Return of the Space Sim Recap Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a third entry in a recent string of articles dug up by the X-Wing Game Series Twitter account. This is another "state of the space sim genre" type of spread, which was a recurring theme at the time. It's interesting to see what they had to say at this point in time while the franchise was really still in its early days. Most of these types of pieces would hit on the usual suspects: Wing Commander, X-Wing and Elite plus a few of the newer novel entrants. Although this actually predates Wing Commander 3, even the original few WC games were known for their cinematic qualities. The caption to the WC image is "Wing Commander brought the movies to your PC." Also, what's up with the weird three-pip Picard on top?!
Far more exciting than Epic ever was was Wing Commander, designed by Chris Roberts and released by Origin in 1990. This was a pure all-action combat simulation which abandoned vector graphics and opted for expanding sprites to create the 3D visuals. The gameplay was fast and fun blasting stuff, with a Buck Roger-ish storyline about invading cat people linking the missions together.

Love Your Dad Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

...and other bizarre Mercenaries Guild advertisements from the Gemini Sector.

Translated Privateer Helped Reach More European Fans Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Man-Jimaru posted some neat pics of the French version of Privateer. The box clearly showed that it's the "Français" edition, but we get both English and German translations on the box. The manuals seem to be purely in French, however. These were made and distributed out of England for the European market. It's great that such a wonderful game got such a wide release!
Here is my #CIBSunday with the great Wing Commander Privateer big box for PC. Always been a fan of Space Sim games as Star Wars but Wing Commander is certainly my favorite one with Elite. This one combines space trading & combat as a merchant, pirate or mercenary.

Mega CD Port Provides Unique Experience Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Sega CD port of Wing Commander is well known as "the one with full speech," which is awesome on its own, but it's often overlooked that the equivalent Sega Mega CD version also has full Japanese speech! Kaze no retorogēmu-kan or "Cold Retro Game Hall" has posted playthroughs of the first couple missions. They give you a great look at some of the Japanese text changes to the user interface as well as the audible enhancements to the original. I have an especially soft spot for the console WC1 graphics and music, so I could watch these all day!

Excalibur Now Has a Carrier to Land On Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last week we posted a neat piece of Excalibur water color art. At the time, we noted how unusual and novel that was, but it was apparently not unique! Plywood Fiend dug deep and found his own water color version of Confed carrier that he painted long ago. Sure, it's not a fully modeled and textured 3D asset ready for a 4K game engine, but it represents the desire to create WC content that has kept the WC community going for so many years! It also gives us a great excuse to show off the swanky WC4 Concordia render.
Good Lord; I think I was a teenager when I painted this, which was farther back now than I care to admit to.

Funnily enough, I had a bit of a cleanout a few days ago and stumbled across this, painted around the same time. I'm not sure what inspired me to do a watercolour of a piece of a carrier but there we are.

Super Nintendo Cheat Codes to Enable Pro Action Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've reported on Game Genie codes before, but news on the Pro Action Replay has been sparse. It was the "other" game modification device popular in the '90s and early 2000s. Both had Super Nintendo versions and therefore could modify Wing Commander / The Secret Missions in ways that no other cheats would allow. AD recently found a set of WC codes for the PAR at Almar's Guides, so it's important that we record them here. Their Genie entry looks good, so these are probably legit as well. If it's anything like the Game Genie, the first batch of codes may only apply to SM1 while the shields and armor entries work for WC1. If you have a test setup and can verify, let us know your results!
Unlimited Fuel: 7E1D61:1F
Invulnerability Always On: 7E08A8:00
Earn Medals More Often: 7E0546:FF
Have Major Rank: 7E05AE:03
Unlimited Gun Energy: 7E15A964

Front Shield Increased on Hornet: 8B9BAD3C
Mega Front Shields on Hornet: 8B9BAEFF
Rear Shield Increased on Hornet: 8B9C213C
Mega Rear Shields on Hornet : 8B9C22FF

Front Shield Increased on Scimitar: 8B9BAD3C
Mega Front Shields on Scimitar: 8B9BB255
Rear Shield Increased on Scimitar: 8B9C2563
Mega Rear Shields on Scimitar: 8B9C2655

Front Armor increased on Hornet: 8B9C9540
Front Armor increased on Scimitar: 8B9C9963
Rear Armor increased on Hornet: 8B9D0940
Rear Armor increased on Scimitar: 8B9D0D63

Right Side Armor increased on Hornet: 8B9D7D40
Right Side Armor increased on Scimitar: 8B9D8163
Left Side Armor increased on Hornet: 8B9DF140
Left Side Armor increased on Scimitar: 8B9DF563

Unlimited Shells

Not sure what the "shells" refer to. That may be a mistake.

GOG Summer Sale Capitalizes on Video Game Excitement Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's that time of the year! E3 is in full swing, and all of the digital storefronts are having their summer sales while video games are on people's brain. is no exception, so that means the Wing Commander games are available at a hefty discount. At 75% off, individual packages are just $1.49 or under $12 for the vast swath of DOS/Windows WC titles. Of course, we're huge proponents for collecting the physical boxes as well, but it's hard to beat the ease of digital copies at your fingertips!

Cutting Edge Dralthi Influences Fan Sketch Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a sketch from 213thBattalion on his take on the Dralthi VII. The "roll bar" feature might make some think that this was inspired by the Drakhri, but the VII has the same component and has its guns mounted on the inner wings rather than under the nose. He's got a first cut that's more of a 1:1 translation of the design, and then there's a bonus bomber variant as well. It's a beefed up version that makes room for more ordnance. If you're going to draw a Kilrathi ship, you can't go wrong with a Dralthi!
Inspired by the Kilrathi fighter in "Privateer"

Wing Leader Showcases Frenetic Space Combat Action Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's been lots of gorgeous character and shipboard art for Wing Leader shown off over these past few months, but people are also interested in the project for its space combat. Howard Day has made some tweaks to the spaceflight engine and created some great examples of the latest build's gameplay. You can see everything from both the Kilrathi and Confed fighter perspectives below. The dogfighting is intense, fluid and explosive. Check it out below!
Doing some code refactoring about how the AIs control the ships. They're no longer able to turn faster than the player - and a bunch of hacks have been actually re-coded to work in a more straightforward, honest way. I've also been working on Reticles. As you can tell, these now shift around a bit as you maneuver. Makes the whole thing feel 1000% more dynamic.
Bonus video! This one's got the front/left/right/rear directional cockpit view enabled. It's also testing out the look with a CRT filter enabled.

Star Citizen Card Contest Nets WC Entry Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Roberts Space Industries is hosting a virtual Star Citizen alien week this week with a variety of activities to celebrate. One event involves fan creating digital trading cards for their favorite races. Dennis Mull made this snappy Kilrathi card, which we're pretty fond of. I'm not sure if using external franchise characters disqualifies him from the contest, but it's a winner to us!

"But the Killie-cats aren’t supposed to like the water" Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This is a charming but unusual bit of fan art. Grandweasel has painted the epic Excalibur escape from Wing Commander 3 in water color. It's not a medium that you often see digitally represented on the internet, but his take on this scene is very recognizable and nails the intent. He's got a few self-critiques, but given the limitations of the format, I'd say this was a job well done!
A watercolour representation of a scene from Wing Commander 3, specifically the final strike on the Kilrathi homeworld. The background didn't come out as well as I'd hoped and the Excalibur looks a bit funny in places, but it still works. Somehow.

Kilrathi Comcon Ready to Command & Control Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a nicely detailed model of an underappreciated Kilrathi ship. Kharcov put together this representation of the Comcon surveillance craft from the Wing Commander Movie. We only see a few dedicated designs like these over the years, so highly specialized support vessels are an exotic treat. You can see the piece of concept art below that Kharcov based his model off of, and his creation is highly accurate to that original work.
Kilrather Comm ship based on concept art for Wing Commander, medium poly game level asset. Made with 3DS Max

Finishing Touches Added to Wing Leader Barracks Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got an updated look at the shipboard rooms for Wing Leader. Since we last took a peek, Howard Day has put a lot of nice extra decoration around the barracks area. The overall lighting has been enhanced, including red illumination for the save berths. There are also a variety of extras around the room, including a computer terminal based on WC1&2 computer designs. Two more exciting rooms will be in the works soon!
Barracks update - a bunch of lighting and tweaks to the layout and scale. I tried to mash up the interface from WC2 and the computers from the science lab from WC1 to add a communication / shipviewer / lore computer. Thanks to LOAF for the idea! Also threw out a CRT filter just for nostalgia purposes. :p

Done with the Barracks for now, added the atmospheric lighting to the briefing ready room as well. Either the Officers Lounge or Debriefing area next!


Wing Commander Academy to Remain on Free Peacock for Now Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's good news on the streaming front! Last week we reported that a countdown ticker had appeared next to the Wing Commander Academy episodes on the Peacock streaming service. The Peacock support account suggested that this meant the show was moving from a free to a paid tier. However, Zeether noticed that the countdown has vanished and the show appears as it originally did. While it's possible the CIC's considerable clout and influence swayed some executives at NBCUniversal, it's far more likely that this was some kind of mistake or glitch. Note the two comparison shots below of the Exosquad lineup. Random episodes were briefly showing the clock icon, although they've since all gone back to normal. While it's great that everyone will continue to have access for the foreseeable future, it's also still not a bad idea to grab the show on DVD for a more permanent copy.

Fantastic 'Fest Fighter Found Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

elend came across a nice WC model from last weekend's WonderFest in Louisville, Kentucky. It's a modified version of the somewhat pricey unlicensed Fantastic Plastic Arrow model with a variety of custom modifications. This one's complete with a pilot and even a little lightning bolt squadron logo in the corner. I've stumbled across a few items like this over the years, and it's always a treat to run into a passionate Wing Commander fan in the wild that's dedicated to craft like this. If this is yours and you've got more photos, let us know!
Wing Commander Arrow Light Fighter

The Arrow Light Fighter is a highly modified 1/72nd scale resin kit from Fantastic Plastic. Major modifications to the model include new vacuum formed canopy to replace the sub-standard kit part, new vacuum formed engine recesses and engines, and new detail throughout. The model was finished in automotive lacquers and weather with acrylic washes and pastels. The display base was machined and polished Corian.

Fan Hack Adds Invisible Cockpits to Privateer Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a fantastic new fan mod for Wing Commander Privateer! realqbok has managed to figure out how to make the cockpits invisible with the help of the WC Toolbox. Of course, the original Priv used cockpit visibility as a type of feature/reward for upgrading to higher end ships, but this is still a clever proof of concept and sounds like a lot of fun to try out. The process outlined below requires a bunch of manual unpacking, but realqbok has provided some templates (185 k zip) to provide a transparent outline for each of the four ships. A fifth test screenshot below depicts a full invisible cockpit with the VDUs pushed to the edges, but his experimentation showed it was more natural to keep a little bit of carryover from the original designs. Instructions are below, and check out the CIC Forums if you have any follow up questions!
Thank you for the positive feedback, but actually this took zero coding, only Priv1ToolsCmd and graphic editing! I probably won't have the time to write full scripts/instructions on how to incorporate those modified cockpits, but it's actually very easy: you just unpack priv.pak, replace cockpit .iff files inside, repack priv.pak and enjoy... all this can be accomplished with the .iff files provided at the link.

After playing Priv for several hours with those cockpits, I must say that it's a very pleasant experience! Along with everything loading immediately (ah, those days quarter of a century ago when landing at a base took 30 seconds and taking off 2 minutes :D ) - such a wonderful time to play Privateer again. :)

Unfortunately, modding Privateer, especially in its GOG incarnation, is quite a bit of a hassle, especially on 64-bit systems (where some of the old tools need to be run in dosbox themselves, instead of just off the usual system CLI), so let me dump some of my notes; "all" you need is some tools off the CIC, and I will try to link to some of my scripts and Excel files that made my modding a bit easier; and in case I figure out an easier way to share this, I will.

In order to get easy access to (and reintegration of modified version of) priv.tre, unpack the game.gog (whis is actually an .iso image), copy contents to some directory and mount that directory (instead of game.gog, as is done by default installation) as D: drive in dosbox (you will need to fiddle with dosbox config files). Then get yourself priv1toolscmd off the CIC, and:

priv1toolscmd untree priv.tre
priv1toolscmd unmake cockpits\clunkck.iff /template:Interchange
priv1toolscmd untemplate clunk001.tpl

Clunk001.tpl.png: in a graphics editor (I am using PaintShop Pro 7, an ancient but dependable one) that respects 256-color palettes etc. resize the image to 320x200, fill completely with color that's "transparent" part of the original (has palette index 255, is completely black), save; this makes entirety of the front cockpit transparent
In order to have HUD brackets visible over whole screen (not only in the part of the screen that used to be Tarsus' windshield):
in clunkck.xmf, change (note that e.g. the " 6, 1," part you are changing is 16bit=two-byte value of right border of the original visibility area for the brackets; 262, as in 6+256*1):

char 59, 0, 0, 57, 0, 63, 1,144, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0


char 59, 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 1, 199, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0

clunkck.xmf also let's you move parts of the HUD around (that's what I did in the original screenshot); the coordinates are pretty easy to find (just look for "// start xy" and "// end xy" values), but remember that e.g. "ENER" meter (your energy supply level) also has additional information in the "DATA" part (again, coordinates saved as two-byte values) that tells game which part of the bitmap to hide in order to indicate unavailable energy, so if you move the "start xy" and "end xy" part, you need to modify the "DATA" part as well, because otherwise you will not see your energy running out :) , etc.

Now reverse the priv1toolscmd commands above

retemplate (priv1toolscmd template clunk001.tpl.scr),
remake (that's the unfortunate part, since you need to use that ancient xmiff through dosbox, if you're running 64-bit windows)
retree (again via priv1toolscmd)
remember to use correct paths during all of the above operations, so that you are repackaging new modified versions of the files ;)

enjoy :)

Pro tips: it seems that game might be saving some of the above data in the .sav files; so to best test any modifications you might have made, you need to start your career from scratch (makes testing non-Tarsus cockpits a bit of a hassle).

Revisit Brazil Circa 1995 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD found a couple of nifty vintage mid '90s magazine scans from a Portuguese publication, Super GamePower. The topics are slightly different than your usual fare: this time they cover WC1 on Sega CD as well as the 3DO edition of Super Wing Commander, which are both lovely games with some unique features compared to your typical Wing Commander. Both articles are also heavy with screenshots, so you can enjoy them regardless of whether you speak the language!

L'héritage De Wing Commander Parts 1 & 2 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

French YouTuber Steve has put together a two-part series on the history of WC: L'héritage De Wing Commander. We obviously post primarily English WC news, but we have an amazingly diverse community across the globe, so it's nice to highlight that from time to time. Both Germany and France have a strong affinity for the franchise, and we can see that in videos like these. The first clip covers WC1/2/expansions and does a brief overview of some of the peripheral elements. There's also a follow up that primarily highlights Wing Commander 3. As we've mentioned before, now that YouTube supports real time automatic translations, you can turn that feature on and follow along no matter which language you speak!

Wing Commander Academy Moving to Paid Peacock Tier Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The news continues in the world of Wing Commander streaming. Zeether noticed that the Academy television show has a little clock icon next to it on the Peacock service. After some further investigation, it seems that this means the show will be moving from the free to the paid version of Peacock in July. Note that Comcast Xfinity Flex and X1 customers can get the $5/month Peacock Premium plan for free, so that's one way to continue getting your Wing Commander fix. Alternately, the series is available on DVD for $16.49 currently. Owning the DVD is great, but the streaming version has better quality audio.

Breaking News: Wing Commander Streaming Free on (US) YouTube Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We have some unexpected news today regarding the Wing Commander Movie. Sebastian Z noticed that the film has been added to the slate of free streaming films on YouTube in the United States. A lot of people might not even be aware that YouTube also hosts full fledged theatrical releases, but up until recently, WC was available as a $4 rental and $10 purchase. It's now showing as free with ads - or just free if you're a YouTube Premium subscriber! Fans outside the US are reporting that it doesn't seem to work there, but let us know if you find other platforms or other places where this also applies.

New Wing Leader Lounge Feels Like Home Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Howard Day has an exciting new room to share aboard his custom Wing Leader carrier. The ship will be a light carrier on duty in the WC1 era, and the atmosphere is perfectly recreated in this new environment. It takes some talent to make something brand new that fits right at home with the scenes that we know and love, and Howard's nailed it here once again. See the familiar berths/save slots tucked away in the back left. There's still a lot of manipulation going on in the foreground, but here's the latest progress as well as several WIP/behind-the-scenes shots of the area in progress.
Freaking insomnia continues to break my brain. You get Wing Leader artwork out of it, though, so... Yay!

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