sopwith man page

sopwith — classic aerial combat shoot em up game


sopwith [ -n | -s | -c | -l | -j host ] [-f] [-glevel] [-2] [-x] [-q] [-p] [-e]


Sopwith is a classic 1980s shoot 'em up originally developed by BMB CompuScience. This modern port is a derivative of the original source code released by its original author, David L. Clark. This port can run using the LibSDL and Gtk+ libraries to display on screen. Features include emulation of the original PC speaker sound effects using digital sound output, working networking and various extra features that were included by the author in the released sources.


As of version 1.7.3, audio is disabled by default. Audio can be enabled using the -p switch. Once you're in the game, you will also have to use the S key to turn on sound effects.


The keys for controlling the player's plane are defined in the file ~/.sopwith/keys. The standard controls are as follows:

pull up
pull down
flip plane
decrease speed
increase speed
fire machine gun
drop bomb
autopilot plane to home base
launch starburst/flare (if missiles are enabled with -x)
fire missile (if missiles are enabled with -x)
turn on sound effects (if sound is enabled with -p)
Ctrl+C Ctrl+C Ctrl+C
quit immediately


Start a single player game in novice mode
Start a single player in expert mode
Start a single player vs. computer game
Start a network game listening for a network connection
-j host
Start a network game, connecting to another listening host as specified by host
Start in full screen mode if possible.
Start the game on the indicated difficulty level. For instance, use -g2 to start the game on level 2. The default is level 0.
Double-size the display window
Enable missiles
Turn off sound (quiet)
Turn on sound (play music)
Turn off intense explosions


Originally written by David L. Clark for BMB Compuscience
Modern SDL/Gtk+ port By Simon Howard


Sopwith was originally designed as a demonstration game for the Imaginet Networking System developed by BMB CompuScience of Canada. The system failed to become popular but Sopwith became a popular game for the IBM PC and compatibles. A sequel "Sopwith 2" was actually a newer version rather than a different game, but included many extra features, such as Oxen and birds. Sopwith was also ported to the Atari. The original author, David L. Clark, later created Sopwith - The Author's Edition with several extra features including missiles. This version of sopwith is based on the source for the Authors Edition.