No relation to The Red Baron, this fine lager comes out of the Microbrewery, Brick (based in Waterloo, Ontario). It can usually be found in most dance clubs and pubs around Toronto and Ontario region as the 'standard alternative' to the bland bigboys Labatts Blue and Molson Canadian. Easily identifiable by the funky warthog on the cap.

Red Baron was an old vector arcade game released by Atari Games way back in 1980.

The game

Red Baron was a lot like Battlezone in the air. Which made a lot of sense, because Red Baron ran on almost exactly the same hardware as Battlezone, and most Red Baron games shipped in factory converted Battlezone cabinets. Unfortunately this game never did as well as Battlezone did, maybe the world just wasn't ready for a 3-D flight simulator?

Red Baron was a vector flight simulation designed to accurately recreate World War I aerial combat. It was definitely the best flight sim available to the public back in 1980. The military might have had something better, but Red Baron was where it was at for the average Joe.

Everything in Red Baron was done with wireframe vector graphics, your plane, the enemies, the ground, everything. There was nothing solid in the entire game, and you could see through everything. But it was still a blast. You controlled your plane using a standard analog flight stick with a single fire button. Your targets included biplanes, blimps, tanks, and a few different buildings. The game started off easy, but quickly ramped up in difficulty after the first level. Never let the biplanes get behind you, as they will always shoot you down, leaving a trail of vector bullet holes on your screen.

The Machine

Upright Red Baron machines were actually all Battlezone machines with kits installed in them. They usually even have Battlezone sideart underneath the red "Iron Cross" sideart.

The Red Baron cockpit machines were all original though. They 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 two pieces that butt together to form the complete unit. That means that it is much easier to move an store than a normal cockpit game.

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 "auxilliary board", as the Battlezone auxilliary board did not have enough sockets for all the Red Baron rom chips. The two games control completely different though. So don't get your hopes up about designing a Red Baron/Battlezone multigame kit (it would certainly be possible, but one of them would have to use incorrect controls).

Where to play

Red Baron is well supported by two emulators, MAME and Retrocade. I suggest cranking up the resolution as high as your monitor can handle, and then using a real flight stick for the best experience. Don't bother playing if all you have is a keyboard and a gamepad, you simply have to have an analog stick to get the most out of this game.

Red Baron is usually one of the cheaper vector games, especially the cockpit versions, because most people don't want to mess with a game that big. But all games that use X-Y monitors tend to have a lot of problems, so you should take that into consideration before you rush out and add this to your arcade game collection.

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