This cat has fangs — its teeth'll bite the tail off a MiG-27 at 125 miles nautical. Since it shipped, Sega's Tomcat Alley, for the Sega CD, has been a big hit with critics and gamers alike. So we're giving you another look at this terrific one-player full-screen Interactive Movie. You get seat No. 2 as Radar Intercept Officer on an F-14X Tomcat fighter. You make all the navigation and targeting calls — it's your talent that drives a Sidewinder up the tail of an enemy bogie, and it's your failure that has you chewing chute if you're lucky enough to punch out after taking a hit.
Doing The Tomcat Strut
Tomcat Alley leaves the flying to your ace fighter jock, Dakota. You get to concentrate on the easy stuff, like trying to lock on to the heat signature of a tail-wagging MiG at .8 mach. Release your bird before you get lock, and he'll likely be crawling up your six and trying to turn your strutting Tomcat into titanium target. This game is all about decision making at speed. You spend your narrow decision windows choosing between missile types at mach 2, releasing flares and chaff before you become a high-altitude fireball, taking recon photos between dogfights, and targeting ground installations while ducking SAMs (surface-to-air missiles).
A psycho named Col. Alexi Povich has stolen two MiG squadrons, some SU-138 bombers, a passel of SAMs, and some nasty radioactive and chemical warfare goodies. He's holed up out in the Mexican desert, with the US of A in striking distance. All you have to do is fly missions from your top-secret subterranean base, take out his fighter air cover, dance and smash your way through his SAM gauntlet, and destroy his chemical weapons facility. There is one other thing you might do — that's die trying.
Screw up in the later missions by letting Buzz and Ratchet get splashed, and It's over.
When you fire at a bandit without a loch, you get to see the missile launch at nothing. Enjoy. That missile might have been the difference between failure and success. Treat each one like gold — they're worth they're weight In it. Literally and figuratively.
Angels: Altitude in thousands of feet; angels two is 2,000 feet up.
Bandit/Bogie: Enemy aircraft (the bad guy).
Flares/Chaff: These two countermeasures are launched to confuse enemy missiles. A flare attracts a heat seeker, and chaff (aluminum strips in varying lengths and widths) confuses radar guideds.
Heat Seeker: A missile that does infrared homing - it's attracted to heat.
Radar Guided: A missile that uses radar to chase and hit aircraft.
Reticle: A grid used to show posit on an HUD (heads up display), in this case your cursor.
Six O'Clock: Twelve o'clock is in front of you, three is to your starboard, nine is to your port, and six is directly behind you (never a good place to have an enemy).
Splash: Shoot down an enemy aircraft (probably related to what happens when they hit the earth).
Tally: Visual sighting of target aircraft - no tally would be no visual, lost tally would be lost visual, and tally ho! would be have visual.
- When saving your wingperson's butt, always choose a Phoenix Long Range Air-to-Air Missile. This one's radar guided. Select a heat seeker and it may target the wrong heat source. Oops.
- Run out of flares/chaff and have a missile targeted at you? Rapidly vector toward another hostile by choosing it with your reticle. It's a 50:50 chance of survival.
- Can't seem to lock on with a heat seeker? Quickly choose a radar-guided instead.
- Don't get sloppy when choosing a target vector with your reticle. If you aren't on the money, you'll often drop in front of your bandit and he'll be on your six.
- Rather than chasing a bogie's tail for lock-on, have your reticle where you think he'll go next Playing catch-up with your sight almost never works 'cause the bandits generally move faster than your reticle.
Kick the tires and light the fires. Sega is strapping you into the cockpit of an F-14X Tomcat for the flight mission of a lifetime with Tomcat Alley. This hot new interactive release brings flight and combat simulation to new heights. This isn't any old video game. This is reality! A one-player title, Tomcat Alley puts you in the backseat with your finger on the firing Button. You must make rapid-fire decisions with confidence. Hesitate, and get blasted out of the sky. Miss an enemy, and you might find yourself on the business end of a radar-guided missile. No home game delivers air combat more real than Tomcat Alley.
What sets Tomcat Alley head and shoulders above other CD dogfight sims is the ultimate realism of the combat. Tomcat Alley takes place in the here and now The entire game is live video. The game designers spent weeks with film makers to incorporate the latest cinematic techniques. Combined with a fluid, virtually instantaneous interface, the game plays with the smoothness of a top-rate action movie.
You play in the backseat of Shadow Five, one of the F-14X Tomcats operating special missions from a secret desert base. Your pilot is a smooth-talking flyboy who's heavy on the afterburners. He'll put you on the bogies. It's your job to lock in the way points, select targets, lock on the bad guys, and shoot 'em down. Flying on your wing is Shadow Three, a capable team featuring Buzz and a tough gal named Ratchet. Pray you never find out how she got that name!
The object of your attacks is a crazed terrorist named Colonel Povitch (no relation to Maury, we think!), who plays with stuff like Strontium 19 and nerve gas. You fly a variety of missions against Povitch's troops, attempting to destroy air and ground based targets without getting your own hide perforated.
The Commander gives you the first few missions in the briefing room, complete with a topographic hologram of the combat area.
If you hear the warning tone and see the sign, head for your Countermeasures. You have only a few seconds before you are sky toast.
Much like Sega's Prizefighter, Tomcat Alley has a story behind the game play. Intermission scenes between combat give you details on the next mission and an opportunity to watch the characters' interaction. You can thumb through the intermission sequences by pressing the Start Button.
Tomcat Alley is filled with enemy fighters, all hot to jam a missile up your exhaust port your mission is to do unto them before they do unto you. Shoot down one of Pitch's flyboys, and you see some pretty impressive fireworks.
H.U.D. (Heads Up Display)
The first stage of combat is acquiring a target. You'll see the targets available to you as soon as you enter the combat zone. Drop the Reticule on an enemy and press Button B to lock on. Then hang on.
This is the real thing. You have only a few seconds to lock on to the enemy's exhaust. Hit it right, and the Reticule turns red. Press Button A to fire. If you fail to lock, you stand a real good chance of having your enemy turn the tables and fire on you.
- When your wing man calls, answer the radio.
- If the bogie icons distract you during combat, press Button C to toggle the H.U.D. on and off.
- Try not to fire until you have a solid lock on your enemy.
- Listen for clues in conversations between Shadow Three and your pilot, like when to switch missile types.
- It you let your wing man get shot down, you must fly an extra mission.
- Be sure to switch to Ground mode before engaging ground targets.
- Use Countermeasures to get through the maze of S.A.M. sites.
- Don't run out of missiles.
If you like Tomcat Alley, try other games: Mig-29 Fulcrum.
2017-07-17 Tomcat Alley game added.