Monday, March 13, 2006

Their Finest Hour (Out of the Archives 2)

Here is one of my favorite print ads ever, for sentimental reasons certainly, though I think it was well done in general.

Their Finest Hour advert
click on image for larger version

This is an ad (scanned from an old issue of Computer Gaming World) for Their Finest Hour: The Battle of Britain (1989), published by LucasFilm Games. Second in the trilogy of action-oriented WWII flying games developed by Lawrence Holland, Their Finest Hour is considered by some publications to be one of the best computer games of all time. Holland, who I recently discovered is a Cornell alumnus, went on to create the enormously successful X-Wing series of games, which I also enjoyed. More recently, I had fun finishing Secret Weapons Over Normandy on the PS2, which is similar to the third game in the original trilogy--Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe (1991).

When my dad brought home our first computer (an AST 386SX-16) in the late 80s, the first two games I had on it were Strike Fleet (1987) and Battlehawks 1942 (the first game of the trilogy). Strike Fleet, a very early RTS game, was okay, but Battlehawks 1942 (1988) was an all-consuming experience, totally brilliant in its execution. It came with a huge manual that went into the entire history of the Pacific Air War and the intricacies of that era's aerial combat. Even then, it was obvious that LucasFilm games ought to use the same game engine or something similar to create a Star Wars game, but that wouldn't happen until many years later.

When Their Finest Hour was announced, I was (predictably) psyched. I think I was excited at the prospect of being able to fly a Supermarine Spitfire, my favorite WWII fighter plane. Plus, the ad promised amazing new features and a new level of realism never before seen in combat flight sims. Compelling layout and use of images (in the ad) didn't hurt, either.

As a kid, I would look at the above ad over and over again, and when I finally got the game, it definitely lived up to my expectations, providing mant hours of entertainment (and education, for that matter). In addition to the ad, I still have the original box, discs, and manual (which was amazing).

Related links:

Their Finest Hour : Battle of Britain (information and screenshots)

Their Finest Hour: Lucasfilm Games Launches The Battle of Britain (original review from 1990)


  1. Back in Manila, one can still remember that it is only through the classified ads that families and children get news of the new computer games available.

  2. I admit, this is the only game ad that caught my attention. Normally, I find game ads on the page with dark backgrounds, a bunch of pictures and a couple of techie designs, and they always work in catching the readers' eyes. That's what I call a successful advertisement!

  3. Plus, the ad promised

  4. I love such games. For me every game related to air and fighting is almost perfect, especially when this is from LucasFilm Games. I also have advice for both starwars and gambling players like me that is the thing, what tooks a lot of time, but I enjoyed this time and hope you will feel the same!

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  6. It came with a huge manual that went into the entire history of the Pacific Air War and the intricacies of that era's aerial combat.
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  7. I hope that everyone have experienced that war, are already healed