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Flight of the Intruder (1991)      

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Spectrum Holobyte
Flight Simulator
Rowan Software Ltd, Chris Orton, Colin Bell, Paul Dunscombe, Stephen Parys, James Taylor, David Whiteside, Mark Shaw, Jody Sather, Matt Carlstrom
Colin Bell, Lars Norpchen
8088/8086 CPU, CGA/Hercules, PC speaker, DOS 2.0
80286/80386 CPU, EGA/VGA, Analogue joystick, Adlib sound card
1-2 simultaneous (via serial link)

3.5" or 5.25" floppy disk


Same title from other publishers:
Atari ST
Commodore Amiga
Nintendo NES

VideosScreenshots (IBM PC)

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David Whiteside
Added: 19 Aug 2014
Dave Whiteside on the development of FOTI:

" Hehe - I wrote the menu system for Falcon on the ST/Amiga as my first job at Rowan - my brief was to emulate the MAC look and feel.

: )

... which I did.... and then added options in the menus so it could be Mac / ST / Amiga style.

We had a couple of 20Mhz 68020's [4Mb] and one IIRC 33Mhz - 68030 [8Mb] for development - so it had to run with the added speed...

... a lot of effort was put into making it fit on two disks [floppys where expensive in those days..] and getting it to run in 512K [size of a cache these days..] the 1Mb version had a bit of headroom left - it cached the files off one of the disks...
Added: 10 Jun 2012

In 1986, Stephen Coonts published the definitive novel of Vietnam
War naval aviation. The story of pilot Jake Grafton put readers in
the cockpit of an A-6 Intruder, dodging missiles and flak during an
unauthorized attack on the National Assembly building in Hanoi.
Spectrum HoloByte has made this vicarious adventure even better with
the release of FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER, an air combat simulator named
for Coonts's novel. (This review is based on the IBM-PC version.)

Unlike Jake Grafton, players of FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER may choose
one of two naval combat aircraft. The A-6 Intruder is an
all-weather, subsonic attack plane, designed to carry up to 18,000
pounds of ordnance. The F-4 Phantom is a long-range supersonic
fighter, designed to provide air superiority over land and sea.

FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER simulates the cockpits of each of these
aircraft, with the state-of-the-art avionics of 1972. Spectrum
HoloByte did take some liberties with the navigation part of the
simulation: One player must do the work of two (both the A-6 and the
F-4 are two-seater aircraft). Waypoint navigation aids allow players
to concentrate on tactical mission choices.

Players can configure the simulation for maximum realism or easy
play. Nine options regulate the engine/flight characteristics, fuel
and weapon limits, crashes into the ground (and other aircraft), and
other factors that affect the ease or difficulty of play. FLIGHT OF
THE INTRUDER can be played as an arcade/action shoot-'em-up, or as a
serious flight simulator. The flight equations are quite realistic.
Tight turns bleed airspeed quickly. Banking the wings carries
angular momentum after the turn, reducing the "stiff" feeling of
many flight simulators.

I tested FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER on a GenTech 386/20, with Paradise
VGA Pro video card, CH Flightstick, and CH Mach IV joysticks. I
recommend at least one joystick for FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER: Playing
from the keyboard will really cripple you when tight maneuvers are
necessary. Two joysticks are even better, as the second stick
controls throttle and rudder. The CH Flightstick throttle wheel is
also supported. I do not have an AdLib sound board, so I was unable
to test this feature.

The main program disk of FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER requires a 1.2Mb
floppy drive. Spectrum HoloByte will exchange the distribution
diskette for 360K or 720K floppies. There is no copy protection
whatsoever. Although the package specifies turbo-XT speed as a
minimum, I personally would not run FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER on any
machine less than a 12MHz 286: The graphics processing would
overwhelm a slower computer. The VGA graphics look good, but a bit
grainy. (I believe the resolution is 320x200.) FLIGHT OF THE
INTRUDER also supports CGA and EGA graphics.

The aircraft and targets offer nice detail, and there are even some
puffy clouds. The cockpit views include 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 9
o'clock, and all 45-degree views; 6 o'clock is absent, simulating
the poor rear visibility of both F-4 and A-6. There are also
exterior views, and keys to pan around the aircraft. Missile view,
enemy view, and carrier view round out the other options. Players
can record single images or moving "videos," and save them on disk
for later viewing.

Each mission of FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER consists of one or more
sections of aircraft. A section is usually two planes (the leader
and wingman) working as a team. The player is in charge of one
plane, while all other planes are on autopilot. However, the player
can jump to any other plane, and take control of it by turning
autopilot off. All planes are under autopilot control, except the
one that the player is flying. When the player returns to his "own"
airplane, he must turn autopilot off before manual control functions
again. Up to four sections can fly on a mission, so a player may
possibly jump to eight different planes. The logistics of jumping
around are difficult. I usually confined myself to my own airplane.
There is a high mortality rate for computer-controlled aircraft --
perhaps too high -- when missions use the most realistic
configurations. I typically lost six of eight airplanes on a bridge
attack mission.

Spectrum HoloByte includes thirteen canned missions with FLIGHT OF
THE INTRUDER. There are two Phantom-only missions, two Intruder-only
missions, and nine missions that require both types of aircraft.
Players can also create custom missions, assign aircraft and
pilots, and fly one of the aircraft. The flight manual clearly
defines mission evaluation criteria. The more difficult options
increase the scoring rate. The manual also includes interesting
background accounts narrated by Vietnam veteran pilots.

While FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER is a challenging, stimulating game, it
is not without problems. The initial release locked up some clones.
Once I landed on the carrier and went through the deck! The game
does not consistently apply Rules of Engagement (an option that
allows you to experience the frustration that our hog-tied fighting
men in Vietnam endured daily), and I am frequently court-martialed
when I stay within those rules. Two-player games are possible, but I
experienced many communications problems.

Spectrum HoloByte is to be commended for responsibly acknowledging
these and other reported problems, and for shipping new versions
almost weekly to beta testers. The game has undergone a remarkable
metamorphosis in the short time since its release; many bugs have
been eliminated, and customers' suggestions have been incorporated.
However, if you buy the game off the shelf at your local software
shop, you should register for an updated version. If the latest date
on the .EXE files is 07-04-90 or earlier, bugs will probably vex
you. FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER offers great promise, and I think it
will eventually become a classic, but consider it a work under
construction for now.

(This review will be updated shortly after a corrected program
version becomes available.)

FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER is published and distributed by Spectrum

*****DOWNLOADED FROM P-80 SYSTEMS (304) 744-2253
Kasey Chang
Added: 10 Jun 2012
The game was developed in England by Rowan Software, and this makes for a horrible time in beta testing and game patches, as the publisher/tech support is Spectrum HoloByte in Alameda, CA. The beta testers have nicknames for some of the recurring bugs, like "the herringbone". Every couple days we would get a Fedex'ed package from England containing the latest build.

This game actually supports multiplayer via serial ports, so you can actually dogfight the Phantoms and Intruders in a MiG-21 should you choose to do so. However, there was no separate cockpit art for the MiG... You'll see the F-4 cockpit instead.

The game was in production before the book was published. When the book was a big seller, Mr. Coonts was contacted regarding permission to use his book title on a game. He agreed readily, and even wrote the preface to the manual.
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This title was first added on 24th September 2011
This title was most recently updated on 19th August 2014

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