Flight Sim Nostalgia Thread

So I was remembering old sims today, daydreaming at work and what not. Thought I’d ask here- What are your most fond memories in those old sims? Maybe a moment you remember that stuck with you all these years, or just the warm fuzzies of a particular sim from the (not so?) distant past?

I know my entry to ‘High Fidelity’ sims (Subjective of course,but all I had done before was arcade style shooters) was Jane’s F-15E. Not the oldest, by far, and not the most fancy in terms of today’s sims but back then ( I think I might have been 15 or so at the time) it was a pretty intense learning curve.

My most fond memories was setting up missions in the editor, finding the juciest, explody targets ( I think oil storage tanks were the best, and Eagle had those great fire effects…I guess I just wanna watch the world burn…) and just loading up the mudhen with mark82s and CCRPing them all down onto a field of oil tanks… or maybe I just liked hearing my sister beating on the wall, screaming “Shut UP!!!” as my virtual pilot dropped his bombs: “Pickle. Pickle. Pickle. Pickle. Pickle. Pickle. Pickle. Pickle…”

Good times.

Also, another great - and unlikely- “sim” (and one far ahead of its time in gameplay, at least in my opinion)- Maxis’ SimCopter. Coming on the heels of the release of SimCity2000, and using that glorious tile based game to generate full-3D worlds mirroring your prosperous city, and then letting you fly a helicopter through them, picking up emergency Medevacs and chasing down criminals, Quelling riots with a spotlight and a megaphone (“Return to your homes!”)…man I spent hours in that game.

So that’s it for me waxing nostalgic, but I open the floor to those of you who want to reach back into the dark recesses and find those great old simming memories we all have. :smiley:


The first flight sim I had access to was probably the ZX81 one, but I don’t think I was that interested in it but not sure why. It might have been pretty expensive at the time too.

Home computer wise it was probably the ZX Spectrum version that I put any proper time in to:

Thinking about it a bit more, the first proper ‘sim’ experience was actually with arcade cabinets, in that I think Battlezone was my first ‘I am in a 3D world driving something’ gaming obsession. I played that in about 1980 ish I think:

(This pic is actually from the military Bradley Trainer version they did, not the one I played in the arcades)

In terms of PC, for me the one that sticks out in terms of nostalgia was probably around 1993 and Strike Commander. It seemed like such a huge release at the time, with proper story and like 27 disks to install. It also took a monster PC to run it, and I couldn’t believe the texture mapping - it seemed like sci-fi to me at the time:

Then of course, like you mentioned, the Janes series that seemed like such a high-fidelity set of releases and the ultimate in realism.

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My first computer flight simming was on an Amiga 500 Batman games pack/bundle around 1990/1991 and the main reason I bought it was because I wanted one of those new fangled electronic data base things for my massive Vinyl record collection and my fast building up and growing CD collection as a physical notebook was not cutting it and you could not put everything in alphabetical order on each new purchase ETC… that’s how it was back then :slight_smile: But yep, that Amiga 500 bundle came with Bob Dinnermans F/A 18 Interceptor too (was not interested in the Batman game) and as I’d always loved Aviation I gave it a go and was gobsmacked, Wowee!!! and bought a horrible digital joystick quite quickly, all of a sudden I was taking off from aircraft carriers, dogfighting with Migs, getting lost and determined to find my base, ejecting, flying under the Golden Gate bridge inverted, carrier traps and more … in hindsight it was all a bit arcadey but for a first experience of something I had no idea existed it was a massive thrill for me, the gaps in realism my mind filled I suppose? I remember too my Amiga 500 only shipped with 512k, so i had to shill out lots to bring it up to 1MB ram total to get sound in that sim and then a second floppy drive, it had no hard drive … This is an interesting vid I found of that old sim :smile:

That Amiga 500 shipped with other stuff too like Deluxe paint 2 that i found absolutely fascinating and really helped me be a tech head.

After that I looked a lot deeper and saw where Falcon 3 was going and bought a PC that I had to add a sound card and game port card too, a 386DX33 MHZ with a massive 4MB ram, Tseng Labs graphic card and 40MB HD I think it was and the Internet was still a long way off for me in my location … I’m not joking? After that I learned fast and started building my own Custom Flight Sim PC’s and still do to this day :smile:
But yep, enjoyed Strike Commander too and many many more.

One of my most favourite sims back than was Pacific Air War 1942 … I really loved that one and played it to death, wish we had something similar now as its an era I love in aviation and naval war history.

Probably my first sim experience was Activision’s Space Shuttle on the Atari 2600

I think my grandmother got it, not realizing it wasn’t really an appropriate game for a 7 year old, but I ended up figuring it out and mastered it even on the most difficult settings. I remember being bored with it because it only had the one mission! Come on, Activision, where’s my dynamic campaign already?

I also remember watching a friend’s dad play his copy of F-15 Strike Eagle, but he refused to let us play it. Totally not still bitter about that.

Then there was the first game I ever saved up my own money for – or did I just cajole my mom into buying it for me? doesn’t matter, had sim – Microprose’s F-19 Stealth Fighter

This game came with a legit manual, reference material, and recognition card (I still have it all!). I remember my favorite missions were the long haul precision strike missions where you had the thread the gap between doppler and pulse radar stations, watching your handy-dandy in-cockpit stealth meter, avoiding detection by enemy aircraft as well.