Sunday, 1 March 2009

Wings of Fury (Amiga)

I really fancied playing a real epic today. But when push came to shove, I honestly couldn't be bothered to start something of that magnitude! I guess that Star Flight will have to wait for another day...

So I was picking through the boxes, wondering what might fit the bill, when I came across an Elite compilation. And on that compilation was Buggy Boy. I've never played the Amiga version of Buggy Boy before, but I loved the C64 version, so I thought I'd give that a go. But it ran far too fast on my A1200, and I can't remember how to switch to A500 mode (if that's even possible), and so I had to knock that one on the head as well!

Back to the pile, and I spotted Wings of Fury. This one looked promising... a bit of side-view arcade dogfighting action. I remembered a cracking little budget C64 game I used to play called (The Island of Dr.) Destructo, which basically involved you flying above a battleship, shooting down the planes that were swarming around you, and as the wreckage landed on the battleship it caused damage, and eventually the ship would sink. I kind of hoped for something like that.

Wings of Fury is not really something like that. I was a bit disappointed when it first loaded up and greeted me with a strip of corrupted graphics on the screen. I guess that comes through the perils of old age. Oddly, the corrupted graphics shifted with each game, sometimes being better, sometimes being worse, and once not being there at all. Peculiar.

As for the game itself, the first mission sees you taking off from an aircraft carrier, with the aim of destroying all enemy forces on a nearby island. These forces consist of two anti-aircraft gun bunkers, and two sheds full of soldiers. So you have to bomb the bunkers so that you don't get fired at, bomb the sheds, mow down the fleeing soldiers in a hail of gunfire, and then it's back to the carrier for tea and scones at two, what?

Sounds simple, but I soon discovered a problem... could I actually land on the aircraft carrier? Could I hell!

Prior to that, I'd actually felt a mite uncomfortable mowing down the little soldiers. Strange, that... I never did in the old days, and I don't really in modern games, even though everything looks far more realistic. But I did feel a twinge of wrong in this game.

But although the main objective was fairly challenging, due in part to getting to grips with the control method, it didn't take me that long to be able to complete it. I just wish that, out of the fifteen games where I managed it, I'd been able to land back on the carrier once. Just the once would have done!

Oh, well. I must have been destined to failure from the off. I should have picked another game when I saw the corrupted graphics... that should have been a sign. At least I gave it a go. I doubt I'll go back to try and see the second level... I don't think my Wings are furious enough.


  1. My guess is you weren't trapping - probably touched down then tried to "slow down" with reverse input, which the game won't let you do. See those bumps at the stern of the carrier? They're a side view of the arrestor wires. You need to have the hook on your tail down when you roll over them, i.e. "pull up" without applying power into a nose-high attitude either before or after touchdown. That little bit of verisimilitude is basically half the reason why power and attitude have separate controls.

    In learning the approach angle, it helps to fly level bow-to-stern at some fixed height relative to the island, then make your approach turn when the stern of the carrier goes off the screen. When you have trapped successfully, you have to apply power and coast onto the elevator, then press and *hold* the machine gun button to go below decks and repair/refuel/rearm/switch weapons.

    Game elements you haven't seen: Probably rockets, probably torpedoes, enemy fighter cover, coastal AA bunkers (only rockets kill them), enemy ships (plink the hellishly accurate AA bunkers with rockets, then make a low-altitude short-range torpedo run), and the enemy torpedo bomber (shoot it down, or strafe the torpedo if you're too late)

  2. Whoops, ambiguity and jargon. "Island" in this case refers to the control tower on your aircraft carrier.