Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Gaming 1987: "F15 Strike Eagle" (Sinclair Spectrum)

Still on my brother's Spectrum, and this was my first intro to flight simulators. It was - of course - Microprose's 'F15 Strike Eagle' and to say the graphics were basic is.....

Well, judge for yourselves!



Compare it to a modern flight sim (Hell, compare it to its sequels!) and there's just no contest, graphics-wise.

But the gameplay was pretty good, and soon made you forget that awful insistent 'brrrrrrr' noise from the rudimentary soundcard. It was tricky to play, and so very rewarding when you actually managed to shoot something!

And if you went on - as I did - to play more advanced flight sim games throughout your gaming career, it was a pretty good basic trainer.

10 comments:

Ian B said...

Just to be picky, there wasn't any soundcard, rudimentary or otherwise. There was a piezo buzzer connected to one output port on the CPU, so to create a sound wave (square only) you had to switch that port on and off under software control. If you wanted 100Hz you'd have to do that 200 times per second, which wasn't easy on a computer whose only interrupt occurred 50 times per second (synced to the mains and TV signal).

These games look primitive now, but many of them were masterpieces of programming, written in pure machine code and using endless clever techniques to make them work at all, often achieving what would have seemed impossible looking at the machine's raw specification. For instance, the fastest way to write to the screen was to shift the stack into the display ram and PUSH values onto it. :)

Michael said...

Was it as good as Harrier Attack?

Anonymous said...

o/t but in the game of Victimhood Poker this Muslim/traveller clash looks like a classic. The council involved are facing up the one group in the UK who have a more, er, "robust response" to perceived slights than the RoP (and in this case I can't blame them).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11402870/Grandfathers-body-could-be-exhumed-after-relatives-of-Muslim-buried-alongside-complain-he-was-an-unbeliever.html

James Higham said...

You're ready to graduate to the real thing now.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Had one called "Fighter bomber." No idea who made it, but it was on the Amiga 500.

Still primative, but not so much as the video there.

GREAT game, I would love to get it again.

Furor Teutonicus said...

The first Eagles were deliverd to ops units in 1974(!!!)

The chances are their H.U.Ds were not MUCH better than that in the video.

Jonathan said...

My favourite Flight Sim was the original Red Baron on PC from 1990. Graphics were primitive but the gameplay was outstanding. The subsequent RB2 and RB3d were nowhere near as good.

JuliaM said...

"These games look primitive now, but many of them were masterpieces of programming..."

Oh, agreed! Hence the rise in 'back conversion'. It's not all just nostalgia!

"Was it as good as Harrier Attack?"

Oh, I played that too! And 'Apache AH-64'!

"GREAT game, I would love to get it again."

Check it out to see if there's a converted version. There's a wealth of stuff out there!

"The subsequent RB2 and RB3d were nowhere near as good."

It's often the way that sequels lose something...

elleemmcee said...

Hi Julia, late to the party again, I had a zx Spectrum around the same time and remember magazines being sold that contained pages of code you typed in yourself to get a game! The only sound I remember was the 'loading' noise, similar to the dial up modem noise that came later.

Would like to see eldest son trying to code for his ps4 now....

@Lola_MCelle

Furor Teutonicus said...

Kind of miss those dial up noises. Had a kind of soothing effect.... until the 20th or 30th re-try....