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In the mid-1980’s there were rumors of a stealth fighter jet being used by the military but noone had ever seen it. Before the F-117 was acknowledged in the press and finally viewed by the public, lots of conjecture existed about what a stealth plane really looked like.
Model maker Testors created the F-19 using a best guess of how the technology should look. Software maker Microprose created the F-19 Stealth Fighter game from the model. Based largely on the wildly successful F-15 Strike Eagle simulator, you had choices of many different missions. This screen gallery relives those adventures.
Here’s the opening splash screen from when you started F-19 Stealth Fighter.
The original F-19 Stealth Fighter game. I purchased this back in 1988.
Still in pretty good shape!
More to see, do and feel than in any other flight simulator!
So claims the back of the box anyway. Complete with all of the major features in the game and some screen shots.
A closeup of one of the screen shots. Notice how realistic the aircraft carrier is. *cough*
An actual manual! In the 80’s many games had complete manuals with information about stuff other than what was in the game.
Here’s a closeup of the aircraft that are listed in the manual along with technical details of each one.
The Technical Supplement – full of all of the last minute changes that didn’t make it into the manual.
Don’t forget to register! Win more stuff! Get your name on our mailing list and never get off!
As you can see, I never sent in the cards.
The flight controls were so detailed and hard to memorize completely that Microprose created a keyboard overlay for you.
Microprose included one for the Tandy 1000 and one for a standard PC AT keyboard. As you can see, I never used the PC AT template.
A detailed look at the Tandy 1000 Keyboard Overlay. If you didn’t have a joystick you could maneuver using the keypad.
Also in the box are complete maps of your target areas. There are maps for Libya, Iran, Central Europe, and Northern Europe.
This the map for a campaign against Iran.
The box came complete with 3.5″ and 5.25″ floppy disks. These are both low density disks.
F19 -Stealth Fighter completely unboxed and ready to be played.
Running F-19 on my trusty Tandy 1000 TX. This is a spare unit to my Tandy 1000 at home.
Note that you have to have the key disk in the machine when you start the program. This was Microprose’s defense against piracy.
The splash screen
First you must identify the enemy fighters. That determines if you can play or have to go to training first.
Adding a new player to the roster.
Start by selecting your campaign.
Next select the difficulty. Each one changes the rules of engagement. On Cold War, you want to avoid detection. In Conventional War, you blow up as much stuff as possible.
Choose the type of mission you want.
Set the difficulty of your opponents.
Decide how realistic you want the flight controls to be. Landings are very difficult if you’re not used to the controls.
Here’s the map of your targets after you choose your scenario.
Mission Briefing. Even though oil is close to $120 a barrel, we’re going to take out an oil field and and oil well. Time to buy some stock in Exxon.
Arming your plane.
Note: The plane isn’t really magenta. It renders as black on the screen, but the screen capture program for the Tandy sometimes turns blacks in to Magenta.
Finish your coffee and get to work!
Ready for takeoff.
The screen capture program in the following sequences leave off some detail. There are more to some of the screens than what you see, but not much.
A view from outside
Back in the cockpit.
A chase plane view from the side.
Here’s the oil platform. Again, detail is missing from the screen capture.
Rear view as we blow up a radar installation on the way home.
Safe landing back at base.
Thumbs up for a good flight.
A quick recap of the mission.
You can then retrace your steps on the map and see all of your mistakes and successes.
Boss key! Just in case the boss walks up behind you.
A DOS prompt. Won’t suspect a thing.
A quick ad on the screen for more Microprose games. I have Gunship and Pirates at home, so maybe we’ll see those next time.