Nice To Meet You Mr. Burrows Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Check THIS out, it's from an announcement for Privateer (Trade Commander) from many, many years ago. Brownhair finally has a name!


Trade Commander marks the beginning of a whole new saga in the popular Wing Commander game series.

In 1990 ORIGIN revolutionized the industry when it introduced interactive cinema with the first Wing Commander game. In 1991 Wing Commander II carried this vision to new heights of game action, and with it new depth and sophistication. Now this year (we hope) will see the release of Trade Commander (now Privateer), a game that brings interactive entertainment software to a higher pinnacle of excitement than ever before.

For the first time, ORIGIN gives the player complete and open access to the far-flung worlds of the Wing Commander series. You will assume total control over the life of your character, and through that character the universe of Wing Commander can be explored from one end to the other.

Through a completely mouse-driven dynamic game interface you will be able to dictate the flow of the story. More than any computer game seen before, Trade Commander gives you unprecedented command over your character's movements and actions.

It's this level of control that's essential, for now the world of Wing Commander is more dangerous than ever. Trade Commander is filled with all the space combat action Wing Commander enthusiasts have come to expect, plus new perils and dilemmas no Confederation fighter pilot has yet to face.

The war with the Kilrathi, dreaded enemy of the human race, rages on after more than sixty years. Much of the action of the war goes on behind the lines. Ships constantly speed back and forth to keep the war effort well supplied. Most are sadly easy prey for an enemy offensive behind the lines.

Toward the Confederation interior, worlds barter for valuable resources on the open market. Vast, uncompromising multi-planetary corporations struggle for control of those worlds. Competition is ruthless. There's a lot of money to be made for an enterprising ship's captain, and a lot of ways to wind up getting shot in the back!

Private wars and conflicts explode throughout the Confederation. Most are quickly resolved, but all require mercenaries and hired starships. Never in human history has the business of independent warfare been more profitable.

Of course where there's money, the criminal element is never far behind. In every shadow and around every corner lurk unsavory characters: smugglers who trade in contraband and illegal goods, pirates who will steal a ship's cargo and kill a crew for sport, mobs and gangs whose spheres of influence cross solar systems and, with a word, can arrange a murder.

Beyond lies the edge of known space. The frontier! Here reckless pilots navigate mysterious new star systems and confront the unknown. The secrets to be learned haere could shape the destiny of all mankind.

Trade Commander expands the saga of Wing Commander into a complete universe of endless adventure.

New Ships, Weapons, Foes and Heroes

Trade Commander also features an impressive assortment of exciting new starship designs, from enormous monolithic cargo vessels to sleek, fast fighter craft. An extensive system of ship weaponry and modifications allows the player to customize any ship, making every craft in the game virtually unique.

Each ship is refittable with upgrades in lasers, missiles, electromagnetic pulse weapons and defense systems, nukes, photon torpedoes, shields, armor-plating, scanners and engines. Once players get their hands on the type of ship they want, they can modify it to suit their own personality and style of play.

Meet Grayson Burrows, Trade Commander's enigmatic hero. Is he a shrewd merchant trader, or a feared pirate of the spacelanes? Is he a battle-hardened mercenary? A heroic agent of the Confederation? A spy for the alien Kilrathi? Only you can decide, for as Grayson Burrows, you can pursue any of these occupations and more.

A player in the mood for a dogfight can put Grayson Burrows behind the stick of the deadliest fighter spacecraft anyone's ever seen. With added customization, it can be made even more powerful. The more fiscally- minded can captain a merchant ship specifically designed to generate profit. Running with it is like a license to print money. Anyone interested in pulling in a derelict - as well as the big bucks - can cruise around in a massively powerful tug. When other ships see that massive hull, as well as its industrial strength tractor beam, they'll stay well clear. Or if a new type of challenge is what's desired, the player can explore uncharted space in a reliable scout ship. Passed down through the family, it has survived many a hostile mission and was once considered the pride of the fleet.

Being nothing more than a fighter jock won't cut it out here. In Trade Commander, the player will have to develop the skills to handle every type of starship there is. When it comes to space combat there's a lot more than just the Kilrathi to worry about. Anything imaginable could be lurking on the edge of known space.

The Interplanetary Commodities Exchange is the place for anybody with a good head for business, a starship and the guts to go running loaded full of valuables without heavy protection. Low tech worlds demand high tech goods. High tech worlds demand more resources. A quick runner with a nose for trade can make himself a wealthy man. But all that opportunity doesn't come without risk - changing trends or a miscalculation of the marketplace could leave you wiped out.

Trade Commander: Be the Captain of Your Own Destiny

The human race is facing a very dangerous period in its history. The vast frontier of space calls. As humanity spreads itself throughout a multitude of worlds the very fabric of civilization has begun to fray. The fierce and aggressive Kilrathi threaten to enslave mankind or destroy it. the bravest and the best that mankind has to offer is locked in a struggle to survive against this alien enemy.

But as the war lingers on, all of human society is strained by the severe toll in economic resources and human lives. A malaise falls over the Confederation, a creeping bureaucracy and corruption that has locked its population in a power struggle. Can one lone man rise above it? Or is the Confederation doomed to sink into dust - just one more of the many interstellar civilizations to once call the stars their home?

Burrows is a reluctant hero who first takes to the spaceways in a rusted hulk, while on the run for his life. It is ultimately he who must solve the interstellar mystery that has heated the Human/Kilrathi war into a conflict that could destroy both civilizations.

Powerful forces are at work to stop him. He must become a master entrepreneur, a veteran of many wars, a fast-talking negotiator as well as an ace fighter pilot if he is to survive. Trade Commander is a heart- pounding science fiction adventure.


The technology of Trade Commander is a direct progression of the complex game engine developed for the Wing Commander II series. It is a streamlined turbocharged version of the ORIGIN F/X graphics system originally designed by Chris Roberts. This system also includes many of the advances that have only recently been created for the upcoming ORIGIN release Strike Commander.

The development that should really excite players is the new interface. Dramatic cinematic sequences are combined with the original Wing Commander point-and-click method of moving from scene to scene and initiating conversations. Additionally, the world of Trade Commander is much more richly filled with events, people, conversations and other interactions with the surrounding environment.

The feeling of "being in the movie" combined with the complete control of the character's actions is the reeason why Trade Commander sets the new standard of "interactive cinema."

Never before has any computer game had such a detailed and complete world to explore. The universe of Trade Commander is brimming with adventure. The player can follow the exciting main plot of the game at his (or her) own pace, or instead pursue new adventures anywhere thoughout the game. Even after the main game has been completed Trade Commander is still good for limitless play action.

Movers and Shakers in the World of Trade Commander

Admiral Terrell
Proven in combat, Terrell is a career officer who won his rank in the heat of battle. He is a much celebrated and highly decorated hero of the Kilrathi War. Terrell has since been put in charge of all military vessels in the Tolnidan Sector and he takes his command very seriously. He plans to clean up the entire sector.

The Church of Man
These fanatics, also called Retros, link all the tragedies of human history to technological progress. Some member believe they are on a holy mission to liberate mankind from its technological enslavement. To that end they employ terrorist tactics against those whom they perceive as advocates of technology advancement.

Commodore Reismann
Commodore Reismann has been given a special directive from Admiral Terrell - eradicate all piracy in the Tolnidan Sector. Reismann, a bloodthirsty commander, is just the man for the job. He has been assigned a force that rivals any frontline Confed Battle Group.

Doctor Lemuel Monkhouse
The good doctor is one of the foremost authorities in the newly developing field of xenoarcheology, the study of the remains of alien civilizations. Everyone seems to be interested in the doctor's work. The Confederacy, the mob, many private corporations, the Kilrathi...

Roman Lynch
Lynch and his family rule the mob that has total control over nearly all crime in the Tonidan Sector. He is very young for a man who has risen to such a position. He is brutal and uncompromising, but rewards loyalty. Ultimately, he knows that he must answer to even more powerful crime families that still reside on Earth.

Salman Kroiz
Like Grayson Burrows, Kroiz is also new to the world of Trade Commander. Unlike Burrows, he begins his career with a top-of-the-line starship and is immediately in demand for a wide assortment of jobs. When the competition is close, Kroiz is not above undercutting his rival through fair means or foul. Subtlety is not one of his strong points.

William Riordian
The impetuous Riordian is the longtime rival of Grayson Burrows. Players often find themselves competing with Riordian for jobs and missions. A bitter and resentful rivalry has developed between Riordian and Burrows, and each one is always looking to outdo the other.

System Requirements

Computer: IBM-PC or 100% compatible 386SX, 386, 486
Required: Hard Drive, 2 MB RAM
Graphics: 256 color VGA
Music: Ad Lib, Sound Blaster, Roland or 100% compatible required
Recommended: Joystick and Sound Board

Final Two Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Oh, I finally found those last to WC figures... here are my comments...

Maniac Marshall: No special accessories, just the small and large Confederation guns. The figure itself is refreshing, as that they have him in his blue uniform rather than the red flight suit. If they do another line all they need to do is swap heads between this figure and Blair in flight suit...

Commodore Taggart: Again, no special accessories -- just the two guns. The figure doesn't really look that much like Paladin -- he has a sort of goofy expression -- but he does bear a striking resembelance to Brownhair from Privateer. He's got a cool leather jacket and everything...

4dfx Future Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Thanks to the amazing 4dfx card, we feel safe warning you not to take any updates tomorrow seriously. Just in case. You know what day it is...

What Dreams May Come Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

AVault has put up an article on the recent changes at Origin. It's very promising, check it out... (Naturally, an article of this import could only be noticed at A Talent For War).
Origin Targets the Future

When the revolving door of employment starts turning at game companies, people start wondering, who is coming, who is going and why? The revolving door at Origin has been turning with smooth consistency since the beginning of the year, possibly indicating the company's refocused efforts toward online gaming.

According to David Swofford, Director of Communications at Origin, 17 employees have left involuntarily since Jan 1. However, he is careful to note that Origin has more employees now than it did one year ago. "We're actively recruiting people at Origin on our various product development teams," he said. "These comings and goings don't represent anything unusual in our business. The company is constantly assessing and reassessing its position and the status of its products and part of that review process involves analyzing our personnel and how these people fit into the current strategy. This should be viewed as nothing more than business as usual in this industry."

It has been widely reported that Origin is shifting its creative and business focus to online gaming, using renown single-player franchises such as the Wing Commander and Ultima series to leverage the emerging mother lode. Commented Swofford, "Online gaming is a primary focus of the company moving forward. Ultima Online has been a huge success for us and we do plan on moving additional products into the online space in the near future."

What does this portend for the Wing Commander saga? Another online version? Wing Commander: Prophecy Gold continues to be a popular product at retail; however, the episodic release on the Internet in 1998 of Wing Commander: Secret Ops was a successful event for Origin and strengthened the company's presence in the online world. In answer to this question, an evasive Swofford answered, "Wing Commander is very much alive and well at Origin. We will announce plans for the franchise in due time."

Despite a legacy of great single player adventures, one cannot blame the company for its altered state. Ultima Online continues to grow in terms of its subscriber base -- the company is now at 125,000 active accounts in the game -- and the in-game experience. There are new features being added on a regular basis and, according to Swofford, some "extremely exciting news" about the game will be announced in the near future.

In related news, Andy Hollis' group at Origin, which created the Longbow series of games under the Jane's Combat Simulations brand, will be concentrating on an unannounced project at Origin after A-10 Warthog is complete.

More on Masks Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

I got the mask catalogs from Cinema Secrets! I'll have ordering information and such scanned ASAP, but for now: the mask itself costs $22.50, and the helmet armor costs $20. I'll let you know more soon...

Chris & LOAF's Excellent Adventure Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Well, the pictures (and accompanying caption-story) are finally here... read all about Chris & LOAF's trip to Austin. LOAF's brother Bee_Czar is writing a nifty comic book version of the story, which should be available soon. For now, check out the PREMIERE REPORT.

Just In a Case Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

I've seen a lot of people selling 'rare' Wing Commander figures over at Ebay. So, just in case you're tempted, note that the figures are all packed two per case. No one figure is more common than any others.

Daylight Update Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Daylight Productions' web site has been redesigned, and is now much cooler looking. Daylight was responsible for the transition of Wing Commander IV and Wing Commander Prophecy to DVD. I wonder if they'll do the movie DVD...

It Aint There Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Kris also reports that Creative Labs has announced the contents of their new PC DVD Encore 6X. Sadly the package no longer includes Wing Commander IV -- and even worse, it doesn't have Wing Commander Prophecy. When, oh, when will we be able to get that DVD? It does come with part of that 'every issue of National Geographic on CD' thing, which I actually own and is rather cool. But it's probably not as cool as Prophecy DVD...

The Story of Knives Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Justin Bielawa did some digging on the subject of Pilgrim Crosses, and this is what he found...
I went in to a cutlery store sunday and asked the dude about the cross. First off, he said that it wouldn't be spring-loaded because switch blades are illegal (which I knew) and that the blade couldn't be over 4 inches because of some law or something. But then I said it was from a movie and he goes 'Oh, yeah, Wing Commander right?' and I kind of laughed. He saw the movie, said it was pretty good but had no idea that they were coming out with the cross because they had yet to get the '99 catalog. He said that the law might be recinded because when people buy something that has a following like say, Wing Commander, the company can get around 60% of the laws so they can release replicas. In other words, it MAY be spring-loaded. So, if you wanted to, you could buy a guns factory and just have them make pulse rifle (from ALIENS) kits to put over assault rifles like an AK-47 if you wanted.

I just want to get the damn cross just because the thing is so fucking cool!

Don't Call Just Yet... Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Oh, a note, for people looking to order the Pilgrim Cross from Smokey Mountain Knifeworks. The word is that they are not yet accepting orders -- I'd reccomend waiting until closer to the cross' May 15th release date.

Weekend Sales Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

The box office figures from last weekend... check 'em out, at least we're still in there.

Weekend Box Office (March 26-28)

#1 Forces of Nature $9.4M
#2 Analyze This $8.6M
#3 EDtv $8.3M
#4 The Mod Squad $6.0M
#5 Doug's 1st Movie $4.4M
#6 Shakespeare in Love $4.2M
#7 True Crime $3.3M
#8 Life is Beautiful $3.2M
#9 Baby Geniuses $2.7M
#10 Cruel Intentions $2.2M
#11 The King and I $2.0M
#12 The Rage: Carrie 2 $1.6M
#13 The Corruptor $1.4M
#14 October Sky $1.1M
#15 Wing Commander $1.1M

What's in a Press Kit? Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Update ID

Ever wonder what was in a Wing Commander Movie press kit? Probably not, but since I finally found one, here's what it has... (there's a version with slides, too, which I should be able to catalog soon).

  • 20th Century FOX folder.
  • Wing Commander paper bag, containing pictures (WC1-7 or WC2-4).
  • 12 page booklet about the story, cast and crew. Has the wrong dates for the movie, explaining many screwed up reviews.
  • WC-1: (Top) FREDDIE PRINZE JR. (wearing helmet) plays a hotshot space pilot with incredible navigational skills. (Bottom) (L-R) MATTHEW LILLARD, FREDDIE PRINZE JR., and THECKY KARYO prepare for battle in WING COMMANDER.
  • WC-2: (Top) FREDDIE PRINZE JR. (left) holds injured buddy MATTHEW LILLARD, and (bottom) hunts the enemy in WING COMMANDER.
  • WC-3: Wing Commander SAFFRON BURROWS enjoys a rare moment of relacation, and (below) gives a stirring speech to the members of her squadron in WING COMMANDER.
  • WC-4: Acclaimed international actors (clockwise) DAVID WARNER, THECKY KARYO and JURGEN PROCHNOW play the leaders of a fight to save Earth from an alien attack in WING COMMANDER.
  • WC-5: State-of-the-art computer generated special effects are used to depict an epic space battle in WING COMMANDER.
  • WC-6: Director CHRIS ROBERTS on the WING COMMANDER set.

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