Flightmare Text Dump

When I was a kid, one of my favorite games was Flightmare, a game of airborne combat. Or, as the title screen called it, "Just When You Thought It Was Safe. Flightmare: The Ultimate Adventure Into Horror, Starring Peter Adams." It was a game full of mysteries, most of which were due to the too-clever-for-its-own-good gameplay. In a time before 3D graphics, your plane's motion in three dimensions was shown by simultaneously-running top-down and side views, each of which had eight separate directional controls. (MobyGames has some good screenshots if that description is too abstract for you.)

But what really got me was the writing. Though it mostly consisted of single lines of text, the writing was full of obscure jokes, stupid puns, and an unhinged kind of humor that I wouldn't discover was enjoyably common until much later. Even in the introduction you were provided with gems like "The controls are many, and the survivors few." Not to mention that it was probably the first video game to endorse a candidate for political office ("VOTE FOR REAGAN IN 84").

Over the years I've seen short appreciations of this game online, but none that discussed what I consider the extreme quotability of Peter Adams's writing. I've taken the liberty of putting on this webpage all the interesting text from Flightmare, in an easily readable form.

Apart from the interminable instructions (reproduced at the end of this page), the following table contains most of the game's text. The game took place in a series of 24 waves, named after the letters of the Greek alphabet. Each wave had a weird or punny description, and when you beat the wave you got some silly message. Eventually all your planes would be destroyed and you'd get a ranking based on how far you'd gotten. As the instructions curtly informed you, "this is the only achievement you get credit for." So here's the text for all 24 waves. I don't think I ever got past Nu Wave.

Wave Description Complete this wave and you get this message: If the game ends on this wave, your rank is:
ALPHA WAVE FIRST ASSAULT CONGRATULATIONS ALPHA TURKEY
BETA WAVE SKY BATTLES GOOD JOB BETA BEGINER
GAMMA WAVE TRUCKS APPEAR OFF TO A GOOD START GAMMA GREENHORNE
DELTA WAVE HUMPHREY LIVES DONT GET TOO CONFIDENT DELTA APPRENTICE
WAVE EPSILON ANGUISH BUY THE COW EPSILON ROOKIE
ZETA WAVE POP CORN NOT BAD HOT SHOT ZETA EXPLORER
ETA WAVE BORN LOSERS IT GETS TOUGHER ETA ENSIGN
THETA WAVE AVENGERS GOOD JOB MAYNARD THETA SHUFFLER
IOTA WAVE NOT MUCH SO YOU THINK YOU ARE GOOD IOTA SCOUT
WAVE KAPPA WILD ONES MAYBE YOU ARE GOOD KAPPA ADVENTURER
LAMBDA WAVE LEG OF KEEP IT GOING LAMBDA FIGHTER
MU WAVE COW A DOZEN DONE MU MARAUDER
NU WAVE PUNKSWILL THEY CONTINUE THEIR SLAUGHTER NU FLYING TIGER
XI WAVE TURKS SO YOU LIKE TO WIN GAMES XI SPEARHEAD
WAVE OMICRON NEAR SEND YOUR DOLLARS TO OMICRON HUNTER
PI WAVE ARE SQUARE ONLY EIGHT MORE WAVES PI PILOT
RHO WAVE YOUR BOAT IF YOU THINK THAT WAS HARD RHO CONDOR
SIGMA WAVE SICK PA THAT WAS CHEESCAKE SIGMA KNIGHT
TAU WAVE HIS AND HERS WEIRDISH PURPLE GASEOUS CLOUDS TAU AIRSHARK
WAVE UPSILON BYE BYE WOULD YOU RATHER BE IN UTAH UPSILON DEFENDER
PHI WAVE BLOODY BATTLE VISIT ME IN HAWAII SOME TIME PHI EAGLE
CHI WAVE VICIOUS ATTACK NOW FOR A BREATHER CHI COMMANDER
PSI WAVE THE SPY ONLY ONE MORE ROUND PSI CONQUERER
OMEGA WAVE FINAL BATTLE YOU HAVE DONE ITOMEGA FLYING LEATHERNECK

There were also a number of encouraging messages that showed up randomly in the margin between the two 2D views of the battlefield:

Ways to die:

Shareware notice:

FEEL FREE TO COPY AND DISTRIBUTE THIS
GAME TO FRIENDS, USER GROUPS, HACKERS,
OR YOUR DOG. THE PROGRAMMER SPENT FIVE
MONTHS ON FLIGHTMARE.  IF YOU FIND IT TO
BE ENTERTAINING AND WORTH THE DISK ITS
ON, THEN IT WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED
IF YOU SENT A MONETARY THANK YOU CARD OF
FIVE TO FIFTY DOLLARS.

     PETER ADAMS
     882 HAGEMANN DR
     LIVERMORE, CA  94550

Finally, the multi-screen instructional guide shown at the beginning of each game:

          WELCOME TO FLIGHTMARE
   THE YEAR IS 2345.  THE ONLY SURVIVORS
OF THE HUMAN RACE ARE DESERT WARRIORS,
FIGHTING FOR CONTROL OF THE LAND.  YOU
ARE A PILOT FOR THE LAST CIVILIZED
PEOPLE, THE OMEGANS.
   THE OMEGANS FIGHTING POWER IS IN THE
AIR.  THE DESERT VANDALS ARE LAUNCHING
ATTACKS ON THE OMEGAN FACTORIES.  YOUR
MISSION IS TO PROTECT THEM.
   THE VANDALS HAVE FOUR DIFFERENT
ATTACK FORCES.  THE MOTORCYCLES ARE
SMALL GANGS OF MARAUDERING BEATNICKS
WHO REVEL IN THE DESTRUCTION OF OMEGAN
FACTORIES.  THE TRUCKS HAVE THE SAME
SICK DESIRE FOR DESTRUCTION, BUT CAN
ONLY BE STOPPED BY A DIRECT HIT IN
THE TIRES.  THE SQUADS OF PLANES
MAINLY ESCORT THE TRUCKS AND BIKES, BUT
OFTEN ATTACK YOU OR WAIT IN AMBUSH AT
YOUR BLIMP.  LASTLY, THE VANDALS MAY
OPT TO FIRE THE HEAT SEEKING ROCKET.
    THE OMEGAN FORCE CONSISTS OF PLANES,
FACTORIES, A BLIMP, AND AN AIRFIELD.
IF THE VANDALS REACH A FACTORY THEY WILL
DESTROY IT.  THIS ALSO APPLIES TO THE
AIRFIELD, WHICH YOU SHOULD PROTECT WITH
YOUR LIFE. AT THE END OF EVERY ATTACK,
EACH FACTORY WILL PRODUCE ONE ADDITIONAL
PLANE FOR YOUR AIRFIELD AND ANOTHER
FACTORY WILL BE BUILT.  TO GET MORE AMMO
YOU MUST DOCK WITH THE BLIMP,  WHICH CAN
CAN NEVER BE DESTROYED BY THE VANDALS.
GAME PLAY
    FLIGHTMARE IS DIVIDED INTO TWO GAME 
PHASES.   THE FIRST IS THE MAP PHASE.
HERE, THE PLAYER CAN SEE THE LAYOUT OF
HIS FORCES AND THE VANDAL FORCES.  WHEN
A CONFRONTATION OCCURS,  THE COMBAT
PHASE BEGINS.
    THE COMBAT PHASE IS DIVIDED INTO TWO
SCREENS, A SIDE VIEW AND A TOP VIEW.
ALL COMBAT ACTION OCCURS IN 3D WHICH IS
DISPLAYED IN TWO FLAT VIEW ANGLES.
         PLANE CONTROL 
IN THE MAP SEQUENCE THE NUMBER KEYS ARE
USED FOR CONTROLLING DIRECTIONS.
       LT UP    UP    RT UP
              7 8 9
        LT    4 5 6     RT
              1 2 3
       LT DN   DN     RT DN
WHEN YOUR PLANE IS NEAR ANOTHER OBJECT,
USE THE SPACE BAR TO ENGAGE COMBAT.
CONTROL OF TOP VIEW SCREEN
       LT N   NORTH   RT S
              Q W E
         LT   A S D    RT
              Z X C
       LT S   SOUTH   RT S
    ALTITUDE IS CONTROLLED BY THE
NUMBER KEYS.  THE SPACE BAR FIRES
A ROUND OF AMMO.
   THE CONTROLS ARE MANY, AND THE
SURVIORS FEW.  IN ORDER TO KILL
SOMETHING YOU MUST BE LINED UP IN BOTH
THE SIDE VIEW SCREEN AND THE TOP VIEW
SCREEN. IT TAKES A WHILE TO GET THE HANG
OF THIS, SO DONT GIVE UP TOO EARLY.
  AT THE END OF THE GAME YOU ARE GIVEN A
RANKING BASED UPON THE LEVEL YOU ATTAIN.
THIS IS THE ONLY ACHIEVEMENT YOU GET
CREDIT FOR.

"Maraudering beatnicks"!


This document (source) is part of Crummy, the webspace of Leonard Richardson (contact information). It was last modified on Tuesday, December 30 2008, 00:22:21 Nowhere Standard Time and last built on Tuesday, September 16 2014, 15:00:05 Nowhere Standard Time.

Crummy is © 1996-2014 Leonard Richardson. Unless otherwise noted, all text licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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