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Long-term game replayability?

By LodeRunner in Technology
Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 10:29:36 PM EST
Tags: Round Table (all tags)
Round Table

I was checking out one of these games nostalgia sites lately, and reading through tons of games I never heard about, I wondered which of these old games have, to this day, replay value -- not because of nostalgia, but because of their own playability merits.

I certainly do know some games that fit to this description. Often these are games that many people I talk to never heard about. They also tell me about such "classics" that I have never heard about. It's quite logical to figure out, there must be a lot of great games out there hiding.

Some of these games are great to this day because their concepts do not depend much on hardware or great sound or graphics. The most extreme example is, of course, Tetris. A fifteen-year old implementation is as playable as one written yesterday. Another similar example is Arkanoid ("you know, like Breakout").

However, unlike these mostly logical games, that barely depend on the underlying technology, action games tend(ed) to be stretch the limits of (then) current hardware. The result often causes awe as the game is released, but tends to look "dated" as hardware progresses. A game such as Karateka for the Apple II was considered to be "adrenalizing" back in 1987, but doesn't stand a chance today, as fighting games go. On the other hand, many people still have fun today playing Prince of Persia, to cite a game by the same author. Graphics are 320x200, 256 colors, but I still find the game environment captivating.

Another game series I enjoyed through the years was the family of Konami starship side-scrollers. I played Gradius a lot ( parts I and II for the NES, III for the SNES). I do know that many other games of this series exist, such as Nemesis and Life Force, to limit myself to two. I never played any of those, but I assume they have the same quality.

You surely noticed I only mentioned famous (should I say "classic"?) games. Still, many lesser-known games are certainly as good as those, if not better. Those "hidden pearls from the past" could probably be still introduced to a new generation and continue to be played today. I think everyone has a certain game in their memories (or, better yet, stored in a ROM or disk image) that they still consider to be fun today, independently of the "nostalgia factor". I'm not talking here about that "ah, Indy 500 was so much fun..." feeling. I think no one would have the patience to play Indy 500 (either one of them) today.

My personal "hidden pearl" is Championship Lode Runner for the Apple II. The main idea of the game is quite simple, it's the same Lode Runner as usual, but the level design is brilliant, the best from all versions of Lode Runner I have ever seen. If a person can have fun playing the Windows version of Lode Runner, which has a very similar gameplay (only with a few additions such as "bombs" and "keys") and better graphics, but is basically the same game, there is no reason why not to have fun with this Apple II version, which has very well-thought-out stages. I've heard that "Championship" is a collection of the best stages created using the original Lode Runner's level editor and sent back to Doug Smith.

I came to the conclusion that what makes these games mostly unknown is the heterogeneity of platforms. We all dreamed, back then, about owning all kinds of existing computers and game consoles, but what I notice is that people today usually only download emulators for platorms that they owned in the past, leaving out all the great stuff that is out there to be discovered in the others.

So I wrap it up with these open questions. And what about you, people? What are your "hidden pearls"? What older, mostly-unknown games have stood the test of time and are good enough to make worth downloading an emulator for an architecture that one has never used before? What older games do you think you could show to a kid today and he would still get addicted to, as much as you were addicted to it back then?


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Countless hours of my childhood were spent in front of...
o ...an Apple II computer 14%
o ...a Sinclair computer 9%
o ...a C64/C128 computer 25%
o ...a TRS-80 computer 4%
o ...an Amiga computer 9%
o ...an Atari computer/console 7%
o ...a Nintendo console 25%
o ...a Sega console 2%

Votes: 268
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o games nostalgia
o Tetris
o Arkanoid
o Karateka
o Apple II
o Prince of Persia
o author
o Konami
o Gradius
o I
o II
o Nemesis
o Life Force
o Indy
o 500
o Championship Lode Runner
o Lode Runner
o Windows version
o better graphics
o Doug Smith
o Also by LodeRunner

Display: Sort:
Long-term game replayability? | 292 comments (283 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
Hidden Pearl.. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
by cvou on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 04:06:55 PM EST

Dungeons Of Daggorath. The chance of anyone remembering this game is minimal, I should think.

Basically you wander around dungeons, kill things, pick up items, and go down ladders to the next level. Around about level three or four you die to something invisible because you haven't got the mithril torch yet, or can only see a dotted outline, but can't hit it because you haven't got the mithril sword, etc.

The monsters had AI quirks, though. They were very curious about anything on the ground. So if you dropped something, the monster would not pay attention to you until had picked it up. It was the only way to kill harder monsters - drop piles of equipment, and beat it while it was curiously gathering all your junk.

And you had a little beating heart in the middle of the screen. If you ran too far or got beat too hard it would pump so fast you'd pass out and die.

It was awesome!!! My brother, myself and my dad spent days being terrified by it and its impossibility (although i'm sure it was easy to everyone else). First truly scary game I ever played.. god, what did I play it on? TRS-80? It was all done with lines and dots. Amazing.

Ahh.. memories..

TRS-80 (none / 0) (#2)
by vile on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 04:13:16 PM EST

Was my first platform. In fact, the first system that I ever played any sort of games on. It truly did have some awesome games.

The money is in the treatment, not the cure.
[ Parent ]
Great game (none / 0) (#13)
by jmzero on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 05:44:34 PM EST

It's wierd how memory changes things.  I remember that troll guy with the club as being very realistic looking.  Looking at the screenshots now, I get some serious cognitive dissonance.  

But the heartbeat is still cool.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

yeup.. remember it well (none / 0) (#165)
by bolthole on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 04:49:52 AM EST

Dont forget the friggin completely random forced activation for magic rings. having to "incant" the durn things. uaauuugh!!

"rhime". who the heck is going to figure out "rhime". good thing I found a cheat list for that bit ;-)

[ Parent ]

Of course I remember Dungeons Of Daggorath! (none / 0) (#194)
by stormie on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 10:21:16 PM EST

You wouldn't belive how fast I can still type "M <return> A R <return> M B <return>" !!

I think it was lunar and solar torches you needed to see the invisible monsters though.

It wasn't easy, but I did eventually win. ("Behold! Destiny awaits the hand of a new wizard!")

[ Parent ]

oh yeah, Daggorath! (5.00 / 1) (#286)
by mspencer on Sat Dec 28, 2002 at 10:35:01 PM EST

Regarding that old game Dungeons of Daggorath:  I maintain a forum (but do almost none of the actual work) about this old game.  http://mspencer.net/forum/ -- it's an old pentium 75 runing phpBB, so be kind to it.  There's no advertising or other commercial interests anywhere on mspencer.net -- purely a labor of love.

A few of us have been able to contact one of the authors of that old game.  I (and a few others) have an autographed copy of the source code, in assembler, which I'm very proud of.  Some of the users there have been working on making a PC port, and that's coming along pretty well -- playable, beatable, but we're still working on getting the event timing and delays to match the original hardware.

Feel free to come on over!  Again, we have the (well-designed, well-commented) source for the game, so if you have questions about the hidden inner workings of the game, have fond memories you'd like to share, or anything else, you're invited to come over.

--Michael Spencer

[ Parent ]

Angband has huge replayability (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by GoofyBoy on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 04:13:57 PM EST

What about Angband?

I still have yet to finish that game off :/

Angband rocks (5.00 / 2) (#12)
by Three Pi Mesons on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 05:37:25 PM EST

I managed to beat Moria (Angband's ancestor), but never Angband. It's an astonishingly well-balanced game: this is due, I think, to the community-based mode of development. Open source/free software holy wars aside, there's a lot to be said for any system that makes it so easy for anyone to make a meaningful contribution, without having to spend time familiarising themselves with the source code.

In all the (too many) years I've been involved with Angband and its variants, I've always been impressed by the openness and friendliness of the developing/playing community. (These are more or less the same thing!) The game has been evolving for, well, ages, and it is just about as polished as a text-mode roguelike adventure can be.

:: "Every problem in the world can be fixed with either flowers, or duct tape, or both." - illuzion
[ Parent ]

...until you figure out how to beat it. (none / 0) (#97)
by swr on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:37:43 AM EST

I enjoyed Angband, and settled into the Z variant. After a couple of years I finally managed to beat it. With certain character classes (like my first winner - Dwarf Priest of Death and Sorcery) the game seems almost easy now, and trying other character types feels more like an inconvenience than a challenge.

A couple of years of gameplay is a pretty good run for a game. It was highly addictive during that time, too.

Time for Nethack I guess.

[ Parent ]
i used angband to seduce my ex boyfriend (none / 0) (#261)
by truffle on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 10:19:36 AM EST

He was playing it on school computers, I had Linux running on a 386. He didn't have a chance. When I started reprogramming the Borg for him it was love. Got five years of replay out of him.

[ Parent ]

One of the best games... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
by Trollificus on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 04:44:28 PM EST

...I've played in recent memory is Gothic, which was made by a little German outfit named Piranha Bytes.
This game didn't use the latest technology, or require the fastest processors. It was based on the old Tomb Raider engine. But it had a deep and involving storyline, and the world you got to run around in was HUGE.
I'm playing it again for the first time in over a year, and it still feels new.

"The separation of church and state is a fiction. The nation is the kingdom of God, period."
--Bishop Harold Calvin Ray of West Palm Beach, FL

ADOM (5.00 / 3) (#14)
by shadowlily on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 05:49:19 PM EST

I've spent more time playing ADOM than any other game, including Diablo II which was disturbingly addicting. It's not too old, as new versions are still coming, but the graphics are colored ascii. It has great replay value though - when your character dies they can't come back, which is incredibly frustrating but also exciting. Despite the lack of graphics this game is immersing like no other. Lots of items to be found, quests, and a character that has to be developed very well to survive. I still haven't won T.T

You had to be there. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by jmzero on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 05:53:16 PM EST

My own favorite game was Jumpman for the old C64.  Great game.  Tons of variety.  Simple, responsive controls.  

Yet I've given up showing it to people - even people who like old-school games.  You really had to experience it when it was new to appreciate it.  Similarly, my dabblings with other classic games that I didn't play "back in the day" have all been disappointing.  I can't play Conan for the Apple IIE(?) and my friend can't get into Jumpman.  Would I love M.U.L.E. if I hadn't played it as a kid?  

I think Karateka is a really crappy game.  And I still love it.  You can't be logical with nostalgia involved.

"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife

Yeah! (none / 0) (#18)
by Pinkerton Floyd on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 06:22:09 PM EST

Jump man was DA BOMB (ba-dump-bump).  :-)  I've played versions of it in various emulators for the PC that didn't suck either, actually.

Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun.
[ Parent ]

Indeed (none / 0) (#21)
by jmzero on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 06:43:14 PM EST

There's some good PC versions out there - I actually like "Jumpman Lives", even though it isn't strictly true to the original.  

I'm actually currently at work on a new Jumpman game - Jumpman Zero.  The Palm version is done - the Windows version is a few months from release.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Sweet! (none / 0) (#59)
by Pinkerton Floyd on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:14:33 AM EST

How do I get the PALM version, and will it require color?  I hope not, I have a VIIx.  :-)

Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun.
[ Parent ]

Palm version (none / 0) (#124)
by jmzero on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 01:20:40 PM EST

Over at the same site - jumpmanzero.com - there's be a b&w version for the Palm.  I actually don't own a b&w Palm (which made development difficult), but I'm told it works well.  The graphics suffer a bit without color, but that's not really the point.  

Have a good time.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Hey hey, coolness! (5.00 / 1) (#161)
by Pinkerton Floyd on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 12:23:54 AM EST

I'll check it out!  If you need feedback for dev purposes or anything, I'd be happy to help.  Also, if you're anywhere near Chicagoland, I'd be happy to let you use my VIIx for testing.

Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun.
[ Parent ]

Actually (5.00 / 1) (#35)
by kerinsky on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:59:43 PM EST

I'm 21 now and I first played and fell in love with jumpman on the C64 in eight grade. That's right around when I was lusting after quake and had to go to a friends house to play because my 386 wasn't up to snuff. I could have killed my dad when he sold our C64 at a garage sale a few years later. No more beachead, pole position or space taxi =( Emulation just isn't the same...

A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
[ Parent ]
Oh God, Jompman! (5.00 / 1) (#152)
by bunsen on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 09:37:41 PM EST

Oh the hours that game ate... Our copy had an error on the disk where Hot Foot should have been, meaning we could never play past that. A few months ago, I finally found an emulator that worked properly with my POS sound hardware and drivers, and jumpman.D64.

Playing again after so many years was damn wierd. I remembered that I was had figured out a perfect pattern for navigating Robots II, but I thought there'd be no way in hell I'd remember what it was. When that level came up, I just started heading in whatever direction felt right. A moment later, I realized that the pattern I'd just followed seemed real familiar. After a good 8 years of inactivity, that was still embedded in by cerebrum somwehere. Hell, after all the time I spent playing Jumpman, it might have been embedded in my spinal cord.

Do you want your possessions identified? [ynq] (n)
[ Parent ]

"Hand memory" (none / 0) (#209)
by dabadab on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 05:45:33 AM EST

Yeah, it is strange, but it also happened to me (although with Saboteur) Twelve years ago, or so, I have played it a lot, and once I have found the path to the end of it and since that day I can go through that path with no error - I have just confirmed this, it works after several years of not touching that game :)
Real life is overrated.
[ Parent ]
one of the big reasons (3.00 / 1) (#16)
by SideShow Ralph Wiggum on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 06:17:36 PM EST

I love those older games is the quality of gameplay. That's why I always go back to playing Megaman 1, 2, and 3, Super Metroid, and even Rainbow 6. Gameplay is the reason a game becomes a classic in my opinion. I can remember one week where I played through Super Metroid 7 times. It's just lots of fun.

SideShow Ralph Wiggum
This year buy her English Muffins...Whatever you say Mr. Billboard -- H. Simpson

ob"Me Too!" (none / 0) (#34)
by questionlp on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:53:57 PM EST

Along with Super Metroid and Mega Man I-III (I haven't played Rainboy 6), I have to say that I've played Super Mario World, Zelda: Link to the Past and Final Fantasy VI for hours on end without getting tired of the game. I'm glad that I still have my Super Nintendo console and all of the games that I purchased over the years, and was able to get the original Nintendo along with all of the great classics for a good bargin.

The bit that really gets me into the game isn't only the gameplay, but how the game rolls out, and a lot of times... the music/ambience. Super Metroid and Final Fantasy VI have all of those, and Link to the Past is right behind them.

A lot of the newer games for the PSX, N64, PS2, DC, GC, et al just don't have the same "velcro" power as the older games. Sure, Final Fantasy X, Mega Man X[whatever it's up to now], and the two Zelda's for the N64 are great graphically... but I just don't see myself getting sucked into it as much as older ones. Maybe Metroid Prime will break that streak... but maybe it won't.

-- http://closedsrc.org
[ Parent ]

Ever think... (4.00 / 2) (#58)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:12:05 AM EST

...that it isn't the games, but that we're just getting older? I remember being glued to the screen for weeks on end when I was young... er, younger, bruising my thumbs on that absolutely awful NES controller. SMB 3, baby. God, I loved that game.

But now I find that video games just don't interest me in general anymore. I still slap in the occasional game in my PS2 when there's nothing better to do, but it doesn't consume my life; I find that there's better things to do. Rent a pile of games, though, and I can occupy my girlfriend's little boy for weeks.

If you think about it, games like FF X and Mega Man X are better than their predecessors. More options, better graphics, smoother control, and better design. Go back and pop in those old games, and I bet that they wouldn't engross you like they used to. Good for a nostalgia trip, maybe, but not nearly as enveloping as you'd remember them to be.

We're getting old. Isn't it depressing?

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Both, I think (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by ffrinch on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 07:16:34 AM EST

I think it's both, really. I play games less and less every year, but when I do, I'm generally disappointed.

Take Mario: I love the old NES and SNES Mario games and can easily get one out and play it for hours. I can't stand the N64 or GameCube versions — they've lost the simplicity and ease of control that let you just jump in and enjoy yourself.

The Final Fantasy series has been on a downhill slide for some time now. I was most upset when I found that FF8 wasn't as good as FF7, and stopped playing the new ones when FF9 was worse again. After I downloaded ROMs of the older games, I found them far, far better than the newer versions. And I'd never played them before, so nostalgia can't be a factor, as it is with Mario.

True, we're just growing up and finding better things to do with our time, but I still think the quality of games is going down some. There's nothing wrong with using the same formula over and over if it's a good formula, but game producers keep adding "features". They ruin the simplicity, elegance, and, in my opinion, fun. It's like adding lasers to chess...

"I learned the hard way that rock music ... is a powerful demonic force controlled by Satan." — Jack Chick
[ Parent ]
Megaman 3.... (none / 0) (#265)
by der on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 02:32:01 PM EST

I think I've posted this exact comment about 10 times on K5, but I've beaten Megaman 3 more times than I can count. When I was a young 'un, I loved that damn game. It's the only nostalgic thing I have, the rest of my childhood sucked. :)

Best Game Ever(TM). (2 and 4 were also really really good).

Did anyone else notice how awesome the music in the original Megaman series was? Maybe I'm just insane, but I actually casually listen to the .nsf of Megaman 2,3,4 pretty often (especially 3). The protoman song at the end of MM3 translates to electric guitar quite nicely too. :)

[ Parent ]
I still play (2.00 / 1) (#17)
by Pinkerton Floyd on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 06:21:08 PM EST

both Galax(ian) and Pac Man, I just do it on my Palm VII now.  :-)

Remember when you were young? You shone like the sun.

Civilization ... (5.00 / 2) (#19)
by Simon Kinahan on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 06:23:40 PM EST

... has to be my most-replayed game of all time. I think Civ II was the best of the series, on the whole.


If you disagree, post, don't moderate
Actually, that would be MS Solitaire... (none / 0) (#22)
by jmzero on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 06:44:38 PM EST

Although FreeCell may have eclipsed that crown by now.  I think MineSweeper is #3.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
CIVIII (none / 0) (#42)
by rustball on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 09:00:40 PM EST

I am one of those who jumped into the the Civilized world rather late; I started with playing CIVIII. Out of curiosity, what does CIVII have over CIVIII?

[ Parent ]
Civ2 (4.00 / 2) (#53)
by smallstepforman on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 11:51:23 PM EST

Civ2 was the best in the series.  It had a kick ass soundtrack, it had videos of advisors (who can forget Elvis, the entertainment advisor), it had wonder movies.  An enemy Civ would fall into two Civs when you capture their capital, it had fundamentalism as a government type, you could finance terrorist activities (removed from Civ3 'cause of 9/11).  

Even Civ1 had a few gems, ie. you'd watch a victory animation of your troops entering a city, you'd have newspaper articles with latest world news, you'd actually have to send an emmisary before meeting a king, you'd have natural disasters (earthquakes, floods etc), and barbarians would capture towns and rule them (another Civ).

Civ3 has better AI, resources (luxory and strategic) and better graphics.  It could have been better though, all they had to do was add the missing bits from Civ1 and Civ2.

I miss Elvis.

[ Parent ]

Worse graphics, better gameplay. (4.50 / 2) (#55)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 11:55:49 PM EST

Arguably, anyway. The diplomacy system in CIVIII is better by far, but the overall gameplay mechanics were a bit better tuned. It was much more of a feasible option to wage a war, for example.

While I enjoyed the Civ games, I find myself spending much more time with Alpha Centauri. Best $30.00 I ever spent.

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Alpha Centauri (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by dasunt on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:40:57 PM EST

Lets nerve staple all the unhappy people...

Time to play some more Alpha Centauri. Thanks for reminding me.

[ Parent ]
Alpha Centauri (none / 0) (#242)
by spiralx on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 04:10:37 PM EST

Was by the far the best of all the Sid Meier games, followed by Civ 2. In fact, SMAC is probably the game I've replayed the most over the years... the CD is in my CD drive right now ;)

Civ 3 should've been a far better game, but for some reason it just wasn't. For me it just doesn't play as well as the others... I find it hard to bother carrying on playing it after a while.

"Girls are like dog shit on a lawn" - miah
[ Parent ]

SMAC (none / 0) (#255)
by Ranieri on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 09:20:25 AM EST

A friend and I are actually taking three days off work after Christmas for the express purpose of playing Alpha Centauri.
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
Some of My Favorites (3.00 / 1) (#20)
by worth on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 06:24:12 PM EST

I really enjoy some of the older adventure games such as the first three games in the Monkey Island Series, Beneath a Steel Sky, Grim Fandango (which isn't quite that old), Space Quest and Police Quest, and Big Red Adventure. I also like some unique game styles, which have no modern-day equivalent: Jones in the Fast Lane, and Mad TV.

Monkey Island 2 is the greatest! [n/t] (5.00 / 2) (#23)
by bigMAX on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:03:42 PM EST

[ Parent ]
But it doesn't even have a sword fight! [n/t] (none / 0) (#83)
by izogi on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:23:53 AM EST

- izogi

[ Parent ]
You fight like a dairy farmer! [n/t] (none / 0) (#112)
by Mental Blank on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 09:09:01 AM EST

[ Parent ]
How appropriate, you fight like a cow! [n/t] (none / 0) (#121)
by Kaeru the Frog on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:49:25 PM EST

[ Parent ]
I am rubber, you are glue! (n/t) (none / 0) (#143)
by worth on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 06:22:27 PM EST


[ Parent ]
I'm shaking, I'm shaking! [n/t] (none / 0) (#177)
by izogi on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 03:32:50 PM EST

- izogi

[ Parent ]
And I... (none / 0) (#204)
by pwhysall on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 03:41:46 AM EST

K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]
X-wing (5.00 / 1) (#24)
by gazbo on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:06:04 PM EST

The only game I've ever been hooked on. It had great simplicity of concept, but the later missions were complex in execution. Things like managing power distribution to shields/weapons in the middle of dogfights - more adrenaline than a regular flight-sim, more to do than a point-and-shoot space sim.

And it ran alright on my 386DX 2MB - once I'd hacked config.sys and autoexec.bat to give me 620k of base ram. Ah, what a game. I played it fairly recently too as a version that runs on DirectX, and it was still great. Slightly more shading, but the game was the same and didn't seem 2D (in gameplay terms) as many old games do compared to modern works.

Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

HAH! Upper and HI-mem. (none / 0) (#79)
by Redemption042 on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:36:50 AM EST

Shit man, I'd forgotten about the whole Autoexec.bat and Config.sys tweaking shit.  Heh, getting the 15k more so I could play Aces Over Europe and still have the modem drivers loaded.  

And Procomm Plus.  Who could forget Procomm plus..
*sigh* I've forgotten the good old days of BBS's and Q's and FIDO-net.

[ Parent ]

A classic (none / 0) (#154)
by Quixato on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 11:06:54 PM EST

But overshadowed by the much worthier, time consuming, Tie Fighter. I played both passionately, in a way that I really have never experienced since. Tie Fighter was my favorite overall (possibly due to the wider variety of ships), but there was nothing at all like blowing up a star destroyer with a y-wing by knocking out it's shield generators with torpedoes, and then disabling it with the ion cannon. That I suppose was my favorite moment in X-Wing...

"People are like smarties - all different colours on the outside, but exactly the same on the inside." - Me
"Learn to question, question to learn." - Sl8r
[ Parent ]

I agree (none / 0) (#166)
by gazbo on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 07:09:10 AM EST

blowing up a star destroyer with a y-wing...That I suppose was my favorite moment in X-Wing...

Yup, especially when it wasn't actually in the mission plan and you just did it for shits and giggles at the end of some other missions; preferred the A-wing or X-wing myself, I always felt like a sitting duck in the Y-wing. Also, historical mission 2 for the A-wing I could play again and again - the one where you destroy improving waves of rebel ships. I always felt a sad sense of pride when presented with medals...

I only discovered the joys of Tie Fighter recently, because my 386 just couldn't possibly cope with it. But you're right it is a fantastic game for the same reasons as X-wing, but with better graphics.

Topless, revealing, nude pics and vids of Zora Suleman! Upskirt and down blouse! Cleavage!
Hardcore ZORA SULEMAN pics!

[ Parent ]

Ah... Tie Fighter (none / 0) (#199)
by UnConeD on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 02:12:38 AM EST

The sad part is that none of the sequels managed to capture the atmosphere of the original games. The simple fact that the interface was a dynamic picture of the base gave you the feeling of being *in* the game. And the side-missions of being in the emperor's personal crew. I still remember the disappointment when seeing that 'X-Wing vs. Tie-Fighter' was just a 'pick your mission and play' kind of game, created for online gameplay, with no storyline whatsoever.

[ Parent ]
TG16 (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by filtersweep on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:07:20 PM EST

You just described a number of cards (yes, they were cards) in the TurboGrafx-16 library. The system, while doing well in its native land as the PC Engine, never really took off here in the states. As such, a number of my peers missed out on Bonk's Adventure (stone-age Mario on acid), Dungeon Explorer (think Gauntlet with RPG elements) and the Y's series (absolutely essential RPGs), to name a very few. God, I wasted countless hours on that machine. Time to google for an emulator and some ROMs...

Blazing Lazers! (none / 0) (#32)
by DominantParadigm on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:44:16 PM EST

Rock on. BTW it's hard to find an emulator. If you're naughty, you can find the cracked version of Magic Engine (TG-16 emu) if you look around. It's very good for a DOS program...

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!

[ Parent ]
Long live the PC Engine. (none / 0) (#52)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 11:50:05 PM EST

I loved that thing. I had the Japanese version, so I got to play all those weird kooked out games with bird shit and odd sexual connotations that nobody else got to play. Still, my favorite was probably Splatterhouse. God, I loved Splatterhouse.

On a side note, the makers of Ys, Falcom, has actually released one of their games for free download. It's a little tactical RPG called Vantage Master, and it's pretty fun. You can get it here. The translation has a pretty fair amount of Engrish going for it, but hey - it's free.

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Military Madness (none / 0) (#259)
by dark defiance on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 10:02:14 AM EST

I was introduced to MM by a friend who had a TG16. I monopolized his system for days afterward.

Admittedly I haven't played many hex / turn-based strategy games. This game was simple, yet so damn addictive that years later I had to buy a TG16 so I could play it again.

Check out Magic Engine if you're still looking for TG16 emulators. It's crippleware, but well worth the $20 or $30 it takes to register.

[ Parent ]

Golden Era of Games (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by ComradeFork on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:07:20 PM EST

For me, I think the best games were all written before 1998.

My Best of Genre:

RTS: Starcraft (Brood War)
RPG: Chrono Trigger
FPS: QuakeWorld TF

Honorable Mentions:

Warcraft 2
Final Fantasy 4-7

Games nowadays are simply amazing, with graphics and complex gameplay. For some reason they all bore me to death. Counter-strike and Natural Selection are the only new games which I can sometimes enjoy.

QW TF (none / 0) (#31)
by MyrddinE on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:40:19 PM EST

Oooh, an oldschooler. Were you a clanner, or an independant?

[ Parent ]
Me? (none / 0) (#102)
by ComradeFork on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:58:51 AM EST

An independant.

I used to be one of those annoying Engineers which placed the Sentry Guns in horrible spots :)

I would really like to play TF still, however my local server is usually empty. I'm told they still play quite a bit on NZ servers however.

[ Parent ]

Best of genre: RTS (5.00 / 2) (#38)
by CtrlBR on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 08:25:02 PM EST

Still Total Annihilation.

In recent Blizzard games you still cannot stack orders to units, stupid especially for building many things, you end up babysitting everything and that's plain stupid. I hated Warcraft III, because of the impossibility of stacking orders and for the characters and dialogs that could (or is it have?) been written by a kid in his early teens reading too much bad fantasy.

[ Parent ]

And . . . (none / 0) (#54)
by acceleriter on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 11:51:32 PM EST

I hated Warcraft III, because of the impossibility . . .

The fact that that Vivendi/Blizzard are jackbooted DMCA wielding jackbooted thugs doesn't help any, either.

[ Parent ]

Brood War (none / 0) (#100)
by ComradeFork on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:56:50 AM EST

Total Annihilation is unfit for professional play however. As is Warcraft 3.

Brood War is played by people for money, and still has a huge following.

[ Parent ]

Professional play? (none / 0) (#172)
by dougmc on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 12:04:11 PM EST

Total Annihilation is unfit for professional play however. As is Warcraft 3.
You'll now have to exlain what makes a game fit or unfit for professional play.

And also explain why that matters -- I still think that TA has the best gameplay of any RTS ever. (I do like a good story for my single player games, however, and it didn't have much of that.)

[ Parent ]

Professional Play (none / 0) (#185)
by ComradeFork on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 05:07:06 PM EST

Popularity in South Korea, actually.

I have played Total Annihilation quite a bit, and I have also played Brood War a lot, including tournaments. Both are good games, but Brood War simply outclasses TA. I cannot really tell you why, but perhaps if you play them both (not just oh I played single player missions or on b.net against average players) I think you might prefer BW.

Of course games are just games and quite a few people prefer TA.

[ Parent ]

QuakeWorld TF (none / 0) (#81)
by locutox on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:22:42 AM EST

Of all the multiplayer games I have played, I still think Quakeworld TF is the best. It was amazing, everyone who played in it tried to play as a team. It was all about captures, not kills (like games such as counter-strike, which seem to be full of people just trying to raise their frag cout) and people would actually stay back and build sentry guns and defend. There are very few games that I long to play as I do TF.

[ Parent ]
Nethack (4.77 / 9) (#27)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:22:43 PM EST

Game that I've played on and off for over fifteen (yes, one five) years. It's still being updated by a dedicated team, it's open source (or equivalent) for those who care, and it's FREE!

Nethack (or its predecessors Rogue and Hack) is to computer fantasy games what Tolkien is to fantasy literature. Games like Diablo and Dungeon Siege feel like a dumbed-down version of Nethack (with graphics, though). And no game in any genre has come even close to its complexity and playability. Nethack is a perfect example of content over eye-candy.

The UI might be a little daunting at first, but when you get used to it you can say your grades goodbye. There are infinite ways to beat the game, an incredible array of equipment, and you can really let your imagination fly without the fancy graphics. And when you realize there are over 20 unique ways to rob a store in the game, and that pretty much everything in the game is so, you have the replayability of a Denise Richards look-alike sex drone.

Waiting for the latter, check out Nethack here.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell

Seek thee, Mortal, the Amulet of Yendor. (none / 0) (#173)
by carlos HRE on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 12:59:19 PM EST

I'm also a NetHack kind of guy, been playing it for just about ten years, and I agree 100%.

I have three "all time favorites" that I still play and I believe embody absolute perfection in their area. I still play all three.

In order: NetHack, Quake 1, Civilization II. And I also still love and play on my Atari console.

Carlos, HRE - the Chaotic Male Human Wizard (404HPs/635MPs).
PS: And you made my sig. 8-)

"[Nethack has] the replayability of a Denise Richards look-alike sex drone." -- MotorMachineMercenary

[ Parent ]

yay! (none / 0) (#184)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 05:04:16 PM EST

My comment has entered the great circle-jerk of k5 sig-quoting! All hail!

I guess I'll have to keep my eyes open so I can pay it forward ;)

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell

[ Parent ]
No doubt -- and others in its genre (none / 0) (#231)
by WilliamTanksley on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 01:44:32 PM EST

Nethack is killer. Angband is also superb, if you want even more randomness (which helps replayability) at the cost of atmosphere, Omega is great if you want atmosphere at the cost of randomness. ADOM's newer, but it's hard to get tired of too. Ditto for Crawl. Some AMAZING games in this genre. -Billy

[ Parent ]
Several (4.00 / 1) (#28)
by strlen on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:25:37 PM EST

Dune and and Dune II are infinitely addictive! The Amiga versions runs supperbly under UAE (Unix Amiga Emulator.. use freshmeat or /usr/ports.. you'll need a kickstart ROM), the DOS versions ran fine under Windows 98 and there's no reason it wouldn't run under DOSEMU.

Wolfenstein 3D.. it was great. All since 6th, 7th and 8th grade I was addicted to that game. Mortal Kombat I was also quite fun.

Civilization, as someone mentioned, is also another gem. FreeCIV is a very nice  clone, and Civ 3 CTP is also great. I remembered warezing the original Civilization and later Civilization II from a BBS, back in 1995, and later getting myself infected with a virus due to the BBS carrying a virus.

And of course, nethack/hack and zork are always fun.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

civ II (5.00 / 2) (#30)
by Work on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:30:27 PM EST

ive tried my hand at the various followup civ games. But after the battles with sid meier over the copyright and he eventually having little to do with then, they were weak.

Civ II is still the best civ game there was.

[ Parent ]

Another Sid Meier Game (3.66 / 3) (#36)
by Valur on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 08:01:56 PM EST

In my opinion, Alpha Centauri is one of the best Sid Meier games. The diplomacy system adds an entirely new aspect: I've been playing the games for years and it still surprises me on occasion.

Hosting for creators: RPG-Works.Net
[ Parent ]
How things have changed... (5.00 / 1) (#29)
by incunabula on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:29:04 PM EST

I remember simply loving Monty on the Run (on the Commodore Plus 4 of all things) - recently got an emulator, and found it to be a bit shit :(

There are a few that still stand out though:

Wizball - this one has no equal in my opinion - it's quite difficult to be weird, and still end up with a great game - this was one of them.

Head Over Heels - I remember this sparked off a craze of isometric-view games in the eighties - but this topped every one - still dig this out today. Great loader music too.

Paradroid - perfection! Minimalist bas-relief gfx (which became quite fashionable) - the take-over-robot-brain subgame is a nice touch.

Turrican - the scale achieved (on the C64) was fairly astounding, and the neat swirl-about-the-place beam weapon was something quite original.

Finally, a recent play of Rez on the PS2 reminded me of an Amiga game called Interphase, which I need to find again, dammit!


Paradroid (none / 0) (#132)
by haflinger on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:15:59 PM EST

This is the best videogame ever. I swear. Massive timesuck.

I still remember the first time I captured a 999 with my 001. I was amazed.

Man, I woulda done a lot better in high school if it weren't for Paradroid.

Did people from the future send George Carlin back in time to save rusty and K5? - leviramsey
[ Parent ]

Creative games (5.00 / 1) (#33)
by IHCOYC on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 07:52:24 PM EST

For me, at least, the best games were the ones that allowed you to interact creatively with the game world.

The all time champion, IMO, is Unlimited Adventures, a game for the IBM and Mac that came out in 1993. What this game enabled you to do was to create new adventures in the style and format of the old "Gold Box" Dungeons and Dragons CRPGs that started with Pool of Radiance back in 1988. Lord knows I sunk many an hour into those games back when they were new, but Unlimited Adventures kept me playing in that genre until the present day.
"Complecti antecessores tuos in spelæis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
"Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
--- Livy

How could I forget the Amiga? (5.00 / 2) (#37)
by filtersweep on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 08:19:39 PM EST

My god, did that box represent some pure gaming joy for my young soul. I grew up playing consoles, but the Amiga is where I really cut my teeth. Anyone else remember the likes of:
  • Deja Vu - Non-linear game play embodied. There was also a way to win it, but I'll be damned if I ever did figure it out. Didn't matter, though, as I spent most of my time hunting down the crocodile and the mugger (click gun-click use-click crocodile->"BLAM")
  • Barbarian - One cruel fucking mistress. A side-scrolling, pit-jumping, monster battler. The catch is you get only one life. Lose that life and it's all the way back to the beginning. Probably the hardest game I've ever played.
  • Marble Madness - My mother, who was far more addicted to this game than I, bought a trackball solely so she could play it like she did in the arcade. That's some dedication, folks.
  • Mindwalker - The most Tryptamine-influenced game ever (more even than the recent Rez). I never did figure out what the hell it was I was supposed to be doing. It sure looked cool, though.

Barbarian (5.00 / 1) (#78)
by Stick on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:18:25 AM EST

You forgot to mention the head chopping off part.

Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Barbarian and Barbarian (none / 0) (#111)
by ghmh on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 07:35:32 AM EST

There were games with the name Babararian for the Amiga - the Palace one, which was basically the beat the other guy up with a sword (and chop his head off), and the Psygnosis one which was similar to Obliterator.

The Psygnosis one was the one where you only got one life, and was basically a very stylised and nice looking platform game.

Off the top of my head, some of the nostalgic Amiga cames I remember are:

  • Speedball I / II
  • North and South
  • Dungeon Master
  • Shadow Of the Beast
  • Xenon II
There were heaps of others as well...

[ Parent ]
marble madness (none / 0) (#119)
by mikpos on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:02:14 PM EST

It may interest you that a GPL clone of Marble Madness called Trackballs was announced on Freshmeat not too long ago. Okay actually it's not a clone; it's "inspired by" it. But same sort of deal.

[ Parent ]
None of this is nostalgia... (5.00 / 1) (#40)
by janra on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 08:43:22 PM EST

Serious. I had a TRS-80 when I was little, but no tape or disk drive for it, so playing and programming were one and the same. After that, it was card games, hangman, stuff like that on the tandy 1000. Nothing really memorable.

But... about 6 years ago now, when I was in first year engineering, somebody found a Commodore 64 with 2 disk drives - don't know how, don't know where, but he brought it to the engineer's clubhouse and hooked it up to an old TV. Within a few days, somebody else had noticed it and brought in stacks of C64 games. And that thing ran basically all day every day.

The most played games (and I guess by extension, the ones with the best playability) were Jumpman Junior and this pirate ship one whose name I can't recall. The pirate one really impressed me - you had to tack when sailing upwind (realistically, I might add, and if you miscalculated your tack you could end up in entirely the wrong place) and take into account windage when you were attacking other ships, and because there were no "levels" you couldn't learn tricks to beat them. The goal was simple: get rich as a pirate. There were just ships sailing around, presumably on a random-ish schedule, and you could attack them or not; run, hide, float around, avoid them... One friend got a small fast ship he called the "galleon killer" - nobody could believe how fast he could hunt down and sink a galleon (twice the size or more, and easily 2-3 times the firepower, of his ship), and he got really rich really fast, paying off his crew, getting new guys, outfitting ships...

Discuss the art and craft of writing
That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
Sid Meier's Pirates! (none / 0) (#89)
by magney on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:45:58 AM EST

Oh man, that was one of the best games of all time. I almost want to get a DOS emulator to try and play the PC version now...

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Pirates (5.00 / 1) (#120)
by Nimey on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:29:06 PM EST

As another poster wrote, this sounds very much like Sid Meier's Pirates.
One friend got a small fast ship he called the "galleon killer" - nobody could believe how fast he could hunt down and sink a galleon (twice the size or more, and easily 2-3 times the firepower, of his ship)
I'd just about guarantee you his "galleon killer" was a sloop. IMO easily the best ship in the game, but you could only get it in the later points of history. The second most maneuverable and second smallest ship, after the pinnace, but more durable and with extra firepower and men. Plus, you could sail into the wind thanks to onboard oars and go into most shoal waters.

If you can't get a sloop, aim for a pinnace or a barque. The big ships, except for maybe a frigate, are just worthless in combat because they're so ponderous. Good for carrying lots of cargo, and men if you're into ground campaigns -- I once took Panama for the British crown with 800+ men.
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]

Pirates! (3.50 / 2) (#41)
by MrHanky on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 08:51:01 PM EST

I didn't even play it enough. Back in the olden days, we didn't have any money (and food was sparse, too. We could only eat what we hunted down and killed), so we had to rely on piracy. The irony was that the PC version of Pirates! was copy protected, so I couldn't pirate it. Or maybe I was plain stupid, I don't remember. No matter what, Pirates! is one of the games I truly miss. It had most of what it takes to make a great game - shooting, looting and getting away with it too.

I played it mostly on the Amiga, and that was probably the best platform for it too. But I never owned one of the machines myself. Well, I'll have to download that version now, and play in UAE. Yeah, piracy is nice.

"This was great, because it was a bunch of mature players who were able to express themselves and talk politics." Lettuce B-Free, on being a total fucking moron for Ron Paul.

I gotta agree with this. (none / 0) (#243)
by LobsterGun on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 04:51:53 PM EST

This game owned me for an entier summer. I played the crap out outta it. I horded vast fortunes. I rescued kidnapped relatives. I conquered the Spanish Main. Outnumbered 10 to one? No problem. With a few flicks of my trusty rapier they enemy captain would be begging for mercy at my feet.

Ahhh the Carribean. Those were the days.

[ Parent ]

A fantastic game. (5.00 / 2) (#43)
by kitten on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 09:05:51 PM EST

Contra was one of the all-time most engrossing games I've ever played. My friend and I, in second and third grade, played it on his FamiCom, which was the Chinese version of the Nintendo. This meant that we got it a little sooner than everyone else, but also meant that we couldn't read a damn thing (we thought it was a Rambo game).

Not that there was any real plot. Games this tough didn't need a drawn-out, in-depth plot to make the player feel good. Instead, you were dropped straight into the middle of eight hard-hittin' levels with one goal: If it moves, and it ain't part of the scenery, destroy it.
There aren't any long-loading cutscenes here. No introductions, no character development. Just eight levels of alien ass-kicking, leaping, jumping, running and blasting through each level with an arsenel of anti-alien artillery that would put Sigourney Weaver to shame.
I mean, just look at these guys. They aren't here to mess around, and they don't have cute names or long-winded life stories. They're here to kick ass and take names.

My friend and I played this two-player, and it took us months to beat it. There aren't any save points in this game. Save points are for fucking wimps. We'd start, play as long as we could, then the next day, do it again. Repeating the levels over and over sort of forced "patterns" onto us, where each of us knew where to go and when to get specific power-ups, killing enemies off each other's backs, destroying pop-up cannons and hidden traps, in beautiful formation like the Blue Angels. Each new boss was a milestone, and we'd analyze our attack patterns, refine and perfect them until we were virtually unstoppable.

In fact, I may go to the used game store tomorrow and pick up an old NES, just so I can play this game. It's that good.

mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
Some other classics like that. (none / 0) (#47)
by static on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 10:41:12 PM EST

Munchman and Parsec on the TI-99/4 and 4A were a bit like that. The action was forumulaic and cylic except each cycle things got a bit faster. No complex story was needed.

Parsec was a space-shooting side-scroller. I think there were 6 waves in a level each with their own characteristics. Each alien had to be shot once in the first level, twice in the second and three times thereafter. You couldn't hold the fire button down, either, otherwise you'd overheat! And with each level, the aliens got just a little bit faster and arrived a bit quicker. (Parsec was also one of the first games to use TI's speech synthesizor, which gave it a unique status.)

Munchman was a Pacman clone, but much faster. Each level the powerups lasted for less time and the monsters moved a shade faster, but the levels came in threes so things slowed down again (but not all the way!) after each third level. The monsters changed animation each level, too, as did the colour scheme (the layout was always the same). I think the monster cycle started again at level 21, but I only got that far once. :-)


[ Parent ]

Best. Game. Ever. (none / 0) (#50)
by Scrag on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 11:17:31 PM EST

I beat Contra 3 times in a row once (without using a continue).  Every time you beat it, it gets a little bit harder.  The first time through I ended up with about 6 more lives than I started with; by the beginning of the fourth game, I only had one life.  It is still a very fun game, and definitely not just because of nostalgia.  It's great fun to sit down for 20 minutes and play through the entire game.  One of these days I'm going to beat it without losing a life...

"I'm... responsible for... many atrocities" - rusty
[ Parent ]
Up Up Down Down Left Right Lef Right B A START (none / 0) (#51)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 11:43:02 PM EST

Wasn't the FamiCom Japanese? Granted, they might have released it in China as the FamiCom as well.

I also don't remember the game being that challenging. I'm not bragging or anything; I'll admit that Contra III (and that new PS2 Contra game - great little gem, by the way) handily whupped my ass on numerous occasions. However, even though I haven't played it in over a decade, I distinctly remember blowing through the thing in about 20 minutes without that infamous cheat code. True, the first few days were a bit tough, but after you knew what was coming...

But then again, it's a bit understandable with 2 players, especially if one of them sucks. I still fondly remember the fist fights me and my best friend used to get into whenever he stole all my lives, or when he snatched MY fucking spreader. Little bastard.

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Contra without shooting (4.00 / 1) (#142)
by ToastyKen on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 06:09:59 PM EST

My cousins and I came up with our own way of playing Contra:  No shooting.  Well, except when necessary, and you couldn't duck in the base levels..  Thing is, the best part of Contra was the jumping, anyway, because you had so much control over it.   So this way, you focus the gameplay on dodging bullets and stuff.

And the base 2 boss was the greatest.  It fired these heat-seeking shots, so what you could do was jump over them with just the right timing, sending them toward your friend.  We'd just hang out there till our lives ran out, trying to kill each other indirectly by luring shots.

Those were the days.

[ Parent ]

New Contra game (none / 0) (#131)
by tgibbs on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:01:02 PM EST

There is a new Contra title on Playstation 2 with a real "retro" feel. The graphics are 3D, but the gameplay is 2D, and the level design is very much in keeping with the old Contra's. Including the extreme difficulty.

[ Parent ]
Commander Keen (4.66 / 3) (#44)
by John Thompson on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 09:25:27 PM EST

My kids still enjoy the Commander Keen series of games. Easy to learn, lots of fun little quirks, and amusing.

Absolutely (none / 0) (#106)
by Eloquence on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 06:00:44 AM EST

Commander Keen was lots of fun, one of the most complex jump & run games ever. There were a few other Apogee titles that were quite good: Bio Menace, Monster Bash, and Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure. I even played Math Rescue and Word Rescue because I couldn't get enough of those games :-)
Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
spread the word!
[ Parent ]
Poll doesn't go back far enough (3.50 / 2) (#45)
by X-Nc on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 10:23:37 PM EST

The video games I played were all arcade games. None of the options available in the poll were invented yet. :-)

Aaahhhh!!!! My K5 subscription expired. Now I can't spell anymore.
I'm sure I'd have loved any computer as a child (none / 0) (#276)
by gadfium on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 09:54:28 PM EST

but there wasn't such a thing as a home computer back then. No computer arcade games either.

I would have loved just to have had TV, but first we would have needed to get electricity!

This was 1960s, in Northern Ireland.

[ Parent ]

Best Game Ever . . . (5.00 / 1) (#46)
by Dphitz on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 10:33:22 PM EST

Herzog Zwei, for the Sega Genesis console.  Head to Head war games with Battle-Mechs.  There is an emulator for this but unfortunately it won't work with an AMD processor.


God, please save me . . . from your followers

Discs of Tron - Oubliette (5.00 / 1) (#48)
by mortisimo on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 10:59:51 PM EST

I'm constantly amazed at how well Discs of Tron held up over the years. I still play it once or twice a week via Mame. But it's pretty famous and well renowned for its achievements. A little known game I enjoyed immensely was the Rogue type dungeon adventure game Oubliette from Bear systems. I remember playing that game for years on my old Compaq luggable with five inch monochrome screen.

Ports fo Call (4.00 / 1) (#49)
by Pholostan on Fri Nov 29, 2002 at 11:07:06 PM EST

There you have one addictive multiplayer game. Me and my friends used to play it very often end we liked it a lot. There isn't much graphical action (no voilence at all) but still much fun. Owning a shipping company may not sound like a party, but in this game it is.

"Waaah! Another storm hit my ship in the pacific! I am dooomed!

And the constant struggle to get good contracs before the competition - just to find out that the oil price has skyrocketed.

"Your ship looks a bit worn there buddy. Maybe you should repair it?
Naah, it will be good for just one more trip..."

Navigating a big ship by hand in port isn't that easy either. Sometime you just have to do it (strikes, lack of funds whatever).

To my great pleaure, Ports of Call is alive and kicking still.
They are working on a bigger game also.

- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside

Ultima VII (5.00 / 3) (#56)
by truchisoft on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:03:13 AM EST

I remember sleepless nights playing this awesome inmersive RPG... Too bad that it couldnt run on windows... but now, thanks to EXULT ( exult.sourceforge.net ) wich just recently released v1.0 i can play U7 on windows, linux, mac, or anything else, and i have been playing it for a few days now, and it is still better than most so-called RPGs... ---- Long live U7 and its groudbreaking NPC's AI! (still not used on ANY RPG up to date... sigh)
--- Saludos de Argentina.
Ahem. Darklands. (none / 0) (#61)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:33:47 AM EST

I nominate Darklands as the best RPG ever, with a scripting system implemented for the NPCs that have yet to be surpassed. Ever played it? I understand that there's quite a few copies of it floating around the web.

Prove me wrong. C'mon. I dare you.

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.
[ Parent ]

Ultima VII (4.00 / 1) (#70)
by Corwin on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 01:17:00 AM EST

Ultima VII was good, but I found that it couldn't hold a candle to Ultima VII Part 2.

I downloaded Exult a few months ago and played through both of them more or less non-stop. I finished Ultima VII in a couple days, and it took me a week or so to finish Ultima VII Part 2. (Partly because my savegames kept getting corrupted, but it was still miles more complex and interesting)

Too bad they had to make Ultima VIII afterward...

I'm in search of myself. Have you seen me anywhere?
[ Parent ]
Re: Ultima VII (none / 0) (#91)
by swr on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:48:07 AM EST

Ultima VII was good, but I found that it couldn't hold a candle to Ultima VII Part 2.

The first part of part 2 (Serpent Isle) was fun, but after the Banes killed nearly everyone in the game it totally sucked. The second half of the game was mostly running from one vacant temple to another. Ancient scrolls are a poor substitute for good NPC interaction.

I really enjoyed part 1 (Black Gate). There were lots of optional sub-plots and areas to explore which were not relevant to the main quest but really added to the depth of the game. It was way better than part 2, in my opinion.

[ Parent ]
U7 - Corrupted games (none / 0) (#241)
by Rich0 on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 04:04:45 PM EST

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had problems with game corruptions in U7.  I never finished the game.  Games became corrupted frequently - often as a result of items being lost or people disappearing or things like that.  Still, the game would have been quite good if it weren't for the bugs...

One thing that was nice about U8 was the key ring.  If there was one in U7 I missed it.  Having a locked door in front of you and a bag containing 105 keys made for a VERY FRUSTRATING game experience...

[ Parent ]

Keyring (none / 0) (#272)
by Corwin on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 01:05:04 PM EST

They introduced the keyring in the expansion pack to Ultima VII Part 2, actually. And I agree, it made life so much easier.

In Ultima VII I had gotten in the habit of leaving keys on the ground next to the door that they opened so that I wouldn't have to deal with them in my backpack anymore. This usually turned out okay, as most times when I ran into a door that needed a key I had left behind, it was still fairly close by.

As for the corrupted games, I actually only had the problems with these when I was playing it through the Exult emulator in Windows. As I recall the game was fairly stable back in the DOS days. (Though I could be misremembering, and forgetting any bad experiences that I had while playing what I recall to be a wonderful game :)

I'm in search of myself. Have you seen me anywhere?
[ Parent ]
Classic games (5.00 / 1) (#57)
by chrisq on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:04:19 AM EST

For me, the SNES sits on the throne for classic game titles:

Super Metroid

Link to the Past

Super Mario RPG (Square did a great job on this game. It's still fun after many years.)

Yoshi's Island - I'm surprised no one else has mentioned this one yet. This is the game with Baby Mario riding on Yoshi's back. It wins hands down in terms of creativity, and its level design is great.

I highly recommend these four games for all SNES owners.

Touch Cloud, Get Dizzy! (none / 0) (#68)
by snowlion on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 01:06:41 AM EST

I originally thought everyone knew this game, but I get blank stares when I talk about it. Absolutely incredible side-scroller; I think it's the best Mario to date. Totally wacky.
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]
[n/t] That's Touch Fuzzy, Get Dizzy. (5.00 / 1) (#137)
by mahoney on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:58:36 PM EST

[ Parent ]
Difficulty and innovation (5.00 / 2) (#211)
by Gully Foyle on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 06:28:33 AM EST

I missed this Yoshi's Island on the snes, but I finished it a few weeks ago on the GBA after picking it up on a whim. What a great game! They got exactly the right difficulty curve, and kept introducing new and interesting things at a constant rate right up until the end of the game.

I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did, after hitting a brick wall in the difficulty curve of Super Mario Advance (which was SMB2 on the NES).

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

More Classic Super Nintendo games (none / 0) (#157)
by 0x00 on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 11:44:41 PM EST

I still play all of the above.  I got a Gameboy Advance just so I can play portable ports of most of the classic Super Nintendo games.

Some other Super Nintendo games worth mentioning:
- Terranigma
- Chrono Trigger
- Super Punchout
- Super Ghouls and Ghosts (Hardest game to ever exist)
- Secret of Mana
- Donkey Kong Country 1, 2, 3 (Breathed life into the Super Nintendo in its later years - solid platformers with great graphics)
- Super Mario Kart (awesome multiplayer)
- Super Mario World (96 levels of goodness)



[ Parent ]

Old school side scrollers are fun. (5.00 / 1) (#60)
by Dirty Liberal Scumbag on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:21:44 AM EST

It's odd. Except for a few PC gems that still manage to hook me (like Pirates!, Dungeon Master, Alpha Centauri, X-Com, etc.), I find that except for the nostalgia trip, the old games of my youth don't really entertain me anymore. Except for certain side scrollers.

Like the Castlevania games (never made it past Frankenstein in level 4). The Contras. Ninja Gaiden. Jesus, I still have my old Nintendo Power guide for Ninja Gaiden II. And who can forget all those Gradius and Gradius knock offs?

But the games that still give me a kick are all those old Treasure games. My personal favorite was Gunstar Heroes. One of the few games that I can pop in and enjoy for more than an hour or so.

God, I feel old.

I am now whatever you wish me to be to excuse your awesomeness.

Treasure (none / 0) (#210)
by Gully Foyle on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 06:24:14 AM EST

They made some wonderful games. My import copy of Ikaruga arrived yesterday. Beautifully engineered.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Aerobiz Supersonic (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by doormat on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:37:33 AM EST

This game was easily one of the best games I ever played. I owned the original Aerobiz, then sold it when I got Supersonic. The whole goal of the game was to build an airline company. Fly to cities, create hubs, buy aircraft, run promotional campaigns, etc. It was simplistic in some ways, but if it were more complex it wouldnt have been as fun. I even introduced it to my friend last year, and we had a great time playing it, despite its age and SNES graphics.


Transport tycoon (5.00 / 1) (#74)
by Stick on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:06:53 AM EST

That sounds similar to transport tycoon (DOS), only in it you'd have bus, train, and airline companies. I still rip it out from time to time. Gah! I thinking about playing it now!!

Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Transport Tycoon (none / 0) (#249)
by Liet on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 02:49:23 AM EST

I still play it, its a great game.....wheres the sequel?

[ Parent ]
TT Deluxe for Win (none / 0) (#257)
by Ranieri on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 09:38:00 AM EST

There's a windows version of TTD that will even run on winXP if patched. The same patch also adds a ton of other goodies including presignals, improved non-stop/full-load handling, extends limits of units you can have etc. etc. Definitely a must-have.

You can find the game on the web if you know where to look. The patch is free (http://www.ttdpatch.com/) and is still actively mantained!
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]

thanks.... (none / 0) (#291)
by Liet on Sun Feb 16, 2003 at 06:26:06 AM EST

ill check it out

[ Parent ]
Arcade, Apple II, and DOS games (3.50 / 2) (#63)
by Jonathan Walther on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:46:40 AM EST

My favorites, that I still play today: Galaga, Frogger, LodeRunner (I through III), Black Tiger, Time Pilot, Defender, Wonder Boy, Pacman, Asteroids, Tetris, and Puzzle Bubble.  As you can probably guess, MAME was a godsend.

Of the old DOS games, I remember loving, but cannot now find, the Oregon Trail.  I also really liked Sky Roads.  Duke Nukem 2 still has great gameplay, and Duke 3d was the funnest first person shooter I ever played; it was cartoony, but it's sense of humor was so hilarious that that didn't matter.  Lemmings, I still love to play Lemmings, especially the super vga versions with 256 colors.

My favorite Apple II game, which I REALLY regret I can't get my hands on, is Number Munchers.  I would SO love to see someone port that game to Linux, without altering the sound effects AT ALL...

Myst still has replay value.  I play Warcraft II as well.

(Luke '22:36 '19:13) => ("Sell your coat and buy a gun." . "Occupy until I come.")

Oregon Trail (4.83 / 6) (#123)
by jmzero on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 01:13:29 PM EST

Your family has all starved to death, your oxen ran away and your cart exploded.  You are underwater.  You have 72000 pounds of meat.  What do you want to do?

      Go back
>> Hunt again! <<  - click!
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

I got Number Munchers....in DOS form... (none / 0) (#147)
by Klondike on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 08:34:30 PM EST

I managed to dig up a copy of Number Munchers that runs in DOS...it works in Windows XP as well, though. It certainly seems exactly like the old classic I played in 4th grade. Email me or something if you want it. (klondike@wpi.edu)

[ Parent ]
Number Munchers (none / 0) (#148)
by Steven Edwards on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 08:45:24 PM EST

Excellent game. Search for Abandonware and you can find it. :-)

[ Parent ]
Overlooked Video Games (5.00 / 2) (#64)
by snowlion on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:47:17 AM EST

These are video games that are known about and considered classic, but only known in small circles.
  • The Eidelon - Trippy. Very trippy.
  • M.U.L.E. - Competitive lunar expedition. Awesome bid system. Very interesting events.
  • Herzog Zwei - Predecessor to C&C, Dune, War/Starcraft.
  • Little Computer People - Not really a game, but a sime. One of Peter's (can't spell last name) first, if I recall.
  • Time Bandits - No, not the movie. ATARI ST game, Go through time and space collecting treasure. Absolutely incredibly well made game.
  • Paradroid - others have described, so won't go into it.
  • Mail Order Monsters - Build a monster, and beat up your friend with it. Really well put together, great "menu" system. Like Arkon.
  • Spy vs. Spy - Awesome 2 player.
  • Adventure Construction Set - (Always thought Arsdigita Community System matched nicely) Build your own RPG-ish games with this, or play the greek games that came with it.
  • Robot Oddyssey - It's a huge mystery to me why this game isn't better known, maintained, and part of school curriculums. I estimate I shaved off 2 months of college by playing this game - when I was at Mudd, I was astonished that people were puzzled by this stuff- I learned it when I was 10. I'm not super-smart, it's just that this game is. Far better than Rocky's Boots (though all due respects to parents given..!)
Known, Great, but being forgotten:
  • Kid Icarus - neat Greek theme, fun building/playing
  • Bards Tale series
  • Phantasy Star II - Played just 2 months ago for 1st time. Every bit as good as everyone said it was. Very much a "hard core" RPG game; Min/Maxing is very active and important. Profound music.
Unfortunately, I have things to do, and must stop here, but there are far more there- Rock&Roll Racing was astonishingly good- you could blast a guy with a missle from across the track, no small feat, but masterable- I'm sorry, I absolutely must stop. I have things to do.
Map Your Thoughts
Little Computer People (none / 0) (#101)
by it certainly is on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:58:20 AM EST

Peter who? It was David Crane's masterpiece. How do I know? Because I wrote (with a partner) "vLCP" for my 2nd-year university project. We made a full study of the original game, and wrote a more up-to-date version.
  • AI simulation of the LCP, including bodily processes.
  • Conversation interface to the LCP.
  • Network server allows clients to connect the LCP "house".
  • OpenGL DooM-like walkthrough of the house.
  • Head-up-display with menu for talking to the LCP, throwing him food, etc.
Despite being incomplete at the end of the project time, it still won best project that year. I was chuffed. The guy I did the project with is now off to do his doctorate -- something to do with intelligent agents.

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

WHERE IS IT? (none / 0) (#258)
by Ranieri on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 09:52:19 AM EST

I would love to play around with it, is it available?
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
DooM (5.00 / 3) (#65)
by whatwasthatagain on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:52:03 AM EST

Got in late into this thread, but I don't see it mentioned so here I go:

DooM has great gameplay -- a requisite, as far as I'm concerned -- great, well-designed maps, nice set of weapons, pseudo-3d look without really being 3d, and the best "baddies" that ever were.

The AI was poor, to be sure, but that was made up for by not having to count the number of polygons when cramming monsters into a room.

"The Plutonia Experiment" was easily the best in the series -- it was really challenging without resorting to insanely huge maps or tortuous labyrinths.

It's not without reason that id software is persisting with the series.

With profound apologies to whomsoever this sig originally belonged.

Ratrun & Battlezone (5.00 / 1) (#66)
by NFW on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:54:10 AM EST

In the good old days, black backgrounds were the norm, text and graphics were always white. (Unless you had one of those green-screen or amber monitors, of course.)

Ratrun was a game for the Commodore PET. You were a rat in a maze looking for cheese. It wasn't about quick reflexes, it was about building maps in your head and (not) getting lost. It was rendered in 3D using state-of-the-art / and \ and - characters on a 40x25 character screen. You could only turn in 90 degree increments, but that kinda added to the challenge since there wasn't really any visual indication of changing orientation... passages just sort of appeared and disappeared as your pressed the <- and -> keys.

Descent has improved on the graphics somewhat, but the laser-blasting aliens are kind of distracting from the real challenge, and the maps haven't gotten that much more complex.

Then there's Battlezone. Was this the original first-person-shooter video game? Vector graphics back in the day required a vector monitor, for crying out loud. The interface was really cool, too - a pair of single-axis joysticks.

Thanks for the memories. :-)

Got birds?

I just can't resist to comment... (5.00 / 1) (#67)
by jonr on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 12:54:34 AM EST

BBC: Labyrinth, Elite, which is inspiring a really exciting game. & Repton 1/2, which seems to be coming back in mobile phones!
I don't how many nights I wasted over these games. Much later I saw Civilization, and I started to play in 30hrs sessions. Then there were Doom I/II, Civilization II & Age of Empiers... Not much has happened since then. (I'm too lasy to copy some links, this lousy laptop doesn't have >< keys!)
I must get that Nokia 7650, Repton would be the best sales pitch for that phone :) J.

A few gems that nobody has mentioned... (5.00 / 2) (#69)
by duffbeer703 on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 01:15:55 AM EST

Starflight was one of the best games ever made IMHO. I great exploration/combat/resource gathering rpg game with a huge universe (especially for a 1984 game) I still remember the chill i used to get in my neck when I'd run into an alien encounter while on way back to base to repair! That game kept this imaginative 7 year old occupied for months!

Another great one was Galactic Trader, a multiplayer rpg played by CompSci geeks on VAX systems. My uncle used to let me connect to his account via 300bps modem to play all the time.

TradeWars (none / 0) (#85)
by PsychoFurryEwok on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:31:00 AM EST

Was Galactic Trader a lot like TradeWars? The old BBS game...gotta love that. It ranks up there as one of the ebst I must say...

[ Parent ]
No, even better! (none / 0) (#218)
by duffbeer703 on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 10:47:06 AM EST

Trade wars always felt like a single-player door game to me.

Galactic Trader was like hybrid of trade wars and star trek with a MUD-like interface as well. Very reminiscent of today's online games.

[ Parent ]

Agree totally. (none / 0) (#90)
by pla on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:48:06 AM EST

I personally think StarFlight II surpassed it (unusual for a sequel), but the original definitely rocked.

The biggest problem I had with SF-II involved the over-ambition of the programmers... I rememeber having access to an "amazingly fast" 12Mhz 286 at the time, and it still kinda lagged a bit.

"It's raining. Doc is dead." (An Elowan, of course. <G>).

[ Parent ]
StarFlight (5.00 / 2) (#110)
by snowlion on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 06:41:17 AM EST

StarFlight may be my favorite adventure game; I like it even more than Star Control. I played StarFlight again about a year and a half ago, for kicks.

Three qualities that move me:

  • Simulation - I like the stars at liftoff, landing/launching sequences, scans, observing as shields/weapons raised and lowered. It felt (and still feels) "real" in some weird way. It was great at pulling me into the story, and the illusion was sustained.
  • Danger - StarFlight is an incredibly DANGEROUS game. Even if you have Class 5 everything, and you're going to take a walk to a nearby star system, you can easily find yourself tossed halfway across the universe, have NO idea where you are, stuck in a nebula, and caught with your shields down by a race you've never heard of that decides to take pot shots off of you. Really intense game. And if you die, you DIE. None of this "save and load". I don't know how many times I've returned from a "simple" expedition with most of my crew barely alive, my Elowyn medic dead, and my ship battered.
  • Time Limit - The game was on a timeline, and you know it the whole time. You can't win the game if you play it safe. You have to take calculated risks. You say, "Well, it would be NICE if I had the class 4 armor, but I think I better save that for fuel; I've got to take a trip to XYZ." You actually have to pull out the map, look for the warp lines, and chart a course before you go, because anything else is wasted time.
I don't know of any other game like this- where time is so precious, and the world so deadly, that you have to actually plan your trips, and make a mission of them. Most games work on the "base-danger" basis- you are safe at home base, and then you creep out into danger, and then you know when to pull back to base. That's a sure way to lose StarFlight to flux.

What a well made game. Strangely, I wasn't really into StarFlight 2, it didn't do much for me.

Endure-ium... Ha!

Spiritual ancestor of StarControl 2, and people don't even know it. Kids these days I tell ya'. {;D}=
Map Your Thoughts
[ Parent ]

Starflight (none / 0) (#134)
by Ghost Shrew on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:11:22 PM EST

I remember Starflight I and II for the Mac... there was this odd bug with SF2 and my friend's screen saver...

Anyways, they released a cartridge for Starflight I for the Genesis. It was a little easier than the PC version(2 save slots) but had better graphics and was a little easier to play... don't need to worry about getting DOS to work.

Free tabletop RPG!! Grey Lotus
[ Parent ]

Starflight... (none / 0) (#217)
by talorin on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 10:03:08 AM EST

is one of the main reasons I'm praying for the success of the Dosbox project.  

[ Parent ]
A few (5.00 / 2) (#71)
by FourDegreez on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 01:30:34 AM EST

Who can forget Mike Tyson's Punch-Out? And the Super Mario Bros series is timeless. Battletoads was a fun game on NES, and is still quite playable today. I'm forgetting a whole bunch more.

SimCity is, of course, a timeless game, although they keep upgrading it with the latest and greatest. One feature I really loved was the changing seasons in the SNES version. I don't know why they didn't retain that in later versions. SimCity 4 (due out in January) features day and night, but seasons seem to me like they'd make more sense. You'll be able to turn off the day/night cycle in SC4, and after the initial novelty wears off, I'd imagine everyone would. But changing seasons is interesting and subtle enough that you wouldn't disable it. It really added a nice touch to SNES SC.

On the IIe, my favorite game was Aztec, in which you explored ancient underground Aztec ruins. The goal was to get the treasure at the bottom and bring it back up alive (I never succeeded). The animals and monsters you encountered were really quite fantastic for the IIe. And, like the Resident Evil series, you had very limited weapons that must be used wisely- you couldn't kill everything you encountered. And there were booby traps, too, which would seal you in and the room would fill with water. Excellent game.

I also spent a lot of my IIe time playing strip poker, though. And let me tell you, the naked chick you won at the end was pretty cool in all her 16-color glory (to a ten year old)!

Snes simcity (5.00 / 1) (#73)
by Stick on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:02:33 AM EST

That was probably the best implementation of simcity. I wish they'd bring back Dr Wright.

Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
Rescue by Mastertronic on the Spectrum (4.00 / 1) (#72)
by Stick on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:00:38 AM EST

I spent ages playing that game. It's not as fun now only because I eventually learned how complete it perfectly. I've never been able to find a rom that works of it however. I still have the hardware and tape.

Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
More games than time.. (3.00 / 2) (#75)
by reflective recursion on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:08:15 AM EST

One game I loved is Shadowgate.  You have to solve a variety of puzzles which at the time seemed quite complex.  Then there are Lesuire Suit Larry 1 and 2 (3 is okay also).  King's Quest 1 and 2.  Probably my favorite of the adventure games was Maniac Mansion.  I still remember the kickass theme song and the first time I went into the kitchen and saw the chainsaw.  Probably the first time I actually felt frightened and in suspense from a video game.  There was a sudden urge to run out of the house, and another urge to keep searching.  The creepy pool, the library with broken stairs, the cool retro sci-fi gadgets.  Gotta love the cutscenes..  "Did I hear something in the kitchen?"  *GULP*

Maniac Mansion (none / 0) (#141)
by Dolohov on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 05:25:08 PM EST

was a great game. I still pull it out from time to time. :)

[ Parent ]
Original Zelda (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by Spendocrat on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:14:37 AM EST

Not at all hard anymore, but still a blast to play.

Amiga? (5.00 / 2) (#77)
by cutter on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:16:46 AM EST

Did anyone here have an old Amiga computer, or know anyone that did? Way back in the day, my best friend had one, something that always made trips to his house insanely fun.

I still remember spending long hours playing Fairy Tale Adventure, only to have my friend show me his character with scores of better weapons, stats, and items, not to mention battling way cooler enemies in way cooler enviornements. I always remember the black-robed wizard guys that one was forced to flee from until reaching a certain fighting level.

Also of worthy note is Shadow of The Beast. Being as terrbily difficult as it was, it had some of the best graphics, sound, and enviornment/enemy design I'd ever seen at that point. Visions of playing it still live in my head today. My last mention would have to be Defender of The Crown, if only for it's sheer fun of swordfighting into castles, using a catapault to break through another's castle wall, and getting to rescue (not to mention hook up with) the hot princess inside, complete with a great animation!

Great times. Was *so* much better than my Nintendo at that point.


Faerie Tale! (none / 0) (#263)
by Doasfu on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 12:52:51 PM EST

Woohoo! Someone mentioned my favorite old game. Granted, I don't still play it like I do some of the classics, but I lost countless hours to this game when I was a kid. Never did beat it, though. I still have a lot of the copy protections memorized: Make haste but take.... Heed. Scorn murderous.... Deed.

[ Parent ]
Best RPG ever ? (4.00 / 1) (#80)
by pb on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:22:39 AM EST

Check out Legacy of the Ancients, for the Commodore 64.  I don't know if it's the best RPG I've ever played, but if I had a short list, it'd be way up there...

It had a sequel too; if I ever get back to playing it, maybe one day I'll play that as well...  ;)
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall

NetHack... (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by PsychoFurryEwok on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:29:52 AM EST

I must say, NetHack is the ebst RPG ever...the only one I play. :)

[ Parent ]
TomeNET... (none / 0) (#93)
by pb on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:52:04 AM EST

It's sad that NetHack isn't NetWorked... which is probably why I play so much TomeNET instead.

Yes, it's heavily under development (I play the EXPERIMENTAL version--is there any other kind?), but it's still a lot of fun, bugs and all.
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Thanks for the link... (none / 0) (#171)
by PsychoFurryEwok on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 10:31:49 AM EST

Didn't know such a thing existed...another addiction to get over...

[ Parent ]
Perhaps too "new", but... (none / 0) (#87)
by pla on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:39:17 AM EST

For classic RPGs, you *have* to look at the SNES. It seems to have hosted the absolute pinacle of RPGs (for plot's sake... I obviously don't count the more modern, very hardware-dependant RPGs such as the last few Final Fantasy games).

Lufia II, Chrono Trigger, a handful of versions of Final Fantasy... And while it did well even on US games such as those above, the imported Japanese RPGs *really* kicked some serious butt. Tales of Phantasia definitely ranks up there at the all-time top of the list. Dragon Quest, Ys (still waiting for a high-quality translation on #5), Magic Knights RayEarth (hell, even a cheesy manga-based game *played* really well).

Straying from SNES, however, no one, on any platform, will ever top "Wasteland" for pure fun.

[ Parent ]
yes, but have you played LoTA? :) (none / 0) (#92)
by pb on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:50:05 AM EST

One of my favorite FF games was on the SNES--FF5 (yes, one of those Japanese ones :).  My other favorites are FF1 (NES) and FF Tactics (PSX).  And yes, Chrono Trigger is quite fun as well.

"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Hmm, don't think so... (none / 0) (#94)
by pla on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:03:32 AM EST

LoTA? Doesn't ring a bell, but if it existed as an RPG on the SNES, I've probably beaten it. ;-)

As for Wasteland - Oh, man, absolutely the best RPG ever. I think it originally came out for the Apple-II or Amiga, but I didn't play it until the PC version.

Unfortunately, playing it on modern machines doesn't work well (It had a bug that made it lock up randomly on anything better than a mid-range 486), but I still consider it THE best computer RPG of all time.

I've gotten it to work under Bochs, but the setup took *forever*, between getting Bochs to work, having to figure out a way to install DOS to a disk *image*, tweaking all the timings and telling it to ignore various unhandled VGA commands...

Heh. I wonder where all my time goes, yet spent probably 15 hours tweaking an emulator to play a very old game. Sad.

[ Parent ]
LoTA == Legacy of the Ancients (5.00 / 1) (#95)
by pb on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:13:13 AM EST

LoTA -- Re: my original post in this thread.  :)

By "Wasteland", then, I assume you mean this game?  Looks neat.  I'm a big fan of all the old Ultima games too, so it gets points just for looking somewhat familiar.  :)

Bochs is horribly slow, but I suppose that's a good thing if you actually want faithful, 386-like speed...  If I had to have that, well, I've got a 286 and a 486 lying around in my closet back at home...

You might also want to try out MESS--it has an old-school PC emulator built into it as well, but I haven't tried it out in a while.
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Nope. (none / 0) (#99)
by pla on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:51:02 AM EST

Hmm, nope, I've never played LoTA. Don't even seem to have it in my ROM collection. I'll have to look for it.

Anyway, yes, that link you gave points to the correct game. If you want to try it, don't worry about the part about referring to the manual... Just search on-line for a copy of the paragraphs book on-line (on Google, searching for "wasteland" and "paragraphs" I found a nice PDF of it as the second link). And for your own sanity, DON'T read through all the paragraphs until you finish the game. ;-)

MESS includes a full PC emulator? That I did not know. I knew it had X86 core emulation, but not a full PC. I'll have to check that out. Thanks.

[ Parent ]
FF5: get it. love it. (none / 0) (#176)
by RevSAS on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 02:37:09 PM EST

You probably haven't played it because it never made it to America on the SNES.  It was only released in Japanese.  However back in 98 some madman on the internet hacked a rom and translated the entire thing.  I'll never know who this person was but I am eternally in their debt.  

Game system wise this is the best of the final fantasies (except tactics).  Each character has a normal level and levels in deferent "jobs" like black mage or knight.  As you level up in a job you gain it's abilities two of which can can be selected to use when you change jobs.  This led to fun stuff like monks who cast summons and mages in plate mail.  Pretty soon you find yourself thinking "hey if I have a master ninja/ master archer I can attack eight times around".  The real fun comes latter in the game when you start mastering jobs.  All abilities from masted jobs can be used at once if you have no job selected.  This makes the late game really fun.

Add in the hidden jobs, an awesome squaresoft plot and ton's of secret stuff and you have a very fun game.

[ Parent ]

actually... (none / 0) (#182)
by pb on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 04:44:06 PM EST

In my post, I mentioned that FF5 was one of my favorites, and yes, I'm in much debt to the same people who translated those ROMs.  :)

There was also a translated version officially released for the PlayStation later, but I think I like the translated SNES ROM better.

One of my favorites was to get a Mimic with Time (Jikuu), Summon, and X-Magic... see how many times you can summon Bahamut in one round, or how many times for the least mana cost!  (you can use whatever combination you like of X-Magic, Quick, Bahamut, and Mimic  :)

My only complaint is that sometimes the jobs can make things a bit too easy or cheezy, but it is very flexible, and very hard at the end (especially if your characters are too low a level).  Also, Shinryuu and Omega totally make up for anything I said already--beating them is challenging and fun.
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

A few good translation groups exist (none / 0) (#251)
by pla on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 03:39:17 AM EST

However back in 98 some madman on the internet hacked a rom and translated the entire thing. I'll never know who this person was but I am eternally in their debt

RPGe translated the version of FF5 (for SNES) I've played. I agree, damn fine game. Not as good as a couple others for SNES, but damn fine none-the-less. Certainly in the top 10.

Other good trans groups you might want to look for - J2E, DeJap, and Aeon Genesis (which you might expect to have more to do with Sega translations, but, nope). DeJap did the trans for Tales of Phantasia (my personal favorite SNES RPG).

Check out Zophar's SNES translations page (sorry, they block deep links, but you can get to it from www.zophar.net -> translations (on the right side-bar) -> SNES). Fairly complete list of translated SNES games, not all RPGs.

[ Parent ]
Zophar (none / 0) (#271)
by RevSAS on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 04:37:47 AM EST

wow. Zophar isnt that the guy with the increadble Shining Force and Shining Force 2 pages?  Speaking of games with replay value I really need to play them again.

[ Parent ]
Laser Squad (5.00 / 2) (#82)
by marx on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:23:52 AM EST

This was a great game for the Amiga which me and my friends wasted several summers on. There seems to be a DOS version as well, but I've never tried it.

The setup is that you get a squad of soldiers and a mission, typically assassination, protection or extraction. The other player (typically the computer) also has a squad, doing the opposite side of the mission. You equip your squad in some optimal way, and then the scenario starts.

The game is turn-based and every soldier gets a number of action points. Everything is 2D, seen straight from above. You then have to sneak around, covering each other, ambushing etc. The brilliant part is that if you leave a certain number of action points, you get opportunity fire on the enemy's turn, i.e. as soon as an enemy becomes visible, you fire. Some of your soldiers also have weak nerves, so if things start going bad, they can panic, drop their weapon and run away for a bit.

This was a pretty simple game, but with such an amazing playability. There were endless variations on tactics, you could hide someone at the end of a long corridor, and then when the enemy spotted some other soldier, you ran out and shot him in the back. Normal firing accuracy also typically sucked, so either you had to save up most of your action points to fire several shots, or aim really well, or you had to think up some tactic where you could fire from a short distance.

There came a sequel: X-Com (or UFO: Enemy Unknown), which was basically the same thing but in isometric 3D. It was also pretty good, but I think the simplicity of Laser Squad wins out in the end.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.

Long line of games (none / 0) (#266)
by lordpixel on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 03:24:08 PM EST

Actually, Laser Squad came from a long line of games on the Sinclair Spectrum (TRS-80 for you American types).

Aside from Laser Squad and its 2 expansion packs, there was Rebelstar, Rebelstar Raiders and Rebelstar II. At least one of those was written in BASIC.

Then there was Lords Of Chaos, which was a fantasy version with magic instead of laser guns.

Its an interesting series. Coming up from 8 bit home computers and BASIC (Rebelstar), through assembler programing into the Amiga 16 bit and CD 32 platforms (Laser Squad), and then onto the PC in isometric 3D (XCOM and sequels).

Fantastic mileage (over 10 years) from what's essentially the same game over and over again.

Bottom line: its just  T H A T   G O O D.

I am the cat who walks through walls, all places and all times are alike to me.
[ Parent ]

Previous games (none / 0) (#267)
by marx on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 04:43:52 PM EST

Cool, I didn't know that. I think I've seen a C64 version once, but I thought it was probably a backport from the Amiga.

Hah, I never actually had a Spectrum, but my cousin did, and that's how I first tried out computers and games. Some of the early games were pretty inane, like "Horace goes skiing". Wonderful, here's even a java applet of it: "Horace goes skiing".

I think "Elite" came out for it later though, and that certainly wasn't inane.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

Lasersquad lives! (none / 0) (#268)
by lordpixel on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 07:34:17 PM EST

It seems some ideas just never die:


Makes me wish I had a PC already...

I am the cat who walks through walls, all places and all times are alike to me.
[ Parent ]

Amazing.. (none / 0) (#270)
by marx on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 04:05:58 AM EST

I need to try this out later.

Looks like they've made the turns really simultaneous. Will be interesting to see how they pulled it off.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

I must say... (4.75 / 4) (#86)
by PsychoFurryEwok on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:33:22 AM EST

I feel slightly insulted that no one has mentioned NetHack quite yet, the best RPG of all time...you must admit it!

bah (4.00 / 1) (#153)
by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 09:43:45 PM EST

You might want to read the comments before posting. Your comment is #86, a comment on Nethack (with subject "Nethack") is #27.

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
-- George Orwell

[ Parent ]
Games Still Worth Playing (5.00 / 1) (#88)
by The Mauve Frog on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 03:43:15 AM EST

These are games that are still worth playing to the modern gamer; perhaps not as hardcore as we play the lastest and most new-fangled, but still playable. Most of these games far surpass the drivel we play on our cell phones and calculators. If you'll ever play those, play these. I hope I have somehow set aside my massive bias/nostalgia for some semblence of objectivity. By system: Atari 2600: -Raiders of the Lost Ark (if you can handle the graphics, O modern minded ones.) -Frogger -Defender -Demon Attack -Asteroids -Space Invaders -Combat (2-player bliss) -Dragon Fire (it's at least worth it for the laughs. Boing, boing, boing, boing, SCRAT.) -Berzerk -Baseball (Still one of the best baseball sims out there. Then again, I can't freaking bat in anything beyond Bases Loaded.) Nintendo -Legend of Zelda -Marble Madness -Paper Boy -Metroid -Super Mario Bros. 3 -Bases Loaded. PC -Civ II -The Dig -Dungeon Keeper -The Monkey Island games -Zork, Zork II, Zork III, Zork Zero -Dragon's Lair -Star Control 2 -Prince of Persia I did own other systems, I just can't remember any games from the Colecovision et al. that I'd still play.

It's all about Star Control II... (5.00 / 1) (#125)
by jmzero on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 01:30:16 PM EST

Amazing game.  Great action game.  Great story.  Great adventure.  Great.  But I couldn't even stomach the thought of getting the sequel - the screenshots reaked of "Full Motion Video".
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]
The return of Star Control 2 (5.00 / 2) (#138)
by pin0cchio on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 05:06:21 PM EST

The Ur-Quan Masters is an authorized source port of Star Control 2 to SDL+OpenGL, licensed under the GNU GPL. The porting team has already released an almost-playable alpha, and by 1.0, everything will be there but the name.

[ Parent ]
On Replayability (5.00 / 1) (#96)
by mdevney on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:37:04 AM EST

The main factor to replayability is that the game is different each time.  This means that puzzle games (see FFX, moving around those damn spheres) are straight out -- once you've solved the puzzle, you're done.  Most side-scrollers are out too.  Let's fact it, by the time you got that 1UP mushroom just past the third pipe in world 1-1, you've played Super Mario Brothers too much.  

Most RPGs are out, too.  Especially story-themed ones, like the newer Final Fantasies.  Once you've heard the story and seen what's around that next bend, that's it, you're done.  Zero replay value.  (FF7 gets mad props for having optional side missions, and a big overworld that you can run around in.  Still not much replay value, but I've played it four or five times.  Probably the best you can do with an RPG.)

RTS, or real time strategy games, like Warcraft, are only playable until you figure out the computer's moves.  In the case of Starcraft, this is probably a couple hundred games.  In the case of Command and Conquer, it was about 3.  It depends on how many scenarios are programmed in, and how good the AI is at modifying those.  

We're pretty much left with logic games, like Tetris; stats games like poker; simulation games like SimCity; or, my favourite, the old fashioned shoot-em-up.  (FPS games are cool too, as long as you're playing them against humans.  Yay for intarweb play.)

I have a real weakness for shoot-em-up games.  I remember one game that I spent hundreds of dollars in quarters on in the local arcade.  I wish I knew its name.  It was a top-scroller, and it just kept scrolling down, with wave after wave of enemies, everyone shooting at you, until you get to the big boss, which is a morass of guns, shields, and power-ups.  I remember the nukes would take out a quarter of the screen at once, and still not be enough.

Those games are just brainless fun.  My current favorite is Serious Sam (and Serious Sam 2, which looks like much the same game).  The story line is asinine and pointless.  The graphics are mediocre.  The enemies come at you constantly, in what can only be called 'droves'.  Most importantly, the weapons kick ass.  (That's why I can't play Unreal -- all the weapons are too lame.)

If game designers wanted real replayability value, they'd pay less attention to story, graphics, and engine, and spend more time on making every game different -- or, failing that, on kickass weapons and too many enemies for you to notice that you've already done this.

Yeah rpgs... (none / 0) (#103)
by heng on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 05:04:36 AM EST

I bought Balders gate. It was an excellent game. But then something caused all my saved games to be deleted (can't remember what - probably stupidity). I just couldn't find the motivation to reach the same point i'd got to previously, even though there are so many ways through the game. I think i'll have to try again some time.

[ Parent ]
Infinite Replayability (4.00 / 2) (#113)
by Peaker on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 09:09:17 AM EST

RTS, or real time strategy games, like Warcraft, are only playable until you figure out the computer's moves. In the case of Starcraft, this is probably a couple hundred games. In the case of Command and Conquer, it was about 3. It depends on how many scenarios are programmed in, and how good the AI is at modifying those.

This is true - but that's why Starcraft and Warcraft are only "nice" single-player games. Their real destiny is as multi-player games, and that's where they shine. People still multiplay Starcraft now, 4 years later, and most multiplayer games are completely different.

That's how Starcraft, or Warcraft, are in fact more a gaming platform than a game - you can have many sorts of "games" on them, against different opponents and strategies - and you will never know all the possible strategies and combinations on all possible maps.

If I had to choose a replayability classic, Starcraft would be it.

[ Parent ]

Serious Sam (none / 0) (#203)
by pwhysall on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 03:33:07 AM EST

It's Doom, in Egypt. The weapons are fabulous - best chaingun EVAR.

However, I must take issue with the "mediocre graphics" charge - the Serious Engine does a fine job of rendering hyarge levels very nicely, in a way that the Half-Life engine can only dream about. It makes a better job of things like procedural textures than the Quake 3 and Unreal engines, and the actual textures used in the first game (I haven't played the second) make for nothing short of gorgeous levels. I mean, sand... that LOOKS LIKE SAND!

There's also some nice lighting effects and volumetrics. Shooting torches off the walls and observing the darkness. Wandering around in misty tombs. Neato.

"It's all in the wrist."
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]

real time strategy / warcraft (none / 0) (#260)
by truffle on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 10:12:06 AM EST

Warcraft / Starcraft are meant to be played in two ways: Single player campaign - the purpose is to enjoy the storyline and learn about game content (units, basic tactics). PVP - multiplayer starcraft and warcraft is incredibly challenging, and quite fun. They also put in a play-the-computer-for-fun option but no one really expects you to sit down and play against the computer for an extended period of time. You seemed to only consider option 3, really the strength of Warcraft (Starcraft) is option 2, PVP play.

[ Parent ]

Turrican (5.00 / 1) (#98)
by SanSeveroPrince on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:46:30 AM EST

Turrican for the C64;
Turrican 2 for the Amiga;

Best platform/shoot'em'up cross EVER. I have easily replayed Turrican 2 over a hundred times (not in recent times, alas), and by the end of it I regularly managed to finish it with 60+ extra lives. Good times, good times.

None of the newer games have that kind of pull. The only oldie on my PC's hard drive is Master of Orion II, but that's hardly an unknown, is it?

Oh, and Chrono Trigger on the Playstation, but that's no PC game :)


Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think

Chrono Trigger for PSX (5.00 / 1) (#230)
by locke baron on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 01:43:19 PM EST

It was originally for SNES, FWIW. Indeed, the PSX version was only gussied up with some neato cutscenes :-)

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]
Feeling silly (5.00 / 1) (#252)
by SanSeveroPrince on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 05:33:14 AM EST

Of course I meant Chrono Cross for PSX, a loose and absolutely brilliant sequel to Chrono Trigger :)

And since we're at it, I'll add the SNES's Chrono Trigger to the list too :)

Those are the only consolle RPGs I ever played through more than once... simply amazing.


Life is a tragedy to those who feel, and a comedy to those who think

[ Parent ]
Turrican rocked (5.00 / 1) (#240)
by spiralx on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 03:59:49 PM EST

Totally agree, as does this user :)

"Girls are like dog shit on a lawn" - miah
[ Parent ]

Some Good Games (5.00 / 2) (#104)
by yooden on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 05:32:00 AM EST

I would never say 'No' to a game of The Settlers of Catan. There is conflict, diplomacy and trading, the rules are pretty simple yet work good enough for several rip-offs. A great game!
(The card game is also very good.)

Another favorite is quite obscure: Das Motorsportspiel let you and your friends get into the seats of race cars. Game mechanics are very simple, yet you get a very fast and fun game.

Piratenbucht is quite new, but seems to be very fun. Nice game speed and a good mix of strategy and pure luck.

Good times (5.00 / 1) (#107)
by I am Jack's username on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 06:30:20 AM EST

When I was young, I loved playing Spy Hunter (top down car game) for hours on a friend's Commodore. There's a simplified shockwave version on the web, but not nearly as much fun - I guess you had to be a kid. I can't really remember any great games I played on my ZX Spectrum 48K.

On my PC I loved one of the early Micro machines (multi player top down car game) versions (a recent version was crap), and an F-117a flight sim. I also remember the sound thru the PC speaker (no soundcard) of Metal mutant (single screen arcade) being amazing, and not understanding any of the messages because I was playing the French version :).

When it comes to replayability, it's the more modern and well known games I enjoy most: Sim games, Quake 1 LAN, Duke Nukem LAN.
Inoshiro for president!
"War does not determine who is right - only who is left." - Bertrand Russell

If the criteria is just "old computer games&q (5.00 / 1) (#108)
by Rogerborg on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 06:35:31 AM EST

Then what about a game that's 30 years old and still being actively played?


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

A couple of C64 playable classics (4.00 / 1) (#109)
by JanneM on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 06:36:13 AM EST

M.U.L.E. - mine a planet, get supplies, compete with your buddies. I still dream the music in my sleep sometimes.

Archon - chess-like fantasy-style game with spells and battles for each square capture.

The Ultima series (especially III and IV). Graphics mean less for adventure games, and they're still a lot of fun. Again, I can still recall the musical score from memory.


Trust the Computer. The Computer is your friend.

Swept up in the Nostalgia (5.00 / 1) (#114)
by TCaptain on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 09:46:31 AM EST

I don't know if it really counts as a game, but it caught my interest for hours at a time on the C64 and later on the PC (I just found an emulator for it and I still play it now and again) AlterEgo.  That was a cool game.

Magic The Gathering is one that periodically hooks me on my laptop.  The replayability is excellent...I just wish I could get the network part of it to work (no luck so far) since my gf is also hooked and is talking trash...I gotta set her in her place in a duel hehehe.

Many others I love were already mentioned, nethack (of course), Archon (which still lives on my linux machine as Xarchon), Elite (spent a whole summer once on that), Ultima 3 and 4 (never played the rest tho), the old Pool of Radiance (the new one is ok, but disappointing when compared to the first).

My current addiction is Morrowind and Tribunal, excellent RPG imho and while still limitted in replayability, that limit is quite high and far away for now...add to that a good mod community and I'm thinkin its going to last me a couple of years at least.

Hello, my name is PID 12759. You "kill -9"ed my parent. Prepare to die. - ENOENT

Spectrum games (4.00 / 1) (#115)
by WillEyedOney on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 10:05:19 AM EST

The old text only adventures written by companies like Level9 kept me busy for weeks. Snowball was one that I loved, sheets of A4 with hand drawn maps scattered all over my room. Good games don't need to have fancy graphics.

Anybody remember Starglider and StargliderII? [nt] (4.00 / 2) (#116)
by vyruss on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 10:20:41 AM EST

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

Yup (none / 0) (#208)
by Gully Foyle on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 05:43:58 AM EST

Played them on the spectrum. IIRC they came in a pack called 'Ultimate Challenge' along with Elite, Sentinel, and Tetris. Damn tough games. Flying between power lines to recharge energy was a cool idea though.

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Still playing: (4.00 / 1) (#117)
by ennui on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 11:09:02 AM EST

Digdug, Mr. Do's Castle, Rolling Thunder, Street Fighter II series, and Ikari Warrior. I still play older Neo-Geo titles once in a while, too, like King of Fighters 9x, World Heroes, Metal Slug, Fatal Fury, King of Monsters.

"You can get a lot more done with a kind word and a gun, than with a kind word alone." -- Al Capone
SNES games were rux (5.00 / 1) (#118)
by moosh on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 11:17:54 AM EST

I absoloutely loved the old RPGs on SNES. Games such as Secret Of Mana, Legend of Zelda: Link to the past, Secret Of Evermore, Illusion Of Time. You just can't beat these games for addictiveness. Not only was the gameplay superb, but the storyline in each of these games was very interesting.

As mentioned numerous times below, civ 2 is a game that I'd consider a timeless classic. I had far too many all nighters playing this game.

Mario Brothers 3 was the best in the series IMO. That was on NES, right? In fact, mario bros 1 and super mario brothers were both great games. I'm not sure what happened with no. 2, it was awful.

The wonderboy series on sega master system kicked some serious ass. I'm not sure what they got up to, but I found they got better as the series went on. Wonderboy 3 was the last I played and by far my favourite. IIRC, no. 3 was the one where you start off as a human and change into various creatures as the game goes on - some lizard thing and a hawk are the ones I remember. Oh, and a midget.

I think I might dig out the old SNES...

How about a unpolished jewel for you? (none / 0) (#135)
by X3nocide on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:22:36 PM EST

I guess you've played Soul Blazer, and its sequal Illusion of Gaia/Time, but theres a third game in that series, called Terranigma. It wasn't released in the States, but since you called it Illusion of Time I'd wager you're in the UK, where it was released (outside of japan). Its a pretty cool game along the same line only 1) the world you live in can be influenced in ways by actions you take 2) the ending doesn't suck.

[ Parent ]
Old, yet curiously addictive... (5.00 / 1) (#122)
by Nuke Skyjumper on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 01:00:07 PM EST

Legend Of the Red Dragon. No, not Jet Li's latest flick. Here is an online game of LORD I built with Linux, Dosemu, and Perl. I think this fits the bill as we have players who have been playing daily for well over a year.

New accounts are welcome, and completely free. Try to log in just after midnight EST, when older players are automatically deleted.

While on the subject, have any other BBS software/BBS doors been integrated with the net? I'm not referring simply to telnet BBSs, since I consider them "available" on the net rather than "integrated" with the net. Is this obvious combination something that a lot of people really haven't spent much time on?

BRE (5.00 / 1) (#150)
by Steven Edwards on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 08:51:56 PM EST

Barren Realms Elite - one of the absolute best BBS games of all time. That should get an online adaption.

[ Parent ]
Falcons Eye (none / 0) (#180)
by Zer0 on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 04:23:21 PM EST

I loved BRE and competed in a few major InterBBS leagues. Part of the famed Aus-Alliance :P

Also great games from the same developers were Falcons Eye and Falcons Eye 2.

[ Parent ]

My favs (5.00 / 2) (#126)
by David McCabe on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:04:43 PM EST

Super Metroid. I spent untold hours. And I was good, too. I found all of the power ups.

Mario 3, of course. And Mario World. I beat all of the levels, including the ``special'' levels hidden above StarLand. Woo were they hard.

StarFox. The first game I got for the SNES (that and Mario World which was included). StarFox is a great game. And I beat all three paths, and found the black hole.

PilotWings was fun too. I beat it all except the very last level (the one at night). Or at least I think that was the last level :-).

Zelda (whichever one was for the SNES).

Secret of Mana. I got up to the part with the giant skeleten guy, when my mom walked in and said it was evil or something. Humph. Interestingly, I hardly remember this game, except that there was a cave,, and a cat, and a flying dragon, and a continent, and a techno-looking place. Hmmm...

Mario RPG. I found the Ultimate Weapon (that giant shell).

SimCity and SimAnt for MacOS. I made a city that >80,000 people. SimAnt is a great game, by the way, after you turn the sounds off. Millions and millions of ants. Literally millions.

There was a series for MacOS that involved a guy in a blue trenchcoat and a red hat who walked around. The series varied a lot, and I think it included a spelling edutainment program. It had a bad guy with crazy hair. Can anyone identify this?

Oh, and... (4.50 / 2) (#127)
by David McCabe on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:11:24 PM EST

How could I forget: *Descent* It came with my Performa 6400 (which by the way, was a nasty Mac that had hardware issues). I love Descent. It was the first 3D thing I'd ever played, except StarFox which doesn't really count. I got all the way to that doublepluspowerful boss at the end. Without a joystick. I bought Descent 2 some time later. It was also lots of fun, but I never got so far if I recall.

[ Parent ]
Descent, yay! (none / 0) (#212)
by dcturner on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 06:42:27 AM EST

What a great game. I have never seen a joystick or mouse with enough buttons to even do all the movements let alone weaponry. Meta buttons don't count cos you couldn't slide round a corner and level out whilst aiming and dodging without being able to strafe, roll and yaw simultaneously. Autolevelling is for wimps.

Descent 2 was huge. Never really got to know my way around the levels as well as I did in the original cos they were just too big. You got that annoying little guidebot that behaved too much like an Office Assistant for my liking and yet you couldn't even get the satisfaction of blowing the damn thing up.

Remove the opinion on spam to reply.

[ Parent ]
Black hole? pfft. (none / 0) (#174)
by Field Marshall Stack on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 01:48:54 PM EST

StarFox. The first game I got for the SNES (that and Mario World which was included). StarFox is a great game. And I beat all three paths, and found the black hole.
... yeah, but did you find the slot machine? Huh? Didja?

Ben Allen, hiway@speakeasy.org
"Nobody ever lends money to a man with a sense of humor"
-Peter Tork
[ Parent ]

Slot machine? :-) (none / 0) (#191)
by David McCabe on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 07:17:42 PM EST

Hmm...don't know what ``Didja'' means.

No, I didn't find the slot machine. Do tell!


[ Parent ]

'Didja?' means 'did you?' (none / 0) (#207)
by Gully Foyle on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 05:41:12 AM EST

In the asteroid belt in the third mission, shoot the green asteroid. A bird will come out. Fly into the bird and you'll go to another dimension which finishes with the slot machine boss. The alternate ending in this dimension is kind of depressing though...

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Thanks! (none / 0) (#223)
by David McCabe on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 11:45:40 AM EST

I was hoping it wasn't some kind of insult :-).

Thanks! I'll try that when I get StarFox working in SNES9x (It segfaults. Is my ROM bad or what?).

[ Parent ]

crazy hair (none / 0) (#178)
by Zer0 on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 03:40:05 PM EST

There was a series for MacOS that involved a guy in a blue trenchcoat and a red hat who walked around. The series varied a lot, and I think it included a spelling edutainment program. It had a bad guy with crazy hair. Can anyone identify this?

Where in the World is Carman Sandiego?

[ Parent ]
No... (none / 0) (#190)
by David McCabe on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 07:09:58 PM EST

No, I don't think so. The bad guy had the cliche (sp?) ``mad scientest'' look.

I think the name was like ``Puzzle Finder'', or something like that.

In one of the games, you had to explore temples and rotate mirrors so that beams shone correctly.

[ Parent ]

That's pretty good... (none / 0) (#189)
by klash on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 06:33:43 PM EST

but could you get all of the Super Metroid powerups and beat the game in 1:28? :-)

[ Parent ]
Super Solvers (none / 0) (#269)
by kubalaa on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 02:16:29 AM EST

The games to which you refer are the Super Solvers series, by The Learning Company. I still have my Midnight Rescue disks somewhere...

http://old.the-underdogs.org/Education2.htm (scroll down)

[ Parent ]

Scrolling shooters (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by tgibbs on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:50:29 PM EST

Of the scrolling shoot-em-ups like Gradius, my favorite was always the R-Type series. Relatively slow moving, they were more like puzzles than action games--what series of moves would let you get safely past the next barrage of enemies and bullets? Versions are availabe for many home systems, including Playstation 1 and Gameboy. There was even a "3D" (side-scrolling with 3D graphics) version on the Playstation 1 that was pretty good. The chief "gimmick" of the series was the force ball--a red ball that blocked enemy fire, and that you could attach either to the front or back of your ship (enemies, unfortunately, tended to come from bothe directions), or send ahead of you to attack enemies. It was also one of the first games to feature a "charging" attack--if you hold down the fire button for a while then release, you fire an extra-powerful bolt.

For some modern shooters that exploit the power of current consoles to manipulate an insane number of onscreen objects and shots at once, look for Radiant Silvergun and Ikaruga (aka Radiant Silvergun II) by Treasure for Dreamcast. Neither were ever released in the US, but can be played on US Dreamcasts by using a preboot disk. Radiant Silvergun is hard to find and goes for inflated prices at auction. Ikaruga is still available from some importers. Better yet, it is rumored to be scheduled for GameCube release.

Pool of Radiance (5.00 / 1) (#130)
by Wobbly Bob on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 02:59:44 PM EST

IMO the best game for the C64 was Pool of Radiance. The towns were viewed in first person 3D when walking through them. Combat was in 2D, but it was still a lot of fun and required a lot of strategy as the game progressed. I never did finish it, though. A few years later I spent a lot of time playing Ultima VII: Part II, but POR was a much better game.
Helping ugly people have sex since 1990!
Crystalis (5.00 / 2) (#133)
by X3nocide on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:02:10 PM EST

Old NES game, but a pretty good one. I never thought about it until a few years ago, but it plays a lot like Secret of Mana did. I haven't done the research on it but it may have even been made by people later hired for square. It feels like a spiritual predecessor. Maybe it was that I was 8 and would play any game over and over again but I must have played it through like 5 times. And I'm not the only one who think's its a classic, NSTC decided to acquire the rights from SNK to bring it to the Gameboy color. However, do not be decieved, the music there is not as good as the original was, and the classic Engrish is gone.

Alternate Reality (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by marktaw on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 04:48:13 PM EST

This was perhaps one of the most addictive games ever. Even into the 2000's my girlfriend complained about me being addicted to this game. This is a first person RPG with a fairly straightforward story, abliet with Matrix like twists, but what makes it re-playable is the continual updating of minor goals, much like The Sims today. Maybe the big goal is to defeat the Great Wrym, but smaller goals are to improve your hit points and find something to eat. This combination of big and small goals had me glued to the computer screen for days on end.

For more information, visit The Original Alternate Reality Homepage

Sacrifice... (5.00 / 2) (#139)
by Verteiron on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 05:17:59 PM EST

.. by Shiny. This little-known game had replay value up the wazoo. It's a truly original game, kind of a first-person RTS. The graphics are phenomenal, the music is beautiful, haunting, and powerful... the characters and monsters are completely unique. You played a wizard, championing the causes of one of 5 gods. What made the game replayable, though, was the ability to switch allegiances mid-game. Depending on which god you chose, you would gain different monsters to summon and different spells to cast. Sometimes you would become trapped with one god, because that god betrayed the others... and then later you'd find that another god was secretly working with yours, and you might be able to betray THEM. There were a million different ways to play through this game, and each of them resulted in a different ending. Unfortunately, like most truly original, innovative, and fun games, this one fell flat on its face when it was released and very few people have even heard of it. Pick it up from a Best Buy bargain bin for $10 and play it... it's worth its weight in gold.
Prisoners! Seize each other!
This game freaked me out (none / 0) (#144)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 06:53:53 PM EST

All of the Gods had fantastic names like "Pyros".  Except for one - "James" - that's my name.  Okay, so not too freaky.

Except that James is from "The Glebe", which is the part of my town where I live.  I'd never even heard the term outside the context of where I live before.

I don't think I have to tell you where my loyalties lied in that game :)

[ Parent ]

James... (none / 0) (#156)
by Verteiron on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 11:42:18 PM EST

Well, the name "James" of course is a play on one of Shiny's earlier games, Earthworm Jim (which is, of course, why James is a giant worm).
Prisoners! Seize each other!
[ Parent ]
Ah - didn't realize they made it <nt> (none / 0) (#162)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 01:31:11 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Thanks for mentioning this ... (none / 0) (#283)
by dougmc on Sun Dec 08, 2002 at 07:14:28 PM EST

Sacrifice was sitting on my shelf, unopened.

(I seem to have bought way more games than I have time to actually play.)

I'm loving it!

[ Parent ]

My list (5.00 / 1) (#140)
by tailchaser on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 05:21:43 PM EST

As much as I fall into sweet thoughts of nostalgia, I find that a lot of the games I've gotten the most replay value out of aren't necessarily "old-school". The games I've replayed the most are probably:
  • Any/all of the Scott Adams text adventures (Vic20)...
  • Mailorder Monsters (C64)...
  • TradeWars 2002 (BBS/DOS)...
  • Final Fantasy 3 [US] (SNES)...
  • Super Metroid (SNES) (This one caused me to be late for the SATs ;p)
  • Final Fantasy Tactics (PS)...
  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS)...
When it comes to pure "Hey, do you remember..." value, I'd have to say that "Leather Goddeses of Phobos" and "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" are right up there, but I don't necessarily feel the itch to go replay them now.

TW2k (none / 0) (#234)
by bored on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 02:43:26 PM EST

As a side note, there is Eve-Online what appears to be a take off of TW2k with graphics.

[ Parent ]
Some games others missed. . . (5.00 / 3) (#145)
by Fantastic Lad on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 08:04:52 PM EST

Ah. Games and wasted youth. . .

A bunch of my favorites were not mentioned here, so please allow me.

But first off. . . The TRS-80 Color Computer had a zillion really odd games. The bulk of them were home-made jobs sold in stapled shut plastic bags available through mail-order only, many with altered names to avoid copyright infringements. Titles like, "Donkey King" "Pac-Attack" were popular. Many of them were really well made and lots of fun to play, but most had a very non-corporate, hobbiest feel to them. Dads with soldering irons and their gee-whiz sons kind of stuff. (I miss those days!) The Color Computer was more about programming, and collecting, (pirating), hoarding and playing those odd titles with friends in the basement than about keeping up with the other far more slick & cool home computer title rosters. There are a couple of emulators out there and long lists of games. Have a look-see, if you're interested. If you've never seen CoCo games before, and you're into these MAME-ish relics from the past, the TRS-80 provides a real unsorted treasure pile.

For other computers, though, some unmentioned gems include. . .

For The Apple][

Rescue Raiders. A helicopter, army management side scroller with Amazing animation and brilliant cruise missile and bomb drop animations. I've never seen anything quite like this game. Like a thinking man's Defender. Look it up; it's out there someplace. I found it a couple of years ago and had it running on my cruddy laptop.

Sun Dog A galactic trading game which started out with you stranded on a planet with a downed cruiser. You had to visit cities and trade goods in order to build up enough cash to buy parts for your ship. My copy was pirated and broken, and it kept crashing right after I managed to get the HMS Sun Dog functional again. Still, a really neat game idea which caught the imagination. I think this game coupled with "Elite" would have been something spectacular. In any case, I'd have loved to see it fully working.

Car Wars Based on the Steve Jackson paper-based game of the same name. Not the best piece of programming, but cool nonetheless. You had to build up cash to design armored cars with which to tool around a burned out future America running trading missions and competing in local car-gladiator combat. The game kept track of niggling details like ammo and weapons damage, etc. An early pre-cursor to the 'mechwarrior' style game. It might well have been the first, come to think of it!

For the C64. . .

Raid on Bungeleon Bay (sp?) A super fun and original top down helicopter game.

Impossible Mission Elevators and jump-flipping spies. Good fun!

Zeppelin A weird puzzle game where you had to fly a big dirigible through strange-ass problems. Cool music on that one.

For the Amiga. . .

The Amiga had amazing games and lots of them. But there is one which stood out. . .

Dungeon Master --I can't believe nobody has mentioned this brilliant & groundbreaking game. Dungeon Master was THE point-of-perspective d&d game at the time. People talk about TSR's "Eye of the Beholder," as something to remember. Perhaps it was, (people remember it, after all), but it was a pale, buggy shadow by comparison. --You could pick up and throw anything in Dungeon Master. It sported the first directional, moody sound effects of any game at the time. Brilliant, and flawlessly written.

So that's my list of unmentioned faves. --My friends ask me why I don't have much interest in computer games in my adulthood. I tell them that I got my fill when I was a kid.

-Fantastic Lad --Ah! Escapism!

You meant... (none / 0) (#168)
by skyknight on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 09:34:04 AM EST

Raid on Bungalow Bay, I think... Interestingly, Will Wright worked on this game, and he claims that he had way more fun designing the maps for the games than actually playing it and flying around blowing up stuff. Thus, it ended up being his inspiration for another game of which you may have heard: Sim City.

It's not much fun at the top. I envy the common people, their hearty meals and Bruce Springsteen and voting. --SIGNOR SPAGHETTI
[ Parent ]
And you meant... (none / 0) (#170)
by Minuit on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 10:04:39 AM EST

Raid on Bungling Bay. It was put out by Broderbund, who used the "Bungling Empire" as a generic villain in all their games.

Spot on about the connection to Sim City though. One if the things I always liked about Raid was how you always got a different island, but all the boildings and such still just seemed to "fit" with each other.

If you were my .sig, you would be home by now.
[ Parent ]

Bungling Bay was made by (none / 0) (#192)
by matt2413 on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 08:11:41 PM EST

the same guy as Sim City and The Sims.  Check out this writeup/bio of the author, Will Wright:



[ Parent ]

Car Wars = Autoduel (none / 0) (#222)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 11:40:02 AM EST

At least if I recall correctly.

[ Parent ]
Dungeon Master (none / 0) (#239)
by spiralx on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 03:58:09 PM EST

Now there was a quality game, and fucking scary as hell... you'd be wandering around some empty dungeon and suddenly hear a portcullis open somewhere in the distance and you'd be wondering when the hell some monster is about to jump out at you...

In a similar vein, anyone remember Captive? Like Dungeon Master in space, except that you controlled robots whose bodies you could upgrade and it had a near-infinite number of different levels.

"Girls are like dog shit on a lawn" - miah
[ Parent ]

weird (none / 0) (#274)
by theDude42 on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 02:26:31 PM EST

I posted mine before reading yours and we share two: Zeppelin and DM (although I played Atari versions). I had a big notebook of maps for DM and some of those puzzles were feirce, plus you'd hear sound in the distance, etc. It rocked.

[ Parent ]
Some Personal Favourites (4.50 / 2) (#146)
by mysta on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 08:29:17 PM EST

I was fortunate enough to have first a C64 then an Amiga 500 when I were a lad. While I have played some good games on my various PCs since then, none have the same place in my heart as these:
  • Dungeon Master by FTL Software on the Amiga. This is my favourite role playing game ever. Clever but intuitive spell system, great puzzles and a rich atmosphere.
  • The Sentinel by Geoff Crammond on the C64. Although quite an abstract game - it has been likened to a real-time game of chess - this game had me pumped full of adrenaline on several occassions. And talk about replayability: 65536 levels anyone?
  • I first realised that computer games could be quite social after some great times with friends playing Calfornia Games and World Games by Epyx on the C64. These sports sims managed to translate sporting virtues such as endurance and concentration to the computer screen very successfully.
  • The Mercenary series of games by Paul Woakes on the C64 and Amiga blew me away when I first played them. Here were completely explorable solar systems that existed inside my computer! Flying from planet to planet, taking into account relativistic time was a breathtaking experience.
  • The only game with a larger scope that Woakes' games was David Braben and Ian Bell's Elite series of games. Elite on the C64 kept me entertained for hours: trading textiles until I could afford my first beam laser, the joy of getting an autodocking computer and nail-biting battles with space pirates and police.
  • Speedball 2 on the Amiga by the Bitmap Brothers was a fast-paced and frantic future-sports sim where you got as many points for injuring your opponents as you did for scoring a goal. Getting to finals against Brutal Deluxe and beating them was a high-point of my 15 year old existence.
  • Nethack. I still play this game. Enough said.
For those wanting to indulge further in a nostalgia trip, or get a feeling for the growing cultural importance of computer games, I strongly recommend reading Steven Poole's Trigger Happy.
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
Brutal Deluxe (5.00 / 1) (#164)
by marx on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 04:47:56 AM EST

That was the team you as a player had. I can't remember the best team in the higher division. I tried to find it and it says "Super Nashwan" on a page. I don't really remember that though. I could never last very long in the higher division because my best players kept getting injured, and then they were crap. "Steel Fury" were the best in the lower division.

Join me in the War on Torture: help eradicate torture from the world by holding torturers accountable.
[ Parent ]

League Table (none / 0) (#187)
by mysta on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 06:07:44 PM EST

You are right: Brutal Deluxe is the team the player controls, not the top of the first division as I had thought.

I think your also right about Super Nashwan being the best team in the top division. I found a description of the teams in each division (scroll down to "The Teams") that confirms this:

The superstars of the league, spending every day in training and tactics sessions has resulted in a team that relies upon sheer skill rather than brutality. To have played Super Nashwan is to have played the best, their position in the league has sometimes been challenged by Fatal Justice and Turbo Hammers, they have no apparent weaknesses.
Thanks for the correction.
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
[ Parent ]
Docking computers? (4.00 / 1) (#202)
by pwhysall on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 03:26:10 AM EST

You wuss.

Real Men take on pirates with mining lasers. Real Men trade furs and narcotics.

Real men know what it's like to be overheating near the sun, down to less than half energy in bank 4, lasers overheated and the message "MISSILE JAMMED" flashing on the screen...
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
[ Parent ]

Real Men (none / 0) (#254)
by anonimouse on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 08:16:28 AM EST

Fly between the stars on impulse drive instead of hyperdrive
Relationships and friendships are complex beasts. There's nothing wrong with doing things a little differently.
[ Parent ]
Halls of the Things (4.00 / 1) (#149)
by salsaman on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 08:51:13 PM EST

Anyone ever play that on the Spectrum ? Now that was a game and a half !

Shadowrun on the Genesis (4.00 / 1) (#151)
by Steven Edwards on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 08:55:47 PM EST

It is still fun to jack into Seattle companies and steal information and trash data stores. An updated version would rock!

Oh yes! (none / 0) (#196)
by Danse on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 11:58:23 PM EST

That game owned :) I have wanted to see a new Shadowrun game for the PC for a loooong time.... but no luck so far. It's such a great universe to create something from though. I can't believe nobody has done anything with it.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
The L.A.M.B. (5.00 / 1) (#155)
by stormysky on Sat Nov 30, 2002 at 11:37:34 PM EST

I doubt anyone else here will remember this one, but there was an insanely fun game floating around DEC's internal network around 1990 (iirc).  It was called "Doomsday 2000"... I don't think it was multiplayer, but you could compare your score with other people... had a very Nethack feel to it, but there was very offbeat humour in it... like, the black pill. :)  I believe it was written in BASIC (!!!!!!)... I've heard that it was eventually ported to the Mac, but haven't seen it in a decade.  Anyone else here ever play this? With a terminal capable of using the soft fonts? Or know where I might find it today?
We can face anything, except for bunnies.
Bubble Bobble! (5.00 / 1) (#158)
by somnio on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 12:04:45 AM EST

Not one time. Not one single -person- has yet to mention the greatest game of all time. I am, of course, speaking of bubble bobble. I STILL play this game (On the c64 no less, although the original disk has long since deteriorated.. thank goodness for 'backup`s' !)

Rainbow Islands (5.00 / 1) (#159)
by mysta on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 12:11:43 AM EST

Wow! Flashback!

I remember some serious Bubble Bobble sessions both at the arcades and at home. But what really came flooding back when I saw you post was Bubble Bobble's sequel: Rainbow Islands. That's got to be one of my favourite platform games: cutesy graphics and music, gentle but long learning curve, a really consistent feel and absolutely manic action when the water started rising up.
Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?
[ Parent ]

The Killing Game Show (none / 0) (#160)
by juju2112 on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 12:16:35 AM EST

I really liked The Killing Game Show for the Amiga. It was a platform game with really, really killer graphics and extremely hard gameplay. One of the best Amiga games i've played. :)

OH BABY! (none / 0) (#280)
by Prophet themusicgod1 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 04:59:40 PM EST

i hadnt heard of that one for awhile...
Amiga games were the best, no doubt...thanx for bringing that one up, though... there's a whole swarm of amiga games i used to have but now can barely remember at all...
"I suspect the best way to deal with procrastination is to put off the procrastination itself until later. I've been meaning to try this, but haven't gotten around to it yet."swr
[ Parent ]
Doesn't Fit with the Theme, but... (none / 0) (#163)
by MyrddinE on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 04:17:09 AM EST

... my personal pick for 'long lasting game' would have to be Half Life.

Oh, I have my old favorites... Ultima 5, Sentinel Worlds, Zork, and others. I still pull those out every year or so to play for a while.

But Half Life is continuing in a different way. They were the first company to aggressively encourage wannabe game designers to mod their game. They have done what no other game in recent history has... they have MORE players now than they did 4 years ago when they were released.

Of all the online action games that are played, Half Life has more players than all the rest COMBINED. A four year old engine. In a market where six months old is bargain bin material.

That's an accomplishment that I thought was worth mentioning.

I have played Half Life and its various mods for over 5000 hours in the past 4 years. That's a pretty good investment for my original $45 doncha think?

Er, are we forgetting Id? (none / 0) (#198)
by hardburn on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 01:06:15 AM EST

I think Id started encouraging mod-makers when they first released Doom, and has continued to do so in every game since. Perhaps Valve did it more aggressively, but Id was there first.

We can probably go back even further than that. Some people have made patches for NES Metroid ROMs that alter the game (though this has only been happening more recently). Still, I think Id was the first to actually encourage this.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

[ Parent ]
No... (none / 0) (#290)
by MyrddinE on Sun Jan 19, 2003 at 02:59:31 PM EST

Id did not encourage mod makers with Doom. With Doom they thought it was cool, but did nothing to help them.

With Quake they deliberatly designed the game to be more easily moddable, but still did very little to actually help mod makers. You would rarely get a technical answer about an obscure function from them. They did hire Zoid, the guy who made Threewave CTF, to help with thier Linux (or was it Mac?) porting however.

But at no point did id hold a mod expo. Or host their own forums specifically for mod developers. Or hire someone whose job was to help modders. Or hire entire mod teams on at the company. Or release a boxed set of mods made for their games.

Valve aggressively targetted mod developers. id just went with the flow, knowing modders would come whether they helped them or not.

[ Parent ]

Sopwith (none / 0) (#167)
by RaveWar on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 07:30:17 AM EST

Am I really the first person here to mention this? Classic 2D action. It had the great novelty of stricken planes and bombs following a long arc offscreen so they could come crashing down anywhere even after you forgot about them. I reccomend you all grab a copy. Like, now!
We don't need freedom. We don't need love.
We want Superpower, Ultraviolence.
Haha SOPWITH (none / 0) (#228)
by coljac on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 01:24:00 PM EST

Now I don't have to post this myself. I have amazingly fond memories of the cyan/purple CGA graphics and PC speaker sound of this game, doing loops and dropping bombs in graceful arcs while flying upside down.


Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey
[ Parent ]

Oldies, but goodies (none / 0) (#169)
by mveloso on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 09:42:36 AM EST

From the old Apple ][ days -

Wizardry, the original RPG by sir-tech. Actually the first multi-character RPG, since the Temple of Apshai had you wandering around a dungeon - but there was only 1 character. Wizardry had 6 player characters.

Choplifter - side-scrolling helicopter rescue game! Whoo! Still amazing how they squeezed the performance out of that 6502.

Taipan - one of the original trading games. Dopewars without the drugs.

Wizard and the Pricess - the second graphical adventure game. Mystery House sucked, IMO, but WIP was really fun. The second sierra on-ine game.

Lode Runner - wow, what an exellent game!

The modern games don't really seem to stand up...the only one that comes to mind is the Civilization series and maybe Railroad Tycoon?

Can't Remember the Name (none / 0) (#175)
by yooden on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 02:22:31 PM EST

It's a future sport game played in an arena consisting of five areas, one being visible. Each player had a goal in one of the areas; one area had three goals, the center area connected the other four.
The players had attributes like speed and grip, which you could improve with experience.

All in all, very fast, and just uncontrollable enough that everyone had a good chance against better players.

This was made for the C64, and we actually played it about two years ago, old joysticks and all that.

Now if I would only remember the name.

Don't know abou the C64.. (none / 0) (#186)
by mewse on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 05:25:10 PM EST

..but on the Amiga, this game was called 'Projectile'. Three teams in a plus-shaped arena. The middle room had entrances to each of the four other arenas, with each of the left, top, and right arenas having a goal defended by one of the three teams, and the bottom arena having a goal for each team to defend.

Points were awarded to the last team to have touched the puck before a goal.

During the match, you'd pick up upgrades which would take effect immediately, and dosh, which could be traded in for statistic upgrades between matches.

[ Parent ]
Yup! (none / 0) (#188)
by yooden on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 06:07:50 PM EST

That's the name, and I'm pretty sure I mixed up computers: It's the Amiga. Thanks!

I get itchy fingers just thinking about it. A truly great game.

[ Parent ]

My first RTS. (none / 0) (#179)
by Zer0 on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 04:10:46 PM EST

My favorite classics, only mentioning those i havent seen mentioned yet -

1) Dune 2 - First decent RTS i had ever played.. er actually the first RTS i ever played.
2) Street Rod - it ran fine on my 286.. goes a little too fast to steer properly nowadays
3) Lesure Suit Larry - as an 8 year old it was cool playing games that were adults only
4) Rex Nebula and the cosmic Gender bender
5) Maniac Mansion - finished it twice, compeltey different methods.
6) Stunts - another great 286 game... altho ran NICE on a 386dx 33 or 486 :P
7) Yie-ar Kung-fu - Great 2player fighting action on the c64, oh and not to forget international karate plus :)
8) Battletoads - Nintendo - We had the most fun just beating each other up in 2 player mode

There are tons more, i might reply to this post later and add them :)

bah (none / 0) (#181)
by Zer0 on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 04:29:46 PM EST

<i>My favorite classics, only mentioning those i havent seen mentioned yet  </i>

Bah closer examination show quite a few already mentioned, but pfft who cares :P

[ Parent ]

LLamatron (none / 0) (#183)
by Zer0 on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 04:50:01 PM EST

Atari ST classics
- Jeff Winters Llamatron was wacky and original.
- Revenge of the Mutant Camels
- Xenon
- Xenon II

[ Parent ]
Dune 2 (none / 0) (#245)
by X3nocide on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 07:17:33 PM EST

The reason its the first RTS you ever played (and I have a suspicion you know this) is that it was the first RTS ever. It was made by Westwood, perhaps more popular for their Command & Conquer series. This also explains why Tiberian Sun is such a ripoff of Dune.

[ Parent ]
You just need a Mac for... (none / 0) (#193)
by MutantEnemy on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 10:15:08 PM EST

Bolo, or maybe a PC for WinBolo. I think Bolo may well be able to claim to be the first real-time strategy game playable over the internet. It's ancient - work started in the 80s. It requires a fast connection though, so I only got into it recently due to broadband coming my way.

It's basically a top-view tank game, which revolves around control of bases and pillboxes (automated gun-turrets). There's a wonderful blend of tactics, strategy, and teamwork. The community is now pretty small, alas, but several games are still played each day.

FYI: There's an even older bolo (none / 0) (#221)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 11:35:49 AM EST

On apple II. Involves tank and "ant" like enemies, in a maze. Supposed to destroy their nests.

Difficult to play due to the control system.

I vaguely recall there was an SF story which started this bolo thing.

[ Parent ]

Scorched Earth? (none / 0) (#195)
by joecool12321 on Sun Dec 01, 2002 at 11:34:23 PM EST

I've always been a fan of Scorched Earth by Wendell Hicken (I think I'm spelling his name right). It has everything: napalms, nukes, multi-warheads, strategy, and real-time playing if you wanted it. You had to monitor your money so you didn't spend yourself out of the ability to compete, but you could also rely on good aim if you were falling behind.

A great one all right (none / 0) (#232)
by WilliamTanksley on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 01:53:10 PM EST

Yes, SE is a true classic.

There are a bunch of derivatives which are just as much fun, but SE is still (pardon the expression) the bomb.

For a completely different take on this genre, try Molez and Liero. Both games are not being developed anymore, but they're really killer -- the only realtime games I can stand playing.

http://www.lieroextreme.com/ (Wow, looks like there IS some action in the community!)


[ Parent ]

Tyrian (none / 0) (#197)
by hardburn on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 12:58:07 AM EST

I was recently trying to find a DOS-based space shooter I had played, but I couldn't remember the name of it. After a few days of searching, I stumbled over the name Tyrian. Yeah, that was it.

This was probably one of the last of the great top-down shooters, one of my favorite genres. My favorite feature was that you could buy new weapons and ship upgrades after each level. It's only big flaw is that it's too easy, especially once you get the more advanced weapons (fully-upgraded lasers can take out almost anything before you even know it's there).

It also has a bizzare sense of humor, mostly involving food. In a bonus level, you have to collect as much beer as you can. At one point, you can buy a ship in the shape of a carrot and shoot bananas.

According to the offical developer page, a Game Boy Advanced version is in the works. Apparently, the game itself is done, but they need a publisher.

while($story = K5::Story->new()) { $story->vote(-1) if($story->section() == $POLITICS); }

missing poll option: ...an MSX computer (none / 0) (#200)
by andete on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 02:17:40 AM EST

The MSX computer was hugely popular in Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and South-America. It featured alot of very good Japanese games, and of course E.L.I.T.E. in an excellent port to MSX by Mr. Micro.

Some notable MSX games:
- Nemesis (aka Gradius) (I, II, III)
- Salamander
- King's Valley II
- F1-Spirit
- Space Manbow

All are excellently playable these days with numerous emulators.

openMSX, the MSX emulator that aims for perfection
You forgot about (none / 0) (#244)
by X3nocide on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 07:13:45 PM EST

Metal Gear!

[ Parent ]
Online games (none / 0) (#201)
by UnConeD on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 02:30:18 AM EST

Sorry if I'm going to rant, but this is something that has been waiting to come out for ages. I *hate* online multiplayer games. I can't stand them. I grew up playing games on the Amiga and in DOS, when the only multiplayer was limited to a select group of games over modem: I never had a modem, so no multiplayer at all. Back then, a game still had an interesting enough storyline and characters to suck you in. These days however the amount of online-only games (or just with a hollow singleplayer tutorial-campaign) is huge. Obviously the idea is great: connect with tons of players around the world and play together whenever you want. However, this idea is far from reality. People who can't admit they're not great at a game do nothing but cheat. And an online roleplaying game is not roleplaying at all, it's stupid idiots fighting horde after horde of monsters in a virtual world, desperately trying to reach the next level. I recently got my hands on Fallout and Fallout 2... while the games have a lot of bugs, it's an incredibly enjoyable experience. A great storyline, a more adult focus (this doesn't mean pure sex, but realistic dialogues and environments without having to pass the censorship board), incredible replayability and interestic character development. I love it, and it would suck as an online game. The problem however is not that there aren't any single-player games anymore, but that entire categories of games have gone pretty much online-only (for example RPGs and shooters). A few titles I loved: Pirates! (Amiga version: the PC Gold version sucked horribly in terms of interface), Beneath a Steel Sky, XWing, Tie-Fighter, Privateer 2 (which I never finished due to it becoming unplayable on my new PC), King's Quest (played all of them, the cleaned up versions of the originals were pretty nice), Syndicate, Detroit, Need for Speed, System Shock, Test Drive and many many more. In a distant past I even remember Karateka on the Apple IIe, but I could barely reach the keyboard back then :). None of them multiplayer of course, and almost all of them would definitely suck as multiplayer. Obviously the idea of being able to sucker your players into giving you a monthly fee has something to do with it too...

Privateer 2 (none / 0) (#284)
by RegularFry on Tue Dec 17, 2002 at 02:42:38 PM EST

I remember playing that on a mate's computer years ago, and thinking it was fantastic... Bought a copy for myself a few months later, and it just wouldn't run at all. I've still got the original CDs around somewhere - anyone got any clues as to how to get it running? I'm going through a bit of history-catchup as far as games go at the moment.

There may be troubles ahead, But while there's moonlight and music...
[ Parent ]
System Shock (none / 0) (#285)
by Kwil on Thu Dec 19, 2002 at 04:04:59 PM EST

& System Shock 2 are both very cool in multiplayer mode. There is no deathmatch, there's just the same game as before, only now two (or more) people are playing and cooperating at the same time.

Very cool. My wife and I have gone through SS2 more than once together, each time choosing a different type of character to do it with.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze

[ Parent ]
Write-in vote: (none / 0) (#205)
by pwhysall on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 03:52:16 AM EST

BBC Micro - home of games like The Sentinel, Elite, Exile, Xor, Revs, Repton, Citadel, and a bazillion others.

How many other home computers could you (a) buy a second processor for and (b) use it to play an extended version of Elite?

Other write-in vote: Acorn Archimedes - best version of Elite, no arguments. Also fabulous games like Conqueror (3D tank shootemup), Zarch, Arcturus, ports of just about everything the Bitmap Brothers ever did. Oh, and Stunt Racer 2000 and Starfighter 3000, both by the enigmatic FedNet Software.

Personal fave? Magnetoids :-)
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.

Acorn Games (none / 0) (#213)
by dcturner on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 06:48:19 AM EST

The Repton series on the Beeb were a big part of my childhood, and who could forget Chuckie Egg?

I'm with you with Starfighter 3000. Graphics weren't superb but who cares, the gameplay was excellent and it catalysed one of the few times in my life when I have cooperated with my brother -- we completed it together.

Remove the opinion on spam to reply.

[ Parent ]
second processor (none / 0) (#281)
by flinkflonk on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 05:33:40 PM EST

Well, I had a second processor for my Apple II (and many others had, too ;) The real fun of the Z80 card was that it ran interleaved with the original processor, and if you were feeling really adventurous you could count cycles and write synchronous programs. Not that it was useful... Oh, and it wasn't the only option - there were cards with 68000 processors, transputer cards (remember those?) and obscure specialized cards for number crunching.

On the other topic - Elite - I played that on my brother's Schneider (same as Amstrad) CPC. At that time I already switched to the Atari ST myself and there wasn't a port to the ST yet. And besides, I didn't play that much with the Atari anyway, even if I once even won a game in some contest or other. It was named "Terrorpods" and was the single most ugly and unplayable game I ever had. I wouldn't have spent my own money on something like that.

Verb is a noun, which simply isn't fair. Fair is a noun or an adjective. Adjective is a noun, but can also be an adjective, as can most English nouns. Go figure, which is both a noun and a verb and good advice.
[ Parent ]
Spectrum classics (none / 0) (#206)
by zenyatta on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 04:42:35 AM EST

Tau Ceti and Academy by Pete Cooke were quite incredible. Then I extremely enjoyed Last Ninja II and Car Wars. And of course the Dizzy series...

Amiga Games (5.00 / 1) (#215)
by DGolden on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 07:29:40 AM EST

For long-term playability, some of the classic Amiga games have really lasted for me.  The multiplayer games last longest.

Here's a small selection, though I note that the Amiga, like the C64 before it, had silly amounts of incredibly good games.  The ones I've listed here are ones I consider really long-lasting, there were many other excellent games such as Uridium II, Turrican II, X-Out, Cannon Fodder, Sensi Soccer and so on that were also very good, though.

PC owners, particularly American ones, often associate some games that I class as "Amiga" games with the PC rather than the Amiga - many european games started out on the Amiga, and were ported to the PC for the American market.  The Amiga, at the time, had far superior 2D graphics hardware, with very smooth and fast scrolling, and a coprocessor (the "copper") that made split-screen gaming very easy. Thus, while some readers may associate some of the games with the PC, the Amiga versions tended to be much smoother and more colorful.


The one that really stands out in my mind is the original Amiga Lemmings, with it's simultaneous two player split-screen mode.  You could plug two mice into an amiga at once.  Each player got half the screen, one with blue lemmings with green hair, and the other with green lemmings with blue hair.  On the same level, at the same time.  Total chaos.

Worms, the Director's Cut:

Worms started out on the Amiga, as a Blitz Basic program by a lad in Yorkshire.  The Directors' Cut is still, to me, the purest and best version of the game, particularly since you could draw your own levels and algorithmic level themes in DPaint or PPaint.

Marble Madness:

Again, really shines in simultaneous two-player.  Play it to this day.  I have a lovely logitech optical trackball that works very well with it.

Populous II:

Null-modem two-player god game.  Rain down fire upon thine enemies.  Great fun.  Tricky (but apparently possible) to get two-player working under emulation.


Two-player vertical scrolling shooter, sequel to Silkworm.  Action never stopped - the game was continuously spooled from disk. Knackering. I never completed it. Also adapted to your playing, with extra enemies activating if you were "doing a bit too well".  Asymmetric - one player in a helicopter, the other in a bizarre jumping jeep.  Meant that I could play in the jeep, while my little brother played in the easier helicopter.  A later game called Banshee was quite similar.

Non two-player amiga games I'd still play:


The relatively unknown sequel to Wizball.  I think it was cool, anyway.  Too strange for some people.

Super Stardust:

The best Asteroids clone I've ever seen. Amazing graphics, for the time, and great gameplay. Unfortunately, used every dodgy hardware trick in the book, and doesn't work even on my accelerated real amiga, let alone an emulator.

Bob's Bad Day:

Another strange game.  You're a head.  Gravity pulls you to the bottom of the screen. You rotate the level around you, bouncing around the place. I think one of the Sonic games had a bonus stage a bit like it - but bob's bad day had a lot more levels...

Other platforms:

Wizball on the C64 (the amiga version wasn't as good).  Another asymmetric game - one player Wiz, the other player the much smaller cat.  Very strange.  Very cool.

Head-over-Heels on the C64 (The much later Amiga version is equally good)
Don't eat yellow snow

The Best Amiga game (none / 0) (#216)
by zakalwe on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 08:09:36 AM EST

and a coprocessor (the "copper") that made split-screen gaming very easy.
The Amiga was where I learned assembler, and was fantastic fun for messing about on the hardware. The copper had just 3 instructions, 2 of them (WAIT and SKIP) to do with waiting for the raster beam to reach a certain point, and the third (MOVE) could be used to stick values to memory locations. This let you do incredibly cool things like change the contents of the palette in chip memory at different points on the screen so you could bring in extra colours once the top part had finished painting with them. Those were the days.


Lemmings ruled! I think there are still 3 or 4 levels on Mayhem I never solved, but otherwise I played through every level. Never played the two player version, since I didn't have two mice.

Populous II was fun, but I probably spent more time on the original Populous.

Wizkid: I vaguely remember playing WizBall (Amiga version), which was a pretty strange game concept itself - you control a ball, which initially would bounce, and had to collect colours? Fun game. I think I played a demo of Wizkid, but can remember nothing about it except that it was very strange.

I never really played much of the others you mention, but my favourite Amiga game, and the best multiplayer game of all time was definitely Dogfight (lha). It was basicly a version of Biplanes - just 3 controls (turn left, turn right, shoot), with up to 4 players and was without a doubt the most addictive game in existance. It was great with two players, but with 3 or more (2 on keyboard, the others on joysticks) it reached a whole new level.

[ Parent ]

Copper tricks (none / 0) (#219)
by incunabula on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 11:21:53 AM EST

I remember a game called (I think?) Lionheart, that used copper palette swapping to spectacular effect.

Was also used loads in the demo scene...


[ Parent ]
Populous (none / 0) (#220)
by incunabula on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 11:25:54 AM EST

Now there was a game!

One of my favourite strategies was to create one bad-ass knight (you could merge your followers into a stronger one) and send it on a rampage. I think the Armageddon option did the same thing for both sides, where the two aforementioned meatheads would duke it out for top place!


[ Parent ]
SWIV (none / 0) (#238)
by spiralx on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 03:55:57 PM EST

Damn fine game that :)

"Girls are like dog shit on a lawn" - miah
[ Parent ]

Wow. (none / 0) (#224)
by daughter of sam on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 11:49:36 AM EST

I still have the cartridge for that game, along with my TRS-80, sitting in the basement.

List of interesting games. (none / 0) (#225)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 12:24:31 PM EST

You can find lots of games here:

What I found interesting:
Taipan (lend Elder Brother Wu money ;) ).
Arkanoid II (Had fun designing levels with one way valves using moving and reappearing bricks ;) ).
Archon, Archon II.
Bilestoad (be a robot gladiator, chop heads, arms off, blood and gore back in the ol Apple II days!)
Choplifter, Rescue Raiders.
Pacman, Serpentine, Dig Dug.
Dino Eggs, Mario Bros.
Castle Wolfenstein (the 2D version).
Spy vs Spy (all the funny traps).
Autoduel (customize car for battle, do missions etc)
Omega (tank programming game).
Rampage (be Godzilla!)
Prince of Persia.
Ali Baba and the forty thieves (Apple 1982, very open ended RPG game- good, bad, neutral npcs in the game).
Lode runner and derivatives.
Aztec (for Apple II, the bugs actually made it even more interesting!!).
the Ultima series of games.
Task Force (for Apple IIGS)
Wings of Fury (for 128K Apple IIe)
Arcade machine - Dogfight by Dataeast (fly plane, shoot UFOs, pigs piloting planes - who said pigs can't fly? You can actually jump into a pig's plane and take it over! Very rare only encountered one machine)

More recent: Doom, Doom II. Quake and derivatives -the mods are interesting e.g. Team Fortress, custom teamfortress.

Grand Theft Auto III. Criminally Fun :).

More (none / 0) (#227)
by Anonymous Hiro on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 12:55:32 PM EST

Agh forgot Boulderdash, Black Magic (IIe), Below the Root, Alice in Wonderland..

Giant List of Classic Game Programmers:

[ Parent ]

Taipan (none / 0) (#277)
by Thaeus on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 10:07:09 PM EST

That's one game I'd highly recommend.  They had disks of it for the Apple IIe's back at my elementary school.  The memories: getting in trouble with the lender, fighting fleets of hundreds of ships, loosing your cannons one by one, and that special day I sold a warehouse full of opium in Hong Kong (I think that's the starting city, right?).

Ah, yeah.  Games just haven't been the same since I was ten years old. :)


[ Parent ]
Ghosts 'n Goblins on c64 (none / 0) (#226)
by MantorpCity on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 12:48:00 PM EST

also Bomb Jack and Yie Ar Kung Fu. great stuff

Gravity Force on Amiga (none / 0) (#229)
by coljac on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 01:26:23 PM EST

I never got this to work on an Amiga emulator, but this was my most played game "back in the day". Very simple idea - a little spaceship that you fly with "realistic" Newtonian physics vis-a-vis gravity and momentum. You could race, dogfight and do missions involving moving bricks of cargo. Surely some of you remember Gravity Force?


Whether or not life is discovered there I think Jupiter should be declared an enemy planet. - Jack Handey

WASTELAND... (5.00 / 1) (#233)
by kennon on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 02:41:24 PM EST

...is still my favorite C-RPG of all time. I think it came out circa 1986; I played it on the PC but they had a C-64 version as well.

Its after the bomb; you play as a band of desert rangers, ex-military types set on upholding justice in the barren desolation of Nevada.

Fallout was based on wasteland, and there are alot of references in it.

The reason I enjoyed it so much was because it was very non-linear; you could actually walk into one of the last locations in the game from the very start, but you would be too weak to do anything and would die quickly.

There were tons of side quests everywhere, and they really gave a sense of a real game world. The writing was very well done and quite humorous.

It took me quite awhile to finish the game (although I was only about 10 at the time), and I still go back and play parts of it even to this day. I'm pretty sure I owe my deep fascination with post-apocalyptic literature to this game.

There is still an active community of fans of Wasteland, centered around a Yahoo! group called "Snake Squeezins" and a MUD called Desolation. I believe that several endevours to rewrite the game engine are underway. The original program runs fine on modern computers, though, and since the game is turn based you don't have a speed issue.

The graphics are rudimentary by todays standards but still quite pretty with 256 color VGA.

You can check out The Wasteland Ranger HQ-Grid to find out more information about the game.

Anyway, I unconditionally recommend this game - one of the classics.


Ultima 7 (none / 0) (#235)
by kennon on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 02:52:59 PM EST

Ultima 7 the best of the Ultimas IMO - a truly huge, fleshed out game world and some great quests.

I'm still impressed with the depth of the world; I can't think of another game even to this day (with the possible exception of Morrowind) that had as rich a game world. The sheer number of items was mind boggling. NPCs that you would meet in the game would have homes that they would go back to and sleep in during the night. The characters would go to the pub at night. And it all happened around you without any interaction. Its extremely non-linear; you can go anywhere you want, and sometimes you have to try harder to remember what you are supposed to be doing.

Unfortunately, the game was released during that horrible time period for games when they were using EMS memory, so it would require some major DOS hacking or an older computer to run the original release.

However, there is a sourceforge project to release a new version of the code. Its called Exult, and I just now noticed that they released 1.0 last month. A beta version I tried last year worked almost perfectly, and I'm sure theyve ironed out the few remaining bugs.

I don't think I ever even finished this game, even after playing it for months. There is just so much to do in it its amazing.


yeah, someone already talked about Ultima VII (none / 0) (#236)
by kennon on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 02:56:05 PM EST

i should read all the threads before posting duplication information :P

the game still rules, though.

[ Parent ]

Appendix A (none / 0) (#237)
by LodeRunner on Mon Dec 02, 2002 at 02:57:20 PM EST

How to enjoy a game in an unknown platform?

First of all, thanks to everyone for the feedback. There is another issue worth addressing that I only mentioned en passant in the article, here:

What older, mostly-unknown games have stood the test of time and are good enough to make worth downloading an emulator for an architecture that one has never used before?

Ok, so I read your replies and got interested about several games, such as Gravity Force for the Amiga, and Jumpman for the C64 (it must have been the 20th time someone points me to Jumpman, so it must be really that good).

The problem is that these platforms are basically unknown to me. I only played with Amigas at friends' houses back in the day, and the C64 is a complete stranger to me. Those being computers, I assume I'll have to learn at least how to load the game to run it. The problem is that emulators (and their respective homepages) are basically geared towards people who had these computers.

This is unfortunate, because it ends up limiting the audience of an emulator to people who are already experienced in the given platform. How can I recommend you to try out Championship Lode Runner if you never had any contact with the Apple II and thus have no way of knowing that you're expected to load the disk image in the virtual drive at Slot 6?

So, a new question is up: how does a user introduce him/herself to a platform through emulation?

"dude, you can't even spell your own name" -- Lode Runner

Treasure Hunting. . . (none / 0) (#246)
by Fantastic Lad on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 01:01:41 AM EST

If the search for lost treasure were easy, we'd all be millionaires.

Seriously, I remember the first piece of 'modern' software I hunted for and downloaded. It came in twenty or so incrementally numbered files of equal size, each with the file designation, ".ace" --Nobody explained anywhere what an .ace was. I thought it might have been unique to that program, and fiddled about endlessly trying to make it run.

Eventually I figured out what was going on, but in the process I had to grapple with a variety of what now seem like very simple concepts, (compression, file-splitting, file ripping, file patching etc.). At the time, I'd not used a computer in many years and it was all quite baffling, like being hit with a whole new language all at once, with the de-coding of each paragraph dependant on the decoding of the surrounding parts. As silly as it makes me feel now to admit it, it took me several weeks of tinkering, ten minutes here, ten minutes there, before I figured out what was going on.

Emulation isn't dissimilar; dead simple once you know what's going on. --Except that the web today is much more robust in the information available on any given topic, especially regarding computers. --A happy thing in this case is that emulation is, by default, driven by enthusiasts who love their old systems and who will often be more than happy to explain to a new comer how to enjoy a system they loved. In any case, more than half the fun is in the hunt and in trying to make a contraption work.

The other thing to remember is this; it's much more daunting to merely consider the problem than it is to actually jump in and tinker with it. Computer systems logic isn't so very different now than it was fifteen years back. Plus, they invented the "FAQ" a few years ago to make this kind of learning fast and fun.


-Fantastic Lad

[ Parent ]

The greatest Atari 2600 game of all time... (none / 0) (#247)
by skintigh on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 02:04:45 AM EST

in my opinion was Solaris. That game was so hard, I spent an entire summer with a friend and my brother mapping that game and we never could beat it. Since then I figured out how to cheat and give myself 255 lives in an emulator. I made a page about the game here: http://skintigh.tripod.com/atari/solaris.html To this day I know of only 1 or 2 people have ever claimed to have beaten it on a console, and I get a good bit of email about that game. As for the PC, Command and Conquer was the greatest game. Too bad Westwood doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground and that game has a million holes that cheaters exploit. Maybe FreeCnC will save me.

Arcade games... (none / 0) (#248)
by skintigh on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 02:10:25 AM EST

Anyone play Bust a Move? I loved that game. Time Pilot ruled, too. Pheonix! Anyone of you nor'eastah's go to Fun Spot (Spun Fot?)? That place is a blast from the past. For those who don't know, it's a gigantic arcade/bowladrome/wearhouse/whatever place in central NH. They bought every game on Earth, until the ran out of room around 1990 and started leasing games. To this day, they have every ancient game, even good old black and white vector-display asteroids with a color film on it to make the UFO a different color. I own whack-a-mole there.

Pong (none / 0) (#250)
by Liet on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 02:54:14 AM EST

was a great game. The best version I have played was on a Mac at school about 8 years ago. It had white blocks with a black background and if anyone can direct me to it i would be very happy. Another pong game I want to find was also on Mac but later, it was called Dimonds or something like that....any help would be apprechiated.

Bionic Commando (none / 0) (#253)
by dzeroo on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 07:59:13 AM EST

The awesomeness of this game was awesome. Swinging from one platform to another with you bionic arm, clipping nazi-scum. Different levels offered different camera angles etc. And, the final boss was a 7 foot tall Hitler, which you got to kill by cramming a nuke up his nose. Although the ending showed some nice graphics, I remember always being a wee bit sad that the game had already ended. Or that may have been because of the sad space music throughout the game.

== chicks are for fags ==

Fallout RPG (none / 0) (#256)
by Reverse Entropy on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 09:24:55 AM EST

Wasteland was an Uther Pendragon for the C64 and PC and PC jr. Fallout was Arthur Pendragon come of age wielding excalibur... Tell me a single post-apocolypse/mad-max game that you could finish as a pacifist? Fallout is the only one. Fallout rocks... The replay value was well worth the 60 bones I shelled out for it.

Right on (none / 0) (#262)
by dzeroo on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 10:33:48 AM EST

The opening music in the introduction rules.

== chicks are for fags ==

[ Parent ]
Super Metroid (none / 0) (#264)
by exZERO on Tue Dec 03, 2002 at 02:31:42 PM EST

Samus Aran's Greatest Adventure EVER.

This was probably one of the single all time best games on the Super Nintendo/Famicom, a console which had a long list of terrific games.  It featured some amazing graphics, a greatly overhauled version of the original Zebes from the first Metroid, an emotional final boss fight, and tons of additional elements new to the Metroid Saga that added to the gameplay.

The pseudo-sequel Metroid Fusion is a great continuation(albeit with a more rushed feeling through out the game, as it tends to push you to the next mission quickly, leaving little time for exploring) on Game Boy Advance, and the GameCube 3D adventure, Metroid Prime, is probably the best transition any 2D game has ever gone through to become 3D.  It's probably the only 3D FPG* I've ever felt as comfortable in while jumping.  I've pulled stunts like jumping backwards over lava pits and never felt uneasy about it, yet I still get nervous jumping in FPS's like Half-Life.

Me and a few of my friends still talk about Super Metroid, from the amazing graphical feat of a non-symmetrical Samus to the anger you feel during the battle with Mother Brain.

*-I do not refer to Metroid Prime as an FPS, because the shooting element is merely one factor of it.  It's really more like a classic adventure game, just oddly viewed from Samus' Visor.

a short list... (none / 0) (#273)
by theDude42 on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 02:20:56 PM EST

Dungeon Master on Atari ST... wow, did I waste a lot of time at this one. Marathon (I) on mac. I loved a side-scrolling fly a blimp game called Zeppelin (sp?) on the Atari 8-bit. Coolest thing? It loaded from tape and played the 1812 overture while it loaded.

Console History (none / 0) (#275)
by oglethorpe on Wed Dec 04, 2002 at 07:51:07 PM EST

i haven't the patience to make it through all the comments, but there's a coupla real winners that i haven't seen...

preface:  i don't play console games anymore.  ever.  newer console games don't tend to hold my interest as i am well on my way to cranky old man.  gameplay on the new consoles just doesn't seem as compelling to me, they're too pretty.

anyway, here's my little list.  try them, you might be surprised.

--General Chaos
-Sega Genesis
-Supports up to 4 players.

The single best way for 4 people to collectively avoid responsibility.  Like risk, except instead of territories being claimed by dice roll, two teams of two choose combinations of 5 different soldiers to do battle.  Choose from:

*machine gun guy
*flame thrower guy
*rocket launcher guy
*grenade guy
*crazed "throwing dynamite bundles up in the air guy" - my favorite

hours of fun doing battle for control of places with names like "teenaich wasteland".  what's better than places who's names are terrible Who puns?  nothing.

-- Return Fire
- Sony Playstation
- One player (split screen is no way to live)
heavy metal thunder meets capture the flag.
it looks like those desert,nuclear,jello,etc. strike games.  head to head, each player has 4 choppers, 4 tanks, 4 asv(armored support vehicle), and 4 hum vees.  each player has a territory peppered with turret towers and and flag towers.  the flag is inside the last flag tower you destroy.  use your limited supply of vehicles to cut a swathe of destruction to your opponents flag and retieve it with the un armored hum vee.
the icing on the gravy is that when you win a map, you are treated to video footage of Lou Gehrig giving his farewell address.  as if annihilating your friends wasn't enough.

--Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi
-Sony Playstation
-One or Two players
it's a fighting game, but with star wars characters.  the actual fighting system is very limited but still fun.  this game is good BECAUSE it's limited.  after two players have mastered the mechanics, the game becomes deeply psychological.  you end up playing the man, not the board.  for me that's when things get interesting.

ooh, fun topic (none / 0) (#278)
by blisspix on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:26:07 AM EST

when I was a kid we got an Amstrad and I was addicted to...

Kings Quest I
Police Quest
Leisure Suit Larry (I was 9!)

At school I was addicted to Dinosaur Discover which ran on the Acorn computers.

Then when I got a PC (486-66, nice) I was heavily into Sim Tower.

ahh, those were the days. I tried to find a copy of Police Quest to download recently but it didn't work on my computer. :(

try emulators (none / 0) (#282)
by amd on Fri Dec 06, 2002 at 04:14:47 AM EST

http://www.scummvm.org for example :)

[ Parent ]
My first game... (none / 0) (#279)
by wallet72 on Thu Dec 05, 2002 at 02:51:05 AM EST

and I still remember it will... BeachHead for the Amiga (and later BeachHead II) aaaaaah so many wasted hours.

Abuse (none / 0) (#287)
by splitpeasoup on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 01:12:19 AM EST

One of my all-time favorite, and highly replayable, games is Abuse.

It's not terribly old, but it is remarkable for a couple of reasons. It is, AFAIK, the only 2D game to make good use of a mouse (for weapon aiming) along with a keyboard (for motion) in a fairly natural and intuitive way. The game was well designed, and a lot of fun.


"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

space strategy and multiplayer goodness (none / 0) (#288)
by dwindlehop on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 08:54:14 PM EST

My faves date from the days of DOS 6.0 and Windows 3.1, which seems to be out of sync with everyone else. Most gamers seem intent on their Apple ][s and C64 or else their PII's running Windows 95.

Stars! - not the original 4x space strategy, but one of the best. Stars! features a very deep race creation system based on points and a simultaneous turn resolution system that is and continues to be unmatched. It's a native Win3.1 game and runs on Windows 98 just fine. I haven't had an opportunity to install it on a more modern OS. It also runs under WINE, though you may have issues with fonts.

Gladiator - the shareware action RPG before there were such things as action RPGs (a la Diablo). The best part of Gladiator was the (up to) 4-way split screen multiplayer cooperative mode. Squeezed around a single computer, trying to keep your friends alive was a blast. Gladiator was a DOS program, but it didn't need any fancy memory crud to get it running. A quick sound configuration (IRQ required, etc.) and you're on your way. Again, I have no idea what this'll do on an OS newer than Windows 98.

What about arcade games? (none / 0) (#289)
by Orion Blastar on Wed Jan 15, 2003 at 10:38:00 AM EST

You know what I mean, Pacman, Space Inavaders, Galaxian, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Digdug, Mr. Do, Time pilot, etc.

Think MAME which has been ported to as many platforms as possible, even Camcorders and PDAs.

But where to find the arcade ROMs that you need to play these games? Not like you can buy them at a store somewhere? If companies were smart, they'd license MAME and then use it with their ROMs to sell software that can play the old arcade games on any PC or system out there. Or just sell the ROMS for like $5USD - $15USD each?
*** Anonymized by intolerant editors at K5 and also IWETHEY who are biased against the mentally ill ***

Carrier Command (none / 0) (#292)
by Jowls on Mon Mar 03, 2003 at 10:21:20 AM EST

One game that I played a lot in the old C-64 days was Elite, which eventualy spawned the genre Space/Trade games.

While the original - that can be downloaded freely from one of the original programmers homepage - can hardly be considered playable after todays standard, another game stands out as my all time favourite: Carrier Command of the now dead Rainbird Software.

This game is absolutely brilliant in its concept and implementation. Easy to learn, difficult to master and instantly addictive.

In todays world of cloning and plagiates, it is difficult to understand why somebody hasnt picked up this game and made a modern version. Just update the graphics and leave everything else alone - it would be an instant blockbuster!

Since the original publisher is no more, nobody really knows who has the copyright to the game. Thus it can be downloaded from several sources on the net. It is still playable, but the graphics does show it age.

Long-term game replayability? | 292 comments (283 topical, 9 editorial, 0 hidden)
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