Fighter Command ?-??-83

This is the older of the two prototypes, Fighter Command is very similar to the ‘Combat II’ version, but is only 4K and has some interesting differences.  The first major difference is that the game starts out with a neat little intro sequence where a grid is drawn on the ground and then highlighted with lightning flashes in the background.  The player is then taken to the hanger screen which appears to be the same as the newer version.  On the cockpit screen there is a separate option for Guns between Missile and Defense (this causes the screen to extend below the viewable area), but the moving cursor skips over it.  There’s also an extra status indicator on the side of the screen that is red instead of green.  The Altitude display is also missing.  What appears to be an enemy jet in the distance is also visible from the runway.

The player takes off the same was as in the newer prototype, but combat is initiated almost immediately.  Instead of the cursor being locked onto the Guns option however, it continues to scroll.  Although Missiles are highlighted, selecting this option still does nothing.  The player can adjust speed (although this does nothing) or select the radar but the jet does not show up.  As the cursor continually skips the Guns option the player cannot fire at the jet, so there is nothing else to do.  The enemy jet also never gets closer or further away in this version.

This prototype continually rolls the screen on an NTSC TV although the prototype is clearly intended to be NTSC as the colors are correct.  Why this is is unknown, but it may be due to the programmer trying to do too much between screen retraces.

Prototype Differences
The prototype starts out with an into drawing a grid on the ground before going to the hangar screen
The prototype has the wrong number of scanlines and continually rolls
There is a separate Guns option that is never highlighted
There is an extra indicator light on the left side that is red
The radar is different.  It's it's bigger but doesn't show any enemies or make any sounds
The player gets into combat immediately after taking off
The player cannot shoot at the enemy jet as Guns is never selected
The enemy jet stays the exact same distance from the player
There are no crosshairs for shooting at the jet
The cursor continues to move during combat instead of being locked on Guns
There is a purple bar on the horizon
The enemy jet has no AI and doesn't move on its own
The altitude gauge is missing
The right score indicator is darker than the left
The enemy jet is visible from the runway
There are more gridlines on the ground


This intro is only in the earlier version


The hangar door opening is a nice touch



Extra options!

Same color bars though


The radar is a bit different

You can't even shoot at the jet in this version


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