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?