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Today we are taking a trip back to 2004, a time when as you can see from the photo above featured PC CDROMs!

Before Internet speeds for most were high enough to consider sending entire game files they had to distribute games to people using good old fashioned Compact Disks. The shiny CD came complete with its own (Jewel) case with cover and even a printed manual. As you can see a time when even Thirdwire had to distribute games and make them look like games used to - the manual even tells me to go to http://www.softwarehelpdesk.co.uk/ for technical support…………..ha looks like that domain is up for sale! 
 

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Looking at the back we can see it even ran on Windows ME with 256MB of RAM! - Yes, I had to look back to remember what Win ME was – the very last of the Win 9x line before Microsoft thankfully ditched that and we got Win 2000 then Win XP.  Of course, in 2004 or nearly all of that decade Win XP was the only game in town for home users and it was great for its time.

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For anybody who had bought Strike Fighters: Project 1, a Vietnam game was a logical and most welcome step forward….a game that recreates the intense air combat experience in the skies of North Vietnam at the height of the air campaign……………..what could be better!

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The manual lists the Player and AI aircraft, and although the VPAF selection looks fairly complete, the US selection was very limited compared to the later Strike Fighters 2: Vietnam.
This was a time when there was hope for the future and many opportunities to modify the hell out of the game and start getting into place the absolute ton of things not included in the box.

 


Terrain & Environment
As you might see (from the case) the Terrain that came with WOV wasn’t much better than what comes with one of Thirdwires Phone & Tablet PC games – a pretty poor and unrealistic looking barren wasteland. Unsurprisingly it was not long before modders produced somewhat better tilesets - o
ne of the first I remember and although free was used by Yankee Air Pirate later:

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The RA-5 Vigilante - does not come with WOV

 

There was a payware tileset for sale at Razbams store at some point – but suffered from having obvious borders and tile edges – also 512 x 512 bitmap files were pretty big at the time but very low res by today’s standards.

This later effort includes a version of Starys Green Hell which included a lot more trees for the first time:

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Vietnam was hell - Green hell!

 

 

When released WOV also had no clouds either but they were added in a later patch:

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Low level clouds, gone but not forgotten 

 

Game play
The North Vietnam Air Force (VPAF) and air defences were quite well set up as part of the terrain, with relevant SAM and AAA models for the era along with relevant AI. The MiGs varied in effectiveness from patch to patch whereas some of the SA-2s had a Kill probability of about 99% - this was rightly toned down somewhat in Strike Fighters 2 (SF2). 
WOV included an airbourne FAC (Forward Air Controller) role and this was usually represented by an 0-1E Birddog flying over the battlefield (Callsign Snoopy) – this was removed from SF2. 
The game added Carrier operations for the first time although the carrier was pretty lonely by itself most of the time, and players could only fly off it in campaigns and scripted single missions! 

 

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The B-52s thought they were safe from Thirdwires lesser spotted MiG-17F 

 


Payware
There were some options for payware – mostly from Razbam and Yankee Air Pirate – both had air of controversy that I won’t go into here. 

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One of the very few payware aircraft was the A-1 skyraider pack


Before the Mission Editor arrived in SF2 you had to create single missions using Notepad basically, quite a time consuming and difficult process. Yankee Air Pirate basically created single missions based on real missions from Vietnam and was quite an important addition for anyone with an interest in that subject. 

 

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Populated carrier deck

 

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Landing and taking off in Hueys from smaller boats like this

 

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Shooting down Colts in Hueys

 

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Shooting the side gun in Hueys - Get some!.

 

Of course, with scripted missions you can do quite a few things you cannot in auto generated single missions and campaigns!

 

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Advance clone army!

 

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The VPAF, masters of camouflage

 

 

 

Looking back

Wings Over Vietnam certainly started out as a fairly serious attempt to put together a decent standalone Vietnam war Air Combat simulator and in that respects, did a pretty decent job, but only if you took time to add a lot of the mods available and change the game yourself. Graphically it was using DX9.0c so was up to date in that regards although again you had to add mods to get it looking to what it should have perhaps been out of the box. 

 

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F-111A - not included with WOV

 

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EB-66 - not included with WOV


…………and Here we are at the tail end of 2017 and still no real alternative to WOV and SF2V on the Vietnam War flight sim front.

 

 

 

 

 

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Sigh. TW and TK was, for me anyway, a real disabled friendly gaming company although TK didn't designed his company that in mind. Guess that's why I still play SF2 despite TK treats us like sh!t nowadays.

Falcon

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Prior to Wings Over Vietnam, Gephard had released the DRV (Demorcratic Republic of Vietnam) terrain for SFP1. ArmourDave had already released an F-105D for SFP1 was working on releasing a major base... when TK blindsided everyone with the release of Wings Over Vietnam. ArmourDave had invested so much time and effort into making a proper Vietnam expansion for SFP1 that he got very angry at TK for stealing his thunder with this surprise release. ArmourDave, who had done so much for SFP1, completely left the SFP1/WoX community after this happened. WoV's big change beyond the new terrain was adding in carriers and basic carrier operations. But TK's view system with its stock head positions were optimized for allowing the virtual pilot to see the control panel which made carrier landings quite difficult since you couldn't see over the nose with the view position so low if you were on glide slope at the correct AoA and speed. This problem was further complicated by the lack of ILS support for carrier landings. Overall the plane set was outstanding, greatly expanding the number of flyable and AI aircraft compared to SFP1. Besides the F-105, the F-8 was the big win, plus a half finished A-6 could be flown by the player. Unfortunately, like nearly every patch or release in the SFP1/WoV series, the gains were partially canceled out by bugs. The AI pilots went stupid compared to the very lethal SFP1 Service Pack 2a enemy pilots. But the worst problem was issues with the flight engine. Transonic flight behavior was broken bad. So WoV went through some quick patches to get rid of the worst bugs. However, the dumb AI pilots would remain until Wings Over Israel was released years later, a precursor to another surprise release: SF2.

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21 hours ago, MigBuster said:

...

Today we are taking a trip back to 2004, a time when as you can see from the photo above featured PC CDROMs!

Before Internet speeds for most were high enough to consider sending entire game files they had to distribute games to people using good old fashioned Compact Disks. The shiny CD came complete with its own (Jewel) case with cover and even a printed manual.

...

I still have mine laying in my shelf! :biggrin:
Though I really should consider to finally get rid of them... :wink:

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Just reinstalled SFP2 so I can play just this part of it... Oh how I missed this game. As much as I love DCS world and the other newer sims... this just brings back memories  -like playing Fighters Anthology does...

Edited by Phil_Ciborowski

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still have of copy of it , and than its patches and new terrain new mods, new weapons , aircrafts  the smoking trial of SAM and downloading every thing on 128 KBps . basically just put it on the downloading and go to sleep and sometimes it got stuck on 90 or 95% .  

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I just came back to see if there was ever a fix for the Win10 update issue. I haven't been able to play WoV since the Windows 10 anniversary update. Now, I just added 8GB of Ram to see if that helps at all. If not, I might check out DCS. I do not want to invest hundreds of dollars in upgrades just to get it running smoothly. Wish me luck.

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WOV does play on the latest Win 10 although not as well as SF2V - how far does it get?

I have turned off all Game mode setting in Win 10 (was added in a recent update)

Another thing added - If you right click on the desktop icon and go to compatibility tab  then tick "Disable full-screen optimisations"

 

You probably need at least 16GB for DCS if not 32 for 2.5 online - at the moment a 1070/1080 type gfx card seems to be the type of card you need for that. Obviously if Vietnam is your thing then there is nothing in DCS and be warned that the full modules are full on simulators nothing like SF/WOV. 

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Well for sure this does bring back some good memories....wow!  What I did with my CD's I used the Extraction tool and ripped out all the Airplanes and Ground Objects and gave them all new life in SF2 Vietnam.  MUES Tool box was a great step forward for all this to happen!!!   Added another carrier group so they had some where to land:)  I also added in some stuff from YAP.   I still have an old machine with win7 on it and seems I cannot get grid of it just to play SF1 and then realize SF2 is way better. 

 

Thanks for the flash back it was great!!!  

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I bought all the "Wings over" series back in the day. But I only played them for a short time. Soon after i bought them, I upgraded my PC and the "Wings over" sims stopped working? I assumed it had something to do with 32 vs 64 bit OS? I guess I like them enough to buy all the Win7 versions again. So I really cut my teeth on the current version, I don't even remember the "Wings" versions (sorta blurs with the Win7 version). I still have the "Wings over" disks, right next to my Janes disks (LOL). I may have to dust off my retro PC and give it a whirl to refresh the old grey cell. 

:) 

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