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  • 07

    Feb

    StarvingPilot shared this nice catch from a recent watch of Die Hard 2. A techie console from the film appears to be a perfect match to a console aboard the TCS Midway. It's the one that Lance Casey taps on after his missions. There's probably a ton of things like this out there! Companies like Modern Props widely supply futuristic machinery and gizmos to all manner of movies, television shows and game shoots. If anyone spots any other crossovers like this, let us know!

    diehard2_prophecy_propt.jpg

  • 06

    Feb

  • 06

    Feb

    It's time for a new poll, and we've got a fun one here. LOAF recently put together a neat comparison of all the Wing Commander Academy ships alongside their game counterparts. It's a really stunning visual! Today's survey asks which one you think made the best transition from the PC to television. Make your pick below:

    academy_comparison17t.jpgacademy_comparison18t.jpgacademy_comparison23t.jpgacademy_comparison24t.jpgacademy_comparison15t.jpgacademy_comparison16t.jpgacademy_comparison11t.jpgacademy_comparison12t.jpgacademy_comparison9t.jpgacademy_comparison10t.jpgacademy_comparison19t.jpgacademy_comparison20t.jpgacademy_comparison21t.jpgacademy_comparison22t.jpgacademy_comparison13t.jpgacademy_comparison14t.jpgacademy_comparison25t.jpgacademy_comparison26t.jpgacademy_comparison33t.jpgacademy_comparison34t.jpg


    The last poll was our annual evaluation of what people think the year ahead will be like. I think it's a surprisingly positive result! It's still early, and already we've got exciting things like the vinyl album on the horizon. Of course, the community is what we make it, and we can all help make the year great!

  • 04

    Feb

    Mac is back with his biggest, baddest and most epic Lore Video yet! In recent months he's covered several adjacent topics such as the Broadsword Bomber and TCS Johnny Greene, which have helped set the stage for the main event: Wing Commander End Run. If you've read the novel, you know the story. The video starts out as the mother of all book reports, but it's much more than that! Mac uses a variety of WC2 talking head models and backdrops to convey the character interaction. He's also built a huge library of animations to visualize the story's fleet actions and fighter combat. It's quite a tremendous package. Block out some time and watch below!

    The Terran Confederation is losing the war against their long time enemies, the Kilrathi Empire. What follows becomes the tale of "The Little Escort Carrier that Could", aka The "End Run".
  • 02

    Feb

  • 02

    Feb

    I’m working on a Righteous Fire walkthrough and while playing the last missions I noticed the Elite Salthi were firing fusion guns. But my increasingly old man memory was sure the big reveal was that they fired copies of the Steltek Gun. Was I misremembering because there’s dialogue about the gun being copied? I watched a dozen YouTube videos and they were all fusion guns. Huh!

    Then I realized: I first played the expansion when it was released on disk in early 1994, just a few months before the CD-ROM came out and that became the de facto version of Privateer. Could there have been an intentional change? I installed the floppy version from disk images and… sure enough!

    righteousfire_salthi_steltekgunst.jpgWHY? It’s not an accident as the Dralthi uses fusions in both versions. I’m guessing the support folks were sick of people asking how to get the gun back and decided not to tease players. Too bad, as it was a distinct enough moment

  • 02

    Feb

    Last month, we reported that Supercade was planning to manage a crowd funding campaign for a vinyl release of George Oldziey's Wing Commander Orchestral Recording Project. Now, it seems like the launch is imminent as Supercade author Van Burnham has just tweeted:

    Just a heads up that the preorder campaign for Supercade’s first soundtrack release is launching SOON… a deluxe vinyl edition of the Wing Commander orchestral score by composer George Oldziey. So excited to share more details!#wingcommander #videogamesoundtrack #vinylcollector pic.twitter.com/DOWHWtyuZc

    — Van Burnham (@supercade71) February 1, 2023

    There's no additional information yet but we'll let you know the moment it's available. If you are curious about the promotional screenshot, it's actually from a Wing Commander Academy mod developed by HCl that adds a Hellcat V to the game! Want to try it for yourself? You can download te patch here.

  • 01

    Feb

    *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    Azimuth Biotech has commercially launched a new module that allows two additional AX weapons to be added to large ships.
    The experimental weapons stabiliser increases the number of AX weapons which can be installed on a ship. The class 3 variant released last week increases the limit to five, whereas the class 5 variant released yesterday increases it to six.
    Both versions entered mass production following Azimuth Biotech's highly successful resource drive in the LHS 1163 system. CEO Torben Rademaker issued a statement to accompany the product launch:
    "Our proprietary technology has bypassed the inherent design flaws of Aegis's AX weaponry. The experimental weapons stabiliser will play a vital role in the ongoing defence of the core systems."
    "I can only assume that the current chatter about reforming Aegis is due to misplaced nostalgia. How quickly people forget

  • 01

    Feb

    LOAF and the team are busy working on Privateer-themed projects over on the CIC Discord server, and that inspired me to share a quick comparison that some players might have overlooked. Everyone loves the Privateer intro. It's memorable, action-packed and showcases the cutting edge of 1993 multimedia prowess. "Who are you that flies so good!? Are you insane?!" And you can probably imagine Brownhair's quips as he cruises around the asteroid belt in his Tarsus, but did you know there are two different voiceover tracks? The original 3.5" disks had an intro with spoken dialogue recorded by local talent. When the game's speech was fully recorded for the CD edition, a new voice actor was brought in to read everything, including the intro. You can compare the two side-by-side below! The disk version is first and CD second:

  • 31

    Jan

  • 31

    Jan

    We've got a couple of very nice new updates to a pair of Klavs' WC2-era models. The Sabre that he's been working on this year has gotten a revamped TCS Tarawa texture with nods to the events of End Run. There's also an all new take on the Ferret, which you can tell is the P-64D Super Ferret variant thanks to the pair of heat seeking missiles. It gets a similar new livery to the Sabre based around the In-System Security paint scheme. The Sabre may win out on specs, but the Ferret sure is powerful for its size!

    klavs_models393t.jpgklavs_models394t.jpgklavs_models395t.jpgklavs_models396t.jpgklavs_models397t.jpgklavs_models398t.jpg

    New livery for the Sabre! And some work on a reduxx'd Ferret!
  • 30

    Jan

  • 30

    Jan

  • 29

    Jan

    Something from Privateer I never noticed before: the Blockade Point Alpha system is totally redone for Righteous Fire! So I got to wondering what else might be different...

    blockade_point_alpha1t.jpgblockade_point_alpha2t.jpg...so I extracted the game's SECTOR files, diff'd them and learned how Privateer handles its random encounters (thanks greatly to the Playtester's Guide!). Here's a Google Doc with all the changes. Most of these are tiny changes to encounter tables in systems you play missions in, all of which are intended to make your life harder: more chances of Retros and Kilrathi, fewer Confed and Militia forces.

    I also found that there's a "Test Bed" system still in the game but not connected to the rest of the map (no jump points). Crazy! It has an encounter table that can spawn any of the regular ships. I added it as the appendix to the doc linked above.

  • 28

    Jan

    Today we've got a pair of compilation videos by Michael Jean that showcase the European boxes of the Wing Commander series. It's pretty simple, but it's a nice change of pace if you're used to boxes from other regions. I do appreciate the charm of just recording a parade of Wing Commander like this. It's a nice and thorough rundown too with games like Academy, Armada and Privateer 2!

  • 27

    Jan

  • 27

    Jan

    *Pilots' Federation ALERT*
    An improved xeno scanner has been released to assist combat vessels engaged in anti-xeno operations.
    Following increased calls from AX pilots that the existing xeno scanner's limited range was a hindrance, Professor Palin's team at Arque Laboratory delivered a redesign to manufacturers that extends the scanner's upper range to two kilometres.
    Industrial complexes have worked overtime to distribute the latest model of xeno scanner. It is now available from military, high-tech and industrial planetary bases, as well as rescue megaships.

  • 27

    Jan

    On the left we have a pre-release Privateer 2 screenshot published in the December 1996 issue of PC Review, seemingly from a review build. On the right, the same wingman listing for Delphinius from the finished game.

    p2_delphinius1t.jpgp2_delphinius2t.jpgWhat does this tell us? Someone very, very late in the process decided to remove a SPACE FIGHTER PILOT PORPOISE from the game's lore. The final version is such a weird joke, too... it almost feels like it was written to cover up a bug but... Delphinius is just a normal wingman?

    p2_delphinius3t.jpgOf course, we all know the Wing Commander universe has always been very, very careful to avoid borrowing anything from Larry Niven's Known Space.

    p2_delphinius4t.jpgI wanted to make sure I was right about Delphinius being a normally skilled wingman, so I hired him and there we go, he's happily battling a pirate.

    p2_delphinius5t.jpg

  • 26

    Jan