Character-defining knives are a theme in the FMV Wing Commander games. We've learned about Cobra's Marto-Brewer Explora from Wing Commander III and now it's time to take a look at Seether's significantly more distinct knife from Wing Commander IV. Depending on your choices, Seether can use his knife twice: during the introduction he will threaten Blair with it if you choose to rescue the man he is roughing up and then he uses it to execute Captain Paulsen after the Lexington is destroyed or crippled. The close-up shot of the knife slitting the Captain's throat was censored in the German release of the game.
Seether's blade is called the Double Shadow. The Double Shadow is a 5 1/2" stainless steel split blade "fantasy knife." It was released in 1991 and created by famed fantasy knife designer Gil Hibben. Seether's knife was almost MORE distinct: instead of a fantasy knife, the script calls for a futuristic one: "a mean looking instrument known as a laser-blade (a curved handle with a lethal thread of light that pulses from one end of the handle to the other)..." This detail was carried over into the Baen books novelization, confusing readers familiar with the game. The Double Shadow was originally concepted by Kit Rae for (but not used in) the movie Total Recall; you can read a very detailed first person account of its creation here.
Mr. Hibben's designs are readily available commercially (a Double Shadow will run you roughly $50 today) but they are also used extensively in film and television when an ornate or alien-looking weapon is called for. Seether's same Double Shadow can be seen everywhere from Time Cop to The Fifth Element to Babylon 5! Here's Praetor Shinzon providing a blood sample using a Double Shadow in Star Trek: Nemesis:
Art Portfolio One Step Closer to Production
Mike Winterbauer reports that he's finished putting together the dedication page in his Wing Commander Art Portfolio with all of the project backers who pledged at the appropriate $25+ Book threshold. For a limited time between now and when the material soon goes to print, he's put out a call for anyone who missed the end of the campaign and wanted to upgrade to be included. If so, send Mike a message. (2018-11-14)
Flying Pancake Complements Two-for-One Salthi
DefianceIndustries has moved over to Kilrathi ships as he fills out his WC1 fleet, and the first two fliers are the Dralthi and Salthi. We've seen a hundred Dralthi variants over the years, and they just never get old. This one is as gorgeous as we've ever seen, so it's just a treat. (2018-11-13)
Check Out the Original Secret Missions
Here's a really cool find that LOAF recently came across. From the outside, it might look like a nifty WC1 Special Edition autographed by Chris Roberts, but it's what's inside that's pretty rare! The set was originally purchased directly from Origin in 1990, and the included Secret Missions were special mailed in a WC branded envelope instead of the standard slim black box. (2018-11-12)
Bengal's Tiger Stripes All Lit Up
The WC1 sprite refresh that Unnamed Character, Goliath and Howard Day are working on was a big hit last month, so here's a closer look at one of the stars. These are the full 1024x1024 frame shots used for the upgraded Bengal. They're higher res than the upgraded assets in engine so you can really get a good look. (2018-11-11)
Get a Glimpse of Classic Origin Customer Service
Entartika posted this look back at a physically distributed patch for Special Operations. Apparently in regards to an autopilot glitch, the team at Origin modified the SO1 executable and sent it to people to copy over their existing WC2 installation. Origin did have a BBS in the early '90s with a few things like this, but relatively few people had modems to access it, so they had to send out updates in the mail. (2018-11-10)