Through the Moongate Part 2 Campaign Takes Off Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Andrea Contato and team have launched the Kickstarter for the Through the Moongate sequel. Part 2 is titled "From Wing Commander and Ultima VII to Portalarium" and promises to capture the historic significance of Origin's Wing Commander development in the '90s and beyond. Some 40+ former Origin employees were interviewed for this work, so it looks to be a very well rounded effort.


As an extra bonus, fans who opt to pledge for a hard cover copy of the book will also receive a special Wing Commander bookmark with new art by Denis Loubet, the senior Origin artist who led art direction on the first few WC games. That tier costs €50 plus an additional €24 shipping to many places, so it's not cheap, but who can resist an exclusive Wing Commander bookmark?! I'm sure the in-depth Origin story will be a fun read as well! Digital and soft cover editions start at €15 and €25 (but do not include the bookmark!). The project has had an enormously successful first day with nearly $19,000 of the minimum $27,679 threshold already taken in. There are some high dollar levels with cloth Ultima art, Akalabeth port and Lord British autographed certificate that are going fast. You can find the campaign and pledge here.

If you’ve ever played a computer role-playing game (CRPG), chances are that Ultima played a part in its inspiration. Created by visionary Richard Garriott, and produced by his company Origin Systems, Inc., Ultima is one of the most important and influential CRPG series in the world. Through the Moongate illuminates the path of the Ultima games' history and the creative people behind this landmark series. It also covers some of Origin's other games, especially Wing Commander, and touches on several contemporary titles you may have missed. Many of these exciting tales have never before been told. If that intrigues you, then won’t you step with me... Through the Moongate?

As I traced the paths of the Ultima games and those who worked for Origin Systems, I began to realize the multitude of games that would not be possible without the influence of Richard Garriott, Origin Systems, and the Ultima series. To ensure their place in history, I've also included special coverage of the Wing Commander and Ultima Underworld series, plus other significant video games of the era. CRPGs, action, adventure, and strategy games such as Space Rogue, Wolfenstein 3D, Deathlord, 7th guest, Jane's Combat series, OMEGA, MUD1, Meridian 59, Lineage, and Tabula Rasa. I’ve also included a special look at cancelled titles such as Times of Lore 2 and Fire Horse.


New Freelancer Project Imports Beautiful WC Fighters Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

L.I.F. was recently inspired to take a crack at importing Wing Commander ships into Freelancer. Back in the day there were a handful of pretty cool WC ship conversions for the game in the works, but it's been a very long time since anyone has attempted to take a modern high end crack at this. He's managed to get ahold of some cool modding tools that have helped the process along significantly, and there are some very impressive results already. He's sketched out some rough plans to integrate up to a couple dozen ships, which would make for a pretty rockin' mod!
So, after a Discord discussion that involved talking about Privateer, I kinda got the modding itch once again for Freelancer, but this time, I managed to get in touch with FL modders, who were nice enough to share with me their wonderful, wonderful tools (the kind of which I'm jealous as a HW modder). Long story short, I got told that the models designed by DI, Klavs and others are way too detailed for the game engine, which is probably a wise conclusion, but since I'm very unwise, I tinkered a bit and managed to achieve a pretty nice proof of concept with DI's F-107 Dragon/Lance:
The tech demo is available upon request on Discord (keep in mind it's really limited, just a replacement of one of the game's fighters with the F-107, without a dedicated collision box, for example). Don't hesitate to ask for specific fighters that you'd like to see receiving this treatment if you wanna go for a run of this great old game with a specific craft. :)

And on the matter of progress, it's going pretty quickly. Importing the Hellcat now, and once the Razor and Excalibur are in, the first part of the game will be properly turned in Privateer-lite. Long story short, it's just as I dreamed it could be, if not even better. Freelancer is one hell of a game.

GOG Weekend Sale Knocks $35.94 Off WC Series Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's an EA Weekend over at GOG.com. Dozens of games from Electronic Arts are discounted 75% through Monday morning. You might have the Wing Commander games, but there's also discounts on the Crusader series, Strike Commander, Ultima and more. GOG.com makes it very easy to launch your WC favorites, so if there's a gap in your digital collection, this is another good chance to fill it! Check out the full sale listing here. Give these other Origin games a try if they're new to you!

Moment of Praise for the Amiga Wing Commander Install Icon Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Amiga Love Twitter account recently shared this shot of the Amiga Wing Commander Installer icon. While some might look at this as incredibly trivial, we see it as an important piece of history imbued with memories of excitement and promise. Installers are something of a lost art and personal curiosity of mine. The first couple WC games were fairly simple, but by WC3 you had memorable moments such as the spinning Victory or Privateer 2's Tri-System backstory. The Command & Conquer series also did some fantastic installers around the same time.


It was wonderful when developers took the time to lovingly craft something that otherwise could be so mundane. In theory, gamers would only ever see these things once briefly before jumping into the actual play space, so it showed a high level of craftsmanship when they took the time to put some effort into the installer. And because players did only see these briefly, sometimes people forget some of the cool nods included therein. This Amiga installer icon would have been one of the earliest embellishments on a bare bones install program. It's pretty cool how they included the one-pixel wide main logo above the arrow and desktop unit. It's something that may not have been fully appreciated at the time, and very much probably wouldn't exist today, so we'll acknowledge it here. All of the tiny little finishing touches where developers went the extra mile and put in extra effort to top of some element of Wing Commander is why we're all here today.

You don’t see this every day. Origin /Wing Commander showing the glorious A2000 some love! I would have made it a tiny bit more accurate, but I’ll take it. :)

All Wings Considered - Episode 24 - LIVE! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The latest episode of ALL WINGS CONSIDERED is live now! All Wings Considered is the CIC's first ever streaming variety show which features news, conversation and gameplay relating to our favorite series. This week's Nav Points include:

  • Wing Commander 3 - Tamayo System
  • Privateer - The Postgame
  • MAGNUM LAUNCH!
  • The secrets of Old New Constantinople

Missed the stream? The replay will be available below once it has been processed by YouTube. You can subscribe to the AWC channel for future notifications here.

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Phonetic Script Dialogue Discovered in The Secret Missions! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The original Wing Commander has an embedded phonetic lip-sync track to match up the mouths of the Tiger's Claw crew to the game's dialogue script. While that is an absolutely amazing level of detail, it was only implemented on the first game. The Secret Missions and Wing Commander 2 just use repetitive filler text like "Buy more games like Wing Commander 2." At least, this is what we thought until today!


YPersonified has been using UnnamedCharacter's WC Toolbox to dig into how this works. He's made the exciting discovery that the first mission of SM1 in the Goddard System actually has a full phonetic script! Even more amazing is that it differs from the game's final dialogue! He's put together a few examples below as well as a full video to show off what the lip sync version of events is. Since it's his best interpretation so far, there's probably a few inaccuracies to smooth out yet, but this is still great work. You can help provide feedback to the translation at the CIC Forums here.

With the help from WCToolbox, I was able to look into GAMEDAT files from Wing Commander and managed to get a glimpse at how this game works.

These are generic phonetics, but Goddard 1 isn't:

- Bimorgameslikwincamandertoo
- thisisalinofgenericfonetics
- uwilluvthesekretmissensframjahnandstev
- onleasuperpilotlikmarccanwinthismissinhaha

These are probably well known lines which characters mostly say with mouths in The Secret Missions instead of thorough phonetics seen in Vega Campaign. However, anyone with keen eyes may find out that it works differently in Goddard 1. Apparently, it's the only mission with non-generic phonetics in the series. Still, it turns out that they do not match with the written script we see in-game after all, so I decided to interpret the bar, briefing and debriefing conversations by editing BRIEFING.001 with WCToolbox and make a video to show how it turned out. Many thanks to Shades2585's WCPhonetics for reference.

Since this is only my interpretation, it may not be 100% accurate. If you're interested, check out below and guess what Bossman's saying. Also, you can easily notice that these lip sync works are incomplete, as some of them are completely out of context - like Bluehair's self-compliment on bagging Lumbari, or the usual WC2 ads.

Shotglass' Proposed Last Name Revealed Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

LOAF found a great mention from a game design document for the original Wing Commander a while back. It includes a previously unspecified last name for Shotglass. He is listed as Major Sam Walker (retired). Previous speculation had guessed his last name could be Siegler after mention of his cousin in The Secret Missions. As interesting as this is, it's not necessarily the final official word since Colonel Halcyon's name is listed as Walter rather than Peter. And although not new information at this point, the references to Dart and Joker (who later became Hunter and Maniac) are fun inclusions as well. Anyhow, for anyone out there writing Shotglass fan fiction or for folks involved in the creation of a future WC product, keep "Walker" in mind!
Another fascinating discovery for WC fans: Shotglass' last name!

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