Symphonic Remakes Revisits WC3 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This weekend we have more Symphonic Remakes for your aural enjoyment! This time the SR composer took a crack at digitally reorchestrating both the Patrol and Rescue tunes from George Oldziey's Wing Commander 3 soundtrack. Both are pretty great! Give them a listen below and find more here!

Strange New Wing Commander Remix Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

At the CIC we're all huge fans of the new Star Trek shows, and Mark Glass must be an even BIGGER fan because he's combined his two loves - new Star Trek and Wing Commander - into one project. The Strange New Worlds introduction is already near perfection, but Mark wondered how he could make it better. The answer is clear: add Wing Commander. His version features the WC Overture theme. Check it out below!
And here's the originals for comparison!

At the Edge of the Universe, All Hell Will Break Loose Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

TV Spot Movie Fan has just posted a fun collection of television ads from the March 1999 marketing campaign for the Wing Commander Movie. We've essentially got these same clips in our video archive, but in some cases ours lack the temporal bits. For example, at the 13 second mark of the 4th video and 19 second mark of the 4 5th video, there is an "in XX days" countdown reference. Other clips refer to the upcoming "March 12" release date or the movie being "out now." I had the extreme privilege of catching these countdown commercials as they were broadcast live in real time back in the day, so they really trigger some fond memories here. It's nice to see them again!

Limited Quantities of WC Challenge Coins Available Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ZOmegaZ has a new Kickstarter campaign for a new run of challenge coins inspired by various video games and TV shows. Although the emphasis this time around is on his new items, there are a small number of remaining Wing Commander coins from his previous effort available. They are sure to go fast, but if you act now, there's a chance you can snag one for $13 plus shipping. Find out more here!
Wing Commander: Vega Campaign 2" (limited quantities)

European WC Classics on Display Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

I love these European CD-ROM Classics that came in thick jewel cases. How cool would it be to have a collection of them in all the different languages? Here's a recent photo posted by Stephan:
I really appreciated the CD-ROM Classics and bought them regularly. If I remember correctly, they had their own EA displays at the POS. Great selection of excellent titles. I have kept a few to this day.
I believe there were three Wing Commanders:
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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About WC Killboards Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Let's look at some chalkboards! The kill board in Wing Commander I is one of those great immsersive touches: instead of scoring points like an arcade, you stay in the game world and compete with the characters you recognize.

All the characters' kills increase as the game progresses but they start from the same numbers. It's nice environmental storytelling, too: you can tell right off that Maniac is the rookie, Iceman is the top gun, etc. There's a million untold stories in this picture! That environmental storytelling started to become linear storytelling as the series went on: here's a bit added to the Super Wing Commander Claw Marks that tells the story of how Maniac became an ace (as had already been reflected on the original board): Quick aside: the kill board is based on actual 'scoreboards' used aboard aircraft carriers, particularly in World War 2. Here's a neat article with some history and pictures. So I thought that it would be fun to emulate all the ports and compare their killboards. Starting with the obligatory EGA vs VGA! Wing Commander generated its EGA graphics programmatically so there aren't any artsy details to look for. Here are the SegaCD and SNES versions. Very similar, except the former forces your name as HOT SHOT (or STARBUCK in Japan) and the latter allows only a user selected callsign and no last name. The Kilrathi Saga, Amiga and CD32 versions are identical to the PC so I kind of assumed the FM Towns would be too... and boy was I surprised! The counts are all much higher and this version removes a rank! It has a single LT. grade and promotes all the other characters! Then I captured the Super Wing Commander version and it's not only different but it has the same starting numbers as the FM Towns release! What's going on here? Did they intentionally up the challenge for players in these ports? The answer is... no they did not! What happened is that the starting values are stored in wc.exe. Origin updated the executable for Secret Missions 2 and thought to plug in new starting values since the mission disk takes place two campaigns later. The FM Towns, 3DO and Macintosh teams then worked from that codebase (which added things like a much needed frame limiter) and didn't think to change the hard values back. An old error echoing through eternity! The standalone release of Secret Missions for SNES also thought to update the values (no others did). Which means we have canonical kill counts for the characters at the start of WC1, SM and SM2! Neat coincidence. Quick aside: the dates work the same way. WC1 always starts on 2654.110 (4/20!) and then moves forward with a random element as you play. Most releases of the mission disks just leave this as is: Even the FM Towns versions (note the change in rank!) always start at 2654.110 no matter which campaign you select. But LOOK! The SNES version remembered when no one else did! The hard date, 2656.289 (October 16) doesn't really fit with later timelines but it's so cool that someone took the time to set it. Also, have you ever noticed that the closeup of the killboard looks nothing like the one you see in the gameflow screen? ... but they caught that when they redid the graphics for Super Wing Commander! I thought it would be fun to take this screenshot in every port, too. It's the one that every magazine article and retrospective uses since it's the first place you can stop to grab an image! Here's EGA vs. VGA: Amiga vs. CD32: Sega CD and SNES... someone took Shotglass' TV! And his plate of chicken wings! Then here's the PSP version, which is really just the SNES one stretched out. Next I wondered if there was any difference in the starter kill board in Wing Commander III. Here's the PC version, with no entry for Blair since I hadn't entered my callsign yet: Sure enough, the values change from port to port! Here's the PSX version and the Macintosh version (which really surprised me!): But the best discovery here was the 3DO port which starts with drastically higher numbers... and a different 'saying' for the total?! Scratch that, it's not one new saying... I was able to find sixteen different version, some of which were extremely funny. And one is a reference to Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats, so good on you TCS Victory IT team.
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Fiendish Playthrough Plows Through Secret Missions Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Last year we mentioned Plywood Fiend's alternative take on a Wing Commander playthrough. Rather than just add typical commentary to the stream, he spices up the episodes with his own animations, supplemental dialogue and unique captions. After winning the Vega Campaign, he's moved on and is now well into the Secret Missions. You can find a few samples below or check out his full Wing Commander playlist on YouTube here.
Woe, calamity and me, for I have returned with more stuff. Specifically I've gone back to do a play through of Secret Missions 1 in my own peculiar fashion; the playlist can be found here (scroll down for the new material, I'm currently up to the Gwenhyvar mission.) Below are a few samples of the added extras I've twisted in, most notably is a pixel art animation I made showing a fateful distress call from the TCS Johann which, suffice it to say, was not the luckiest of vessels, as you may recall.

EA Announces Travel Health Benefits in Wake of Roe Decision Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today has been exhausting, and we know many of you are exhausted too. We'll be back with some more upbeat Wing Commander stories tomorrow, but for now, here's the topically relevant angle on current events: the owner of the WC franchise, Electronic Arts, has announced tepid support for abortion rights in the US. Although they didn't come out and use the word "abortion" in their public-facing statement, they have internally communicated to employees that they "will soon offer expanded travel health benefits" to employees seeking basic healthcare that they will only be able to access out of state. They join a number of other game developers and tech companies who have announced similar measures today. With the competitiveness of the industry at a fever pitch these days, these types of benefits will be critical incentives in the future.

Anyhow, take care of yourselves out there. Hit us up on Discord if you need someone to talk to.

As EA’s executive team, we want to reiterate our unwavering support for you, our employees. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade regarding abortion in the United States. We know this issue matters, generating a range of emotions for you and your loved ones, whether you’re based in the U.S. or abroad.

Your health and well-being are our top priority. We are working closely with our U.S. healthcare provider, Cigna, and will soon offer expanded travel health benefits, for eligible U.S. employees and their eligible dependents. Our aim is to provide the support and services that empower you and your eligible dependents to get the care needed to be the best, most authentic version of yourself at work and in other areas of your life.

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