Atari ST A to Z: F-15 Strike Eagle

Attempts to realistically simulate things it would be near-impossible for the average person to experience have been around for a long time… even when the technology wasn’t quite up to the job.

Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, one of the most prolific creators of simulations — with a particular (though not exclusive) focus on military jet fighter simulators — was MicroProse, erstwhile home of Sid “Civilization” Meier. As time went on, these games got more and more satisfyingly complex and true to life… but the genre had to start somewhere!

F-15 Strike Eagle was first released in 1984 for various 8-bit computers and ported to a variety of other platforms (including the Atari ST) over the course of the next three years. It’s a fairly “arcadey” take on the jet fighter sim, but it remains enjoyable to this day… even if its core tech looks severely dated even compared to MicroProse’s own titles from just a year or two later!

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9 thoughts on “Atari ST A to Z: F-15 Strike Eagle”

    1. Looking back, hard to know how you might have had a problem with that, since you pretty much just have to crash into it 🙂 It’s certainly no Top Gun on the NES, that’s for sure — that’s the most notorious carrier landing sequence of that era, if I remember rightly.

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      1. I could be getting mixed up with one I had on PC around the same time, but I can’t remember the name of that one. All I remember is that if you failed a mission, the campaign carried on unless it was a critical one. That’s going to bug me now!

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        1. There were a few games like that, but mostly a bit later. Spectrum Holobyte’s Falcon 3.0 is the one that springs most readily to mind with a dynamic campaign — many of the earlier MicroProse ones just had single self-contained missions that didn’t join together in any sort of campaign. Falcon 3.0 was amazing, though, I lost many hours of my life to that game.

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  1. I didn’t get into flight sims until later on the ST with F19 Stealth Fighter and F29 Retaliator – it’s amazing how quickly they progressed technology-wise. I do like how the game just throws you into the fray and gives a chance for a quick kill… can’t think of any other sims of the era that did a similar thing.

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    1. A few of these early MicroProse ones did a similar thing. There were even a couple you could play in split-screen two-player — I think MiG Alley Ace was one example.

      F-19 was amazing. I spent many hours playing that as a kid. Being a total nerd of a child, I’d dress up to play it, which I’m sure my parents found hilarious — I’d put on a bomber jacket, gloves, a balaclava (for the “helmet”) and sunglasses. Later I even constructed an imitation oxygen mask from a length of old Hoover hose, a bit of paper and some duct tape.


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