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Wing Commander CIC Mail Bag

This week ace, Byydo and special guest LOAF respond to letters received over the course of 6 months.

I'd like to take a quick moment to welcome everyone back here and thank everyone who waited patiently and the people who sent in countless emails asking for us to return. So without further delay, I present to you the newest installment of the CIC Mail Bag and welcome you to join us every Friday for a brand new edition.

I decided this would be appropriate to start us off...

Louie V. P.

Dear Ace,

Why hasn't there been a mailbag forever?

By the way - - nice site! (

I'd make up some clever and witty excuse, but I'm lazy so instead I think I'll just paste a few lines from Trelane's Deep Thought Script. You'll probably enjoy that more anyway.

[23:42] [Trelane] When I was a kid my favorite relative was Uncle Caveman. After school we'd all go play in his cave, and every once in a while he would eat one of us. It wasn't until later that I found out that Uncle Caveman was a bear.

[23:41] [Trelane] Most of the time it was probably real bad being stuck down in a dungeon. But some days, when there was a bad storm outside, you'd look out your little window and think, "Boy, I'm glad I'm not out in that."

[23:41] [Trelane] I hate it when people say somebody has a "speech impediment", even if he does, because it could hurt his feelings. So instead, I call it a "speech improvement", and I go up to the guy and say, "Hey, Bob, I like your speech improvement." I think this makes him feel better.

[23:42] [Trelane] The wise man can pick up a grain of sand and envision a whole universe. But the stupid man will just lay down on some seaweed and roll around until he's completely draped in it. Then he'll stand up and go, "Hey, I'm Vine Man."

Happy ace's Happy Month.

A little late there...

LouiE V. P.

This is a nice read here about Origin's involvment with the CIC...

Daniel Casa Nova


Heya:) I know you're writing to the mailbag, but I figured I'd reply to you directly too, so as to let you know quicker and such (G)

Haha! We're lazy so we're just going to use LOAF's original reply to this letter. It's a lot easier than typing anything, and gives ace and myself more time to make fun of Hadrian on IRC.

My name's Daniel Fernandes, I'm a 27 year old brazilian, who as you guys felt in love with this amazing WC universe. I've played WC I, II, III and IV, Privateer I, WC Armada... And the least I can say is that this universe owes nothing to the Star Wars ones.

Congratulations for the good page, I have bookmarked it already, you guys do a great job, your page surely took a lot of work to do.

I just have one concern, or critic, about it: When I've found yourpage, I was looking for info on the WC movie, and saw your reviews on it, in which your reviewers said excellent things about it. It will take sometime until WC: The Movie comes to a theater in Brazil, or I would had ran to the nearest theater near me, hehe.

After checking your page's review of the movie, I went to check on other pages, and to my surprise, I've found around several negative reviews about the movie scattered over four WC Fan web sites. I was appalled also that many of them had "DON'T GO SEE THIS MOVIE", this same form, with capital letters and everything. Considering that many of the reviewers are as we are, WC fans, I tend to believe the movie is really terrible.

When I noticed that your server is running on origin servers, I've started to wonder: after carefully checking your site, I've seen the high quality of your work, the well done texts, and that was a significant factor for me to come back again and again, and also in writing this missive to you.

You're not biased towards Origin, (or WC more than any other fan :), by what I can see. So there goes the 3 golden questions:

I would have to say that I'm definatly not biased towards Origin. I'm biased towards Wing Commander, but not Origin. When we started our old site in 1995 (The Wing Commander Home Sector), Origin didn't have anything to do with it, but as one of the first WC web sites, it achieved some notoriety... about a year ago we lost our server for WCHS, and Origin's president (Neil Young) offered to set us up with some space on one of Origin's servers. Lemme answer your specific questions:)

1) How much Origin influences your opinions and ideas, since you apparently depend on them to run the site (forgive me if I am wrong);

Not at all... the only contact we've had with Origin has been around the release of Secret Ops, when they provided us with the same screenshots and press releases they give to other news sites (gamespot, pcgamer, etc). We've worked with their cool web people too, I suppose, to set up things like our email addresses and the chat zones... but they haven't influenced our ideas at all.

2) Weren't the reviews about the movie too biased because of the fact that you, as I am, are hardcore WC fans ?

Definatly, and I'll make no apology for that...:) It's easy to forget, but Origin hasn't really had anything to do with the Wing Commander movie (it was a Digital Anvil production, and Origin didn't profit off it at all:)... any positive comments about Wing Commander are because we love the series, not because we're being asked to say good things:) (Although, in the case of things like the Confederation handbook, you'll see that we've also given the people involved in creating the products a chance to reply to our reviews...).

3) In case my presumption is correct and you run the server in an Origin location, wasn't the case to place this fact in a visible place at the web page ?

I'm not really sure I understand the question... it's never really been a secret, but it's never really been an issue either. As for the server, it's in Austin, somewhere at Origin...

Please forgive me for the somewhat inquisitorial letter, my intention is to give some constructive feedback to you, so the page can be improved more and more. Anyway I will be coming back again and again for news about the game, and the frequency your page is updated its one of its strongest points.

Your comments are definatly appreciated...:) We try to keep it updated as often as possible, but as we enter a period between WIng Commander products, it may get a little quiet...

Yours truly,

Daniel Fernandes

Long live the Confederation,
Ben "Bandit" Lesnick
The Wing Commander CIC
"You go, Loaf! Get some!" - JPG

Now we all get to see the kinder, nicer side of Byydo as he helps a fan in need...

Mike Zhou

Dear ACE,

Hi I'm Chris B. Zhou and I'm from Ohio. Even though I have a Pentium 2 or 3 with 400 Megahertz, I still like to play my DOS game WING COMMANDER II. It the best game, I can't tell you how much fun it is. Oh yes, this is my dad's e-mail address, so if you want to email me, make it to me. Any way, the game is huge and I found out it has Special Operations 1 and 2! That like 80 levels!!! The thing about that game is that there are some controls I don't know. I do know how to do the afterburner, tractor beam, and other basic stuff.

Okay, here's a rough list from my old WC2 reference card (deluxe edition):

A Autopilot
C Comms
D Damage Control
G Gun toggle
J Jump Engines
L Lock
M Message speed
N Navigation
P Pause
R Replay mission recording
T Target
V Video toggle
W Weapon toggle
1-5 message speed (faster-slower)
Tab Afterburners
Backspace All Stop


F1 Front
F2 Left
F3 Right
F4 Rear
F5 Chase
F6 Battle
F7 Tactical
F8 Missile
F9 Tailing


Alt-A Attack Target
Alt-B Break and Attack
Alt-D Damage report
Alt-F Form up
Alt-H Help me
Alt-T Taunt


Alt-X exit to DOS
Control-E Eject
Control-M Music toggle
Control-S Sound toggle

That's about it for the in-flight controls in WC2.

ace and Byydo on books...

Mike Zhou

Dear Ace and Byydo,

Have you ever read the 1990 book Voyage of the Star Wolf by David Gerrold? The "bad guy" in this book is very very similar to Chris Roberts' Kilrathi. The enemy in this book were evolved from humans but they are way bigger. They have fangs and they are a warlike species that eats humans. Their name is the Morthans. They speak like Kilrathi, act like Kilrathi, and kill like Kilrathi. Coincidence? I think not. I recommend you read this book if you already haven't to see the eerie similarities and plus it is a pretty decent space combat book.

I think Larry Niven's Man-Kzin were extremely similar to Kilrathi, too. I haven't read any of the books, but the guys on the covers look exactly like WC1-era Kilrathi, and the fighters look vaguely familiar too :)

Also on the subject of Forstchen's Star Voyager Academy and Article 23. I thought they were very good books! Sure they were pretty corny at some points but over all they were some pretty good science fiction. If you don't I want to hear some reasons why!

Erm, I haven't read any of them, sorry :)

I've read...some books...the Wing Commander books.......

Ok. on to the questions. Do you know why Secret Ops always screws up when you use the newest version of WCEdit (Secret Ops) to replace the Cerebrus with the TCS Victory, or any other Wc3 cap ship?

WCEdit is a good program, but it's fairly buggy. I've used a bunch of different versions and they all end up corrupting my data files eventually- you might mention it in an email to Thomas Bruckner. That being said, WCEdit still has fewer bugs than Win95 :)

Why is origin holding off the rest of the series for Prophecy!?! I have read ever Wing Commander book and beaten every game and I need something else to do! If only Origin had the budget of Lucas Arts...they could produce some pretty kick ass games! And isn't Origin handing wco over to a different company? I would kill somebody if it was Lucas Arts!

WCO won't be coming for awhile, but they are working on it now. We can probably expect more single-player games after that. There are some new WC books coming down the pipeline soon, and maybe another movie in the works. Anyway, WC4 cost more to make than any LucasArts game I know of :)

Louie V. P.

Mail from a terribly nice, wonderful person...

Krista Rachel Garcia

Hi Guys :) I *really* like your guys page, the best WC page I have ever seen. I finally got a copy of WCP. I loved it! Not as good as the WC4 but still pretty good. I hated the ending! Christopher Blair died! I couldn't believe it, it almost brung a tear to my eye :P Why did they kill him?!? I miss him soooo much, is he gonna be back in the other games? Could he have escaped or anything?

That's kind of a topic of hot debate. To me, it looks like he may have survived... He was in the 7th tower at the time, and to me it looks like that tower fell back through the wormhole into bug space. When the alien jumps him in the end, it kind of reminded me of the way the bugs in ALIENS grab people and carry them back to their nests for implantation. Since the Nephilim are presumably more advanced than the Xenomorphs, it would make sense to assume that they could find some use for him- especially considering their advanced level of technology.

Yeah Origin has really left us with an uncertain end. I believe as well that Blair is probably still alive somewhere out there, but I can't believe we'll see him any time soon...


p.s- Ace you are the bomb :)

:D I like you very much as well...

What about me? :(

Don't worry Byydo, I like you too ^_^

Oh and BTW welcome to the CIC, it's great to have a new person like you. Don't be afraid to explore the Chat Zones and IRC, we'd love to see more of you.

A Frosty rant about the state of the CIC Chat Zone...

Asher Lawson

Name's Ash - Housewares...

I've been visiting the CZ again recently, and just started reading the mail bag... How in the Hell can you maintain your sanity with all these vapid egotistical maniacs posting this opinion and bashing that opinion and claiming that they're all PhD's in whatever the frick subject suits them best in such and such particular conversation?

I stopped visitng and posting at the CZ because of the sheer volume of posts created by the fat-headed morons who frequented it day and night, never stopping to proofread or spell-check or make sure thier grammar was correct or if they spelled friend correctly. Because of the overwhelming number of flames and stupid questions and God knows what else stupid crap entered thier minscule minds during the few minutes of active "thought" they had going while expressing thier ignorance to the world.

Recently, upon re-visiting the CZ for some incredibly friggin' moronic reason which evaporated from my mind the instant I saw the vast bounty of crap they lay before me. Why do you guys even allow the CZ to exist anymore?

And after reading the last few weeks of the Mailbag, I've come to the conclusion that most people who visit here think that because they like WC and visit the CIC, and talk over the internet with other morons and claim to like Star Trek and Babylon 5 think themselves to be geniuses parallelled only by the other vapor-brained little rodents among whom they chatter and "debate" and "discuss" whatever topic seems relevant to them at any given moment.

And then there are the predators. The other morons with a slightly larger vocabulary and a much larger ego who, by the simple fact that they may have read a book consisting of more than 150 pages, believe themselves to be superior to the rodents in every fashion concievable. These two groups go back and forth while people like you (The un-stupids) and people like me (Retired stupids) sit back and watch and try not to have an aneurism.

Now don't get me wrong, I myself am an asshole and a moron, but at least I admit it, and take what's comin' to me in stride. And years of conditioning have helped me to become somewhat normal; enough to write this letter without sounding entirely stupid.

Tell me, for the sake of my blood pressure, how do you manage to put perspective on all the bullshit around you? How do you maintain your sense of humor when the rodents and predators are chittering away and sniping each other and generally degrading the quality of an environment meant for Un-stupids and Retired stupids?

I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts and whatever insults you have for me (You can't talk to me without insulting me - it's been proven).

Stay Icy

We'd like to just thank everyone who has written us for the past several months and for all of you who have yet to to talk to Byydo and I, please drop us a line, because we're back and we're here to stay...

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