It's a great day for Ultima fans: GOG has released Ultima VII Complete! The package includes Ultima VII: The Black Gate and Ultima VII, Part Two: Serpent Isle, as well as both addons... hopefully a sign that the Wing Commander addons will soon be available! That's an incredible bargain at $5.99; Ultima VII truly is one of the greatest non-Wing Commander games ever released... and Black Gate even includes an extended Wing Commander cameo (read more below)! Buy your copy here.
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The most famous Wing Commander "in joke" of all time is located in Ultima VII. It's actually built into a minor quest--if you search a wheat field due east of Britain you will find... a Kilrathi Bloodfang-class fighter! Clicking on the fighter even plays the Kilrathi theme (Ultima version available here)!
When you talk to the farm's owner, Mack, you learn that not only did he see the ship land but he also stabbed and ate the Kilrathi who emerged from it. A unique solution to the furball threat if ever there was one. Here's the complete conversation:
You see a farmer with wild eyes widened in excitement.
It's too bad the Avatar didn't try and fly the fighter; he is, after all, a qualified space ace... and one imagines it would have made short work of The Guardian.
"Avatar! Thou hast returned!" exclaims Mack.
Name: "I am Mack."
Job: "I am a farmer, though most folks just call me a lunatic."
Farmer: "On my farm I raise chickens and grow vegetables. If thou dost need work, talk to me!"
Lunatic: "Thou dost also think so, eh? But I tell thee what I say is true! There are creatures visiting us from another place in the stars! I have seen them!"
Creatures: "They are big mean ugly liontigers! Or is that tigerlions? They are ferocious and they want to eat us!"
Another Place: "All I can say is that there are certainly no such creatures in this world! Nor is their ship like any that has ever been seen anywhere in Britannia."
Seen Them: "With mine own eyes I have seen a star creature and the inexplicable conveyance which enabled it to travel to Britannia! I swear to thee! I am completely sane! I have proof!"
Proof (#1): "Go and look behind my farm in the middle of the field. Take a look for thyself and thou shalt see my proof."
Proof (#2): "I told thee I was not a looney! Didst thou see the proof?"
No: "Thou must go and look at what is in my field! Then come back here, for I must talk about this with someone who knows that I am not a looney!"
Yes: "Did I not tell thee that I am no loonie? Still, my story of how I did come across this thing is beyond belief."
Story (#1): "I like to stay up late. Sometimes I see bright lights flash across the sky. No one else ever pays them any mind. But one night I see this bright light come crashing down and it lands in my field."
Bright Lights: "I always watch for moving bright lights in the night sky. That is part of why people in the town say I am a loonie. But is what I do so different from what they do in the orrery?"
Lands: "After the explosion and crash I ran out to my field. There I saw the strange machine that thou hast seen, only it was glowing hot. I was terrified. But then the top of the machine started to open."
Machine: "It resembled a bird, but it was not a bird!"
Open: "I could not move from the spot as I saw the strange ship open. From out of the top came the vicious tigerlion. There was a savage hunger in its eyes."
Hunger: "In other words, it looked like it might eat me!"
Tigerlion: "It came at me like a predator comes after prey. It was so fast that I could not even move. I thought I was going to be killed for certain. It reached me in a second. It looked into mine eyes, and then it died."
Died: "What it and I had failed to notice was that I was holding mine hoe. It had once been accidentally enchanted by a passing mage, and it works wondrously in the fields. I use it for everything! The tigerlion had run itself through upon it. As it died, the thing spoke."
Spoke: "It said two words. "Kill Wrathy." I do not know who this Wrathy person is, or why the tigerlion wanted me to kill him. But I do know I sure get worried now whenever I see moving lights in the night sky."
Hoe: "I am sure thou dost know about the plague of looniness that has come to afflict all of the mages in the world. It was several years ago that I brought my broken hoe to a mage called Mumb. Fixing things was all he was good for anymore. There was also some fighter who wanted Mumb to enchant his sword, turning it into "The Sword of Death". It appears poor Mumb got confused and that fighter came back and killed him because the man wound up with a sword that was only good for cutting weeds. I could never figure out exactly what happened. It appears that old Mumb made mine hoe into the Hoe of Destruction! Unfortunately, the hoe is lost."
Lost: "Well, 'tis not really lost. It is locked up in my shed. It is the key to the shed that is lost! I think I might have accidentally used it as a fishhook when I was fishing on the banks of Lock Lake. So now I cannot get into my shed. One would think I -am- a looney!"
Kill Wrathy: "I am quite certain that was it, or something like that. Anyway the tigerlion itself proved to be quite delicious."
Story (#2): "I have been looking every night for another sign of those things but I have not seen any since that last time I told thee about it."
You may have heard of the Bloodfang in the wheat field... but did you know that the Avatar also visited Wing Commander? It's true! If you let Super Wing Commander idle for a few moments you'll see him fly by the window in the Tiger's Claw's rec room! This is a reference to Ultima VII, Part 2 endgame where the Avatar floats in the void as balance is restored. Guess he passed through the Vega Sector on the way!