Happy Halloween! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Boo! 2020 style! We hope you stay safe tonight and every night. Remember, the real monsters are the ones out there not wearing face masks.

All About Merlin! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Dad holograms are the rage right now which means it's time to talk about Merlin! There are a lot of takes on Wing Commander but one of the most most unexpected is that it would've been better with a holographic wizard talking you through the plot. And that wizard was… Merlin!

Merlin was said to be the 'interface' to Blair's Portable Personal Computer (PPC), a 16" tall holographic wizard who can appear to provide needed information. Kind of like Alexa or Siri… or the Great Gazoo. And Merlin was IN THE MOVIE as filmed. Freddie Prinze Jr. shot scenes where he talks to a 1/6th scale action figure. The plan was that the second unit would shoot (or CG) a hologram to composite over the doll (like Jabba the Hutt in A New Hope). Merlin is half Attack of the Clones C-3PO-style comic relief and half tool for providing extremely important exposition. He appears throughout the film but has four important scenes which all had to be reworked in different ways:

One: the first act opens on Merlin and Blair conversing on the Diligent where he explains the situation (replacement headed to the Tiger Claw on a merchantman).

Two: He scans a human-style communications signal from the Kilrathi fleet when Blair and Angel fly their first patrol. This is how Blair 'knows' the Kilrathi have located them early, prompting the crew to distrust him further. Three: He locates the same signal again during the attack on the concom, which prompts Blair to disobey orders and board the ship after the marines, leading to the confrontation with Gerald and Wilson. Four: He talks through the final chase with the Snakeir, updating Blair and the viewers on fuel/distance/time as needed. In spite of this, there is no Merlin cut of the film. While the footage of the actors exists, Merlin himself was never completed. He had already been removed in the longer 'traitor' rough cut seen by test audiences, potentially adding to their confusion. The finished movie cuts the first three Merlin appearances and replaces the fourth by naming the Rapier computer system Merlin and adapting the already-filmed conversation with the doll to be simply Blair talking to his ship. In the final film, Merlin's voice is credited to "?". The ? is Mark Hamill, perhaps the worst kept secret in Wing Commander movie history. But back when Merlin was a funny wizard the hope was that he'd be played by noted Wing Commander fan Robin Williams. Want your very own Merlin? The doll they used on set is readily available today! He's a 'Hands Up!' Action Man police toy which would've been new in Europe at the time of filming in 1998. And if you're interested in just how much removing Merlin impacted the film then AD has color coded a copy of the shooting script that shows you what was removed and moved around here: One remnant of Merlin in the finished film you can still spot are the PPCs. Merlin is just an interface (desktop theme) for Blair's PPC but many of the pilots have them… big, silver wrist watches in various styles. Here are the storyboards for Merlin's introduction which make him look kind of like a clown wizard. And now, LORE! Since the novelization of the movie is based on the shooting script, Merlin appears there as intended with some additional background. He also shows up in the followup Pilgrim Stars and the unpublished final book Pilgrim Truth.

In the movie, the conversation between Blair and Maniac seems to imply that Blair programmed Merlin himself. But the novels establish that Blair's programming genius father created Merlin for him when he was five, just before dying. They also establish that Merlin's appearance is based on a physics professor named Jebiah Omans and that he's particularly special because he has "chips that were manufactured with protein from your father" which as far as I can parse… extremely yuck?

As described in the novels, Merlin is clean shaven with a waist-length gray pony tail. He wears a black tunic and breeches in the novelization, a tan tunic and breeches in Stars and a black silk robe with matching slippers and he smokes meerschaum tobacco pipe in Truth. (The book also says his processor is embedded in Blair's wrist, which seems like a lot to go through for a desktop theme of a wizard.)

Merlin is one of those things that's so weird that everyone wanted to reference him even though they knew he wouldn't be in the film. The Confederation Handbook, for instance, has an ad for PPCs AND mentions in Arnold Blair's obit that he was killed flying a Merlin-class fighter. ... and who knows, maybe there's a Merlin reference or two in later Chris Roberts projects... who could tell? Well, that's it for Merlin, the holographic clown wizard man Windows theme made of dad proteins who might have made the Wing Commander movie make more sense. Until next time!
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See the Evolution of the Confed Shuttle Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

LOAF thought you all could use a primer on the WC3/WC4 shuttle. It's a cute little boxy craft that's a fan favorite in this pair of FMV games. But how does it differ between (and within!) these games? Read on to find out!
Did you ever wonder why the Wing Commander IV shuttle is slightly different from the Wing Commander III shuttle? Of course, we all have!
The reason is... they built a physical shuttle set for Wing Commander IV and adapted the 3D models to match it!
... but then they remove the forward struts for certain shots! It’s especially noticeable in the intro once you’ve seen it.
The shuttle only appears in cutscenes in WC3 but there is a 3D model (complete with damage states) stored in the game assets [pictured below]. Wing Commander III has a lot of cut models!
There are two more shuttle meshes in Wing Commander IV. The camo version is used for the Tyr and Masa boarding missions and the Border Worlds version is what Eisen leaves the Intrepid on a little later. WC4 did a LOT of cool subtle variant texture sets!
Here's some additional related Q&A from Twitter:
MeatballNonner: Hey I gotta ask, the BWM bomber (Avenger?) in WC4 looks like an up-armed shuttle. Was that the design intent?

LOAF: Good question! The lore is that it is a former shuttle but that’s actually a retcon, the design brief for WC4 was just to design a clunkier counterpart to the Longbow.

metoxos_: Lonbow design also came from a shuttle made by McCall Industries, right? McCall was someone from the development team ("Primate" is named Dean McCall, right?) or just a made up name?

LOAF: That’s another retcon because it shows up on Wing Commander Academy as a search and rescue ship. It was built originally with a bomber in mind. Dean McCall was the artist who built the ship for WC3. Primate was J. Allen in Wing Commander IV, named after the J. Allen Brack who is now running Blizzard! (or: he's Tony Salvaggio in the Playstation version, which changes many of the redshirt names.)

Watch Dralthi Evade Gratha's Mine in SM2 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Bonkus_Maximus has been streaming lots of classic Wing Commander lately, and he managed to catch a relative rarity on tape. Like the Raptor, the Gratha can carry mines, but you don't see them very often. Even when they're deployed, they can be easy to miss in the midst of a furball. Bonkus caught this one while flying a Dralthi II and knew immediately what he saw. It might be the first one he's ever seen! Fortunately, it looks like he dodged it in order to live to tell the tale. Video of the encounter is below, and you can spot it circled in yellow to the right. You can find more of his videos on Twitch here.
Also, for those who hunt unicorns, here it is from last night... the Kilrathi mine drop!!

A Look at Neat Additions for the WC4 Fan Remake Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've got a couple smaller updates for the WC4 Fan Remake today based on questions from fans at the CIC Forums. The first request was to add VR headset support, which the team was surprisingly open to. There are existing tools out there that facilitate conversion to VR, but they are rapidly evolving, so it would be something the team revisits much later on when the mod is closer to release. There were also questions about cockpits, and we got another beautiful shot in reply that shows off their potential. They look like a good mix of classic WC style with information embedded while being rather inobtrusive like in Prophecy. As designed by Origin, WC4 reacted hard to the popularity of invisible HUD cockpit options in Armada, WC3 and Kilrathi Saga. While they may have been the predominant way people were playing in 1995, the game loses a little something by not having them as an option. It's nice to see their return!
I have a shot from an early test but it pre-dates the cockpits. The SDKs change relatively frequently (and now it ideally wants depth data too for re-projection) so I'll probably only come back to it around launch time.
It's not really news per se, but it's been fun to see the WC4 Fan Remake project take off recently in the German space sim sphere. It's not a surprise, since the game was always very popular in Germany. Here it is popping up in a recent gaming news recap at GameStar.de.

Firekkan Filmographer Joins Graphical Novel Cast Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

EmuMusicFan has another new character to share from his graphical novel project, and this one's kind of unique. He's working out angles on a new camera person for a TCN news crew that's going to interview a famous Kilrathi. The character will be a Firekkan, which confers certain advantages in his line of work! You can watch a visual example of what the end project(s) will look like on YouTube here.
The gist of Chpter 3: TCN is producing a historical documentary program. A presswoman and a intern Firekkan cameraman interviewed a retired Kat pilot, Haga Kaligara...

As for the character, I would design him like this: Rarely does a young Firekkan, who has left home, come to TCN as a trainee cameraman. His race talent allows him to be more flexible for many filming assignments. By completing this documentary work on Pasqual with other staff members, he would be able to turn into a full member soon. But after actually coming to Pasqual, he was still scared.

Prophecy Trailer Promises Awesome Cutscenes, Cool Characters, 4 Player Mode Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

John Rairdin was looking at old game trailers and reminded us about the wonderful little teaser for Prophecy on the Game Boy Advance. We reported on it back in December 2002, but that was years before YouTube was founded, so it was just a downloadable wmv file. Since most of you probably haven't seen it before, here it is again! Sure, it's not quite as pretty as the 3dfx version, but keep in mind this was running on a 16 MHz handheld with 256 kb of ram. Three CDs had to be compressed down to just about 4 megabytes (thanks to EmuMusicFan for the clarification!) - it was quite a technical achievement! You can find this clip, other Prophecy trailers and many more Wing Commander videos in the CIC Holovids section.

Watch Novelty Run of Unknown Enemy Mod Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Plywood Fiend has wrapped up another complete stream of a Wing Commander game. This time he played through the popular Secret Ops mod Unknown Enemy. If you haven't watched his previous material, he's spiced up the footage a bit with his own brand of humor. Check out the full UE playlist here. Having also completed a successful run through the original Wing Commander last month, he's doubled back around now and is picking up some of the losing track systems. You can find those additions here.
Port Hedland and Hubble's Star are done. (Saved both Drayman (Draymen?)... eventually.) The missions themselves are nothing new to anyone here most likely, but the peculiar humour and freakish intros are, like this one:

Japanese Super Wing Commander Sample With Subtitles Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

A lot of Wing Commander fans missed out on Super Wing Commander, so we like to highlight it from time to time to showcase its unique style. The game was a remake of the original Wing Commander with a modified Secret Missions campaign, but it was only released for the 3DO and Macintosh in 1994 and 1995 respectively. The art style is revamped and there's some considerable cross-pollination of 3D assets between SWC, the original Privateer and Armada. It also has full speech and was therefore among the first WC games to require a CD-ROM.

This particular stream is by the Japanese Youtube channel retronome. Japan is the only country to get an alternate language translation of the game, so this provides a neat glimpse at this port of a port. The main cutscene/briefing speech is still in English, but Japanese subtitles are included throughout. Small bits of spoken Japanese are included for the game flow narration. One final neat fact about the Japanese SWC is that there was also a neat promotion that resulted in some official Japanese SWC stickers. That's Paladin with the eye patch there!

Check Out Some Neat Wing Commander Stuff Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I was organizing some things into a new cabinet recently and thought you might like to take a peek!

Here's a rundown of what's pictured, starting from the top left.
  • Top Row: Wing Commander novels, including three copies of the Junior Novelization and seven Pilgrim Stars
  • Second from Top: Super Nintendo versions of WC1 and The Secret Missions in US, UK PAL and Japanese Super Famicon configurations, random publications like the Starlog Movie magazine, printed copies of Star Soldier, Mike Winterbauer art magnet, 35 mm film trailer for WC4, binders with sets of Wing Commander CCGs, a mini bottle of Prophecy water, stack of WC audio albums
  • Third from Top: Wing Commander DVDs (1999 Fox release, 2013 Fox reprint and Anchor Bay reprint) and VHSes (WC Movie and WC3 Behind the Screens), WC Blu-rays, Academy animated series DVD, loose promo cards (from Nintendo Power and for the CCG), a handful of 3D printed models designed by Klavs and about a hundred copies of loose instruction manuals (mostly Claw Marks and the pamphlet for WC2)
  • Open Middle Row: flight suit from Wing Commander Prophecy in bubble wrap, two different types of collectible WC3 (big boxed Sam's Club and standalone film reel Premiere Edition), a laser pistol used in the filming in Wing Commander 4, WC jazz album by George Oldziey, large blue display mylar used by movie theaters in 1999, misc CCGs, art portfolio by Mike Winterbauer, autographed copy of WC4 signed by Tom Wilson, a photo of my first set of WC games, a couple of custom CIC items (license plate holder and TCS Eisen hat), Pilgrim Crosses
  • Third from Bottom: quite a few different floppy/CD releases of WC1 and WC2, including Amiga, Hit Squad, Famicon, Sega/Mega CD, Deluxe Editions, Secret Missions/Special Operations, etc
  • Second from Bottom: WC3, PSX/3DO Ports, Kilrathi Saga (including Asia/Pacific version with "null g bomblet" spiral manual), WC4 for PSX, DOS, Windows and Mac, Prophecy, Prophecy Gold
  • Bottom Row: Floppy/CD versions of Academy, Armada, Privateer and Privateer 2 (DOS and Deluxe), Mac and 3DO versions of Super Wing Commander, Official Guides for the aforementioned games, plus Confederation Handbook (with one signed by Chris McCubbin!)
I've still got a dozen storage tubs worth of magazine articles, action figures, clothes and the like in a closet, but this is the quick reference Wing Commander memorabilia that I wanted to have at my fingertips! I like admiring all the colorful collectibles here and hope you do too!

Check Out WC4 Cinematic Trailer With Full AI/Neutral Net Treatment Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's been a lot of talk in the news lately about the enhanced footage that ODVS has made for Wing Commander 3, 4 and Prophecy, but we've also heard from some folks who haven't downloaded the large (but not too large) file packs with the remastered clips. For all those folks, he's released this dazzling sample: the WC4 cinematic trailer. It's just gorgeous - even with YouTube's compression factored in! Owen made an entirely new set of clips for the CIC's recent birthday, and all the download links are available below.
If anyone fancies a moment of pure nostalgia, in the run up to this party, I also re-created the original WC4 Cinematic Trailer with footage from the V5.0 remaster. So again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY WING COMMANDER CIC and HAPPY 30th BIRTHDAY WING COMMANDER FRANCHISE! Here's to many more decades of fun times with this vibrant community :D

Extensive Interview Covers All Aspects of WC4 Fan Remake Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Youtube and Twitch streamers ValiantClan have hosted a big interview with part of the WC4 Fan Remake team, ODVS and DefianceIndustries. The conversation spans a full hour, so it covers a lot of interesting topics! They start out casually talking about the Wing Commander series and then get into the details associated with the remake project. There's plenty of technical discussion mixed with fun anecdotes from the Wing Commander series, so it's a good listen. Check it out below!
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of Wing Commander we invited the developers of the Wing Commander IV - Remake Project. We had a nice little chat about their project, the franchise, Star Citizen and Star Trek. The project is a fan attempt to allow owners of Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom to enjoy a more modern experience by loading the files from the original game into a new engine, complete with specially created, high definition assets.

Unauthorized Russian Privateer 2 Surfaces Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

quasardeep shared a neat photo of an incredibly elaborate Russian bootleg of Privateer 2. It has a color manual, printed disc and fully translated instructions. As there was no official Russian version, this was the only way for them to be able to play decades ago. It sounds like they've since acquired an officially boxed copy, but this is a fun and priceless artifact in its own way. You can now get P2 and the rest of the WC games at GOG for $5.99 or less.
I was a big fan in the 90s. Discs with Wing Commander were not sold at all. With great difficulty I was able to buy this pirate disc. But considering the Wing Commander legacy, I was eventually able to buy the official box.

New Privateeer 2 Enhancement Test Compares Beta Tape Footage Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ODVS got a lot of feedback on his first attempt at remastering the Privateer 2 video footage. A frequent request was that he use the higher quality footage sourced from Privateer 2 director Steve Hilliker's 25th Anniversary video released in May. There's no doubt that this content, derived from Beta SP tapes, is much nicer than the original CD-ROM footage, but there are certain tradeoffs inherent with using an analogue source for the AI/neural net processing. This new example video shows off all three side-by-side. The version enhanced from the CD has more crisp detail while the Beta remaster segments have better frame rate and color. It's a little hard to say which is better overall as it depends somewhat on the specific scene in question. Let ODVS know wha you think at the CIC Forums!
Because people on the CIC forums kept asking, I did an experiment remastering Steve Hilliker's footage from his Beta SP Master Tapes.

While it has an undeniably better frame rate (I don't need to interpolate up from 12fps) and colour depth, this really highlights my concerns about attempting to remaster footage from analogue sources. Sources like VHS/Beta tapes soften the edges around objects, and the AI routines maintain that softness during upscale - so we lose a lot of image definition.

Ideally, it's best to work from a source that was digitally captured or scanned directly from film.

Watch Wing Commander Run on a Tandy 386 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's easier to play your classic Wing Commander games today with DOSBox, GOG and compatibility patches like wcdx readily available, but there's also a certain magic to getting an old 386 or 486 running. Not everyone has the time or space to make that happen though, so Philip from RadioShack put together this video of the game running on a vintage Tandy 2500 SX/25. This would have been a pretty good system for getting the original Wing Commander going back in the day!
The planets aligned and I was able to get Wing Commander running on my Tandy 2500 SX / 25 Hard Drive model computer - a 25mhz 386 running DOS 6.2 with Sound Blaster audio. RadioShack pro tip - add EMM3686 to your config.sys file!
He's got an in-depth review of the machine here that's also a fun watch!
My first computer was a 1987 era Tandy 1000 that ran at about 4.77 MHz, so I find this fascinating.

Retro Style Wallpapers Hit Kilrathi Saga Highlights Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Wing Commander fans looking for new desktop wallpaper have been a little spoiled in recent years as fellow Wingnuts turn out practically professional grade renders based on new high quality assets. It wasn't always that way though, and there used to be a time when anyone with Microsoft Paint could (and did) kick out their own simple artwork and collages. Maze59077 set out to make something similar with a set of four vintage-style pieces. They commemorate key scenes in the three Kilrathi Saga adventures as well as a bonus setting from the Prophecy intro. Let him know what you think at the CIC Forums!
Hi Everyone, I have edited some special Kilrathi Saga art. Hope you like them.

WC3 & Series Covered by French Retrogamers Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The French retro video gaming channel Rewind has posted a new retrospective on Wing Commander (3). It's all spoken in French, but it's a cool cut of WC material no matter what language you speak. Although the focus is on WC3, the series at large gets included towards the end. Here's AD's translation and summary:
Video is kind of a retrospective. They approach it from the angle that WC isn't that well remembered, which I don't agree with though I do feel that it could be slipping out of people's consciousness in later generations.

It starts off briefly mentioning a few other games like Mass Effect, X-Wing and No Man's Sky before saying that the video is going to talk about Wing Commander 3. They briefly point out some of the Chris Roberts influences in making the series and the basic setup of the story. They run throught the cast (Ginger's porn thing gets a mention) and the budget gets brought up. Gameplay gets discussed for a bit and they compare the PC version to the console version. WC4 gets a bit of a mention, and they talk about how the games were pushing the technological boundaries. The extented universe gets some time near the end with the CCG, Novels, Movie and Animated Series getting a nod. I wouldn't say it's necessarily in depth, but it's a nice overview of WC3 from guys that sound like fans. They use a lot of footage from the making-of video throughout too which is kind of nice.

WC4 Fan Remake Dives Into Classic Assets Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We posted an exciting trailer this past weekend that gave everyone a solid update on all of the progress being made for the WC4 Fan Remake. The team has also published a new article on classic assets and how they differ from the fancy new models. The original models and textures are used as an index to ensure the new content is spot on. There will even be an easy switch in the game that allows players to swap between the old and new graphics. Read up on what they're doing at WCRespace here.
One of our primary aims with this remaster is to create a version of the gameplay which matches the FMV as closely as possible. This means creating new models based on the FMV. That said it is fairly standard practice for these kinds of projects to offer a classic mode where you can play the game unaltered.

Likewise when the remaster is eventually released you will be able to switch between Defiance Industries' beautiful models and the originals (which are still impressively highly detailed given their age) with a single button press. This of course applies to room images as well as models.

Early Rev of Nintendo Power Comic Revealed Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Art of Nintendo Power and thepmann shared this delightful version of the famous sketch where Wing Commander is featured in Nintendo Power. It was pretty awesome to be skimming the magazine in 1992 and run across this! Now you can see what it looked like in ink before being colorized. LOAF has some additional insight below. It's very impressive that they nailed the ships!
Super cool to see the original artwork for this!
  • You can identify five distinct ships from Wing Commander I in the strip: Rapier, Hornet, Bengal, Dralthi and Krant.
  • With two drawings of Kilrathi this comic strip technicality has more art of them than the actual SNES port (where they only show up on the VDU).
The terrible punch line also kind of happens on Wing Commander Academy.

Enhanced Privateer 2 Video: First Test Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

One of the many stars of the recent CIC Birthday celebrations was ODVS' effort to drastically enhance and remaster the footage from Wing Commanders 3, 4 and Prophecy. Since they turned out so well, fans naturally asked when they might expect a similar update to the Privateer 2 movies. That led to some tinkering which has already resulted in a couple of example clips! There are some challenges, of course. The best currently available footage leaves a lot to be desired, so his AI/neural net techniques don't have as much to work with. ODVS asked below whether these types of results are worth going through the rest of the cutscenes or if he should hold out for better source material becoming available. After checking out the previews, hit the comments link below to weigh in!
Well, for some reason I promised to look into remastering the Privateer 2 in-game FMV during the CIC Birthday party (I'm sure excessive amounts of beer had nothing to do with it) - and boy, I had no idea what I was letting myself in for.

This one's going to be... challenging.

I've once again used DAIN to increase the frame rate and Topaz Video Enhance AI to upscale the video to 1080p. However, there's no DVD source material like there was for Wing Commander IV and Wing Commander Prophecy - and the footage ripped from the PC CD-ROM version of the game doesn't play as nicely as the footage from Wing Commander III on the Playstation.

While this comparison shows a definite improvement over the source footage, it doesn't exactly look good. I'm going to have to do extensive experimentation and refining of my processes.

If anyone out there in the community has better quality source footage, I'd love to get my hands on it. Sadly, the VHS rips in the CIC Holovids don't help matters much. The problem with upscaling from analogue sources is they're too fuzzy - you end up with something that doesn't look any better than just using a standard non-AI BiCubic upscale.

As I say, this one's going to be a challenge...

And on to experiment number two, which I do think looks quite decent:
Well, I switched to a different AI model in Topaz Video Enhance AI:
While it has gleaned some minor improvements, I still don't think it looks that great. The major hurdle here is that the source video is actually even lower quality than WC3 PSX: only 130p at 12fps. Until there's a major improvement in the technology or someone manages to rustle up some higher quality footage, I think this is as good as it's going to get. So, I thought I'd open this up to the community:

What do you guys think? Is it worth forging forward with a full pack at this quality, or should I wait until it's possible to do a better job? Personally I'm leaning towards the latter, but I'll move ahead if there's enough interest.

Welcome! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Welcome to the CIC's 22nd Birthday celebration! We had to reschedule a couple times due to 2020-related awfulness, but we're extremely happy to have finally made it here today. Once again, super talented Wingnuts have shown up in force to put together a ton of fantastic updates below. There are substantial releases for well established projects and some truly exciting teasers for new items fans are working hard to bring you next. Even this kickoff image put together by FekLeyrTarg is itself a preview of something special in the works! We're glad you could be here with us - please enjoy the updates!
This year, inspired by the recent efforts to bring the later WC titles into 4K, I'd like to present a small teaser for things to come. :)

WCDX 2.2 Releases with SO1&2 Support and More! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Stinger has released his long awaited and highly anticipated update to wcdx! It now fully supports Wing Commander 2 and both Special Operations packs. This means a handful of annoying bugs and incompatibilities have been fixed, thus enabling the Kilrathi Saga version of the game to compete with DOSBox/GOG as the ideal way to play the originals in 2020. This release also includes bonus tools to explore the game's data files and listen to the soundtrack. Grab it below!
wcdx version 2.2 is here! After years of empty promises and unmet expectations, I can finally present to you the next official release of wcdx!

What's that, you say? Version 2.2? But what ever happened to 2.0 and 2.1? Last anybody knew, there was just an alpha that kinda-sorta worked for WC2! What gives?

wcdx gives, that's what gives! Specifically, it gives you Wing Commander 2, and Special Operations 1, and Special Operations 2! All three games are now fully playable in all their Windows-compatible glory! (Well, as long as you don't look too closely at the cut scenes, I guess. They're still way too fast and jittery. But never mind the cut scenes! We're here for space combat!)

For those who haven't been keeping up (and with my terrible release cadence, I don't blame you): wcdx is a patch for the Kilrathi Saga versions of Wing Commander 1 and 2. The Kilrathi Saga was released for Windows 95 way back in 1996, comprising Wing Commander 1, 2, and 3, along with the Secret Missions and Special Operations add-on packs (each available as separate download). These versions contained some nifty enhancements over the original DOS versions, such as invisible cockpits (Wing Commander 4 style!), a frame limiter to keep the frame rate nice and steady (don't fly without it!), and perhaps best of all, a pre-rendered enhanced digital score based on the original MIDI soundtrack, courtesy of George Oldziey! Unfortunately, it also came with a lot of brand new bugs, including (perhaps most infamously) that planets and other space backdrops would no longer render, and one particularly short piece of victory fanfare music would just loop forever if it ever played. There were also numerous Windows compatibility issues that would not become apparent until several years later. wcdx fixes many of these issues, making the games enjoyable again on a modern machine with a steady, reliable frame rate and without the need to fiddle with DOSBox configurations.

If you're interested in trying out wcdx, feel free to drop on by the forums for instructions on how to download it and get it running! If you don't have the Kilrathi Saga, you can still download the PC Gamer coverdisk release along with the Secret Missions add-on to get started! If you want to play Wing Commander 2 with wcdx, and don't have a copy of The Kilrathi Saga, then I'm afraid I can't help you there; KS is not presently available for purchase from EA or any other official venue, though you may be able to find copies for sale on the secondhand market.

Lastly, this release of wcdx has some additional bonus goodies -- tools that you can use to examine the game's data files, and listen to the soundtrack! Read all about it here!

We have mirrored the package here (900 k zip).

Flight Commander 2 Announced! Try the Demo Now Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

eddieb is back with an all new Flight Commander! The original was a very popular Wing Commander-themed modding engine that formed the core of multiple fan projects about a decade ago. It ran its course with the technology available at the time, but now Flight Commander 2 is here and ready to give budding modders a brand new platform to launch from! It features advanced support for shipboard sequences and a slick recreation of the Vision Engine. It even runs in a web browser! It's still in the basic stages, but you can walk around, jump in a fighter and take pot shots in space. Jump straight in via the weblink here. Currently, you must use Firefox for the web demo to work. You can also download a Windows standalone version from the CIC forums here.
Flight Commander 2 is in the works. It's still very early, but here is the first demo. You can walk around on foot on your carrier. Fire guns, missiles, and fly a simple mission and see briefings and a landing cutscene. Press enter to perform an action while on foot.

New WC4 Remake Teaser Trailer! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The WC4 Fan Remake team has another exciting trailer to show off their latest progress! Here we see ODVS' fantastic high res video combined with some of the latest dazzling next gen visuals. Check out the video to see the spiffed up ships, upscaled game flow rooms and retro visual mode.
The upcoming Wing Commander IV - The Price of Freedom: Remastered mod is a fan preservation project; it was created for experimentation, education & research, is completely nonprofit, and should be considered fair use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. To install this mod you must own an original, unaltered, retail-release of the game. Please, respect the rights of the copyright holders and purchase a copy of the original product if you do not own one already.

Learn more at WCRespace.com. The original game can be purchased at GOG and Origin.

Watch the Movie's Prerelease Trailer! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a treat you've never seen before! This is the trailer that was created to test Digital Anvil's ability to produce a Wing Commander Movie. It was quietly shown at the 1998 SXSW in Austin, Texas. Thanks to Banjo, now you can see it too!

In order to raise interest in a Wing Commander feature film among prospective partners and raise money for production by selling future distribution rights, Digital Anvil produced a short one minute trailer featuring an action scene.

Astute fans will notice that, while the Kilrathi capital ship is visually very similar to the Concom seen in the final movie, the space fighters are more detailed versions of ships in the games themselves. The human pilots are flying WC1 and 2 style Rapiers, and the Kilrathi appear to be piloting Vaktoths (previously seen in WC3). Shot in 1997 not too long after WC4 shipped, the cockpit sets and costumes are left over from the game's FMV shoot as well.

Overall, the short action sequence is very reminiscent to the scene in the theatrical cut of Wing Commander where Blair and Angel fly a reconnaissance mission shortly after the Tiger Claw makes a jump to the Ulysses Corridor.

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Wing Commander 3 Enhanced Video Pack 2.0 Released! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

When ODVS first set out to remaster the video from Wing Commander games, the DVD source footage for WC4 and Prophecy was an obvious choice. It wasn't clear whether the very low quality WC3 material could be significantly upgraded. But not only was Owen able to pull together a complete cut back in July, but now he's taken it up another level and made version 2.0 available! Everything is here in 1080p at 30 frames per second, and the overall contrast has been fixed throughout. Check out the trailer and grab it below! Note that there is not yet a way to integrate the clips into the game, but this pack solves a big chicken-and-egg problem. If enhanced videos didn't exist, fans wouldn't have a reason to figure out how to include them. Now they do!
To celebrate Wing Commander CIC's birthday and the thirtieth anniversary of the Wing Commander franchise, I'm proud to release Wing Commander III HD Video Pack V2.0.

As well as improving remaster quality over V1.0, V2.0 contains the following improvements:

  • All FMV footage remastered to 1080p Full HD using Machine Learning AI
  • Original low frame-rate of 15fps remastered to full 30fps using Machine Learning AI
  • Improved contrast balance in all footage

Wing Commander 4 Definitive Video Pack 5.0 Released! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The WC3 footage is great, but the enhanced WC4 footage is absolutely exquisite. This is the game where we have some of the best source material to start with, and it's also super easy to upgrade your copy of the game to play these high res clips. Just drop the files into the video folder of the DVD version of the game. GOG carries the DVD version by default, so it's cheap and readily available. Today's release is the fifth and "definitive" launch. It incorporates all of ODVS' extensive learnings and techniques and even includes some fixes for broken/omitted clips on the DVD. It truly is the definitive way to play the original (at least until the WC4 Fan Remake is finished!).
To celebrate Wing Commander CIC's birthday and the thirtieth anniversary of the Wing Commander franchise, I'm proud to release Wing Commander IV HD Video Pack V5.0 - the Definitive Edition!

As well as containing the highest quality remaster I've yet managed to produce, V5.0 contains the following improvements that make it the Definitive Edition:

  • All FMV footage remastered to 1080p Full HD using Machine Learning AI
  • Low frame rate sequences remastered to full 30fps using Machine Learning AI
  • Aspect ratio of all footage fixed to standard 16:9
  • Missing audio from various DVD-version sequences restored (in full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound where possible)
  • French and German packs available (Stereo audio only)
  • Custom batch file launchers for French and German packs included - translate the in-game User Interface

Wing Commander Prophecy Definitive Video Pack 4.0 Released! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

With WC3 and WC4 both receiving fantastic updates, ODVS couldn't leave Prophecy out! It's received the same definitive updates as WC4 and looks just as gorgeous. Players will have to first upgrade their copy of Prophecy to the DVD edition with this patch. Then the clips can be dropped right in! The only issue is figuring out which game to replay first!
To celebrate Wing Commander CIC's birthday and the thirtieth anniversary of the Wing Commander franchise, I'm proud to release Wing Commander Prophecy HD Video Pack V4.0!

As well as containing the highest quality remaster I've yet managed to produce, V4.0 contains the following improvements that make it the Definitive Edition:

  • All FMV footage remastered to 1080p Full HD using Machine Learning AI
  • Frame rate standardised in filmed sequences
  • Various scenes missing from the DVD pack have been restored and remastered from the original CD-ROM source
  • Heavy DVD interlacing removed from all footage
  • DVD MPEG compression artifacts removed to improve clarity
  • German pack also available (Stereo audio only)

Updated WC1 Theme Now Matched to Game's Intro! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've posted plenty of visual treats so far, so now here's something specifically designed to please your ears. Improbable Cadence first put together this beautiful rendition of the opening credits music back in March, but now he's actually sync'd it up with the WC1 intro (so there's a still a visual component after all).
I've always wanted to hear a more realistic rendition of the main theme, but I couldn't find anything similar to what I had in mind -- which I guess was something in between Superman and Star Wars. 30 years later, I finally got around to making it myself.

My goal was to retain as much of the original MIDI as possible and match the overall voice, while expanding the instrumentation and textures to add variety, giving each section a different feel. Based on the Roland MT-32 MIDI tracks by Dave Govett / Team Fat.

Logos for Entire Series Vectorized! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

elend's vectorized Wingleader logo was a big hit, so he decided to make more. And once he got started, he couldn't leave anything out! The results are twenty gorgeous logos based on the prime art for each game. He closely followed the reference art available to make each one as accurate as possible. Plus, he's made several more Origin-centric logos for good measure. Each one is backed up by a PDF that can be infinitely scaled to fit whatever your logo needs are! Grab them all in one convenient pack here (51 meg zip). And check out the massive logo bomb below - they look pretty slick all lined up!

Double Cake! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It wouldn't be a CIC Birthday Party without cake, so here it is! This year Lacey made two mini cakes to commemorate the dual celebration of the CIC's 22nd and Wing Commander's 30th anniversaries!

New Poll: Still With Us? Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's time for our annual birthday poll! With the coronavirus keeping people away from outdoor activities, we've seen a few more folks than normal find their way to the CIC this year. Welcome! We know most of you have been coming year after year, and we appreciate your support as well! See where you fit in and vote below!


The old poll asked about the ship you felt the safest flying. The broadsword was the clear winner with a third of the vote. The Devastator and Longbow split the next third. All three are absolute powerhouses that can really take a beating! I'm surprised to see the Freij MK II beat the Galaxy though!

Conclusion and Thanks Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

And that's what we have for tonight! While we're still digesting all of the wonderful things everyone put together for today, there's also so much to look forward to on the horizon. Since this is technically a birthday type of event, I've also got a birth of my own to share. We welcomed Georgianna Belle Reid to the family recently. Everyone is healthy and we are having a blast!

We know this has been a devastating year for many people. Even for those who haven't lost a loved one, not a single person has been spared from the strife and stressful impacts that 2020 has brought. But despite the coronavirus and everything from wildfires to floods and civil unrest, there is new life and hope for the future. The CIC's tiny role in all of this is to be a small island of stability in a tumultuous landscape. Throughout all our efforts, we've made great friends and encourage each other to keep moving forward. That's what we try to do each day here in the news. Thank you for sticking with us and helping us celebrate another birthday! See you again soon!

You Are Cordially Invited... Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

To the Wing Commander Combat Information Center's 22nd birthday celebration! TONIGHT at 7:00 PM Eastern US (4:00 PM Pacific and 11:00 PM GMT) in #Wingnut on Discord!


  • Thirtieth anniversary revelry for the Wing Commander series!
  • Major updates for your favorite fan projects!
  • Exciting new project announcements!
  • Amazing sights and sounds to behold!
  • New ways to play old favorites!
  • Long-buried treasure finally revealed!
  • Responsible social distancing!
  • Trivia - from the Confederation Oath of Service to the Wingman's Creed
  • Cake... and more!
So point your browser to Discord, channel #WingNut! It works easily on the web or via mobile app. See you there!

Epic Find: 35mm Wing Commander Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We show off a lot of Wing Commander-themed mail calls and loot hauls here at the CIC, but this one's extra special! After more than 21 years, LOAF's managed to track down an original 35 mm reel of the Wing Commander Movie. It seems to be in good shape and comes with the associated optical sound track. What a find!

HERE IT IS! I am now the very proud father of a 35mm theatrical print of the Wing Commander movie. I never dreamed I’d get a chance to own one! I’d love to play it at least once, maybe rent out a theater and hold a big Wing Commander party when the pandemic is over! I’m also interested in looking into having it scanned.
And now, back to preparations for the CIC Birthday Party. See you tomorrow!

Softwear Ad Still Odd in English Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've finally dug up the English version of the bizarre Softwear Wing Commander ad for the Playstation. It features some nonsensical text about the model's outfit being inspired by Wing Commander 3. It's part of a larger EA Lard/French Fancies campaign for console ports that made very little sense, but maybe it caught some eyeballs in print. LOAF spotted this particular copy in the April 1996 (Vol 1, Issue 7) edition of the old Playstation Plus magazine. But hey, now you can read it in English!
Leah looks every inch the Princess in a stunning stellar sweater from Vulcan Vinyl (£89). Radium Facegloss (Qurie Labs, £2.50 a gobbet) and Skintight Spaceflight Nitetights (Tinpins, £32).

The inspiration: Origin's Wing Commander III, a star-studded saga that combines Hollywood movie-making expertise with an adrenaline-packed space combat simulation, featuring the talents of Mark Hamill, Malcolm McDowell, John Rhys-Davies and Tom Wilson as 'Maniac'.

Hair by Maurice.

Skywalker/Blair Make a Winning Team Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We Are The Mighty has put together a mock fighter squadron with their favorite aces from any and all media. Mark Hamill makes the list, but in Star Wars' Luke Skywalker form. Christopher Blair also makes the cut as the younger Freddie Prinze Jr. iteration. Not a bad combo! You can see the full list here.
All Star One-Four – Christopher Blair from "Wing Commander"

He is fresh out of flight training but clearly has some natural ability. Like Skywalker, he is best suited as a wingman for now, but has the ability to rise through the ranks.

If You Can't Beam 'Em, Watch 'Em (Save the Ralari)! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Bonkus_Maximus ran a very successful playthrough of the original Wing Commander to celebrate the series' 30th birthday recently, and he's been posting some fun highlight clips since. A particularly noteworthy mission is his attempt to save the Ralari in Kurasawa 2, which he finished on just his second try! That's the best attempt I've seen performed live since LOAF nailed it on his first attempt way back in 2015.

Fellow wingnuts: I once again wanted to thank those who could make it to the playthrough last week. I will be continuing the playthrough on Twitch (Tuesdays, 8pm - 12am Eastern). However, since we did finish the winning track, I did want to share a highlight showing both tries at Kurse-a-sawa 2. I look forward to seeing everyone soon!

As a reminder, we'll be holding our own annual online event, the CIC Birthday Party, this Saturday afternoon! Join us in #Wingnut on Discord by 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT) for the countdown!

Wing Commander Meme of the Day, Video Edition: Dame Da Ne / Baka Mitai Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today's horrifying update is brought to you by EmuMusicFan and the Dame Da Ne meme. You can read up on the backstory here, but basically people are making doctored videos of people singing the Baka Mitai. It's featured in the karaoke segments of the Yakuza video game series. I can't promise these won't give you nightmares, but it's our duty to share them!
Anyway... I think, well, machine learning can certainly do some amazing things, but then again, it can also be used for "silly" and interesting experiments, like this one.

Setting up a standard test environment can be pretty complex. Fortunately, a project called yanderify does the integration for us, so it's just a matter of downloading some files and putting them in the right place. If you have a decent NVIDIA graphics card, the process will be much faster.

First up... Crown Prince Thrakhath's version...

I have to say, I think it's Farmer Zeke singing in deep... I actually did some processing on the original screenshot to make his mouth move a bit more naturally.

Secondly, how could Maniac be absent from such a thing...

Winterbauer Artwork Now Shipping Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The art sets from Mike Winterbauer's latest Kickstarter have started to go out in the mail. If you backed this project, the items you were expecting should have recently arrived or will be on their way shortly. The new top tier item was a metal print that included his Super Nintendo box cover painting as it was used on a variety of different media. It's a nice complement to his original piece, and I've mounted mine side-by-side for a nice effect in the kiddos' reading nook. They're fun to look at!
Hello cool backers! All rewards are shipped! Let us know how you are enjoying them! I am working on my new project which is pop culture paintings!
Here's a couple of older wider shots when the first item went up.

Hamill Ended Up Doing Alright Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

HotT sent along an interesting video about the career prospects for Star Wars actors. It starts out with a look at how the original cast fared and then tries to extrapolate that onto some of the newer folks. Mark Hamill is up first, and they briefly talk about his time with Wing Commander. On top of his famous roles in WC3&4, he voice acted in the WC animated series and had an audio-only WC Movie cameo, which were right up his alley. It's crazy to think about how his work with the WC series began just a decade after his participation in the original trilogy! Jump to the 3 minute mark below to skip the ad up front.
There is a nice bit about Mark Hamill, with reference to his role in Wing Commander. And a brief reference for Harrison Ford: “After Star Wars, Ford found difficulty finding acting work and sorta faded into obscurity." LMAO

Peek at Paul's Playful Pins Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Privateer 2 programmer Paul Hughes recently shared a pic of some vintage Origin trinkets. Over the years, Mr. Hughes has been a wonderful source of amusing anecdotes and behind-the-scenes info, and these are neat too. The 3fx pin is pretty standard and features their main logo. I imagine there would have been a bunch of these going around in 1996-1997 during the development of Wing Commander Prophecy. The other emblem has an Origin label surrounded by the phrase "It beats working for a living." Cute!
Heavens knows what these were doing in a disk box. Some old pin badges from 3DFX and Origin Systems.

Party Back on for October 10! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I'm happy to announce that things are slowly getting back on track, and we're able to announce the new date for the 22nd CIC Birthday Party! We recently had to reschedule due to multiple medical issues, but things appear to have stabilized well enough that we'll be getting back together in just over a week. The new event will be Saturday, October 10! Festivities will take place in #Wingnut on Discord with a formal countdown starting at 7:00 pm EDT (4:00 pm PDT and 11:00 pm GMT). There will probably be some pre-party activities earlier in the afternoon, which we will confirm closer to the date. We'll also be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the series and sharing a number of exciting fan project developments, so it should be a memorable event! We look forwarding to seeing you all there! (Or stop by any time!)

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