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Ancient DOS Games Webshow

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Reply 3300 of 3339, by Gemini000

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henryVK wrote on 2023-07-10, 14:54:
Corncob reminded me of a game I used to be quite fond of but that is pretty obscure: "Flight Action" by Axisim Software. […]
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Corncob reminded me of a game I used to be quite fond of but that is pretty obscure: "Flight Action" by Axisim Software.

https://www.mobygames.com/game/67702/flight-action/

Maybe this could be intersting for one of your other segments? It's quite a unique game, I think. I put it on Mobygames many years ago after doing some research. Unfortunately, I couldn't find out anything about the developer(s). It's not covered anywhere but one person on Twitter seems to have gotten excited about it: https://twitter.com/gravislizard/status/13004 … 5061842944?s=20

Also unfortunately, I'm not sure a full-release version is currently available anywhere. The game was only sold as a download as far as I could tell. I think what's floating around on the internet is the demo version. I got the game off of a shareware disk back in the day and that might have been the demo too.

Might be a very tricky game to cover if information and downloads are scarce. I'll keep it in mind but I don't think it's gonna end up on the show anytime soon.

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3302 of 3339, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Filler #97 - Air Fortress is online!

This is an old NES game which definitely doesn't get as much credit as it deserves. Sure, it was a year behind the curve in terms of your typical level of complexity in an NES title, but it plays extremely well, has a very linear difficulty starting very easy and gradually becoming MUCH more difficult, and it has some very interesting features and mechanics almost no games had before it which have since appeared in many other titles!

I've owned this one since childhood and it has been a surprisingly large influence on my own gaming interests and game design skills... even though I'd never actually beaten it until now! (...technically...)

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3303 of 3339, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Episode 315 - Prince of Persia is online!

So, after what I went through with the sequel, I was a bit worried about how this one was going to go, as I was expecting the first game to be jankier and more difficult given the logic that the sequel would be more refined.

Ironically, what I got instead was virtually the same game but with LESS jank, due to how pretty much all of the mechanics I wasn't OK with in the sequel either weren't in the original or were changed between the original and the sequel. Didn't make the game any less difficult and I still ultimately got defeated by the timer despite my efforts to practice levels before finishing them, but it drew me to the conclusion that both the original and sequel were kind of equivalent, with the original having stronger gameplay but the sequel having a strong presentation and aesthetics. :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3304 of 3339, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Episode 316 - Three Freeware Breakout Clones is online!

All three of the games covered in this video are games I played back as a kid at least a little bit on computers which were appropriate for when the games came out, none of them are really diverse enough to warrant full videos individually, and all three of them are quirky or odd in their own ways.

The three Breakout clones being discussed include: Bricks, which runs with hacked CGA 160x100 16-colour graphics and has bizarre controls which are a pain to get working emulated, Bananoid, which has a VERY wide playfield which takes advantage of VGA hardware scrolling to do its thing but also feels unfinished and/or abandoned, and EGAWalls, which has tons of levels and an interesting mix of powerups and command line options for customizing the experience, but also defaults to playing with TWO paddles and is designed primarily around this facet. :o

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3305 of 3339, by MrFlibble

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Gemini000 wrote on 2023-08-05, 04:49:

Ancient DOS Games Episode 315 - Prince of Persia is online!

Wow, I didn't realise that you'd not covered this game... until now. One of my golden favourites, it is.

Gemini000 wrote on 2023-08-05, 04:49:

So, after what I went through with the sequel, I was a bit worried about how this one was going to go, as I was expecting the first game to be jankier and more difficult given the logic that the sequel would be more refined.

Ironically, what I got instead was virtually the same game but with LESS jank, due to how pretty much all of the mechanics I wasn't OK with in the sequel either weren't in the original or were changed between the original and the sequel.

Ahaha, that's so true.

From my experience, the SNES version of PoP is the perfect continuation of the original game, with more levels, enemies, mid-game bosses, traps and hazards and other stuff (plus wonderful music and awesome art), which trumps the original second instalment in almost every respect.

PoP2 still has this very cool atmosphere of its own, but the flow of gameplay is way more jagged than in the first one.

Also, IIRC, there are rooms with outright evil traps like an extra life potion in a place where you can go down but not up anymore -- or was it some sort of puzzle that I failed to solve? If not, then it was a direct violation of Tom Hall's commandments. Sure, PoP one has a lot of extra areas you can see but not reach -- perfect for creating the feel of a greater world beyond what you can normally explore within the game -- but I don't remember anything like luring the player into an unwinnable situation.

BTW, the original Apple II source code that was released by Jordan Mechner (which you discuss at around 5:11) does include the game data as well (images and levels), at least, that's the impression that I've got. So I guess someone could technically produce a playable game out of the code, although Apple II graphics aren't exactly the best of the bunch.

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Reply 3306 of 3339, by Gemini000

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MrFlibble wrote on 2023-08-23, 15:19:

BTW, the original Apple II source code that was released by Jordan Mechner (which you discuss at around 5:11) does include the game data as well (images and levels), at least, that's the impression that I've got. So I guess someone could technically produce a playable game out of the code, although Apple II graphics aren't exactly the best of the bunch.

Oh hey, you're right! If I dug a little deeper into the files I would've spotted that... The reason I didn't check was because USUALLY source code folders don't include game data. :P

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3307 of 3339, by MrFlibble

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Just a few words on the concluding part of the Prince of Persia video. I certainly cannot imagine how I'd react to the game if I only played it for the first time nowadays, but I played it a lot back in the 90s when I was around nine or ten, and I definitely did not feel frustrated, even though I did't even realise I could save the game. I'd play it and continue when I failed until the timer ran out (I don't think I'd try going for it more than once a day), getting a little better each time. I was certainly motivated to play on and on, and not only because I had very little in terms of other games, but the game world itself was quite appealing to me, I could be lost for hours -- although as I said above, once I'd run out of time I'd usually switch to something else, like another of the few games that I had. Granted, back then I had a lot more free time and a lot fewer priorities and things to worry about in general. But it never felt hardcore or frustrating.

I dropped PoP sometime after, especially when I got introduced to Warcraft II and then StarCraft which became my next obsession. However, once I became familiar with DOSBox in the mid-2000s, I revisited Prince and, armed with my superior knowledge of the save game ability (which I gained from some game FAQ site or other, or perhaps from the Dirty Little Helper which I got from a magazine coverdisk), I was able to beat the game in a reasonable amount of time, much to my own pleasure (something like 15-20 minutes left on timer, but I might be misremembering -- perhaps it was less, but certainly not rushing in the last minute). I have to admit, it takes some practice to play, but the game controls are just perfect and fluid, once you get the proper hang of them they work like second nature. True, it's likely not something one can master in a short timespan, but I remember only pure fun playing the game, although I think I'm still scared of the choppers a tiny bit, and feared them a lot back when I was a kid 😀

I have to admit though, these days I, being interested in some obscure oldies from the DOS era or before, often run into something with hard and non-intuitive controls or game design, and it mostly causes frustration and "how could someone think it'd be fun to play THIS?!?" moments. Like recently I tried the DOS conversions of Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy (I gather that the game mechanics are in both cases accurately recreated from the ZX Spectrum originals), and, well, besides historical curiosity I'm not motivated at all to master these games, or to play them to completion, or to play them to any extent really. They are, admittedly, on a different level from Prince, being from a different time and different game culture so to speak, but I can't but think that, should I've been born a decade or so earlier and had access to a ZX Spectrum, I'd quite possibly also perceive these games in quite a different light -- because they very clearly can be mastered and played to be fun too.

I suspect that some part of the blame lies not only with me now being older and having less free time as an adult, but also in part in how the way we spend our free time has changed over these years, not in the least because of the Internet. I can easily go back in time to the 90s mentally, and the sheer enjoyment of being lost in a fun game is very obvious -- when you do not have all the distractions like YouTube and forums and whatnot. Also, many of the newer games don't put the player immediately through the gauntlet but give some time to learn the mechanics, so it's becoming less of a habit to get very invested in what could be just a casual pastime.

Of course, back in the 1990s there were also games, including platform games, that start by giving the player some easy time, but here, I think that PoP's design was not particularly conducive to this. After all, it was not called a cinematic platformer for nothing, you start with a daring escape from the prison cell and work your way through progressively more dangerous perils. BTW, have you noticed how each of the twelve levels has a unique feature that makes it different from the rest? Like a different type of mini-boss or a unique combination of traps or some story element. This is not something you often find in platform games of the era, with levels usually being more of the same with just new enemy types and/or weapons added, and a possible cosmetic change of scenery.

By the way, I do like your idea with alternate endings. Perhaps this is even something that Jordan Mechner would gladly subscribe to, but you probably know that the original Apple II game was developed under extremely strict hardware limitations that very likely prevented some of the more interesting ideas from being implemented.

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Reply 3308 of 3339, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Episode 317 - Bug World is online!

This one... is kind of incredible... and I mean that in the sense that it's incredible just how completely off the mark nearly every aspect of its design and programming are! :O

At the same time though, the fact that it has few actual bugs and is a complete experience made me think back to my own early game development efforts so I took a somewhat different approach to this video: Going over all the problems with the game, explaining why they're problems, and then making a point at the end about how games like these even see the light of day and why, despite its objectively low quality, it completely makes sense why it exists at all.

Also... be prepared for some really crappy hand-drawn animation... ;)

Also, in response to what you said in the long reply above, MrFlibble, what you yourself experienced there is a sentiment I've seen repeated a few times and in some ways is the core of nostalgia, but me personally, I don't subscribe to the notion of a game becoming more enjoyable the more you play the same segments over and over and over again without doing anything different. To me, that's madness; probably also a key reason why I could never be a speedrunner, at least, not with a static, unchanging game. A game which doesn't play the same every time or a game modified by a randomizer, those are things I could enjoy and have already enjoyed to some extent. I know it's not like that for everyone, but that in turn also proves that it's subjective, meaning it doesn't serve as a good point of reference as to the actual quality of a game. I even pointed out that some people are totally OK with that! :P

...PoP is still elitist though because you DO have to play it virtually perfectly or fail. That in and of itself is not a bad thing, it's just an important factor in determining if someone will enjoy it or not. :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3309 of 3339, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Episode 318 - Stunt Island is online!

This is definitely one of the more unique flight sims ever published, given that instead of being a typical flight sim where you're either engaged in military missions or just taking in the scenery, this one's all about performing various kinds of stunts, each of which requires precision flying to some degree, each of which only takes a minute or so to complete or fail. This is kinda like the Warioware of flight sims!

Combo that with a linear video editing suite only ever found in TV and film production at the point in time this debuted and it ends up being a highly unique experience... but one where it's hard to know exactly who the target audience was, given that it takes a certain kind of person to enjoy EVERYTHING this program has on offer. :P

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3310 of 3339, by MrFlibble

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Gemini000 wrote on 2023-07-11, 13:20:
henryVK wrote on 2023-07-10, 14:54:
Corncob reminded me of a game I used to be quite fond of but that is pretty obscure: "Flight Action" by Axisim Software. […]
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Corncob reminded me of a game I used to be quite fond of but that is pretty obscure: "Flight Action" by Axisim Software.

https://www.mobygames.com/game/67702/flight-action/

Maybe this could be intersting for one of your other segments? It's quite a unique game, I think. I put it on Mobygames many years ago after doing some research. Unfortunately, I couldn't find out anything about the developer(s). It's not covered anywhere but one person on Twitter seems to have gotten excited about it: https://twitter.com/gravislizard/status/13004 … 5061842944?s=20

Also unfortunately, I'm not sure a full-release version is currently available anywhere. The game was only sold as a download as far as I could tell. I think what's floating around on the internet is the demo version. I got the game off of a shareware disk back in the day and that might have been the demo too.

Might be a very tricky game to cover if information and downloads are scarce. I'll keep it in mind but I don't think it's gonna end up on the show anytime soon.

There's a limited playable demo available, and I have dug up their old website as well:
http://www.inetview.com/axisim/ (Wayback Machine snapshot)

The game actually looks pretty good for an old-school flight sim, and uses relatively hi-res graphics that are not too hard on the eye.

Gemini000 wrote on 2023-09-16, 01:46:

Combo that with a linear video editing suite only ever found in TV and film production at the point in time this debuted and it ends up being a highly unique experience... but one where it's hard to know exactly who the target audience was, given that it takes a certain kind of person to enjoy EVERYTHING this program has on offer. 😜

The most unusual thing about this, to me at least, is that anyone could download the film player for free and watch user-created films. A while ago I found a fairly large archive of these creations, which I believe I downloaded from here:
https://armknechted.com/sicentral/sifiles/index.html

DOS Games Archive | Free open source games | RGB Classic Games

Reply 3311 of 3339, by BenMcLean

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Gemini000 wrote on 2023-09-16, 01:46:

Ancient DOS Games Episode 318 - Stunt Island is online!

This is definitely one of the more unique flight sims ever published, given that instead of being a typical flight sim where you're either engaged in military missions or just taking in the scenery, this one's all about performing various kinds of stunts, each of which requires precision flying to some degree, each of which only takes a minute or so to complete or fail. This is kinda like the Warioware of flight sims!

Combo that with a linear video editing suite only ever found in TV and film production at the point in time this debuted and it ends up being a highly unique experience... but one where it's hard to know exactly who the target audience was, given that it takes a certain kind of person to enjoy EVERYTHING this program has on offer. 😜

I don't think any other person will ever fully understand my massive disappointment as a child that the Sea Duck plane from Disney's TaleSpin (1990) was not available as a plane to fly in Disney's Stunt Island. (1992)
I have considered putting up a bounty online to pay someone to make that mod happen.
If you (anyone reading this) have Stunt Island modding knowledge and would be open to working on this then PLEASE contact me! Or even if you know who might be capable and potentially open to it.
Would also be nice to re-create some locations from the show such as Louie's bar, the Higher for Hire headquarters and Cape Suzette's defense wall.

Reply 3312 of 3339, by Gemini000

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Ancient DOS Games Pro 27 - Max Stats - Reaping the Dungeon is FINALLY online!

So, here's what happened and why this video is a week late...

Firstly, the past couple weeks have been absolutely ridiculous in real life in terms of things going wrong and becoming points of extreme mental and physical stress. That wasn't the issue though, just the reason why I took a full week to fix what went wrong.

What went wrong is that I was about 80% done the editing Friday evening when I was like, "Oh! I should capture some footage of this thing that can happen infinitely to demonstrate it!"

...only to discover after a few minutes of recording that it wasn't... actually... infinite...

:/

SO, the important point here is that all of the data I collected was solid and about 80% of my script could stay the way it was, but this revelation absolutely derailed several spots in the script, so I had to go back, rewrite certain parts of the script, re-voice the entire thing, cut all of the voice audio out of what I had already edited together and realign everything to fit the new voice clips.

In any event, it's done, and I can finally share the results of this work... not to mention share the fact that Ron Heuse no longer requires people to link to his website anymore for free copies of the full game: Just head to his website, grab his contact details, send him a polite eMail asking for a copy, and there you go! In that way it's still not technically freeware, I'd almost give this one a new classification called "contactware" in that all you do is contact the author and you get your game! :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3313 of 3339, by ripsaw8080

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You may find that Reaping the Dungeon looks a bit better with the machine=vgaonly setting in DOSBox, as it displays 9-dot wide text as real VGA does, so that the alphanumeric characters have gaps between them.

Reply 3314 of 3339, by Gemini000

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ripsaw8080 wrote on 2023-10-07, 04:48:

You may find that Reaping the Dungeon looks a bit better with the machine=vgaonly setting in DOSBox, as it displays 9-dot wide text as real VGA does, so that the alphanumeric characters have gaps between them.

Interesting... I just checked that out and RARELY is that a factor with DOS games, but given that this game uses VGA graphics for its intro and map I'm actually not super-surprised that the character art is also designed for 9-wide characters! :o

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3315 of 3339, by MrFlibble

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Gemini000 wrote on 2023-10-07, 02:07:

not to mention share the fact that Ron Heuse no longer requires people to link to his website anymore for free copies of the full game: Just head to his website, grab his contact details, send him a polite eMail asking for a copy, and there you go! In that way it's still not technically freeware, I'd almost give this one a new classification called "contactware" in that all you do is contact the author and you get your game! :B

What's the point of this restriction? The only thing that it accomplishes is that in the long run, the full version will only have been preserved by warez/abandonware sites and private collections, because there is no way to publicly share it without the author's approval.

If he no longer pursuits any monetary gain with this game and wants it preserved for posterity, the only reasonable way to do so is to properly release it as freeware under an unambiguous license, allowing to pass it along without restrictions (of course, while fully respecting original authorship and copyrights).

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Reply 3316 of 3339, by Gemini000

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MrFlibble wrote on 2023-10-10, 16:38:
Gemini000 wrote on 2023-10-07, 02:07:

not to mention share the fact that Ron Heuse no longer requires people to link to his website anymore for free copies of the full game: Just head to his website, grab his contact details, send him a polite eMail asking for a copy, and there you go! In that way it's still not technically freeware, I'd almost give this one a new classification called "contactware" in that all you do is contact the author and you get your game! :B

What's the point of this restriction? The only thing that it accomplishes is that in the long run, the full version will only have been preserved by warez/abandonware sites and private collections, because there is no way to publicly share it without the author's approval.

If he no longer pursuits any monetary gain with this game and wants it preserved for posterity, the only reasonable way to do so is to properly release it as freeware under an unambiguous license, allowing to pass it along without restrictions (of course, while fully respecting original authorship and copyrights).

Don't tell it to me, tell it to him. Ask him why he's handling it the way he is and present your case as to why a more general freeware license would be better. :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3317 of 3339, by MrFlibble

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Gemini000 wrote on 2023-10-11, 04:07:

Don't tell it to me, tell it to him. Ask him why he's handling it the way he is and present your case as to why a more general freeware license would be better. :B

Well, out of the two of us, you seem to be more invested in the game than I do -- I played the shareware version some ten years ago and honestly I wasn't super terrified, whereas you have made a review and an in-depth video analysing the intricacies of its mechanics.

Also the way you mentioned this model in the post I quoted appeared to me as if you approved of it, or at least viewed it as a positive thing, that's why I asked here. But perhaps the positive thing is that one no longer needs to add a link to one's site (provided one has a site at all) as a precondition for receiving the full game.

Anyway, I might pen a letter to Mr. Heuse, sometime, perhaps.

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Reply 3318 of 3339, by Gemini000

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MrFlibble wrote on 2023-10-11, 17:40:

Also the way you mentioned this model in the post I quoted appeared to me as if you approved of it, or at least viewed it as a positive thing, that's why I asked here. But perhaps the positive thing is that one no longer needs to add a link to one's site (provided one has a site at all) as a precondition for receiving the full game.

When it comes to me, NEVER read between the lines. I never say anything I don't mean and if you find hidden meanings in my words I guarantee I had no idea they were even there to begin with! :P

To that end, I never said anything in terms of approval or disapproval of what Ron's doing with distribution of his game. It is what it is and I accept that and am simply relaying that information. If I ever approve or disapprove of something you'll never have to guess; I will flat-out state my opinion when I have one! :B

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 3319 of 3339, by MrFlibble

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Gemini000 wrote on 2023-10-13, 13:37:
MrFlibble wrote on 2023-10-11, 17:40:

Also the way you mentioned this model in the post I quoted appeared to me as if you approved of it, or at least viewed it as a positive thing, that's why I asked here. But perhaps the positive thing is that one no longer needs to add a link to one's site (provided one has a site at all) as a precondition for receiving the full game.

When it comes to me, NEVER read between the lines. I never say anything I don't mean and if you find hidden meanings in my words I guarantee I had no idea they were even there to begin with! 😜

My apologies, I meant no offence.

I am a linguist by training so I'm very aware of implicit meanings, so I am perhaps too inclined to read too much into what other people say. Sorry!

DOS Games Archive | Free open source games | RGB Classic Games