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Harpoon (series): Wikis


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Harpoon Logo.png
The logo used for Larry Bond's Harpoon Commander's Edition.
Designer(s) Larry Bond
Engine Proprietary
Platform(s) Original:
MS-DOS, Amiga
Windows, Macintosh
Release date(s) 1989–2007, see below
Genre(s) Real-time strategy, Wargame
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer
Rating(s) ESRB: Everyone
Media Original: Floppy disk, Current: CD, Download
System requirements Originally EGA, 8088, 512kb RAM, 1.2mb Floppy Disk. Presently P3+, .5Gb, 120mb

Harpoon is a series of realistic air and naval computer wargames based upon Larry Bond's miniatures game of the same name, which can be viewed at Clash of Arms. A player can play one side: Blue or Red, in simulated naval combat situation, both local conflicts, as well as in Cold War confrontation between the Superpowers. Missions differ from small missile boat engagements to large oceanic battles with tens of vessels and hundreds of aircraft. The game also includes large databases containing many types of real world ships, submarines, aircraft, and land defenses (i.e. air bases and ports).

The simulation has a small but very dedicated fan base with several websites offering a varying style of scenarios and discussion forum. Often described as a "niche within a niche market," development of the simulation has progressed steadily through the years in the face of the overwhelming numerical and graphical superiority of first-person shooter and real-time strategy games. Advanced Gaming Systems, Inc. (AGSI), developers of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare, currently distributes the simulation through Matrix games with technical support being handled on a co-operative basis via AGSI and Matrix games employees.

Harpoon was originally developed by Three-Sixty Pacific and had several development paths and publishers, but now all computer rights rest with AGSI. The game's development history is quite long and sometimes confusing,

Harpoon's interface emphasizes technical accuracy rather than graphical polish, with simple 2D symbols reminiscent of a warship's radar display. There has been considerable debate in the game's user community about the decision of the developers to utilize 3D graphics in later versions of the program. As of March 2009, two releases are available to AGSI civilian customers. Harpoon Commanders Edition is a "lighter" offering based upon the game engine of the original series and Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare is the current civilian distillation of the product. Military customers are offered Harpoon 3 Pro, which is tailored for customer specifications. There is also a Macintosh version that lies between the Harpoon II and Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare called "Harpoon III v3.6.3"

Development of both commercial versions is ongoing, with the most recent release being V3.9.4 (March 2009). Other features in the upcoming release of v3.10 will include: Parametrized Missions, Encrypted databases and scenarios, and Harpoon Users Database (HUD) 3 database with all original scenarios updated as well. Another feature in the upcoming version is the addition of new hand-painted digital artwork of selected platforms. These may be previewed at Digital Military Art>



The games play in real time, with time acceleration capability in case the action slows down. The player can control single or multiple platforms (up to the hundreds if the computing power is available). The game is extremely comprehensive, although certain elements of naval warfare are not modeled, such as radar ducting, sonar bottom and surface bounce, and COMINT/SIGINT.


Harpoon 3 Pro is the professional version of Harpoon 3 Advanced Naval Warfare. It utilizes surface, sub surface, airborne and ground-based units based on open source data to allow for training, education and lightweight analysis. It is a simulation that accurately represents the capabilities and limitations of modern naval and air forces.

Among Harpoon 3 Pro's features are:

  • Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Interface - This allows for simple geometric shapes to be imported from products such as ESRI's ArcInfo.
  • Harpoon Track Interface (HTI) - All unit tracks can be exported to a standard database product and then to products such as STK's Satellite Tool Kit.
  • "Hot Washup" or "VCR" feature - Provides the ability for entire games to be recorded, viewed, edited and replayed.
  • Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) Interface - An international standard used for simulations to communicate with each other in real time.
  • Source code can be licensed - Allows for security or validation purposes.
  • Umpire functionality - Provides the ability for a training professional to oversee training activities.


Original release dates:[1]
NA 1989
System release:
1989—DOS, Macintosh[1][2]

Harpoon Challenger Pak

Original release dates:
NA 1991
System release:
  • Developed and published by Three-Sixty Pacific
  • It is a compilation of the original Harpoon which includes additional material such as a scenario editor and a strategie guide

Harpoon Classic

Original release dates:
EU 1994
NA June 1, 1995
System release:

Harpoon II

Original release dates:
NA 1994
System release:

Harpoon II: Admiral's Edition

Original release dates:
NA 1996
EU 1996
System release:

Harpoon Classic 97

Original release dates:[4]
NA November 7, 1996
System release:
  • Developed by Alliance Interactive and published by Interactive Magic[4]
  • It is a revised edition of Harpoon Classic

Harpoon III

Original release dates:
NA 2001
System release:
  • Developed by Advanced Gaming Systems
  • It is continued on with Larry Bond's Harpoon 3: Advanced Naval Warfare

Harpoon 3 Pro

Original release dates:
June 1, 2001
System release:
  • Developed and published by Advanced Gaming Systems

Larry Bond's Harpoon 3: Advanced Naval Warfare

Original release dates:[5]
NA June 15, 2006
System release:

Larry Bond's Harpoon Commander's Edition

Original release dates:[6]
NA November 21, 2007
System release:


External links



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