Sky Captain: Flying Legion Air Combat Challenge (PC)

This was a 3D shoot-em-up based on the 2004 film. Unfortunately, the game needs online registration, and the official site has long gone. So although you can download the full game (with four levels), you are stuck at the password screen.

There are a number of suspects that might allow us to access the full game, including the main Flash file, the Shockwave file and the executable. The last of these is basically a Shockwave projector. The Shockwave file itself does not seem to have anything that we can change, which leads us back to the Flash file.

One thing I noticed about the GameInterface.swf file was that itís compressed. Which seems strange. However, many PC/MS DOS installer executables are basically compressed archives. So I ran the Flash archive through 7-Zip and got another .SWF file, with a slightly different name. Run that decompressed file through 7-Zip and you get the individual components of the archive.

Back up one step and letís have a look at that newly decompressed .SWF file. Open it up in a hex editor and youíll find that it has indeed decompressed. You can see plain text now. So what weíre looking for is the log-in screen. Doing a search for ďloginĒ will bring up a number of results, but one instance has a question mark directly after it, with something about successful log-in after that. Change that question mark to an exclamation mark and save it as GameInterface.swf. Donít forget to make a back-up of the original file in case things go wrong.

Replacing the uncompressed, unaltered file with the new one, you should be able to run the gameís executable and go straight to the game menu. No password required. But the two levels available seem to crash when using the default fighter colour. So go to the Hangar section and change the planeís colour (and nose/body art if you want). Go back and load up one of the levels and youíre away.

Of course, the first mission is really difficult and you restart the level if you collide with anything. This level is set in New York, where you fight the invading giant robots.

In the version I found online, levels 1 and 4 of the game are available, with the other two locked. the second level is also in New York, this time against the flying wings from the movie.

The third level is underwater near Totenkopf's island. Sites include some sunken city, plus the remains of the Titanic.

The final level pits you against flying wings attacking Frankieís Flying Fortress (a scene I donít recall as being in the movie).

Levels 2 and 3 need to be unlocked. You can play through Mission 1, but because of the absent online connection, I'm not sure your progress will be saved. After each mission is a scorecard, with various stats (this screen lacks any info because it's run through a Flash player instead of the Shockwave projector).

Besides the main missions, there are also challenges, which are basically time attack missions against other players. Your score would have been shown up on the leaderboard. As there is no online connection, this mode is probably defunct.

You can customise your plane, with a choice of colours, nose and body art. These donít seem to be saved when you exit the game. Note the ability to level up your engine, rudder and weapons in the original game.

Also of interest are the Help screen and the game credits.

So, another game has been uncovered, albeit with limited missions to play.


Through a very inelegant change to the .SWF, the two remaining levels can be loaded. You need to open up the unzipped .SWF file in a hex editor and change the following addresses to 00:



Save the file and then run SkyCaptain.exe. All four missions should now be available.

What is interesting is that there are models of the robots, flying wings and Manta fighters in the game files. These could make for interesting mods.

Sky Captain Timeline
Plane Colour and Art Options
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