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Red Baron
Red Baron Coverart.png
Developer(s) Dynamix
Publisher(s) Sierra Entertainment, Sierra Online
Platform(s) Amiga, DOS, Mac OS
Release date(s) 1990
Genre(s) Flight simulation
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer (via ImagiNation)
Media Floppy disks
System requirements DOS or above, 286 CPU
Input methods Keyboard, mouse, joystick

Red Baron is a computer game for the PC, created by Damon Slye at Dynamix and published by Sierra Entertainment. It was released in 1990.

As the name suggests, the game is a flying simulation set on the Western Front of World War I. The player can engage in single missions or career mode, flying for either the German Air Service or the RFC. In the course of the game the player might find himself either flying in the Red Baron's squadron Jasta 11, or encountering him as an enemy above the front.

This game won Computer Gaming World's 1991 Simulation of the Year award.[1] In 1996 Computer Gaming World named Red Baron as #4 on its Best Games of All Time list on the PC.[2]

Contents

Aircraft and realism

Many of the famous German, British, and French World War I combat aircraft are available to fly including the Fokker E.I Eindecker, the Fokker Dr.I Triplane, the Sopwith Camel, and the SPAD XIII. The game features somewhat realistic physics as it was mainly intended as an entertainment game instead of a true flight simulator, although the unique flying characteristics of some of the aircraft were implemented such as the gyroscopic effect created by the Sopwith Camel's rotary engine and the Albatroses' upper wings shearing at high negative G loads. The player also has to deal with problems the real fighter pilots of WWI faced such as gun jams, flak, engine damage, and possibly bleeding to death if they were wounded and could not land at an aerodrome in time.

Missions

There are several types of missions in the game: patrol; balloon busting/protection; reconnaissance escort; and bomber escort/interception; and Zeppelin hunt. There were also recreations of historical missions. The majority of the missions are carried out with 1 to 3 wingmen for the player.

  • Patrol: The player patrols the Front. Anti-aircraft artillery is always encountered and enemy patrol are usually encountered as well although the latter does not always happen.
  • Balloon Busting/Protection: Balloon busting is perhaps the most difficult mission in the game. The player needs to eliminate enemy artillery observation balloons while avoiding anti-aircraft fire as well as dogfighting against protecting enemy aircraft. It is much easier if the player is on the protecting side.
  • Reconnaissance Escort: The player and wingmen escort a reconnaissance aircraft as it flies over the Front. Patrolling enemy aircraft are defending against the reconnaissance aircraft.
  • Bomber Escort/Interception: Gotha and Vickers bombers attack factories or trains, and it is the job to either escort or intercept the bombers.
  • Zeppelin Hunt: Zeppelin dirigibles bomb the English homeland, and it is up to the player to shoot them down.
  • Historic Mission: Historic engagements can be relived on either side. Missions include the engagement for which Billy Bishop received his Victoria Cross and the final dogfight of the Red Baron.

Modes

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Single Mission Mode

The player can select any mission to fly on either the German or British/French sides. Location, aircraft type, wingmen, and famous aces can also be chosen for the mission.

Campaign Mode

A career in either the German Air Service or British Royal Flying Corps runs from December 1915 to October 1918, just before the Armistice. As time progresses, the player is transferred to various historical aerodromes in France and in England. The Front also shifts as it did during the War and battles such as Verdun are noted. More advanced aircraft are also introduced in the proper time periods. The player's number of aerial kills is kept track of and he is promoted in rank and awarded medals as he progresses, and he can eventually customize the colors of his aircraft. If the player is wounded in combat and is able to land/crash land in friendly territory, they spend several months recuperating from their wounds, but if they end up in enemy territory, they spend several months in a POW camp until they escape back to their side. The timeline continues during the recovery/imprisonment periods, so it is possible that the player will return to duty at a different aerodrome flying newer aircraft.

Depending on how well the player does, they can be assigned to an aerodrome that has a famous ace and can fly missions with them, and depending on the time period and the location of the aerodrome, the player can encounter the famous enemy aces that were in the area during that time period.

Reception

The game was reviewed in 1992 in Dragon #188 by Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk Lesser in "The Role of Computers" column. The reviewers gave the game 5 out of 5 stars.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ Staff (November 1991). "Computer Gaming World's 1991 Games of the Year Awards". Computer Gaming World (Golden Empire Publications, Inc) (88): 38–40, 58.  
  2. ^ The Red Baron's Plane of Existence
  3. ^ Lesser, Hartley, Patricia, and Kirk (December 1992). "The Role of Computers". Dragon (188): 57-64.  

External links


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