Finally, the day has come. All my crucial parts have arrived and so now I have a fully working dedicated DOS machine! Pentium 133, but can be decelerated to ~386SX40 or ~486DX33 by disabling caches. I tested it out with Wing Commander and it runs perfectly fine.
I was actually quite lucky, as every single piece of hardware I bought was on Yahoo Auctions, with none of it tested; yet, everything works just fine!
Anyway, to celebrate, I looked through my meager PC big box collection to see what I could install via 3.5" disk. Most of my boxed games are on CD, so I could only get a few installed.
I had played this quite a bit via GOG release on DOSBOX, but decided to start over. With both caches disabled it runs perfect, and the CH Flightstick Pro is such an awesome joystick; feels great in the hand, extremely responsive with little to no deadzone, just heavenly. The AWE32 FM synth sounds decent but is kind of off. I completed just the first mission so I could try everything out, and I had a blast. Flying through the asteroid field with the CH stick was so smooth, could not believe it.
I copied over my current save for this one. I finished exploring level 2, including defeating the Gazer—pretty tough fight as a Druid with poor fighting skills and badly worn equipment! Again, AWE32 sounds okay but sort of weird.
Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons
Actually the very first game I ever played on my own PC back in the day, as my brother's friend gave me a disk with the shareware version. Fun game, I dunno if it's nostalgia talking, but I think I prefer the cleaner graphics in this to those in "Goodbye, Galaxy." Plays great with a keyboard (not so great with the CH stick haha); I was tempted to find a Gravis Gamepad, and someone on Yahoo Auctions has a complete in box pad up for auction... starting at equivalent of 200 USD, OUCH. Keyboard it is then...
I also installed and tested, but did not really play:
- Pool of Radiance (copied my saves over)
- Dungeon Master
- Ultima 5 (copied my save over and installed the unofficial music patch; sounds very good with AWE32 synth actually)
- Falcon 3.0
- Red Baron
Hopefully my CDROM drive will come soon, as I want to get System Shock CD installed!
I had originally planned on installing Win 98SE on here, but I might just leave it as a dedicated DOS machine since I have it all set up now. I am considering installing Windows 3.11 however, so I can play Exile 1-3 and MORDOR.
Finally, I am bidding on a genuine early model Sound Blaster 16 (without hanging note bug!). If I win that, the AWE32 is definitely going into storage haha.