There's been lots of excitement lately surrounding the Wing Commander franchise's recent 25 year anniversary, but such an extensive series has no shortage of milestones. Wing Commander 4 was released twenty years ago today. This anniversary carries a lot of weight as one of the very first that was played out online with a sizable audience of Wing Commander fans. WC3 arrived in 1994 before very many Wingnuts had internet access, but this began to change in 1995 as network connections proliferated in schools and lucky folks started to get their own dialup modems. As The Heart of the Tiger's sequel approached, preview material began to pop up on the world wide web, and for the first time, a critical mass of fans excitedly connected on web based message boards (including Origin's Official WC Chat Zone), in IRC channels like #Wing-Commander, at Keyword: Origin on AOL and in the alt.games.wing-commander Usenet newsgroup. Most of the CIC staff got their start in the Wing Commander community during this exciting year, so it also marks twenty years of friendship and great memories for us.
It seems like just yesterday that LOAF penned his very eloquent look back on the game's 10th birthday, and it's hard to believe a whole second decade has now passed. He's already nailed the history, but there have been a few exciting developments since then! Perhaps the most significant recent event is the release of WC4 on GOG in April of 2012. For the first time, the enhanced video DVD edition was readily available at an affordable price. It was initially released in October of 1997 as part of exclusive bundle with the Creative Labs DXR decoder card, which many people didn't even know existed. Eventually fans developed workarounds that eliminated the hardware requirements, but players were still limited to copies of the game that came from this pricey bundle - by then only available on eBay. Suddenly with the GOG release, and for just six bucks, anyone could have access to the game running smoothly on modern systems. It even came with a digital copy of the Official Guide among other bonuses. Another cool six dollar milestone was the release of WC4 on the Playstation Network Store. This made the console port available to an even wider audience.
Last, but not least, the CIC maintains dozens of archival features relating to the development of Wing Commander 4. You can find these collected together in our extensive WC4 Day from a couple years back. There's LOTS of fun stuff to see there, so be sure to check it out! And don't forget, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance...
Retro Gamers Connect with Wing Commander 3
Retro Game Connect has a new episode, and it's all about Wing Commander 3. RGC is a show that we can really identify with - just a couple of nerdy guys talking about the good old days of classic gaming. This is their 184th episode, and they're actually new to The Heart of the Tiger. (2019-02-23)
Differences a True Collector Would Love
Red-Jackal recently posted a neat 1993 Privateer advertisement from Computer magazine. We've shown it off before, or so I thought, so I almost passed it by. It is a little bit sharper than the one we have in the archive though, so I decided to take a second look. (2019-02-22)
All Wings Considered - Episode 1 - LIVE!
The first episode of ALL WINGS CONSIDERED is live now! All Wings Considered is the CIC's first ever streaming variety show which will feature news, conversation and gameplay relating to our favorite series. This week we're taking on ground missions in Wing Commander IV and talking about the first four chapters of the novel End Run with members of the community. (2019-02-21)
Streaming Live Thursday!
Our kickoff episode of ALL WINGS CONSIDERED is nearly here! Be sure to tune in on Thursday, February 21st, at 7 PM Eastern (4 PM Pacific) to watch our live streaming Wing Commander show. This works out to Midnight GMT, which we know is late on a school night, so the archived recording will be available later. (2019-02-20)
Wing Commander Enters the Retro Zone
Pix recently came across a pretty neat article in the UK magazine PC Zone. I really like it's graphical layout with the Dralthis overflying the slick text. The author is a big fan of the WC series and uses it as an example for awesome '90s games that were outside the realm of his usual fare. (2019-02-19)