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Red Baron [Cockpit model]

Arcade Video game published 43 years ago by Atari, Inc.

Listed in MAME

Red Baron © 1981 Atari, Incorporated.

Red Baron is a realistic flying simulation. Your player is a World War I fighter pilot searching the skies for the enemy. The horizon shifts and tilts as he maneuvers the joystick. Three dimensional hills and valleys sweep by below.

Suddenly out of the horizon, an enemy biplane appears. The pilot dives, climbs, lines up the plane in his sights! He fires a deadly hail of tracers and the enemy airplane tumbles to earth.

But watch out, there are more coming. The first four planes are relatively slow. As time progresses, the player moves more quickly and the enemy planes take more evasive action, adding to the difficulty and challenge.

Next the player faces ground targets. An observation blimp floats into view over a low rise of hills. Bright ground objects start to appear, a tank, a pill-box, then dimmer targets, a pyramid, a building. They make good targets for strafing runs but danger can appear at any time.

As the game progresses, tanks, pill-boxes and blimps will begin shooting back. The game is composed of randomly alternating series of ground and plane phases. Finally, the planes will also shoot at the player.

There are other dangers too. Dive too low and the player can crash and explode on a mountain. Squeeze the trigger too long and the guns overheat. And an enemy plane can get on the pilot's tail, almost certain death unless the player is a flying ace.

When a player is hit by a returning plane, bullet holes and cracks appear on the screen, his plane plummets to earth and explodes. If an enemy shell finds its mark, the result is the same but the shell remains visible.

Goodies for Red Baron [Cockpit model]
Click to enlarge
(members only)

[Cockpit model]
Game ID : 036995

The Red Baron cockpit machines were white with painted sideart of a biplane, with a 'Red Baron' logo and an Iron Cross underneath the rear window. The one good thing about this cockpit was that it shipped in 2 pieces that butt together to form the complete unit. That means that it is much easier to move and store than a normal cockpit game.


Even if the title screen says 1980, the Cockpit model was released in May 1981, selling at an MSRP of $2795. Only 504 units were produced.

Red Baron was designed to accurately recreate World War I aerial combat. It was definitely the first flight simulator available to the public back in 1980. Red Baron was a lot like "Battlezone" in the air, whichh made a lot of sense, because Red Baron ran on almost exactly the same hardware as Battlezone, and most Red Baron Upright machines shipped in factory-converted Battlezone cabinets (they usually even have Battlezone sideart underneath the red 'Iron Cross' sideart). Unfortunately this game never did as well as Battlezone did, the game did poorly in the arcades. Maybe the world just wasn't ready for a 3-D flight simulator?

Red Baron used almost the exact same hardware as Battlezone, but not quite. Battlezone will run on Red Baron hardware with a few minor modifications, but Red Baron will not run on Battlezone hardware without a Red Baron 'auxiliary board', as the Battlezone auxiliary board did not have enough sockets for all the Red Baron ROM chips. The two games control completely different though.

Goodies for Red Baron [Cockpit model]
Click to see more
(members only)
Enemy Fighter 300 to 10 points. When the enemy fighter first appears, it is worth 300 points. The closer it gets to your plane, the less the enemy plane is worth.
Blimp 200 points
Tanks 250 points
Pillboxes 250 points
Pyramids 100 points
Buildings 100 points

* When you start the game, you will be put into a surrealistic landscape. The view is from the cockpit of your bi-plane. Immediately, you will be jumped on by enemy units. You will know an enemy unit has appeared because of the sounds the game makes. The joystick is pretty sensitive. This basically means you don't have to push it hard in order to get your plane to move around. Also, remember that the game is set up like an actual plane.

* Try to keep your altitude as high as possible. This gives you a better chance at 'jumping' enemy air units. In addition, it will allow you to be able to keep with them longer ensuring a better chance at a kill.

* If there are no enemy planes around, you can go on strafing missions to take out a few of the enemy ground units. Be very careful when you are doing this since the terrain is pretty mountainous.

* At the beginning, you will only encounter one enemy plane. As you progress through the game, don't be surprised when you get attacked by three or even four enemy planes at one time.

* Learn how to do deflection shooting. Deflection shooting is a method of shooting where you fire your shots in front of the projected path of the object you are trying to hit. In essence, it forces that object to "run" into your fire.

* Practice doing evasive maneuvering starting with the basic dives and climbs. Then add turns to these moves. This will definitely come in very handy later on in the game when you are confronted with a large number of enemy units (both ground and air).

* You will see the enemy fire that is aimed at your plane. The bullets look like diamonds. They are easy to evade but you may have to do some tight turns if there is a heavy volume of enemy fire coming at your plane.

* If you don't take out an enemy plane while it is heading for your plane, it will get behind you. This presents a very dangerous situation since you will only have a couple of seconds before you are shot down. You can evade the enemy plane :
a) If you are too close to the ground, immediately climb and roll to the left or right. By doing this, you actually cause your plane to slow down and the enemy plane flies under you giving you another opportunity to shoot him down.
b) If you are too high, then you can power dive and roll left or right. Just watch out for the ground (which will be coming at you fast). Before you get to the ground, do a power climb and follow the advice in the first part.

* Blimps present a unique challenge since they don't move very fast. This means you will need to take them down on your first pass since you travel much faster then them. Sometimes the blimp will present you with a "head-on" look. This makes it harder to hit since it makes itself into a smaller target.

* While 'hunting' for enemy air units, it's usually a good idea to do a gentle roll from side-to-side. The reason for this is if you get multiple enemy air units, you can fire off a burst and knock more then one out of the sky. This helps even the odds up considerably.

* Don't keep your finger on the gun trigger too long. Your guns will overheat and it takes a couple of seconds for them to cool off again. That couple seconds could be the difference between life and death.


Programmer & Designer : Rich Moore
Hardware & Producer : John Ray
Math Box : Jed Margolin
Technician : Joe Coddington


usa Microsoft XBOX (nov.16, 2004) "Atari Anthology [Model 26084]"
usa Sony PS2 (nov.22, 2004) "Atari Anthology [Model SLUS-21076]"
europe Microsoft XBOX (nov.26, 2004) "Atari Anthology"
europe Sony PS2 (feb.18, 2005) "Atari Anthology [Model SLES-53061]"
japan Microsoft XBOX (aug.4, 2005) "Atari Anthology [Model B7X-00001]"
usa europe Microsoft XBOX One (nov.1, 2016) "Atari Flashback Classics Vol.2"
usa Sony PlayStation 4 (nov.1, 2016) "Atari Flashback Classics Vol.2"

usa Nintendo DS (mar.8, 2011) "Atari Greatest Hits Vol.2 [Model NTR-BR7E-USA]"

usa PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (nov.11, 2003) "Atari - 80 Classic Games in One! [Model 25069J]"
europe PC [MS Windows, CD-ROM] (june.10, 2005) "Atari - 80 Classic Games in One! [Replay]"
usa Steam (mar.24, 2016) "Atari Vault [Model 400020]"

usa Nokia N-Gage (2005) "Atari Masterpieces Vol. I"
europe Nokia N-Gage (oct.13, 2005) "Atari Masterpieces Vol. I"
Apple Store usa (2011) "Atari Greatest Hits"
Android Market usa (2011) "Atari Greatest Hits"


Game's picture.
F.A.Q. by Kevin Butler A.K.A. War Doc