The proofreading of Enyo is well underway at this point and I figured it was high time to begin a discussion of Elegy. I've pretty well settled on the notion that this will be a campaign wherein the characters are Kilrathi, set in Epsilon Sector from mid 2680 to very very early 2681, and that it will be centered on the character of Krahtagh "Bloodeye" N’Ryllis and the Demon Eye Pack mentioned in Waypoint! (p. 76 of the Prophecy Gold documentation).
I've had a great many thoughts about how I might go about setting the story up. WCRPG's timeline incorporates some events that were going to be used in Privateer 3, but for the most part it follows Star*Soldier's interpretation of events - that "reservation worlds" were setup for the Kilrathi at the war's end, but by 2680 the number of reservation worlds had been reduced to three (from 50 in 2670). It's also mentioned that there were charges of neglect and cruel treatment...which is what lead me to think "what if the Bloodeye character was kind of like a cross between a ronin - say, Yamada Nagamasa - and a Native American figure such as Sitting Bull?". I mean, who is a pirate? It really matters who you ask...Captain Morgan was a privateer, an Admiral in the Royal British Navy; to his victims, he was a pirate...
So the way I see it, N’Ryllis is one of several warriors whose liege lord is killed in the Temblor Raid (or perhaps shortly thereafter), and for some reason he either can't or doesn't commit zu'kara (like Kirha) and winds up on one of those reservation worlds (if his master committed zu'kara on hearing of the surrender, it's conceivable that he was ordered not to prior to that happening - I may be going too Japanese here with what I know about the comparisons between Kilrathi culture and bushido and seppuku; just a thought). Seeing everybody around him being mistreated and starving to death, he makes the fateful decision to further disgrace himself for the good of those around him, and begin terrorizing the spacelanes in Epsilon Sector. Of course, we all know how the story ends thanks to Waypoint!, but I see his execution as part of a larger plan for this character to finally rectify his loss of honor (400 stay behind so that thousands might get away...).
The campaign is not going to end happily, let's put it that way.
What's cool about it:
- Take on the challenge of the Gauntlet, a daunting dogfight marathon with 15 progressively difficult levels of attacking ships.
- Fly with some of the most famous wingmen of the Wing Commander universe: Hobbes, Angel, and Maniac.
- A robust mission builder gives you the power to create your own missions that will challenge your skill as a pilot.
We want YOU!
The Kilrathi are relentless in their assaults against the Confederation and we need more pilots. Not just any pilots, however, but the best of the best. You'll train in our top of the line CyberNet combat simulator. It's not just the art of combat that you'll be learning but also how to pilot every craft the Confederation has to offer. Join us at the TCSN Academy and reach for the stars!
Wing Commander: Academy lets you experience first-hand the rigorous training of a Confederation pilot. Create your own missions with every scenario imaginable or jump into the fray with an infinite amount of randomly generated missions. Learn how to handle a slew of Confederation fighters and take your chances in the Gauntlet, a grueling 15 level marathon that will test your mettle against increasingly challenging opponents.
Release: Wing Commander: Academy
Shaping the future of the fleet.
Wing Commander: Academy, a classic space combat sim that puts you through rigorous training of a Confederation fleet pilot, is available on GOG.com for only $5.99.
Do you have what it takes to be space pilot? Do you think you can handle the Kilrathi, a fierce race of feline space warriors, hell-bent on destroying humankind? If you think you can handle the challenge, there's a chance that you might be what the fleet is looking for. Enlist now, and you'll be promptly transferred to our nearest training facility. You think flying a simulator is beneath you? Well think again! This is no ordinary training. We made damn sure you'll fail, and fail again until you learn from your mistakes. Hell, after we're done with you, you'll welcome fighting the actual Kilrathi as a nice change of pace.
Wing Commander: Academy delivers the excitement and challenge of space combat that has always been the trademark of the Wing Commander series, but this time you will be presented with missions you would never thought possible. You will participate in training simulations that mix and match conditions to prepare future Confederation pilots for just about anything. In the insane Gauntlet mode your task will be to withstand 15 waves of enemies, each more difficult than the last one. There's also a diverse mission creator at your disposal, presenting you with unlimited scenarios that will test your skill. Oh, and yes--this is the 600th game in GOG.com catalog, and yes--you can take it as a confirmation of even more Wing Commander titles coming our way in the future.
The Kilrathi menace won't just go away. Answer your destiny's call and take your part in securing the future of mankind in Wing Commander: Academy, for only $5.99 on GOG.com!
Level 01, Wave 1 - 1 Sartha, skill 1
Level 01, Wave 2 - 1 Drakhri, skill 1
Level 01, Wave 3 - 1 Jrathek, skill 1
Level 02, Wave 1 - 2 Sartha, skill 1
Level 02, Wave 2 - 2 Drakhri, skill 1
Level 02, Wave 3 - 2 Jalkehi, skill 1
Level 03, Wave 1 - 2 Grikath, skill 1
Level 03, Wave 2 - 2 Strakha, skill 1
Level 03, Wave 3 - 3 Ferret, skill 1
Level 04, Wave 1 - 1 Wraith, skill 1
Level 04, Wave 2 - 2 Epee, skill 1
Level 04, Wave 3 - 3 Sabre, skill 1
Level 05, Wave 1 - 3 Epee, skill 1
Level 05, Wave 2 - 1 Sabre, skill 1
Level 05, Wave 3 - 3 Broadsword, skill 1
Level 06, Wave 1 - 1 Dorkathi, skill 1
Level 06, Wave 2 - 2 Crossbow, skill 1
Level 06, Wave 3 - 1 Morningstar, skill 1
Level 07, Wave 1 - 1 Wraith, skill 1
Level 07, Wave 2 - 2 Jrathek, skill 1
Level 07, Wave 3 - 3 Drakhri, skill 2
Level 08, Wave 1 - 3 Jalkehi, skill 2
Level 08, Wave 2 - 2 Morningstar, skill 2
Level 08, Wave 3 - 3 Sabre, skill 2
Level 09, Wave 1 - 4 Grikath, skill 3
Level 09, Wave 2 - 4 Strakha, skill 3
Level 09, Wave 3 - 3 Crossbow, skill 3
Level 10, Wave 1 - 4 Rapier, skill 2
Level 10, Wave 2 - 5 Epee, skill 2
Level 10, Wave 3 - 7 Ferret, skill 2
Level 11, Wave 1 - 5 Grikath, skill 3
Level 11, Wave 2 - 4 Wraith, skill 2
Level 11, Wave 3 - 4 Rapier, skill 3
Level 12, Wave 1 - 6 Jrathek, skill 2
Level 12, Wave 2 - 2 Dorkathi, skill 2
Level 12, Wave 3 - 9 Drakhri, skill 3
Level 13, Wave 1 - 5 Crossbow, skill 2
Level 13, Wave 2 - 4 Morningstar, skill 4
Level 13, Wave 3 - 6 Epee, skill 2
Level 14, Wave 1 - 6 Jrathek, skill 4
Level 14, Wave 2 - 7 Ferret, skill 4
Level 14, Wave 3 - 10 Sartha, skill 4
Level 15, Wave 1 - 7 Morningstar, skill 4
Level 15, Wave 2 - 8 Wraith, skill 3
Level 15, Wave 3 - 8 Jrathek, skill 4
As promised, the team at GOG has begun to release the rest of the Wing Commander series! Wing Commander Academy is now available for purchase! For $5.99 you get access to an oft-ignored gem in the Wing Commander series. Academy has the honor of being the 600th game released via GOG... but it won't be the last Wing Commander!
Wing Commander Academy was originally planned as a mission-builder module for Wing Commander II. Instead of requiring the original game, Origin decided to release it as an experimental "budget" title - a new game available for the then-unheard of MSRP of $50 instead of $80! A small team created the game with a 'less is more' philosophy, building on resources created for Wing Commander II while adding just enough new ships to tease planned future installments of the series.
The only extra included at the moment is the manual (the correct version including the cover and back pages!) That's to be expected, as very little related material was ever released for Academy (the television series of the same name is actually based on Wing Commander I and III.) Don't let Academy's small file size fool you - you can create endless missions, fly two new fighters and face off against a nearly impossible Gauntlet feature that will test your worth as a Confederation pilot. You can grab your copy here!
Destiny's Way is the one and only official printed magazine on Daedalus Station. This months special edition of Destiny's Way has an interesting article regarding the history of WC CIC.
If any wingnut of you is interested to download the whole pdf of this months issue, you can find a download link on the news section to the following url: http://flatuniverse.solsector.net
Excalibur, Morningstar, Super Rapier and Concordia Rapier (Low Viz) are here! I would say I'm most proud of the Morningstar, she's so small and the model turned out very tiny yet extremely detailed.
For the family portrait, the Raptor and WC3 Arrow have moved on to guest homes, and the rest are going into Klavs Jr's new baby mobile!
Gentlemen, I'm please to announce that after nearly eight months of work, the Vespus campaign is finally complete. As with Prelude and Enyo, I have it available from Lulu.com as a free PDF and as a paperback. The paperback is going for $7.48 plus S&H and tax; my copy came to about $11.50 all told.capi put the finishing touches on the project on August 10, so he also included a kind mention of the CIC's 15th Birthday on the title page. Thanks!
TCS Concordia. Mighty flagship of the Enigma Sector fleet. The player's home base in Wing Commander II. The ship that turned back the Kilrathi at the Battle of Earth. The story of how she wound up in the Mistral Sea has never been told...until now. As a pilot aboard the cruiser TCS Bhopal, it is your job to save the lives of over five million Confederation colonists, and if you fly well, you may have the opportunity to rewrite history and save a legendary ship.
Vespus is a miniature campaign developed for the Wing Commander Role-Playing Game. This guidebook contains all the information you need to safeguard the five million colonists living on the surface of Vespus Prime, including:
- A simple, yet flexible character creation system.
- A set of ready-made characters, allowing players to jump right into the game.
- Stats on all capital ships and vehicles included in the campaign.
- Flexible rules that allow players to play with as much detail and complexity as they wish.
The next installment of the Wing Commander themed audio drama.
The ever uneasy peace of Gemini sector is destroyed when an insectoid alien race known as the Nephilim begin a full scale invasion, with their first target being Perry Naval Base. It is left to Admiral Sandra Goodin and the piecemeal forces at her command to stop the considerably larger alien armada and safeguard the lives of the millions of civilians in Gemini.
Introducing my Wing Commander comic series! I know I have been promising this for quite some time now, but I have an outline, a story and a whole bunch of pages roughed out.. so for this CIC birthday, I thought I would launch a weekly two page comic and keep it going for the foreseeable future. Enjoy!
[16:09] <LOAF> The winner will get a Wing Commander Academy DVD set!
[16:10] <LeHah> Cool prize
[16:10] <LOAF> What popular racing game did Chris Roberts contribute cars to?
[16:10] <LOAF> DMJC wins! The answer was Need for Speed.
[16:10] <LOAF> Bonus points to Goku who said Car Citizen.
[16:10] <NinjaLA> hehe
[16:10] <bob> hehehehehe
[16:10] <Triple-B> that was a tough one
[16:11] <Toast> really? wow
[16:11] <Triple-B> I am listening to all kind of wc music in the background for atmosphere :)
[16:11] <LOAF> Yes! Chris is credited as special thanks in the the first NSF. He loaned them his fancy cars for testing during the game's development.
Base paint is finally sticking, and I've got the cockpit details complete!
Ben Lesnick is Community Manager and Designer on Star Citizen, Chris Roberts' epic return to space sims! He has worked on several titles in the Wing Commander franchise.
Content-wise there isn't anything really new about these releases. There's no director's cut of the film nor any deleted scenes. The movie remains the same as the one you would have seen in theaters back in 1999. But we're not really here to look at how the movie itself stacks up. There's not much else on the disks: no featurettes, trailers, or interviews (lucky for us, we have lots of behind-the-scenes info/features on the movie here at the CIC). Heck, there isn't even a menu. The movie just starts playing as soon as you put it in the player. Many have asked about region coding. It seems that the Blu-ray is limited to Region A, but we'd still appreciate hearing from others who have tested this further.
What you do have here though for the first time on DVD is an anamorphic edition for Region 1 players. Since DVD resolution is fixed no matter what the aspect ratio of a movie is, that means that a film with a wide scope like Wing Commander with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 will have large black bars on a 4:3 TV. A non anamorphic release like the original 1999 DVD or even 2011 repackaging eats up some of this resolution by hardcoding the black areas... An anamorphic release however is designed to stretch the image to fit a 16:9 television, which means that while the actual resolution of the DVD is the same, more of the disk's bitrate is used up by the actual image instead of the black bars. To illustrate how this improves picture quality, check out Jetlag's comparison shots below. The increase in picture quality of this new release makes it a must buy for anyone still holding out with their DVD player.
Now on to the Blu-ray - It's awesome to finally own Wing Commander on disk in HD. The technical aspects of the Blu-ray aside, the higher resolution is very welcome and the CG spaceships hold up very well for a movie made in 1998. They now come to life in a more vibrant way. The added clarity, even in scenes comprised of simple conversations, draws you in even more. It's obvious that a lot of care and attention went in to making the sets look authentic. You can see warning labels all around and other wear and tear that make the Tiger Claw feel lived in. Sometimes a step up in resolution can make it apparent that a background set or prop is fake. But this isn't a problem here, and Peter Lamont's production design shines in the Claw's cramped utilitarian spaces as much as it does on his blockbusters such as Titanic. For that alone, the price of the Blu-ray is a bargain. Wing Commander on Blu-ray is a film that Wingnuts may find themselves frequently pausing to study all the fine details that are finally visible.
Image-wise, the HD transfer is somewhat middle of the road compared to the rest of the market. It looks great at times, but it feels like an old transfer. A random sampling of scenes throughout feel lower quality, and unfortunately the most noticeable of these is the intro where blocky pixelation around the edges of the glowing titles is evident. However the quality of the picture is still a great improvement over anything previously available. Even compared to the streaming HD versions that are online, the picture is better overall as it uses minimal compression compared to all other variants out there.
For audio enthusiasts, the Dolby TrueHD audio on the disk is decent. It's dynamic where it needs to be in the action scenes, and the music stands out great. I never had a hard time discerning the dialogue at any point in the film, though some people think it could have been a bit crisper. I'll admit my home theater setup isn't really the best environment for picking up on the nuances and the finer details of the audio track.
Overall, the Blu-ray, bare bones or not, is a huge improvement over the old R1 DVD, and until Chris Roberts revisits the film to make an even greater edition, you're not likely to get much better that this!
The maximum image size, in pixels, on a DVD is fixed. On a non-anamorphic DVD the aspect ratio of the picture is 4:3, which means on a widescreen movie like Wing Commander a lot of those pixels end up in the black border on the top and bottom. On an anamorphic DVD the aspect ratio is 16:9, which is a lot closer to Wing Commander's 2.35:1, so more pixels are available to the actual picture, and less to the border.
<LOAF> Now that's what I'm talking about.
<jetlag> Ok, this took way too long but check out the crop on the US releases.
The hangar bay has 4 fighter bays, 4 doors to the lower storage hangar, 2 big doors to the Broadsword hangar. They're too big to launch from the tubes, so they start from the landing deck. 2 elevators (markings) to the lower hangar/launchtubes. 10 launchtubes (5 each side)
Klavs has put together additional paint schemes for three of his most popular models. New Tarawa liveries have been created for the Rapier, Sabre and Ferret. In contrast to the brighter WC2-style colors, these have a lower profile skin similar to the palette seen in WC3. These are available now at Terran Fleet Supply.
However, before you place your order, there is some unfortunate news from Shapeways. Even though Klavs' designs have been reproduced dozens of times for fans around the world, the 3D printing company has increased its thickness requirements across the board. This means that many of the models cannot currently be printed. All fighters in the current lineup are still available online for now, but Shapeways may cancel orders for certain smaller ships. Klavs is exploring alternatives to return the fleet to duty!
Apologies to anybody who's purchased rejected models recently, Shapeways has increased their tolerances in all materials, so a once printable design is now unprintable because of what they call 'Thin Walls'. So the Morningstar, Ferret, and probably a few others may be rejected, even though the models have not had any changes made. This is especially prevalent with the smaller models, so please be aware. I'll have to scale these up to ridiculously expensive sizes to make them printable, so I'm really not sure what to do right now.
Just received the message back from Shapeways. I get it, they don't want to produce stuff that might be too small for their printers and delay their production, but it's still frustrating as there are models out there, sitting happily on people's desks and now they suddenly can't be produced any more. This shouldn't affect some of the thicker ships, like the WC3 ships, but I'm fairly certain a lot of the smaller ships will be rejected now. Sigh. I guess we'll have to wait till the tech gets a little better. I'll leave the models up for now, but in the meantime, please realize that you'll be ordering these at the risk of them being un-produceable, despite examples being out there already. Sorry guys!
Privateer2Ever takes you back to the eight planets of the Tri-System. The CIS, gendarmes of the Interplanetary Government, and the Kindred, an enigmatic, brutal criminal syndicate, wage an unending war, while pirate clans prey on ordinary civilians looking to make a profit.
The models and sounds used in this mod are from a development archive provided by Privateer 2 designer Paul Hughes. They are taken directly from the game itself, and credit for them goes to the team who produced The Darkening. NinjaLA made the birthday cake graphic.
- Create a clean install of Freelancer. Do NOT install the 1.1 patch; this is provided with the mod and installing it may lead to undesirable effects.
- Download and install version 1.31 of the Freelancer Mod Manager (1 meg exe). Do NOT download newer versions; they are known to be buggy and may corrupt your install.
- Double-clicking on the mod file (17.7 meg .flmod file) after downloading will then automatically install it. To play, launch Freelancer Mod Manager and activate the mod, then launch the game.
- If the game crashes on launch, go into the Tools menu and delete the autosave.
WARNING: 64-bit Windows editions have a known bug where rundll32.exe will continue to run after the game is closed. This will lead to errors during mod deactivation. At worst, this will leave mod files in your game folder. This may not have adverse effects - but then again, it might. To be safe, it is recommended to either back up your original installation or run the game from a seperate install.
I am of course deeply disappointed of the decision, as I finished the orchestration in plenty of time, and had the score and parts prepared specifically for the October concert. I apologize to all WC fans around the country who were planning on attending the show.
I can't wait to see what 2014 brings for Wing Commander. Tonight, enjoy the new material we're releasing today and the other news updates and join us in #WingNut for trivia, prizes and chat in #WingNut. Tomorrow, plan to keep being part of the greatest (and now possibly most storied!) fandom on-line.
Thank you to my lovely wife for baking her first Wing Commander CIC birthday cake!
In just over two months, the Austin Symphony Orchestra will be performing music from Wing Commander live in concert… and you can bet the WC:CIC team will be there! The event is October 18th at 8 PM in Austin, Texas, the birthplace of Wing Commander and current home of Cloud Imperium Games. Tickets will go on sale August 12th at midnight CST, so pick up your pass to the show and let us know you're coming - we'll have a variety of other Wing Commander activities during the week leading up to the concert!
Update 8/13: Wing Commander will not be part of this program afterall. Details here.
The Austin Symphony will open its Pops season with a night of iconic music from your favorite superhero film and television shows. Your spidey senses will be tingling and you will be at the edge of your seat when you hear music from some of your favorites, such as Batman, Superman, Captain America, The Incredibles, X-Men, and much more! In addition to the music there will be visuals on a big screen to enhance your experience. All concertgoers are invited to come dressed as their favorite superhero. There might just be a contest with a special prize for the winner!
We are pleased to announce that we have confirmed with Electronic Arts that they have licensed four more Wing Commander games to GOG! Academy, Armada, The Darkening and Prophecy should be available through the service later this year, completing the PC run of the series. Proof positive that it will be an amazing year for Wing Commander!
When Wing Commander Prophecy came out in 1997, it was common practice for companies to create an additional SKU that was somewhere between a downloadable demo and the full game. The specialized OEM version of the game would be then offered to manufacturers for bundling with graphics accelerators, sound cards or other upgrades. For years, the OEM version of Wing Commander Prophecy was thought lost… until now!
Prophecy OEM was bundled with the appropriately-named Real3D Starfighter graphics card as the third disc of the install software (an odd choice for Real3D, as the Starfighter was not a 3dfx card which would take advantage of Prophecy's other major commercial tie-in.) The disc is identical to Prophecy's first CD, including all the FMV and missions. It differs only with a final splash screen informing gamers that they can finish the story by picking up the full copy of the game. Download it here:
Wing Commander Prophecy OEM (645 mb, .iso)
Introducing my Wing Commander comic series!
I know I have been promising this for quite some time now, but I have an outline, a story and a whole bunch of pages roughed out.. so for this CIC birthday, I thought I would launch a weekly two page comic and keep it going for the foreseeable future.
You can comment on the comic over at the Chatzone thread.
An alien factory is constantly building drone fighters, classified as "Cuttlefish." The TCS Midway, working to eliminate the alien threat from the Tartarus system in the Border Worlds, must destroy this factory to stop production of these deadly drones. However, jamming technology is preventing the location of the factory from being found. Your wing will destroy the source of the jamming, a field of alien probes, to allow us to find the factory. Once they are destroyed, the path to the factory will be clear. You will return to the Midway to pick up a bomber wing, then attack the factory. Destroying this factory will deal a deadly blow to the alien forces in this system. Includes a new custom sector, and two new alien ships.
It's been a bit of a quiet year for WCPedia, however that hasn't stopped contributors from continuing to work on aspects of the project. Wingnuts can now access each game's documentation from the respective landing pages. The complete game list is available here. Wing Commander manuals are some of the greatest sources of background information for the series and excellent reads to boot! Be sure to check them all out!
WCPedia is always looking for more contributors to help us build the ultimate Wing Commander resource. If you are interested, be sure to sign up over at WCPedia, drop by #wingnut, or post a note to the Chatzone!
HMS / TCS Ark Royal
I'll order Rear Admiral Dayan with Task Force Twenty-one to deploy from Tangier. She's got two battlewagons, the carrier Ark Royal, and some damned good cruiser and frigate commanders. That'll push our assets out there. Hell, if it's a typical Cat fleet, we'll have more than double their strength in battlewagons. If they come in, we'll put a real twist in their tails.
The TCS Ark Royal is referenced in three Wing Commander products. She was part of Admiral Dayan’s Task Force 21 in Action Stations. She appears near the end of Fleet Action as one of the two carriers, the other being the TCS Lexington, brought online to fight in Sol during the Battle of Terra. She’s also one of the carriers found in the CCG where she is home to the Marine fighter squadron, Hell’s Archers. It’s unclear whether it is the same carrier in all three sources, but it is a good possibility.
The five ships to bear the legendary name Ark Royal. The last image shows the last Ark Royal berthed next to USS Nimitz. Ark Royal is on the left.
The original Ark Royal was a ship originally ordered by the famous Englishman, Sir Walter Raleigh in 1586. During construction, the ship was purchased by Queen Elizabeth I and command was given to Lord High Admiral Charles Howard. Ark Royal served as Admiral Howard’s flagship during the campaign against the Spanish Armada in 1588. Her career spanned 50 years and numerous battles before she was lost in 1636 when she hit her own anchor while being moved.
The fame of the original Ark Royal led the Royal Navy to name four other ships in her honor, all of which were aircraft carriers. The first was a merchant ship that was converted to an aircraft carrier during the First World War where it saw service in the Mediterranean during the Gallipoli campaign. The second was a purpose-built carrier commissioned in 1938 when the interwar naval treaties were still in effect. She was first carrier where the hangar and flight decks were an integral part of the hull instead of additions to it. The design limitations of the treaties had produced a number of design flaws that contributed to her loss at the hands of U-81 in November 1941. The third Ark Royal was the first carrier built and commissioned with an angled flight deck and steam catapults. These features drastically improved the pace of flight operations on carriers. The ship was commissioned in 1955 and served the Royal Navy until 1979. Interestingly, this Ark Royal actually spent more time undergoing maintenance and refit, 12 years, then she did in active service, 11 years. The final Ark Royal was light carrier that also served as the flagship of the Royal Navy. Utilizing the “ski-jump ramp” for take-offs instead of steam catapults, this Ark Royal’s air component consisted of the Harrier jump jet and several helicopter models. She saw active combat operations during the Bosnian War and the 2003 American invasion of Iraq.
USS / TCS Bainbridge
She ended up in cruisers—commanding a half-squadron on the Bainbridge as a major.
TCS Bainbridge appears in the novelization of Wing Commander IV. The reference is a passing one in a single sentence, but the name Bainbridge should be well known to anyone who has studied the early history of the United States Navy. Commodore William Bainbridge was one of the early heroes of the US Navy. One of his most famous actions was engaging and destroying the HMS Java off the coast of Brazil in December 1812 while captain of the USS Constitution. For his long and dedicated service to the US Navy five ships have been named in his honor. Admiral Wayne Banbridge, of the Wing Commander novels Action Stations, End Run, and Fleet Action is also nod to the American naval hero.
The five ships to bear the name Bainbridge.
The first was a 12-gun brig commissioned in 1842. She served in a variety of postings, including with the Home, Brazil and African Squadrons. During the American Civil War, the Bainbridge was lost off the infamous Cape Hatteras when she capsized with the loss of all but one of her crew.
The other four USS Bainbridges were all destroyers, although one was later reclassified as a “guided missile cruiser”. The second ship to bear the name was the first destroyer ever commissioned by the US Navy. Commissioned in 1903, the ship was the first in the long line of American “tin cans.” She served from 1903 until 1919, serving on patrol and convoy duties during the First World War. The third ship was a Clemson-class destroyer commissioned in 1921. She served during the Second World War in the Atlantic and received a battle star for her convoy escorting in the summer of 1943. She was decommissioned in 1945. The fourth ship was a nuclear-powered guided missile destroyer commissioned in 1962. Following an extensive refit and modernization in 1975, she was reclassified as a guide missile cruiser. During her service in Vietnam, this Bainbridge received eight battle stars. The latest American ship to be named Bainbridge is a Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer that still serves with the US Fleet today. Commissioned in 2005, this ship is most famous for its part in the April 2009 pirate attack on the MV Maersek Alabama. After failing to secure the vessel, the pirates who had boarded the Alabama took Captain Richard Philips hostage in one of the ship’s lifeboats. US Navy SEALs, who had parachuted onto the scene and boarded the Bainbridge, stationed on the fantail of the ship opened fire on the lifeboat, killing the three pirates, when one of them pointed an AK-47 rifle at Captain Philips.
IJS / TCS Soryu
“The carriers we do have, other than Concordia , were launched before I was even born. They're antiques, held together with spit and duct tape. Even though Soryu is listed as being on-line, the truth is she's nothing more than a floating stockpile for spare parts, which get stripped out to keep the other five like her going. The fleet spends nearly sixty percent of its time docked right upstairs to save on engine time," and as he spoke he pointed up to where the fleet was now docked at Alexandria.
TCS Soryu has a single passing mention in the novel Action Stations. One of the six carriers of the Confederation’s Seventh Fleet, she was docked at space station Alexandria during the 2634 McAuliffe Ambush that began the Terran-Kilrathi War. She was destroyed when the Skyhook and Alexandria were destroyed during the attack.
Soryu before the war, preparing to attack Pearl Harbor and circling to avoid B-17 bombers during Midway.
IJS Soryu should be a name familiar to any student of the Second World War. One of the four carriers that comprised Kido Butai (First Air Fleet) that launched the Raid on Pearl Harbor, bombed Darwin, Australia, raided British positions in the Indian Ocean and ultimately met their demise at the Battle of Midway. Soryu, which means “blue dragon”, was commissioned in 1937 during the Second Sino-Japanese War where her air group first saw action. The first months of the Pacific War witnessed an unbroken string of victories for the Japanese, especially Kido Butai. Success at Pearl Harbor, Wake Island, and the Indian Ocean was broken by the defeat at Midway in June 1942. In was has been called “five glorious minutes” (10:20-10:25 am, 4 June 1942), three of the four carriers of Kido Butai were struck by bombs from American dive bombers. Soryu suffered direct hits from three one-thousand pound bombs that ignited fully armed and fueled aircraft in her two hangar decks. The catastrophic fires generated by the bombs led the ship to be ordered abandoned at 10:45 am. 711 men were lost with the ship, of her normal compliment of 1,103, giving the ship the highest mortality of the carriers lost during the battle. This was a direct result of the hangar fires that engulfed the ship.
Twenty kilometers to starboard he saw CVE-4 Sevastopol and heard the chatter of her pilots on the other carrier's channel. The ship had jumped through five minutes ahead of them and most of their fighter squadron was out.
TCS Sevastopol appears only in the novel End Run during the Invasion of Vukar Tag. Sevastopol’s fighters handle space-based threats while the TCS Tarawa’s fighters handled ground support for the marines landing on Vukar Tag. Following the successful invasion her whereabouts are not mentioned.
Three of the four ships to bear the name Sevastopol.
Four ships of the Imperial Russian Navy have been named after the city itself or famous Siege of Sevastopol (1854-55). The first ship was a 14-gun schooner commissioned in 1815 that was decommissioned in 1833. The second ship was a 32-gun ironclad frigate commissioned in 1865. Her entire career was spent with the Russian Baltic Fleet before her decommissioning in 1885. The third ship to bear the name was a pre-dreadnought Petropavlovsk-class battleship. Commissioned in 1900, the ship saw service during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. She was at Port Arthur when the Japanese launched a surprise attack and took light damage during the engagement. This ship also took part in the Battle of the Yellow Sea where she sustained several shell strikes before returning to Port Arthur. She was scuttled after the Russians surrendered the port to the Japanese where her hulk remains, to this day, just outside the entrance to the port.
Wingnuts can read the rest of the series in the WC vs History Archive.
As you may recall, we begin every Wing Commander year by asking how long you've been following the site. Are you a new fan, or have you been part of the community since our pre-history as the Wing Commander Home Sector? As we approach two decades in operation, it's gratifying to see how many people are still around… and that Wing Commander can still attract new blood. Hear that, Electronic Arts?
Last month we asked what your favorite room on the carrier was and an overwhelming majority chose the BAR! The Flight Deck was a distant second… and there was no love for the Combat Information Center?! Just more proof that Wing Commander fans are a bunch of drunks!
WCNews.com could not exist without the best staff in the universe: Chris Reid's fiery dedication, AD's dogged determination, KrisV's technical genius and everything added by the rest of the team. And the group of fans who regularly contribute to the news and the community grows every year. Today we should pay special thanks to Sherlock, NinjaLA, Jetlag, bob and Whistler for making today's event possible.
And a final, perennial thank you to the developers at Origin and elsewhere who made the history we now celebrate. Their passion and kindness over the years has elated all this immensely. On to 2014!
To the Wing Commander Combat Information Center's 15th birthday celebration! TONIGHT at 7:00 PM Eastern US (4:00 PM Pacific and 11:00 PM GMT) in #WingNut!
It's going to be a busy weekend! What are your plans?!
There's yet another reason for Wing Commander fans to celebrate this week! The Wing Commander Movie's Original Motion Picture Soundtrack has stealth launched on many of the major digital services. Whether it's good cross-marketing with the Blu-ray, a happy coincidence or something that's gone unnoticed for months isn't quite clear. Some of the stores denote a January 29, 2013 release date, so it's possible that these have been online almost the entire year.
Prices are approximately $10 or 10 Euros with Amazon slightly cheaper, iTunes in the middle and Google Play on the higher end. Tracks are also available for purchase separately for about a dollar/Euro/pound. In addition to this convenient new way to listen to some Wing Commander tunes, there's also new cover art, which is somewhat similar to the original DVD cover or theatrical poster. You can see the physical CD's darker album box here or buy the album at some of the stores listed below!
We (MaslasBros) are pleased to announce you that Daedalus Center Information Service is online. Every wingnut with proper authorization codes (that is everyone) may use this service by visiting the following address: http://flatuniverse.solsector.net
To close up, we'd like to thank WC CIC for all their effort and support in order for this page to become a reality. AND NEVER forget to visit this site if you want to catch up with WC Flat Universe PROGRESS!
See you at CIC Birthday and Wings High!
Arena mode: The next generation of Wing Commander’s TrainSim allows pilots to test out their combat skills against friends or strangers in a simulation. Gain valuable combat experience without the downside of losing your ship in the game universe! Place bets on competitions across the galaxy.
The Wing Commander Movie is now available in high definition on Blu-ray disc! Today's release was finally made possible by Anchor Bay, which republishes cult favorites that may have been overlooked by the major publishers. Many major retailers carry the package online, and specialized entertainment or electronics stores in North America should have physical stock now.
After Wing Commander came out on DVD, VHS and DIVX in July 1999, it looked at first like the film may have had its run and then was done. Although initially not available for purchase, various high definition broadcasts provided a glimmer of hope that a sharper version would someday be released though. And fortunately, strong sales and rentals throughout the early 2000s pushed Fox to kick off a series of budget price reprints. Several online vendors eventually offered the movie for streaming as that technology matured. The first purchasable high definition version appeared in 2010 on the iPad's 1024x768 screen. This was eventually expanded in 2011 to more services and in 720p resolution. The first 1080p versions only recently appeared in 2012. Also in 2011, Fox reprinted the film on DVD again with a new cover.
Anchor Bay also put out a version of the film on standard DVD today. It's very similar to Fox's 2011 copy, but note that the back now calls it out as 'anamorphic'. The text on today's iteration is a bit bolder and the Anchor Bay/Starz branding has been added. The Blu-ray is officially categorized as Region A, which means it will play in North and South America, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and a few other Southeast Asian areas. Occasionally such discs will still play in other regions, and this will need to be tested out. Today's releases don't have any new filmed content, but there is yet again hope for an enhanced edition in the future. In 2015, film's distribution rights revert back to Chris Roberts, and he has said that he would be interested in someday producing a 'director's cut' with digitized Kilrathi and the uncut story.
Today's historic launch parallels last year's improbable release of Wing Commander Academy on DVD. Once again, what was once thought impossible has happened. Diehard Wingnuts always have faith that even greater Wing Commander products are coming, and days like today reaffirm that we are on the right track. Please enjoy the fact that a brand new boxed WC product is again sitting on store shelves right now!
Wing Commander II is a big program. Really big. Starting with requiring a minimum of 583K of free RAM (more for those using EGA-level graphics) just to get the game to run, one must add another half a meg of expanded memory to get in all the "optional" goodies like the speech buffer (64K), VCR replay buffer (64K), cockpit animations, etc. Of course, the copious "free space" on one's hard disk is the next target. Without the speech module and keeping all the files compressed, there goes 10MB of disk space. Uncompress the files to save time during game play, and there goes 15MB of disk space. The voice module? Add another 6MB of disk space! Thus, when "maxxed out," say good-bye to about 21MB of the hard drive! No wonder a special blue sheet is included in the game box from with a note from Robert Garriott [sic] beseeching players to invest in CD-ROM!This issue of CGW is a 10th anniversary issue with a long spread on the history of computer games (mentioning Richard Garriott and Chris Roberts) and game of the year awards (praising Ultima 7: Savage Empire). Other highlights include Cardinal of the Kremlin and Leisure Suit Larry 5. Check it out here. Update made possible by the excellent CGW Museum.
Amazon.com has joined other retailers in pre-shipping Wing Commander for Blu-ray. Theirs are scheduled to arrived first, on Tuesday 8/6, but some lucky Wingnuts could even get theirs today. Has anyone's copy arrived yet?
In the US, prices have been competitively whittled down to about $13, but the Canadian numbers are even better. Worf pointed out that Best Buy has lowered their price to $9.99 with a limited time 10% discount. Amazon.ca has gone even further and is now just $8.99. What a deal!
We're extremely happy to announce that fellow CIC staff member Ben "Bandit (LOAF)" Lesnick and Alexis Rittle were married yesterday in Ashton, Maryland! They had a fantastic ceremony with many friends in attendance. We'd like to share a few photos from the event:Wingnut wedding.
We conclude our series of old Prophecy reviews on another high note with this one-pager from the Spring 1998 issue of PC Guide. The reviewer deems Prophecy the "best Wing Commander yet" and is endeared by the variety of flyable craft and the "stunningly beautiful" 3D-accelerated graphics. Negatives are lack of variety in the missions and too little focus on game tactics. Overall, Prophecy scores a solid 5 on PC Guide's 6-star rating scale. The game also receives a "best buy" stamp of approval!Pix's Origin Adventures for these great scans! You can find the PC Format, PC Gamer and PC Home reviews in the archives.
Just 7 days to go! The CIC's 15th Birthday Party is now exactly one week away. Join us next Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT, early Sunday morning in Asia/Australia). The event takes place in our IRC chatroom, #Wingnut. Feel free to stop by any time, but be sure to be there for the big event! If it's your first time attending, the web interface requires no prior experience with IRC chat. There'll be lots of fun, competition and excitement that you don't want to miss!
For years now I've been toying with and playing around with Secret Ops, only releasing some of my work to the public every now and again. This is my first step towards releasing more content faster, WCSOCM! Currently the site is still a work-in-progress. I'd say when "The Evacuation" (explained below!) is released, the site will be fully operational.
My missions are very simple, and made with simple tools, in similar vein to Primarch's missions of years past. My mods, missions, etc, are very easy to install and easy to play, That was my goal, fun missions and other things that could be added and taken out easily without patches or crazy instructions or data editing.
I hope you enjoy, and check back for more soon!