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Red Baron II is a computer game for the PC, developed by Dynamix and published by Sierra Entertainment. It is the follow up to the immensely successful flight simulation Red Baron, released in 1990. Red Baron II was released in 1997. The game featured four modes of play: Fly Now (A quick combat mode); Single Mission which included several missions and a mission generator to create new ones; Campaign mode, which featured one of the only truly dynamic campaigns in a modern flight simulator and which replicated combat on the Western Front of Europe from 1916 through 1918; and peer to peer online play.
In 1997 Computer and Net Player Magazine named Red Baron II the most eagerly anticipated simulation of the past decade.
In 1998 a heavily patched version of Red Baron II named Red Baron 3D was released by Sierra to improve several issues. Red Baron 3D is the patched version of Red Baron II but was also sold as its own game. The patch improved the game's graphics and flight model. The graphics engine was improved to include 3D glide acceleration for the 3dfx Voodoo series graphics card. The flight models also received much needed attention. Red Baron 3D or its predecessor Red Baron II also incorporated sound doppler effects in the simulation and ground forces are present in the simulation.
Released with Red Baron 3D was online gaming's first dedicated server-client software free with the game, allowing up to 128 player capacity, though in practice, about 76 players was the limit over the internet for stable function of the server. The creation of several dozen online squadrons is a testament to the quality of online play in Red Baron 3D.
In 2004 Red Baron 3D was once again recognized as the premier WW1 flight simulation after the release (and a multitude of subsequent articles in computer gaming and aviation magazines the world over) of The Promised Land's "Full Canvas Jacket Superpatch" for Red Baron 3D. One magazine (Computer Gaming World) even gave "Full Canvas Jacket" runner up for "2004 Flight Simulation of the Year" being narrowly beaten by Microsoft's "Flight Sim 2004". Red Baron 3D was once again enjoying a renewed public interest a full 5 years after its initial release.
Red Baron 3D has retained its popularity within the community for several reasons. First, it offered a complete campaign modeling aerial operations from 1916 through 1918 - essentially covering armed air combat from all sides. Second, it was easy to mod - using bitmap images for aircraft skins. Third, and most importantly, the game featured a dynamic campaign which randomly assigned missions to the player and offered a variety of mission types. These included Offensive Patrols, Aerodrome Attacks, Balloon Attacks, Combat Air Patrols, Barrage Patrols, Infantry Attacks, and Defense missions.
A large community of modders grew following the release of Red Baron 3D. A series of complete works was released between 1998 and 2008.
In 2009/2010 Red Baron 3D was acquired by Mad Otter Games and republished for distribution by GOG Games. It has also been republished in 2010 by DotEmu in a pack called Red Baron History. The game is currently undergoing an extensive revision that consolidates patches, upgrades, and mods created by the best and brightest community members over the past years into one easy to use update.
The history of the Red Baron series and the Red Baron 3D Community itself can be found in the links below.
- Society of World War One Sim Artisans - Home to the Western Front Patch
- Community Online Paint Schemes, files and utilities for RBII/3D modding
- The Full Canvas Jacket Superpatch for RB3D
- Wings of Honor - Where Combat Simulation Begins!
- Wings of Valor Website
- OvS' Hell's Angels Superpatch
- Red Baron 3D Community Website
- Red Baron History Official Sitefr:Red Baron II