Wing Commander Arena Discounted to Just 99 Cents in Final Month! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've been reporting for a while now that Wing Commander Arena's days are numbered in the Microsoft XBox Live Marketplace. The game has had an incredible 17 year run, but all Xbox 360 games that aren't forward-compatible with the Xbox One/Series systems will be delisted from the company's digital storefront on July 29, 2024. The good news is that owners will be able to continue to play online for the foreseeable future, so we've been strongly recommending people buy the game while they have the chance. If you have yet to secure your own copy, there's no time like the present. Microsoft is in the process of heavily discounting a variety of the affected games, which includes a whopping 90% reduction for Arena. It's now only $0.99! You can buy it on the web, but there have been mixed reports of the store hanging and timing out. Try a different browser or return later if you have an issue. See you out in the Antares Quadrant! Thanks to Mr. Freight and Timothy Chan for the tip!

Bandcamp Supports Musical Outreach with Wing Commander Purchase Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Bandcamp has announced that they are once again holding a fundraiser to support a charity associated with the Juneteenth holiday. This year's recipient will be The Soulsville Foundation, "which perpetuates the soul of Stax Records by preserving its rich cultural legacy, educating youth to be prepared for life success, and inspiring future artists to achieve their dreams." If you've been thinking about picking up Team FAT's Wing Commander I Complete Soundtrack, MT-32 Archive Edition, now is a great time. It's a fantastic deal at just $10! And while we definitely think you should buy a copy of your own, it's also available for streaming on YouTube as well as Spotify. Give it a listen below!

New Heavy Fighter Sketch Ready to Smash Some Kilrathi Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

CountvonSchnaps has another tough looking design to share. His latest creation is the Thunderbolt VII from Wing Commander 3. It's got lots of detail with vents and ports throughout. The forward area with engine intakes, guns and a translucent cockpit are particularly nice. Sharp-eyed fans will note the "301" on the tail, which is a deep cut. It follows the naming convention from the Heart of the Tiger novelization where Blair is assigned Thunderbolt 300. Check out the rest of his gorgeous art here. Thanks to Rattler for the tip!
I tried to stay close to the previous Longbow design esthetics wise and I think it turned out all right.

Always liked this fighter, albeit not so nimble it had a powerful punch and a rear turret against those Kilrathi that outmaneuvered me. This and the Arrow were for me the favorite craft you could fly in Wing Commander 3.

Seeing that someone was, again, so kind to provide me with a core membership I guess a new poll is in order as well. Need to think what should be made but will post that one as soon as possible.

Early Menu Mock-up Uncovered in Armada Code Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Found this in the guts of Wing Commander Armada today! Looks like an early game select menu mock-up. The ship art is from Academy, WC2 and Privateer! That’s a Privateer Gothri.

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Mike Winterbauer Shares His Famous Title Graphics Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Artist and designer Mike Winterbauer is well known for his classic '80s and '90s art that graced the covers of a wide variety of media. He's recently arranged some of the most famous examples to show off the variety of bespoke typefaces that he drew by hand. These include the nameplates for both Wing Commander and The Secret Missions for SNES. It's well documented how he made the whole box art for the SNES WC1, but his SM contribution is news to us! The central sketch for the game was made by Greg Winters.
Some of the cool hand painted game box titles I did in the early 1990s! #illustration #popculture #movieart #boxart Ben “LOAF” Lesnick Wonderful! I did not know that you had done the titles for The Secret Missions. Mike Winterbauer Yes I did, I was disappointed I did not get to paint the box cover.

Getting Carried Away With 3D Printing Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a whole pile of 3D-printed carriers by Knight26-77. It's got your main classics from WC1-3 and their associated novels. I'm thinking the Victory is my favorite, but it's not a bad Concordia either!
Have some carrier love for you today along with some same scale comparisons.

Wing Leader Gets Strakha and New Features Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's been a good month for fans of Wing Leader! Howard Day has another new ship and a handful of new prototype features to share. First up is the Strakha stealth fighter. It's inspired by Arne's Android Arts sketch of the ship with some additional WC3 elements brought in. Howie's also recorded several videos that show off new features such a cloaking effect to complement the new Strakha. There's also a preliminary communications systems that allow the pilots to talk with each other. On the graphical side, separate visual effects for project impacts against the hull rather than shields have been added, among other similar tweaks that make the gunplay pop.
So now that the Strakha is done, I needed to work on the Cloaking effect. Solution? Cloaking Devices for everyone! Wheee! Eventually, the drive flares will be hidden as well. I also re-figured out how to capture Wingleader properly in 60fps, so I hope you enjoy that. :D

Party Invite Kept Pristine for Almost 30 Years Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Shared from the ex-Origin Facebook: an invitation to the 1994 Wing Commander III launch party! I do not know who the artist is. It seems to be signed Amy—perhaps Amy Adams (Crusader series, Wing Commander Prophecy, art lead for an attempt at Privateer Online)?

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Elusive DOS/V Secret Missions Added to the Collection Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Special delivery: it’s a rare Wing Commander port I didn’t have in my collection! Meet the 1993 ASCII release of The Secret Missions 1 & 2 for DOS/V.

DOS/V is an operating system developed by IBM for PC compatibles with VGA cards that adds Japanese character support. There were also DOS/V versions of Wing Commander, Privateer, Armada and Wing Commander III! This is by far the rarest one at least in western collecting circles. One of the reasons for that is probably that the box looks EXTREMELY similar to the 1991 DOS/V version of the original. Check them out, reunited!: Another fun thing about Wing Commander for DOS/V is that you can pick it out in the background of an episode of Gridman.
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WC4 Remastered Jumps Into Hellespont With New Cockpits & Music Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We're happy to kick off the new week with another exciting update from the WC4 Remastered team! They've posted a new article where they dig into the development of the game's third mission. It's the first time players get to experience a new fighter, so this includes deploying a second cockpit and implementing alternate HUD locations for certain items. There's also new information about the ability to play bespoke music at certain contextually relevant points during a mission. There's even a video about this in more depth! Check out the full article here.
Getting the new cockpit in wasn’t smooth sailing, though. The Hellcat cockpit was held together by a number of hacks from our first trailer. Now, everything is data-driven and reusable, with no hardcoding in sight, making future cockpits much easier to implement.

Each ship can now have its own custom HUD layout, necessitated by the different cockpit designs. Like in Wing Commander III, the Longbow has a wheel rather than a stick. Defiance Industries even hopes we’ll have a permanently active turret camera. While I want to make him happy, we have higher priority work first.

The improvements didn’t stop with the cockpit model. With multiple types of missiles, we needed to implement all the variants and adhere to the game data.

We wanted to take a moment to show off some more of FilmCompos3r's amazing work on the project. He's been busy writing new, original, event-specific music for the game. These fantastic new musical themes are composed for specific mission events and serve to heighten the tension and immersion when playing.

It's worth noting that the music has been intentionally elevated over the vocals and SFX in the capture, since that's what we want to show in this video.

Mac Strikes with Swords of the Confederation Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we've got an awesome new animation by Mac. You can see quite a few of Klavs' famous models throughout from the large Snakeir carrier to the sleek patrol Ferret. He says he started work on it over a year ago, so he's excited to finally be able to share with everyone. I really can't fathom how much effort it takes to put something like this together, but I definitely enjoy the results!
Well, I got that out of my system. Full-on animation is totally doable, but time-consuming af. Which is why I dont do it often. But I like it nonetheless.

Scimitar Soars in Wing Leader Demo Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last month veteran Wingnut and game developer Howard Day open sourced his Wing Leader project to recreate a modern game in the style of WC1. He put it out there for fellow fans to take the lead and make progress, but he's also reentered the fray himself. His first new addition is the Scimitar medium fighter. It adds some gorgeous new flair to the game, and you can already see it in action in the online rolling demo here!
I built myself a Scimitar-class medium fighter for Wing Leader! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out so far! I'm building it into the game demo now - pretty much just have to get the numbers right to make it really feel like the Centaurian Mud-Pig. It's been updated in the running demo!

Crewed Starliner Test Flight Reaches Orbit Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's been quite a while since we've reported on real life space news, so I'm happy to report that the gang in the CIC Discord was very excited to see the Boeing CST-100 Starliner successfully lift off this morning. It's only the third time in the past fifty years that a brand new crewed vessel has taken off from the US, so to say we don't see this every day is an understatement. The two NASA astronauts aboard plan to dock at the International Space Station tomorrow, where they will deliver a much needed urine pump. We're hoping for an uneventful mission and safe landing over the next couple weeks!

Watch the Midway's Plasma Weapon Fire... Twice! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I was thinking about the Prophecy Advance clip we shared yesterday, and it reminded me that regular Wing Commander Prophecy on the PC rocks too! Here's the exciting cutscene where the Midway fires its massive Nephilim plasma weapon. Did you know that if you fail the final mission and then continue, the ship desperately tries to fire the weapon a second time? This does not work out well for the Terran Confederation!
With that being said, the crew definitely had warning that there could be disastrous results!

Your Regular Reminder That Prophecy Advance Rocks Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The GamesBay has posted a bit from Prophecy Advance, and that's really got us thinking about this incredible game. We don't share enough about this pocket treasure, so I'm happy to repost it here.
It's definitely Wing Commander, complete with all its strength and flaws. The difference here is that instead of FMVs, you get text. A lot of text. And you don't have the option of a flight stick. That might be a dealbreaker for some.
While there is not a flight stick that you can just plug into the Gameboy Advance, you CAN play Prophecy on the Gameboy Player attachment for the Nintendo GameCube and then plug a GameCube flight stick into that! I'll also mention again that Apple has recently started allowing emulators and iPhones and iPads, and you can connect a flight stick or game controller to these devices when emulating your Wing Commander games.
It's Prophecy that really caught my eye, but GamesBay also has some SNES and Sega CD WC1 clips in their archive, so here are those for completeness!

Go on a Super Wing Commander Adventure Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

How about some super adventures for your Sunday? Today we're sharing a pair of lengthy overviews from the Super Adventures in Gaming blog. It's really refreshing to see such an old school website operating in 2024, and I'm not just talking about their focus on classic games of the past. Their site itself is still styled after websites of old, not drastically unlike the CIC. They're also still dedicated to the art of long form text articles, which you don't see so often anymore (and if you do, you then need to weed out the AI cruft!). You can find pieces on both Wing Commander II and Wing Commander III at their site (plus Wing Commander I, which we reported on years ago). Both earn the honorable "Not Crap, Would Play Again" award. Don't let my comments about text scare you away, each article is chock full of gorgeous images from each game as well!

Retro Reviewers Consider Award-Worthy Highlights of WC2 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we're sharing the Official Oscarinas "nominations video" for Wing Commander 2. There's lots of retro reviews and playthroughs of games on the internet, but this one stands out in a crowded field. This clip is technically part of an elaborate award season that they put together to recognize various retro games for their accomplishments, but I actually like it just because it's a couple of guys really geeking out about how great the game is for over an hour. I'm not sure why it only has 50 views (as of this writing). That seems criminally low - give it a watch!

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