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  Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator

The prologue

            As you probably know there has been released Microsoft’s battle branch of their Flight Simulator. They released together three versions during years of 1998 to 2002. The versions were always technologically based on their “peace” predecessors (MSFS 98, 2000, 2002). In my opinion Microsoft wanted to get a maximum in a computer game market, but I think they also wanted to satisfy those virtual pilots who want take a part in some historical air battle. I personally know few people who do not like shooting at all, but I also think that it is necessary to mention the battle branch of Flight Simulator history, because it has close connection to the “peace” Flight Simulator series.

subLOGIC Flight Simulator 1 for Apple II

subLOGIC Flight Simulator 1 for Apple II - three dots on the radar are three planes over an enemy airport

The World War I Ace

            There is quite important part of the flight simulation game in the first ever subLOGIC Flight Simulator 1 for Apple II which is called British Ace 3D Aerial Battle mode. This mode is even mentioned on the game cover manual and I am sure that it had great advertising influence in 1980. In my mind this is a real essence of the later Microsoft’s Combat Flight Simulator. Your task was to take Sopwith Camel, to destroy an enemy fuel depot and as many enemy planes as possible. This battle mode was later inserted within all followed subLOGIC’s Flight Simulator II versions. In 1982 was released the first ever Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.00 for IBM PC. The game was made by subLOGIC – Bruce Artwick for Microsoft. There was included the battle mode within this first Microsoft’s issue as well. It was called World War I Ace or briefly Europe 1917. The gist of the battle game was taken from subLOGIC’s previous versions.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2.10 for IBM PC

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2.10 for IBM PC - the enemy plane in sight, I am firing

subLOGIC Flight Simulator II for Amiga

subLOGIC Flight Simulator II for Amiga - the same WWI battle area

           There is the WWI Ace mode fully included to Microsoft Flight Simulator 4.0b. Although, the enemy planes have some strange simple design similar to the previous versions look.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 3.0 for DOS

Microsoft Flight Simulator 3.0 for DOS - the entertainment WWI Ace mode

           Since Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.0 to the present the Flight Simulator series become a synonym for “peace” virtual flying. By the way, there is Hangar Buzz mode in MSFS 5.0 and 5.1, which take place in the Word War I imaginary scenery, but you can not drop neither bombs nor shoot to enemy planes. You can only fly through an open hangar if you can.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.1 for DOS

Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.1 for DOS - the Hangar Buzz situation - fly through with Sopwith Camel

The Combat Flight Simulator Series

In 1998 Microsoft resurrected the battle series by Combat Flight Simulator World War II Europe Series. It was the first time when Microsoft released their Flight Simulator which was dedicated only to combat flying. So you could become the RAF, USAAF or even Luftwaffe pilot and fly Spitfire, Messerschmitt, Hurricane or other fighter planes. There were available nine types of aircrafts, two sceneries: Battle of Britain, Battle over Europe, few modes: quick combat, single missions, campaigns, training missions, free flight and multiplayer. The CFS was based on an improved MSFS 98 graphical engine.

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator - Messerschmitt Bf-109 badly hit in an air battle over London

In 2000 it was released Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2 World War II Pacific Theater. As the name says the game takes a scenery place in Pacific. It is interesting for this version that it was issued the special release for Japan. Actually the special release is different by the box cover only and of course by its language. There are five USAAF aircrafts and two Japanese. For example Zero, F4F-4 Wildcat, P-38F Lightning. There is not included any plane type from the previous Combat Flight Simulator, but the game modes are the same. I have to notice good 3D cockpits and comics like game lists of options.

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2 - P-38 in a hard battle over Hollandia - New Guinea

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2 - comics like game lists of options

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 2 - one of comics like game menus

In 2002 it was released Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3 Battle for Europe. They moved the combat missions back to Europe again. You can fly as a German, British or USA pilot with imposing 34 types of planes. Among them there are curiosities like Do 335 and Me 262. You can become the bomber pilot as well. So try to fly for example B-25, Ju-88 or take a job of a bomb dropper or an aerial gunner.

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator 3 - Ju-88 in sight

           As I know, Microsoft has been prepared next issue called Combat Flight Simulator 4. It was not released and the CFS 3 was the latest public version. I think the combat branch of Flight Simulator is forever died...

 

© 2005 - 2017 Josef  Havlík

 

NAVRCHOLU.cz

 

Individual pages:

subLOGIC Flight Simulator 1 - Apple II

subLOGIC Flight Simulator 1 - TRS-80

Microsoft Flight Simulator 1 - IBM PC

subLOGIC Flight Simulator II - Apple II

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2 - IBM PC

Microsoft Combat Flight Simulator series

Microsoft Flight Simulator X

Microsoft Flight