Confederation is essentially a custom cross-platform engine which reads original data files from the Wing Commander (and Privateer) series - based on some of my own ("clean room") reverse engineering, but also of course the work of various members of the community over the years.Once the technical aspects have been worked out, the only limit that remains is creativity. And Tinker's got that covered too with this nifty Firekkan pilot in a Confed flight jacket!
My immediate goal (which may well still take a couple more years) is to fully re-implement Wing Commander 1 & 2, favouring making subtle improvements here and there over perfect accuracy. It's not the only motivating factor, but the main one is honestly the lack of speed limiting in DOS WC1/2... I can't deal with it anymore. I've tried modifying the original machine code in various ways, but without the source code I've given up on achieving what I want with the original engine. I've tried Kilrathi Saga, but that doesn't do it for me either.
In concert with rebuilding WC1/2, I've been working on a mission editor, not only to view/debug existing missions, but to create new ones; and new campaigns, including new cutscenes/dialogue and so on. The whole thing is built around a scripting system, so even before I open source it (which I plan to do), it should be possible to make very complex addons.
And I'm not sure if this is going anywhere or worth showing, but speaking of adding new stuff here's a rough sketch of a potential Firekkan Confed pilot (with original art reference on the left). I'm not sure if they'd wear something so similar to regular uniforms though (maybe?).
Here's a little detail you might miss in Wing Commander IV: Colonel Blair and Seether have the same three ribbons on their uniform but they wear them in reverse order!
Privateer 2 cheats from a Chinese game book!You can find more codes for Wing Commander games here!
Drooling over these photos of Wing Commander III's costume shop. I wish we had high resolution images of all those Kilrathi sketches!Electronic Press Kit!
The Concordia is a pretty slick model still, well worth learning how to texture 3d models for lmao. I've actually been slowly going back to texturing her lately, since I made a lot of mistakes with how I went about things the first time out. Especially in terms of how well it was optimized.
SNES Multicart from AliExpress
Origin Systems and Chris Roberts, the Wing Commander franchise’s development studio and mastermind respectively, wasted very little time embarking on the fourth numbered game in the series after finishing up the third one in the fall of 1994. Within two weeks, Roberts was hard at work on his next story outline. Not long after the holiday season was over and it was clear that Wing Commander III had done very well indeed for itself, his managers gave him the green light to start production in earnest, on a scale of which even a dreamer like him could hardly have imagined a few years earlier.
This weekend I learned how to animate with MMD.— Mac's Lore (@MacsLore) April 24, 2023
I titled this one: "My last functioning braincell after a video is finished." pic.twitter.com/uqei7W0msh
This weekend I learned how to animate with MMD. I titled this one: "My last functioning braincell after a video is finished."
Well here’s what was probably my quickest build for a non Kilrathi fighter that can fit a mini figure. I found a new Lego store south of me and made a Militia Talon.
Pliers (would) say, "Just about every two bit hood or cash strapped police has these assembly line crates. Just make sure you got a good radar so you don’t shoot cops by accident."
A stately conductor stands before an orchestra three rows deep. The planet Venice, the Kilrathi capital of the Vega Sector, looms overhead. He raises his baton…
From the very first visual of the very first game, the deep connection between music and Wing Commander was clear… even to PC speaker users! Over the years, the Wing Commander franchise repeatedly pushed forward the public's expectation for what is now called 'VGM' and considered its own respected genre of music. The series would eventually come to host a rogues gallery of top composers and other musicians: George "The Fat Man" Sanger, Nenad Vugrinec, George Oldziey, Alexander van Bubenheim, Cobalt 60, David Arnold and Kevin Kiner… and a dozen others.
Today, Supercade is trying to bring George Oldziey's Wing Commander Orchestral Music Recording Project out as a deluxe vinyl record. You can learn more and back that project on IndieGoGo. The project will be Wing Commander's first vinyl record ever released… but it's not the first album! Over the years, Wing Commander's varied music (and music inspired by Wing Commander) has contributed to nearly thirty different commercially released albums!
In honor of the crowdfunding campaign, we've put together a brief history of Wing Commander albums from 1991 to 2023. From true rarities like the original ORIGIN Soundtrack to obscure compilations including the Prophecy theme it's all here! Consider this one part collector's guide and one part fascinating history of our favorite series. We hope the next time this is updated that it's because we've added Supercade's project to our record shelves!
ORIGIN Soundtrack was the very first album with Wing Commander music ever released [but not the first album of Origin music! See appendix. - ed]. It contains two tracks of Wing Commander music, a total of seven pieces from the original game and eleven from Wing Commander II. The tracks are recorded from an MT-32, providing a quality far above what most players were familiar with at the time. The record was created by Origin's audio guru Martin Galway in 1991 as a marketing giveaway and sold to the public (but never advertised!) via phone orders. Roughly 500 copies were printed and they appear for sale only rarely today, always commanding hundreds of dollars.
Whether the album existed at all was an open question for many years. By the late 1990s, ORIGIN Soundtrack (typically referred to as Origin Audio CD Vol. 1) was thought to be a myth on the order of Bigfoot. While it was listed in Ultima collecting-related resources there was no evidence anywhere truly confirming its existence beyond the fact that Origin had numbered other albums two and three. That all changed in 2003 when Joe Garrity of the Origin Museum acquired the first confirmed example from a used computer equipment store in Virginia. Since then, a small amount of unsold stock has surfaced on eBay and several ex-Origin employees have sold copies to the public. (For collectors seeking to authenticate, there was never a back insert.)
In 1993, Electronic Arts was eager to show off the impressive library of intellectual property they had acquired purchasing Origin Systems. Signature Sounds, a 1993 album featuring thirty one pieces from different Electronic Arts titles, includes tracks representing a number of different Origin games including a montage of combat music from Privateer (Nenad Vugrinec) and the Super Wing Commander opening theme (Joe Basquez). Like ORIGIN Soundtrack, Signature Sounds was primarily given away at trade shows and other marketing events. Unlike its cousin, it was produced in sufficient numbers so as to be relatively easy to locate today.
ORIGIN Audio CD Volume 3
ORIGIN Audio CD Volume 3 was Origin Systems' second in-house record featuring music from Wing Commander and other properties [see Appendix for information about Volume 2 - ed]. The compilation was put together for a very important part of gaming and Wing Commander history: the 'Premiere Edition' of Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger. Available only through Electronic Arts directly, the $100 Premiere Edition includes a copy of Fleet Action, a making of VHS, a calendar, a metal film canister-shaped package, a t-shirt and more. It was the direct ancestor of the modern "collectors edition" and the inclusion of the soundtrack CD is something many companies have replicated over the years. The record includes music from Wing Commander III, Super Wing Commander and Privateer, as well as other Origin titles like Wings of Glory. Collectors take note: there were two separate pressings of the album, one for the United States and one for Europe. Other than minor differences to the stock numbers on the disc the releases are identical.
Wing Commander Prophecy Original Soundtrack
In 1997, things got a little weird! Hoping to reinvent the series, Electronic Arts encouraged the team developing Wing Commander V (later Wing Commander Prophecy) to kill their darlings and go against established elements of the series wherever possible. One of these creative choices was to hire a music act named Cobalt 60 to develop music for the game's gameplay sequences. Instead of the traditional Star Wars-inspired orchestral music, Cobalt 60, fresh off contributing music to Command and Conquer, would produce an electronic-industrial tracks that would heat the blood during the game's intense combat sequences. The band members, Jean-Luc de Meyer and Dominique Lallement (both better known for their main project, Front 242), traveled to Austin to record the music using only vintage computer equipment. As part of the deal, the band's German record label, Edel, would put out a Wing Commander Prophecy soundtrack CD.
Then, the creatives got cold feet. Wing Commander III and IV composer George Oldziey was brought back to score the game's cutscenes and then to develop interactive music for the flight sequences that would ultimately replace the Cobalt 60 track. In the end, Cobalt 60's music appeared only as implied-to-be diegetic music in the game's simulator pod… something many players never even touched! It would go on to be reused as the main score for the next game released, 1998s Wing Commander Secret Ops. None of this dismayed Edel's marketing machine. The company was a fervent believer in compilation releases that would promote their entire catalog together and the desire to continue to do that with cool Wing Commander Prophecy artwork proved to be very, very strong: at least eleven albums have connections back to their Prophecy OST!
In the late 1990s, "Original Soundtracks" for films were increasingly not even related to movies themselves. Rather than symphonic scores, popular releases like the Mortal Kombat soundtrack instead featured one or two singles plus thematically linked music from a variety of popular acts… each of whom would happily sell you a CD of their own! Edel's flagship Wing Commander Prophecy Original Soundtrack took this model exactly, including just two Cobalt 60 songs from the game ('s simulator mode) and filling the rest of the list with songs from other industrial acts Edel represented such as Rammstein and Fear Factory. Three of the songs from other groups were said to be 'inspired by Wing Commander Prophecy' while the rest were simply licensed from other releases. Remember this, as it will be important shortly! Three official versions of the soundtrack are known to exist from different local labels in the United States, Canada and Germany. The biggest difference between these is that the US and Canadian covers put KMFDM first while Germany chose Rammstein as they were more popular in the region. The album was also released on cassette in Poland (and in bootleg form elsewhere including Romania, Russia and Thailand).
Spinoffs - Cobalt 60
But the compilation grind cuts both ways: from there, Edel published Cobalt 60's Wing Commander Prophecy music on a grand total of five other releases! The most interesting of these is Wing Commander Prophecy Theme The Clubmixes, a 1997 release given away to German industrial club DJs. The disc contains multiple unique remixes of the Wing Commander Prophecy theme which are available nowhere else. The artwork is truly spectacular as well, with a neat transparent disc effect that makes it look like an irregularly-sized Lamprey shield killer is spinning in your CD player!
A second 'single', Wing Commander Prophecy Theme (TerminalMix), was released as a pack-in with the American Wing Commander Prophecy Special Edition. Released in a nearly identical package to the main SKU and available only in Sam's Club stores, the Special Edition was something of a hidden treasure (though it comes up not infrequently for sale today). While the disc lacks the cool transparent effect, the art is an awesome rendering of the Kraken cap-ship killer.
The year also saw the title track included on the May issue of Edel's monthly sampler, Edelstück.
In 1998, Cobalt 60 released their next (and to date final) studio album, Twelve. Edel released a special version of the album with a bonus disc that contained three Prophecy tracks (and one other song). In addition to Prophecy (TerminalMix) and Darwin Was Right, the Twelve bonus CD is the only physical release of "Galactic Hives". It can be hard to determine from online listings, so make sure the copy you buy has a second disc. Sealed copies should have a blue sticker on the cover.
Finally, in 1999, another Edel series, The Gothic Compilation, released the ninth in their series which included Cobalt 60's "Darwin Was Right". The cover art is horrifying but there's something extremely satisfying imagining nineties Goths listening to a Wing Commander song.
Spinoffs - Music Inspired by Wing Commander Prophecy
But that's not all! Recall that the Wing Commander Prophecy Original Soundtrack included music said to be inspired by the game. Those tracks went on to reappear in several other places as well (and in one case years later with a significant update!). Grouped by group:
German electronic group Das Ich provided a track on the WCP OST called "The Awakening". The Awakening was originally a song called Krieger with new lyrics in English instead of German… lyrics, we assume, inspired by the intense single player combat of Wing Commander Prophecy. For many years it was believed that The Awakening had never been released on another album… until we discovered that it had been renamed 'The Warrior' (a literal translation of Krieger). The song appeared on the group's 2003 compilation album Relikt and then again on a 2011 re-release of their 1998 Egodram which added it on a second disc of rarities.
Project Pitchfork, unrelated to the Star Citizen effort, provided a song called Gravitation Zero to the WCP OST. Gravitation Zero was re-released in 1998 on an EP called Carnival (regular and expanded versions exist) and then again in 2003 on the compilation release Collector: Fireworks & Colorchange.
Die Krupps, the third group, provided The Vampire Strikes Back which… is pretty fun if you're imagining flying around in an F-109 Vampire while you listen. The band did not release the song again in the 1990s and instead held off until 2015 to include an updated version on an album release, V - Metal Machine Music. A second disc of bonus music included with album also republishes the original version… and there's even a box set version that comes with a pair of fingerless black gloves! The group actually spoke about the song's video game origins during press for the record which was frankly extremely cool.
Spinoffs - Music NOT Inspired by Wing Commander Prophecy
Last and strangest of these connected albums is the case of Bravo ScreenFun Hits, a compilation of game music released in 1999 as a pack-in with Germany's Bravo ScreenFun magazine. The case promises music from Wing Commander Prophecy, the booklet features art of ships from the game… and the track listing tells us that's because it includes Brooklyn Bounce's The Theme (Of Progressive Attack). A popular song, to be sure, but not one that has anything to do with Wing Commander Prophecy… except legally, since it was included on the Wing Commander Prophecy Original Soundtrack and then sublicensed for this release. A second volume in the Bravo ScreenFun Hits series was released in 2000 but it did not include any Wing Commander music (but then of course neither did the first!).
There's plenty of criticism of the Wing Commander movie to go around… but whenever geeks get together and mention the film, there IS one thing they agree on: the music was perfect. And it should've been! David Arnold, the mind behind the theme, was a veteran of top film scores and Kevin Kiner, his then-protege who composed the rest of the album, has since shot to the top of the industry. Sonic Images Records released the Wing Commander - Original Soundtrack on CD in 1999 to plenty of acclaim. It remains a favorite today but there's more music in the movie that has not been released; we remain hopeful for a longer version of the score someday!
Since the release of the movie, David Arnold's spectacular theme has appeared in a number of other places. The first of these was a 2006 five-disc collection called Top Shelf Library from FOX Music. In addition to being a wonderful collection of movie music, Top Shelf Library is a collection of production music: pieces that can be licensed (then from FOX) for use in other productions. Production licensing is done digitally now but copies of Top Shelf Library remain readily available.
But that's not all! In recent years, the Wing Commander theme has become a favorite of none other than The Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines! That's right, the United Kingdom's military has performed the Wing Commander theme on multiple occasions… including in front of royalty at the Mountbatten Festival of Music in 2017! They have released two albums that contain performances: The Mountbatten Festival of Music 2017 and Beating Retreat 2018. The former was also available on DVD.
The Fatman & Team Fat
Since the closure of Origin Systems, two of the series' original composers have released tracks from the game on their own. George "The Fatman" Sanger and his group of collaborators, Team Fat, maintain ownership of some of their music for Wing Commander I (Wing Commander II was contracted differently) and have been able to make several releases. In 2000, The Fatman provided a live track of Team Fat performing a surf theme version of Wing Commander's main fanfare. The track was recorded at a trade show but it first appeared in print in a pretty appropriate place: on the album Water Logged, a promotional effort by Austin radio station KFJC. The fourth in an annual series of surf albums, Water Logged is one of the rarest and most unusual albums with a Wing Commander piece!
Mr. Sanger also provided the same track to a group of Amiga enthusiasts in 2011 who put out a double album called Immortal 4 which is full of songs from different games that appeared on the Amiga. Don't tell them that Mark Knight actually redid the Wing Commander score for that version of the game!
Most exciting but sadly only digitally, The Fat Man has published two albums of the complete Wing Commander score. Wing One appeared in 2007 and an updated version, Wing Commander I Complete Original Soundtrack - MT-32 Archival Edition, released in 2022.
Wing Commander III, IV and Prophecy composer George Oldziey has released three Wing Commander albums of his own over the years, including the Orchestral Music Recording Project now being crowd funded for release on vinyl. His first is one of the most obscure and challenging to find: Music from the Wing Commander Universe was published in 1998 as a promotional release for Daylight Productions, a company made up of former Origin employees who would be doing work tied to the company (including the DVD conversions of two Wing Commander games).
In 2015, Mr. Oldziey successfully crowdfunded an opportunity to re-record music from Wing Commander III using a live orchestra. The result was The Wing Commander Orchestral Music Recording Project, a wonderful collection of reorchestrated Wing Commander III, IV and Prophecy music.
A second crowdfund resulted in 2019's Wing Commander: The Jazz Album, an EP of sorts which recorded the various jazz pieces that he had written for the TCS Victory's lounge in Wing Commander III. Once you think about them you'll be humming all day!
And we will end this catalog with a really weird one: the 2000 Velvet Acid Christ album Twisted Thought Generator includes a hidden second album called Dimension 8. Dimension 8 was recorded years earlier and never released and the odd connection is that it samples, of all things, Super Wing Commander.
Appendix - Related Albums
Origin Audio CD Volume 2
While the story behind ORIGIN Soundtrack was unknown to the fandom for many years, the story of Origin Audio CD Volume 2, formally Origin Soundtrack Series The Music of Ultima VII and Strike Commander, is a familiar one. Origin's 1992 release, Ultima VII: The Black Gate, included a series of jokes at the end of its credit scroll. The general idea was that it had all the same disclaimers as a big movie production: no animals were harmed in the making of this picture, the producers would like to thank so-and-so and so on. And one of these was "Soundtrack CD available from Origin". The team intended it as a joke but after the game was released the company's customer service found they were getting lots of calls asking to buy the made up soundtrack! For the release of Ultima VII, Part 2: Serpent Isle, marketing made the joke a reality with a commercial CD of Ultima and Strike Commander music. It's a wonderful record that just doesn't have any Wing Commander on it!
Other Origin Systems-related albums
Yes! Music from several non-Wing Commander IPs has appeared over the years. The very first was 1987's Ultima Mix, a Japanese release containing remixes of Tsugutoshi Goto's Ultima Exodus NES score. This was also the first vinyl record ever to include Origin music! It was also available on CD and cassette. In 1999, Origin included an Ultima IX-only soundtrack with the Dragon Edition of Ultima Ascension. An updated version with additional tracks was published commercially as Original Music from Ultima IX: Ascension - The Enhanced CD. In 2020, Limited Run Games released a stunning double vinyl of the System Shock soundtrack.
Wing Commander games with Red Book audio
Old school gamers may recall that sometimes CD-ROM games could play their music in a regular CD player. This was because those games used what was called Red Book audio, essentially storing their music as CD tracks and triggering them to play off the disc when needed. Origin was not a frequent user of Red Book audio as it often made interactive music game design ineffective. One exception to this was that the FM Towns versions of Wing Commander, The Secret Missions 1 & 2 and Wing Commander II all include their music as Red Book tracks. The Wing Commander and Secret Missions releases both use high quality recordings of MT-32 tracks (both are identical) while the Wing Commander II recordings are somewhat off.
The main theme and several pieces of endgame dialogue over music in the Sega CD (and Mega CD) versions of Wing Commander are also Red Book.
The Wing Commander movie credits four pieces of licensed music including three pop songs which play in the background during the mess hall scenes. These are "Cross the Line" and "Foxy's Den" by Cuba and "The Sleeper Car" by Thievery Corporation. The fourth piece of licensed music is the Mozart opera which plays while Blair visits Paladin to discuss his Pilgrim heritage. It is credited as "Trio from 'Cosi Fan Tutte" arranged by Lee Ashley for Ole George Music. This, like Top Shelf Music listed above, is an example of production music. The track was sourced from OGM Premium 27 Classical.
Digital & Streaming Albums
The following albums listed above are available digitally through services such as Amazon, Spotify and iTunes:
A company called Buysoundtrax (run by the former owner of Sonic Images) has just this month released a new digital version of the Wing Commander movie theme. It's a special release because it is available as a lossless FLAC file for the first time.
Albums by George Oldziey are available for purchase digitally directly from the composer:
There are also several digital-only compilation albums available through digital streaming services which include Wing Commander music:
We hope you've enjoyed this walk through Wing Commander album history! And you can make that history continue by backing George Oldziey's Wing Commander vinyl album crowdfund. Learn more here.
Supercade Press is offering three new editions of the soundtrack:
- Deluxe Edition Gatefold with 180g Starfield Splatter Vinyl
- Special Edition with 180g Marbled Bi-color Vinyl (new colors may be issued)
- Standard Edition with 180g Classic Black Vinyl
I was a busy girl on this one. It remains the single longest screenplay (at 300+ pages) I've ever done. And had the BEST cast. Brian Blessed, Clive Owen, David Warner, so many more... :)Dave Blass, also recently shared that one of the many ships featured in the show is the USS Inaieu, which is 'a nod to the Defender class ship from Diane Duane's [1984 Star Trek novel] "My Enemy, My Ally"'. Dave also posted this stellar Starfleet size/silhouette chart, which gave LOAF an opportunity to talk about a Wing Commander equivalent.
This is wonderful! My brain has stopped identifying new Star Trek ship classes as well as it used to and I feel like I suddenly understand the fleet again. It’s also neat how similar it is to this 1998 chart developed for the Wing Commander art team to reference pre-production!
“That’s not what the Kilrathi warships look like!” - true, they totally dropped the rigging/age of sale look for them. Luckily they redid the chart afterwards for commercial release and it’s in the Confederation Handbook!
Hey Kids, Jedi Survivor issues got you down? How about you revisit the other scifi universe Mark Hamill played a major part in where he flew down a trench to destroy a planet sized object that resulted in the good guys winning? - Wing Commander .
I got more brownish colored bricks and swapped out the Darket and nearly rebuilt and beefed up the Strahka. I hope you like them. Look for a new model that I submit to Chris soon.
This is part of a series analyzing newly discovered Wing Commander IV continuity photographs. You can find the previous posts collected here.
When we picked up the Wing Commander IV Polaroids this was one I was sure we'd never figure out. It wasn't labeled and the picture wasn't especially clear. She could be a patron in the bar on Nephele (few of whom are visible!), a reporter or a politician from the Assembly scenes... or anywhere else! It turns out I did not need to fear: she's actually a character with a fairly major scene... the comm officer who sends a distress message from the Telamon System. Blair and Sosa listen in horror as she reveals the Black Lance attack:
If you can hear this, it might not be too late. Unmarked ships are attacking and many people are dying! We know planet FT957 is far from any other colony, but, if you have any Humanity, please, send help immediately! Otherwise, our world is doomed – I don’t know if this damn thing is working!
The manual identifies the role (oddly specifically) as "Telamon Female Comm Officer" as played by Kirsten Moore. The IMDb says that Kirsten Moore is better known as Kirsten Severson. She went on to appear in a number of small roles through the early twenty-teens. Her credits seem to have a special focus as a motion capture performer with roles in The Polar Express and Mars Needs Moms. She has since left Hollywood for a private life and we've opted not to include a current photo because she doesn't maintain a public profile online.
One of my favorite things to discover is early previews for Privateer 2: The Darkening, especially those from the press junkets that occurred before the game added a '2' or even a 'Privateer' to the title. Today we've collected two more of these pieces for the archive. Privateer 2 had so much world building early in development and there's so much we've never seen... it can often eke out of the corners of these previews! Additionally, Privateer 2's team was always willing to provide reporters with a plethora of screenshots from their current build which has led to a lot of interesting differences noted in retrospect. More on that in a moment! But first, here's an excellent French preview of 'The Darkening' from the July 1996 issue of Génération 4. This would've been based on the game's showing at E3 that year (the first major reporting happened the previous year during the film shoot).
We also have this odd little preview from the December 1996 issue of Playstation Pro. Despite the late date, this would also be reporting coming off of E3 1996... and it's only here to fill space in a magazine theoretically devoted to the new Playstation console. The article is also obviously idiotic, starting with the bizarre claim that the original Privateer was a real disappointment. Nevertheless, there's something interesting in the screenshots included... can you spot it? (The other two screenshots are from the first cutscene where you speak to Joe the Bartender and the transition outside of the Sinner's Inn.
Two of these screenshots are particularly interesting. We've updated before about early versions of the Buy/Sell screen before with a very early screenshot showing it as the "TRANS-ACT" with a totally different set of ship names. This shot (which we've also found in our press material archive) appears to be a sort of missing link. The old style of ship profile icons is still present and the prices and names don't match the finished version at all... but they're much closer, as is the overall user interface.
Strangest of all, though, is the ship itself. It's absolutely NOT a Jendevi. Of the flyble ships, it is closest to the Kalrechi but not really a match. It seems much closer to the Kindred Blade in a civilian paint scheme. We've previously reported on the connection between the two ships' designations (PL04 Kalrechi vs. PL4B Blade) but there's no absolute connecting lore.
The second screenshot is even more interesting: it seems to show a bulbous-nosed blue Gea Transit-looking transport with the text "Monolith MK II". The hiring UI is slightly different with different types of values listed alongside the transport. Unfortunately, we were not able to locate the source of this exact screenshot...
... but we did some research. First of all, we confirmed that this was not one of the standard Privateer 2 transport slugs by checking the final game. While it looks similar to both of the Gea Transit icons it doesn't match the coloring at all and the closeup views of both are even less similar.
Further investigation revealed a pre-release screenshot that did not match the original but which did feature the same blue transport (in icon form). A second screenshot even shows the same name, Monolith MK II! We also noted that it wasn't the only unusually named transport from early materials: an EA-sponsored PC Zone preview magazine prominently features the "Ilia Mk III". It's possible there were more transports in an earlier build... or that the existing set were simply named differently. Whatever the story, we'll be on the lookout for a higher resolution image of the "Monolith MK II"!
This is part of a series analyzing newly discovered Wing Commander IV continuity photographs. You can find the previous posts collected here.
Today we're giving you two Polaroids for the price of one! What's going on here? You're seeing two different pirate characters--Pirate and Pirate Ace--played by the same actor for their video loops. In the game, these appear as a total of six different video loops (three for each) that can have any pirate dialogue played over them (taunts, death screams, etc.). We can't confirm that the voice work, recorded later, was actually the credited actor, Todd Kimsey (despite being labeled 'Pirate #4' on both Polaroids, he's listed as only Pirate in the game's credits and no others appear in live action footage.) It's amazing how the amount of costume work you see in those photos ultimately becomes about five seconds of monochrome footage that ends up intentionally blurred and distorted!
This is the first close look we've ever had at the pirate costumes which appeared only in the VDU. And while they're simple robes they have some pretty interesting details that aren't in frame in the finished game! Both pirates feature previously unseen gold insignia on their chests. The helmets are existing Confederation pilots smeared with red and black paint to show off that they've been roughly lilberated from their original wearers. The first pirate's helmet (which IS visible in the game and which has appeared in other surviving pictures) has 'ROBERTS' crossed out and 'TRASHED' scrawled above it. The other simply blacks out the entire front of the helmet. The ace pilot also wears a set of more familiar insignias: Confederation pilot wings and three military ribbons worn on the wrong side. If, like many of the ribbons used in the production, they are real world military surplus then they're likely the Republic of Vietnam Staff Service Medal (Second class), Joint Meritorious Unit Award and Army of Occupation Medal.
In another bit of luck, Origin saved slightly higher color photos of both pirate VDUs while doing pre-production research on possible helmet designs for Wing Commander Prophecy. It's interesting to see that the pirate fighters are actually backlit with a bright green color:
Actor Todd Kimsey would go on to see plenty of success for nearly two decades following Wing Commander, performing numerous TV and film roles including the 2001 Planet of the Apes reboot. He's is certainly best recognized as Elaine's communist boyfriend in an episode of Seinfeld. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2016 at age 54 after a battle with lymphoma. You can learn more about his life at a memorial page hosted by alma mater, Davidson College. Once again, it's terribly sad to find that another Wing Commander veteran has passed away without having had their work really recognized.
The Wing Commander vinyl record campaign is at 25%! To sweeten the pot in absolutely no way, I’ll do a Twitter Space watch-along of the movie if we get to $5k this weekend.The $75 Deluxe Edition seems to be the most popular so far, but a standard LP is just $35! Learn more about the project here.
Supercade's exclusive new LP editions of the Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Project will mark the first time George Oldziey's orchestral score is available on vinyl. Working with a celebrated independent record press, we'll be sure these records are produced to the very best quality. From mastering, to lacquer cutting, to electroplating, to pressing and printing... I will strive for every detail of the project to be executed to the highest standards of fidelity and design, creating a compelling and collectible final product for backers.
Supercade Press is offering three new editions of the soundtrack:
- Deluxe Edition Gatefold with 180g Starfield Splatter Vinyl
- Special Edition with 180g Marbled Bi-color Vinyl (new colors may be issued)
- Standard Edition with 180g Classic Black Vinyl
We've come across a small treasure today: extracts from a 1994 textbook about game development called The Magic of Interactive Entertainment by Mike Morrison. The book includes a lot of introductory information about building games (some of which is still very accurate!) and an entire chapter focused on the development of Privateer! There's a lot of interesting information here, from sales figures for some of the different games to some never-before-noted details about how Privateer came together. First up is an overview of the Wing Commander series and the work that went into it:
Next is the Privateer chapter, which is truly fascinating:
And we end on a short section covering Wing Commander Academy:
The Deluxe vinyl pressing of the WING COMMANDER score has launched! As of this writing, the project has hit almost $3,000, 19% of the total goal. That's a great start, but we'd like to see it higher. Stay tuned for more background and plans for how you can join in on celebrating the campaign in the coming days. For now, we're happy to report that several additional pledge tiers have been added based on folks' responses on the first day: a $150 "Collector's Trio" that comes with all three versions of the album, a $200 "Collectors Trio Deluxe" that has all three versions with the bonus swag and an alite tier $2500 "Dead Wax Dedication" option that will allow one backer to choose what appears on the record's dead wax. If you aren't familiar with this record term, check out this article for details. Basically, it's a chance to insert a sort of Easter egg that will appear on every record manufactured! Here's hoping a believer with deep pockets does something cool with this. You can pledge your support here.
The Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Project LP project is now LIVE on Indiegogo! Supercade Press has put together the album in several beautiful editions of George Oldziey's album with a range of other cool swag that ranges from t-shirts to original artwork by Howard Day (plus stickers, a post card set and a tote bag)! The campaign page includes everything from a documentary video to samples of the music to a detailed look at all of the options. There are also two higher tiers offering test pressings and an invite to a listening party. But you'd better get those fast, as they're in extemely short supply! Pledge here and let's give the industry a little reminder that Wing Commander is still beloved.
The album is being offered in three different editions:
Standard Edition with 180g Classic Black Vinyl
This open edition includes a single-pocket jacket featuring crosshair cover art by Van Burnham with back cover pixel art by artist Howard Day, printed on premium 24pt stock. Heavyweight 180g classic black 12" vinyl LP will include full-color printed center labels and custom dead wax inscription in black paper inner sleeve.
Special Edition with 180g Marbled Bi-color Vinyl
This limited edition includes single-pocket jacket featuring crosshair cover art by Van Burnham with back cover pixel art by artist Howard Day, printed on premium 24pt stock. Heavyweight 180g bi-color marbled 12" vinyl LP (red and green) will include full-color printed center labels and custom dead wax inscription in black paper inner sleeve.
Limited to 1500 copies.
Deluxe Edition Gatefold with 180g Starfield Splatter Vinyl
This exclusive limited edition includes full-color gatefold jacket featuring crosshair cover art by Van Burnham with interior and back cover pixel art by artist Howard Day, printed on premium 24pt stock. Heavyweight 180g splatter 12" vinyl LP will include full-color printed center labels and custom dead wax inscription with black paper inner sleeve. The deluxe edition will also include a full-color insert of Howard Day's "Barracks" art print imagery with liner notes.
Limited to 1000 copies.
The goal is $15,000 which seems very doable. There are four stretch goals covering improvements to the LP presentation (Printed LP inner sleeve at $20K, Dead wax inscription at $30K and Supercade custom slipmat at $40K) and at $50k publishing a 10" of the bar music from Wing Commander III! We'll be covering the campaign with all sorts of related material as it goes and so you can expect to hear about the progress regularly in this space (and watch for a special live stream or two to help get out the vote!). Pledge your support now!
Artwork of the LP's printed acetate "obi" strip plus some of the material included in higher tier packages:
That's it, pilots, let's get out there and knock this thing down! You can access the Indiegogo camapaign here.
Follow or Contact Us