BREAKING NEWS: Arena Manual Sighted! (June 25, 2007)

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Kotaku has posted the first pictures from what seems to be Wing Commander Arena's manual! They were sent a 60-page, full color 'in universe' magazine called Star Soldier to promote the game. It sounds like it's right out of Claw Marks:
The January 2701 issue of Star Soldier is 60 pages of ads, articles and details about the game and the universe in which it exists. It's pretty neat. The thing does a really good job of blending fictional pieces (like bios of the top 12 mercenary pilots and ads from Joan's Fighting Spacecraft) with hard facts (like the game's play controls, fighting maneuver tips and a list of Achievements.)
I certainly hope everyone gets to see the whole thing soon! You can find the original article here. They've scanned several pages of gameplay relevant material -- we'll have to wait for a hardcore fan to see more continuity material. Even so, watch out for the Scimitar diagrams and a shout out to a deserving Wing Commander editor...

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Original update published on June 25, 2007
 
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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Check out some of the (obscure) references on these four pages alone!

* Armadillo Firearms advertisements are from the original Privateer.
* T. Bruckner is a tribute to Thomas Bruckner, one of the pioneers of Wing Commander editing.
* The maneuver diagrams are the same ones used in several classic manuals, featuring a CF-105 Scimitar.
* The Firekkan Planetary Alliance comes from the Prophecy Universe Map.
* The three Firekkan fighters, Valtar Helbraus and Yoshira, are names from one of the Privateer Online concepts set around the same time as Arena.

... and that's just in the more-blatantly-gameplay related material! I can't wait to see the rest.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Incredibly cool stuff! I am excited as hell! Hopefully it will be wednesday!

But, since it's a downloadable game: how will we get the manual? I don't think they'll mail it to me. ;)
I guess it's download material as well.

60 pages, that's really awesome.!
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Looks like it won't be Wednesday - they've annoucned Carsconne (sp) as the title for this week. I think we're really really close, though...
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
This is the best thing I've seen in weeks, if not months.
 

Mekt-Hakkikt

Mpanty's bane
Looks like it won't be Wednesday - they've annoucned Carsconne (sp) as the title for this week. I think we're really really close, though...

Aw, too bad. I ordered 2100 MSP from amazon to have them here for wednesday. But good things take their while! :)

Where do I know from what the game of the week is? And, more important, how do I know in the quickest way, that Arena is out?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I watch xblarcade.com - they usually reveal the weeks game as soon as its known (which sometimes isn't until the night before it comes out).

As for Arena... just watch the news here. The minute it's been formalized we'll be shouting it as loud as possible.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
If these pages are on the low end of the cool scale I can't wait to see what hits the top. This stuff is fantastic and it looks like it will keep getting better and better.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I would bet against next week - Wednesday is the 4th of July in the US, which is a major holiday... I'm betting they either don't release anything that week or they just do DLC for an existing game.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
GameSetWatch has received their copy of Arena's Star Soldier manual, and they've posted five incredible scans! While the pictures that surfaced yesterday showed off some of Arena's gameplay aspects, this new batch reveals a tremendous amount of new fictional material. The cover of the magazine leads the way, and it's followed by a hilarious advertisement for Maniac's autobiography. Another ad for the Arrow V Eclipse mentions the ship's Douglas Aerospace roots. The Classifieds page alone is enough to make a Wingnut's brain explode. There are dozens and dozens of obscure references and brand new facts to be learned here. Ten classic fighters get fighter designations, and a they're even consistent with Origin's old internal development notes on the subject. The brand new Kraven Laser provides a tantalizing link to weapons later seen in the Tri-System, and there's even a call for volunteers to help clear the hulk of a wrecked Behemoth-class ship in the Gemini Sector. Everyone from Retros to Pilgrims to Sivarist cults have taken out an ad. Last but not least, there's a wanted poster searching for the whearabouts of an ominious looking (and early concept build) Grayson Burrows - last seen flying a 2670 model Centurion with distinctive shark teeth and green cannon! Check out GSW's full article here.
I though I'd go in another direction and feature some of the odder pages in the 60-page mag, which was obviously compiled by someone with a hardcore love for Wing Commander lore - way beyond my limited knowledge. Seriously.

While initial buzz on Wing Commander Arena was mixed, partly thanks to it being a reimagining of the series as a 2D multiplayer shooter - when a lot of fans were burning for something in 3D, of course - it's really great to see documents like this going above and beyond in making the world real. Let's hope the game matches the attention to detail shown here!


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Original update published on June 26, 2007
 
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Quicksilver6

Rear Admiral
I love it! It totally reminds me of Claw Marks! I'm so happy to see so much effort into pushing the WC universe forward. But will more of the manual ever be released? And how? will we get to hold a real manual or will it be a in-game help menu?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Word on the street is that it will be available for download from the EA Arcade website!

A number of 'real' ones have been printed up for promotional purposes, and we're hoping to get a bunch to give out through the site.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I love it! It totally reminds me of Claw Marks! I'm so happy to see so much effort into pushing the WC universe forward. But will more of the manual ever be released? And how? will we get to hold a real manual or will it be a in-game help menu?

How great is it to see manuevers still explained using a Scimitar like in Claw Marks?:D
The amount of detail in these few pages only make my mind salivate at what the other 50 odd pages will hold.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Just noticed that, on the acheivements page, there is a silhouette of a Dralthi showing through from the other side of the page... and it isn't an arena dralthi either. It's too rounded. I must be either a WC1 or Privateer dralthi!

Also, the top of the Advanced fighter maneuvers page says something to the effect of "The Enemy Can Appear..."
 

Cardinal

Spaceman
Personally, I liked the shout out to Mario "HCl" Brito in the ad for the Arrow Eclipse. Congrats Mario, you're famous.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
This is truly amazing. So many references... And pretty much every single one fantastic. This is the best piece of WC material since... a long time ago.

First and foremost, congratulations to HCl.

Well, Jack of All trades Vindicator pilot. How nice of them.

Another Behemoth? After this one, I guess the insure cost must be very expensive.

Lancers? Lance crews? F-107 Lances still around? This answer so many questions...

The Casey reference was hilarious.

Paladin was president? And he did the foreword on Maniac's book?

Oh, this is really great. The Arena team has done an incredible job. Truly the work of someone who loves Wing Commander!
 
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