Taking a Closer Look at WC3's 3DO Ad Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have a vintage 3DO advertisement that Takodan recently reposted. It's pretty classic art that we see in a lot of promotional material for Wing Commander 3, but a few subtle items are unusual compared to most ads. Instead of having its screenshots to the left side, right side or bottom, it splits the images on both sides. The lower right shot features an Arrow over the triangular Kilrathi transport that was cut from the game. There's also a little-used "Origin interactive movie" logo that seems to have roots in this marketing sell sheet. There's lots to love here!
Peep that weird version of Origin’s interactive movie logo!

Happy Black Friday! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We're into the holiday season now, so here's a roundup of various gifts and discounts available to Wing Commander fans. A new addition this year are a pair of Cobalt 60 albums that LOAF just found on iTunes. The original Prophecy four-track EP as well as an album with Prophecy bonus tracks are available at the store. It looks like they're also available to stream on Apple Music, so no purchase is necessary if you'd just like to enjoy several minutes of techno screaming.

The GOG digital games are also on sale at their customary 75% off at $1.49. This is an absolutely steal and can't come more highly recommended. The Academy DVDs seem to have been restocked and have returned to their $8 price. It can be unpredictable when copies are available, and it's always possible that the show could disappear from Peacock, so $8 is critical insurance to make sure you always have access to the show.

The CIC Drink Coasters are also on sale for 20% off today with coupon code BLACKFRI2021. This drops the price to about $20. As previously mentioned, we don't make a penny on the sale of these, but they're pretty cool and we wanted to share the fun.

Games ($1.49 each)
Movies & TV
Novels ($6.99)
Audio Albums
  • Team Fat's Wing One: Amazon $7.99 | iTunes $9.99
  • Wing Commander Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Amazon $9.49 | iTunes $9.99
  • Cobalt 60: Prophecy EP iTunes $3.96 | Twelve with Prophecy Bonus Tracks iTunes $10.99

Happy Thanksgiving! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Happy Thanksgiving to our readers located in the US! We hope you're able to make the most of this holiday if you celebrate. Like many of you out there, I'm still recovering from the loss of a close relative who should have been coming to dinner tonight. Times are still rough and we're still facing a challenging situation. So if that means continuing to stay apart from your loved ones in order to stay safe, you're more than welcome to visit us on Discord to commemorate among friends.

On a more lighthearted note, Thanksgiving has become decidedly less focused on the historical Pilgrims as we learn more of our history there, but there's still a fun Pilrgrim story you can enjoy! This year marks a full decade since we were able to share Wing Commander Pilgrim Truth, Peter Telep's third and canceled novel in the Wing Commander movie novelization series. Fortunately, he graciously allowed us to host the novel here at the CIC back in 2011. You can read it online or grab it in .mobi (Kindle) or .epub (iBooks and other) formats. Enjoy!

New Installation Scripts Streamline Setup on Linux Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today is Goku's birthday. I'm not sure what you got him, but he got something for you! A couple months ago we reported on a clever script automation that helped players streamline the installation of Prophecy on Linux systems. He's now finished running through the rest of the GOG catalog and building similar scripts for each of the DOS Wing Commander games. Kilrathi Saga is also in work. If you own a copy of the GOG Wing Commander games and haven't gotten around to setting them up on your Linux rig, now's the perfect opportunity to give this a try. Download each program from the CIC Forums here and let him know how it goes! And Happy Birthday Goku!
Got around to doing the rest of the series. Please try them out and let me know how it goes. They are written specifically for the GOG versions of the games. The DOS games have a custom interface to allow for multiple options and ease of use. Working on Kilrathi Saga currently, but I hope this will suffice!

Birds of a Feather Flock Together Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

We've shared lots of great pictures of Dennis Mull's Wing Commander collectibles as he's added to the hoard piece by piece. He's arranged a few new shots recently that show off how he's managed to track down different versions of some items. This can be a really daunting task, and I truly applaud the fans willing to go through the effort to hunt down editions available in different countries or languages. He starts off with some nice Privateer 2 and Prophecy spreads:
Privateer 2 German, English, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Polish and Special Edition Release:
He's also got United States and Australian Kilrathi Sagas as a whole bunch of Hit Squad WC1 releases. He's even got a nice variety of Chris Roberts' Starlancer made by Digital Anvil. I love how they're such different shapes and sizes. Lastly, I wanted to be sure to include this lineup of Brute Force copies. Brute Force was a Halo-style first person shooter made by Erin Roberts and Digital Anvil in 2003 after they were acquired by Microsoft. It was made to keep the pipe of 'first party' shooters going to the Xbox between Halo releases. It got some flack for being somewhat basic and bland compared to its contemporaries, but it had a really good four player cooperative option. I still own four copies in case anyone shows up ready to play, and I'm glad someone else out there appreciates it!

Full Motion Video on Disc Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

AD found an interesting throwback at one of those online flea market-type websites. It's a Wing Commander Movie VCD out of Malaysia that we might not have seen before. VCDs themselves are relics of a certain era, since bootleg DVDs have been around for quite some time. WC VCDs certainly did exist, but they got decidedly less colorful artwork than this example. I particularly like the cheesing Chris Roberts right in the middle there. Anyone with RM4 plus shipping could be the proud owner of this bizarre artifact! Here's a couple of those '99-'01 vintage discs in case you were curious! LOAF adds that the Turkish VCD is actually a legitimate authorized product:

Dork Here on the Table Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Defiance Industries' tabletop Clydesdale was a big hit last week, and he's quickly followed it up with a miniature Dorkathi. The fun doesn't stop there though! He's also finalizing the Gilgamesh destroyer and Confederation dreadnought models for his digital TacOps remake. And Kilrathi counterparts are in hot pursuit! I just love how realistic this looks - right down to the crisp shadows and reflections.
The Empire of Kilrah, your one stop shop for those really aggressive looking transports. William Tell and associated Gilgameshians are ready to go. Working on the Ralatha.

Find WC3 in "Hamill's House" Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Goku spotted a video with the legendary Mark Hamill promoting some new games as a part of the Thunderful World event. He kicks off the "Hamill's House" segment with a "You may know me from..." bit, and Wing Commander is the obvious name drop. The new games being showcased here look decent enough, but it's always fun to see the Mr. Hamill hasn't forgotten his video game roots in the WC series! Hop to the 9:00 minute point if it doesn't start you in the right place.

Tiger's Claw Pilots All Lined Up Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Wing Commander movie wasn’t the first time we got a terrible approach to mourning! Super Wing Commander had characters with stripes shaved in their heads to honor their dead. Naturally this needed to be explained in the manual, lest anyone assume it was just sci-fi hair:

Does the lore match up? Maybe! Knight and Bossman have two and one stripe respectively but none of their stories are known. Iceman has two, presumably for his wife and youngest daughter killed in a Kilrathi attack. A second daughter, Julia, was enslaved and later rescued. Iceman would go on to remarry and have a son… Lance Casey, the eventual protagonist of Wing Commander Prophecy. … and then I have to believe that Angel and Maniac are both for Rosie Forbes, to whom they were both very close. By the way: the distinctive portraits in Super Wing Commander were by Texas artist Sam Yeates, who also painted the Wing Commander III and IV box covers!
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Jincilla Fighter Recreated by Fan... And It’s Not the One You Think! Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

jjm1 saw some of our recent Privateer 2 fan art and wanted to add to this underappreciated genre. He's working on a P2-themed animation project and his first design is a wonderfully deep cut: the Jincilla clan's Veldor class medium fighter. I'm not sure anyone has ever independently mocked up a new take on the Veldor before, so it's really great to see here. If you're not as familiar with your Tri-System fighter identification protocols, it's the silver/orange one with funky antlers. The last few images below are some classic P2 renders for comparison.
Hi, I'm enjoying the fact that there's new and old Privateer 2 content still appearing.

I needed a quick prop for a thing I'm working on. It had to be the Veldor from Privateer 2, a random pirate ship so loved that even Google has forgotten about it. So I kitbashed one together from Drake parts in about an hour (and then too many more hours on this presentation).

Now it's the Drake Veldor, a medium fighter loved by pirates that hate themselves.

It will be part of a bigger Privateer 2 related animation project still in the works.

Exquisite Dralthi Model Under Construction Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Here's a peek at a fabulous physical Dralthi model that elend shared today. He's been meticulously crafting the wings and central structure and is finally to a point where he can show this beauty off. I really like how closely the lines follow the Claw Marks silhouette. Engines will be complete soon, and then there are a handful of finishing touches to go. High caliber models like this are nothing new to elend: you may recall his incredible Banshee model from a while back. If this is half as detailed as that one turned out, we are in for a real treat!
Finally attached the fins, wooo! Basic shape basically (lulz) done. I think. It's 1/48 scale actually. About 30 cm in diameter, I think

Engine exhausts are ready and just have to be glued on. Detailing will start now and then painting. Still worried about the canopy, though, because I have no idea how to do it.

Go Way Back to WC EGA Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comchia recently shared some eye-popping screenshots of the EGA version of Wing Commander 2. WC2 is well known as a gorgeous game with lush colors and beautiful art, but not everyone in 1991 was able to appreciate its high end VGA graphics. Everyone with a high powered system quickly switched over to the 256 color option, but some fans were limited to just 16 simultaneous colors. It's pretty shocking how limited this was, however it's equal parts impressive that the artists were able to squeeze so much graphical fidelity out with such limitations. There's very little EGA Wing Commander content online these days. I've added an EGA WC1 video below so you can get a sense of what everything looked like in motion. It really makes you appreciate how far we've come!
Some screens of the EGA version of Wing Commander II. I'm used to seeing this game in the far more colourful VGA version, but I'm still kind of amazed at how much the artists did with just 16 colours.

Xbox Birthday Brings New Back Compat Games, but No WC Arena... Yet Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today marks 20 years since the original Xbox launched, and Microsoft commemorated the occasion by restarting their backwards compatibility program as rumored last month. More than 70 games from the original and 360 eras were added as part of this effort, but Wing Commander Arena wasn't among them. It was and continues to be a long shot that it'll be added to Xbox One/Series X, but the fact that they keep committing to this effort is a really good thing. All of these 10-20 year old titles get HDR enhancements and many get resolution or frame rate bumps. And if they keep going, there's still hope for Wing Commander yet. In the mean time, the Xbox 360 remains the platform where you can play Arena online. If that changes, you'll hear about it right here! You can read more about Microsoft's latest backwards compatibility plans here and find the entire back catalog here. And if anyone's playing the new Halo Infinite free multiplayer beta that surprise released today, let us know!

Ace WC3 Trivia Night With This Pilot Knowledge Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The subject came up on the CIC Discord and I was surprised some folks didn’t realize that the aces in Wing Commander III had custom, souped up versions of the standard fighters. Let’s go, there’ll be a spreadsheet at the end! Victory Streak introduces us to five Kilrathi ace pilots, one per ship type in the tradition of Wing Commander I. Three of them appear in the PC version and two were cut but still have cool ships hidden in the game’s guts. All five appear in the 3DO port without special ships. The aces themselves all look the same… in fact all the Kilrathi VDUs in the game use the same footage with updated dialogue. Each one does have its own set of taunts: Aside: the 3DO and PSX versions use color versions of the Kilrathi pilot… and in the spirit of using every part of the animal, Wing Commander Prophecy reuses them with new audio instead of making/rendering new cats. Time to meet the cats! For each one we’ve got their custom ship, portrait from the TCG, lore bio from Victory Streak and stars from the official guide. First is Fireclaw, the Darket ace: Bloodmist, the Pakhtahn ace. In the PC version you meet him defending Blackmane base: Stalker the Strakha ace. If you go after Hobbes he attacks the Victory (and kills Vaquero). In what must have been a late design hack, he reappears infinitely in the Kilrah System to make sure you lose one wingman in each segment. Deathfang doesn’t appear in the PC version at all, but his custom Vaktoth is hidden in the files. There are stats but they’re totally unbalanced to the rest of the game, so the last two aces were likely cut fairly early. Finally, Deathstroke in the Dralthi IV! Missing from the PC version but man is his ship variant good. Not to be confused with the Dralthi ace Deathstroke from Wing Commander I! He was Dakhath nar Sihkag, this is Dakhath nar Caxki. I figure Dakhath is just like the Kilrathi version of Steve. All five aces reappear in Wing Commander Arena, so they must have canonically survived. Two even get bios in the manual… and there’s an Achievement named Deathstroke for coming in first in a ranked match. (Privateer VDUs reused for the faces.) The 3DO port as mentioned has all five aces, sadly without their custom ships. It also has a WC1-style sliding mechanic where if an ace escapes one mission they can reappear further down the line. Locations for 3DO ace hunters: In addition to the pilot modifier cards, the TCG includes the ‘souped up ship’ aspect of the design by having rarer Drakhai (Imperial Guard) versions of ships with improved stats… unfortunately without the cool markings. Compare Darkets: The TCG ALSO fills out the lore a little by giving four of our five aces their own squadron complete with insignia and motto. Sorry, Stalker! Anyway here’s the spreadsheet I made that started this line of thought - in-game specifications comparing the base model ships to the ace ones. Pretty interesting seeing what changes!
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Space Engineers Revisit Gemini Sector Again Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

You might recall we recently featured a Tarsus built in Space Engineers. That one was made by Spiritplumber, who actually dug around and just found another version of the famous merchant vessel. This one was made by klingon00. Nothing against SP's model, but this new one is even more fleshed out and refined. It's got an aft compartment, adjustable lighting and even a projection window system. The exterior has some excellent geometry and there are multiple propulsion systems. It looks like it'd be awesome to take for a spin! Check it out on the Steam Workshop here.
The year is 2669. You just inherited an obsolete Tarsus merchant ship from your grandfather. What you decide to do with it an the few remaining credits that you have is up to you! Although the Tarsus is showing its age and has been discontinued, the platform still has great potential for upgrades for those who wish to strike out on their own in the universe. The cockpit was never known for great visibility and can be a bit cramped (some would say cosy). There's room enough for a crew of two.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • To pilot, sit in a control seat and access the remote control block.
  • Primary thrust system: 4 Large H2 thrusters and plenty of fuel tanks to get you where you need to go. Its an older technology but packs a punch.
  • Secondary Thrust system: 2 small emergency ion thrusters in case you run out of fuel in space.
  • Atmospheric Thrust system: Yes! She can make planetary re-entry, land to drop off and pick up new cargo and then return to space again.
  • Manuverability: This baby has been upgraded in the recent past, she's not your grandfather's tarsus! Oh, well it still is, just better!
**All vanilla build. Due to removal of supergrids by default settings, I've removed flightseats and replaced them with standard seats and a control block. If there's demand I can upload the supergrid version with flightseats as well. This ship is survival ready but it doesn't have a survival kit on board. You'll have to add one yourself.

Due to the fact there aren't any windows on small grid ships, I put in a projection type window system. Turn on the projector to see the windscreen.

First Capital Ship Tested in Tabletop WC Game Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

DefianceIndustries has added a nice big toy to the growing fleet of ships in his digital TacOps game. He's deployed a Clydesdale transport so you can see how a capship looks on the board. I love the scaling here. It just makes me wish the whole thing was a real physical game - but this is the next best thing! Playtesting is getting closer, so continue to watch this space if you'd like to try things out yourself soon. It's no small feat to just "add a ship" to the project. First, Defiance has to rebuild and customize a given model to fit right in the engine. Here's some great work in process shots generated as he put the tanker together.
Here's a quick update to the TTS version of TACOPS. There is a version on Steam for playtesting though it is currently locked down for my Steam friends only. But I'm pretty close to being ready to release the starter pack to the public. Maybe next week or two. I need to finish a few additional figures for it. I added the Clydesdale and spent most of my time this week revising the rules (which will also be available in the game). I left the content largely unchanged from the original, and instead focused on organization of the material, fixing typos, and adding missing rules (like mine fields, pilot ejections, critical hits, etc.). Feel free to look them over and let me know what you think.

Enjoy fellow wingnuts!

Everything's Enhanced With an Excalibur Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

This week EA reconfirmed that another title in the Mass Effect series is in the works. Andromeda wasn't particularly well received in 2017, so the company took a break from the franchise for several years. But now we're excited for all the Mass Effect fans that there's more new content to look forward to.

This one image stirred a lot of speculation online, and the ship in particular drove a lot of conversation. More than a few folks observed similarities to the Excalibur, and Mac took it one step further with this tantalizing photoshop. To say again: this is just a fan mockup, but it's so nice on the eyes that we're excited to share! It might even make a good wallpaper. A Wingnut can dream...

I'm looking at the ship and I keep thinking it looks like a more advanced Excalibur from Wing Commander

I mean, I'm not the only one seeing it. Right?

You can find more of Mac's work on YouTube.

P2 Posters Rescued From the Darkness Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Privateer 2 developer Paul Hughes managed to do a little digging and come up with three cool concept posters for the game. These are pretty early works and predate The Darkening becoming a Privateer title, which sometimes means material from this era can be harder to come by. Check out those taglines: "The City of Lights" is kind of odd, but "In the Darkness Lies the Truth" is a really good one. We also get an excellent look at that prototype Heretic that pops up from time to time!
Digging around on some backup drives, I found some old unused concept art for Privateer 2 from Paul Chapman...

Stunning WC4 Melek Strikes a Pose Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

ObscureArtifacts on Instagram has posted a phenomenal photograph of the animatronic Melek costume from Wing Commander 4. It was taken by one of the prop masters behind the creation of the suit and other artifacts used in the game. WC4 Melek doesn't get a whole lot of love, but in recent years I've come to appreciate the look much more. In retrospect, I find the design less bug-eyed than my teenage memories recall. It's starting to feel like a more natural evolution of the look in Wing Commander 3. He's also highly variable. Under harsh lighting, some of the more artificial elements become pronounced, but the warmly lit Melek depicted below looks pretty smooth!
Wing Commander 4: The Price of Freedom (1995)- My studio was hired to create the external design for the games solo Kilrathi character, Melek (Chris Bergschneider) by the animatronics superivsor Bud McGrew. It was a great responsibility and honor to work on a show of this caliber with the level of talent in front of the camera and behind the scenes and I was lucky to have so many good people around in the lab. I seem to recall we had maybe six weeks to produce this, plus a number of costume elements and even a diseased corpse and then over to (the then) Ren-Mar Studios to shoot. This shot of Melek taken by myself on set was purely accidental and somehow, captured the character perfectly.
Here's a few older shots for comparison. Way back in 2004, Melek's Head was posted on eBay for $9,000+. It didn't sell, and his current whereabouts are unknown.

Light Fighters Added to Tabletop WC Game Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Today we have another look at DefianceIndustries' gorgeous digital interpretation of the tabletop fan game TacOps. It's got a more purpose-built table now, and a variety of amenities are being implemented to make the game function and flow better. There's also two exciting additions: the Sartha and Ferret. The picture of them below looks almost real. With more quality of life improvements in place, Defiance is planning to start some playtesting soon. Sounds like fun!
To quote Gold Leader: "Almost there...." I revamped the game using the Chimera table which made more ergonomic sense. Currently it's set up for 2 players (with an option for 4, though the table seats 6 so you could go nuts)

I added a bowl of pegs so you can track the status on the ship cards easier, added a copy of the rules for each side, as well as all the missile tiles (DF, HS, IMREC, FoF, Torp). It's about 90% there for some playtesting. I need to do some nifty graphics for a mod page header and a few other things but I'll post it up on Steam and let folks. During playtesting I'll limit it to my steam friends so if we're not, (and you're interested) hit me up.

Each seat at the table that is active also has bags in each of the containers with additional figurines, ship cards (for both confed and Kat) as well as bags with all the universal counters & missiles.

More Sketchy Characters Added to Graphical Novel Project Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's been quite a while since we checked in with EmuMusicFan's graphical novel project, but he's continued to make steady progress all the while. He's crafted a variety of new Kilrathi characters to populate his universe, and they look quite nice. While the care and attention paid to each person's facial detail is obvious, I'm also intrigued by their outfits. In some cases they're just cursory gowns and outlines of armor, but there's some real potential to build up some hypothetical Kilrathi fashion here. Let him know what you think at the CIC Forums.

Righteous Robot Recollection Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Ever wonder why Righteous Fire had such an elaborate rendered intro focused on a mech you never see again? It was leftover content that was originally cut from the base Privateer game!

The scene was created as a losing endgame which would play if you landed with a negative credit balance. To save space, the design was tweaked to make that case impossible. RF’s writer wrote a new script for the existing footage explaining your Steltek gun was stolen!
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Challenge Coin Kickstarter Hits Funding Goal & Campaign Midpoint Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

It's now been a month since the launch of ZOmegaZ's Kickstarter campaign to make a set of Wing Commander challenge coins. The project is now up to about $16,000 compared to a $5,000 goal, so it appears to have easily met the viability threshold. As stretch goals have been achieved, additional designs for Cobra Kai and Battlestar Galactica have been added. The most popular items appear to be based around Star Trek and Firefly, but Wing Commander fans pledged for a few dozen Vega Sector coins on just the first day. If you'd like to get in before the campaign ends, each WC coin is $11 plus shipping. You have until December 4. Find more details here.
This is a very straightforward project. The artwork for all seven coins is done, quotes have been obtained for manufacture. All we need is enough backers to cover the costs of production and shipping, and we can place the orders. Once I receive the coins, I'll ship them to all participants. I've previously had successful runs of Babylon 5 and Battlestar Galactica challenge coins, and everyone was very satisfied, so the process is pretty well down.

Tabletop Fan Projects on the Horizon, Part 2 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

When it rains, it pours! We've got a second exciting tabletop style fan project to share today. Throughout 2019, we reported on various aspects of Adm_Maverick's tabletop WC game. It was coming along quite well until the coronavirus interrupted his plans. He's now in the process of tweaking the ruleset to work better in a virtual online environment. There's some neat preview images - and a video! - below to give you a taste. Stay tuned for more news when he's ready for some test runs. In the mean time, you can learn more about the project here.
When the pandemic started, I was just moving into serious playtesting of the Star Fighter tabletop game. And that curb-stomped my playtesting efforts. So with all of that, I put work on the game on the shelf for the time being. So with a little looking, I'm gonna use Tabletop Simulator to facilitate playtesting and development. Once I do some review and re-write of the basic rules, I'll be looking for people who have TTS and want to play with it. So keep an eye open if you're interested.

Tabletop Fan Projects on the Horizon, Part 1 Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

There's been a lot of discussion on the various Wing Commander forums and Discord chat rooms about tabletop games recently, so today we'd like to share the first glimpse at some of the exciting progress that's been made in this area over the last month. DefianceIndustries is working on a digital recreation of the popular Tactical Operations fan game. It was a big hit about ten years ago, so a new iteration would be very welcome. The early work on this looks like a ton of fun, and we're eager to see how things come together! Check out some gorgeous sample shots below:
I figured I'd catch folks up on all the WC stuff I've been doing. Aside from working on the WC4 remake which is still plugging along, I recently started doing a version of the fan hex-game Wing Commander TacOps using table top simulator.

I'm making custom figurines and tiles, as well as fighter punch cards to help keep your stats organized. Phase 1 is a basic dogfight scenario, 2 Rapier II's vs. 3 Drakhri. That's for play testing purposes. I will then expand it to include figurines and cards for all the ships in the basic set of TacOps for your hex-based amusement. If I get time, I may well back port in the WC1 assets as well so you can get your Vega on should you so desire. I plan on refreshing the PDF rules as well as time permits. I'll update everyone when its up on the Steam workshop, but until then, here's a few screen shots to keep you tided over.

Washington Post Suggests Necromancy Update ID Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Washington Post (or more specifically, their Launcher video game section) has run an article about video game franchises they'd want raised from the dead. Wing Commander gets top billing as their first series on the list, which is always great to see! Since this is Halloween-themed, each game also gets a small piece of zombie artwork. In WC's case, there's a disembodied hand on a joystick with a familiar reticle superimposed on top. You can check out the full article here.
Wing Commander

We all know Mark Hamill once saved the universe while waving a lightsaber in a galaxy far, far away. But did you know he also saved Earth by dropping a tectonic bomb on the war-hungry planet of Kilrah? Then he followed up those heroics by staving off a civil war through exposing the plans of a warmongering admiral played by Malcolm McDowell, whose character’s motivations preceded those of Call of Duty’s similarly minded General Shepherd by 13 years.

Wing Commander, a series that debuted on Microsoft Disk Operating System in 1990, helped shape space simulators and evolved into one of the most immersive, interactive sci-fi experiences with the release of “Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger.” The third entry into the series pivoted away from the pixelated space fights found in the first two games, replacing them with polygon-rich battles bookended by interactive, live-action video sequences that featured a branching plot with RPG-like decision-making. Hamill played the lead as Colonel Christopher “Maverick” Blair, the commander of a space fighter squadron in the final days of an enduring war against the Kilrathi, an alien race of catlike bipeds for whom war and conquest is sport.

The mainline series extended to five games, culminating with “Wing Commander: Prophecy” in 1997, but also produced numerous spin-offs. Those included the open-ended, open-galaxy “Wing Commander: Privateer,” in which players could play the role of a mercenary, trading, taking on contracts or pirating while totally ignoring the main plot, if so desired. Bethesda’s much-anticipated “Starfield,” releasing in 2022, figures to be a good approximation of that same “go wherever the solar winds take you” experience. Chris Roberts, who created the Wing Commander series, now has a new space-based MMO called “Star Citizen,” currently playable in its alpha state. — Mike Hume

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