The Pilotwings wiki last edited by Mento on 10/01/14 07:42PM View full history


Pilotwings is a game in which players take on a variety of flight-based challenges, with the ultimate aim of progressing through a series of 'licenses' and ultimately unlocking new activities and events. It was released on the Super Nintendo platform in 1990 in Japan, subsequently coming to the US in 1991, and was both developed and published by Nintendo.

Results Screen

In Pilotwings, players were placed under the care of various 'instructors' who governed each set of license activities. Players had to gather sufficient points in each of the activities under a given license and instructor in order to progress to the next level of license. Instructor reactions at the end of each event would change dependent on how well the player had done.

Some of the activities players could undertake included:

  • Skydiving
  • Landing/Flying a BiPlane
  • Rocketbelt
  • Hang Gliding

In addition to the main modes, the game also had a number of hidden bonus stages. If a player were to land on special moving targets in the main levels, they would receive a perfect score and be brought into the bonus stages. Landing on the moving target was exceedingly difficult, mostly because of the perspective and the controls. The bonus stages were mostly jokes involving either a penguin plummeting into a pool of water or a person in a giant bird suit. When completed, the score from the bonus round got added to the qualifying score making certification much easier.

Rocketbelt Event

The game made extensive use of the SNES's Mode 7 graphics mode, similar to other titles such as Super Mario Kart. The player point was rotated upon flat background surfaces or ground textures in order to give the impression of movement, while keeping the actual player avatar as a static element in the environment. At the time of release, these effects were hailed as giving a realistic feeling of flight due to the level of scaling and rotation made possible by Mode 7. Nintendo Power rated the game at 3.8 out of 5 when they reviewed it in their October Issue of 1991, and the game remains a cult classic for many people, especially in the territories of Europe.

Launch Game

Pilotwings was a North American launch game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES or "Super Nintendo") on November 21st, 1990. The game launched alongside two other SNES launch titles that included:

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.