Wing Commander

  • 19

    Sep

    AD noticed that Microsoft is running an exciting sale that marks the Wing Commander Movie down to one of its all time best prices. They're holding a "Gamer Flicks" sale that brings WC and many other game-based films down to half off. In this case, Wing Commander drops from $9.99 to $4.99 in the US and Canada. This is the same price as the Canadian rental and just $1 more than a 48-hour viewing in the US. We don't see very many discounts of the film, so this is a great chance to fill out your collection (especially with the DVD/Blu-ray out of print!). As an extra bonus, MS is a part of Movies Anywhere, so if you buy it here, a copy also appears in your Amazon, iTunes, Google and Vudu libraries. Most of the shots below include the Xbox interface, but no console is necessary. You can buy the movie here, and it will play on your PC, mobile device, Xbox or HoloLens. Act quickly, because the sale

  • 19

    Sep

    The WC4 Fan Remake team is back with a new article on what's been happening lately. Specifically, ODVS goes in depth with some of the video magic that he and Pedro have recently introduced. They've managed to overcome some of the obstacles to efficient file sizes by very cleverly leveraging technology. The net effect is that the video clips have the smallest file sizes but best visual quality yet. ODVS tells it much better than I can, so head over to WCRespace and read the latest! You can also watch this new video to compare the original WC4, Owen's HD pack 5.0 and a prototype pass for the remastered game. Blow the video up into a 4K stream to see the full improvement.

    So what are the benefits to you, the player? You get the highest quality FMV we can deliver, looking as close to native HD as it possibly can, with file sizes that won’t hog your valuable hard drive or SSD space. Let’s run some
  • 18

    Sep

    EmuMusicFan has a novel new technical proof-of-concept that he'd like to share. He's leveraged the WC Toolbox to find out how to trigger custom speech files during Wing Commander 2. WC2 was renowned for its revolutionary spoken dialogue in 1991, but there are only a few minutes worth of speech in the actual game. The standalone speech add-on pack added it in for spaceflight, but the majority of movie clips are still captioned text.

    Emu's put together a couple of example clips that show how new speech can be inserted. Obviously this isn't just a recording placed on top of the video - he's managed to trigger the sound file to natively play. If you'd like all the wonderful technical details explaining how this is possible, check out his full explanation here. It would be quite an undertaking, but this demonstrates how it would be possible to do a full audio mod for the game!

    I have found a way to add
  • 17

    Sep

  • 16

    Sep

    Goku has put together a new automation that enhances the experience of getting Wing Commander Prophecy to run. The game can occasionally have some compatibility quirks on modern Windows, which could put off some folks who might be trying for a Linux install. It's possible to get a nice smooth setup running though, and this script does so by properly configuring Prophecy and Secret Ops. Then it adds in the enhancement pack, OpenGL patch, FPS tool and even high quality movies. We don't have a test rig here to try it, so we're anxious to hear from more folks with first hand experience. If this helped you or there are additional questions, hit the discuss link and let Keen Bean know! You can find the program here - click "Show unpublished installers" to expand the relevant section.

    If anyone's on Linux and would like to test out my Lutris script for Prophecy, please head here. You will have to click
  • 15

    Sep

    Last week we got a peek at some fabulous French reviews for Wing Commander 2, including one from Generation 4 magazine. LOAF dug up the Gen 4 review of Privateer, and it's also a wonderful experience. You definitely don't have to read French to appreciate it: there' some crazy cartoon in the beginning and lots of artfully arranged screenshots. The ship component and dealer pages are especially cool! Privateer ends up with a nice 93% score in the end.

    generation4_1993october1t.jpggeneration4_1993october2t.jpggeneration4_1993october3t.jpggeneration4_1993october4t.jpggeneration4_1993october5t.jpggeneration4_1993october6t.jpg

    The Gen 4 review of Privateer is also absolutely off the hook.
  • 14

    Sep

    Stinger has released the next big update to wcdx, the compatibility program that enables Kilrathi Saga to run smoothly on modern versions of Windows. In recent years he's moved on from just getting the game to run and has been steadily adding back in features that the DOS version had but were missing or not properly implemented in KS. With this new update, he's essentially completely restored everything missing from WC1, so now he can turn his attention more fully to WC2. The last big hurdle was cockpit damage. Although it can be annoying when your dashboard sparks and you lose radar, this is critical to the classic immersive Wing Commander experience. Now you too can struggle to request landing clearance through a busted comm system as we all did in the old days! Grab wcdx 2.2.1 here. Each thumbnail below is an animated gif of the new features in action, so give them an extra few moments to

  • 12

    Sep

    We don't usually write a news post about 9/11. Many others are doing actual September 11 memorials. But if we have a tiny relevant Wing Commander anecdote to share in the context of history, we're happy to do that. Just like with Oscar Mayer tweeting about the Wienermobile this weekend, there's a small amount of calm reassurance that comes along with everyone just doing what they're here to do. Our intent is never to exploit current events by finding how Wing Commander ties in to these things, but hopefully folks can appreciate the mission we're on. LOAF recalls this:

    A bit of 9/11 trivia: [the evening of September 11th] had been scheduled to be the USA Network premiere of the Wing Commander movie with a rerun the next day. Instead USA rebroadcast news both days. Wing Commander finally aired a month later on October 14th.

    One thing I've seen more this year is a complaint that people are

  • 10

    Sep

    To celebrate the recent 30th birthday of Wing Commander 2, Guybrush_SF posted several wonderfully colorful vintage reviews from French magazines. I've said before that I love the bright '90s aesthetic of this era, and the WC2 color scheme just adds to this. Tilt gave the game 19 out of 20, Joystick awarded a perfect 100% and Gen 4 was close behind at 98%. I couldn't agree with these epic scores more wholeheartedly! You can find some of our past coverage from Generation 4 magazine on both WC1 and WC3.

    french_tilt_wc2review1t.jpgfrench_tilt_wc2review2t.jpgfrench_joystick_wc2reviewt.jpgfrench_generation4_wc2reviewt.jpg

  • 10

    Sep

  • 09

    Sep

    It's been a month since we last checked in on Dennis Mull's latest Wing Commander finds, and he's been busy adding to the collection all the while. Up first, he's gotten ahold of a European edition of the Prophecy/Alpha Centauri/Red Alert bundle. I love the white box and colorful blended artwork on this one. He's also finally added a Pilgrim Cross to the mix. This one is in excellent condition with a all contents in practically new condition. Dennis was also the winner of a set of CIC coasters at last month's Birthday Party, so it's nice to see those go to a good home too!

    mull_collection27t.jpgmull_collection28t.jpgmull_collection30t.jpgmull_collection31t.jpgmull_collection32t.jpgmull_collection29t.jpgHere we see an updated shot of Dennis' Wing Commander shelf. Not bad at all! Keep in mind that most of those duplicate copies are actually variants of the games from different geographic regions, so this is a diverse and extensive collection!

    mull_collection33t.jpgAnd here's some love for other Origin/Chris Roberts games too!

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  • 07

    Sep

    We see so few clips of modern YouTubers and streamers trying their hand at Prophecy for the Game Boy Advance, so I'm always eager to share the ones that I run across. Here's a mission from fastrun14. It doesn't really sound like they enjoyed the experience - the game controls take some practice to get used to - but it's wonderful to appreciate the technical aspects here. Check out the 3D autopilot effect and the paint scheme on those Piranhas! And wow to the "mission accomplished" spoken audio at the end. It's hard to avoid comparisons to the 3D accelerated PC version, but the game is running on something less than a tenth as powerful as the minimum PC specs here. What Raylight achieved never ceases to amaze!

  • 06

    Sep

    Last week we saw Maiden Ariana upgrade a vintage computer in order to get Wing Commander 3 running. That one was a big hit, so she's moved on now to Wing Commander 4. I personally really like going through the install menus. They evoke so much of the anticipation of opening and installing a brand new game for the first time. WC4 was the first game in the series to have a fully graphical in-universe interface to walk you through the setup, and you usually only ever see it one time for obvious reasons, so it's a nice throwback to see here. Thanks to all the upgrades put in place for The Heart of the Tiger, The Price of Freedom just works in this case. A good chunk of the middle is rewatching the intro, and if watching a video of it playing on a 15" monitor leaves you wanting more, check out ODVS' remaster of that cinematic here. You can also follow Ariana's Twitch for some WC3/4 streams in the

  • 05

    Sep

    Today marks a whopping thirty years since Wing Commander 2 first shipped to stores! WC2 was the first game I played on a brand new shiny 486 back in the day. I learned how to install a sound card just so I could hear the glorious full speech intro, and that opening theme music still gives me chills. This remastered WC2 soundtrack by Jason Walton is still as one of my favorite fan creations of all time:

    For many years, I could just fire up any random mission at any time and just lose myself for hours. I'd invite everyone to do the same to celebrate, but if you're not in a position to jump in the cockpit, re-watching out 25th anniversary livestream is the next best thing! Here it is broken up into several parts. That was a long night, but it was super fun!

    Happy birthday to Wing Commander II, one of the greatest games ever made! Thirty years ago today we learned that our friends were all dead and
  • 04

    Sep

    We recently talked about the Prophecy Demo and how it adds several additional missions to the game's official plot. Today I wanted to briefly plug Prophecy's training simulator and the ten missions included there. Over the years we've heard from a number of folks who just never did any of the bar simulators after exploding in the Tiger's Claw original TrainSim. Some people see these missions as just a remedial tutorial for new players, but there are also some interesting gauntlets with their own high score boards. They can even include little bits of lore. Most WC games don't have the luxury of shipboard simulators, so when you're playing through one that does (Wing Commander 3 is another good example), don't pass them up! Here's a video of Ben Horne playing level 7, a rousing carrier defense.

    Level 7: Carrier Defense

    Author: Colonel Jacob 'Hawk' Manly (typo!)

    Overview: Protect the Midway against a

  • 04

    Sep

    We'll keep this week of video posts going with a new retro review from SideQuest, who has returned to the Wing Commander series with Wing Commander 4. They covered WC3 earlier in the year, and while they could appreciate the earlier game, they came away as big fans of the sequel. I didn't catch exactly what version this was, but I suspect they were playing the GOG edition with DVD quality videos based on comments about the picture quality. The reviewer appreciated the variety of missions, improvements in storytelling and just overall polish and refinement. As for the extra wingmen, those are just tuckerized Origin developers. A handful of larger sequences need more wingmen, and pilots like George "Blade" Oldziey and Anthony "Yaeger" Sommers are there to answer the call!

    Returning to the Wing Commander series now. While I appreciated Wing Commander III Heart of the Tiger a lot, I had heard Wing
  • 02

    Sep

    Eryx Channel has posted a video about the "Evolution of Wing Commander Games." It's a simple clip with edits of the games as they appeared in the franchise, but a few things caught my eye. Games like Academy, Armada, Righteous Fire, Super Wing Commander, Kilrathi Saga and Arena are included, which is always really great to see. It's kind of odd they added in WC Saga at the end, because the rundown should really just go through 2007. Fan projects like WC Saga are wonderful, but there are a bunch of awesome ones that could warrant their own complete video. Also, that's a Star Citizen/Squadron 42 screenshot in the thumbnail, which is extra weird because it's not even in the clip!

    Oh, the other thing that caught my eye is this stellar comment:

    I liked this series because my dad would always be on top of the newest release in the series.Those were the good 'ol days!

    That's where we are now, folks. :)

  • 02

    Sep

    We've got a lot of YouTube in this week's news slate! Today's video is a huge nostalgia trip by Lazy Game Reviews. LGR managed to get ahold of a brand new sealed Creative Labs bundle with a Sound Blaster, double speed CD-ROM, speakers and tons of awesome games. While quad speed drives were starting to hit the market and WC3 was starting to light up the sales charts, this would have still been a very nice set in early 1995. The $380 MSRP (nearly $700 in today's money) was a bit pricey, but not a bad deal. It was everything you needed to turn your boring old PC into a multimedia powerhouse! He goes through the unboxing of the exquisite machinery, then hardware installation and software setup. The included games are a win: Ultima VIII, Strike Commander, Syndicate Plus, Wing Commander II and more. And it's fun to see how much fun he's having opening all this!

    2X CD-ROM! Sound Blaster 16! Speakers!
  • 01

    Sep

    Maiden Ariana has posted a fun video about her journey to getting Wing Commander 3 running on a vintage computer. There have been similar videos in the past that have emphasized things like the config.sys and autoexec.bat type configuration, but she goes on an entire quest that ends up involving both CD-ROM and sound card replacement. While WC3 is not the most speed-sensitive Wing Commander game, it can still produce some quirky results with higher end Pentium era hardware, which led to some issues. But with enough time, effort and retro hardware, it's possible to get the game working smoothly! Check out the video to see how she did it:

    I take you on a bit of my troubleshooting journey to get Wing Commander 3 hopefully running flawlessly on actual vintage/retro hardware (no DosBox cheating here).

    This is my first full length Retro Alcove video. Many more to come in this series. If you like what