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Retro (Classic) PC Games (DOS Days)

Posted November 4th, 2008 at 04:13 PM by Nadi
I grew up with a computer at a very early age. (4 years old, to be exact.) It was a gift to my sister when she was 8 one Christmas. It was a Commadore 64 and she didn't want anything to do with it. Instead, I was mezmerized by it and I quite grew fond of the games and such that I could do on it. It wasn't long after that as I started to grow older that my fondness for video games started to really grow. I had all the systems growing up:

Atari, C64, NES, SuperNES, (never was a Genesis fan...), DreamCast, PS2,... still waiting on my PS3. But, you get the idea. Video games were at my heart when I was a lot younger.

Things changed for console gaming when we got our first 286 computer. (Tandy, I believe.) I started to mess around on it a little bit, but computer games quickly became something that I got really into. (Remember the old classics: Space Quest series, Police Quest, King's Quest, etc?) Man, did Sierra have it going on. I grew up on DOS games and it was the love of these games that landed me the job where I am today: working in the IT field (network management, ISP management, etc.) But, here recently, I've been able to take a trip back to the 'good old days' and remember what my earlier years of my childhood were like.

Over the course of becoming and adult, I worked a job at several retail outlets, selling computers and doing troubleshooting. It was during this time that me and my buddy bought a few discount network cards (10BaseT... wow, were we big time!) and had our first ever 'network' game together at his house one night. Wow, no lag! (No high-speed then... this was BBS days and the days of online services, such as CompuServe and Prodigy.) If you wanted to play with a friend, you had to dial up directly and pray that they were expecting a phone call or that his parents weren't going to pick up the phone and try to dial out. LOL. So, over the years, I've had my fair share of 'LAN PARTIES' with the local nerd guys... I mean, who hasn't?

So, kidding around the other day, I was talking to a few of them and was telling them (who are much younger than I am) that we should get together at our next LAN party and play good old DOOM. Few of them laughed (I even laughed)... but it got me thinking... 'Why not play DOOM?' So, out of just giggles and curiosity I did a quick google search for Doom on Windows...

... and the rest of the week has not been the same.

I recently learned of 'ports' that people have done for older DOS games. I knew that these things were around, but I never really tried to check one out. But I downloaded a few and tried it out... and then I ran across the coolest port for an old DOS game I have seen:


Granted, some of you probably already know what this is. Basically, it's an OPENGL port of DOOM (using the original DOOM wads and files), but it adds a TON of new features to the game, without taking away from the original feel and fun that made DOOM such an awesome game. Some of the cool features are:
  • 32 Player TCP/IP support (instead of 4 player IPX)
  • OPENGL Hardware Graphics Acceleration (high rez)
  • New weapons, New Items, New Game Play Types (non-original DOOM levels and wads)
  • Dedicated Server (no more losing the game when the host leaves)
  • A SLEW of options and setting for multiplayer games
  • Advanced lighting and particle effects
  • Full 3D movement (you can look up, down, jump, and crouch!)
  • ... the list goes on and on.

I've been hooked on this all week. Man, DOOM was groundbreaking in terms of FPS. Outside of Wolfenstien 3D, there's not another FPS game out there that doesn't owe credit to the original DOOM. Console boys drool over Halo and how awesome it is, but they often forget that us PC boys have been doing this stuff for YEARS. We were playing 'on-line' together back in the early 90's, before the internet was even around. I can even remember dialing into BBS services to match up and play 4 players on DOOM together. Needless to say, the appeal for DOOM was not so much the frag-fest DM, but rather the co-op play that it served up.

I've had the opportunity to share the 'DOOM experience' with a few younger guys from my church, who don't even really know what DOOM is or the roots that it holds. So, we've been playing 4 player Co-Op games through the first few episodes this week and it's been an absolute BLAST. We'll start DOOM II here soon, not to mention some of the DeathMatch levels. (Skulltag even includes bots for offline play.) I can't wait to get into this a little more. It'e been fun showing everyone here at work that 'grew up with DOOM' Skulltag and how they look with the wide eyes and say: "Oh, wow! I didn't know you could still play DOOM!" Of course, it's often following with a long conversation of how many 'hours' were spent into this game when they were a lot younger.

So, of course, I began to think a little more back and ask: "What other ports are out there from other games?" And so over the past few days, I've come up with the following workable (and playable ports) of the following old 'classic' PC games:
  • DOOM (series)
  • Descent (series)
  • Rise of the Triad
  • Duke Nukem 3D
  • Wolfenstien 3D
  • Wolfenstien 3D: Spear of Destiny

It's not that the games just play with full Windows XP & Vista (boo!) support, but they all have OpenGL support (giving much better graphics than the original), new features, and all have network play over the internet. (Except Woflenstien) Plus, you don't have to run DOSBox either. Talk about being a child all over again... these are some of the BEST classic games on a PC... ever.

I think our next LAN party needs to be a 'retro-LAN party.' It's about time that some of the teenagers with their fancy XBox360's, PS3s, and other high-powered consoles realize where their great games come from. As fun as they all are, Skulltag has won me over. I've been DOOM'n all over again, but it's like playing it for the first time... but it still has the same look and feel that it did years ago... only this time, it's better!

As Duke said in Duke Nukem 3D: 'Hail to the King, Baby!' (Of course, I know that he didn't coin that phrase... but still... it's a classic either way.)
Total Comments 3


AliasQTip's Avatar
I've too have been recently playing a bunch of old DOS games. I've always loved Sierra's titles and have played every last one of the King's Quest series. Have you ever checked out Abandonia (www.abandonia.com). They've got a lot of games there most are free to download. I successfully run them on Vista using DosBox. Play on!
Posted April 16th, 2009 at 06:56 PM by AliasQTip AliasQTip is offline
Creationist's Avatar
I love Kings Quest as well. It mixes a pretty difficult story with bad graphics and some funny parts.
Posted July 18th, 2009 at 07:28 AM by Creationist Creationist is offline
Mossman's Avatar
I just found my old Kings' Quest disc a couple of days ago when I was sorting through some old boxes in the garage. Too funny!
Posted July 18th, 2009 at 11:14 AM by Mossman Mossman is offline
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