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Good shoot em ups up to 1991?

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First post, by root42

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For my 286 I am looking for shoot em ups of the era. The specs of the machine:

* 80286 @ 12 MHz
* 1MiB RAM
* Trident 9000 VGA, 512KiB
* AdLib clone
* 1 GiB CF HDD

Optimally I would love VGA graphics and AdLib sound. I already know two games I can try:

* Xenon 2
* Silpheed

I have Xenon 2 already for my Megadrive, however the DOS version does not seem to support AdLib, and the PC Speaker music is... dubious at best.

Silpheed has AdLib support, but "only" EGA graphics. I will try it anyway, I think.

Any other games like this that I haven't heard about?

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Reply 1 of 28, by konc

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Galactix http://www.mobygames.com/game/galactix
1991, VGA, SB. Will probably struggle a bit on this PC but hey, it's within your specs. Plus it's currently freeware.

I'd add Kiloblaster, Overkill and Starfire as they are similar and run on a 286, but those are 1992 games. Just throwing in the names in case you feel like checking them out.

Reply 2 of 28, by root42

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konc wrote:

Galactix http://www.mobygames.com/game/galactix
1991, VGA, SB. Will probably struggle a bit on this PC but hey, it's within your specs. Plus it's currently freeware.

I'd add Kiloblaster, Overkill and Starfire as they are similar and run on a 286, but those are 1992 games. Just throwing in the names in case you feel like checking them out.

I will.

1992 is fine, I was just fearing that games from that year on will be a bit much. My personal all time favorite is Tyrian, on an OPL3 card. But that is for Pentium class machines...

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Reply 3 of 28, by root42

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I remember Solar Winds: http://www.mobygames.com/game/solar-winds-the-escape

But that was when I had the 486SX I think... I plan to make another 386 build. I will check it out then

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Reply 4 of 28, by Shponglefan

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Zaxxon was ported to PC (early 80's I believe). It was an isometric shooter. Not as frenetic as your typical shmup, but it had a unique perspective and ability to fly up and down, in addition to left and right.

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Reply 6 of 28, by root42

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I will try out Overkill. Especially since I never played it back then.

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Reply 8 of 28, by root42

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I love Team17 stuff, but yeah, I think that game is 386 only. Plus from the videos on Youtube it looks pretty unforgiving! 😀 I will try it later this year on my 386 build...

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Reply 9 of 28, by cyclone3d

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konc wrote:

Galactix http://www.mobygames.com/game/galactix
1991, VGA, SB. Will probably struggle a bit on this PC but hey, it's within your specs. Plus it's currently freeware.

They did make version 1.5 freeware.. but then they started selling it again later and then the freeware version just about disappeared off the internet. But.. if you actually want/need ANY of the versions of Galactix, I do have them. Took me absolutely forever to track down all the versions.

They did change the graphics quite a bit from version 1.0 to version 1.5.. and they also added code to fix the running too fast issue on faster computers in some of the later versions.

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Reply 10 of 28, by xjas

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Overkill is short, but it's probably my favorite shmup on DOS. The EGA pixel art is awesome, and the soundtrack kicks ass (especially with an MT-32.) Highly recommended. 😀

Star Goose (or Stargoose Warrior) is also worth a look, it's fun & had some interesting gameplay ideas. Xerix and Xerix II are pretty amateurish but do the job, and should work on your target system. Kiloblaster will probably run fine too, but it's awful. Unpolished mess.

I'd toss Zone66 in there, but it's protected mode and needs a (slow) 386.

Edit: Tubular Worlds (1994) is claimed to run on a 286/640k by Mobygames, but not sure if that's true. It's quite a good game though, well worth giving it a shot.

You could also check out Final Orbit which I know nothing about but just stumbled on. Looks interesting though.

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Reply 12 of 28, by xjas

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Should also mention Llamatron 2112 if you want a dose of utter mental insanity with your shooting. Quality stuff. 😉

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Reply 13 of 28, by root42

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I do remember Tubular Worlds. I definitely played this in the 90s. But not excessively, I think and also on my later machine, which was a 486SX-33. I will have a look anyway. I think Overkill looks like the best of the bunch, indeed. Star Goose does not ring a bell, but looks worthwile.

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Reply 15 of 28, by root42

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Oh, I do remember Major Stryker from magazines. Apogee did a lot of EGA graphics when others already switched to VGA. But that's ok. The game is rather professionally looking.

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Reply 17 of 28, by cyclone3d

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root42 wrote:

Oh, I do remember Major Stryker from magazines. Apogee did a lot of EGA graphics when others already switched to VGA. But that's ok. The game is rather professionally looking.

Major Stryker was one of my favorite games from back then.

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Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 18 of 28, by root42

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leileilol wrote:

For a 286 you'll want EGA anyway.... even many 386s struggled with VGA shmups (some of my friends couldn't run Raptor on release)

Yeah, raptor and Tyrian are another league... it's interesting how few games made use of VGA hardware scrolling to alleviate a bit the CPU load. Pinball Fantasies/Dreams come to mind, but they were 386+ as well.

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