GOG Salutes the 'Forever Greats' Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Earlier this week I mentioned that it was everyone's last chance to get discounted Wing Commander until the next GOG sale. And that next sale is here! The summer sale may be over, but the new Forever Great promo is ready to serve you cheap WC games. The details are pretty similar to last time with most titles marked down 50% to $2.99 each. Armada and Academy are boosted slightly to 66% off. Curiously, Privateer 2 is not part of the sale. It's almost always included along with the rest of the Wing Commander series, so I'll assume it was a simple oversight this time rather than some kind of intentional burn. Strike Commander is also omitted, but that's not uncommon.
A lot of retro and classic games are being lost to time. Our main goal is to preserve them, make them available for modern computers. Check out our discounted collection of Forever Great games.

Exotic Hit Squad Box Showcases WC1 in Three Languages Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last week we shared a fun assortment of European Hit Squad releases from Dennis Mull's collection. Now Conservatoire national du jeu vidéo or the French National Video Game Conservatory has posted an unusual triple-translation copy of WC1 that has English, French and Italian all in one. It's always fun to learn about a new version of Wing Commander! This is part of a delightful larger thread on the history of multilingual game packaging.
LOAF: Part of a fascinating thread on multi-language game boxes. English-French-Italian as on this Hit Squad copy of Wing Commander I is an unusual grouping!

Unraveling a Mystery: Starship Troopers of the Guardians Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

My brother recently sent me a pretty fascinating question: is there a Wing Commander TCTG card in Starship Troopers (1997). He included an image where you can see cards stick to the wall to the left of the viewscreen in the camp barracks. It does, indeed, look very similar to a Wing Commander card! Compare it, for instance, to this Hellcat V. Did the art department maybe take one and replace the fighter with a Heinlein-era rocket? That's not the craziest connection to make, either. Troopers' lead, Casper Van Dien, was in fact good friends with Wing Commander's Mark Hamill and his family. That's why he had a cameo in the Wing Commander IV intro! Confed Redshirt #3: The timeline works out, too. The Wing Commander TCTG was developed by a company called Mag Force 7 and released in August 1995. It's based mostly on WC3. Meanwhile, Starship Troopers' principal shoot was over the summer in 1996. But it's not a WC card! I quickly realized that it's something even weirder: a STAR OF THE GUARDIANS card. Star of the Guardians is a completely original IP that started as a 1990 book trilogy by Margaret Weis. It's so original that there was even a spinoff series about the group of weird looking bounty hunters that appear in one of them! (I actually love SotG, but the book packagers knew exactly what they were doing.) And here's the WC connection: Ms. Weis founded Mag Force 7 to develop the SotG card game in 1994. Designers Jeff Grubb and Don Perrin developed the LANE-to-LANE Combat System for SotG… which was then used for their second game, Wing Commander! There are actually two SotG cards visible in the Starship Troopers barracks if you're trying to recreate Camp Currie: So why is it set dressing? Likely because the cards were extremely cheap! SotG scored massive preorders with retailers as the 'first' SF CCG to come in the wake of the Magic craze. Huge amounts of cards were printed. But the combination of an IP no one knew and the quick arrival of games like Decipher's Star Trek meant there was very little interest. By the time they were shooting SST, packs were available everywhere for pennies apiece. They are, in fact, still readily available cheap today! The massive overprinting of SotG inadvertently killed Wing Commander, too. Distributors were wary to order and the game ended up extremely hard to find. Mag Force 7 ended up running ads like this to try to let people know they could buy directly it. Mag Force 7 was sold and sadly neither of their games were continued. The designers went on to adapt LANE-to-LANE for one more game, a largely forgotten Star Trek TOS game from Skybox (from the time when TOS and TNG were separate, competing card licenses). Here's another shot where the cards are visible. I suspect the other similarly sized cards are also contemporary game shop overstock… but we'll need a nerd with a different hyperfixation if we want to identify them.
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Fan Art Throwback: Galaxy and Drayman Merchant Ships Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

What happens when you dig really deep for Wing Commander stuff to share? You find some wild gems like these! Turn the clock back 20+ years for a time capsule of WC fan art that raeder made back in the 2003-2005 era. Apparently these were created in an old school program called Bryce. I would say the Galaxy model is actually very good for the time and it's mostly the textures that would benefit from a little more consistency. Of course, the background art and flame effects are pretty dated, but they still have a certain vintage charm!
Over a decade has passed since these ships first ran the starlanes of the Gemini Sector, and the improvements just keep coming. New B&S scanners, cannon and turret mounts, improvements in storage capacity, heavier generator mounts, and room for improved counter-tronic equipment has fast made them popular among the freighting community. While they will never be a true combat vessel, the Galaxy starfreighter has proven time and again it is as home on the fringes of civilization as any fighter.

This is another render of the Galaxy starfreighter from the Origin space flight-sim, Privateer. Like? Don't like? Let me know, I will continue to work on it.

GOG Summer Sale Last Chance Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

GOG's Summer Sale is winding down, but you can still take advantage of the discount to get cheap Wing Commander games. The main entries in the series are 50% off or $2.99 each. Armada, Academy and Privateer 2 are a larger 66% off or just $2.03 each. Get your orders in before Wednesday evening (or wait until the next sale!).

Check out Origin’s Gorgeous Floppy Plane Art Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This conversation provided a good excuse to post some airplane diskettes! Origin could make a handsome disk!
ParadiseRegaind: I’m reminded of the beautiful US diskette artwork for Pacific Strike, and to a lesser extend, Strike Commander.

LOAF: Agreed! Makes you wish there had been a diskette SKU for Wings of Glory...

    Strike Commander
  • Disk 1 - F-16 Fighting Falcon
  • Disk 2 - MiG-29 Fulcrum
  • Disk 3 - Tornado
  • Disk 4 - A-10 Warthog
  • Disk 5 - Su-27 Flanker
  • Disk 6 - F-15 Eagle
  • Disk 7 - F/A-18 Hornet
  • Disk 8 - F-22 Lightning II

(Note that most copies of Strike Commander include a bonus Origin FX demo on Disk 8; the F-22 art only appears in copies without the demo.)

    Pacific Strike
  • Disk 1 (and 9) - F4F Wildcat
  • Disk 2 - TBD Devastator
  • Disk 3 - F6F Hellcat
  • Disk 4 - SBD Dauntless
  • Disk 5 - F4U Corsair
  • Disk 6 - SB2C Helldiver
  • Disk 7 - TBD Avenger
  • Disk 8 - F8F Bearcat
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Orchestra Recording on Track for August With Chorus to Follow in October Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's been a bit since fans successfully crowdfunded a brand new album of George Oldziey's Wing Commander music, so Mr. Oldziey popped back in today to give everyone an update. The live orchestra will be recording its Wing Commander tracks in Budapest on August 19. George will then take a couple months to process this material and compose the corresponding choral elements. Then the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City will perform their piece in October. Everything still has an excellent chance of coming together into a finished product by about the end of the year, which would be a really quick turnaround!
Greetlns all! I apologize for not keeping you better up to date on the WC volume two recording schedule.

So yes, our recording date with the Budapest Scoring Orchestra is set for Monday, August 19th. We will be utilizing two 4 hour sessions that day in order to record ALL of the orchestral music for the eintire project.

In addition, I’ve booked a studio in Salt Lake City, Utah to record members of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir to record all the choir parts for Saturday, October 12th for all the compositions that need choir. The reason for that later date serves two purposes. I need to create a good mix of the orchestra for the choir members to use as a reference, but it’s also when a great conductor friend of mine will be available to conduct the choir sessions so that I can focus on listening while looking at the score. Then I will be mixing the orchestra and choir elements in my studio to create an amazing musical canvas that I'm sure you will all love.

This schedule might impact the release date a bit, but I can ensure that everyone will receive the finished products in time for the holiday season 2024.

Again, my heartfelt thank to all of you for your amazing support!

Musically yours,

George

Latest Twitch Streams Showcase Enhanced Secret Ops Visuals Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Kevin Caccamo has been hosting a series of Secret Ops livestreams each Saturday, and we think you might want to take a look! If LOAF's recent chapter splash screens weren't enough to make you nostalgic for the game, then maybe Kevin's videos clips will. What's more is that he's running DefianceIndustries' Model Upgrade Pack, which makes the game absolutely beautiful. Each scene graphically pops even more than you remember (unless you played the MUP that is!). You can find all of Kevin's videos here and give the Model Upgrade Pack a try here!

Happy Fourth Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The CIC staff would like to wish everyone a safe Fourth of July and a home that's still standing in the morning. Hopefully our readers in the US enjoy the fireworks and our readers outside the US enjoy the figurative fireworks from afar.

Evil Pixel Highlights Search for Lost SNES Port of WC2 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Evil Pixel has posted a new video to highlight the plight of Wing Commander 2 for the SNES. This is a cause near and dear to our heart as we have long campaigned to help this port see the light of day. The Super Nintendo variant of WC2 was built from the ground up to be an enhanced version of the game, and it was sadly canceled after it was completed due to the high cost of cartridge production at the time. Videos like this help publicize the hunt for a long lost copy, and we'll keep searching until it's found!
Wing Commander II was released in 1992, however a port of the game was briefly mentioned and shown in gaming magazines and never heard of again. It is said the game was finished and is in someones possession.

Arena Streams Showcase WC Achievement Hunt Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's July, so that means this is the final month that Wing Commander Arena will be offered for sale by Microsoft! Although the game will remain playable for the foreseeable future, potential players will need to purchase their copy now to be able to download it to their Xbox 360 later. The game has been heavily discounted to just $0.99, so there's no reason not to pick a copy up just in case! It's also a really good idea to read LOAF's excellent Arena FAQ to get all of the details straight. To go along with this countdown, here's a couple of videos that AD recently found that show Andre BigBoss hunting achievements. The first clip shows what it takes to organize 16 players for the big "TCS Tiger's Claw" unlock. I very much admire the effort and appreciate how this sort of thing is preserved for history, since modern streaming infrastructure didn't exist back in 2007. I believe the clips are also in Portuguese, but YouTube's auto-captions should translate at least the first stream into your language of choice.

The WC1 Hit Parade Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a quick peek at several different versions of the Hit Squad edition of Wing Commander 1 that come from Dennis Mull's extensive collection. Hit Squad was a budget published that was responsible for a wide range of translations and rereleases for the original game. It's exactly the type of variation that both delights and drives collectors mad!
LOAF: They covered the UK, France, Germany and Italy. Gotta be at least a dozen versions for the patient collector! (I bet Dennis Mull has a bunch.)

Dennis: Yes, I have a few, but there are more out there.

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