This is the Star*Soldier gloss for the second Maniac page:
CONCEPT: This excerpt was a late addition, an easy way to fill an extra page when it was decided that the manual would be printed. I actually sat down and wrote about 50 pages of Maniac's book at one point, as sort of an exercise in tone. If Wing Commander is ever a smash hit again I'd love to see me or someone else take a crack at doing the whole thing. I will also note that the format (down to the introductory quote) and some of the tone here are based on Chuck Yeager's fantastic and entirely enjoyable autobiography.
- "Back in the Saddle" - For those unfamiliar with the history: in Wing Commander II we are told that Maniac saved the Deneb Sector by forcing (either by accident or by skilled piloting) two Kilrathi battleships to collide. This is the start of that story (compressed so people will recognize it - in an actual chapter book the setup would have to be a lot longer...). The chapter name comes from Gene Autrey's signature song (Back in the Saddle Again) because it's both appropriate and I can't look at Tom Wilson without thinking about cowboys. It's a personal problem. I did actually sketch out what chapters would have to go before this in the story of Maniac's life, which is how I came up with this point being nine. I hope to be held to that someday...
- "fifty different ways" - This addresses both Maniac's penchant for telling tall tales ("fired of a heat-seeker and BAM") and the fact that there are some slight contradictions in how this story has been told in the continuity (more on this later).
- "Rear Admiral Jason 'Bear' Bondarevsky" - Bear from Special Operations 1 and the Wing Commander novels. I specifically decided against including him in the pilot bios, as he 'belongs' to Dr. Forstchen now... but I wanted a nod somewhere. This confirms that he's still alive and considers himself a former Landreich officer. Note that the Rear Admiral rank comes from the Wing Commander IV novelization, where Blair mentions Bear's post-war role obliquely (a Rear Admiral commanding a fleet of jeep carriers).
- "In the Summer of '58" - It's entirely a coincidence that Ironbird came out with an awesome "Summer of '54" song parody around this same time.
- "experimental jobs" - The Wing Commander Prophecy official guide says that after Maniac's (fake) breakdown he transferred to fighter testing... and then switched between the two roles on a tour-by-tour basis.
- "998th FW" - The general layout for a Space Force Fighter Wing designation comes from Victory Streak. I made the number so high because... if we're losing billions of people a year, we must have an awful lot of active squadrons.
- "Arrow lighter" - A very distant attempt to both connect this story to Arena somehow and to remind everyone that (per Red and Blue) Arrows were around in 2658. Also, cool new slang for a light fighter.
- "Ralph's Raiders" - Starship Troopers-style alliteration.
- "TCS Camden" - I think I named this after the family on Seventh Heaven. I'm sorry.
- "Operation Lamplight" - Just a cool World War II-style operation name. I thought Wing Commander could use more of those!
- "carrier air group" - I have a love/hate relationship with 'air' sneaking into space carrier terminology. I was thinking of Wing Commander Academy's claims that "three carrier air wings" were attacking the Trafalgar.
- "Army troopships" - Fleet Action confirms that there is a Terran Confederation Army.
- "K'Tithrak Mang" - Where the Tiger's Claw was lost two years earlier (in the introduction to Wing Commander II).
- "T'Rel Meh" - Epsilon Sector, Sa'Kahn Quadrant.
- "General Sturdivan" - The General from Voices of War.
- "really looked up to me" - Poor Ralph.
- "Vega to Terra itself" - Wing Commander I and the Wing Commander movie, respectively.
- "laser lock" - Communication method used in Fleet Action and elsewhere.
- "Ralatha battleships" - Ah! The Wing Commander I & II book calls them Ralatha, while the Official Guide to Wing Commander Prophecy calls them battleships.
- "cat boxes" - Wing Commander III slang for Kilrathi capital ships.
- "a hundred thousand Terran soldiers" - A thousand soldiers per troopship!
- "two precious fleet carriers for good measure" - Maniac is a dreadful writer.