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Desert Falcon


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#1 Stevaside OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:32 AM

Can this be beaten? Are there a certain amount of levels until it's over or does the game keep on going? Can't seem to find anything confirming this

 

I've had this game in my collection for over 20 years, and just now giving it more of a chance & beginning to like it.  Guess I was just too frustrated by the controls when I originally tried it & gave up too quick on it. Never even took the time to learn about the whole hieroglyphic combo mechanic either, pretty unique  & interesting IMO



#2 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:52 AM

Just played this yesterday. This game is great!! Tons of guys to shoot and great graphics and fun gameplay.

#3 Stevaside OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:56 AM

Just played this yesterday. This game is great!! Tons of guys to shoot and great graphics and fun gameplay.

Yea, turns out it's one of those games that the controls just take getting used to. Also, it seems what I read somewhere recently is true how you have alot better chance of hitting the enemies if you are either on the ground or all the way up in the air.  Think part of my problem was I was flying more in the middle. I don't smash into buildings as much now either, and when I do, frustrating or not, it's always hilarious how the bird plummets to his death while hearing the "cuckoo,cuckoo,cuckoo" type sound effect hahaha

 

And yea, it gets intense with the amount of enemies on the screen in later levels it looks like, I was surprised

 

Just hope it has a set amount of levels, be cooler to play if I know I have a goal to reach instead of just points



#4 Nuclear Pacman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:25 PM

I enjoy Desert Falcon alot more than Zaxxon, which is the most obvious influence to me, in the creation of this game by Atari. I've always really enjoyed just how much randomness is involved with all parts of the level design. The levels are randomly generated, and all the items are randomly generated within that, plus it seems like the enemies are pretty much randomly generated on top of it all. When you turn this game on it's like you just rolled a handful of dice and see what happens.



#5 Trebor OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:53 PM

Here's a hieroglyph combo guide and some general gameplay tips.  It comes from the May-June 1989 issue of the Atarian.
 
Desert_Falcon_Atarian_MayJune_1989.png

...Are there a certain amount of levels until it's over or does the game keep on going? Can't seem to find anything confirming this...


The general consensus is that it just keeps going like many/most Arcade games of a similar vernacular. The source code is available; perhaps someone, someday, may be able to confirm exactly how the game is programmed, regarding level progression.



#6 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:13 PM

Recently re-added Desert Falcon to my collection as I've had the desire to give it a try again. Does seem to have some depth to it. I didn't like it years ago when I tackled it like a Zaxxon clone. Wrong way to go about it obviously.

Thanks for the guide above. Will print that out and give this game another go soon.

#7 DracIsBack OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:16 PM

I don't mind the game. Found it a bit repetitive and some of the colour schemes are weird. On the other hand, love the isometric Zaxxon scrolling and it's fun to warp at high speed. Love the Sphinx graphics and stuff. 

 

When I was a kid, I remember seeing it on the back of the 7800 box and thinking you could explore inside the Sphinx. Whoops



#8 Stevaside OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:58 PM

Here's a hieroglyph combo guide and some general gameplay tips.  It comes from the May-June 1989 issue of the Atarian.
 
attachicon.gifDesert_Falcon_Atarian_MayJune_1989.png


The general consensus is that it just keeps going like many/most Arcade games of a similar vernacular. The source code is available; perhaps someone, someday, may be able to confirm exactly how the game is programmed, regarding level progression.

 

Thanks! Yea I actually ran into that searching around, cropped the combo guide & saved it in my phone to keep by me haha

 

Yea I thought that was it, the manual didn't describe anything about amount of levels or final stages & I couldn't find evidence online of anyone claiming to beat it. I woulda prefered that & it does seem like a game that could be setup that way, but it's still cool.  I think it'd be more fun to me to go by how many levels I can get up to vs. points with this one



#9 Stevaside OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:02 PM

Recently re-added Desert Falcon to my collection as I've had the desire to give it a try again. Does seem to have some depth to it. I didn't like it years ago when I tackled it like a Zaxxon clone. Wrong way to go about it obviously.

Thanks for the guide above. Will print that out and give this game another go soon.

Yea I never got to play Zaxxon back in the day, but was aware of it & always knew this was considered a clone. I am just now realizing how Desert Falcon has more depth than I thought too with the hiero power up & point system (which I still need some experience with) The controls are what put me off originally, but 2 decades later I'm getting used to them & have a new found appreciation for this game



#10 Trebor OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:12 PM

The source code is available; perhaps someone, someday, may be able to confirm exactly how the game is programmed, regarding level progression.

 

Quoting myself here, because well, it has been done:dunce:



#11 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:55 PM

I had the 2600 game new as a kid.
I found the 2600 easier to kill sphinxs, collect treasure and smoother from flight to walking to flying again.
The only thing easier on the 7800 is avoiding the buildings for some strange reason.

#12 NIKON ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:10 PM

Desert Falcon..ahh yes..the game that I love to hate....and hate myself for loving it...however there is no end game in this game...just points.

 

I like to think that this game was made to show off the MARIA chip. It was programmed by GCC as were many of the 7800 games in its infancy. 



#13 Trebor OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:00 PM

While there is no definitive end to the game, it can be broken up into different "Missions".
 
Although the levels generate randomly, they do repeat (overall) after Level 8.  To help illustrate what is being mentioned, see the captures below:
 
MISSION 1:
DF_LVL01_SM.png DF_LVL02_SM.png DF_LVL03_SM.png
DF_LVL04_SM.png DF_LVL05_SM.png DF_LVL06_SM.png
DF_LVL07_SM.png DF_LVL08_SM.png
 
MISSION 2:
DF_LVL09_SM.png DF_LVL10_SM.png DF_LVL11_SM.png
DF_LVL12_SM.png DF_LVL13_SM.png DF_LVL14_SM.png
DF_LVL15_SM.png DF_LVL16_SM.png
 
MISSION 3:
DF_LVL17_SM.png ...Etc.


#14 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:51 PM

I always thought the sphinx sounded like an unbalanced washing machine when I was a kid.

#15 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 14, 2018 7:27 PM

Just played 7800 for 2 hours today.
I can not get over all the sprites and how everthing fits together. With a little more background music with a pokey and maybe a different scale of the game after destroying the sphinx for the bonus level this game could have been even more legendary.. I like the tia sound effects myself on this game.

#16 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:22 PM

We played a few games of it yesterday as well. It's so weird... years ago I couldn't stand Desert Falcon. Thought it was just a cheesy Zaxxon rip-off and quickly dismissed (and sold) it. Playing it again, getting the control mechanics down and understanding the icons, have to admit it's a pretty fun game! I like the change of pace when you're hopping around on the ground and dodging buildings can be challenging too. Playing a two-player alternating game was even fun and felt very arcade like as games tended to move quickly. Glad I re-purchased this recently as it's obviously a pretty decent sleeper of a game IMO. 



#17 Desert Falcon OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:27 AM

This game is ok.

#18 7800JAGFAN OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:59 PM

I always have to comment when people talk about Desert Falcon, its the reason I bought a 7800 over a Nes, crazy, but this game even impressed my Nes owning friends when I showed them the "Warp"  and how fast/busy the screen would get on "Expert" mode. I have 3 copies of it today, 2 of them still sealed for backup. This was the 7800's "killer app" for me.



#19 Jinks OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:52 PM

I always have to comment when people talk about Desert Falcon, its the reason I bought a 7800 over a Nes, crazy, but this game even impressed my Nes owning friends when I showed them the "Warp"  and how fast/busy the screen would get on "Expert" mode. I have 3 copies of it today, 2 of them still sealed for backup. This was the 7800's "killer app" for me.

I know the nes would never have that many objects. Well it might with 3/4 of them invisible like many of it's games.

#20 aaron1677 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:31 PM

As mentioned above, the game is "conquered" after Level 8. This is the end of "new" content, as the game repeats after that, albeit in a different order.

 

This is an excellent Atari 7800 game. 

 

I feel like it's meant to be played a bit slower pace, and isn't about rushing through the level or destroying everything in sight. It's as much about AVOIDANCE and SURVIVAL, using the obelisks, pyramids, rivers, etc to your advantage. 

 

I currently have it ranked #13 in my Atari 7800 rankings* (pictured, top to bottom, left to right). 

 

*Impossible Mission's #2 rank is contingent on "fixed" version that makes it possible to win

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_8248 (1).jpg

Edited by aaron1677, Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:31 PM.


#21 ace2184 ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:29 PM

Lots of fans, that's a good sign. I've always enjoyed Desert Falcon, more so than the similar Zaxxon.

#22 jaybird3rd ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:02 PM

This discussion is making me want to give Desert Falcon a closer look! I'm curious how the 7800 version of Desert Falcon compares to the XE version. A few people mentioned the 7800's TIA sound, so I'm assuming that the XE version at least sounds better.

#23 7800JAGFAN OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:55 PM

I have both the XE and 7800 versions, crazy but the 7800 sounds better, and the XEGS version only have 5 levels before repeating, choppy animation and much less enemys on screen. That said, I still like the XE game and its still cheap for a new copy.



#24 Trebor OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:38 AM

Lots of fans, that's a good sign. I've always enjoyed Desert Falcon, more so than the similar Zaxxon.

 

I feel like it's meant to be played a bit slower pace, and isn't about rushing through the level or destroying everything in sight. It's as much about AVOIDANCE and SURVIVAL, using the obelisks, pyramids, rivers, etc to your advantage. 

:thumbsup:

 

For a comparison in utilizing other (7800) games, think of the difference with Ikari Warriors as opposed to Commando.  Similar games, but different strategy and approach between them.  Ditto on how Desert Falcon is (best) played as opposed to Zaxxon.

 

For any who are interested, Desert Falcon is currently being played for the HSC.



#25 nosweargamer OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:59 PM

As mentioned above, the game is "conquered" after Level 8. This is the end of "new" content, as the game repeats after that, albeit in a different order.

 

This is an excellent Atari 7800 game. 

 

I feel like it's meant to be played a bit slower pace, and isn't about rushing through the level or destroying everything in sight. It's as much about AVOIDANCE and SURVIVAL, using the obelisks, pyramids, rivers, etc to your advantage. 

 

I currently have it ranked #13 in my Atari 7800 rankings* (pictured, top to bottom, left to right). 

 

*Impossible Mission's #2 rank is contingent on "fixed" version that makes it possible to win

 

I like how you stack your games by rank! Neat!

 

I'm also happy to see that the game is gaining some fans. When I covered it on the podcast, I recall it getting a lukewarm reception from listeners, but I've enjoyed the game since it first came out. I even had the Atarian Magazine with the codes in it, although I always memorized Bird Cane Bowl. Didn't care much for the 2600 version, though.

 

I do think the game does a great job showing off how many sprites the 7800 could manage. I remember being VERY excited to play it on the first Flashback when it came out, but then being VERY disappointed in the end result. Just goes to show that the game would not work on a NES.

 

If you haven't seen the Flashback version, here it is in my review of the FB system. Go to the 3:38 mark to see DF. I also think the music on the FB version was worse than the TIA 7800 music (Even though I wish they put the Pokey in the 7800, some of the programmers really knew how to push the TIA)


Edited by nosweargamer, Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:01 PM.





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