Copyright © 1989, Epyx, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1989, Atari Corporation. All rights reserved.


The top secret Blue Lightning combat jet has never been tested. The jet was still in the early stages of development when this war broke out. Now the allies are losing and the Pentagon is desperate.

The President ordered the Air Force to prepare Blue Lightning for action. Flight Command chose you to man the first combat flight. You weren't chosen because you are the best pilot in the Air Force. You were chosen because you are the class clown and frankly, you're expendable.

You look around you as you approach enemy territory. A trail of smoke warns you of an oncoming missile. You make a quick barrel roll and the missile misses your plane by inches. Now here come the jets! Hundreds of them. With guns blazing you fly into the thick of the enemy formation.

Can you penetrate enemy territory and successfully complete nine crucial missions? If you can, the Allies will win the war and you'll be a hero. If you fail, the enemy will win and no one will ever remember your name.


Blue Lightning is an airplane combat game for one player.

Note: To press a button, press and release quickly. To hold down a button, hold the button down for at least one second.

Follow the steps listed below to start the game.

  1. With your system switched off, insert the game card as described in the Lynx Owners's Manual.

    Warning: Do not touch the game card connector pins. Do not expose the contacts to static or extreme heat. Do not bend, crush, or attempt to clean the game card.

  2. Press ON. The Blue Lightning title screen appears.

  3. Press A or B twice to bypass the title screen and credits. The Secret Code screen appears.

  4. Flight Command requests a mission code name. To begin at the first mission -- a good idea since you don't know how to fly Blue Lightning yet -- accept the AAAA code name by pressing A. To begin with a later mission, enter the correct code name. Of course, Flight Command will not reveal the secret code name of a mission until you complete the previous missions.

    Use the joypad to enter a code name. Press left to move to the previous space. Press right to move to the next space. Press up or down to scroll through the letters. To begin the game, press A after entering the code.

  5. When the game starts, flight crews attend to Blue Lightning on the landing strip. Press A to take off. Blue Lightning speeds down the runway and automatically ascends into the hostile heavens after gaining enough speed.

To enhance play, the following optional game controls allow you to modify the display, pause, and restart the game.


The object of Blue Lightning is to penetrate enemy territory and complete nine missions without getting shot out of the sky. There are six Blue Lightning prototypes. Since you are the only one foolish enough to try to fly an untested plane, your allies rescue you and return you to the landing strip after each of the first five crashes. But if you let the enemy destroy all six prototypes, Flight Command would just as soon never see you again.

[ Screen display showing screen indicators. From the left: Afterburner indicator, Missles, Planes remaining, Score. ]

Use the joypad to control Blue Lightning's flight direction as shown in the diagram below.

[ Left - Turn Left; Up - Descend; Right - Turn Right; Down - Climb ]


Almost as soon as you hit the skyways, the enemy attacks. Watch for planes and missiles. Success depends on a quick trigger finger and good flight instincts. (Of course, if your flight instincts were really that good, you would never have agreed to fly this mission.) Use the buttons as shown in this diagram to control the plane and fire at enemies.

[ A - 81mm cannon; B - Guided missiles ]

Using Missiles and Cannon

Guided missiles allow you to destroy distant enemy planes. As soon as the computer locks on to a target, press B. The missile flies away. If the computer locked onto a target when you fired, the missile will hit the target.

When Blue Lightning's computers lock on to a target, a square appears on the screen. Fire your cannon and missiles at the enemy units before they move out of range or evade the missile lock. If your missile successfully locks on to the target, the square will turn red.

Blue Lightning can carry 40 missiles. That's a lot of fire power, but don't go nuts. With all those jets coming at you, 40 missiles won't last long. Use the cannon to knock nearby jets out of the sky.

Watch for targets on the ground in some missions. Fire a missile when the computer locks on to the target. Sometimes your radar will lock on to targets hidden behind hills, mesas, or other terrain. If you fire a missile at a hidden target, the missile will not penetrate the terrain. In other words, you've just wasted a missile, hot shot.

You can also destroy ground targets by strafing them with cannon fire. Strafing often requires that you fly very close to the ground and increase the risk of getting shot down or crashing.

Afterburners and Barrel Rolls

The afterburners are essential for chasing down enemy planes and avoiding missiles. However, once you activate the afterburners, press OPTION 1, you hit top speed for a full 10 seconds. Watch where you're going. You wouldn't want to explain to Flight Command why you destroyed a Blue Lightning prototype by rear-ending an enemy jet.

Afterburners kick in for 10 seconds then shut down for another 10 seconds while they recharge. When the atterburners are charged and ready, a blue light appears at the top left of your control panel. When the afterburners are in use, a yellow light appears. You can't activate the afterburners it they are not fully charged.

To do a barrel roll, hold down OPTION 2 while pressing right or left on the joypad. A barrel roll is a complete roll right or left, depending on which way you press the joypad. A good roll can cause an enemy missile to lose its radar lock on your jet, an obvious advantage when the sky is filled with missiles.

The Flight Computer

You can fly Blue Lightning close to the ground, above the clouds, or anywhere in between. The sophisticated flight computer will not let you hit the ground. However, the computer can't stop you from hitting things that come out of the ground, so watch out for trees, mesas, buildings, and similar obstacles.

The computer is programmed for each mission. If all your targets for a particular mission are on the ground, the computer won't let you fly above the clouds.

The computer gives instructions concerning your next goal. You must complete the assigned goal before you can move on to the next objective.

The computer will not guide you toward targets. You have to find them yourself. However, the computer may lock on to a target before you can actually see it. Use target sights as a guide toward the targets. In some missions, such as the first mission, you don't have to look far -- the targets come to you.


Blue Lightning must successfully complete nine different missions. Each mission has different objectives and requires different skills. You must complete a mission in order to receive the secret code name of the next mission. You do not need to enter the code for each mission, but write down the code names on a piece of paper. Then, if you want to start a future game with the highest level you have achieved, enter the code name for that mission in the spaces provided at the start of the game.

Each mission has a specihc goal. You must accomplish that goal to successfully complete a mission. In other words, it does not matter how long you stay in the air; if you don't complete the assigned task, you will not complete the mission.

When you successfully complete a mission, you return to the landing strip and receive new mission instructions and a full load of missiles. At that time, Flight Command reveals the code name of the upcoming mission. Write down the code name if you would like to start the game at that mission later. As always, press A to take off.

If you crash or get shot down, you begin again at the start of the current mission. Your new Blue Lightning prototype is fully stocked with missiles. When the last Blue Lightning jet crashes or explodes the game ends.

Below is a list of the missions and a brief description of each mission. Remember, you must complete one mission to get to the next.

Mission One: DOG FIGHT

The enemy air force has been the bane of the allied war effort. It is essential to the success of the allies that you destroy as many planes as you can. Cruise through the hostile skies, destroying planes and missiles as you go. Use your afterburners to catch distant planes. Keep your eyes open and your trigger finger ready.

Mission Two: BOMBING RUN

One reason behind the enemy's success in this war is that they have twice as much equipment as the allies. It is your lob to fly through hostile territory and destroy as much equipment as possible before the enemy invades allied soil. Destroy tanks, ships, and other weapons as you fly through various terrains. One more thing. The enemy does not take kindly to losing such valuable equipment. Watch out for missiles. You'll see plenty of them.

Mission Three: CONVOYS

The enemy is moving equipment and troops into position for a massive assault. You must engage and destroy enemy convoys as they move through dangerous snowcovered mountains, farmlands, and other terrain. Of course, the convoys are all very well protected. You will need quick reflexes to fly low enough to attack the convoys and avoid getting shot down or crashing.

Mission Four: CANYON RUN

A scenic desert canyon provides the perfect hiding place for enemy tanks armed with missiles. No allied plane is capable of flying through the narrow twisting canyon and destroying the tanks. No plane except Blue Lightning. Maybe. Flight Command considers this a suicide mission, so of course they expect you to fly Blue Lightning through the canyon. It takes timing and quick reflexes to avoid missiles and mesas while destroying tanks hidden in the depths of this canyon maze.

Mission Five: ISLANDS

The allies can't win this blasted war when the enemy's numerous radar installations track the allies' every move. Flight Command wants you to fly over the island chain where the enemy radar installions are hidden and destroy all the radar equipment. The enemy does not approve of Flight Command's ideas, so they've posted a large fleet of warships, swarms of planes, and tons of tanks, all meant to discourage your attempts by blowing you so far out of the sky that no trace will ever be found.

Mission Six: COURIER

Flight Command needs to deliver vital documents to secret airfields located in enemy territory. Without these documents, allied intelligence agents can't successfully spy on the enemy. The problem is, enemy advances have left the airstrips so deep in enemy territory that only Blue Lightning can reach them. Fly through enemy territory, find an airstrip, and land the plane. Then take off and look far more airstrips.

Mission Seven: TOP SECRET

Once again, you must fly deep into enemy territory. That's what you get for living this long. Your primary targets are secret radar installations hidden throughout enemy lands. While you're at it, Flight Command wants you to bomb railroads, sink ships, and destroy planes. This mission is so top secret that enemy headquarters found out about it weeks ago and has prepared for your attack. While Flight Command tells you it has complete confidence in you, the chaplain picks up a phone to call your next of kin.

Mission Eight: NIGHT RUN

The enemy is on the run. The allies may actually win this war. All you have to do is fly over enemy cities and mountains in the dark of night without being detected so you can knock out the last remaining radar installations in the heart of enemy territory.

The enemy expects the allies to attempt this mission. Every plane the enemy has is patrolling the sky looking for you. They know you'll be hard to see, so they're firing missiles at random, hoping to destroy Blue Lightning. If you shoot back they'll see you for sure. The entire war depends on your success.


The war is almost over. Allied troops have pinned down the last enemy camps but the battle rages on. Even though your prematurely gray hair is falling out in clumps and the Air Force shrink recommended that you avoid the stress of combat, Flight Command has ordered you to complete one more mission. This one could win the war.

You must fly over the battlefields and destroy enemy camps, without accidentally destroying friendly outposts. Lucky for you the allied forces are painted blue. Unfortunately Blue Lightning's computer is color blind and locks on to friendly units as well as enemy units. Destroy the enemy but don't help them by shooting allies. How's that tar stress?


Use the first mission to become familiar with Blue Lightning's controls. Learning to fly and shoot with split-second timing is essenhal to survival. Spend some time flying around and between ground obstacles. You will need these skills to complete certain missions.

Fire missiles as soon as the computer locks on to a target. The computer may actually lock on to several targets at once. In that case, fire as many missiles as necessary. Obviously, this is not necessarily the best plan of action in some missions.

Don't waste missiles on targets you can shoot with the cannon. Running out of missiles may cause you to miss an important target.

Fire your cannon when enemy jets appear from behind you. Try to blast as many jets as possible out of the sky before they have a chance to attack.

Learn to use your afterburners to catch up with enemy planes or get away from enemy missiles.

Pay attention to the movement patterns of enemy jets. Learn to predict the direction an enemy jet will fly so you can quickly blow it out of the sky and concentrate on your next target.


You receive points for everything you blow away. The targets vary from mission to mission. The list below contains the most frequently seen targets and their point values.

Missile .................................... 200 points
Artillery .................................. 350 points
Plane ...................................... 500 points
Tank ....................................... 750 points
Ships and subs ............................. 750 points
Radar bases ................................ 900 points
Copyright © 1989, Epyx, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1989, Atari Corporation. All rights reserved.