VOGONS


First post, by Roger Wilco

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Hello Vogons,

I found the first PC I ever saw and played games with on the Internet....my beloved uncles old highscreen, a 286, 16 Mhz, I guess 1MB of RAM.
Seeing a picture of this model allready was super flashy, as I couldn't remember, how it looked.

I am now thinking of buying it for about 150 Euro. It looks like it's in pretty good shape.
But what can I actually EXPECT from this machine?

I remember I played Larry 3, Space Quest 3, Lemmings, Golden Axe, Rick Dangerous, Keen, Test Drive....
But can it run, for example Monkey Island II, Indy 4 or Civilization?
These are all games from 1991, where I think the 386 were slowly taking over....
I know I can probably forget anything 1992 or later, but there are a lot of games from around '91, that I really like to play, and if they don't run on the 286 at all, I might not spend the money for it...

thanks
M

(edit: just checked and Indy4 is from 1992)

Reply 1 of 13, by shamino

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I think most 1992 games would be fine with it. Lots of people had 286s then.
Civilization will be perfectly fine as long as you have VGA and a mouse. Neither is required, just very desirable. 286-16 is fine for the CPU, it doesn't need much.

Star Control 2 will run fine. I played it on a 386SX-16 which from what I've read is slower than the 286-16. Combat was slower than intended but I didn't notice because I was used to it. I was actually a little put off when I played it on a faster system later.
Ultima 1-6 will run, 7 requires a 386.

X-Wing would be painful. I played it on the 386SX-16 but I was desperate and had to alter my combat strategy to manage the framerate. Specs say it requires 386 but I remember reading that's not technically true.

You can use mobygames to look up the original advertised requirements for old games. They have them under the "specs" tab.
https://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/indiana-jo … lantis/techinfo
If that's "Indy 4" then it just wants a 286.

Reply 2 of 13, by Roger Wilco

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shamino wrote on 2021-10-20, 23:37:

I think most 1992 games would be fine....

Thanks for your answer.
I cant play with slow fps, so I would never play anything like X-Wing on a system like that.
It allready was like that for me back in the days, I preferred low detail with full fps a lot over full graphics with low fps...

But I would love to use this machine for the slower games anyway and if it really runs games up to 1992, I'd be super pleased.
Thanks for the tip with moby games. I was thinking, that there must exist a database like this, but it probably won't tell me, if the game is actually playable or super slow.

PS Not exactly sure, why I am calling Indiana Jones and the Fate... "Indy 4", but we all here (where I live) did in the 90s.... 😁

Reply 3 of 13, by DosFreak

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16mhz is fast (lol) , I played tons of DOS games on my 286 12mhz from 1991 to 1995.
Stick with real mode games and you should be good mostly. I don't remember the specs lying much back then.
I remember playing Wolf3D on my 286, it wasn't painful.

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Reply 4 of 13, by Horun

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DosFreak wrote on 2021-10-21, 00:17:

16mhz is fast (lol) , I played tons of DOS games on my 286 12mhz from 1991 to 1995.
I remember playing Wolf3D on my 286, it wasn't painful.

Me too ! a 12Mhz good 286 with 2MB of RAM or more can perform very well and the old game list is huge.
Here is the 8088/8086 required list : https://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/att … ibuteId,64/p,2/
and 286: https://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/att … ,550/p,2/so,0a/
together that is about 2500 games 🤣

Hate posting a reply and then have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor.

Reply 5 of 13, by mkarcher

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Roger Wilco wrote on 2021-10-20, 23:52:

PS Not exactly sure, why I am calling Indiana Jones and the Fate... "Indy 4", but we all here (where I live) did in the 90s.... 😁

That one is easy: There were three Indiana Jones movies back in the day. The third one ("Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade") was used as story for the first Indiana Jones adventure games. As it was the third movie, that game was called "Indy 3". So calling the next game with the same protagonist "Indy 4" is easily explainable, even if there was no fourth movie at that time, and the recent fourth movie has a different topic.

Reply 6 of 13, by ThinkpadIL

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Roger Wilco wrote on 2021-10-20, 23:01:
Hello Vogons, […]
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Hello Vogons,

I found the first PC I ever saw and played games with on the Internet....my beloved uncles old highscreen, a 286, 16 Mhz, I guess 1MB of RAM.
Seeing a picture of this model allready was super flashy, as I couldn't remember, how it looked.

I am now thinking of buying it for about 150 Euro. It looks like it's in pretty good shape.
But what can I actually EXPECT from this machine?

I remember I played Larry 3, Space Quest 3, Lemmings, Golden Axe, Rick Dangerous, Keen, Test Drive....
But can it run, for example Monkey Island II, Indy 4 or Civilization?
These are all games from 1991, where I think the 386 were slowly taking over....
I know I can probably forget anything 1992 or later, but there are a lot of games from around '91, that I really like to play, and if they don't run on the 286 at all, I might not spend the money for it...

thanks
M

(edit: just checked and Indy4 is from 1992)

Well, 286 was my first machine too, so I'd also be glad to buy one in order to admire its technical excellence ... for its time ... if I only had enough free space at home.

So, if you have nostalgic feelings for this machine and also wish to play some DOS games, I'd rather advise you to buy two machines instead of one - 286 for hardware admiration only and Pentium I MMX or AMD K-6III+ machine in order to build a 3 or 4 in 1 DOS machine, so you'll be able to play almost any DOS game, cause those machines for sure would be a sweetest dream of every 286 owner 🙂.

Here are two nice guides how to do that:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oKZqB-y0mE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcAqRbFFQPU

Reply 7 of 13, by shamino

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Roger Wilco wrote on 2021-10-20, 23:52:

PS Not exactly sure, why I am calling Indiana Jones and the Fate... "Indy 4", but we all here (where I live) did in the 90s.... 😁

That game came up when I searched with that name so I'm sure it was common.
I've never played the series so I just wasn't sure if I had the right game.

I'm the same way with Zelda games. To me it's Zelda 1, 2, and 3.
To the kids it's "Adventure of Link" and "Link to the Past", because all the newer games had subtitles and no numbers.

Reply 8 of 13, by dr.zeissler

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I have checked some games/demos to work with 286/8/1MB/ET4000(1MB).
There are lot's of games that do work on that bridgeboard-setup.

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Reply 9 of 13, by AlexZ

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It should be fine for games even from 1994, but just not the most popular ones and not running in protected mode. Games for faster computers got released more frequently and authors stopped caring about slower computers like 286-386 at that point. An excellent comparison would be Prehistorik 2 vs Lion King. The former coded on 286, designed to be playable on it while the latter required at least 386DX40, not to mention higher memory requirements. In terms of fun and depth the former was superior.

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Reply 11 of 13, by CrossBow777

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Well my first PC was my Memorex/Telex 7045D 286-16mhz. I actually upped the ram in it to 5MB total. It only has a 20MB HDD in it so that was more limiting to me at the time. But these are the games I played on it and it played them quite well actually:

All of the Sierra adventures up to King's Quest VI I played on that 286. I did have an upgraded VGA card I installed into it and it has a 2x CD-rom drive in it as well by that time. So it wasn't until KQ7 came along that I couldn't really use it to play any of the Sierra games. But all Space Quest up to 4, and I know I played Larry 5 on it as well.
I know I played Indy Last Crusade, Monkey 1, and Monkey 2, along with Loom.
I also played both Wing Commander 1 and Wing Commander 2 on it. However, 2 did suffer in performance because I had to keep the game installed in compressed form in order to fit onto the HDD with the 2 special ops add-ons.
I also played Star Control 1 and 2 on it and 2 played great as I recall.
I did play most of the Microprose games on it including F-19 Stealth Fighter (Before it was re-released as F117a). Res Storm Rising and Airborne Ranger were favorites of mine I played on it.

That 286 had a number of upgrades on it over the few years I gamed on it. Started with Adlib, then an SB-Pro 2.0. I also had a Turtle Beach Maui in that thing for a while for wavetable music. The onboard video was a Headland tech VGA but only like 256k I think? I eventually installed a 512k VGA card into it so I could run Windows 3.1 in SVGA mode.

I think one of the reasons why some of the early 386 designed games still ran so well on my 286 was due to the fact that I ran both XMS and EMS at the same time on it. The DOS 3.3 it came with had an EMS driver that worked on that 286 and was the only 286 I ever heard about at that time with that ability. Then again, it wasn't a cheap computer either. It was built for use as a corporate workstation and was high end for a 286 even back in '89 when we purchased it.

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Reply 12 of 13, by Jo22

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DosFreak wrote on 2021-10-21, 00:17:

16mhz is fast (lol) , I played tons of DOS games on my 286 12mhz from 1991 to 1995.
Stick with real mode games and you should be good mostly. I don't remember the specs lying much back then.
I remember playing Wolf3D on my 286, it wasn't painful.

+1 Same here.

I even played a lot of early Windows games on my 286.
Performance was sufficient for my needs, despite the lack of a native graphics driver.

That 286 had an ATI VGA Wonder 16 on-board, but I was merely using the VGA driver.
Because, no driver flopies were included when my father and me got it second-hand.

And I wasn't aware of any drivers, also. Technically, there was CompuServe around and so were BBSes, but.. Well..
I guess at the time it didn't cross our minds that drivers for a VGA from the 1980s even existed.

Makes me wonder how much better those native drivers would have accelerated a 286 PC in Windows 3.1 in Standard-Mode.

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Reply 13 of 13, by Roger Wilco

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Thanks to all for the answers!!
Nice to read about your experiences with the 286s.
Now I am really looking forward buying the machine 😁

rmay635703 wrote on 2021-10-22, 14:03:

That's the computer in question. <3