Ferrets Hit the Front Lines Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

What a nice way to start the weekend! Klavs has wrapped up the texturing on his updated Ferret model. There are two variants. One is a familiar paint scheme based on what you might find in WC2/In-System Security. There's also a more muted gray set in End Run/the TCS Tarawa. They make a potent pair!
Calling this done for now.

Watch the Entire End Run Story Here Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Mac is back with his biggest, baddest and most epic Lore Video yet! In recent months he's covered several adjacent topics such as the Broadsword Bomber and TCS Johnny Greene, which have helped set the stage for the main event: Wing Commander End Run. If you've read the novel, you know the story. The video starts out as the mother of all book reports, but it's much more than that! Mac uses a variety of WC2 talking head models and backdrops to convey the character interaction. He's also built a huge library of animations to visualize the story's fleet actions and fighter combat. It's quite a tremendous package. Block out some time and watch below!
The Terran Confederation is losing the war against their long time enemies, the Kilrathi Empire. What follows becomes the tale of "The Little Escort Carrier that Could", aka The "End Run".

BREAKING NEWS: Wing Commander Vinyl Campaign Imminent Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last month, we reported that Supercade was planning to manage a crowd funding campaign for a vinyl release of George Oldziey's Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Project. Now, it seems like the launch is imminent as Supercade author Van Burnham has just tweeted:

There's no additional information yet but we'll let you know the moment it's available. If you are curious about the promotional screenshot, it's actually from a Wing Commander Academy mod developed by HCl that adds a Hellcat V to the game! Want to try it for yourself? You can download te patch here.

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Righteous Fire Takes Out the Big Guns Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I’m working on a Righteous Fire walkthrough and while playing the last missions I noticed the Elite Salthi were firing fusion guns. But my increasingly old man memory was sure the big reveal was that they fired copies of the Steltek Gun. Was I misremembering because there’s dialogue about the gun being copied? I watched a dozen YouTube videos and they were all fusion guns. Huh!

Then I realized: I first played the expansion when it was released on disk in early 1994, just a few months before the CD-ROM came out and that became the de facto version of Privateer. Could there have been an intentional change? I installed the floppy version from disk images and… sure enough!

WHY? It’s not an accident as the Dralthi uses fusions in both versions. I’m guessing the support folks were sick of people asking how to get the gun back and decided not to tease players. Too bad, as it was a distinct enough moment for me to remember thirty years later! Also:
  • Here’s (somehow) the first detailed RF walkthrough on the information superhighway! I need to make an index and continue cleanup but you can access all the missions from the bottom for now.
  • Did a little more digging in the guts; I DIFF'd all the ship profiles between the two versions and found that the Elite Salthi (and Jones' Centurion) had all their Steltek Guns (09) changed to Fusion Cannons (08). So it had to be on purpose!
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Listen to Two Different Grayson Burrows Voiceovers Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

LOAF and the team are busy working on Privateer-themed projects over on the CIC Discord server, and that inspired me to share a quick comparison that some players might have overlooked. Everyone loves the Privateer intro. It's memorable, action-packed and showcases the cutting edge of 1993 multimedia prowess. "Who are you that flies so good!? Are you insane?!" And you can probably imagine Brownhair's quips as he cruises around the asteroid belt in his Tarsus, but did you know there are two different voiceover tracks? The original 3.5" disks had an intro with spoken dialogue recorded by local talent. When the game's speech was fully recorded for the CD edition, a new voice actor was brought in to read everything, including the intro. You can compare the two side-by-side below! The disk version is first and CD second:

Quick & Light Versus Tough & Powerful Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've got a couple of very nice new updates to a pair of Klavs' WC2-era models. The Sabre that he's been working on this year has gotten a revamped TCS Tarawa texture with nods to the events of End Run. There's also an all new take on the Ferret, which you can tell is the P-64D Super Ferret variant thanks to the pair of heat seeking missiles. It gets a similar new livery to the Sabre based around the In-System Security paint scheme. The Sabre may win out on specs, but the Ferret sure is powerful for its size!
New livery for the Sabre! And some work on a reduxx'd Ferret!

Academy Ships Alongside Their Game Counterparts Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

LAZY SATURDAY SPACESHIP POST! I thought it might be fun to sort of roughly compare the Wing Commander Academy ships that originated in Wing Commander 2 with their original meshes. And you know what? It was fun! The Sartha:

The Kilrathi Jalkehi heavy fighter, which appears in a single episode! (Word of Honor) The furball Grikath bomber, a series regular: And the Kamekh corvette! The coloring is a little more like the all-tan Privateer version (which was the same mesh retextured). On the Confed side, we've got the Ferret. This appears in only one episode BUT somewhere there existed an unseen toy prototype of it, the only one made for the series. Wish I knew more! The Epee medium fighter. This one shows up a few times on the show but it always seems like it didn't get a fully fleshed out model sheet... ... which is also the case with the Sabre, which actually looks like a different design in its two appearances on the show. And of course the famed Broadsword bomber! I don't think Academy uses any of the WC2 capital ship designs. A couple of WC3 designs have 'cameos' on the show too... they got full model sheets early in the process when the series was going to be 'WC3 Babies' and it would've been a shame not to use them. The Arrow: One Hellcat V, primed, prepped, etc. And we even get an incredibly brief appearance from the Longbow! Maybe it was still called the Imperator back then... There's one WC4 cameo, too. This one was an intentional Easter egg, the Border Worlds Avenger bomber popping up as a pirate shuttle: We don't have meshes for the Wing Commander I ships, but they're fun to compare to the original concept drawings. Here are the show's hero ships, the Scimitar and Dralthi: Meanwhile, the Dorkir and Fralthi actually used the Claw Marks art as reference because the model sheets for the Kilrathi fleet weren't done: Finally, you can see the Bengal is heavily inspired by the original line drawings but with a pretty significant revision pass working it into the style of the show:
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Read All About Gemini Sector Changes Between Privateer and Righteous Fire Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Something from Privateer I never noticed before: the Blockade Point Alpha system is totally redone for Righteous Fire! So I got to wondering what else might be different...

...so I extracted the game's SECTOR files, diff'd them and learned how Privateer handles its random encounters (thanks greatly to the Playtester's Guide!). Here's a Google Doc with all the changes. Most of these are tiny changes to encounter tables in systems you play missions in, all of which are intended to make your life harder: more chances of Retros and Kilrathi, fewer Confed and Militia forces.

I also found that there's a "Test Bed" system still in the game but not connected to the rest of the map (no jump points). Crazy! It has an encounter table that can spawn any of the regular ships. I added it as the appendix to the doc linked above.

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Spinning All the Classics on YouTube Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got a pair of compilation videos by Michael Jean that showcase the European boxes of the Wing Commander series. It's pretty simple, but it's a nice change of pace if you're used to boxes from other regions. I do appreciate the charm of just recording a parade of Wing Commander like this. It's a nice and thorough rundown too with games like Academy, Armada and Privateer 2!

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