Mode 7 is the wind beneath my Pilotwings.

Upon introducing its new Super Famicom console in late 1990 it wasn’t just critical for Nintendo to showcase technical advantages over its 16-bit competition, but it was also important to persuade gamers who were clinging on to their 8-bit systems to purchase the new hardware. Considering parents in North America in particular would need convincing to expand beyond their kids’ established NES collections, Nintendo’s strongest selling points for the SNES were new games showcasing its audio and graphical superiority.

The first game in the Pilotwings series was released on 21st December 1990 in Japan – exactly one month after the launch of the Super Famicom – and it used the SNES hardware’s Mode 7 scaling abilities to not just dazzle with visual effects, but to present unique gameplay of soaring through the skies in a Light Plane, Rocket Belt or Hang Glider, as well as hurtling towards the ground in its Skydiving lessons.

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