News Collection: On This Day in WC News

2019.088 (March 29, 2019)

A Face Only Lev Arris Could Love

Here's how a Privateer 2 ship - the Shaman - changed during development, from concept model to alpha build to marketing render to final game asset! Look how the monster face evolved away...

2018.088 (March 29, 2018)

I Dream of Genie

The Game Genie was a 'cheat' utility for cartridge-based systems developed by Galoob in the early 1990s. Game Genie hardware would act as a physical bridge between a game console and cartridge, allowing players to enter codes that would alter specific memory values in a given game. This would alter the game while in play, making changes to values like number of lives, amount of ammunition and the like. To allow the device to remain up to date with current releases, Galoob published a quarterly "Code Booklet" that listed cheat options for the latest titles.

2017.088 (March 29, 2017)

The Weird World of Privateer 2 Ship Designations

Civilian ships in Privateer 2 divide into several ranges or families, each of which generally includes a ladder of light, medium and heavy fighters or a group of ships of a similar type (ie, all transports and all shuttles.) Ships in these families are numbered, though there are two apparent missing designations in the ML family (ML04 and ML05.)In every case, the ships increase in role (but not necessarily sticker price) with each iterative number. We also know from the civilian designations that related/follow-up ship designs use the same number and add a letter: ML3A Faldari MK II, ML6A Freij MKII, PL3A Skecis MK II, CR1A Gea MK II and CR3A Ilia MK II.

2016.089 (March 29, 2016)

Universe Map Sections Combined Into One Massive Image

Earlier this month LOAF released a high res 20 megapixel shot of the Wing Commander universe map featured in the WC Movie's intro. But he and Thomas Hennessy held out hope that obsessive and meticulous Wing Commander fans were out there that could piece together dozens of individual close-up shots and produce one glorious ginormagantuan resolution image. Jetlag is that crazed fan, and he's put together a masterpiece that clocks in at some 275 megapixels (24594 by 11150 pixels). He's corrected for the rounding distortion and fixed various blurry sections to make it as crisp as can be.

2015.088 (March 29, 2015)

WC4 Homeworld Mod Close to Kilrathi Faction

Thanks to some generous help from a squadron of fellow Wingnuts, L.I.F. has made great progress importing Kilrathi ships into the WC4 Homeworld mod this past week.

2014.088 (March 29, 2014)

CIC Instant Video

Did you know that the Holovids video archive was recently overhauled? The CIC's central video repository contains trailers and previews, original cinematics, behind the scenes material and deleted footage, all collected over the CIC's long history. The videos can be streamed from any modern browser, on desktop/laptop or mobile. You can also download the movies outright if you want to keep a copy in the best possible quality.

2013.088 (March 29, 2013)

Kiowan Krell Gets Its Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Scooby has revisited the Tri-System once again to model a Kiowan pirate clan fighter. The Krell isn't an especially powerful nor well-known ship in the Wing Commander universe, but Scooby's done a really good job of modeling and texturing this craft. It's certainly fits right in with his other Privateer 2 models!The Krell is the Kiowan pirate clan’s heaviest fighter.

2012.089 (March 29, 2012)

Saga Download Tally

It's been about a week since Wing Commander Saga was released and so far our visitors have downloaded roughly 2.6 terabytes worth, or about 800 complete copies. The first 48 hours were particularly busy. Our 100mbit connection was maxed out almost the entire time, and some smaller download locations were knocked offline.

2011.088 (March 29, 2011)

Diane Duane Discusses the Darkening

AD found an io9 interview from November 2010 that talks at length with Privateer 2 story writer Diane Duane. Ms. Duane is a very accomplished science fiction and fantasy author, and she took a moment to mention her Wing Commander credentials as well. It's a thoughtful article for people who are interested in some perspective on professional writing.

Inside Gaming Takes a Keen Look at id Software

AD found another article from Inside Gaming that explores the early days of id Software - particularly Wing Commander's influence on the company's growth (and Wolfenstein 3-D!). Many sources credit Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss as the 3D first person inspiration for the game, but it's easy to see where Wing Commander could have played a role as well. Wingnuts are mostly well aware of what Origin was up to in the early nineties, and this piece is a good review of what a contemporary was up to.

2010.088 (March 29, 2010)

Going Back to the Drawing Board

The sketch artist who drew up scenes for the Wing Commander Movie has posted two of his cool storyboards. Andrew Wildman has a Wordpress Site with daily musings and some of his professional work. The sequences here appear to picture shots on the Diligent and of the Tiger's Claw's flight deck decompressing. Note that these flow from top to bottom and then left to right.

Space Sim First Look: Miner Wars

Space Sim Central has begun collecting information on Miner Wars, a new space sim targeted for release on Windows and XBox Live Arcade. It's built around both single and multiplayer gameplay and includes fully destructible environments. As the title might suggest, pilots operate and upgrade space ships in a vast asteroid field. Some of the rocks are as large as small moons, and players have the ability to mine, bore tunnels and explore.

2009.088 (March 29, 2009)

Tolwyn Promotes Red Alert 3: Uprising

Electronic Arts has released another advertisement for its new entry in the Command & Conquer series, Red Alert 3: Uprising. The latest ad features actor Malcolm McDowell talking about his dual roles in both Uprising and Wing Commander 4. In fact, the ad goes so far as to feature no footage from Command & Conquer whatsoever. The whole video features McDowell narrating in front of a projection of WC4 senate scene footage - a great recognition of the series!

Making the Game: Mission F6b

Mission F6b is something of a mystery; it's written here as a 'no win' mission that will destroy the Midway... but there's also a note about how it can not be cut because the player needs this chance to get back on track if he attacked the Kilrathi. It's a little more sensible in the finished game: you fly this mission and are rescued by the Kilrathi if and only if you attacked them with Hawk; otherwise it does not appear.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!

2008.089 (March 29, 2008)

Good Work, Ad Men

What follows is the advertising slick FOX sent out to theaters in early 1999 offering suggestions as to how to promote the Wing Commander movie. The list on the back is truly amazing, culminating in this: "Use old computer equipment and other high tech items to simulate a spaceship command center. Have theatre staff dress up in WING COMMANDER type uniforms complete with space helmets." In a word, wow.

Someone Else Liked It!

Death has found an interesting bit of internet history: it's an unusually positive review of the Wing Commander movie from an expectantly respectable source - Dr. Jerry Pournelle (author of Falkenberg's Legion and The Mote in Gods Eye, among others.) He says: I've just seen Wing Commander, Now this is one movie you will either love or hate. I doubt there is much in between.

2007.088 (March 29, 2007)

Run and Hydra

There's more Pioneer material from Howard Day. First up are five screenshots of the Hydra -- one of the fan game's flyable ships, not a radical redesign of the Nephilim cruiser. He has also released 'fly around' .MOV files of the new Hydra (41 mb) and classic Tarsus (23 mb) ships.

Updating Our Tube

Kris has updated our Holovids section with a variety of recent and previously uncatalogued Wing Commander videos. Updated selections include AD's Dallas music video, the Homeworld Mod trailer, very brief cut scenes from the movie, the Wing Commander II trailer, the Kilrathi Saga intro and a rarely seen WCIVDVD clip.

2006.088 (March 29, 2006)

Hats Off to Hats

There wasn't a better way to show off how cool you were in the 90s: Three official Wing Commander hats were made available commercially. The first, a blue baseball cap featuring the original Wing Commander logo, was sold directly through Origin's 1990 catalog (see today's other update) and is quite a collectable today. The other two were made by Zanart as part of their line of Wing Commander III and IV merchandise - they're black caps featuring the WC3 and WC4 logos.There are at least two promotional caps, too.

Cat-a-log, Stardate 1990-91

Watch out, there's dinosaurs in that hole! Chris has scanned several pages of Origin Systems' 1990-91 Catalog which promoted the release of the original Wing Commander. It claims Chris Roberts is "the hottest new name in games"... and he sure looks the part!

2005.088 (March 29, 2005)

Kilrathi Saga Manual Online

Viper has scanned the fascinating Kilrathi Saga manual for fellow Wing Commander fans to enjoy. The documentation included with this anthology did a wonderful job of combining elements from the first five years of Wing Commander history and presenting them in a uniform format. Elements that were initially presented separately are brought together in a cohesive way, and valuable information from secondary sources such as the novels are integrated seamlessly. You can download the 17 meg PDF here.

Meet Tom Wilson In Burbank

Stephen from the Back to the Future CIC let us know that Tom Wilson's art will be receiving a special gallery presentation soon. The Big Pop Fun Exhibit will be on display for one month at the Nickelodeon Studios in Burbank. This is a rare honor for a non-Nickelodeon artist and a neat opportunity to see his work in person. There will be a reception with Mr.

2004.089 (March 29, 2004)

Confed Ships Also in the Starcraft Mod

Daniel Brito noticed a number of Confederation ships are also masquerading as "Mekani" buildings in the Starcraft Zeji mod. The Venture, Exeter, Tiger's Claw and more get billed as production facilities. It'd be great if someone just made a simple Kilrathi/Confederation Starcraft conversion. Here's the Bengal.

Echelon Expansion's Interesting Ships

A few years ago we mentioned a neat flight simulation game by the name of Echelon. It was a flight sim, but the ships you had were pretty much space ships and the game had a very science fiction feel. They've actually made an expansion pack for it (standalone more likely), and HotT noticed a couple similarities between its new ships and a few Prophecy designs. Below a couple Echelon ships are compared to a Moray and a Piranha.

Classic NES Game Boy SPs Coming to the US

We've held off on a lot of Game Boy news as Prophecy Advance has gotten older, but this is a pretty neat development. A number of the classic 8-bit Nintendo games will soon be coming to GBA cartridges, and a special limited edition SP system will be made to look like an NES controller. The price will be the usual US$100. These all come out June 7.

2001.088 (March 29, 2001)

Six Song Set

Mad Hatter has extracted some Prophecy music... and he's placed it at BlackLance.org! More to follow...

Beyond the Guild

Shades forwarded us this Q&A from the Earth and Beyond FAQ...Q: Will guilds exist in Earth and Beyond?A: Player formed guilds and organizations will be encouraged and supported within Earth and Beyond, permitting powerful cooperative exploratory treks, trade missions and galactic raids.He suggests that we start a Wing Commander Guild...

A Most Disturbing Trend

More highly inappropriate Wing Commander mentions... in a review of Serious Sam at The Firing Squad...Oh, and for anyone who thinks that all this Doom talk means it's a straight ripoff - Sam is to Doom like FreeSpace 2 is to Wing Commander - all of the original and a whole lot more!... and an article titled "Road to Nowhere" at CDMag (thanks, Delance).

2000.089 (March 29, 2000)

Best Endings Revisited

Gamespot is rerunning their Ten Best Readers Endings feature. Wing Commander 3 ranked 8th, and Wing Commander 4 made it to number 4. You can read WC3's bit here and WC4's here.

Wing Commander Mention in X:BTF Review

The Glide Underworld's X: Beyond the Frontier review includes a minor Wing Commander mention:Many gamers that are familiar with the space simulation genre, and the likes of Freespace, Wing Commander, and Independence War will recall that all of these games had one main focus, battle. While this may not have been a bad thing for most gamers, some may be part of a group that crave a game with less fighting.As if.

Electronic Entertainment Expo 2000

On May 11, 12 and 13 the annual E3 Expo will take place in the Los Angeles Convention Center. Many companies choose to announce their new games at E3 because of the media coverage. It'd be a good time and place for Electronic Arts to announce Privateer Online, but don't get your hopes up yet. EA will be occupying three booths, and we can can only hope there'll be a spot reserved for POL.

The Beer that Doesn't Fart About

We at Plain and Simple don't hold with fancy language, with your la-di-da and other poncery. When we make something, we tell you what it does, such as 'Hits Things Hard' Hydro-Hammer, or our 'Goes Quite Fast' Family Automobile. Now, we've branched into the liquor industry, with our all-new 'Gets You Pissed' Cheap Beer. Available in two varieties; Strong and Very Strong.

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