Prop ID: Cobra's Knife Update ID

This is the first in a series of updates identifying props used in Wing Commander's various live action productions. Movie productions typically use a range of props: some (like Kilrathi masks and laser rifles) are fabricated specially for an individual shoot, some (like whirring computer consoles and background decorations) are rented from companies that build generic props that can be adapted to different productions and then reused and sometimes 'real world' items can be used.

The latter is the case today. In Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger, 1st Lt. Laurel "Cobra' Buckley fastidiously sharpens an ugly utility knife, apparently a symbol of the psychological damage she has previously suffered as a Kilrathi prisoner of war. Interestingly, Cobra's knife is not specified in the Wing Commander III shooting script and thus is never mentioned in the game's adaptation (like most novelizations, the Heart of the Tiger book is based on the game' screenplay rather than a completed production.) This suggests that the decision to give her a knife was likely made later.

So what is Cobra's knife? She is sharpening Marto-Brewer Explora (or Explorer) knife that dates back to the early 1980s. The Explora is a multi-use "survival" knife which includes both a multi-faceted blade and a variety of tools for survival situations. The knife was designed by true-life Venezuelan explorer Charles Brewer-Carías who has led more than 200 expeditions into the unknown. The handle of the knife is hollow and contains a variety of survival supplies, including a compass, flint and matches for starting a fire, sutures and more. Various external attachments can be added, all with an eye towards survival situations rather than specifically fighting or hunting. It's exactly the sort of knife you would want if you ejected over a hostile planet! You can read more about the Explora here.

Would you like your own version of Cobra's knife? The Explora is no longer manufactured but it is readily available on the secondary market. At press time, slightly used examples seem to go for between $250 and $350. But can you really put a price on keeping your family safe from the Kilrathi?

WC3 Joins Our Game Cabinet Update ID

During the CIC 20th Birthday celebrations we launched our Game Cabinet feature. This allows you to try out the WC1 and WC2 rolling demos from within your browser - no installation required! By tweaking a few things, we have been able to unlock a bit of extra performance so those demos now run more smoothly. But more importantly, we have been able to add the WC3 playable demo to the collection! The demo features a trailer cinematic followed by a playable mission, although it requires a fairly beefy machine to run completely smoothly. Check it out here!

New Graphical Upgrades in the Works for Vision Engine Update ID

Hot on the heels of the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack's addition of glowing emit maps, DefianceIndustries reports that normal mapping is now in testing! This is a technique that creates the appearance of more detailed textures than would otherwise be possible in the game. While the new high quality models are often considered the star of upgrade mods like these, it's also true that they're heavily dependent on behind-the-scenes updates and alterations to the game engines to make effects like this possible. And the combined results are fantastic! Check out a sneak peek below.
Hello MUPpets!

Here's "the next big thing" from the mighty technical wizards lurking in the shadows behind the MUP. Pedro and PopsiclePete have again been working their dark arcana and have spectro patronumesed us up (say THAT one three times fast) a long asked for feature for the GL patch: Normal mapping!

Behold true believers: The Konfed Kube!

It's still very much in the testing and development stages, but we are looking forward to implementing this on MUP assets in the future. And as a quick tease:

Waterloo Helps Hold the Line Update ID

Last Line of Defense now has a new Waterloo. It's an interesting translation of a WC2 design into WC3 styling. One of the most notable changes are the swap from flak cannons to designated gun and missile turrets. Deathsnake put together this nifty video of the ship fending off eight Dralthi with its updated weaponry. No problem for a heavy cruiser!
Wing Commander Saga Waterloo under attack

Hull Textures... By The Numbers Update ID

Hull numbers are hard. The Wing Commander II box has a beautiful rendering of what should be the Concordia under attack... but it has a huge 14 instead of the 65 seen in the game! How did that happen?! End Run features what should be the escort carrier TCS Tarawa. Except it says 12 and this is literally the second sentence of the story: "The carrier off his port quarter was the newest addition to the fleet, emblazoned upon its armored bow the proud name CVE-8 Tarawa..." Several cutscenes in Wing Commander IV accidentally swap the Vesuvius and Mt. St. Helens hull numbers. Vesuvius should be 01 and the St. Helens should be 02. This was bugged by QA but there wasn't time to render new cutscenes (which required days on an SGI machine at the time.)

One neat trick in Wing Commander IV is that individual ships can have unique skins in engine. That’s common today but it felt luxurious at the time. The Lexington is CV-44 and the Princeton is CV-48 (that’s the carrier being repaired later in the game, named by the novel.) They also retextured ships for different factions. Compare the frigate as operates by pirates, the Border Worlds and Confed. The WC4 frigate (Caernaven class, again from the novel) was intended for WC3 but was cut. It’s still hidden in the game files! It was planned to be the ship that delivers Paladin in the Alcor series. Instead he arrives on a destroyer that has been renamed FRIGATE!

Check Out Conversation with Cutaway Creators Update ID

NinjaLA found a neat interview at Trekyards with the Cushman brothers, who created all those awesome Star Trek cutaway posters back in the day. It's an interesting discussion that provides insight into the design process and what goes into creating magnificent pieces of art like this.
These clips are entirely focused on the Star Trek work, but it's also important to note than Michael Cushman was the creator of Wing Commander's own awesome Tiger's Claw cutaway poster tie in to the Wing Commander Movie. It was fully designed but never released, and the Cushmans helped bring this long lost gem to fans. It's been a few years since we've mentioned it in the news, but it's absolutely not to be missed, so here it is again:

Spacedock Explores Warship Roles Update ID

SpaceDock has once again touched on Wing Commander in one of its frequent sci-fi starship videos. This clip is actually an interesting segment on the role of multi-mission or specialized craft across science fiction universes. The author comes down heavily on the side of mission-specific vessels from both a practical and narrative standpoint. He credits the Wing Commander series for sticking to this concept and making traditional carriers that usually aren't just super ships that can do everything. The prime example are Yorktown light carriers such as the TCS Victory. Sure, dreadnoughts, supercarriers and megacarriers like the Concordia, Vesuvius and Midway are crazy cool, but I can certainly see the point in rooting for the underdogs. The Victory gets bonus points for operating as part of a small fleet as well. Jump to the 7 minute mark below for the part on Wing Commander. You can also find Spacedock's original video on the Yorktowns here.
I break down how I think nautical warship monikers should be applied to Science Fiction.

Galaxy Engineered for Space Exploration Update ID

ShadowArm recently shared the Galaxy merchant vessel that he created in the sandbox game Space Engineers. Players build their own creations and fly them through the cosmos. The outer hull looks pretty good, but the interior cockpit is where the design really shines. Privateer conveyed the fact that the Galaxy has a large two-pilot setup, but good use of windows and position of screens does a lot to enhance the atmosphere here. He's taking a break from Space Engineers for now but could come back for more with a future iteration of the game as it gets updated.

Light Cruiser Preps for Battle Update ID

There are new updates for the Last Line of Defense project. Deathsnake is working to round out his 'Tolmacs' cruiser with weapons and fighters. The ship's guns are about half added and its launch tubes are also operational. He's mocked up a few videos that show both of these in operation.
Still not done yet but some armament on the Tolmacs light cruiser done. The underside is missing laser turrets, a side mount is still open and don't know if I will give it missile turrets or even capship missiles.

Nephilim Fleet Seeing Red Update ID

During Saturday night's exciting birthday festivities, renowned Nephilim artist Dark Sentinel released this ominous picture. It features a large bug fleet crossing an eerie red backdrop. The image makes a fantastic wallpaper, but it also provides a striking glimpse of what's to come in the world of Prophecy & Secret Ops modding!

Birthday Greetings! Update ID

We're going to kick things off with a bang thanks to Fek'Leyr Targ! "For the CIC's 20th birthday, I felt that a simple 'happy birthday' was not enough for an occasion of this magnitude. So I decided to take the opportunity to improve my animation skills by creating this small gift for all of you to enjoy as a mean to show my appreciation for this awesome community as well as saying 'happy birthday' and 'thank you'."

Meshes, Textures and Sound Effects: Origin Systems (Privateer 3D Archive)
Music: Nenad Vugrinec
Production and voice: Fek'Leyr Targ

More Birthday Greetings! Update ID

Legendary Origin composer George Oldziey also popped in to share a kind birthday message. We also appreciate all the work he's done to help bring Wing Commander music back in a big way! A lot of people are familiar with his major crowdfunding campaigns over the last few years to bring WC to a live orchestra, but George has actually been very supportive of the CIC since the very beginning. Way back in September 1998 when we were just a few weeks old, Mr. Oldziey was actually the very first external interview we did in our old Infoburst show. Thanks for 20 years of support!
Happy 20th birthday, Wing Commander CIC!! Thank you SO much for all your devotion and enthusiasm over the past 20 years! I also want to personally thank you for all your support for me and my music. I’m sure I speak for all the other WC fans when I say you guys are the BEST!

George Oldziey

Ghosts of CICs Past Update ID

To celebrate twenty years at wcnews.com, we're taking a look back at some of the visual layouts used here at the CIC. Kris has carefully recreated each of them as best as possible in our webmirrors area. A lot has changed over the years, but lots has stayed the same. Do you remember some of the original designs?
  • 1998a - This is the original layout we launched with on August 10, 1998 with a few elements added shortly thereafter. Similar to the menu design we employed previously at WCHS, we had a really cool javascript mouseover menu effect. Kris managed to recreate this in CSS today. In those early days, there was so much content to add and keep up with that we had an update ticker with a timestamp!
  • 1998b - In these early days, the site sections that we had were rapidly evolving, and those little menu graphics weren't as easy to make as they would be today. So not long after we launched, we switched over to a simplified menu that had a nice header graphic and text links to the various sections.
  • 2000a - Over the next year or so, we'd also added an Up and Coming space right above the news to highlight all the real world and fictional events that were approaching on the calendar. Below the first day's news we added an eBay ticker to highlight the next five auctions based on ending dates. Today there's all manner of calendar software and tracking apps that would easily allow people to customize and execute these types of functions, but that kind of stuff was still in its infancy here, so we were providing a useful service.
  • 2000b - By late 2000, some WC game cancellations prompted us to add an inspirational quote (first from Tolwyn, then from Chris Roberts). We added a news search for the growing news archive as well as a login for the Crius.net email service we briefly provided. The staff list continued to grow, and this shot shows the funny melting snowman we featuring during the winter. This was also the last layout designed specifically to support 640x480 resolutions. By this time, 800x600 and 1024x768 were becoming more popular, but there was still a segment of the audience that was on the lower res. This is why so many old web designs appear to be pencil thin against a wide background today.
  • 2001 - In 2001 we introduced the dual side menu layout. This is when we added the new forum post menu (which we still have today), although back then the forums were hosted at our Crius.net spinoff site since it was more practical to have several different domains/servers to balance the load back then. This general design persisted for more than a decade, so a lot of visitors grew very accustomed to it even as web standards changed and got flashier over the years.
  • 2012 - Our current layout! In October 2012 we rolled out one of the biggest redesigns with an emphasis on a top flyout menu. This allowed us to showcase more content while simultaneously cleaning up the main front page look. We initially introduced this without a side menu at all, which was jarring to some, so several familiar elements were moved over to the right like our original design. The later addition of the GOG & other Where to Buy graphics provided a nice bit of art and color while drawing people's attention to the newfound ability to buy many products digitally. We also started dabbling in social media, and these buttons took several forms over the years (and have just been tweaked again!).

Listen to Sega CD's Wing Commander Music Update ID

Music_Guru has packaged up a treat to share with fans today. He's built a collection of the music made for the Sega CD edition of Wing Commander 1. This version is known for having full speech, but it also has unique audio tracks for the rest of the game as well. While different than the originals, they do a great job of carrying on the the Wing Commander atmosphere. Definitely check them out! Grab the MP3 pack (53 meg zip) for easy listening or the VGM files (1.5 meg zip) for a more authentic feel. Music_Guru recommends VGMPlay, but there are winamp plugins and other resources out there as well. For a quick sample, watch the YouTube link below, but then go back to add the mp3s to your collection!
Hello Wing Commander CIC and congratulations on the 20th anniversary!

I have put together a release of VGM and MP3 music from the Sega CD version of Wing Commander. The music in this version is much different than the tracks used for the PC version and other ports. The music was composed and arranged by Noriyuki Iwadare along with Isao Mizoguchi, Ken-ichi Ookuma, and Masaki Tanimoto from music production company Two-Five.

Gens/GS r7+ was used to capture the VGM music as it is able capture RF5C164 data unlike other Genesis emulators. In order to capture the VGM files without sound effects, a disk image was created from an original copy of the game and hex-edited in order to force certain tracks to play. The tracks contained in this release should be all the non-CD music tracks from the game, including a couple unused tracks. In order to play the VGM files, a list of VGM players is available here.

The track names are based off the names used in other versions of Wing Commander. One notable feature is that each mission type (Patrol, Escort, Strike, and Defend) has its own combat music. Even though the music has been completely redone, it still feels true to the Wing Commander musical themes.

This is my gift to the Wing Commander community that continues to thrive today. Thanks for all the years of hard work and dedication!

-Music_guru

Wing Commander III Footage Restored Update ID

The master of the VHS strikes back! Jim Leonard has restored a copy of the Wing Commander III ESRB submission tape to give us some of the clearest Wing Commander III footage ever preserved. Mr. Leonard has previously restored the Wing Commander III 'Behind the Screens' documentary from a copy of the commercially released VHS. This time around, Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum was kind enough to provide him with an original copy of the ESRB submission tape that Origin produced for Wing Commander III.

The ESRB tape includes roughly one hour of Wing Commander III's FMV footage which was cut together so that the game could be content rated. The footage covers most of the game but does not include every branching path or optional decision. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a voluntary video game content rating organization widely recognized by consumers in the United States. The ESRB was created in 1994 and launched its ratings system just two months before Wing Commander III was released for MS-DOS. The initial release of the game was not rated; the first port to carry an ESRB rating was the 3DO release which was published some seven months later (in June 1995) followed three months later by the Macintosh port.

You can download the full video here. (2.3 gb)

Put Your Nose in a Book Update ID

Think you own a copy of pretty much every Wing Commander book out there? The truth may shock you! LOAF is on a mission to acquire a copy of every book in existence, including all those crazy, unofficial German guides. More than eighty books have been added to the Background section, covering both novels and game guides (official and unofficial) and their translations into Czech, German and Russian. We've even included some unrealized projects (did you know that author Andrew Keith had planned to pitch a pair of follow-up novels to False Colors?) and some interesting odds and ends, like the Polish Honor Harrington novel that reuses the cover art from End Run. Please get in touch if you own something we've overlooked, or if you have a copy of that elusive Italian guide and would be able to provide us with a scan or additional information.

Revisit Wing Commander Demos Update ID

The rolling demos for WC1 and WC2 have been around for as long as the games themselves, and have always been a part of the CIC's downloads section. But when was the last time you watched them? Thanks to modern technology, it's now possible to run the demos within DOSBox right here within your web browser! It is quite a power-hungry process so unless you have a very fast machine you are likely to experience a bit of stuttering sound, but there is no easier way to revisit the demos that got us so excited all those years ago. Give it a try!

Document Archive: Games That Weren't Update ID

The Document Archive is where we try to collect and categorize all the neat finds related to the development history of the various Wing Commander products so you can more easily research your favorite titles. These might include storyboards, early product shots, art sources, and draft scripts that we've featured in one of our daily updates, but otherwise risk falling by the wayside. With Secret Ops turning twenty this year, the time was right to expand the archive's coverage of that game. The project was more limited in scope than Wing Commander: Prophecy, but we've still uncovered a few interesting items over the years:
  • Secret Ops Scripts: 30 items added, including the lost web fiction.
  • Secret Ops Artwork: Six art pieces added, including the backstory of the Plunkett design.
  • Secret Ops Ads: A contemporary print article providing some fascinating insights on the impact of a burgeoning internet.
  • Secret Ops Design: Various bits of source code and a CD-ROM with development tools like the internal mission editor MED.
We've also made a first effort at properly categorizing materials related to Origin projects that were cancelled in the early stages of development. For now, we've focused on two titles: Shadow Force, a followup to Secret Ops which would have put the player in charge of a team of mercenaries charged with impossible missions, and Prowler, a 1995/1996 MechWarrior style game for consoles.

Housekeeping Update ID

When your website is made up of nearly 15,000 news articles, over 2,000 static pages, hundreds more dynamic pages, all of them interlinked, some upkeep is required. Rarely-viewed content that looked fine in Internet Explorer 4.0 may not render as elegantly in modern, standards-abiding browsers. Reorganizing that one section may have broken some of the crosslinks from another section. This is a super-condensed overview of some of the fixes and improvements that we've made since last year's anniversary. Much of this was behind-the-scenes work that won't be immediately noticeable to visitors, but will hopefully result in a better overall experience.
  • Visual improvements:
    • Improved styling of the Games and Universe flyout menus.
    • Dozens of articles and other pages converted to the new layout.
    • Multitude of minor tweaks to navigational elements and page templates.
    • Additional metadata to improve visual appearance when sharing CIC updates on social media.
  • Functional improvements:
    • Mandatory HTTPS for the CIC website, optional HTTPS for SolSector hosted sites.
    • New search engine for news archives, quick search box improvements.
    • Hundreds of news updates, ships pages and game guides edited to fix broken links, malformed HTML and misspellings.

Message Board Reaches New Milestone Update ID

The CIC Forums have also recently crossed another threshold. We're happy to report that fans have just hit 400,000 posts! Fun fact: our original message board was actually one of the few victims of the Y2K bug, and we started over with new software in January 2000. This has been carried forward through a few different iterations to today. (From WWWBoard to Ultimate BulletinBoard to vBulletin to Xenforo) It's a reasonable number when spread across 18.5 years, but it's still hard to fathom that you all have posted so many times!


Memorials Organized Together Update ID

We've leveraged our new News Collections feature to organize all of the memorials we've put together over the years. It's surprising how many there've been actually, but that's what the decades will do. But far from being a depressing subject, we wanted to highlight this as a celebration of all the great folks who've come and gone and had a positive influence on the CIC. There are some pretty interesting linkages that connect these influential people to us, each other and the Wing Commander series. Check them out in five categories below:

New Poll: Still With Us? Update ID

With twenty years on the books, that's a lot of people coming and going over a huge span of time. It's always interesting to get a little perspective on when everyone showed up - and encouraging that there's fresh faces continuously arriving! Vote below to tell us when you got here!

The old poll asked about fans' guilty pleasures. It included several pastimes that were satisfying but ranged from goofing off (Blasting Asteroids) to human rights violations (Pilgrim Stars' Force Powers). Tractoring in Ejected Pilots won out - it's possible some people considered this to be wingman pickup in WC2, but the nefarious version included picking up wayward humans in Gemini. And then selling them into slavery at the commodity store! After that, intentionally losing missions to play through the losing path was popular, as was buzzing the flight deck. Sadly, not one person voted for Prophecy Multiplayer, which does not happen very often (that comment stands for both a choice getting zero votes and people playing multiplayer in Prophecy Advance). Hooking up with friends on the Gameboy required an unwieldy web of cables to execute, but it sure is a blast!

Cake! Update ID

It's a CIC party, so there's cake! This one has special 20th birthday flavored frosting!

Bonus Cake!! Update ID

Two cakes for two decades!! Music_Guru made this gorgeous cake as well. AND IT HAS A DRALTHI ON IT!

Thanks! Update ID

And that's what we have for today! Thanks again to all of the people who contributed to making our 20th Birthday a success, and thanks to all of you who have stuck with us for all these years.


Several people have helped source quite a bit of news this year, which helps a lot. Pix & Christian Klein/Pixel Engineer have found tons of great archeological content. Unnamed Character's has done great work on modding WC1 and Stinger with Kilrathi Saga. Music_Guru, Adm_Maverick & Fek'LeyrTarg have both contributed quite a variety of different subjects. L.I.F., DefianceIndustries & the Maslas Brothers all have large scale projects that have been pretty exciting. And both George Oldziey & Raph Koster showed that Origin vets haven't forgotten their role in everything. And there's a whole lot of people working in the background here and there to keep things going, including but not limited to, the rest of the CIC Staff.


There's plenty more Wing Commander news in the pipeline, so we'll be back at it again soon with the latest!

You Are Cordially Invited... Update ID

To the Wing Commander Combat Information Center's 20th birthday celebration! TONIGHT at 7:00 PM Eastern US (4:00 PM Pacific and 11:00 PM GMT) in #Wingnut - now on Discord! Featuring...
  • A look back at twenty-plus years of fond memories!
  • The awesome company of fellow fans via a high tech new interface!
  • More tools to help you complete your Wing Commander collection!
  • Gorgeous and fun fan projects!
  • Trivia - from Aurora Finley to Zach Colson!
  • Actual coasters? Updated Hot Items?
  • Infinitely more prizes than given away at the 19th Birthday!
  • Cake... and more!
So point your browser to Discord, channel #WingNut! It works easily on the web or via mobile app.

Upgraded Prophecy Walkthrough Highlights Enhancements Update ID

Just in time to help ease some of the anticipation for his next release, DefianceIndustries has filmed this video walkthrough of the Prophecy & Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack. It shows off things like the new glowing emit maps and high quality Midway model as we fly through the first mission in WCP. If you haven't tried out the upgrade so far, this is a great opportunity to see how things come together in motion!
Part 1: I play the first mission of Wing Commander Prophecy and review some of the changes in the Model Upgrade Pack.

On Your Mark 5, Get Set, Go! Update ID

Here’s a great find from AD. It's a photo of the "timeslice" setup used to film one of the deleted scenes we showed off last week. The movie Rapiers say “CONFED MK 5 RAPIER” below their Space Force roundels. Other shots show the number "528" after that. I love this kind of background lore!
(The pilot in the cockpit) is most likely the actor playing Polanski... The pilot with the large scar on his face. You see him leave the mess Hall all suited up just before the Claw jumps to the Ulysses Corridor.

Concept Video Shows Alternative Wreckage Removal Update ID

Here's an early look at how Rosie's crash scene in the Wing Commander Movie was originally envisioned. It features a slightly different take on how wreckage would be removed from the deck. In the theatrical cut of the movie, a pilot's crashed fighter is pushed off the runway by some sort of tractor vehicle, presumably driven by a maintenance crew. This causes some to ask whether it wouldn't have been just as easy to push the wreckage into the hangar where the pilot might possibly have been recovered.


In this early version, the shunting is done automatically and is controlled from the flight control room (where the flight boss is located). This would also have made the shot of Maniac pleading up to the flight control window make more sense.

Stylized Raptor Takes Off Update ID

NinjaLA made this pretty nifty sketch inspired by the Raptor heavy fighter. He started with the familiar bones of the craft and then started filling in the connections in a radical way. There's a careful balance of authenticity and artistic license necessary, but it seems like this technique could be applied to a number of ships with wild results!
I have been experimenting with different blocking methods. I think this works fairly well. Throw down some two or three tone shapes and just start throwing lines in where it looks like they'd be.

Updated Midway for Secret Ops Revealed! Update ID

Today DefianceIndustries gave fans a sneak peek at the centerpiece of his next update to the Secret Ops Model Upgrade Pack. His highly anticipated TCS Midway is now ready to go! There's some gorgeous shots of it in action below, but the new carrier is just the beginning. Ships across the board will start to get new emit maps for new glow effects. This update should also be followed soon by another iteration that will include the Nephilim Hydra. There's lots to look forward to! Get your hands on the latest at the CIC Birthday Party this Saturday!
So good news and bad news. First the bad: we ran out of time on converting the Hydra for this release - (BOOO HISSSS - I know) the upside though is that it's almost ready and could be added as a fast follow on. Now the really good news: The package is ready and being assembled so we can release it in time for the CIC's Birthday party next weekend!

Technical additions include the new GL patch which includes emit mapping which we intend on implementing for all ships in the game, The bug ships are the first candidates.

The full list of additions will be in the readme as always. Looking forward to the party all!

Happy Birthday CIC! Update ID

The CIC is now officially 20 years old! Time flies when you're having fun. We opened up wcnews.com on August 10, 1998 and never would have imagined we'd still be here all these years later. We've seen this milestone approaching over the last few years, but it's kind of mind blowing that it's finally here. What makes it so impressive is everything the community continues to do. Just look at the last couple weeks of news: there's multiple innovative hacks/mods to Wing Commander 1, gorgeous creative art, newly recovered movie footage, new programming tools, discovery of easter eggs and some great fan projects. And just last month we finished out the Baen ebook series. Thanks for being here with us to enjoy it all.


We're very much looking forward to the party, which will take place a week from tomorrow on Discord. Set your calendars for Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT). Here's your invite, and we'll see you there!

Save the Ralari with Hobbes on Your Wing! Update ID

Rehsin is back with an expanded mod to Wing Commander 1 faces. His first test a few months back explored changing the faces/hairstyles of the female WC1 characters. He's built on that further to now give most of the pilots a subtle but interesting new look. There's even a way to swap Bossman out for Hobbes! You can grab the update here and find instructions on how to install the mod with the WC Toolbox here.
Hello everybody. I am a back. I finished new faces to Wing Commander 1.

WC Minis Make Impressive Use of Cardboard Update ID

We most recently saw Adm_Maverick work on a large upscaled Tallahassee cruiser, but now he's gone in the opposite direction. His latest creations are a pair of tabletop gaming miniatures. They look very crisp and detailed, so it's hard to believe these are just cardboard layers with ship art printed on them. It's pretty amazing what people can do - even without a 3D printer!
I'm slowly getting back into my various projects. One thing I have done is built several game piece mock ups so I can at least do some play testing and development. They're fairly simple builds, just strategically shaped layers of cardboard glued together.

Spanish Righteous Fire Added to Collection Update ID

Christian Klein continues to make impressive progress as he builds out a surprisingly complete collection of Wing Commander games localized for Spain. Privateer's expansion, Righteous Fire, is his latest acquisition, and it looks great! The RF box is really cool with its heavily stylized main title font and tantalizing screenshots on the rear. Even in English, there just aren't all that many Righteous Fire boxes still out there in circulation, and many people acquired the game in a compilation on CD and never got the standalone package. If you don't have your own, check this one out closely!
Privateer: Righteous Fire localized for Spain. Isn't it great \o/? #DOSgaming

Kilrathi Curiously Carrying Carbines Update ID

Interesting error in Wing Commander Academy that I never picked up on before: the Kilrathi soldiers in the last episode all have Confed marine laser rifles!

Here’s the correct Kilrathi rifle design used in the rest of the series: If you'd like to learn more about Kilrathi rifles, check out this news post!

Wing Commander Movie's Extended Timeslice Sequences Revealed Update ID

The Wing Commander movie featured some of the earliest instances of what would later be dubbed "bullet time" in feature films after it was popularized by 'The Matrix'. Several sequences were shot for the film's jump travel sequences, but not all of them made it into the final film. This clip includes some of that extra footage from an early edit of the movie spliced into where it would have appeared originally. The footage was likely trimmed for pacing, but it's still pretty cool!

EA Debuts New 'Origin Access Premier' Update ID

Electronic Arts is expanding its Origin Access service. It first launched in 2016 to provide players with the chance to play unlimited amounts of certain EA catalogue games as well as a discount on digital purchases. Now a new Premier tier also gives people access to EA's brand new games. It also gives subscribers the ability to start new titles five days before the official release date.


The new higher end level will cost $14.99 per month or $99 for a whole year up front. The original Origin Access plan is staying at the same $4.99 per month or $29.99 for the year. Wing Commanders 1 through 4 and Privateer are included with either option. The company also offers a similar setup on Xbox One called EA Access with comparable features to the Basic Origin Access, but WC is not available there. The new Premiere details have many similarities to Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass, which has surged in popularity over the past year, so it makes sense that EA has branched out in a similar way. Find more information here.

"Play the full game before launch. Get new EA games first, access to a huge collection of games you can play whenever you want and a 10% discount on Origin digital purchases! ONLY FOR PC"

Album CDs Coming, George Wins Award Update ID

Wing Commander composer George Oldziey has another update on the progress of his album campaign. He's still diligently working on sending out the discs that backers ordered, but the timetable has been slower than he'd have liked. He has had some exciting distractions, however! In addition to moving from Austin to LA, he's had a couple of major professional jobs to attend to with great results. The full update is below:
Greetings all! I just wanted to apologize for the slowness of delivery on this phase 1 of Volume 2 campaign. I did complete recording the bar music and delivery of digital files and score pdfs. But I still owe some of you physical CDs as well as MIDI mockups of the (hopefully) soon to be recorded orchestral music (pending success of a subsequent phase).

This has been a year of huge transition for me and my wife Suzi. I've been spending most of my time in LA trying to kickstart (pun intended) the continuation of my film music career. There has FINALLY been some motion to that end! I recently (the last 2 weeks) was part of Danny Elfman's orchestration team for his upcoming score for The Grinch. I was also the winner for Best Musical Score in the 2018 LA Live Score Film Festival! That was indeed an honor.

But the hardest work was preparing for a permanent move to SoCal with Suzi, for which we are in the final week of prep. Moving is tough enough, but moving across country when you've called one place your home for over 30 years is quite a challenge!

OK, no more excuses! You amazing fans will indeed receive what I promised. It will just be much later than I originally anticipated. For that I apologize because you all are the BEST fans in the world!

Thank you for your patience!

Musically yours,

George

Easter Egg Illudes Detection for 28 Years Update ID

Ace1000ks1975 recently posted the endgames for Secret Missions 1, and that led me to an interesting discovery. Most people are very familiar with the winning endgame to SM1 where the Emperor executes Prince Gilkarg for his loss of the Sivar Dreadnought. What happens when you lose? There's a devastating cutscene that shows enslaved humans working away at the Kilrathi Illudium Mines... "forced to work in misery until dying from the radiation in the ore... their toil fueling the Kilrathi advance towards the Human homeworlds." Yikes!


But what the heck is illudium, and where else do we see it in Wing Commander? It's actually first referenced on the blueprints included with WC1. Our missiles are powered by an Illudium PEW 36 warhead. Neat. I dug a little deeper and found a third Wing Commander reference in the most unlikely place: one of the Privateer 2 news bulletins references mining for "Illudium-036 ore samples." Wow, what an obscure reference, right?! At first I thought the P2 developers really did their homework, but that still seemed out of place, so I looked a bit further. It turns out that Illudium Q-36 powers Marvin the Martian's Explosive Space Modulator. So both WC1 and Privateer 2, while creating an incredibly consistent link between eachother, actually both just included easter egg throwbacks to the original Warner Brothers cartoon. Wild! Has anyone else noticed this before? What other subtle references are still hidden in the games?

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