Welcome and happy birthday! Today's not just about our celebration - we're also celebrating the community's many years of dedication to Wing Commander fandom. As we talked about just a few days ago: "The point of a fandom is not to build a cathedral to a brand but to provide a shared starting point from which you connect with others, expand your thinking and grow to become better people." Like everyone else, we're not out of the woods yet, and there are still many challenges everyone is facing every day. Nevertheless, we wouldn't have made it this far without each other. WC fans have come up with some great things this year that we're excited to share. To set the mood and kick things off, FekLeyrTarg put together this adorable and amazing little short - I love it!
This is a big one, folks! After years of hard work, the WC4 Fan Remake team is super excited to finally unveil the first playable demo for Wing Commander IV: The Price of Freedom Remastered. Today's release is a fancy update to the original WC4 Demo released on October 19, 1995. As we've seen through their many technical articles released over the years, it takes a lot of foundation building (design, art, sound, coding, user interface and much more) to reach a milestone like this. Detailed instructions have been published to help people get things going. There's even a snazzy demo trailer below! You can grab the installer package here (900 meg exe). Keep in mind that this is still a beta level artifact and the team very much appreciates your feedback. Give it a try and have fun!
We are supremely proud to announce that the first playable demo of Wing Commander IV - The Price of Freedom: Remastered is now available to download! You can download and play it now from https://wcrespace.com
Everyone's got Wedge's website bookmarked for quick access to scripts from the various Wing Commander games... and while that's served us well for decades, we're ready to unveil your first look at something better! LOAF has spent the last year painstakingly extracting the exact text scripts from a wide variety of Wing Commander games. And we don't just mean titles like "WC1" and "WC2." As it turns out, there's differences between disk versus CD editions, console port versus original and so on. There's also more to the game than cutscenes. LOAF's also pulling in comm chatter and other peripheral text. There's still a lot to add, but the magnitude of what's already been gathered is incredible. You can find the live working file here! Enjoy, and let us know what you think!
FekLeyrTarg is back with some new music for Wing Commander 2. He's identified a couple of missing tracks from the conversion between DOS WC2 and the Kilrathi Saga. In order to restore the pieces, he's researched how George Oldziey reorchestrated the music and done his best attempt to duplicate (with some tips from DMJC). The results sound fantastic to me! The clips have been set up in video form below, but they are also available to download. He doesn't currently have a method to integrate them into the game, but that could be a future project! Fans have done much more impressive things via KS patches so far, but they haven't had these files to work with until now.
One thing missing from the Kilrathi Saga Windows Ports of "Wing Commander" and "Wing Commander II - Vengeance of the Kilrathi" is the legendary OriginFX logo. So I rearranged the original MT-32 MIDI file by Herman Miller and George Sanger similar to how George Oldziey did it with the soundtrack of the first two "Wing Commander" games for "The Kilrathi Saga". Original video by DOS Nostalgia.
One music track missing from the files of the Kilrathi Saga Windows Port of "Wing Commander II - Vengeance of the Kilrathi" is the track "Thrakhath's New Plans", which was supposed to be played during Thrakhath's and Khasra's argument in the intro of "Special Operations 1".
Last, but not least, FekLeyr has also highlighted a third issue regarding a pair of Special Operations tracks that actually are included with Kilrathi Saga but don't play. He's put them together here so you can see what the experience should have been like:
Using Patch93's Roland SC-55 Soundfont, the programs SynthFont 2 and Adobe Audition as well as some full reverb, I rearranged Dana Glover's original MT-32 MIDI track similar to how George Oldziey did it with the other tracks found in "The Kilrathi Saga". Original video upload by Dave Caspermeyer.
In the Kilrathi Saga Windows port of "Wing Commander II - Vengeance of the Kilrathi", two cutscene music tracks are unused in the two Special Operations expansions despite being in the game files and used in the original MS-DOS release. The first track "Mutiny on the Gettysburg" was used in the brig cutscenes in SO1. The second one "The Tribunal" was used for Zack "Jazz" Colson's trial in the intro of SO2.
FekLeyrTarg was just on a roll this year, so we let him run with yet another cool tech demonstration! He's combined a green screen, the Privateer 3D models archive and some AI-generated scans of his head to create a nifty clip of him flying a Centurion. Not a bad effort at all! There's lots of potential here!
Original composition by Dana Glover. Reorchestration by George Oldziey. Original video upload by Dave Caspermeyer.
Produced for the Wing Commander CIC's 24th birthday, this is a proof-of-concept of using an AI-generated depth map on a subject in a 3D-generated environment for extra depth and lighting information. Once again, the models used are from the Privateer 3D Archive.
Back in 1999 a trailer for the Wing Commander movie leaked and broke the internet... or at least the website! This 3 minute trailer featured not just a sneak peak at the highly anticipated video game based movie, but ended up also hiding alternate takes and snippets from deleted scenes that ultimately didn't make it into the final film. That video has only been available in very low quality (and low framerate) DivX video (10 meg avi). First, here's a raw export of the VHS:
...until now. A recently recovered VHS contained an slightly earlier version of this same trailer!
While the actual edit on this tape is the same, keen observers will note that this is a slightly earlier version of the trailer than was leaked online as it also features some less-finished CG effects in a few places. I spent some time and effort to remove color noise left over from the VHS capture (over which I had no control or access to). While the capture was more or less properly reverse-telecined I also spent some time attempting to repair the various deinterlacing artifacts and noise. With that, enjoy! And if you're going to party like it's 1999, what better way than to put this on loop and try and spot all the differences between the trailer shots and finished film. Here's my cleaned up version:
The Downloads section is where we index all of our downloadable items, from soundtracks and official patches to fan-created tools or enhancements. This time of year is when we usually comb through the news archives to bring our index (in excess of 240 gigabytes!) up to date. We've done a thorough refresh so every file, patch and program is at your fingertips and easy to grab.
Highlights include the French, German and Spanish translations of WC1 DOS, the latest version of WCDX, Prophecy controller profiles for Saitek joysticks, the soundtrack to SegaCD WC1 and ODVS's various HD video packs.
This year almost marks 25 years for Wing Commander Prophecy, so we wanted to add a little something in here to recognize that upcoming milestone. This is the "Hint Book" included with the Deluxe Edition of Prophecy. Fans that weren't around in the late '80s and early '90s might not be familiar with how the first strategy guides were literal booklets full hints on how to get through games. This is a small streamlined guide intended as a mini companion to the full scale Prima Official Guide. There was a specific focus on the game's simulator missions as well as general tips. You can download it in one PDF here (13 megs).
And then there was cake! Yum-o. Thanks Lacey!
It's our birthday, and that means it's time for our birthday poll! Sound off and let us know how long you've been visiting the CIC! Last year, we saw that 1 in 6 have been followers since our WC adventures that predated the CIC. Of course, we love our new visitors just as much!
The old poll asked about the different types of major story themes we see throughout the series. It seems like most people like to save the universe in large epics like WC3/4. We can certainly understand why!
And that's a wrap! It may not have been one of our longest birthday news slates, but hopefully you agree there's been some fantastic stuff here to enjoy. I've talked about it here a number of times already, but many of the key pillars of our tough and tight-knit community are medically high risk - and they're still dealing with a hell of a lot due to the ongoing pandemic, taking care of our families, and the state of things in the world. People successfully forced their way through a lot to get here today, and they'll do it again tomorrow, next week, next month and next year to keep supporting each other.
With this week's milestone behind us, that also means we're entering our 25th year. A quarter century is pretty crazy to think about. We're extremely fortunate that we got to do 2019's birthday party live and in person with LOAF, Ali, ace, Blonde, Dundradal, Joe and myself all together and on camera. None of us could have imagined that it would be one of the last trips that we would take for a long time. It would be lovely to recreate something like that for next year's big event, but that's still a long ways away. The only thing we know for sure is that we'll be here - and we hope you will be too!