Falcon 3.0

Released: 1991
Published by: Spectrum Holobyte, Inc.
Developed by: Sphere, Inc.
Author(s): Scot Bayless, Erick Jap, Kuswara Pranawahadi, Gary Stottlemyer, Less Watts, Daniel Deremiah, Ian Falicov, Michael Mancuso, Chuck Butler, Matt Carlstrom,Zachary Fuller, Paul Mogg

System Requirements

System Requirements 80286 CPU. 1 MB RAM required. Supports VGA graphics only.
Audio support for PC speaker, Ad Lib, Sound Blaster and Roland MT-32. Supports joystick, Thrustmaster, and math coprocessor.
Recommended 80486DX CPU, 4 MB RAM, 16-bit VGA graphics card, CH Flightstick Pro with rudder pedals or Thrustmaster FCS and WCS with rudder pedals. For sound, both a Sound Blaster for digital audio (sound effects) and Roland MT-32 (or LAPC-I) for music.
Original Media Either five 5.25" 1.2 MB (HD) floppy disks, or five 3.5" 1.44 MB (HD) floppy disks.
Installed Size 9.01 MB (floppy disk version), 11 MB (CD-ROM version)


Falcon 3.0 took its forebears, and brought it up to date with a more realistic flight model, better AI, and missions that reflected present times when it was released. Just like Falcon and Falcon AT, Falcon 3.0 permitted multiplayer link-up via either modem or null modem cable, with up to 8 planes controllable at once by human players!

As was common in 1991, the game came with a huge manual, accurate maps of the theatres you would be flying in,

I would go head-to-head with MicroProse's F-117A Nighthawk and Domark's MiG-29 Fulcrum.


From where can it be run?

The game must be installed to a hard disk. For installation to your hard disk, run INSTALL.EXE from the first floppy disk


Copy Protection



How to Setup

Falcon 3.0 requires 602 KB of free conventional memory and 2 MB RAM total, using an Expanded Memory (EMS) manager such as EMM386. The user manual (see further down this page) provides instructions on how to create a boot disk. Expanded memory is used for ACMI (Air Combat Manoevering Instrumentation) mode, loading altitude and object data (for faster access) as well as playing digitised radio messages.

Rather different from most DOS games, you configure the graphics and sound settings after loading the game. From the War Room, click on 'SETUP'. Along the top, select 'SYSTEM SETUP'.

From this screen, you can choose your sound card for both radio messages and music. When you are happy with your selections, click 'DONE' in the top-right corner to return to the War Room.

The game's configuration is stored in a file in your FALCON3 directory, called FALCON3.DEF. It's not text-readable. If you have issues with lock-ups or failure to start the game, you can delete this file and re-run the game.



Symptom: The game locks up on startup.
Cause: Possible invalid sound card configuration.
Resolution: Delete the file FALCON3.DEF from your game directory and restart the game. This file is not text-readable.

Symptom: I receive the message "Falcon version 3.05 requires 602K (616,448 bytes) of free conventional RAM." when starting the game.
Cause: The game requires 602 KB of free base memory.
Resolution: Use the DOS external command "mem" to identify how much conventional memory you have free (use "mem /c"). Then change your autoexec.bat and config.sys files to ensure you don't load too many drivers and utilities into base memory. Try loading HIMEM.SYS in config.sys and then use DOS=HIGH,UMB followed by LOADHIGH (or LH) for other drivers in your autoexec.bat file.



Falcon 3.0 includes both head-to-head combat for 2 people via LAN, or 2-player cooperative mode where 2 people can collaborate to fight the AI enemy throughout an entire campaign. If you're running a Novell NetWare LAN, you can have up to 6 people in combat at a time!

Falcon 3.0 is *not* NetBIOS compatible. It works only using IPX (Novell NetWare), not TCP/IP (Microsoft and others). Network drivers must be loaded into high memory.

You can also play using a null modem cable or over a modem link (2400 baud Hayes-compatible).

Note: In addition to fixing bugs, the game patches add features omitted from previous versions. These changes are documented in README files supplied with the patch files. It's also desirable to run the most recent version if you want to find other players for modem play, since the game must be at the same version on both PC's for the connection to succeed.

To Quit the Game

During flight, hit ESC to pause the simulation and display the top menu bar. Then hit F to open the File menu and choose 'Q' to quit to DOS or 'E' followed by 'Y' to end the current game and return to the War Room.

If you're already in the War Room, hitting ESC closes the game and returns you to DOS.


Supporting Documents

Here are the original documents that came with the game:

And here are aftermarket docs:


Save Games



Versions of the game known to exist

Note: All patches are cumulative, so you don't need to install each individual patch release to bring an old version up to the latest.

Version Date Falcon 3.0 MiG-29 Hornet
v3.0 Dec 1991 First release.    
v3.0A Jan 1992 First patch version.    
v3.0C Mar 1992 Second patch version.    
v3.0D Jun 1992 Third patch version.    
v3.01 Jul 1992 Operation: Fighting Tiger add-on released - known as Falcon 3 v3.01    
v3.01.1 Sep 1992 Patch to Operation: Fighting Tiger add-on    
v3.0E / v1.0 Jul 1993 For anyone who didn't buy the OFT add-on, this version includes many of the new features introduced with OFT. MiG-29: Deadly Adversary add-on released  
v3.02 Jul 1993 Patch to bring all versions of Falcon 3.0 and MiG-29 to a common standard Patch to bring all versions of Falcon 3.0 and MiG-29 to a common standard  
v3.02.1 / v1.01 Sep 1993 Patch to Falcon 3.0 Patch to MiG-29: Deadly Adversary add-on  
v1.01.1 Oct 1993   Patch to MiG-29: Deadly Adversary add-on to add compatibility for Falcon 3.02.1.
This month MiG-29 no longer required Falcon 3.0 to run - it was sold standalone.
v3.03 / v1.03 Dec 1993 Patch to update Falcon 3.0 to v3.03 (this patch was included with Hornet add-on - adds Hornet compatibility to F3 v3.02 and M29 v1.02) Patch to update MiG-29 to v1.03 (this patch was included with Hornet add-on - adds Hornet compatibility to F3 v3.02 and M29 v1.02)  
v1.02 / v1.00 Dec 1993   Patch to MiG-29: Deadly Adversary add-on to add compatibility for Falcon 3.03 Hornet: Naval Strike Fighter add-on released
v3.04 / v1.03 / v1.01 Feb 1994 Patch to update Falcon 3.0 to v3.04. ** Final floppy disk release ** Patch to MiG-29 to v1.04 - adds compatibility to Hornet 1.01 and Falcon v3.04 Patch to Hornet v1.01 - adds compatibility to Falcon v3.04 and MiG-29 v1.03
v3.05 1995 The Powerplay CD-ROM re-release. This "classic" version of Falcon 3.0 is *not* compatible with the official add-ons Operation: Fighting Tiger, MiG-29, or Hornet: Naval Strike Fighter.    



The first expansion for Falcon 3.0, Operation: Fighting Tiger, arrived 8 months after the original game release. This provided 3 new scenarios:

  • Japan vs Russia in a fight over the Kurils
  • A second Korea War
  • An all-out conflict involving Pakistan and India

In addition, the following planes were introduced to the game in these scenarios: MiG-31 Foxhound, Mirage 2000, F-5E Tiger II, J-7 Airguard, Q-5 Fantan, Jaguar, Mitsubishi F-1, Unmanned fighter (Russian experimental fighter), and FSX (Japanese modified F-16).
As there are a lot of naval missions, the Harpoon anti-ship missile has been added to the arsenal.

The second expansion arrived in July 1993 - MiG-29: Deadly Adversary of Falcon 3.0. Despite sounding like a totally new game, it required Falcon 3.0 to be installed until about 3 months after launch when they also released it as a separate title.

Flying the MiG is tougher than flying the F-16. In this add-on, you get to fly for Russia, so missions are geared up as though you're on the "other" side.

Fly head-to-head against another human player in an F-16.
Fly in the theatres from Falcon 3.0 (Kuwait, Panama and Israel), and if you have Operation: Fighting Tiger, also in Japan, Korea, Pakistan and India.


The third expansion is Hornet: Naval Strike Fighter. In this add-on, you take on the role of a US Navy pilot or a Marine Corps pilot of the F/A-18.

It is the only fighter simulation that lets simulation pilots create cooperative missions with F- 16 Falcons in seven Falcon 3.0 theaters of conflict.

  • F/A-18's fast acceleration and tight turns allow "turn and burn" team tactics against enemy MiGs
  • Challenging carrier landings with digitized radio calls from the LSO for lineup and graded landing
  • Team play on a network with teams of Marine Corps F/A-18s and Air Force F-16 aircraft vs. the deadly MiG-29s.
  • New theater of war: Bosnia