News Collection: On This Day in WC News

2023.138 (May 18, 2023)

Digital Antiquarian Explores WC4

The Digital Antiquarian has completed his long-awaited analysis of Wing Commander 4. He started digging into the series way back in 2017 and covered the first couple of games in a series of articles. His WC3 review dropped in 2021 and now he's dug into WC4. It's a long article that's far more thorough than most overviews in print, although it doubles down quite a bit on the somewhat overplayed criticism than too much money went into the film shoots compared to the spaceflight engine.

2022.138 (May 18, 2022)

Join Us On Discord!

The Wing Commander CIC Discord server has been a busy place lately! A lot of stories that end up here at start as discussions in our Discord channel #Wingnut. If you want to see how the sausage is made, this is the place to be!

2021.138 (May 18, 2021)

Tri-System Artifact Explained

AD was doing some digital deep diving into Privateer 2's code and managed to extract this tantalizing menu image. It's a lot different than the game's own menus, PAD interface or anything else in the game, so he set out to learn more. P2 developer Paul Hughes explained that this was actually from a separate tool that allowed for fast travel and easy debugging of the game during development. That app may be lost to time, but it's neat to see this remnant that survived!

2020.139 (May 18, 2020)

Reflections on St. Helens

Today marks forty years since the eruption of Mount St. Helens. On May 18, 1980, the ground shook and thick ash rained across the Pacific Northwest. Hundreds of square miles of forest were wiped out in minutes.

2019.138 (May 18, 2019)

Space Sim First Look: Between the Stars

It's been quite a while since we regularly covered new space sims as they were introduced, but the industry has still been hard at work putting them together. We're going to try to get back into sharing interesting ones that we come across now and then, which leads us to Between the Stars. The game generates random universes, allows for lots of ship customization and is centered around a big single player story. A ship is outfitted with a variety of systems and multiple crew members, and characters are at risk of permadeath based on the decisions you make.

2018.138 (May 18, 2018)

Comparing P2's Ship Seller Before & After

Check out this pre-release screenshot from Privateer 2 that AD discovered and compare it to one from the final game. The UI isn't as developed, ship icons are in color, BUY/SELL is named TRANS-ACT... and all of the ships have different names: JACKAL becomes Straith, FLEA becomes Shaman and MANTIS becomes Icarus. MULE and CORSAIR don't match ships in the finished game!

Wing Commander Meme of the Day: Brace Yourselves X is Coming

2017.138 (May 18, 2017)

End Run Still Coming

Good news for patient Wing Commander eBook readers: the ebook re-release of Wing Commander: End Run (Book #2) is still in the works. In response to an inquiry, Baen replied via Twitter:It's in process, but I don't have a date as yet. We have to work it into the schedule, but keep checking the bundles!Baen has re-released the rest of the series as ebooks over the past year, with End Run conspiciously absent.

2016.139 (May 18, 2016)

Vintage Videos Visit WC3 & P2 Film Shoots

FMVStory has posted a couple of really cool set visits for Wing Commander 3 and Privateer 2. The clips come from Bad Influence, a '90s show that covered tech items and video games. A lot of people are familiar with the WC3 Behind the Screens footage, but the first video below shows a few really neat and rarely seen glimpses of the Kilrathi animatronics in action. The Privateer episode starts out introducing Pinewood Studios and then jumps into some exclusive peeks at the recording sessions with Clive Owen.

2015.138 (May 18, 2015)

Hari Sector Scans Reveal Gigantic Menace

There are several great new updates to the Homeworld mod. For starters, the incredibly massive Kilrathi dreadnought has been implemented. All of its turrets are also individually targetable when it's time to defang the beast. If and when one ever gets taken out, it'll also result in a new charred wreckage being left behind.

2014.138 (May 18, 2014)

WC Music Campaign Ends This Week

The campaign to extend the live orchestra Wing Commander music album is entering the home stretch. Fans have until Wednesday evening to contribute and claim either their digital or autographed copies for $20 or $100 respectively. If you know someone else who would be interested, please let them know! Although we're a ways short from reaching the $14,000 amount that would have locked in 45 minutes of music, the live portion recorded by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague will still be at least 30 minutes long with the balance made up of high quality digital studio reorchestration in Austin.

2013.138 (May 18, 2013)

A Little Austin Adventure with LOAF

I'm back in Austin visiting LOAF this week, and here's a tiny peek at our exploits. First things first, we hit up three vintage game stores and scored some WC merchandise at each one! It's always so great to see the store clerks light upon mentioning the Wing Commander name. Apparently, my rental was built for just this scenario and has a slot designed to carry an SNES cartridge.

Strike Commander Gains OS X Compatibility

Good Old Games has added Macintosh support for ten more games, and this latest batch includes Strike Commander! This is good news for fans of classic Origin games, but it doesn't stop here. Fill out this form and let GOG know they need to add more Wing Commanders!Do you feel like it's the time to spread your wings?

2012.139 (May 18, 2012)

Wing Commander Saga Download Reminder

If you haven't yet downloaded the long-awaited fan game, now is as good a time as any to get your hands on a copy! The Windows installer weighs in at a hefty 3.4 gigabytes, so we recommend some kind of download manager that can resume paused or failed transfers. Older Windows editions may have trouble unpacking a zip file of this size.

2011.138 (May 18, 2011)

Straight From the Fat Man Himself

Famous Wing Commander musician The Fat Man George Sanger was recently asked to answer some interview questions for a Russian gaming magazine. Rather than reply to the email, he posted an amusing video response on his YouTube channel. He has some great responses to questions such as how he got into the gaming industry and what "OST" stands for. Wing Commander even gets mentioned at the 9 minute point.

2010.138 (May 18, 2010)

Hostile Frontier Shaken Up

Here's some Hornet and afterburner shots from Kevin Caccamo's Landreich-themed mod of WC Saga, Hostile Frontier. The engine exhaust color was tweaked to look more "realistic." I'm not too sure that the proper color of a futuristic ion drives can be determined exactly, but the orange flame certainly stands out distinctly in space. He's also been working an optional upgrade that attempts to give the engine a more intertial feel similar to classic Wing Commander games.

Happy Birthday!

The CIC is has a happy anniversary to celebrate today! The old Usenet newsgroup turns 15 years old!

2009.138 (May 18, 2009)

Standoff To Get Graphics Boost

The fifth and final episode of Standoff is slated for release on August 10th. There have been steady progress reports as the project nears completion. Here is Eder with this week's update:More progressAgain, a fairly quiet - but certainly not progress-less - week. Quarto is working away on that final mission, though he doesn't seem to be working too quickly.

Making the Game: Series I Overview

Series I is the game's final Kilrah sequence, ending with Blair's sacrifice at the wormhole gate. Sorry -- no indication as to if Blair was supposed to survive...These updates are thanks to John "Captain Johnny" Guentzel, who provided several CD image archives of material used by the Wing Commander Prophecy development team!

2008.139 (May 18, 2008)

Excalibur Joins the Lego Fleet

Deacan's spotted another nifty Lego Wing Commander model. This time it's an Excalibur rendered in LDraw that was virtually created by Big Jim. Although a physical mockup hasn't yet been done, the ship was made to be completely buildable by real Lego pieces. I designed this to be built and there are no hidden gaps or anything that might prevent someone from making these if they had the right bricks.

Making the Game - Part 13

The May 24, 1996 Component Manager Meeting agenda has an interesting list of writers considered for Wing Commander V. The choices are interesting - several are unknown and several others are best known for writing in animation: Larry Ditillio (He-Man and Babylon 5), David Carren & Larry Carroll (G.I. Joe, Ninja Turtles), Christy Marx (G.

2007.138 (May 18, 2007)

BREAKING NEWS: All the Ships Revealed

TeamXbox has scored a real coup - a massive article comparing and contrasting all eighteen of Wing Commander Arena's ships! We now know their exact loadouts, specifications and some background history about each ship. If that wasn't enough, they've also posted all eighteen of the high resolution wallpaper-quality renderings that WingNuts have been lusting after since the official site posted the Rapier II Blade! You can now examine each of Arena's ships in painstaking detail!

BREAKING NEWS: A Different Kind of Interview

Noted freelancer Paul Semel has interviewed Wing Commander Arena Producer Sean Penney for a story in his videogame blog at Riottt. This article is especially cool because it's a lot less formal than the videos and gaming news interviews we've seen so far - you get the impression that, Wing Commander involvement aside, Sean is one of us. He talks about everything from wanting to work on a bigger Wing Commander title to the continuity of Chris Roberts' Wing Commander movie:IT HAS BEEN A WHILE SINCE THERE’S BEEN A “WING COMMANDER” GAME. DID THE MOVIE FUCK THINGS UP THAT BADLY?

This Presentation Is Spot On

Matt Clothier has a great Wing Commander Arena story for us: GameSpot's weekly video show, On the Spot, included a presentation about Arena! In the process they managed to reveal the last unknown player ship: it's the Darket Dragonfly! You can download the entire presentation here or stream it here. The Arena material, also extracted below for your convenience, begins around the 1h03m mark.

Forstchen, Live On Tour

Want to meet Dr. William Forstchen, author and co-author of six Wing Commander novels? I'm telling you, you do! He's currently in the middle of a book signing with Newt Gingrich for his new historical novel, Pearl Harbor: A Novel of December 8th.

2006.138 (May 18, 2006)

Larger Battles Tested In WCP Online

Progress continues to be made with HCL's Prophecy Multiplayer Patch. The coding has improved to the point where standard rounds with a few players have been consistently stable. New tests with six players have recently identified an exponentially larger bandwidth requirement, but fortunately, even five players have gone pretty smoothly on dial-up connections. HCl and Pete also have several theories on how to make the data load much more manageable in the future.

On This Day...

Today is the 11th birthday for the newsgroup. Although it's been pretty quiet for several years now, throughout the later 1990s, it and Origin's Official WC CZ formed the core of online Wing Commander discussion and debate.

2005.138 (May 18, 2005)

Flight Commander Gets Engine Upgrade

Following on from the news about progressing Linux support, eddieb has released news of what upgrades Flight Commander with receive in its upcoming 1.1 patch. There are a lot of changes to the game and the engine which will make things look a lot prettier. Here are some of my favorite additions:Dynamic lightingComm videos, including new status comms, and a reworked comm menu.

Happy Birthday Kris!

The CIC's lead graphics person/programmer/procrastinator KrisV turns 24 years old today! That's very nearly old age. You can wish him a happy birthday by emailing him. There is one other big anniversary today - the tenth birthday of alt.

That New Movie

Star Wars Episode III gets a global launch tomorrow, and early indications are that it is going to be great. Lots of WC fans are waiting for this one. In fact LOAF is already waiting in line along with Frosty and his brother. Internet access in Star Wars queues is limited, but here's a cellphone picture of the queueing action.

2004.139 (May 18, 2004)

Commissar Providing Slick WCA DVD Package poster Commissar has taken our high res Wing Commander Academy television show episodes and made a DVD set with them. He's invested a lot of time with this project and is offering to duplicate his work for Wing Commander CIC visitors. You're just paying for the materials and shipping, Commissar isn't making money off this.

Electronic Arts CEO Conducting Interviews

EA CEO and Chairman Larry Probst has conducted a few interviews to coincide with last week's E3. They're somewhat helpful to get a feel for where the company is going and what got it to its current state. has an article talking about Mr.

2003.138 (May 18, 2003)

They Do Exist! Prophecy in the Wild

Chris Reid is back from the E3. He's busy catching up on work and such, but should have a full report (including, possibly, a video!) later today. Until then, here's nine photos he took of the Destination Games booth...

Home Sweet CIC

Whew, it's great to be back. E3 was incredible, but trips are always tiring. There's so much going on at the expo it's difficult to absorb. Sorry I couldn't snap some focused shots of the Prophecy Advance screen there.

Happy Birthday, Kris!

KrisV, the guy who keeps the CIC running when everyone else is too stupid to, turns twenty-two today! You can e-mail him here to let him know how you feel. So... Merry Krismas to all, and to all a good night.

WCPolaroids: Stiletto (7/8)

They say this cat Stiletto is a bad mother...SHUT YOUR MOUTH!I'm talkin' 'bout Stiletto.THEN WE CAN DIG IT!

2002.138 (May 18, 2002)

Joan's Fighting Spacecraft

LOAF recently tracked down the July, 1991 issue of Computing Gaming World. It includes new specifications and drawings for spacecraft that were in Secret Missions.

Happy Birthday, Kris!

Today is CIC staffer KrisV's 21st birthday. I would write something about how that makes him legal drinking age, but since he isn't American, he's already been able to do that for years. You may wish him a happy birthday by emailing him here.

2001.138 (May 18, 2001)

Happy Birthday, Kris!

Here's a very important update we missed -- it's CIC staff member KrisV's 20th birthday! We couldn't do it without you, Kris... we love you, man. (Morning updates will be delayed so y'all will see this and know to wish him a happy birthday...

Happy Birthday, NewsGroup!

It's also worth pointing out that today is's sixth birthday -- the venerable newsgroup turns six years old. Which is, of course, about as many posts it gets a month now...

SWC Character of the Day: Shotglass

Belly on up, friend, and take a load off. You must be Maverick. I'm Shotglass. Welcome aboard the Claw.

Meet the Maniac

Tom Wilson -- Maniac in Wing Commander 3, 4 and Prophecy -- will be appearing at the Shreveport Hollywood Expo and Toy Show on June 30th-July 1st. He'll be signing autographs at the booth! You can find out more at www.

Jumpgate -- IN THREE-DEE! (Oh)

Jumpgate has a publisher -- and it's 3DO! The game publisher, known to most viewers as the company that produced a Wing Commander supported platform years ago, will release the Privateer-esque MMP game in the United States. You can read all about it at this article at Planet Jumpgate. (As reported by Death himself).

2000.139 (May 18, 2000)

Notable Developer Sites on the Move

Several hundred people have been caught in the ether recently while trying to access the Wing Commander Development Center. Maverick let us know that the site is currently now set up at its new home at

One of Those Days

May 18 is the twenty year anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington, after which the St. Helens of Wing Commander 4 was named.

It's Quality and Quantity

We don't have an SL reference handy today, but Avault has a review of X: Beyond the Frontier posted. In the facts area they officially class it as very similar to Privateer 2 and make references to the variety of ships available to the player in Privateer 1 later in the article. XBTF makes you stick with the same shuttle throughout the game. You can find the review here.

New Factory Opens on Hermes

Financial commentator Tony Knox reports. The opening of a new multi-purpose manufacturing plant has made Hermes into a hive of activity. Hundreds of immigrants are arriving daily, looking for work, closely followed by huge numbers of merchants, looking to find favourable prices for raw materials. Ore stocks have been reported as being low.

1999.138 (May 18, 1999)

Half a Million

I'd like to congratulate the rest of the staff on hitting the noble 500,000 hits mark. Good going, people!


Brendan Johnson asks that we update about the new SETI@Home screensaver, which allows you to use your computer to help examine data from the radio telescope. Grab yours here and let's get some advance warning before the next alien invasion...


It's the visual version of the 8-track, and ten to one odds are that it's slightly very illegal, but VCD Paradise is selling Wing Commander on VCD. At $7, it may be something to experiment with before the DVD comes out... (Thanks to Mexican for reporting this).


Just a quick happy fourth to -- official slogan, being a newsgroup since four years ago. Kris is also four today, so wish him a happy birthday.

My Obutu!

You want to buy an Obutu? I'm telling you, you do! Unfortunately there's a snowballs chance in hell of X-Toys ever producing such an obscure character -- so do the next best thing! This October Hasbro will be releasing 8th wave of Star Wars toys, which includes a Captain Panaka (who was played by the same actor).

Lillard, Toys

Jumpstart reports that former Maniac Matthew Lillard appeared on the Sci Fi Channel's Star Wars Unauthorized program where he talked about playing with his action figures an hour before his senior prom. With the advent of Wing Commander figures, Lillard can finally play with himself... which is what I did hours before my senior prom... and during...

The Daily Bread

Well, I caved. Samcat and I are going to go see the 12:01 show of Star Wars tonight before going off to see it at a nice theater at 10. I'll post my thoughts tommorow... Chris stopped by DALnet today, but I was asleep...

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