"That's the problem with games nowadays: manuals are no good," you'll hear in the pub. "I miss the days of manuals so large they could crush a man's skull," they lift their faces from their pints to say. "I killed a man, once, you know. Whipped out my manual, whopped it on his head, and he was gone." Their drinking partner nods. "I miss those days." You try to slink away unseen - the fogies are going on about Falcon 4.0 again.
If you fancy some vintage hardcore flight sim action, and can live without physical murderweapons, head on over to GOG, where they've dug up the four Falcon games.
Due to the twists and turns of history, GOG are actually selling the bundle as being Falcon, its sequel Falcon A.T., and Falcon Gold, the re-release of Falcon 3 complete with an hour-long dogfighting lesson video. As for Falcon 4.0, that's technically classified as a bonus thrown in on top. Someone from GOG explains why:
"The last official version before Hasbro disbanded the dev team was 1.08. After the source code leaked though, the community carried the development cycle on and carried the torch. Currently, the Benchmark Sims team is carrying the torch with their excellent BMS - I, being an A10 Warthog fan, am stunned by the amount of work put into all community projects.
Therefore, fixing the old Falcon 4.0 in terms of compatibility would still give you an inferior game. However, in order to install community projects like BMS, you need to show that you have the original game. Hence the decision to include the original Falcon 4.0 as a bonus."
Do check out Benchmark Sims and their impressive work if you're into this.
MechWarrior 2 was the closest I got to serious sims back in the day, but I did once see a pal's copy of the Falcon 4.0 manual. Jesus god.