Assemble & Disassemble WC2 Now With New Tool Update ID

UnnamedCharacter's latest creation is an assembler/disassembler app for Wing Commander 2. He provides examples of disassembled code and how the program works in practice. It all looks way more advanced than my simple mind can comprehend, but there is one cool demonstration of the possibilities. After digging in, tweaking the text at the right point allows for manipulation of the cutscene subtitles. Although it would be no small undertaking in the least, really cool hacks like this make you visualize how some really cool Wing Commander 1/2 mods could be possible one day. Grab the new program for yourself here.
I put together a simple assembler/disassembler. Although it lacks the sophistication demonstrated by lskovlun, it does have the basic functionality of managing jump targets. Unfortunately, it does have problems with two files, when disassembled they will not re-assemble:

  • SERIES.S00-ContainerBlock005-ContainerGroup-SequenceGroup-ScriptGroup-OffsetChunk.asm error: undefined symbol: _08b2
  • SERIES.S00-ContainerBlock013-ContainerGroup-SequenceGroup-ScriptGroup-OffsetChunk.asm error: undefined symbol: _2442​
The problem are jump values that appear to be too large, they jump beyond the end of the file. For the time, avoid these two files.

Red Alert Online Announced Update ID

A teaser trailer was leaked/released this week that shows off a new chapter in the Commander & Conquer series, Red Alert Online. The game is designed for mobile devices, and amazingly, this it's actually not the first time this has happened. C&C3 was first released for mobile in 2008, and a version of Red Alert came out for iOS in 2009. A ton has changed in the past decade though, and iOS/Android games can now compete with modern consoles or PCs in many cases. With the right hardware, they can even be streamed to large screens. The developer of the new Red Alert is Tencent, which is the Chinese studio behind the highly acclaimed mobile version of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. The internet's reaction has been mixed so far, but it'll be very interesting to see how this turns out.
But holy cow, if ever there was a gaming franchise with nine lives, this is it! We've followed this series over the years for a number of reasons. For starters, most of the CIC Staff has been playing these games since the mid '90s, including playing the original Red Alert via dial up modem together in 1996. There are also some strong parallels to Wing Commander. C&C was highly regarded for its video cutscenes, and the developer was also bought by Electronic Arts. It kept going well after the RTS heyday and EA doubled down in 2007 with its Battlecast streaming C&C themed sports show. EA kept supporting live actor FMV as late as 2009 in Red Alert 3 and 2010 with Command & Conquer 4. Malcolm McDowell starred in RA3, and there was an official advertisement for that game that entirely focused on his performance in Wing Commander 4. In addition to these games, the series was most recently rebooted as a browser game in 2012. A couple of first person shooters and a sequel to C&C Generals were also in work over the past number of years, but were canceled. Still, it's remarkable how many times the series keeps coming back. I'm truly happy for C&C fans. The RTS genre and space sims both seem to be making a bit of a comeback these days, so seeing a classic EA franchise return like this helps give Wingnuts hope that Wing Commander could still make a resurgence someday.

Origin's Legacy Lives On Through Vast Industry Influence Update ID

TechRaptor has published an article on the history of Origin Systems. It's a rather in-depth piece that focuses on many of the notable developers who joined the company in the early days and then went on to influence the industry for more than three decades. Wing Commander is acknowledged as the powerhouse alongside Ultima, but there is also due credit given to how ground breaking Ultima Underworld was and how it then also went on to directly feed games like Doom and System Shock. It's a good refresher for fans who might just be familiar with how Wing Commander came to be. The tone does shift quite a bit at the end when they talk about an "aggressive takeover" by Electronic Arts that led to the company stealing its innovations. We've been outspoken when it comes to EA's series of mistakes that resulted in the cancelation of numerous promising WC games in the early 2000s, but that's only half of the story. Origin was a standalone company for less than a decade when they began struggling with the costs of scaling up to large multi-disk games. EA resolved that crisis and funded everything after WC1&2, so it doesn't seem quite fair to just cast them as the villain without considering that context. Check out the full article for yourself here.
With the Ultima games becoming progressively bigger and more complex, Origin also began to pivot to other genres and niches. It was at this time that Chris Roberts joined the company and directed the RPGs Times of Lore and Bad Blood, which became mere footnotes to the 1990 release that defined the company’s identity as much as Ultima… Wing Commander. There were space combat simulation games before Wing Commander, but it raised the bar for the whole industry in terms of production value and realistic simulation.

Wing Commander was a great commercial success, and the demand for expansions and sequels didn’t diminish for most of the 1990s. Origin Systems was fully established as a powerhouse of both RPGs, simulation games, and first-person 3D technology.

Twenty-five Year Old Richard Garriott Video Interview Discovered Update ID

Here's another video article from the Interactive Entertainment digital magazine hybrid. This one goes all the way back to the first issue's included CD-ROM where they interview Origin founder and Ultima creator Richard Garriott. They cover a lot of ground and discuss what projects Origin was currently working on, what was in the cards for upcoming Wing Commander projects and why Origin made so many sequels. The first Interactive Entertainment was published February 1994 although the content appears to have been recorded probably somewhere in the middle of 1993. The ISOs for these issues can be found on archive.org.


This was billed as an "interactive interview" which meant that to watch the interview you first had to choose the question you were interested in from a list and then the answers would play in video format. For this reason, putting this into video format necessitated that the questions be placed in order and title cards added.

Questions answered in this video:

  1. How do Origin's and EA's' product lines mesh ?
  2. What's this Pacific Strike I keep hearing about ?
  3. How is Pacific Strike improved over Strike Commander ?
  4. Anything new planned for the Strike Commander engine ?
  5. Will there be any new Wing Commander products ?
  6. I've played Wing 1 and 2. Why should I buy Wing 3 ?
  7. How will Wing 3 be better ?
  8. How would you describe the first Ultima trilogy ?
  9. How would you describe the second Ultima trilogy ?
  10. How would you describe the third Ultima trilogy ?
  11. The “dark side of the Force” ? How so ?
  12. What does the Guardian do in Ultima 8 ?
  13. How will the third trilogy end ?
  14. How did "Lord British" get credit for writing your games ?
  15. Are your products created in-house or by outside developers ?
  16. Do you plan to develop all your new products in-house ?
  17. Why do you prefer to keep product development in-house?
  18. So, no plans to use outside developers?
  19. Which product lines are you supporting ?
  20. What new technologies are you exploring ?
  21. What do you mean by “Interactive Movie” ?
  22. What are you developing in the Interactive Movie line ?
  23. Why do you do so many sequels ?
  24. Will you continue to do sequels ?
  25. How has the merger affected your standing in the industry ?
  26. So who do you see as your major competition ?
  27. What do you think actually sells a game ?
  28. What prompted you to found Origin ?
  29. Didn't you have a sickening amount of money to start Origin with ?
  30. So what was it like back in the early days ?
  31. What's the scoop on your logo ?
  32. Weren't most of your early games written for the Apple II ?
  33. Why did you stick with the Apple for so long ?
  34. What prompted you to move away from the Apple ?
  35. What platforms will you support in the future ?
  36. How does Origin carve a niche for itself on a given platform ?
  37. Where do you get the ideas for your games ?
  38. Do you enjoy running a computer game company ?
  39. How is producing a game similar to producing a movie ?
  40. What's the really exciting part of being in the game industry ?
  41. What's the dangerous part of making games for a living ?

Catch Up On The Movie's Cast Update ID

The website Arcade Sushi has put together a "Where are they now?" feature on the cast of Wing Commander. This is probably something we should have thought of first, but they beat us to it. Unfortunately the piece starts with some trite commentary on the talentless cast - before immediately proceeding to detail the acting prowess and storied careers of people like David Warner, Saffron Burrows and David Suchet. So the text is a bit disingenuous, but it's still fun to see how everyone's aged in twenty years! Check out the article here.

Flat Universe Downtime Over - Play On! Update ID

Prospective players who were trying to register for Wing Commander Flat Universe recently may have encountered an error while trying to set up their email/callsign. The Maslas Brothers dug into the issue and believe they have it fixed now. The team is working on some exciting multiplayer plans for the near future, so now's a good time to dig in and hone your top-down Wing Commander shooting skills. Try it out here.

P2 Ad Highlights Stylish British Prose Update ID

Here's a pretty slick Privateer 2 ad from the UK that LOAF recently ran across. Overall, advertisements for The Darkening are some of the most unique and clever out of the whole series. The left page is headlined by a more traditional "Trips worth taking" tagline, but the right side is a bit more tantalizing with extended text and pre-release screenshots. Check it out below!
Turn on, Tune in and Bug out.

Welcome to the Tri-System, where your life is only as precious as your cargo, and your future only as bright as your piloting skills. In search of your lost identity, you'll have to bargain like Shylock, explore like Sherlock, and fight like a Warlock if you're ever to escape the threat of the mysterious Kindred.

It's a trip not to be missed.

Playstation & 3DO Square Off In New Video Comparison Update ID

3dokid has put together a neat comparison that shows both the Playstation and 3DO versions of Wing Commander 3 playing side-by-side. PC players who might not be as familiar with the console variants might be surprised at the differences. The PSX game was a relatively faithful recreation of the DOS version. Ground missions were cut, but the larger discs allowed the inclusion of some awesome cutscenes that didn't make it in the computer release. On the 3DO, the engine was redone so it might not look quite as flashy as the original, but all of the missions were updated for a newer action-oriented experience. The weapons were tweaked with the Vampire missile replacing the Leech, and new UI/story elements were also added.
As a bonus, they also put together a "Top Five 3DO Games" feature a while back and Wing Commander 3 made the cut! There's additional footage of the game being placed with the full cockpit in place, which is still gorgeous. Jump to the 3:50 mark if it doesn't autoplay at the WC3 sequence.
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