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Shadow Lord
March 14th, 2011, 07:08 AM
I am newbie to the flight sim scene and I am looking into some of the retro/vintage games like Falcon 3 and/or 4. I had a couple of HW questions that I am hoping people on the forums can help me out with. I remember back in the day that Thrustmaster was the definite way to go for sticks and controls. Unfortunately back then I couldn't afford any of their stuff. So now I am looking to pick up some of the older HW on the second hand market.

I have done some research and come up with some ideas which I hope you guys can expand on/clarify as well as tell me what to be on the look out for. Any tips on where I can get the HW is also appreciated!

I will be playing these games on the STEP Megacube. From what I gather the regular sound card game ports may not be adequate for this so the recommendation is to get a dedicated game port card and the best seems to be the Thrustmaster ACM card. Is this correct? Or should I be looking at another game card?

As for the stick/throttle I have come up w/ two options in my research:

1. The Pro Flight Control system (PFCS) and the Weapons Control Ssytsem (WCS) MK II

or

2. The F-22 Pro Ultimate Hunter with the F-16 TQS

Of the two the first pair seems to be the better combo as the WCS MK II is more customizable and easier to program. Is this correct? Or would you guys suggest something else?

Finally, can anyone tell me the difference between the PFCS and the Flight Control System MKII? I was under the impression that they were the same as the FCS MKII had the stiffer springs and metal base plate but recently I've been told I am wrong.

Thanks for any and all help!

Maverick1978
March 14th, 2011, 07:39 AM
Thrustmaster made some great controls, but IMHO, they were eclipsed by some of the later Gravis models (at least the flight sticks - of the throttles, etc, I think Thrustmaster was the only one to come out with them!)

Obviously you're willing to shell out some bucks, from what I've seen the vintage Thrustmaster stuff go for. I'd suggest picking up a Gravis Firebird 2 controller.... they can be had cheaply, and they're fantastic for the quick flight sim game (I'm partial to the combat games ala Wing Commander, myself). If it meets the majority of your needs, you're saved some bucks! And if not... then you've a spare beater-stick for use in the combat flight sims that'll get your adrenaline going and you won't be QUITE so pissed if you accidently snap the handle off because the furballs beat you in a dogfight....

er...

:)

Actually, as I check ebay really quickly, there's more vintage Thrustmaster than Firebirds this time around. Wow.... that surprises me (I picked mine up for 99 cents and $8 shipping brand new a few months back).

Shadow Lord
March 14th, 2011, 08:37 AM
Wing Commander and Sierra games were definitely the main stay of my gaming back in the day. In fact my boy just played played his first Sierra game (Mixed Up Mother Goose).So proud :D... For WC games, IMHO, just about any controller will do. I personally use a MS Sidewinder 3D Pro. However, I am looking to do some more "serious" gaming and hence the search for Thrustmaster stuff.

There is a ton of TM stuff on e-bay but it's all newer stuff not the quality old school controllers (metal, stiff springs, etc...) There was actually a great lot w/ three controllers I was going to bid on over the weekend. I say "was" because my auto bidder failed me and never placed the bid. They went for cheap!

So the search continues... as always!

barythrin
March 14th, 2011, 08:50 AM
I would suggest trolling around some local thrift stores, Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. Joysticks from what I've seen haven't had much value and I see tons of old ones that I certainly couldn't afford when they came out going for $5-$10. I personally don't recall ever having problems with using the game port on the sound card but maybe others know where those stories came from.

Shadow Lord
March 14th, 2011, 08:53 AM
I drop in from time to time at the local Good Wills but they never seem to have anything worthwhile (mostly stuff destined for the scrap metal yard). I don't know of any good computer thrift stores and/or second hand stores in the LA area. Maybe, someone can point me to a couple???

Cloudschatze
March 14th, 2011, 10:26 AM
Speaking of Sierra games... While not "essential," having a Logitech Cyberman on-hand for the diskette version of Quest for Glory IV definitely makes for an interesting experience. ;)

Shadow Lord
March 14th, 2011, 10:42 AM
Speaking of Sierra games... While not "essential," having a Logitech Cyberman on-hand for the diskette version of Quest for Glory IV definitely makes for an interesting experience. ;)

I remember ads for the Cyberman. Never really caught on though...

Maverick1978
March 14th, 2011, 11:08 AM
I remember the Cyberman... used it a bit for some games - but never had any that supported it natively, so its features were lost on me.

Is it worth picking up? - I've actually a small collection of joysticks, flightsticks, etc from back in the day, only 3 of which did I actually own back then (Gravis GRiP, Gravis Gamepad, Logitech Wingman)... the rest I've picked up from eBay for SUPER cheap, or from local Goodwills, where they ocassionally come in. Anything to "recapture" the old-time experience... or live it again for the first time, which is the case for me as often as not!

Shadow Lord
March 31st, 2011, 01:49 AM
Okay, so I managed to get my hands on a NIB Thrustmaster ACM gaming card and a NIB PFCS and a very clean WCS MK II. the PFCS is made of metal, heavy and solid. The WCS is plastic and feels cheap compared to the PFCS. However, the WCS still feels better then the MS SideWinder 3D Pro. :) The PFCS is stiff. I mean you have to put some force in it to move the stick around. Over all I like it, but I can definetly see people not wanting it because of the stiffer springs. I used it w/ Falcon and it worked fine. I also tried it w/ Tyrian 2K and I though it was great BUT I can see it being a problem in a quick moving game like WC.

Unknown_K
March 31st, 2011, 02:51 AM
My local thrift had some decent CH stuff cheap over the years. On my desk I currently have the Flightstick (FS224) for simple flight gaming. I have one of the original virtual pilot yokes in the basement. I also have the F16 fighter stick and pro throttle (they use the old gameport plug), those are pretty nice.

Also keep a few old Logitech Wingmans and Wingman Extremes around, like the feel of those.

Its funny how I loved the flight sims of the 90's and used joysticks all the time but for the most part never got into anything modern with them.

Oh, did anyone ever get into the Quickshot Masterpilot device, I have that and the optional programmer.