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Video Game / Secret Weapons Over Normandy

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Secret Weapons over Normandy (SWON) is the 2003 sequel to Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, one of the first and best-known Flight Simulators. SWON was also developed by Lawrence Holland and his Totally Games! studio at the behest of LucasArts. It was released on Playstation 2, Xbox and PC.

The player takes on the role of an American fighter pilot during World War II flying for the Allied forces against the evil Nazis and their secret weapons. A wide variety of aircraft are available, from Hurricanes, Spitfires and P-40s to the XP-56 Black Bullet and the XF5U Flying Flapjack.

A fifteen-mission campaign leads the player through several major battles of the war, and includes another dozen or so shorter Challenge missions.

The single-player campaign also features a simple upgrade system, allowing players to improve their favoured aircraft with increased speed, armour, manouverability and ammunition capacity.

In contrast to its predecessor, the Allied only campaign covers the entire war including the Pacific, the flight mechanics are greatly simplified, and more fantastic plot elements were added (focusing on a nemesis squadron in the form of Nemesis Squadron).


Provides examples of:

  • Airborne Aircraft Carrier: The Daimler-Benz Project C.
  • Airstrike Impossible: The attack on the German heavy water plant, which is basically a playable version of 633 Squadron.
  • All There in the Manual: In order to truly grasp and appreciate the significance and history of the aircraft and the missions they flew, the player had to go in with at least some background knowledge in WWII already.
  • Alternate History: A lot of the missions are truly historical, but a few are purely theoretical, and most are somewhere in between, based on real battles but with the inclusion of experimental aircraft that never saw service.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: As in Real Life, many Secret Weapons are a liability, a great drain on resources with very little usability. E.g; the ME-163 is so fast that dogfighting slower opponents is much harder than with a slower plane.
    • Downplayed and Subverted by the X-4 guided Air-to-Air Rocket. You have to manually control it in order to make the best use of it, making you a sitting duck while doing so, and it can prove difficult to hit a moving target while you are also moving. However, when used for their intended real life purpose of hunting bombers, they are more than satisfactory at hitting a larger target from long range, and they can also be used as an improvised ground attack weapon like a smaller version of the Hs293
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    • Outright averted by the Me 262, which is almost as fast as the Komet (and the fastest plane available in the main story), and still not exceptionally agile, but also has the best firepower in the game, meaning you can generally kill an enemy on the first pass, then come back to hit any survivors on the next pass.
  • Bomb Whistle: Whenever you drop a bomb, or if you're close enough to someone else.
  • Boring, but Practical: The [[BFG 37mm and 57mm]] Autocannons lack the appeal of some of the later available weapons, but they can be easily used against both enemy aircraft and against armored targets.
  • Cool Plane: Basically the point of the game. You can fly almost everything from the World War II section of Cool Plane.
  • Danger Deadpan: No Allied airman (or woman) loses their cool. Ever. Not even when experimental jet aircraft appear from nowhere, not when they're shot down, not even when their friends are killed. Germans, however, tend to be a little more emotional.
  • Doomed by Canon: No matter how brilliant the latest Nemesis project, you know that the Allies will triumph.
  • Eject... Eject... Eject...: You can't, but other pilots will. Bombers will even produce multiple chutes. After a particularly successful attack run, the sky is sprinkled with parachutes.
  • Escort Mission: Shows up in the majority of missions, but is surprisingly tolerable because the people you're escorting are usually both tough and agile.
  • Giant Flyer: The Daimler-Benz Project C, which turns up in the final level, qualifies at the lower end of the scale.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: During one of the tutorial missions, your flight instructor explains a game mechanic in which you can "slow time down" and "speed time up" if it helps you during a dogfight. This can be especially jarring given that the overall tone of the game is mean to be mostly historically accurate and simulator-based.
  • Improbable Piloting Skills: A few of them, most notably Reinforced Plot Armor and Gravity Schmavity.
  • It's Up to You: The AI is quite decent, and your wingmen will down the odd Nazi plane, but they will never achieve objectives by themselves.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The P-51D Mustang suffers slightly from being unlocked at the same point as the Me 262, but not as severely as the Meteor's one scene wonder status, and it can at least boast better maneuverability than most other "late" planes, while still being faster, sturdier, and better armed than the early game aircraft (as well as carrying more ammunition for the secondaries than the X series prototype planes)
  • Just Plane Wrong:
    • Tiny, nitpicky details - the XF5U is called the Flying Pancake in the game, but that model is more accurately known as the Flying Flapjack, for example.
    • There is, however, one large, glaring error, though it's not the plane, its the physics: Aircraft, when destroyed, simply literally drop straight to the ground while exploding, regardless of the direction or speed they were flying.
  • Midair Collision: Can be done, although it's very difficult and does almost no damage to either participant.
  • No Campaign for the Wicked: While you can capture and then use several Nazi aircraft, there is no German campaign
  • Nose Art: Done very infrequently, mostly on the P-40s of the Flying Tigers, which is of course historically accurate.
  • No Swastikas: Mostly played straight, with icons and aircraft using the Iron Cross instead, but the swastika does turn up on some aircraft and in videos and stills used in the transitions.
  • Old School Dogfight: Including Chasing Your Tail and Lead the Target.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The Gloster Meteor is only available for any challenge missions you may not have cleared yet and the final level of the game. By this point, you already have the Me 262, which is superior to the Meteor in almost every capacity.
  • Shout-Out: To Totally Games' other flight games.
    • The good guy's squadron is called "The Battlehawks", in reference to Battlehawks 1942 , the first game of the classical trilogy.
    • A X-Wing and a TIE Fighter are unlockable.
  • Stuka Scream: If you're close enough to a diving Ju-87, you can hear this.
  • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Right there in the title.
  • Wing Man: About a dozen, and toward the end, several of the ones who have flown with you join you in battle.


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