Welcome to the CIC's 22nd Birthday celebration! We had to reschedule a couple times due to 2020-related awfulness, but we're extremely happy to have finally made it here today. Once again, super talented Wingnuts have shown up in force to put together a ton of fantastic updates below. There are substantial releases for well established projects and some truly exciting teasers for new items fans are working hard to bring you next. Even this kickoff image put together by FekLeyrTarg is itself a preview of something special in the works! We're glad you could be here with us - please enjoy the updates!
This year, inspired by the recent efforts to bring the later WC titles into 4K, I'd like to present a small teaser for things to come. :)
Stinger has released his long awaited and highly anticipated update to wcdx! It now fully supports Wing Commander 2 and both Special Operations packs. This means a handful of annoying bugs and incompatibilities have been fixed, thus enabling the Kilrathi Saga version of the game to compete with DOSBox/GOG as the ideal way to play the originals in 2020. This release also includes bonus tools to explore the game's data files and listen to the soundtrack. Grab it below!
wcdx version 2.2 is here! After years of empty promises and unmet expectations, I can finally present to you the next official release of wcdx!
We have mirrored the package here (900 k zip).
eddieb is back with an all new Flight Commander! The original was a very popular Wing Commander-themed modding engine that formed the core of multiple fan projects about a decade ago. It ran its course with the technology available at the time, but now Flight Commander 2 is here and ready to give budding modders a brand new platform to launch from! It features advanced support for shipboard sequences and a slick recreation of the Vision Engine. It even runs in a web browser! It's still in the basic stages, but you can walk around, jump in a fighter and take pot shots in space. Jump straight in via the weblink here. Currently, you must use Firefox for the web demo to work. You can also download a Windows standalone version from the CIC forums here.
What's that, you say? Version 2.2? But what ever happened to 2.0 and 2.1? Last anybody knew, there was just an alpha that kinda-sorta worked for WC2! What gives?
wcdx gives, that's what gives! Specifically, it gives you Wing Commander 2, and Special Operations 1, and Special Operations 2! All three games are now fully playable in all their Windows-compatible glory! (Well, as long as you don't look too closely at the cut scenes, I guess. They're still way too fast and jittery. But never mind the cut scenes! We're here for space combat!)
For those who haven't been keeping up (and with my terrible release cadence, I don't blame you): wcdx is a patch for the Kilrathi Saga versions of Wing Commander 1 and 2. The Kilrathi Saga was released for Windows 95 way back in 1996, comprising Wing Commander 1, 2, and 3, along with the Secret Missions and Special Operations add-on packs (each available as separate download). These versions contained some nifty enhancements over the original DOS versions, such as invisible cockpits (Wing Commander 4 style!), a frame limiter to keep the frame rate nice and steady (don't fly without it!), and perhaps best of all, a pre-rendered enhanced digital score based on the original MIDI soundtrack, courtesy of George Oldziey! Unfortunately, it also came with a lot of brand new bugs, including (perhaps most infamously) that planets and other space backdrops would no longer render, and one particularly short piece of victory fanfare music would just loop forever if it ever played. There were also numerous Windows compatibility issues that would not become apparent until several years later. wcdx fixes many of these issues, making the games enjoyable again on a modern machine with a steady, reliable frame rate and without the need to fiddle with DOSBox configurations.
If you're interested in trying out wcdx, feel free to drop on by the forums for instructions on how to download it and get it running! If you don't have the Kilrathi Saga, you can still download the PC Gamer coverdisk release along with the Secret Missions add-on to get started! If you want to play Wing Commander 2 with wcdx, and don't have a copy of The Kilrathi Saga, then I'm afraid I can't help you there; KS is not presently available for purchase from EA or any other official venue, though you may be able to find copies for sale on the secondhand market.
Lastly, this release of wcdx has some additional bonus goodies -- tools that you can use to examine the game's data files, and listen to the soundtrack! Read all about it here!
Flight Commander 2 is in the works. It's still very early, but here is the first demo. You can walk around on foot on your carrier. Fire guns, missiles, and fly a simple mission and see briefings and a landing cutscene. Press enter to perform an action while on foot.
The WC4 Fan Remake team has another exciting trailer to show off their latest progress! Here we see ODVS' fantastic high res video combined with some of the latest dazzling next gen visuals. Check out the video to see the spiffed up ships, upscaled game flow rooms and retro visual mode.
The upcoming Wing Commander IV - The Price of Freedom: Remastered mod is a fan preservation project; it was created for experimentation, education & research, is completely nonprofit, and should be considered fair use as stated in the Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. section 107. To install this mod you must own an original, unaltered, retail-release of the game. Please, respect the rights of the copyright holders and purchase a copy of the original product if you do not own one already.
DefianceIndustries is ready to share his latest project! We saw earlier this year that he was putting together some beautiful animated ships, and now they all come together in an exciting new teaser. I don't have a lot more to say - you just need to watch this thing in action!
Learn more at WCRespace.com. The original game can be purchased at GOG and Origin.
Here's a treat you've never seen before! This is the trailer that was created to test Digital Anvil's ability to produce a Wing Commander Movie. It was quietly shown at the 1998 SXSW in Austin, Texas. Thanks to Banjo, now you can see it too!
In order to raise interest in a Wing Commander feature film among prospective partners and raise money for production by selling future distribution rights, Digital Anvil produced a short one minute trailer featuring an action scene.
Astute fans will notice that, while the Kilrathi capital ship is visually very similar to the Concom seen in the final movie, the space fighters are more detailed versions of ships in the games themselves. The human pilots are flying WC1 and 2 style Rapiers, and the Kilrathi appear to be piloting Vaktoths (previously seen in WC3). Shot in 1997 not too long after WC4 shipped, the cockpit sets and costumes are left over from the game's FMV shoot as well.
Overall, the short action sequence is very reminiscent to the scene in the theatrical cut of Wing Commander where Blair and Angel fly a reconnaissance mission shortly after the Tiger Claw makes a jump to the Ulysses Corridor.
When ODVS first set out to remaster the video from Wing Commander games, the DVD source footage for WC4 and Prophecy was an obvious choice. It wasn't clear whether the very low quality WC3 material could be significantly upgraded. But not only was Owen able to pull together a complete cut back in July, but now he's taken it up another level and made version 2.0 available! Everything is here in 1080p at 30 frames per second, and the overall contrast has been fixed throughout. Check out the trailer and grab it below! Note that there is not yet a way to integrate the clips into the game, but this pack solves a big chicken-and-egg problem. If enhanced videos didn't exist, fans wouldn't have a reason to figure out how to include them. Now they do!
To celebrate Wing Commander CIC's birthday and the thirtieth anniversary of the Wing Commander franchise, I'm proud to release Wing Commander III HD Video Pack V2.0.
As well as improving remaster quality over V1.0, V2.0 contains the following improvements:
- All FMV footage remastered to 1080p Full HD using Machine Learning AI
- Original low frame-rate of 15fps remastered to full 30fps using Machine Learning AI
- Improved contrast balance in all footage
The WC3 footage is great, but the enhanced WC4 footage is absolutely exquisite. This is the game where we have some of the best source material to start with, and it's also super easy to upgrade your copy of the game to play these high res clips. Just drop the files into the video folder of the DVD version of the game. GOG carries the DVD version by default, so it's cheap and readily available. Today's release is the fifth and "definitive" launch. It incorporates all of ODVS' extensive learnings and techniques and even includes some fixes for broken/omitted clips on the DVD. It truly is the definitive way to play the original (at least until the WC4 Fan Remake is finished!).
- Wing Commander 4: version 5.0, English, Pack 1 (3.3 gig zip)
- Wing Commander 4: version 5.0, English, Pack 2 (3.2 gig zip)
- Wing Commander 4: version 5.0, German, Pack 1 (3.2 gig zip)
- Wing Commander 4: version 5.0, German, Pack 2 (3.1 gig zip)
- Wing Commander 4: version 5.0, French, Pack 1 (3.2 gig zip)
- Wing Commander 4: version 5.0, French, Pack 2 (3.1 gig zip)
To celebrate Wing Commander CIC's birthday and the thirtieth anniversary of the Wing Commander franchise, I'm proud to release Wing Commander IV HD Video Pack V5.0 - the Definitive Edition!
As well as containing the highest quality remaster I've yet managed to produce, V5.0 contains the following improvements that make it the Definitive Edition:
- All FMV footage remastered to 1080p Full HD using Machine Learning AI
- Low frame rate sequences remastered to full 30fps using Machine Learning AI
- Aspect ratio of all footage fixed to standard 16:9
- Missing audio from various DVD-version sequences restored (in full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound where possible)
- French and German packs available (Stereo audio only)
- Custom batch file launchers for French and German packs included - translate the in-game User Interface
With WC3 and WC4 both receiving fantastic updates, ODVS couldn't leave Prophecy out! It's received the same definitive updates as WC4 and looks just as gorgeous. Players will have to first upgrade their copy of Prophecy to the DVD edition with this patch. Then the clips can be dropped right in! The only issue is figuring out which game to replay first!
To celebrate Wing Commander CIC's birthday and the thirtieth anniversary of the Wing Commander franchise, I'm proud to release Wing Commander Prophecy HD Video Pack V4.0!
As well as containing the highest quality remaster I've yet managed to produce, V4.0 contains the following improvements that make it the Definitive Edition:
- All FMV footage remastered to 1080p Full HD using Machine Learning AI
- Frame rate standardised in filmed sequences
- Various scenes missing from the DVD pack have been restored and remastered from the original CD-ROM source
- Heavy DVD interlacing removed from all footage
- DVD MPEG compression artifacts removed to improve clarity
- German pack also available (Stereo audio only)
We've posted plenty of visual treats so far, so now here's something specifically designed to please your ears. Improbable Cadence first put together this beautiful rendition of the opening credits music back in March, but now he's actually sync'd it up with the WC1 intro (so there's a still a visual component after all).
I've always wanted to hear a more realistic rendition of the main theme, but I couldn't find anything similar to what I had in mind -- which I guess was something in between Superman and Star Wars. 30 years later, I finally got around to making it myself.
elend's vectorized Wingleader logo was a big hit, so he decided to make more. And once he got started, he couldn't leave anything out! The results are twenty gorgeous logos based on the prime art for each game. He closely followed the reference art available to make each one as accurate as possible. Plus, he's made several more Origin-centric logos for good measure. Each one is backed up by a PDF that can be infinitely scaled to fit whatever your logo needs are! Grab them all in one convenient pack here (51 meg zip). And check out the massive logo bomb below - they look pretty slick all lined up!
My goal was to retain as much of the original MIDI as possible and match the overall voice, while expanding the instrumentation and textures to add variety, giving each section a different feel. Based on the Roland MT-32 MIDI tracks by Dave Govett / Team Fat.
It wouldn't be a CIC Birthday Party without cake, so here it is! This year Lacey made two mini cakes to commemorate the dual celebration of the CIC's 22nd and Wing Commander's 30th anniversaries!
It's time for our annual birthday poll! With the coronavirus keeping people away from outdoor activities, we've seen a few more folks than normal find their way to the CIC this year. Welcome! We know most of you have been coming year after year, and we appreciate your support as well! See where you fit in and vote below!
The old poll asked about the ship you felt the safest flying. The broadsword was the clear winner with a third of the vote. The Devastator and Longbow split the next third. All three are absolute powerhouses that can really take a beating! I'm surprised to see the Freij MK II beat the Galaxy though!
And that's what we have for tonight! While we're still digesting all of the wonderful things everyone put together for today, there's also so much to look forward to on the horizon. Since this is technically a birthday type of event, I've also got a birth of my own to share. We welcomed Georgianna Belle Reid to the family recently. Everyone is healthy and we are having a blast!
We know this has been a devastating year for many people. Even for those who haven't lost a loved one, not a single person has been spared from the strife and stressful impacts that 2020 has brought. But despite the coronavirus and everything from wildfires to floods and civil unrest, there is new life and hope for the future. The CIC's tiny role in all of this is to be a small island of stability in a tumultuous landscape. Throughout all our efforts, we've made great friends and encourage each other to keep moving forward. That's what we try to do each day here in the news. Thank you for sticking with us and helping us celebrate another birthday! See you again soon!