Welcome Wingnuts to the celebration of the CIC's 17th Birthday! The years keep racing by faster and faster, and the site is now older than many staff members and visitors were in 1998 when we first set up shop at wcnews.com! To put it another way, the entire series wasn't even 17 years old when Wing Commander Arena was released in 2007. Incredibly however, traffic to the CIC is on pace to be 33% higher this month than a year ago. This is due to multiple factors, not the least of which is that a vibrant community attracts more followers, and all of the impressive things fans are doing are making this a better place every day. Now on to the birthday updates! To kick things off in style, check out this gorgeous image from DefianceIndustries!
The MaslasBrothers' impressive top-down Wing Commander shooter, Flat Universe, has been upgraded to version 0.8.5. It's a significantly more extensive beta than the 0.6.5 release that came out in January. Mission design, graphics quality and user interface/cockpit design have all gotten big updates. Pilots can now autopilot or jump to a whopping 15 systems via the nav map. There are also 8 new training missions. New players should consult the controls reference card to figure out what buttons to press, then grab the game in Windows, Mac and Linux flavors at Daedalus Station here!
Quick help: In free flight hit "m" to get to the map and you can select NAV point. As always "a" starts the autopilot. When you get close enough to the jump buoy hit "j" to get to then next system.
Also all the training missions are new. The NAV system also works here but if you want to finish the mission and check you score you must return to the TCS Formidable (that's the Exeter) and land.
Last year George Oldziey's successful crowdfunding campaign allowed him to hire a live orchestra to record our favorite parts of the Wing Commander 3, 4 and Prophecy soundtracks. Supplemental work continues to digitally remaster even more music, but here is the behind-the-scenes look at what happened in Bratislava! Crank up the volume, blow it up for the full HD version and prepare to get chills!
This is a documentary style account of the historic orchestral recreation of over 30 minutes of music composed by George Oldziey for Wing Commander 3, 4 and Prophecy. Taking place in October 2014 this recording of hand-picked selections by the composer was performed by the National Slovak Symphony Orchestra and the Lucina Choir and was conducted by Allan Wilson. This is dedicated to ALL the video music fans from around the world who so generously supported this project, and without whom it would have never happened.
NinjaLA has created some great Wing Commander art over the years. This time is no different. He's created an incredible scene as a Confederation force prepares to attack the mother-of-all-carriers, a Kilrathi Hakaga.
A deep space patrol catches a Kilrathi super carrier with its tail tucked between its legs. Attacking may be crazy, but they just might bag the pride of the fleet.
Plywood Fiend and the voice actors of A Defiant Few are back with Episode 6 of their Wing Commander audio adventure. Their story follows Admiral Sandra Goodin's valiant defense of the Gemini Sector against the Nephilim hordes. Check it out here, or find the links to previous chapters below if you need a refresher!
L.I.F. was up super late into the early hours of this morning to make sure a brand new iteration of the Homeworld Mod was ready to share today. Developer Gearbox released a major update to Homeworld Remastered this week, and it threw a serious monkey wrench into the works! Major portions of this (and all other) mods had to be recoded and adjusted to function again. In the long run after all the near term chaos, this will provide more flexibility and potential for new features. Today's new version 3.1 implements the beautiful new Border Worlds fighters that have been recently in the news. All four factions should be functioning again with AI back online and multiplayer available in beta with a command line switch. Try the game out here.
- A preview of things to come: three Border Worlds fighters in gorgeous HD, released for the Wing Commander CIC Birthday Party!
- Fix to have basic compatibility with the new update for the game (for the non-modders here, this update was a massive overhaul of the game structure, so everyone in the community is having a hard time updating their files, so please give us some time).
- This is the version 3.1b of the mod for Homeworld Remastered. All four factions are playable in addition to the vanilla ones. You can play both against the AI in local or in the beta multiplayer with people having this mod, by using the command line "-mpbeta -mod WC4FC_Remastered.big" in your Homeworld Remastered shortcut (found by Soulsavant).
It's been 25 years since the original Wing Commander was released in 1990. What an amazing quarter century it has been! So many advances, events, and discoveries have transformed the world we knew, well some of us knew, into the world we know. And yet, if we imagine 1990 as 2634 and push forward to today, the Terran-Kilrathi War still had 10 years of fighting before Colonel Blair dropped the Temblor Bomb on Kilrah!
As a special birthday edition of WC vs History we're going to take that idea of 1990 as 2634 and see where in the war would the last 25 years have been.
2634 / 1990
.186 - War is Declared! A pair of Kilrathi fighters attack and destroy the Anna Magdelena. The transport had been carrying orphans to their new home on Dieno. After five years of attacks and assaults, this action is the last straw for the Confederation. The Confederation officially declare war on the Empire of Kilrah.
.235 - .239 - The McAuliffe Ambush is the first major Kilrathi offensive of the war. The Confederation suffers horrible losses as the Kilrathi fleet is quadruple the expected size. More than 90 ships, including five carriers and four battleships, are lost along with more than a quarter million lives. The Kilrathi are turned back by an aggressive Confederation counterattack.
2639 / 1995
.033 - .040 - The Enyo Engagement occurs as Kilrathi occupation forces land on Enyo and McAuliffe. In the ensuing battle, casualties are nearly identical for both sides.
2639 - 2644 / 1995 - 2000
The two sides settle into a long and unending stalemate, creating tension along the frontier. Several Terran worlds declare independence from the Confederation as a prelude to declaring neutrality in the conflict.
2644 / 2000
The newly-launched TCS Tiger's Claw, on its shakedown cruise, carrying a minimal spacecrew and an under-experienced command, finds itself in the path of a surprise Kilrathi invasion force. The ship's unexpected presence along the Kilrathi flight plan, clever tactics on the part of the command crew, and performance above and beyond the call of duty by the spacecrews rout the superior Kilrathi force. Shortly thereafter, the Tiger's Claw is given a permanent assignment in Vega Sector
2648 / 2004
.305 - The Confederation succeeds in breaking the Kilrathi encryption code. In order to prevent a repeat of the McAuliffe debacle, Confed takes pains to ensure their interpretation of the code is accurate.
2649 / 2005
.189 - Terran Command, using information on Kilrathi fleets and deployments gained through their breaking of encryption methods, assembles a force consisting of 60% of the Vega Sector Fleet aimed at invading and occupying Kilrah itself. Given the overwhelming superiority in force and information as well as strategy,a victory seems well in hand.
.205 - Terran ground forces launch an attack on a fortified Kilrathi colony, only to be routed by unexpected Kilrathi fighter support. The TCS Tiger’s Claw is detached from its previous station and assigned to intercept the pursuing fighters in a delaying action eventually known as Custer’s Carnival. Swarmed and badly damaged by Kilrathi fighters, the carrier distracts Kilrathi forces long enough for the Terran fleet to reach safety.
2649 - 2653 / 2005 - 2009
Another period of stalemate as the two sides continue the fight.
2653 / 2009
Recent heavy losses in battles against the Kilrathi cause the 201st Plebe class of the Confederation's Space Naval Academy to replace the regular flight crews aboard the refurbished TCS Tiger's Claw, Commodore Geoffrey Tolwyn commanding. The cadets are supposed to complete their course of instruction while performing routine patrols and flight training. But, in war, anything can, and does, happen...
2653 - 2655 / 2009 - 2011
The Confederation signs an alliance with the Firekkans. Unknown to the Confederation and Firekkans, the Firekkan homeworld has been chosen by the Kilrathi as the site of their next Sivar-Eshrad ceremony. The Confederation decides to disrupt the ceremony in hopes of breaking Kilrathi morale. Confederation marines succeed in doing so and then retreat out of system with the Kilrathi in heavy pursuit.
2654 / 2010
.074 - .079 - Pilgrim separatists aid the Kilrathi in destroying Pegasus Station and securing its NavCOM AI, opening a direct path to Earth. Terran ships rush to defend the homeworld. The Tiger's Claw, the only ship between the Kilrathi fleet and Sol, fights desperately to delay the enemy advance. The delay is enough to allow Commodore Tolwyn to ambush the Kilrathi fleet as it jumps into Sol.
.184 - The Empire deploys its first stealth fighter, a specially modified Sartha with radar-reflective paint and a low emission drive. It is code-named "Strakha", meaning "hidden striker". Confederation pilots, working in pairs, manage to destroy the fighter. Stealth fighter technology is soon perfected.
.287 - Confederation intelligence reports that the Kilrathi are directing the war efforts from a starbase in Venice system. A small attack force of elite fighters is dispatched to the starbase. The starbase is destroyed and the Kilrathi are forced to move their central military command back to Kilrah.
Simultaneously, on the far side of the galaxy, the Battle of Repleetah begins.
.326 - Goddard Colony is destroyed a Kilrathi superweapon mounted on a Sivar-class dreadnought. The Tiger's Claw gives chase into Kilrathi territory where it eventually catches, and destroys, the ship.
2655 / 2011
The Tiger's Claw goes behind enemy lines to seek out and destroy the labs and shipyards that produced the Sivar dreadnaught and its superweapon in the Jakarta system.
2656 / 2012
The Enigma Sector Campaign commences.
The Tiger's Claw is transferred to the Enigma Sector. It is tasked with destroying the Kilrathi High Comamand base, K'tithrak Mang. However, the mission is a failure when the traitor, Zach Colson, alerts the Kilrathi of the ship's pressence. The Kilrathi use a squad of stealth fighters to destroy the carrier. Christopher Blair is blamed for the loss.
Crown Prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka launches a strike on the Ghorah Khar shipyards, protecting the stealth fighter technology.
2657 - 2659 / 2013 - 2015
The Enigma Sector Campaign continues unabated as both sides attempt to secure the jump points that lead deep into the Confederation's inner worlds.
It won't still be for another five years, 2020/2664, that the Battle of Repleetah will come to an end. Even then, there's still five more years until Victory over the Kilrathi!
Over the years, Wingnuts have come up with various workarounds, patches, and methods to take advantage of the Wing Commander multiplayer options. That information has been scattered across dozens of places for years but we now bring it to you in one easy to access, and update, location: The Wing Commander Multiplayer Hub.
This is intended to be a "living document", where all wingnuts can add to it as new information and methods become available. Currently, Wingnuts can find information for Arena, Armada/PG, Prophecy, Prophecy GBA, WC Customizable Card Game, and Flag Commander (HW2 Mod).
Give it a look over and if you see any information missing, be sure to add it!
We post a lot of cool advertisements for Wing Commander products in the news, but it can be hard to find them all through the years. One of our goals with the CIC Document Archives section was to make it easier to research interesting aspects of history like this. We've gone back through and sorted dozens and dozens of cool items and categorized them under the headings below, and there are even more items in our personal collections waiting to be scanned in the future. There's also some neat promotional material in there in addition to printed sheets. As you browse around, you might notice CIC Gray is starting to look a little dated. There are thousands of pages of fascinating content floating around here, but it isn't all readily available. We'll be working on how to best organize what's out there and upgrading our navigation soon. For now, check out the ads below - they add a lot of pleasing color!
The Holovids section has been updated with a complete assortment of the videos from Privateer 2. AD has fully extracted the game's cinematics so fans can easily refresh themselves on the story of the Tri-System. This includes both the main plot missions and all of the special FMV side missions that many fans may have missed. If names like Ralph McCloud, Melissa Banks and David Hassan aren't familiar to you, then head over and get caught up! As an extra bonus, the high res landing cutscenes we pieced together several years ago have also been added!
It's time for our annual birthday poll! We know many of you have been around since the beginning, but there are lots of newcomers too. Where do you fit in?
The old poll inquired about the game with the best navigation map. Wing Commander 3/4 just barely edged out Wing Commander 1/2 by a tiny margin, and Privateer was also a very close third. I'm honestly shocked it was close at all. Who used the WC3/4 map for anything? I'd like to hear from people that voted for this option! It was relatively common to reroute nav points in the first WC and Privateer games, but by WC3, most pilots pretty much followed the assigned course. I didn't expect Prophecy and Secret Ops to have as strong a fourth place showing as they did, but the map in that game was actually quite useful for determining which enemy bombers were targeting friendlies during escort missions.
This year we've undertaken a bit of our usual updating and housecleaning around the CIC. Here are a few of the things to look out for.
The Background section now has links between the expansions and their main products, screenshots have been added to games that were missing them, and many items have been cross-linked to the Archives section. The Downloads section has been cleaned up and updated with many files mentioned in the news over the last few years but not indexed in our files area.
We've added a cool new feature to the news as well. Wingnuts have been able to use the On this day link from the Resources menu at the top of the page to see what was front page news on that day for every year of the CIC's history. In addition to that, there's now a date selection option. Wingnuts can browse any day, especially CIC birthdays, by using the selection boxes on the page.
In closing, we go back to the sentiment that we started with up top. As our new poll will show, many members of our community have been active for nearly twenty years! When the CIC staff first started getting involved with the online world of Wing Commander in 1995, we never could have imagined this is what we'd be doing in 2015. I can't even predict what things will look like in 2020, let alone another two decades forward into the 2030s.
It's all of the amazing things that Wingnuts continue to do that make this event and all our continued success possible here at the CIC. Work that fans like the Maslas Brothers, Klavs, DefianceIndustries, LIF, capi, Ninja, HCl, Scooby and Luke do are very helpful to our daily operations here by keeping a constant stream of new material flowing. We'd also like to thank Origin vets George Oldziey and Denis Loubet for spending so much time this year focusing on WC fans. I'd also like to personally thank my fellow CIC Staff members who do critical things behind the scenes to both keep the site running and make days like today possible. And if you made it this far and are still reading this post, then know that you too are one of the diehards that forms the backbone of the WC community. It takes a village - keep up the good work. We have many exciting days ahead!