Origin veteran Billy Cain produced both Wing Commander Prophecy and the long lost SNES port of Wing Commander II. He's been a good friend to our team and to the Wing Commander community for many years. Now he's selling some of the extremely rare Origin material he gathered while working for the company including team shirts and part of a screen used Wing Commander Prophecy costume! Team shirts are one of the rarest and most sought-after types of Origin ephemera. Internal development teams typically produced their own team 'shirt' that was distributed in honor of their hard work. Artists would design their own shirts and they often feature extremely cool designs not seen anywhere else. Development teams in the 1990s were extremely small and so runs of shirts were limited. Other internal shirts were also produced to celebrate major events and general camaraderie. Very few continue to survive today! If you're a hardcore Origin collector, this is both a rare opportunity and a way to give back to someone who has always given to our community. Wing Commander listings currently include:
TCS Midway: this one should be familiar to anyone! These TCS Midway tees were part of the on screen costumes in Wing Commander Prophecy. The label indicates this one belonged to Spyder, the Black Widows pilot who speaks to Casey after Hawk is killed (and who appears in the background throughout most of the game.)
Come Play With Us: This is a promotional shirt intended to be distributed at promotional events like E3 or Comdex. The image, which was designed by artist Micael Priest, shows characters from all of Origin's active projects at the time. Wing Commander is referenced by Ralgha "Hobbes" nar Hhallas and the group includes at least two games that were never released (Silverheart and Prowler.)
Wing Commander Prophecy Team: for Wing Commander Prophecy, the development team sported a Vampire space superiority fighter on a blue tie-tye shirt intended to resemble the game's jump point effect.
Other Origin-related highlights include an extremely cool Strike Commander team shirt (see if you can find the hidden message!), an Ultima VIII: Pagan team shirt, a Wings of Glory team shirt and a shirt given to volunteers at Richard Garriott's 1992 Britannia Manor haunted house. You can find all of Billy's auctions listed here.
Get Ready, Get Net
The American release of Wing Commander IV for the Playstation included two manuals: a 'Battle Book' which includes detailed controls for the flying portion of the game and a 'New Officer's Handbook' which shows new players how to navigate the game and lists specifications for several flyable ships (the European releases of the game had a single combined manual.) For today's update, we're looking at the cover of the latter booklet which is a little more interesting than it might seem!The single most fasscinating aspect of the New Officer's Handbook is that it introduces a small amount of lore in the form of the 'login text' which shows a new officer (not Blair as they are apparently an Ensign) logging into a Terran Confederation computer system. (2018-10-16)
Wing Commander Sprite Refresh Looks Promising
The original Wing Commander has never looked better! The fantastic work that UnnamedCharacter has been doing on the WC Toolbox is paying off in a big way. Goliath has begun adapting his work to increase the resolution of ship sprites in the game and the results, which use Howard Day's beautiful models, are looking very promising! (2018-10-15)
PC Games Previews Wing Commander IV
End your week with a nice blast from the past: a German PC Games magazine with an EXTENSIVE preview of Wing Commander IV! The cover features an awesome clear shot of the Kilrathi guard seen in the background of Wing Commander III and the exhaustive preview is full of rarely reproduced Wing Commander IV set photos and concept art. (2018-10-14)
Familiar Fighters Found
Eagle-eyed ship spotter Doug Lee has found a squadron of familiar Wing Commander designs in an unlikely place: a mobile game called Stellar Patrol: Galactic Conflict! The top-down space game features a host of familiar Wing Commander designs... and even uses a Rapier as its app icon! (2018-10-13)
Victory! Moongate Kickstarter Hits WC Goal
There's great news out of the Through the Moongate: the first stretch goal has been reached, which means that there will be an extra chapter looking at the developing of Wing Commander II! Here's the official word:A million thank yous to all our backers who made another achievement possible! We will have the pleasure to work with Siobhan Beeman, Ellen Guon Beeman, and other Originites on the Wing Commander 2 chapter, which will be delivered as a digital download to all backers from Honesty tier and higher. (2018-10-12)