After the title screen and the opening animations have finished, the 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR Main Menu is displayed. This is the central control of the game, from which you choose the way you want to fight the Pacific air war. You can command the entirety of either carrier fleet, fly historical missions in a fighter or bomber, or live out a career as a pilot and potentially change the course of the war. 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR’s special features are also available from this menu, including the flight film viewer and the custom mission builder.
Carrier Battle Command the American or Japanese Navy in the Pacific theater, circa 1942. You can also take over and fly individual missions. Pilot Career Start your career as a pilot for either side. Fly Single Mission Fly individual missions for either side. This is the best way to practice in preparation for a piloting career. High Scores View the scores of the best carrier group commanders and crack pilots. Flight Films View and edit films of your mission flights. You can save the original films and your edited versions for posterity. Mission Builder Design and fly “fantasy missions” in the context of the Pacific theater, circa 1942. You can save your missions for later play. Configure Game Set up the way you want to control the various aspects of the game. Exit Quit the game and return control to DOS.
Veteran flight sim players will notice that the usual “Quick Start” option is missing from 1942 THE PACIFIC AIR WAR. Since you can get airborne so quickly using the Fly Single Mission option, including “Quick Start” seemed redundant. For those of you who want to jump right into the cockpit and leave the details for later, here’s the shortest route:
• On the Main Menu, choose Fly Single Mission. • Decide whether you want to fly the mission as an American or a Japanese pilot. You can select a nationality by clicking on the appropriate button or flag. • Next, select the type of mission you want to fly using the buttons in the lower part of the menu. The different types are described under Mission Type, in the Flying A Mission section. • Choose your mission from the displayed list in the upper part of the menu. • Accept the default weather and time. • Read or ignore the mission briefing. Click once anywhere on the screen to proceed. • Choose your plane’s armament. Click on the Accept button to take the displayed load-out. • Decide which of the Realism Options you want turned on. By default, all of these options are off, which is the easiest setting (Difficulty Level 0). • Take off.
For details on the controls used for piloting your aircraft, please refer to the Keyboard Reference Card (the Keycard) and to the Flying A Mission section.