What actually happened at K'Tithrak Mang?

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
Are there any supplemental sources (i.e. novelizations, supplemental material in the strategy guides, etc) that specifically detail what went down at K'Tithrak Mang (the first time, when the Tiger's Claw was destroyed)? Because playing the games alone leave some ambiguities that I was wondering about.

1). The WC2 intro indicates that the Claw was on "attack approach" to the Kilrathi station at K'Tithrak Mang, but later in WC2, you have to fly a mission where you are told not to destroy certain ships so that they can be followed back to their base, implying that Confed didn't know where K'Tithrak Mang was. Was the Claw just sort of searching around for it hoping to find it, or did it move in the ten years interceding?

2). The TCS Austin was in the system as well--wasn't she a pretty powerful ship as well (a Bengal or a strike cruiser or something?) Why did the loss of the Claw doom the assault on K'Tithrak Mang and, as Thrakhath says, "leave the human colonies" (in Enigma, presumably) "defensless"? As big and powerful as the Claw was, I'm sure Confed had other ships, and time and time again they put up a pretty good defense when outnumbered...

3). Why was the loss of the Claw pinned on Blair alone? The manual says he detected some ships that vanished, so he went to investigate, and meanwhile they used their cloaks to slip past and destroy the Claw. But was Blair the only pilot patrolling? Why was Tolwyn so certain the ships that had destroyed the Claw had come through Blair's patrol route? Space is pretty big and 3D--how do they know the fighters that destroyed the Claw didn't approach from and escape to the complete opposite direction? For that matter, why was Blair flying solo on that mission? How do they know that Joe Somebodyelse who was patrolling the other side of the Claw wasn't guilty of treason or negligence? Just because Blair's was the only flight recorder missing?

4). How did some pilots survive the Claw? Were Iceman, Angel, Spirit, Paladin, Maniac, and Hunter out on patrol at the time as well (or had been transferred off the Claw by then)? Was Knight on board the Claw when she went up?
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
The TCS Austin was in the system as well--wasn't she a pretty powerful ship as well (a Bengal or a strike cruiser or something?)

Iceman says it's an Exeter in SM2.

Why was the loss of the Claw pinned on Blair alone?

He was blamed because he had no flight recorder, and the attack wing passed right through his patrol area unmolested. Disregarding stealth fighters and an elaborate conspiracy of traitors, what would you think of that? What would you think of a pilot who, for all the evidence you have, just let a Kilrathi strike wing pass by, and makes a far-fetched excuse that he cannot back up?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Personal kudos for starting a good thread - these are interesting questions.

Are there any supplemental sources (i.e. novelizations, supplemental material in the strategy guides, etc) that specifically detail what went down at K'Tithrak Mang (the first time, when the Tiger's Claw was destroyed)? Because playing the games alone leave some ambiguities that I was wondering about.

Yes, several places deal with this story. Chief among them is the Wing Commander I & II Ultimate Strategy Guide which describes the final patrol and the Tiger's Claw's destruction in detail. The Wing Commander II manual also has a brief description of the events. The Kilrathi Saga manual reprints an article about Blair's arrest, too.

1). The WC2 intro indicates that the Claw was on "attack approach" to the Kilrathi station at K'Tithrak Mang, but later in WC2, you have to fly a mission where you are told not to destroy certain ships so that they can be followed back to their base, implying that Confed didn't know where K'Tithrak Mang was. Was the Claw just sort of searching around for it hoping to find it, or did it move in the ten years interceding?

The Tiger's Claw and her escorts fought their way across the sector as part of an ordinary naval campaign... the Concordia was using the Enigma Sector black hole to jump in "behind enemy lines" (from the briefing) to attack the base.

2). The TCS Austin was in the system as well--wasn't she a pretty powerful ship as well (a Bengal or a strike cruiser or something?) Why did the loss of the Claw doom the assault on K'Tithrak Mang and, as Thrakhath says, "leave the human colonies" (in Enigma, presumably) "defensless"? As big and powerful as the Claw was, I'm sure Confed had other ships, and time and time again they put up a pretty good defense when outnumbered...

You may have noticed that very few of the things Thrakhath brags about to the Emperor are completely true :) Thrakhath doesn't manage to destroy Ghorah Khar (which is what he says the loss of the Tiger's Claw specifically allows) or take the rest of the sector in the nine years after Wing Commander I.

The Austin was a "Gettysburg-class Cruiser", whose capacities are largely unknown.

3). Why was the loss of the Claw pinned on Blair alone? The manual says he detected some ships that vanished, so he went to investigate, and meanwhile they used their cloaks to slip past and destroy the Claw. But was Blair the only pilot patrolling? Why was Tolwyn so certain the ships that had destroyed the Claw had come through Blair's patrol route? Space is pretty big and 3D--how do they know the fighters that destroyed the Claw didn't approach from and escape to the complete opposite direction? For that matter, why was Blair flying solo on that mission? How do they know that Joe Somebodyelse who was patrolling the other side of the Claw wasn't guilty of treason or negligence? Just because Blair's was the only flight recorder missing?

That's hardly a 'just'. Blair landed on the Austin with a claim about encountering invisible fighters (something Tolwyn had already insisted did not exist) and a missing flight recorder disk (which was removed, not damaged).

There were some other damning facts:

* Intel recovered the Tiger's Claw's black box which confirmed that the attacking fighters came from the area Blair was ordered to patrol.

* Blair was due back at the Tiger's Claw *before* it was destroyed. His patrol was delayed because he stopped to search for the flights of Strakha he spotted.

* Blair was the ranking survivor, and as such his actions should have been investigated regardless of any suspicions.

* No other patrols sighted Kilrathi fighters. The Tiger' Claw had every available fighter in space in an attempt to cover all approaches as she attacked the K'Tithrak Mang.

4). How did some pilots survive the Claw? Were Iceman, Angel, Spirit, Paladin, Maniac, and Hunter out on patrol at the time as well (or had been transferred off the Claw by then)? Was Knight on board the Claw when she went up?

The carrier's entire fighter wing was up in order to cover the all-important approach to K'Tithrak Mang - this is why Blair (and a number of others) was flying solo.

That said, it doesn't apply to most of the characters you listed: Angel becomes Squadron Commander of the Austin at the end of SM2, Paladin 'retires' to a new covertmission, Maniac is sent to a psyche ward and Hunter was on furlough (the events of 'Freedom Flight').

Knight is a different case. Given the circumstances it's certainly possible to bring him back in a future story... but the *intent* was certainly to kill him at the time. (His end in Secret Missions 2 is supposed to be dark humor, with Blair convincing him to stay on the carrier just before it's destroyed.)
 

Vinman

Vice Admiral
Knight is a different case. Given the circumstances it's certainly possible to bring him back in a future story... but the *intent* was certainly to kill him at the time. (His end in Secret Missions 2 is supposed to be dark humor, with Blair convincing him to stay on the carrier just before it's destroyed.)

I thought that Knight died in the Wing Commander movie. I remember a pilot being called either Knight or Khumalo (I can't remember which) who was killed while flying a broadsword.
 
(His end in Secret Missions 2 is supposed to be dark humor, with Blair convincing him to stay on the carrier just before it's destroyed.)


That's what Knight gets for being such a terrible wingman.
 

RogueBanshee

Rear Admiral
I thought that Knight died in the Wing Commander movie. I remember a pilot being called either Knight or Khumalo (I can't remember which) who was killed while flying a broadsword.

He ejected before the Broadsword blew.

And I think Iceman was already dead when the Claw was destroyed. The system he was killed in is a sector that the Claw would have passed through en route to K'Tithrak Mang from Vega.
 

Vinman

Vice Admiral
He ejected before the Broadsword blew.

And I think Iceman was already dead when the Claw was destroyed. The system he was killed in is a sector that the Claw would have passed through en route to K'Tithrak Mang from Vega.

I thought he was killed in B'Shriss. That's pretty out of the way-and deep into Kilrathi territory-considering the Claw was going from Vega to Enigma.
 

Max Gene

Spaceman
Hunter lived? WCII would like to differ.

Gwynedd losing track- final series with victory still possible (kind've?), kill Jazz. According to the storybook at

http://download.wcnews.com/files/fans/wingcommanderiiscript.pdf

Halcyon, Iceman, Knight, and Hunter were all casualties of the claw when Colson blew it, according to Maverick. Was this revised at some point, or how was Blair so off? Surely in those 10 years he would've looked desperately if some of his other friends landed safely, since they were all on patrol?

I hear Iceman was sliced up real bad- we could chalk him up to an ejection. Halcyon wouldn't have been flying.

Knight would've been shot down. Definitely.

But Hunter? How did he live?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I thought that Knight died in the Wing Commander movie. I remember a pilot being called either Knight or Khumalo (I can't remember which) who was killed while flying a broadsword.

That was Knight - but all we know is that his Broadsword was shot down, not that he was killed... since he's still around weeks later for Wing Commander I, he must have survived.

And I think Iceman was already dead when the Claw was destroyed. The system he was killed in is a sector that the Claw would have passed through en route to K'Tithrak Mang from Vega.

Iceman survives - he's one of the pilots who shows up at the 'Claw's wreckage to round everyone up in the Ultimate Strategy Guide's story. He's killed several months later, at B'Shriss, while flying off an unknown carrier (with Hawk!)

Halcyon, Iceman, Knight, and Hunter were all casualties of the claw when Colson blew it, according to Maverick. Was this revised at some point, or how was Blair so off? Surely in those 10 years he would've looked desperately if some of his other friends landed safely, since they were all on patrol?

The easy answer is that the Gwynedd series never happened. :)

Hunter was heading back from his 'vacation' in Freedom Flight (the first Wing Commander novel) when the Tiger's Claw was destroyed. He eventually meets his end in 2668, in Fleet Action (Blair should know that Hunter survived, too... there's a handwritten post-Tiger's Claw letter from Hunter in his Kilrathi Saga scrapbook.)
 

Max Gene

Spaceman
Gwynedd never happened, true- but Blair wouldn't suddenly have changed the past by going to an alternate storyline, right? In all honesty I believe that this was a retcon done by the books and the like- Hunter was my favorite and I was pissed that he never came back.

I guess you have a point that its an ignorable inconsistency due to the series never occurring- but I still have a belief that the original intent was that Hunter was iced.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Gwynedd never happened, true- but Blair wouldn't suddenly have changed the past by going to an alternate storyline, right? In all honesty I believe that this was a retcon done by the books and the like- Hunter was my favorite and I was pissed that he never came back.

I guess you have a point that its an ignorable inconsistency due to the series never occurring- but I still have a belief that the original intent was that Hunter was iced.

It's hard to say, since Freedom Flight was done at the same time as Wing Commander II... by the same writer!
 

Vinman

Vice Admiral
How did the Gwynedd series never happen? What's so important about Gwynedd? I must be missing something.

I need to play WC2 again.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
How did the Gwynedd series never happen? What's so important about Gwynedd? I must be missing something.

We're talking about the second Gwynedd series -- Wing Commander 2's equivalent of Hell's Kitchen.
 

Max Gene

Spaceman
BUT with a victory of sorts- Hell's Kitchen was always a loss, Gwynedd v.2 took on an enemy fleet, still cleared Blair, and apparently routed the Kilrathi, all while forcing Thrak to eject.

...but toasting the starbase is cooler, let's be honest...

EDIT- ok, let's assume that Hunter is dead but survived the destruction of the claw. Perhaps he died at the hands of Mandarins? Is Hunter's death ever stated specifically enough that we cannot rule this out?

Also, when was that handwritten note in KS dated? I dont have KS...
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
EDIT- ok, let's assume that Hunter is dead but survived the destruction of the claw. Perhaps he died at the hands of Mandarins? Is Hunter's death ever stated specifically enough that we cannot rule this out?

Also, when was that handwritten note in KS dated? I dont have KS...
I believe that one of the novels depicts Hunters death.
 

RogueBanshee

Rear Admiral
Hunter was heading back from his 'vacation' in Freedom Flight (the first Wing Commander novel) when the Tiger's Claw was destroyed. He eventually meets his end in 2668, in Fleet Action (Blair should know that Hunter survived, too... there's a handwritten post-Tiger's Claw letter from Hunter in his Kilrathi Saga scrapbook.)

Actually Fleet Action says he left on a two week leave the day before the Tiger's Claw was destroyed. Since at the end of Freedom Flight the Tiger's Claw is still intact logically they have to be two different leaves.
 

Max Gene

Spaceman
Oh, and I totally missed the date earlier, LOAF.... but not being familiar with our own timeline, let alone WC's, does that exclude a death occurring during the 10 intervening years?
 

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
Hunter dies while helping to uncover the Kilrathi carrier fleet which is poised to violate their fake armistice and destroy Earth once and for all in Fleet action.

He takes a whole load of missiles up his keester.
 

Max Gene

Spaceman
Frick! so much for an easy way out... maybe he was an undercover agent? I'm reaching- I havent done anything besides WC1-3.

Still angry that i never got to fly with him thereafter. Hunter ruled.
 
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