Den of Geek has shone a light on one of the strangest cartoon crossovers of all time, The Saga of the Warrior King. In November of 1996, Wing Commander fans excited to see the eighth episode of Wing Commander Academy were treated to an odd surprise when the show was deferred for a half hour so that an episode of Mortal Kombat could air instead. What nobody realized at the time was that four different shows had inexplicably collaborated so a space viking voiced by Michael Dorn could hop through Street Fighter to Savage Dragon to Mortal Kombat and finally Wing Commander while chasing a mysterious object. There was never any promotion nor apparent reason for the bizarre tie-in, and Wing Commander fans have long regarded it as an enigmatic oddity of Saturday morning cartoon history. Author Gavin Jasper has done a good job recounting the entire tale at DoG here. For more background, check out the CIC's original writeup.
I’m going to level with you. I don’t know much about Wing Commander. Flight games aren’t my thing. I know that it’s about future space stuff where humans take on evil Thundercats via cosmic dog-fighting and the third game was groundbreaking for its use of cutscenes with real deal actors like Mark Hamill and Malcolm McDowell. That’s about as far as my knowledge goes on the subject prior to watching this episode.
There are two big things I notice from the start. First, the animation is very crisp for this era. It makes the other three shows look all clown shoes. Second, it pulls no punches. Death happens on-screen and it’s important. Enemy ships are blown up in space and it’s not like GI Joe where we see parachute escapes to assure us. Those cats are dead.
The pilot Gwen actually goes through emotional turmoil from killing and openly talks about how she loses a bit of herself every time she blows up a Kilrathi ship. That’s really unique to me. I’m so used to seeing cartoons sidestep murder that seeing the ethical and emotional repercussions talked about is mindblowing.
Wing Commander Jazz Album Discs Ready to Ship!
There's good news on George Oldziey's live Wing Commander jazz album. The production copies have finally come back, so George is ready to ship discs out to project backers. Very coolalbum art was created by SabreAce, which you can see below. (2019-01-17)
The Story of Raylight Games - Straight from the Source!
Massimiliano Di Monda, the co-founder and CEO of Raylight Games, has posted a neat article on the history of Wing Commander Prophecy for the Gameboy Advance. The company was founded in 2000, and the GBA port of WCP was a big deal in their initial portfolio. Thanks to their success in these early days, they are still active today and just recently announced several Nintendo Switch titles, among other products. (2019-01-16)
Academy Script: Walking Wounded
As promised, a second Wing Commander Academy episode is now available! Today's script covers episode nine, "Walking Wounded." The episode starts with a cut scene that was intended to better establish Maniac's character for the episode, a scene taken from Wing Commander IV where he uncomfortably hits on a new Tiger's Claw bridge officer. (2019-01-15)
Hands-On Hot Hardware
LOAF has recently been accumulating some neat '90s hardware with a connection to Wing Commander. The first is a customizable keyboard device with different profiles for various sims. The Katt "Games Master Keyboard" also supported Strike Commander, X-Wing and a couple of Ultimas. (2019-01-14)
Wing Commander Meme of the Day: Ten Year Challenge
2663 vs 2673. Yes I know that 2663 Blair should be wearing captainâs bars instead of silver eagles. (2019-01-13)