triplane — a side-scrolling dogfighting game.


triplane [OPTION]...


Triplane Classic is a side-scrolling dogfighting game featuring solo missions and multiplayer mode with up to four players. It is a port of the original Triplane Turmoil game for DOS and aims to match the original game exactly so that high scores remain comparable to the original.


Start the game in fullscreen mode (this is the default).
Start the game in windowed mode.
Start the game without sounds. Note: This option also disables sounds in the configuration file so sounds will be disabled also the next time you start triplane. To enable sounds set Physical Examination->Hearing->Sounds on in the game menus.
-2, -3, -4
Scale the 320x200-pixel game window 2x, 3x or 4x using software scaling. This helps you play Triplane on displays that cannot switch to such low resolutions.
Scale the 800x600-pixel window 2x using software scaling, to produce a 1600x1200-pixel window. This resolution is used only in multiplayer mode.

Note that triplane does not warn about unknown options.

Getting started

After starting the game, click through the splash screens to see the main menu. Then click ROSTER and click the pen on the right to create a new pilot entry. Type your name and press enter. Click the keys on the left to get back to main menu. Click ASSIGN PILOTS and check the SOLO check box beside the red plane (top left) to select the German plane for solo game. Click on the background to get back to the main menu.

Click TAKEOFF TIMES and MISSION I. Read your assignment carefully and click on the arrows to look around the map. Your objective is to destroy the buildings identified by red boxes around them. When you are ready click FLY and use the following controls:

• press S (roll) to get out of hangar
• hold TAB (power) down to accelerate
• use X and W to steer the plane
• use 1 to drop a bomb
• use S to roll the plane upside down

When you have destroyed all the targets try to land by releasing power and gliding to the runway. Holding up and down simultaneously activates the air brake system. When the plane is stopped on the runway, press S to re-enter the hangar and resupply bombs and fuel.

N.B.: If you have a new computer you may encounter serious keyboard errors. This is due to the cost savings of the keyboard manufacturers. The current keyboards cannot handle more than 3-6 keys simultaneously. If you encounter keyboard problems, see the "on/off power" option below.

Solo game mode

See the "ASSIGN PLAYERS MENU" chapter on how to select the solo game country.

Winning a solo game requires that:

• all mission targets have been destroyed
• all protection objectives are met
• all enemy airplanes are destroyed, and
• at least one plane is left and stopped on a runway.

Scoring is mostly based on how many planes you have shot down. Extra points are awarded from destroyed enemy ground installations and infantry without regard to who destroyed them. You will get penalty points for shooting down allied planes and for destroyed allied ground targets and infantry.

Multiplayer mode

See the "ASSIGN PLAYERS MENU" chapter on how to select players for multiplayer mode and visit the "REQUEST TRANSFER" menu to select the multiplayer level.

To configure plane controls for multiplayer mode, visit the "PLANE MECHANICS" menu. Choose a country and then configure either the keyboard or a joystick (a game pad is also OK).

If you want to change the keyboard layout for the chosen country, click the keyboard and you will be prompted to press buttons for all six controls needed to fly. The order is Up, Down, Roll, Engine power, Bombs and Guns. Remember that brake is always Up+Down simultaneously.

Joystick configuration is still a bit experimental and it is not easy to play the game with a joystick. Start by clicking Joystick 1 or Joystick 2 and follow the on-screen instructions. There are two types of joystick actions. You can hold down a joystick button and press Space on the keyboard. Alternatively you can move a joystick to a different position (left, right, up or down) and press Space. Finally, by pressing "D" you can disable a control completely. You can use this for example if you have configured up and down actions to be buttons so that you can hold them together and thus do not need a separate brake control. Disabling the roll control enables autoroll, which keeps the plane upright.

Hangar menu

This is a special menu. This appears when the actual game is in progress. There are three columns: Bombs, ammo and fuel. Use the Bomb and Guns buttons to select one of the columns, and adjust the value using the Up and Down buttons. Press Roll or Power to exit, and a mechanic will push your plane onto the runway. If you want to return to the hangar, just press Roll or Bomb, and the mechanic will push your plane into the hangar.

Assign players menu

This menu is used to select players for solo and multiplayer modes. There are four boxes, one for each country.

Inside each box there are four radio buttons and two text fields:

first radio button (red circle)
This country is disabled.
second radio button (SOLO)
This country is used to play a solo mission. Other countries are automatically disabled. Remember to set pilot name in the text box to the right of this radio button.
third radio button (computer)
This country is played by a computer pilot in multiplayer mode. The text box to the right is not implemented.
fourth radio button (human)
This country is played by a human pilot in multiplayer game. Remember to set pilot name in the first text box.

If you activate the solo mode the computer will automatically adjust the other countries to NO-PLAYER mode. (If you want to play the solo missions, now just exit and click the take-off times flyer in the main menu.) For example, assume that you want to be the German player, your friend wants to be the Japanese player and computer wants(?) to be the Finnish player. Choose "Human pilot" in the German and Japanese boxes, "No player" in the English box, and "Computer pilot" in the Finnish box.

Note: If you select the last multiplayer level (CAVERN) and you set the computer to be the Finnish or the English plane, these planes will be disabled when game begins. (Computers cannot handle takeoffs in caves.)

Physical examination menu

This is the options menu, where you can define game-related parameters. On the right side you can see four tabs:


Shots visible?
If deactivated, no flying ammunition will be seen (planes & infantry).

AAA shots visible?
If deactivated, no ammunition of flak battery will be seen.

AA-Mg shots visible?
If deactivated, no ammunition of ground machine gun will be seen.

If deactivated, all flags will disappear.

Structure flames?
If deactivated, the bombed structures will not burn.

Use 800*600 window (in MULTIPLAYER)?
Activate this option to play multiplayer games in a 800*600 window.


Sounds on?
Activate this to enable or disable all sound. Note that the -nosound command line option turns this off.

Musics on?
Play music in the menus, if the "Sounds on?" option is also activated.

SFX on?
Enable various sound effects in the game, if the "Sounds on?" option is also activated.

Explosion sounds?
If deactivated, a sound will be not heard when a bomb collides with ground.

Gunfire sounds?
If deactivated, a sound will be not heard when a plane fires its guns.

AAA fire sounds?
If deactivated, a sound will be not heard when ground defenses fire (machine guns & flaks).

Water splash sound?
If deactivated, a sound will be not heard when a bomb collides with water.

Infantry death sounds?
If deactivated, infantry soldiers will not scream when they die.

Do you want on/off power?
When activated, the behavior of the engine power button will be dramatically changed. On/off power allows toggling the engine on or off by pressing the Power button, instead of having to hold it down. Use this option if you encounter keyboard problems, because this decreases the number of keys pressed down simultaneously.

Do you want a reversed power switch?
Turns the behavior of the engine power button upside-down: when you are not holding the power key down, the plane accelerates. When held down, the engine will be deactivated. This is not the same as braking, you still need to use Up+Down to brake.

The following options are for multiplayer only.

Are all the planes the same?
Sets all planes' attributes to a specific country. For example: Choose the German plane on the left, and every plane has 4 bombs etc. This affects all plane abilities.

Collisions on?
If active, a collision of two planes results in an immediate destruction of both planes. Both players lose one point in collision.

Flying parts?
If enabled the parts which appear when a plane crashes cause damage to other planes.

Battle ends after n points
End the game after one of the players has this number of points. The number can be increased by pressing it with the left mouse button and decreased with the right mouse button. UnLtd means unlimited, where the multiplayer game will not end before you press Esc.

Alliances enabled?
Enables alliances. The sides are selected at the box in the lower left corner.

If deactivated, all ground machine gun batteries will disappear.

If deactivated, all flak batteries will disappear.

If deactivated, all infantry will disappear.

Unlimited ammo?
If activated, you can shoot even when you have no gun rounds left, but you cannot adjust your ammo load.

Unlimited fuel?
If activated, the plane will still fly even when you have run out of fuel, but you always have to take the full load of fuel when leaving the hangar.

Plane types

Country Germany Finland England Japan
Ammunition ** ** *** *
Maneuverability ** * * ***
Fuel ** ** *** *
Speed ** *** ** *
Bombs ** * ** ***
Endurance ** *** ** *

The German plane is very deadly in dogfight because it is designed for it. It does not have any particular strengths or weaknesses.

The Finnish plane is the fastest and the toughest but it has a poor bomb capacity and great skill is needed to pilot it because of its low turning rate.

The English plane never runs out of anything (except bombs). Its only disadvantage is the low maneuverability.

The Japanese plane has the biggest bomb capacity and it is even more agile than the German plane. Too bad it always runs out of fuel.

Medals, ribbons and ranks

Like in a real Air Force, you will be awarded with higher ranks and medals when you have served your country well. The medals are shown on top of your pilot in the roster menu. Every rank has its own ribbon which is located beside your pilot in the roster menu. When you start a new pilot you have no medals and you have only one ribbon, 2nd Lieutenant. When you advance ranks you do not lose your previous ribbons like you would in real life.

Best pilot in the country - Medals

When you complete a sequence of solo missions (six of them) you will be awarded the "Best pilot in the country" medal. Every country has its unique medal, but the main color of the medal depends on the country so it will be very easy to see which country has awarded you with it.

Special medals

There are two special medals. The first is the veteran medal, Golden Star. It will be awarded to you when you have flown 1000 missions. The second is the hero medal, Silver Eagle. It will be awarded to the pilot who has killed the most and died the least. There is only one Silver Eagle medal in the world, so be careful, it will change its owner very quickly.

Ranks and their abbreviations

Here is a list of ranks appearing in Triplane. In the roster an abbreviation of the rank will be automatically added to your name (for example: 2nd Lt. Dragst). Both solo and multiplayer games will affect it so you probably will not gain a lot of promotions by just playing one of them.

The ranks are:

Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt.)
A simple blue ribbon with one golden column

First Lieutenant (1st Lt.)
A blue ribbon with 1 golden column and 2 stars

Captain (Capt.)
A blue ribbon with 2 golden columns and 2 stars

Major (Major)
A blue ribbon with 2 golden columns and 4 stars

Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col.)
A blue ribbon with a Golden Shield of the Air Force

Colonel (Colonel)
A blue ribbon with a Golden Eagle of the Air Force

If you are ever promoted to Colonel, you have probably played for some time. But remember, it is not impossible to gain it, you just need play a little longer.

Tips and tricks

• Remember that stalling is a VERY good way to brake fast, but do not even think about it unless you can handle the plane very well.
• When flying the Finnish plane remember to deactivate the power when turning.
• There are several Ace missions which are quite easy to complete, but great effort is needed for receiving a higher score. Patriot Flight is a very good example of this, it is possible to get at least 169 points in it.
• The Japanese plane can even outmaneuver the German plane, but only with an empty bomb load. The German plane is still a bit better in dogfight.
• Remember to use hit and run techniques when playing the Finnish plane.
• There is no need to leave any bombs behind if you are playing with the Finnish plane, because it does not make any difference.
• In the missions with a lots of enemy air activity, try protect your AAAs.
• In solo missions you should learn to use the Radar markers, because that makes it easier to avoid enemy airplanes.
• Avoid shooting too many bullets at the enemy plane, because it will probably explode. In the solo game you cannot deactivate the part collision, so this is quite vital.
• Remember that Japanese plane will always run out of fuel, particularly with six bombs.


Triplane finds its configuration directory by searching the following directories in this order:

• 2) $HOME/.triplane (created if missing)
• 3) the current directory (if step 2 fails for some reason).

The configuration directory contains the following files:

• triplane.cfg
Main configuration file.
• roster.dta
High score file.
• keyset.dta
Keyboard configuration file.

Triplane tries to locate its data directory by looking at which of the following directories exist, in the following order:

• 2) TRIPLANE_DATA set at compilation time (if step 2 fails)
• 3) current directory.

The data directory contains only one file:

• fokker.dks
Game data file containing levels, graphics and sounds.


The original Triplane Turmoil was developed by Markku Rankala, Teemu J. Takanen and Henrikki Merikallio. Some work was also contributed by Risto Puhakka, Antti Lehtoranta and Mikko Kinnunen.

The portable SDL version, Triplane Classic, was created from the original source by Timo Juhani Lindfors (, Teemu J. Takanen (, and Riku Saikkonen. We also thank Timo Lilja for his earlier Xlib porting efforts and Sami Liedes for spellchecking and optimization ideas.