Red Baron

Moby ID: 1766
DOS Specs
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Description official descriptions

Red Baron puts you in the pilot's seat of actual World War I fighter aircraft. This game features 28 different aircraft from both the Allied and the German sides presented in actual 3D graphics. Start a career as a pilot and rise through the ranks to become the most feared ace in the skies, or participate in a variety of single missions including simple fighter sweeps, balloon-busting, zeppelin hunting, or take on an actual WWI ace in one-on-one combat. If you're good enough, you may even be able to take on the infamous Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron himself.

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Credits (DOS version)

40 People (34 developers, 6 thanks) · View all

Directed and Designed by
Lead Programmer
Shell programmed by
Additional simulation programming and mission recorder by
Flight model programmed by
Technical Assistance
Historical Missions
Art Director
3D Graphic Artist
Casting and costuming by
Director of Image Production
Off-line maps by
16-color artwork by
Audio Director
Sound effects and music editing by
Music score by
  • Cayanie Music
Quality Assurance
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 73% (based on 15 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 61 ratings with 5 reviews)

Wonderful, colorful air combat!

The Good
God, I loved this game! Where else could you get the multi-colored glory of those early fighters, and a chance to affect the Great War from the air? The plane models fly very differently, and you feel the differences in dogfights. Just like the real pilots back then, you really don't want to meet an enemy riding something hotter than the machine you're in. And what a sense of accomplishment when you score a victory!

The Bad
Just the old DOS problems of getting a stable setup that ran well with the game. In those days, there were only drivers for two or three video cards, and you soldiered on with the nearest emulation you had, if you didn't have the supported ones. So on some machines, you couldn't run the game. On a machine that would run it, I never found anything not to like!

The Bottom Line
This was the best air combat sim of its day... and for many days after. Dynamix made its reputation on this baby. Even it couldn't meet that standard when it set out to remake the game several years later. Only with the patched version of Red Baron 3D did they again reach this high plateau of gameplay.

DOS · by Professor (105) · 2002

THE pure dogfighting simulation

The Good
"Red Baron" is the best dogfighting game the PC has ever seen, bar none. The gameplay is smooth, fast, furious, and historically accurate. Air battles are incredibly exciting turning fights. Ten years later, Red Baron STILL beats most flight sims for sheer excitement and adrenaline. It's easy to play, easy to navigate, bug-free, avoids tedious aircraft management or "no-combat" flight and has a shallow learning curve.

The Bad
There's nothing not to like. "Red Baron" is one of the ten best PC games of all time.

Be careful, though, not to get Red Baron II, a horrible product.

The Bottom Line
Terrific second-generation dogfighting simulation; a PC gaming classic.

DOS · by Rick Jones (96) · 2001

Legendary Air Combat

The Good
This game has a lot of variety. There are 28 planes to choose from (though not all are available if you play Career mode, which makes sense), each plane with its own characteristics. There are many different types of missions you can play such as zeppelin hunting, balloon popping, and simple patrols and dogfighting. The game also contains a large list of famous aces, both German and Allied, that you can fight in one-on-one combat.

At the time of this game's release, the graphics were top-of-the-line. All objects were well rendered and easily recognizable. It did not take much imagination to feel that you were actually flying over the front engaging a squadron of German fighters. Mind you, this is a few years before the discovery of the "textured polygon."

The flight model allowed the player to choose exactly what features he/she wanted in the experience. You could choose to have an easy-to-fly flight model or a more difficult, more realistic flight model. You could also turn off and on specific features such as black/red-outs, limited ammunition, sun blinding, or you even fancy yourself a god and turn off the vulnerability. Great fun.

Along with the disks, the box contained a well-written and detailed instruction manual explaining not only basic controls, but advanced tactics and manuevers. The manual contained a section with histories, biographies, and anecdotes about the WWI air war and its pilots. Lots of fun to read if you were interested in the real history of the war. There were also several maps showing the regions modeled in the game (very handy when you got seperated from your squadron and had to find your own way back home) and a smaller instruction book useful for quick reference on flying the plane and basic manuevers.

The Bad
While quite good for the time period, the AI of enemy pilots was easily outsmarted. Should an enemy get on your tail, all you had to do to shake him was pull a simple vertical manuever like a split-S or an Immelmann turn. AI, however, was a pretty new science at this time.

The flight models were quite a bit more nimble than the actual planes would have been. It isn't very realistic, but still fun.

The Bottom Line
This game represents a ground-breaking achievement in computer air combat simulation. Definitely one of the great games of its day.

DOS · by Ghost (120) · 2000

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

256 color version

Players who owned the 16-color version of the game were a couple of months later invited to send away to Dynamix with proof of purchase to obtain free diskettes containing the 256-color version.

Extras

The box came with maps and a very big manual with information about the Red Baron, WOI, photo's, aircraft specifications, the lot.

Freeware release

This 16 color version was made available as freeware to promote and make amends for the late release of Red Baron II.

Multiplayer

Sierra's on-line community known as the ImagiNation Network (INN) featured, among many other games, a multiplayer version of Red Baron. The multiplayer version was popular and attracted quite a following until the network was unfortunately shutdown in 1996. The Red Baron community supported many squardons (some of which still exist today in other on-line flight simulators), inter-squadron wars, and a player-run "SkyWars Council."

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1991 (Issue #88) – Simulation of the Year
    • May 1993 (Issue #106) - Introduced into the Hall of Fame
    • November 1996 (15th anniverary issue) - #4 in the “150 Best Games of All Time” list
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 12/1999 - #92 in the "100 Most Important PC Games of the Nineties" ranking

Information also contributed by Adam Baratz, Imajica, Kasey Chang and WildKard

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  • MobyGames ID: 1766
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Ghost.

Amiga added by Martin Smith. Macintosh added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Patrick Bregger, Victor Vance.

Game added June 26, 2000. Last modified January 29, 2024.