The second rule of flight club is: your wings cannot touch the ground.
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Pilotwings (パイロットウイングス Pairottouingusu) is a video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was originally released in Japan in December 1990, shortly after the launch of the Super Famicom in the country. It was also released as a launch title for the SNES in August 1991 in North America, with a European release following in 1992.
Pilotwings is an amateur flight simulator game in which the player attempts to earn pilot licenses through lessons in light plane flight, hang gliding, skydiving, and the use of a rocket belt. Bonus stages and levels involving an attack helicopter are also available. Each event offers unique controls and gameplay mechanics. To increase the realism of the game's flight simulation, the developers extensively utilized the SNES Mode 7 capability, which mimics 3D graphics by rotating and scaling flat objects.
The game was well received upon its release, largely thanks to its graphical presentation. The game has since been re-released on the Virtual Console service for both the Wii and the Wii U consoles in PAL regions, North America, and Japan, as well as for the New Nintendo 3DS in North America. A sequel, Pilotwings 64, was released for the Nintendo 64 in 1996. After many years of announcements and cancellations, Nintendo unveiled a second sequel, Pilotwings Resort, for the Nintendo 3DS handheld at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2010 which released in 2011.
Pilotwings takes place in a series of training areas called the "Flight Club". The player's objective is to pass each training area and earn licenses based on the difficulty of the courses. Each area features events, which may be played in any order. In these events, the player controls one of four aerial vehicles and must complete a task (usually flying through floating markers) within a time limit. Upon completing or failing an objective, the player earns points and receives comments from the instructors. Points are awarded based on criteria such as the time taken to complete the event, the accuracy of the landing, and the completion of certain tasks, such as flying through colored rings or orbs. To pass a training area, the combined scores from each event must exceed a certain threshold. Each training area can be replayed if necessary, and passwords allow players to save their progress.
Pilotwings was developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development (EAD), a team consisting of members of the company's Research & Development divisions, under the leadership of producer Shigeru Miyamoto. Nintendo EAD completed Pilotwings and two other games (Super Mario World and F-Zero) within 15 months of the debut of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Pilotwings was released in Japan on December 21, 1990, one month after the system's launch, and was later released in North America in August 1991 as a launch title. The game's musical score was composed by Soyo Oka, while her superior Koji Kondo was responsible for the sound programming and the helicopter theme. Six tracks from the game, including a rearranged version of the skydiving theme, appeared on the Nintendo Super Famicom Game Music album, released in Japan on March 4, 1992. Six piano-arranged versions of songs from the game were included on the Nintendo Super Famicom Game Music: Fun Together with Beyer CD, which was released in Japan on November 30, 1993.
Pilotwings was positively received during both its initial release and in retrospective reviews. The game drew praise for its presentation, with publications describing the game's use of Mode 7 graphics as "stunning" and "jaw-dropping". Its level of challenge was also positively noted; Mean Machines found that practicing the flight tests and reaching the end of the game was very rewarding. Official Nintendo Magazine remarked, "This early SNES title is still enjoyable enough to be considered a true classic."
Wikipedia contributors. Pilotwings. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. October 6, 2016, 22:37 UTC. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pilotwings&oldid=742963104.