I knew I'd seen some of the Wing Commander IV storyboards before and as luck would have it, I came across the June, 1995 issue of E2lectronic Entertainment magazine while cleaning house last weekend. The article scanned below, written less than four months after Heart of the Tiger shipped, was the first preview of Wing Commander IV. The reveal was likely a major coup for the magazine whose memory has otherwise not survived the test of time--so much so that the two page piece offering very limited details became the month's cover story.
And that cover may be the most important part of the article! Note that the only artwork included are early storyboards, pictures from the Wing Commander III set and the special cover image. It was rendered by Origin specifically for this reveal and was not used in the finished game. This shot of Hellcats flying past the Lexington is the first piece of finished Wing Commander IV artwork and shows how early the game's artists had a handle on the game's art direction (and seemingly puts to rest the old rumor that the Lexington was originally to be a Confederation-class dreadnaught).
The text of the article is also very interesting. Some of Origin's claims were right on the money (more professional video sequences, better terrain in ground missions) while others failed to materialize. We know now that the improved textures were developed but ended up looking muddy and unimpressive when compressed for gameplay... but very little has ever been said about the fate of the strategic mission management gameplay spoken of here (it was likely reduced to the unplayable 'second wing' feature that appears in several missions).
Special thanks to elend, whose Photoshop skills restored a badly damaged magazine cover to its original glory.
Wing Commander Movie Model Rundown
Atherin has been busy recreating nearly every ship in the Wing Commander film using SketchUp. There's really not much missing - we don't see the Kilrathi Concom, Diligent or some of the small background items, but just about all of the other major stuff is there. It's a pretty nice lineup! (2018-05-24)
Wing Commander Meme of the Day: It's Not Going To Happen
That's what we've been saying all along! (2018-05-24)
Hobbes Betrayal Crosses Over Language Barriers
Most people are familiar with the infamous video cuts that were made to fit all of the video on the Wing Commander 3 discs. Helpful sequences such as the TCN news bursts and Hobbes explanation were omitted due to space constraints. Fortunately, these are now available here at the CIC, but for a long time, the main way players could watch the Hobbes scene was to track down a copy of WC3 on the Playstation or 3DO. (2018-05-23)
Wing Commander Meme of the Day: Evil Kermit
Resist the temptation! (2018-05-23)
Check Out Spanish Wing Commander Armada
Christian Klein has found another rare and exotic Spanish Wing Commander translation by DROSoft. His last couple finds were for WC1 and the Secret Missions, but this jumps all the way forward to Armada. It would be a treat to see how they changed the Voices of War manual and how the English and Spanish versions would mesh over multiplayer. (2018-05-22)