In the Distant Future, Mankind is Locked in a Deadly War...

Exactly fifteen years ago today, Origin Systems, Inc. made history when they shipped the original Wing Commander. On September 26, 1990, after ten months of development, the world's first interactive movie shipped to software stores and changed the world. At 5:00 PM CST on that day, during the release party outside Origin's old Wild Basin office, Richard Garriott announced that the game's creator, Chris Roberts, had been hired as Director of New Technologies.

In the fifteen years since that day, the Wing Commander saga set the high bar for quality in computer and video gaming. If your favorite video game today goes out of its way to make you feel like a participant instead of an observer, it is because of what Wing Commander did to gaming. If your computer plays sounds on a Soundblaster, reads games from a CD-ROM drive or makes use of 3d accelerated graphics, it is because Wing Commander pushed the envelope and made these things the standard.

Wing Commander is as alive today as it was in 1990 because of the fandom it inspired. It has been over two years since the last Wing Commander game, Wing Commander Prophecy for the GameBoy Advance, was released. It has been just over seven years since the last completely original title was released. Despite these daunting numbers, this website receives more and more visitors every single month. Despite this, people play new Wing Commander fan games and read new Wing Commander fiction and argue tooth and nail about new Wing Commander ideas every single day - all because of our community. There are Wingnuts today who weren't even born when the original game first reached store shelves. Take a moment to reflect on this - even if you are nothing else, every one of you should be incredibly proud of this accomplishment.

The importance of the original Wing Commander can not ever be understated. For the industry it was a new way to make computer games, one that continues fully unabated today. For the fans - us fans - it was the most exciting adventure we ever experienced. Never before did a computer game offer such emotion and such interaction.

We have a lifetime of war stories from that simple computer game: we struggled to save the Ralari, we were thrilled to fly the new Rapiers and any wingnut worth his salt will chew your ear off about the time he lost both his guns and both his VDUs and still made it home in that Hornet, given the opportunity.

We loved the characters -- we followed Colonel Halcyon to hell, laughed at Maniac Marshall, had a not-so-subtle crush on Angel Devereaux and we hated the furballs for what they did to Iceman's family.

We pored over the blueprints and Joan's. We memorized Claw Marks. Show a Wing Commander fan a Scimitar or a Dralthi today, and he'll have true feelings about what flying them and fighting them were like.

Wing Commander was the greatest game ever made; it is entirely appropriate that to this day it has the greatest group of fans ever assembled. I'll see you all for the thirtieth anniversary.

Destroying the remains of the Kilrathi naval power in the sector, the Tiger’s Claw closes in for the kill, and the last Kilrathi planet in the sector falls!

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Official news, fan projects and topics of particular interest to Wing Commander fans.

Writer Writing About Writing Writes About Wing Commander's Writing
2014-10-01 -- Former Bioware game story author Alexander Freed has written an in-depth five-part series on branching dialogue in video games. Discussion topics include potential pitfalls, text vs speech, conversation trees and the art of maintaining a meaningful narrative. The writer doesn't overly focus on any particular series, but Wing Commander does get credit for implementing this practice better than most games.

The Darkening's Enhancement Patch Gets Even Better
2014-09-30 -- HCl has released an update to his major Privateer 2 Patch. The initial version fixed crashes, smoothed out audio, improved mouse control, stabilized game speed, added no-cd ability and deinterlaced the cutscene videos. [take a breath] It was even compatible with all version of P2 from DOS to Windows to GOG.

This Thud Is Slightly Sleeker
2014-09-29 -- ScoobyDoo has mocked up a new Thunderbolt VII variant based on the concept art for Wing Commander 3. The Heart of the Tiger's famous development wall featured a host of Confed ships that generally appeared more squat with certain rounded features similar to the ships of WC2. Scooby's design builds on that idea and adds some forward stabilizers/pylons as well as his nifty transparent radome assembly.

Full Afterburners, Go, Go, Go!
2014-09-28 -- Klavs has helped amp up the VK Day festivities with a glorious new Excalibur render. He's taken the famous FLEE image and recreated it from a new perspective. His version has a few additional details that are really nice - you can clearly see the WC3 style flight suit in the cockpit, and a "300" is prominent on the fighter's nose.

Local Newspaper Highlights Wing Commander's Musical History
2014-09-27 -- The Austin Chronicle has printed a preview of tomorrow's Austin Civic Orchestra concert featuring Wing Commander. The article notes that the music was originally created locally by George Oldziey at Origin, and this year's successful Kickstarter campaign gets a nod too. It also points to this really fun writeup from 1995 that talks about WC3's soundtrack and the burgeoning field of video game music.

Chris Roberts' Crowdfunding Success Officially Recognized
2014-09-26 -- Roberts Space Industries has chalked up another achievement. They've been included in the 2015 Guinness Book as the most crowd funded project in history. They earned the spot with $40 million, but the latest tally is actually $54 million with no end in sight!

Wing Commander in Concert This Weekend!
2014-09-25 -- Here's a reminder that George Oldziey's Wing Commander suite will be performed this weekend by the Austin Civic Orchestra. The show will be Sunday, September 28, 2014 at 3:00 PM at the Anderson High School Performing Arts Center. Austinites are really lucky to be so close to this!

Happy VK Day!
2014-09-24 -- On September 24, 2669, Colonel Christopher Blair launched his successful Temblor Bomb strike on Kilrah. Its resulting blast wave took out the Emperor and Prince Thrakhath's enormous invasion fleet massing in orbit. The crown prince himself was also bested in combat just prior to Blair's descent to the planet's surface.

Fans Continue to Push 3D Printing Envelope
2014-09-23 -- The Arrow kit build we showed off last week isn't the only new 3D printing project in the works. poopnoodle got these miniature Hellcats printed from Sculpteo based on Klavs' designs. Although the color models are really popular, artistic fans get a kick out of the blank canvas versions.

Playstation TV to Support Wing Commander IV
2014-09-22 -- There'll soon be a new way to play Wing Commander in your living room! Sony has announced that nearly 700 games will be available for the Playstation TV device when it launches in North America on October 14, 2014. The $99 set top box will be similar to the Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV.

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