Pix Reviews Rare WC2 Port Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Pix is on another Origin Adventure, and this time it's with the Japanese FM Towns port of Wing Commander 2. WC2 is somewhat unusual in how few ports it got. WC1 is all over the place, WC3/4 got their share of console variants, and Prophecy was even ported to the Gameboy Advance, but WC2 remarkably shows up in just two places besides standard DOS releases: on the FM Towns and again in Windows via Kilrathi Saga. Sadly, a SNES port was made, but it has not yet seen the light of day.

Back to the story at hand, Pix has written up his experiences giving this new edition a go. There's a unique callsign inputter right off the bat, but his overall impression is that it's fairly similar to the PC release. Sound is improved and the Japanese speech is pretty cool, though not full speech (similar to the English speech pack). There's also some pretty darn snazzy box art, so even if you don't have an actual FM Towns unit, this still makes for an awesome collectible when you can find it for a decent price. Check out the full article here or catch up on Pix's earlier FM Towns reflections here.

Wing Commander II was released for the FM Towns somewhat belatedly in 1995. Once again it got some cool new box art. I’ve been looking forward to playing this one for a while now actually. WC1 received numerous ports and even a complete remake, most of which I’ve already played through on here. I haven’t played Wing Commander 2 on the other hand since blogging through it about 9 years back.

Double Your Density, Double Your Fun! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The original Wing Commander shipped on three different formats. This 5.25" DD release with ELEVEN floppy disks is the rarest (pictured first below). The box these were in was labeled 5.25" HD, so I suspect they came into the world via Origin's disk exchange process. Probably made ad hoc with whatever was available! Now that I think about it, I haven't seen a 5.25" DD retail box... but I dug up this materials log (pictured second); it looks like Origin ordered labels and boxes for 5.25" DD versions of Wing Commander and The Secret Missions. But where are they? Much more common were three 5.25" HD or six 3.5" DD disks. Does your copy have three 3.5" HD disks? That’s a 1991 "promotional" re-release!


Dennis Mull snapped some pictures of his German and French disks, which confirms that Secret Missions 2 in 5.25" DD exists. Check out the last shot: Disk #19, crazy!

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Ready To Haul Some 3D Printed Cargo Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We got our first glimpse of Sonnich Johannesen's awesome 3D prints last week, and now he's got a third ship to share. The images below show a very nice looking Galaxy freighter coming together from the initial stages. It's amazing how these things work. If you can't quite visualize it, as an extra bonus, there's a video of the Galaxy being fabricated below as well! It's the future, everybody...
Galaxy class freighter

Turned out fine. :) The models are not to scale to each other... this one should have been printed HUGE. The tachyon cannons are tiny compared to the tachyon cannons on the Centurion. :)

Cha Cha To This Kilrathi Theme Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Origin composer George Oldziey has released another awesome Wing Commander track from his live recording session held a few weeks ago. This one is the "Kilrathi Cha Cha" as remixed and performed by Gato 6, his talented Latin Jazz band. It's full of fun and personality - give it a listen below!

Greetings all! As we head into the weekend I wanted to leave you with just a TASTE of one of the pieces we recorded last week. The world premiere of the Kilrathi Cha Cha! It's basically a Latin Jazz arrangement i made of the main title theme to WC3 (the Mission to Kilrah theme). The entire track will be on an upcoming CD, but I thought I'd give you a little bit of it right now as a preview. I'm super excited about it, and the band played it great! Hope you enjoy!

More to come!

Musically yours,

George

Maverick Gets Pantsed Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

LOAF is still scratching the surface of his 30 boxes of Academy archival materials, but when he does get a chance to dig in, he uncovers some real gems! Take for, example, Cadet Blair's sorely underrated bottom half. Everyone is all into torsos, but you can't have one without the other!
Found while sorting a box of Wing Commander Academy cels: a fine painting of Maverick’s crotch.

Mark Hamill Premiering New Documentary at SXSW Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's a good week for Mark Hamill fans! In addition to getting his Hollywood star, Mr. Hamill will be returning to the birthplace of Wing Commander next month to help debut a new documentary, The Director and the Jedi, about his work with Rian Johnson on the new Star Wars film. For the numerous WC fans and former Originites nearby, this would be pretty neat to check out! Thanks to Shot97 for the tip.
This documentary is an inside look at the process of moviemaking & one of the best documentaries on that subject I've ever seen. Plus, 2 of my sisters & a brother live in Austin so my visit will also double as a mini-family reunion. See you soon Texans!

Mark Hamill To Receive Hollywood Star Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Thanks in part to his recent success resuming the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, actor Mark Hamill will soon be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony is set for March 8, 2018 at 11:30 am. I'd encourage Wing Commander fans nearby to go check it out, but the crowd will likely be substantial. A variety of websites are also noting his considerable non-Star Wars credits, including Wing Commander and animated voice work, which is a nice nod to the breadth of his career. Congrats Mark!
Can't say this is a dream come true because I was never foolish enough to think something like this could ever happen. When part of me doubts I deserve such an honor, I remind myself that someone got a "Star" for just one crappy reality show. #BeyondGr8ful

Banshee Kicks Off Flat Universe's Border Worlds Faction Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The first Border Worlds ship for Wing Commander Flat Universe has been announced! The Banshee now joins the battle alongside four Confed and four Kilrathi craft. It's designed to be particularly effective against slower bombers such as the Broadsword or Grikath. Each screenshot below also reflects the high quality model used in the game. Flat Universe is a pretty slick looker!
Please take a look on the flight deck, and meet... your doom, you Broadsword addicts!

The details that you see on the ships from these screens come from the detailed models that you can experience them in-flight if you zoom close enough the camera during the game play. Of course we are preparing camera close ups with K/B shortcuts (missile follow, target follow, follow me etc.) to the increase the graphics experience.

If you are interested to know why we stick so much with graphics detail on a top down shooter, the answer is simple... Persistence. Every time you will see an in game cut-scene or you return with a damaged ship from a mission the damages will be there sitting on top of your wrecked ship. In other words you will have to be especially careful with what the chief mechanic will have to tell you after a bad luck on your mission!

New 3D Prints Highlight Gemini Sector Hotness Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Sonnich Johannesen has shown off some large scale and beautifully detailed 3D prints from Wing Commander Privateer. The Centurion and (not pictured) Galaxy are from Astrofossil and the Tarsus model was designed by DJFX, who posted some gorgeous pics of his own a while back. The size of each of these is impressive, and Sonnich has posted some neat pictures of these ships coming together on the printer. Certain subcomponents are printed separately and then attached together afterwards. The relatively monochrome silver color scheme in Privateer suits these designs as well. You can find more shots of the construction process at the CIC Forums.
Hi Guys. Just joined, but have been on the site lots of times during the years. :)

I played WC1 and then Privateer in the 90`s and was totally hooked at the time....just loved the games. I recently gave Privateer a go again. and got hooked again. I'm actually following the game plot this time, instead of just flying around blowing up stuff :p

Anyway, 2 years ago I got my first 3d printer, and now I'm on my third and got everything sorted out... it is a hobby in itself, and is just not plug and play yet.....

I found the Privateer ships: Centurion, Tarsus, and the Galaxy class freighter. I have printed the Centurion, and in the progress of filling and sanding it, and I'm also printing parts for the Tarsus.

I think these models look great, and just wanted to share some pictures of what I have got to so far. Anyone else print WC models?

Paper Cruiser Returns Stronger & Better Armed Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Adm_Maverick's Tallahassee papercraft cruiser is back again in a whole new way. This second major iteration improves on the first in a number of ways, including how the main hull fits together. It also has interior components that form the bow-mounted capship missile launcher. He's still working on nailing down the scaling, but the shape is looking pretty good to me!
So I ran into a bit of a snag. Basically I lost my source file with all my resized parts and info for resizing parts. Hence why the inner body is exposed like it is. In the short term this is actually a good thing. My ultimate end-goal with this project is to build it in styrene and apply some lighting effects. So this gives me a good means for planning out component placement.

I used a new method of mounting the neck to the rear assembly. Nothing terribly complex, but I used parts from the neck to form plates that provides some good contact area and reinforcement for where the parts come together.

Live Wing Commander Jazz Recording A Huge Success! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Origin composer George Oldziey has completed his live recording of Wing Commander jazz music. The event was conducted last week at George's studio in Austin, and pictures from the day make it look like they had a lot of fun! Initial results also sound fantastic, and we're anxious to hear how everything comes together in the finished album. He's released this super cool preview to whet fans' appetite:

Greetings all! It's been a while since my last post. I just wanted to report that we recorded the Wing Commander bar music in my Austin studio last weekend, and the results were great! The musicians did a great job, and the fans who were there (who backed at that pledge level) had a great time.

I'm almost done mixing the music, which will of course be on a new CD very soon. In the mean time, here is a "teaser" MP3 for you all to enjoy!

Also, there is a "surprise" track in which I took probably the most famous theme from my Wing Commander scores and turned it into a Latin Jazz arrangement! Might sound a bit sacrilegious but it was meant with a lot of excitement.

More news very soon!

Musically yours,

George

RPS Highlights Origin Fandom Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Rock Paper Shotgun has run a neat article on longtime Origin collector Joe Garrity. There's a really interesting Q&A that delves into how Joe got started many years ago buying up spare copies of Ultima games and meeting with their creators. It also highlights some of the good work that fans have done to preserve historic material, such as our 2008 trip to archive Origin source documents at Mythic or the assistance Wingnuts gave Raylight to develop Prophecy for the Game Boy Advance. Check out the full article here.
RPS: We talked about how the museum got started, but what was your own first Origin game? What got you started on this kick?

Garrity: I’d bought Ultima IV for my C64 back in 1985, but didn’t play it much. The real breakthrough for me was my first PC in early 1991 – a 386 DX33 with four megs of RAM and a Soundblaster! I went to my local Walden Books – back then, games were sold in bookstores – to take a look around. The salesman asked me what type of system I had. When I described my beefy PC, he instantly put Wing Commander in my hands, and said, “This is the game you want.” It’s been a love affair ever since.

Wing Commander On Sale For Lunar New Year Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've seen this sale before, but not quite for this reason. GOG.com is running a Lunar/Chinese New Year event that lops 71% off the price of the Wing Commander series. That's all DOS & Windows games for just $14.02! Individual titles you might not have ever picked up are just $1.79. GOG typically runs several sales like this each year, and every one is another great opportunity for new fans to join the fold. If you have a friend that still hasn't joined in, let them know about this affordable chance to help save humanity!

Daedalus Station Gets Major Facelift Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Maslas Brothers have kicked off their big 2018 push with a huge revamp to Daedalus Station, the home base of Wing Commander Flat Universe. There are some nice improvements to welcome in new players, plus a lot of back end rework to make future updates easier to make. Other subsections include an archive of the Destiny's Way magazine and a ship database that syncs with the actual stats of the fighters in the game. There's no need to wait for the next release - if you missed the multiplayer alpha last year, check it out now!
Let me get a more technical approach on our new website and do a little versus with the old one. There are some fundamental characteristics that our older web site was lacking:
  • a. New people should play Wing Commander! The old Daedalus was created by WC fans for fans. As a result most out-worlders who were visiting Daedalus didn't know what was this game all about. We attempted to keep a dual personality on this refit and keep both the old fans and the new-commers happy.
  • b. It is dynamic. Old Daedalus was taking much of our precious development time to update and maintain its assets and contents. This site is version controlled and its content can be updated easily.
  • c. It is responsive. As you may have already noticed we like our projects to work on several platforms. Based on that philosophy Flat Universe website should be able to look well on you mobiles and tablets too.
  • d. Daedalus talks with Flat Universe. The new flight deck collects information regarding the ships and their stats from the same database that the actual game does. That means that you pilots can have an almost realistic idea on how a ship will respond during a flight session.
Hope you like our additions. Catch up later,
the MaslasBros :)

Happy Valentine's Day Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

You asked for it, and here it is once again! The Love Arrow. Where would we be without it? I always remember it being bigger though...

Check Out Kilrathi Saga's Swag Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Longtime Wingnut Joshua Dworkin has put together a pretty neat unboxing video. Since this trend came along relatively recently, it's cool to see these done for classic Wing Commanders, and I don't think we've posted a Kilrathi Saga version before. Completionists will be happy to see that he's kept his unrelated reference cards and advertisements, and we get good glimpses at the awesome discs, beefy manual and super cool 2673/1997/2003/2014/2025 calendar. Before DOSBox and GOG, Kilrathi Saga was highly sought after for its ability to play in Windows, but now you can see what else made this such a hot collector's set!

Stealth Carrier Sneaks Into The News Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

DefianceIndustries has put together a very sleek stealth carrier that belongs to the Black Lance. He's dubbed it the Typhon, and it's strongly inspired by the Evansville class transport depicted in Wing Commander 4. The ship has been modeled in really exotic detail with nifty hexagonal hull patterns and interior items on the flight deck. Take a good look now - when it gets included in one of the fan projects that Defiance supports, you won't see it coming!
Space Marshal,

I'm pleased to announce that the prototype of the next-generation carrier is in the final stages of fitting out near Axius and is on-schedule to be delivered as promised. I hope that you will be able to attend the launch, however with events in the Borderworlds proceeding as planned, the crew would certainly understand if your schedule wouldn't allow for an in-person send off. I can personally attest to each one's willingness to serve the greater good.

Fleet On Display In New LLOD Flyby Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a great look at the Confed fleets of Last Line of Defense. These ships span a couple timeframes, which you can see from the distinctive coloring. After a general fly around, Deathsnake hops in the cockpit and gives off a first person view of the assembled warships. That part's cool, but it's especially neat to see the fly-through hangars on the space station.
  • Still some errors, texture problems and missing turrets on the Tolmacs - next overwork.
  • Missing - I lost my Drayman :/
  • And the Wake Needs a few overworks too before I post some new Screens
But here: the Fleet of Confed 2654-2668 ;) Confed Green and Confed Blue 2669 Colors ;) And a fly to Olympus - a bit bigger :D Scooby did great work on that base. With some relax Music featuring Jazz ;)

Quirky 1993 'Gamecheater' Added Super Powers To WC Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Collecting different variants, special editions and rereleases of classic Wing Commander games is a common pastime for Wingnuts, but really hardcore fans are also hunting down obscure third party unlicensed works. LOAF recently found this one, Axis the Gamecheater, which supposedly grants 'super powers' to both Wing Commander and Ultima VI. Without the internet, some of the series' built in cheats weren't as readily known, so there was a market for products like this back in the day. Actual effectiveness was pretty hit & miss...
LOAF> Behold: AXIS the GAMECHEATER! He has a code wheel built in to his box that tells us... nothing?
Welcome, warrior, to the cyberspace game zone. In the cyber zone, your weaponry is superior, you are immortal. Because you have Axis the Gamecheater, you cannot be defeated anywhere on the game grid. You are invincible!

With the Gamecheater installed in your computer, you can override predefined game functions with assignable hot keys. In your favorite games you can add time, lives, money, extra ammo or fuel, jump to different play levels or whatever it takes for you to win.

Each game module provides you with special weapons. Rotate Axis's selector wheel to view how many weapons you have in your arsenal for each supported game.

Follow The Maniac To Europe Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Tom Wilson has posted another life update that follows his latest adventures. He spends most of the video in Berlin attending the Germany Comic Con. By and large, this is just the Maniac goofing around and being silly for ten minutes, but it also shows off what a skilled content creator and editor he is as well. Like in many of his clips, Mr. Wilson weaves a bit of narrative throughout his travels and even pauses to frame things that will be added in post production (by himself at home later, I assume). Check it out below!
TomVlog36. I met an Oompa-Loompa.

New WC Toolbox Expands WC2 & Academy Support Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The WC Toolbox has been significantly updated again. WC2 and Academy support arrived in November, but this was initially limited to COMM, DIFFLEVL, INTELSHP, PALETTE, SPEECH and WAVEINFO file type editing. The program can now modify quite a few more things. Additionally, WC1 support has been expanded again with a handful of new features. Grab the new version 4.1.0 beta here and share your editing adventures at the CIC Forums!
Another update with more support for WC2/Academy file types: ALTINT, ALTSHIPS, INTEL, MISSILE, MODULE, PCSHIP, SHIP, and XSHIP. Also Updated WC1 EXE file to support editing of closing dialog, comm message, insert disk, landing comment, medal, mission type, rank, and stranded strings.

Tester Needed For Next Secret Ops MUP Release Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's the first big status update of the year for the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack. DefianceIndustries is hard at work on the next release, which will include some of the impressive new capship upgrades that have been shown over the past few months. Examples of these are depicted below. There are also some back end fixes in work that prevent issues from arising between the different variants of the ships in Prophecy and Secret Ops. They are even looking to add a tester to the mix to squash bugs before updates go public. Check out the CIC Forums for more details!
Hello fellow MUPians,

Firstly a big thank you to everyone for voting us fan project of the year! We had stiff competition this year with many worthy projects so it means alot to all of us working on this project. We have some changes coming this year, and our goal for this year is to get the MUP to a stable version 1 release. We're close on getting the main assets converted, and I think this is an attainable goal for the team.

News: JOB OPENING - The MUP team is looking for one person to help us out as a release tester. There's an old saying about QAing your own work (well, maybe there isn't but it's still a bad idea) The job shouldn't take more than a few hours of your time as we package up releases for general distribution. You'd be working with the MUP team to identify bugs in ship files, graphical issues, and game-balance between WCP and SO. If you're interested please PM me or nudge me on the Discord modding channel.

Once again - thanks to all you wing nuts for keeping this going, and here's to a great 2018!

SpaceX Nails Falcon Heavy Launch Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Elon Musk and the SpaceX team once again made history today with the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket. We don't post nearly as much real life science and space news as we used to, but today's remarkable achievement deserves all the recognition it can get. It's hard to believe that just three years ago, there were many headlines about how SpaceX was failing and we just weren't ready to jump the technological hurdles that the company was proposing. Now they've landed nearly two dozen rockets vertically and make it look routine.

Today's launch was significantly more challenging, however, yet they were able to both lift a payload into orbit and return multiple boosters simultaneously back to the launch pad. It's possible that the third booster may not have properly landed on target at sea, but Elon Musk's personal Tesla Roadster is now on its way towards the Mars orbit and the whole mission has been a huge success. They plan to start ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station next year and launch the first mission to Mars in five years. It's possible these dates could slip, but SpaceX's impressive track record inspires a lot of confidence that they will eventually succeed in reaching another planet in the near future!

Jump to 21:00 to get straight to the action!

End Run Ebook Still In The Works Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's been a steady stream of Wing Commander ebooks since publisher Baen took the series digital starting in mid 2016. Everything from Freedom Flight to False Colors has been released, with one key omission - End Run! The published did confirm last year that it was still pending, but some time has passed since. We pinged them again this weekend, and they answered with this prompt reply. There's still no release date set yet, but the good news is that it's back on their radar now. Here's hoping the wait is nearly over! You can find links to your storefront of choice for the other novels below.
There was a delay with the company we use to scan old books into digital, and it must have fallen through the cracks. We're on the case.
    End Run
  • Baen Ebook
  • Amazon Kindle
  • Apple iBooks
  • B&N Nook
  • Kobo

Tallahassee Cruiser Added To Papercraft Fleet Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Adm_Maverick is well known for his paper model fighters, but now he's stepped up to take on one of the big boys. He's scratch building a Tallahassee cruiser, which is a fantastic choice and not one we see very often (if ever?) in physical models. The images below show three different iterations that he's already started on, and the results are already quite good. Follow the design process and find even more pics at the CIC Forums.
This is the finished rough model. For a quick build it turned out rather well. But there are some problems with it, some of them because of how I built it and others because I used something a lot thicker then a single sheet of card stock to build.

The first thing is that I built the model from front to back and then bottom to top. Having built the model once, I would completely reverse that and build it from top to bottom, back to front. The front is largely enclosed and self supporting, while the back with the bridge, engines and several sections all joining together is more dependent on components joining together properly to support other components.

Select A System That Suits Your Style Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

A whole bunch of exciting new video game hardware has come out in the past year, and it's been quite a while since we last asked what systems people would most prefer a new Wing Commander game on. The latest console and handheld devices out today are more powerful than high end PCs from just a couple years ago, so any of these platforms could produce stunning results. Which would you like to see?!

The last poll was our annual pulse on what fans are expecting for the year ahead. Like most years, the results were mixed. About a third of folks aren't particularly optimistic, but about 40% expect another big year. Take a peek at our 2017 roundup for a summary of all the fantastic things that happened last year - we're sure this year will be at least that amazing!

Amigos Look Back At Amiga Wing Commander Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Everything Amiga has posted their latest podcast, and this episode is all about Wing Commander. Their video show spends nearly an hour discussing the backstory and all the neat elements that made Wing Commander such a great game. They also delve into some useful context, such as the disk size and how slow the game ran on a stock Amiga machine. It's also just tons of fun to hear fellow fans reminisce about the TrainSim or the funeral scenes that made Wing Commander so memorable.

Confed Destroyers Serve As Last Line Of Defense Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There have been quite a few capship developments lately that have helped the Last Line of Defense project round out its Confed fleet. A little work on texturing and the hangar bay still needs to be done, but the video below shows what happens when three new Exeters take on a pair of heavier Kilrathi warships. Although brief, it's a pretty exciting battle! We can also see a jump test with an Exeter and one of the Bengals revealed last month.
Still need a shine texture and try to make another hangarbay. The windows on the Exeter do not match with Saga details. The video is of the Kilrathi Frigate and heavy cruiser Fralthi II - this time the enemy are three Exeter...

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