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Is Tornado a high flier, or is all the hype just pie in the sky? Does it take you on a flight of fancy or will you want to bail out? We have got the answers to your Tornado questions.

T Tornado here’s AAA fire all round you, lighting the midnight sky like thousands of fire flies, you punch your airspeed up to compensate for the turbulence as your craft hugs the hillside on the final approach to your primary target. Your ground radar alerts you to a SAM site! What do you do? You select Master Arm! You are committed, but keep an eye out for those SAM sites!

Originally written for the PC, Tornado comes packaged with an excellent 330-page manual (on the Amiga the Mission Planning section was scrapped which makes pages 47 to 95 redundant, but they are still worth reading).
The main option screen is split into three sections: Flight, Demo and Quick Start. Quick Start puts you on a live strike mission without much explanation of what to do, so if you are a beginner it is best to opt for Flight, which allows you to set the preferences such as World Texture, Visual Range, Object Density and Cabin features.

The neat thing about Tornado is that it features a flight sim within a flight sim, click on this icon and it takes you to a Flight Simulator where you can begin to hone your skills on a number of set tasks, from take-off, to bomb runs and flame outs. In fact anything you need to become a Tornado pilot is displayed in front of you, and where better to learn the plane’s systems and memorise the 160 or so keyboard commands?

Flight training
After bundles of time in the simulator you should be ready to make the big leap to live flying on the training ground. There is not a whole heap of difference from the sim to live flying except that you can crash and burn which will end your current flight log. A good way to avoid entering a new log is to select the cheat option from the menu. This will ignore any little mishaps you have like dying, but remember you are in control and it was not a SAM that got yu – they are not active in training. In Flight Training you can also use the Explore mode to spy on your next target – better than any aerial recon the RAF has got.

Ready for Combat
The day will come when you are ready to go all the way. This time there is no cheating and those who have bigger machines will have the preferences set automatically. If you have been Slow Flying, now is the time to enter the real world.
A600 owners will notice a change in sim speed, but this does not detract from the gameplay. Clicking on the Combat icon opens another screen which displays Two-Player, Mission and Campaign options. Two-Player enables you to play a pal via direct link or a modem which makes for some heart-stopping head-to-head action.
With the Mission option you can take part in a number of actions against the enemy’s land and sky forces. There are two war zones with 20 missions per zone.
Finally, in Campaign you fly set war missions from a one plane strike to a combined six-Tornado deep strike which, when you are in enemy air space, gives them the chance to show off their hardware. At this point you really need to leave the front seat, hit the Control key and the down arrow, and you will be in the weapon’s offer’s chair who also doubles as your navigator.
With the Master Alarm buzzing, activate your Flight Plan Display, change your Multi-Function Display to the forward-looking camera, and try to locate your position on the navigational map. Do all this while the screen is jumping all over the place simulating the turbulence from all that inbound flak, and try to pin point that AAA battery, not forgetting to release flares and chaff! Sounds tough. It is.
Digital Integration makes no excuses for the number of key commands you have to remember, or for the fact that you have to jump from seat to seat – it certainly makes for some frantic gameplay.

Mission map shows you a map of pre-set flight plans, and by opening the key icon you can highlight all the enemy forces around your flight path. One nice touch is that by clicking on your object you can go into explore mode and see your target and the surrounding terrain.

There are two versions of the Tornado, the ADV (Air Defence Variety) which is much the same as its sister IDS (Intruder Strike Variety), but both play completely different roles. The Combat Air Patrol encounters in both Mission and Campaign form are difficult to master and having restricting cockpit views and some unimaginative external views do not help matters. Digital Integration have certainly done their homework on Tornado, getting expert advice from the Tornado crews to make the package as realistic as possible. However, the game does have its faults. There is only one crash sequence, which is fine for belly landings but not for hitting the side of a hill at 600 knots. There is no replay mode, so more often than not you miss your bomb hitting its target. There are also so many key commands to remember that you often have to pause the game to look up that all-important action.

To get the best out of Tornado, Digital recommend you use an A1200, A4000 or with an A500, that you have at least 1Mb of RAM and an accelerator. You will need it. Even on an A1200, its slow frame rate renders it almost unplayable. You really need at least an 030 processor to enjoy it fully. On an A600 you can speed it up by setting the preferences to minimum, but it is still slower than an A1200.

As flight sims go, Tornado is out of this world. It is remarkably detailed but is aimed at the fully blown propeller heads, so if you find it hard-going at first, do not lose your patience – the fun comes as your horizons are widened by the depth and realism of the program.
Paul Monaf

Amiga Format, Issue 56, February 1994, p.p.48-49

DON’T be put off by the number of functions you are expected to carry out almost simultaneously, just follow the manual’s Elementary Flight Training section, and hit the Pause key.
THE MANUAL carries some good checklists (pages 294 and 295), but it is a good idea to make your own lists which makes for a much smoother game.
ALWAYS make full use of the different autopilot settings because they will put you on the right lines.

"Tornado makes for some frantic and absorbing gameplay”

M Smith, N Mascall, T Hosier
Digital Integration
0276 684959

Tornado is hard disk installable   Tornado needs 1 Meg to run

09 out of 10
Excellent 3d graphics. You can even navigate by the stars on some night time missions.

07 out of 10
Standard engine drones and warning alarms. The sounds are life-like, but a bit dull.

08 out of 10
It is a hard game to crack. Even for the real flight sim buffs. It is a real challenge.

07 out of 10
Takes a lot of time on the simulator before you get out and fly. Needs a powerful Amiga.

"Tornado takes flight simulating to the extreme. A lot of time and effort has been put into the game, and you will have to put in a similar amount of dedication to get the most out of it."

Tornado logo

Die PC-Piloten mussten erst eine halbe Ewigkeit auf den Flugi von Digital Integration warten, die Amiga-Umsetzung nahm dann aber bloß noch knapp sechs Monate in Anspruch - und es wurde trotzdem keine Bruchlandung!

Tornado Wie schon zu DOSenzeiten durchmißt man den Screenhimmel in Diensten der Royal Air Force entweder mit dem Tornado F3 oder der speziell auf Luftkämpfe zugeschnittenen GR4-Variante. Vor den Start haben die Programmierer ein über 300 Seiten starkes, komplett deutsches Handbuch gesetzt; nach dieser Pflichtlektüre darf das frisch Gelernte im Simulator erprobt und bei etlichen Trainingsmission geübt werden, Die Stunde der Wahrheit schlägt dann in 20 zum Teil hammerharten Einzel- und Gruppeneinsätzen; Hobbystrategen dürfen darüber hinaus ihre eigenen Aufträge ersinnen oder sogar einen komplett selbstgestrickten Feldzug anleiern.

Wegen der Abwechslung gibt es drei unterschiedliche (fiktive) Einsatzgebiete, die der Packung gleichzeitig als Landkarten beiliegen. Die Missionen selbst laufen jedoch fast immer nach demselben Schema ab: Zunächst wird man in einem gut gemachten Briefing über Angriffsziele, Freund, Feind, Bewaffnung etc. informiert; dann jagt man in verschärften Tiefflugs aufs Ziel zu, weicht dabei geschickt Baumkronen und Feindradar aus, um am Ende Schließlich wieder in der heimischen Basis zu landen. Unterstützt wird man dabei von einem "intelligenten" Autopiloten, der für alle Standardsituationen bestens gerüstet ist und zudem der aktuellen Feindlage individuell angepasst werden kann.

Überraschenderweise hat die erstaunlich kurze Konvertierungszeit dem Tornado wirklich kein bisschen geschadet, nahezu jedes Detail der PC-Fassung blieb uns erhalten. Das gilt für die etwas farbarmen, aber recht detaillierten Grafiken ebenso wie für den praktisch nicht vorhandenen Sound und die präzise Steuerung. Allerdings bedeutet es auch wieder einen gewissen Mangel an Optionen - so existiert zwar ein Zwei-Flieger-Modus (via Null-modemkabel), aber weder das Flugverhalten noch der Schwierigkeitsgrad lassen sich variieren. Spaß macht dieses Game trotzdem, weil sich dabei sehr schnell das typische "Gunship"-Gefühl einstellt: Es hat einfach seinen ganz eigenen Reiz, wenn man ständig auf der Hut sein muß, im Tiefflug mit der gegnerischen Abwehr neckische Versteckspiele treibt und über all dem das eigentliche Ziel nicht aus den Augen verlieren darf!

Das ziemlich lebensnahe Verhalten sowohl des eigenen Stahlvogels als auch der Feinde hat jedoch eine hohen technischen Preis, denn Standard-Amigas ohne Turbokarte sind mehr oder weniger chancenlos, und selbst ein A1200 kommt hier ganz schön ins Schwitzen. Außerdem ist die Speicherangabe von 1 MB auf der Packung eher irreführend, da dieses Megabyte tatsächlich frei sein muß - in der Praxis hebt man also erst mit 2 MB RAM ab. Wer die richtige Hardware hat, sollte beim Tornado aber ruhig zuschlagen, denn neue Flugs sind am Amiga derzeit nicht alltäglich; technisch so zeitgemäße schon gar nicht. (mic)

Amiga Joker, February 1994, p.?

Amiga Joker
2 MB

Tornado logo

It's been nearly three years in production and finally DI are ready for take off, but have they taken too long? Tony Dillon claims it's a walk in the park.

Tornado A t first glance, a simualtion based on the Panavia Tornado GR.4 and F3 might seem like a mighty strange idea. After all, they're hardly the high profile, all action combat monsters we're used to seeing from DI or Microprose. Even though it featured quite highly in the Allied attacks during the Gulf War, it doesn't bring to mind the same 'macho' imagery generally associated with combat flight. Just as well really, as this isn't that sort of game at all.

Like most simulations, it's mission based, with most of them based around ground attack – the Tornado's primary function. Unlike Microprose titles, there are a predefined number of missions to actually take part in, as they are preset rather than the randomly generated ones we usually see. While this leads to more interesting and structured missions, it might seem limiting to some people. You have 17 'simulator' missions, where you practise your flying and combat skills, plus 12 training missions, there are a dozen or so preset combat missions for each of three zones and ten campaign missions for each of three zones, with over 100 missions in all! If you imagine that each mission takes about 20 minutes, there's over 35 hours of flying time here!

The simulation itself is unlike any other out there. The Tornado is a twin seater aircraft, so you have to divide your time between the pilot and navigation seats. Due to the nature of most missions, you spend a lot of time flying, with all the actual action crammed into a few seconds (fly to an airfield, bomb the runway and then fly back for example). A lot of the actual navigation is done for you, thanks to the fully comprehensive flight computer and autopilot. You can take over if you want, but most of the time you've got your hands full with all the other functions of the plane.

However, Tornado suffers from the judders like you wouldn't believe. The graphic engine is highly impressive on a fast PC, churning out over 2000 polygons at a time. On the old Amiga, though, it is almost completely unplayable at times. On a 4000/040, with all detail turned off and visibility at minimum, it runs smoothly. On a 1200, with most of the detail off, you are talking a frame every two seconds. You would have thought that at some point in the past two years, someone would have noticed. We hear the same old excuses of how the A1200 doesn't really have the power for this kind of engine. So what? Why not just cut down the engine?

Those of us who like to grab a Microprose sim, stick on the easiest possible level and then race around the landscape blasting everything in sight will find little to get excited about here.

This is a fully comprehensive true simulator – impressively so at times – and only those ready to face the rigours of real combat flying should approach it. if excitement is what you're looking for , then look elsewhere. This is about as exciting as a bumper car simulator written in AMOS. If you want a true demonstration of a Tornado flight envelope, a hands-on experience of modern navigation or the chance to do some high brow low level attacks – something missed in most flight sims – then this might be the game for you.

All in all, the speed really lets things down, rendering the game almost unplayable in places, but other than that it's an absolutely superb simulation.

CU Amiga, December 1993, "HOT! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" – Amiga games Special, p.10

A lesson learned many years ago in the US was that to sell something small, you needed to make it weighty, which goes a long way to explaining why PC games come on thirteen disks when they could come on three. Open the back-breaking Tornado and you'll find a huge (300-plus pages!) manual that even puts Microprose to shame, a selection of colour mission maps, various addendums and key references, and an interesting flyer advertising the Tornado CD. No, not a CD32 version, but an actual CD featuring, and I quote, "Music from & inspired by the TORNADO flight simulator experience". Not only that, but it features such great tracks as "Storm!" by Hollywood Nights and "We Can Fly!" by Fly!

DI £34.99
M, J, K


Superbly detailed simulation, but far too slow to be playable.