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Falcon Collection on GOG.com

GOG.com now offers the Falcon Collection, a bundle of this F-16-centric flight simulator series from back in the day. The bundle includes, Falcon, Falcon A.T. (286 processor required), Falcon Gold, and Falcon 4.0. This includes digital version of the manuals, which were as big as textbooks in print. Their listing for this invokes a funny nostalgia, as I can still recall when the crude image they show from the game represented state-of-the-art graphics.

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13. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 24, 2015, 21:56 Rigs
 
InBlack wrote on Oct 24, 2015, 04:34:
My 486DX2/66Mhz was a monster back then. Your puny SX based processors didn't stand a chance

After my IBM PS/1 486SX/25 had a dutiful life, it succumbed to what nearly every computer does in FL, lightning. After three years, it was hit by lightning one night and the hard drive failed. I cried like a little bitch for days. My parents saw how distraught I was and had a local computer guy build me my dream, a 486DX2/66 with 8mb of RAM (and another freakin' 1mb S3 801/805 videocard...it was like an illness I couldn't get rid of! I had wanted an ATI 'WinFast' 'accelerated' card (not what it means nowadays, just helped with 2D Windows) but alas, it was not to be. Still, anything could have been better than that stupid S3 card, even a Tseng or *shudder* Trident). Indycar Racing ran like I'd never seen it run before and I was hooked...hell I swallowed the fucking hook! A week and $6000 later (had I waited six months and had $1000 more, I could've gotten my hands on a Pentium75 or even a P90), I was back in business...playing Master of Orion and Machavelli: Merchant Prince and discovering the world of .mod music files with my ProAudioSpectrum 16...


=-Rigs-=

This comment was edited on Oct 24, 2015, 22:01.
 
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12. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 24, 2015, 06:16 Bub
 
I played most of the combat flight sims back in the day, and the Falcon series had the best manuals as far as teaching flight combat were concerned. One version also had a flight recorder that would reproduce you path, speed, turning cone ect. The flight was real not arcade style, so you really had to understand momentum, altitude, and how to burn off speed when you needed to.

After I knew Falcon it was easy to ACE any combat flight sim.

If you have never played Falcon but want to be a better combat flight sim player, you should not pass up this deal. As someone said earlyer it is worth it just for the manual sections on air combat.
 
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11. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 24, 2015, 04:34 InBlack
 
My 486DX2/66Mhz was a monster back then. Your puny SX based processors didn't stand a chance  
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10. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 24, 2015, 04:05 Flatline
 
Isn't Falcon 4.0 the game that had the 300 page flight manual that you could beat someone to death with?  
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9. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 24, 2015, 01:58 jdreyer
 
So Falcon 4.0 with BMS looks like this? That's actually pretty sweet.

Doesn't look like they're using any F4.0 pics at all on the gog page.
 
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8. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 23, 2015, 23:11 Burrito of Peace
 
Rigs wrote on Oct 23, 2015, 21:16:
Aero wrote on Oct 23, 2015, 19:07:
A year or two later everything used protected mode extenders and you didn't have to worry about memory anymore, and Falcon 3.0 was definitely the white wale of boot disk fiddling.

I'll agree Falcon3.0 was pretty hard when it came to configuring it for DOS, but out of all the '92-'95 DOS games that came out, none ever gave as much trouble as F-15 Strike Eagle III! And we're talking World Circuit, Wing Commander (and all it's derivatives and sequels), X-Wing (same), Indycar and Nascar Racing, Aces of the Pacific, Task Force 1942, Harpoon2, Jetfighter 2 (lots of sequels back then!), LHX, Seal Team and of course, Wolf3D, Doom and Quake.

Ultima 7 laughs at your puny boot disks.
 
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7. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 23, 2015, 22:52 PHJF
 
I had F15 Strike Eagle and F117A Nighthawk. Since nobody in my family was computer literate and a veritable treasure trove of games was given to us by my computer programmer of an uncle, it was up to a (very very young) PHJF to figure out how the fuck to get anything to run on our new 486. I had bootdisks coming out the ass, I plugged in every sound blaster IRQ under the sun left right and center.  
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6. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 23, 2015, 21:44 MeanJim
 
Aero wrote on Oct 23, 2015, 18:50:
Copies of Falcon 4.0 can go for upwards of $100 on auction sites.

I wonder what I can get for my original Falcon 4 with the binder, pretty much in mint condition.

I played the crap out of Falcon 3 back in the day on a screaming fast hand-me-down 25MHz 386 DX. Since I had the DX chip (math co-processor) I could run the high fidelity flight model, but couldn't run it on max graphics. A friend had a 25MHz 486 SX which ran it on higher graphics settings, but couldn't handle the high fidelity flight model.

I bought all of the addons for it, the MiG-29, F/A-18 and a mission pack or something. I was so pissed when I finally got a new system, a 90MHz Pentium and Falcon 3 wouldn't run on it. The new system was too fast and the game suffered from the speed thing (I forget the term).

I pre-ordered Falcon 4 and played the crap out of it from the day it release. I haven't played it in a long time though. I got back into it for a while when Falcon 4 AF was release. I just did a quick look and see that AF seems dead but BMS kept going.
 
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5. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 23, 2015, 21:16 Rigs
 
Aero wrote on Oct 23, 2015, 19:07:
A year or two later everything used protected mode extenders and you didn't have to worry about memory anymore, and Falcon 3.0 was definitely the white wale of boot disk fiddling.

I'll agree Falcon3.0 was pretty hard when it came to configuring it for DOS, but out of all the '92-'95 DOS games that came out, none ever gave as much trouble as F-15 Strike Eagle III! And we're talking World Circuit, Wing Commander (and all it's derivatives and sequels), X-Wing (same), Indycar and Nascar Racing, Aces of the Pacific, Task Force 1942, Harpoon2, Jetfighter 2 (lots of sequels back then!), LHX, Seal Team and of course, Wolf3D, Doom and Quake. This is a favorite memory of mine since it was the first time since getting a 'modern' computer (for Xmas '92, I'd previously had a Tandy CoCo3) that I'd really been able to figure out configuring memory correctly to run any game with enough, either via boot disks (which I hated with a passion) or just running my system lean and mean. F15SE3 was a monster of a game, it also had a manual that would qualify as a textbook, and it was just as 'engaging' to casually read. IOW, it was pretty dry. Anyway, I was damned determined to get this thing running the way it should. I had the system to run it...an IBM PS/1 486SX/25 (mhz, for you young ones out there, not ghz), 4mb of RAM (yes, again, for the young ones, that's MEGS, not gigs), the notorious S3 801/805 videocard (trust me, this thing has a history all it's own) with 1mb on board, a self-installed SoundBlaster16 and single-speed cd-rom, also aftermarket (the original PS/1's didn't come with a cd-rom but they did go up to 66mhz, if you had the cash). Still, a 486 meant a lot back then and 25mhz was no slouch. The 4mb of RAM was standard in the day and more than adequate. But even with all of that, I had a huge problem getting everything crammed into memory with enough left for the game.

Starting on a Friday afternoon after getting home from school, I figured I'd be playing all weekend, surely by the next day at least. Oh, how naive I was. First tries were soul-crushing. Either I had sound but no cd-rom or a mouse but no sound. Other times it wouldn't run at all for lack of memory. The good thing about DOS though is that it reboots in seconds. So any change I made was quick to test. By the end of Saturday I'd gotten no closer to my goal that when I had started.

Bright early Sunday morning, I was adamant that I would be playing by the afternoon (dammit!). My friends up the street were constantly pestering me to come outside but April in New Jersey tends to be pretty fucking dreary so I wasn't enthused about the idea. Surely they could understand my struggle? When I told them what I was attempting, all but one called me a 'NERD!' and ran off. The one that didn't stayed and watched silently as I tried different combinations of settings in my autoexec.bat and config.sys. (I'm going to have them printed, with this winning memory configuration, on my tombstone!). Nothing was really working. I could play the game at times, but in silence or without a mouse, so I know it worked, just not optimally. After another ten minutes, he just shrugged and was about to leave, rather unimpressed with the whole thing. Maybe it was because of the massive amount of printouts all over the floor of different memory setting combinations? Or maybe that it was nearly 4 in the afternoon and I was still in pajamas and hadn't combed my hair? I wasn't sure, but when I asked him if he had any ideas, he mentioned something that floored me.

'Well, you could probably get it all to work if you didn't load in the cd-rom, since the game is installed on the hard drive from floppies, right?'

I just kinda stared at him. How could I have missed that?! I'd been so wrapped up in getting it to work with everything I had in the system that I'd overlooked the simplest of fucking things...the game wasn't on cd! I didn't NEED to run my cd-rom! I didn't know whether to hug him or punch him for not telling me sooner. He said he had noticed it almost right away but didn't say anything because he thought I either already knew or needed the cd-rom for some other reason.

It was now 5:30pm on a Sunday evening, tomorrow was school, I had homework to do that I'd put off all weekend thinking I'd have plenty of time to do it. My friend just quietly disappeared as I got lost in redoing my settings one more time, configuring everything so that it loaded as much as possible HIGH and then also gave me room for my sound and my mouse. Thank the Gods that I didn't have to worry about EMS (expanded) memory, which would have been a whole 'nother ballgame entirely! And sure enough, at 6:00pm on that Sunday night, F-15 Strike Eagle 3 ran with full sound and a usable mouse cursor!

I played around in the menu's for a little bit and loaded one mission just to make sure it worked all the way through and then promptly turned it off after realizing that it would take another weekend or two to learn just what the hell I was actually doing...


=-Rigs-=

This comment was edited on Oct 23, 2015, 21:26.
 
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4. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 23, 2015, 19:07 Aero
 
Shok wrote on Oct 23, 2015, 18:54:
I remember playing Falcon 3 on my old PC's back in the day. I had a special boot disk just to get the memory free to be able to load it. I remember it being pretty buggy though. Of course, it wasn't as easy to get patches for games back then. I've still got the manuals and disks for this around somewhere though.

Even so I really have no desire to play this again with the graphics and details in flight sims these days.

Yeah, I can't really see anyone taking these seriously in themselves. Since it gets you Falcon BMS too (free mod), which is even now still probably the best modern flight sim, it's a good deal. The only area where, say, DCS has it beat is in graphics, but with the updated DX9 graphics engine and more detailed models and higher-res cleverly designed land tile sets, it looks plenty good enough. And on top of that, it has the Falcon 4 dynamic campaign, which has yet to be matched.

I definitely have lots of memories wrestling with my config.sys and autoexec.bat to make Falcon 3.0 work. I think it needed something like 605K of available main memory, which left you only 35K for the OS and all your drivers. I can't imagine how I managed to get DOS, my mouse driver, SBOS (Ultrasound Sound Blaster emulator) and the CD-ROM drivers (I had Falcon Gold) all inside that limit. Maybe I didn't need the CD drivers. A year or two later everything used protected mode extenders and you didn't have to worry about memory anymore, and Falcon 3.0 was definitely the white wale of boot disk fiddling.
 
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3. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 23, 2015, 18:55 CJ_Parker
 
Insta-buy. This is worth it just for the manuals alone for anyone with only even a remote interest in the falcon or modern air combat.  
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2. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 23, 2015, 18:54 Shok
 
I remember playing Falcon 3 on my old PC's back in the day. I had a special boot disk just to get the memory free to be able to load it. I remember it being pretty buggy though. Of course, it wasn't as easy to get patches for games back then. I've still got the manuals and disks for this around somewhere though.

Even so I really have no desire to play this again with the graphics and details in flight sims these days.
 
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1. Re: Falcon Collection on GOG.com Oct 23, 2015, 18:50 Aero
 
This should be a boon to a many people. Copies of Falcon 4.0 can go for upwards of $100 on auction sites. Since you need the Falcon 4.0 executable to install Falcon BMS (which is great), it's the only option for people who are very, very serious about not pirating anything who want to play BMS. Personally, I figure since I bought Falcon 4.0 back when, even though the disk is long since destroyed, an exception can be made seeing as how giving some random guy $100 doesn't really benefit the developers. For six bucks though, and everything legitimately connecting up at least to whoever still holds the rights to it, I'm game.  
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