Fighter Pilot (1998)
Flight Simulation
Publisher Electronic Arts
Developer Charybdis Enterprises

Fighter Pilot is an action game featuring F/A-18, F-22, F-117, and the Russian SU-35. The emphasis on action, the game is easy to pick up, fast-paced, plenty of Hollywood-style explosions, and includes head-to-head multiplayer mode.

If you've ever wanted to fly such aerial beasts as the F or A-18, the F-117 stealth, and the F-22, you're in luck. Settle into the cockpit and start flying immediately with this easy-to-learn, all-inclusive flight simulator. Each mission in FIGHTER PILOT you'll take on is just a small step in the game's massive campaign, which will take you around the world and back in pursuit of victory. Play as a novice, veteran, expert, or ace each skill level boasting tactical differences. The awesome artillery will help you, but you'll need more than firepower to tangle with up to seven other online pilots.

Game Description
Fighter Pilot: Ready, Aim, Fire is designed to have you in the cockpit and flying within minutes of installation and start up. Missions begin with you at the controls, in the air and ready to take on all comers. The campaign in the game evolves as the missions pile up, each with specific objectives ranging from simple escort service to in-your-face, up-close-and-personal dogfights.

The game is fully configurable in both mission difficulty and gameplay options. You can choose to play as a novice, veteran, expert or ace, with the length of delay in missile fire rates the main differentiating factor. At the novice level, the delay between firing is only one second but increases to four seconds at the hardest (ace) level. Gameplay is somewhat linear in that you must at least attempt the missions in a pre-assigned order before advancement to the next is permitted.

Three means of control are offered by Fighter Pilot including joystick, keyboard and mouse while several pre-game options are provided to allow for complete customization of the game. If the invulnerability option is used, the worry of being shot out of the sky (at the sacrifice of realism) is eliminated. Another option is the availability of unlimited ammunition for those with a heavy hand on the firing button.

The use of 3Dfx acceleration is not required but is highly recommended to take advantage of smooth scenery transitions and fluid aircraft movement. Full or partial screen size is optional depending on the power of your machine. The game also is designed to slip into demo mode if no action is taken from the main menu screen within ten seconds -- another feature that can be toggled off if desired.

As pilot, if you get disoriented you can take advantage of a navigation map that allows you to get your bearings relative to mission objectives and waypoints while pausing the game. Both air-to-air and air-to-ground mission objectives are important to the successful completion of a campaign and each requires specific weapons and tactics. You'll fly the F/A-18, F-117 (stealth), F-22 and the extremely fast Su-35 as you strive for air supremacy.

Up to eight players can compete over a network, four on the Internet or two via modem or serial cable for one-on-one dogfights. Numerous allied support aircraft are featured in Fighter Pilot: Ready, Aim, Fire and include the AWACS, additional air-to-air combat power with the F/A-18 and F-22, extra air-to-ground power with the F-4G and defensive posturing with the EF-111. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Roots & Influences
Fighter Pilot: Ready, Aim, Fire is the last title from the developers Charybdis Enterprises prior to their disbanding in 1998. Literally hundreds of combat flight simulations have been released prior to this title, certainly with indirect influence on this game. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Review: Enjoyment
Perhaps as an offshoot of playing realistic combat flight simulations, the impact of Fighter Pilot is akin to eating a chocolate chip cookie with no chocolate chips or watching a scoreless football game. Ho-hum. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Production Credits
Executive Producer: Andy Hollis

Producer: Bryan Walker

Director: Tim Little


Origin Systems, Inc.: Bryan Walker

Charybdis Enterprises, Inc.: James Flores, Steve Hemmesch


Origin Systems, Inc.: Lance Stites

Charybdis Enterprises, Inc.: James Flores, Steve Hemmesch

Art: Charybdis Enterprises, Inc.: Nate Denney, Kenneth Mayfield, Charles Walker, Leslie Walker

Programming: Charybdis Enterprises, Inc.: Sean Gallagher, Dan Higdon, Matthew Lamari, Chuck Walbourn

Audio Engineers: Origin Systems, Inc.: Mat Mitchell, Lisa Elliot, Jason Cobb, Bill Munyon

Music: Origin Systems, Inc.: Jason Cobb, Joe Basquez, Mat Mitchell, Stretch Williams, Bill Munyon


Cobra: Paul Deaton

Mervyn: Ev Lunning

AWACS Officer: Crystal Calderoni

Briefing Officer: Dave Swofford

Cockpit Computer: Bethlyn Gerard

Spiff: Eric Peterson

Yahoo: Erik Hanchey

Medusa: Eric Murrow

Crossbow: Paul Deaton

Ivanovich: Ev Lunning

QA: Origin Systems, Inc.

Managers: I. Allen "Blair" Brack, Paul "Paladin" Vaden

Lead: Myque "Sir Perky" Ouellette

QA: Charybdis Enterprises, Inc.: Christine Higdon

QA Testers: Brandon "Arashi" Salinas, Mackey "Rastuss" Fair, Lance "MudPuppy" Stites, Todd "Balls" Raffray, Rhea "Jughead" Shelley, Kenny "Hottman" Hott, Timothy "Quasimodo" Bell, Grant "Rogue" McDaniel, Rand "Slayer" VanFossen

Special thanks to Origin Skunkworks: Greg Kreafle, Mike McDonald, John Paquin, Max Remington, Scott Elson, Jerry McKee, John Dugan, David McKibbin, Tom Whittaker, Todd Brizzi, Reece Thornton

Uses Miles Sound System ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Review: Overall
To be honest, I'm not really sure what Electronic Arts hoped to accomplish with this 3D-acceleration-not-required-but-supported title. The good folks at EA couldn't seriously have considered this a contender in the hot arena of combat flight simulations that have swarmed to store shelves in the late 1990s. The best label one could probably pin on the game would be "combat flight simulation lite."

Fighter Pilot isn't terrible, it just isn't terribly good. In the sought after realm of realism that most modern-day combat flight simulations reach in some form or other, this entry, unfortunately, crashes and burns somewhat pathetically. It does, however, get off the ground and does it very quickly and easily. In that regard, the game can be said to have some intrinsic value in that it serves as a waypoint for novice gamers who don't much care about strategy, realism or serious challenges.

Playing the game in software mode is, for lack of a better term, dated. This sort of visual throwback might appeal to gamers who don't have 3D acceleration or are looking at their first flight simulation of any type but for veteran players spoiled by state-of-the-art graphics in the majority of current titles, it won't be acceptable. Use of the 3D acceleration certainly improves the looks and fluidity to a more palatable level but with the simplistic gameplay it still doesn't climb very high.

This may be the first combat flight simulation that could almost just as easily be classified as a shooter. To simulate anything successfully, especially something as defined as the cockpit and actions of a fighter aircraft, there must be at least a modicum of realism in order to achieve the Holy Grail of flying -- suspension of disbelief. At no time while playing Fighter Pilot will you ever be even slightly aware that you're doing anything but playing a game. As for using the keyboard and mouse to fly, which is apparently a "plus" according to the designers, forget it. At least with a joystick you might feel like you're controlling a flying machine.

So, does Fighter Pilot really have any worthwhile features? The answer will lie in the eyes of the beholder but, to be fair, the game isn't a total flameout. Although the 24 missions are predictable (where else but Iran and Irag?), they are somewhat diversified. Although there are about a half dozen different types of missions, all can be won fairly easily. Air support is available with the simplistic "send help" communiqué but all missions can be won without any. Four types of aircraft can be flown but are not distinguishable beyond speed and weaponry.

No cockpits, no HUD, no fun, no challenge. Do you begin to see a pattern here? For every positive, there is a definite offsetting negative that makes the positive point somewhat superfluous. Probably one of the best features of the game is the suggested retail price of under $20. But even that positive has its negative offset, namely, you get what you pay for. Serious and even not-so-serious combat flight simulation fans would be well advised to navigate around this flying albatross. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Review: Graphics
Fairly old and tired looking in software mode, with definite improvement via 3D acceleration. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Review: Sound
Mission briefings are somewhat feeble sounding and don't contain any sense of excitement whatsoever. Jet sounds, in-cockpit ambient sound and external explosions are adequate at best. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Review: Replay Value
Possibly novices who like to do nothing more than shoot things out of the sky without serious challenge will enjoy going through the game a second time. There are plenty of targets. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Review: Documentation
About as fulfilling as the gameplay. ~ Michael L. House, All Game Guide
Product Details
UPC 5030930018474
Format CD-Rom
No. of Disks 1
Language English
Completed No