little clip of Normal_Andy firing up Wing Commander Privateer on the Miyoo Mini. We know it's powerful enough, because he previously got WC3 running. Controls might be a bit tough to manage on such a small device, but it's still very neat to see it in operation!

Short Shrift Reviews for SWC and Armada Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got a pair of tiny reviews from vintage mid '90s magazines. They're arguably less exciting than the big spreads that the main story games would usually get, but my take is that these are still important in the context of Wing Commander history. Both are short, but that's why I dug up two to share. Print real estate was valuable back in the day, so sometimes the only information you'd have about certain games would be a few sentences like this here and there. This would happen sometimes to games like Super Wing Commander (3DO) and Armada, which got a small strip in the January 1994 edition of Electronic Gaming Monthly and the February 1995 issue of Next Generation magazine. At least there were some screenshots, which is more than some of these titles got! Special bonus: Bioforge advertisement!

Marketing, 1995 Style Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a Wing Commander/Origin ad I don't think I've seen before. Unfortunately, it's... not great. From the May 1995 issue of Wired:

And here's an Apple ad from 1996 with Wing Commander IV! All that empty space is because the Macintosh only had these ten games in 1996.
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Privateer's Unused Noses Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Folks, I've uncovered some shocking cut content hidden in Privateer's files. The game has... TWO UNUSED NOSES.

For comparison, here's a few actual faces from Privateer:
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Amazing Lego Longbow Bomber Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

John Nelson has made a number of impressive Lego Wing Commander fighters, and his new Longbow might be the best yet. His latest creation incorporates many of the iconic bomber's famous elements from bubble cockpit to side hatch. Both the rear turret and forward gun emplacements look great. The angle of the 'wings' also looks spot on and the colors are accurate to Wing Commander 3. It's a very impressive build!
I tweaked the wings a little from those first photos and got the right color bricks into place for the front by the cockpit but the Longbow is done! Technic pieces were needed for the angled wings and while there are some gaps in the middle fuselage just behind the outcroppings I am pleased with the result.

Pliers (would) say, “The Longbow is Confed's finest bomber and has the firepower to turn any convoy to scrap iron in its wake, if a bunch of light fighters don’t gang up on it first.”

PC Gamer Reviews Wing Commander III Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It was just last week when we featured a post by PC Gamer UK remembering the February 1995 (#15) issue of their magazine... which surprised us all because it featured a long forgotten portrait of Prince Thrakhath! Thanks to X-Wing Game Series we have an excellent quality scan of the magazine and we've pulled out all the Wing Commander material for you.

The most exciting discovery was the story behind the painting... along with an unobstructed, high resolution scan of the full piece! It turns out it was painted by Paul Kidby, an English artist notable for his work in Terry Prachett's worlds, and the original was given away in an Electronic Arts contest run through the magazine. How did history forget this?!

The review itself is comprehensive and accurate... Wing Commander III is an immaculate game!

The issue also included a short article on actors appearing in CD-ROMs that features a photograph of Mark Hamill as Colonel Blair.

It also turns out that the issue's cover disc, a new development at the time, includes some pretty impressive Wing Commander material: copies of the Wing Commander III demo AND the 'Behind the Screens' application.

You can download a disc image here (500 meg).

... but wait, there's more! Original Videogame Art has even better imagery of the original painting! The site says it's a 40cm x 59cm acrylic and airbrush painting and it even has a set of detail insets:

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Read All About Armada’s Systems and Planets Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I decided to try and take apart Wing Commander Armada to learn about how it generates maps. The 'Campaign' mode has 11 pre-set sectors that are always the same but the 'Armada' mode creates random ones. Where do the names come from and how many are there? Long story short, I found the table of all 704 system names with a hex editor and cross referenced them with the published campaign maps. 704 systems is 11 blocks of 64 each. The first systems in the start of each block all appear in their respective campaign sector while the Armada mode can pull from anywhere in the table for a random map. So here's a spreadsheet of them all... the immediate takeaway is that I've discovered 118 new star systems previously uncataloged in Wing Commander lore! Also the list is super fun, lots and lots of 1994 gags and obvious Origin in-jokes.

Next I wanted to learn more about the planet graphics. I've found they're consistent in each mode. I have learned that it's 26 sets of 30 pre-rendered frames each for each planet... over 500kb of disk space total, a true embarrassment of riches for Origin's last game that shipped on 3.5" diskettes! The 26 planets are assigned in order to the table, so system #1 is PLANET00, #2 is 01, etc. and then it loops around, #27 is 00 again and so forth. Confirmed with testing!

This ONLY applies to the campaign maps; planet graphics are randomized in Armada mode. I found where the game stores the Campaign maps’ x/y coordinates and the starting resource levels! The spreadsheet lists all the jump connections for the campaign mode; someone with more brains than me could generate a pretty cool map with the data!

I also made sprite sheets for each planet! Here's a collection of them animated on the WCPedia.
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Sabre on Deck! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Mac is back with another exciting new wallpaper to share. This one features Klavs' recent Sabre model positioned at the ready on a carrier's flight deck. You can see it means business, because it's armed to the teeth! A second one hangs back in the shadows alongside a trusty Rapier. Enjoy!
Well I might have not been the first one to buy her, but we're still going to have fun together nonetheless.

Pair of Vintage Origin Patch Disks Resurface Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Dominus of Exult has managed to track down another rare and exotic Wing Commander find. While scoping out a lot of vintage games, he noticed some extra pack-ins with WC1/2. It turns out they were physically mailed patch disks that the original owner received after working with Origin Tech Support. That’s how it worked before patches were easily downloadable online! A few of these pop up from time to time and they’re always very cool to see.
Bought a Wing Commander lot for $50 (1-5, Secret/Special, Privateer2, Academy, Armada). Mainly because I didn‘t have the regular Prophecy and spied some oddities. I think it was worth it ;)

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