Battlehawks – 1942

Lucusfilm

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Lucasfilm released this flight simulator on the Amiga, ST and PC in 1988 and it was well received, earning an Action Game of the Year award from Computer Gaming World magazine.

The player took control of aircraft fighting in four of the major conflicts in the Pacific during World War 2 – the Battle of the Coral Sea, the Battle of Midway, Battle of the Eastern Solomons and the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. All of these took place during 1942, hence the title. Interestingly, the player could also play on both sides of the conflict in different scenarios – flying Japanese Zeros or American Wildcats, for example. Missions would involve attacking a particular target such as an enemy ship, but with only one torpedo or bomb it was often a difficult task. Medals and promotions were earned on completion of the mission.

One major surprise for Amiga and ST owners was that the game only supported mouse control; the PC version did support joysticks. The game used a sprite-based 3D engine which made things appear blocky in close-up but ran fast.

All we have to go on for the existence of a C64 version is a comment in an issue of The Games Machine that it was "coming soon". While other games around at the time – like F-16 Combat Pilot and Fighter Bomber – proved the C64 could handle complex flight simulators, Lucasfilm were producing very few 8-bit games at the time. Until we find more evidence, this is a "maybe".

3 Responses to Battlehawks – 1942

  1. Ross Sillifant says:

    Hi Akkroid πŸ™‚

    Sadly UK Press had a lot to answer for over the years :-(. Along with TGM’s claims we had Raze claiming Atari 7800 Turrican would be on display at an Atari show, The One claiming Thallion were coding ST Nebulus II, Ace+Zero claiming Bob Armour was coding 7800 Gauntlet, C+VG claiming various C64 games were being ported to 7800 (Technocop etc), Atari User claiming they’d seen Adam Caveman running at a press event…list goes on and on.

    As Frank knows only too well, i did actually contact a few of the staff writers behind claims of the day, to see where claims originated from, sadly none of them ever got back to me.

    I’d wager they were simply filling page space, but it did’nt half frustrate you as a gamer…basically you were going under false impressions and you kinda belived the claims as they were from what we thought were realible sources.

    Hindsight tells a different tale though as so many Lost game findings have shown.

  2. Akkroid says:

    You’re dead on about TGM Ross…they would often say there will be an ST port of ‘X’ Amiga game and say it would have less colours & worse sound without even seeing a preview, or even if a port had not not been announced by the publisher at all! The later Raze mag was like that as well, I guess they were all a bit excitable πŸ™‚

  3. Ross Sillifant says:

    Sadly TGM was as bad as any other UK magazine in either making claims up or simply assuming a conversion was being done and printing details of it being in the works, as we found with claims of A8 Druid II…..

    I’d personally say this was beyond the humble C64 in terms of being converted reasonably well, so probably never even attempted.

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