Browser-emulated MS-DOS games
January 5, 2015 12:53 PM   Subscribe

 
Welp

Goodbye, everybody; I think my personal singularity just pulled up
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:55 PM on January 5, 2015 [40 favorites]


This link was provided to me by a senior MetaFilter official who asked to remain anonymous. Enjoy!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:57 PM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


wow. Now is there a way to sort alphabetically ? Relevance, Average rating, Download count, Date, Date added are pretty crappy sorts..

(And this looks like a lot of, well, freeware games, or worse .. eg Cuntlet (yeah, not a Gauntlet typo..)
posted by k5.user at 12:58 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah, CGA. How we loved thee. And SimCGA, to make your Hercules card pretend it supports CGA.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:59 PM on January 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sopwith! Wauw.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:03 PM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


You searched for: gorillas.bas
Your search did not match any items in the Archive


The Internet Archive is stupid and I hate it.
posted by bondcliff at 1:04 PM on January 5, 2015 [17 favorites]


There might be some little issues with speed; the machine I am using does not have a toggle switch at the back to make it go at 4Mhz.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:06 PM on January 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


ALLEY CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also excited to see childhood favorites Mixed Up Mother Goose and Black Cauldron and crushed that King's Quest II isn't working for me.
posted by maryr at 1:06 PM on January 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


bondcliff: Gorillas?
posted by maryr at 1:06 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Aww, Commander Keen isn't loading.
posted by Johnny Assay at 1:07 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


So far NFL Challenge hasn't loaded yet either, which is disappointing.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:09 PM on January 5, 2015


Oregon Trail Deluxe (1992)
posted by Jahaza at 1:09 PM on January 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Or the 1990 Oregon Trail
posted by Jahaza at 1:10 PM on January 5, 2015


If anyone tries downloading one of the non-browser-working games and has luck, do let us all know!
posted by maryr at 1:11 PM on January 5, 2015


I learned essentially everything I know about American football from that game. Which means that playing it, at first, was approximately like Dwarf Fortress.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:11 PM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


bondcliff: Gorillas?

It won't seem to run so, maybe?

You put in a velocity and angle and you threw a banana. Basically Angry Birds done in MS DOS BASIC.

It's not so much that I need to play it, I just want to know that it's there for me to play in case I feel the urge.
posted by bondcliff at 1:11 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oregon Trail Deluxe (1992)
posted by Jahaza at 4:09 PM on January 5


Hey look the first game I ever hated for not being exactly like a previous game in the series.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:12 PM on January 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


dumb question, can you directly download the zip ? The URL for the zip has a "?module=dosbox" argument, makes me wonder if there's some URL hacking to get the zip.. (Removing the argument gets a "can't stream" response..)
posted by k5.user at 1:12 PM on January 5, 2015


Awesome review on Bar Games.
posted by maryr at 1:12 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


SKYROADS!!!
posted by sonmi at 1:16 PM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


I thought I had finally broken free of the Toobin' life. I thought the spiky logs and beer cans had finally released me from their grip. And now I see it was all a lie. I TOOB ONCE MORE.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:17 PM on January 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'll be playing pong in Commander Keen while I am slowly lowered into a grave.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 1:17 PM on January 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


One Must Fall 2097 isn't loading for me, sadly.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:18 PM on January 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's weird, given that I didn't care for it at the time, how much I apparently want it to be 1989 forever.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:21 PM on January 5, 2015 [19 favorites]


Crazy: one of the recent uploads is Tongue of the Fatman, a game whose name I've struggled to recall for ten years. Goodbye, I must be playing games now.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:22 PM on January 5, 2015


Browsers continue to rule!

Moving on to the less triumphal part of this comment, anyone get Master of Magic to work without a gamepad? There's no reason it should require a gamepad.
posted by ignignokt at 1:23 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


As I suspected, this portion of internet greatness brought to you by metafilters own Jason Scott.

Thanks Jason! You rock!
posted by el io at 1:24 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jumpman loading... and loading........
posted by sleevener at 1:26 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Dude... This was my first day back to work after a holiday break... I'm supposed to work... You are not helping.
posted by Stu-Pendous at 1:26 PM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Alleycat is still probably one of the best cat simulators out there.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 1:28 PM on January 5, 2015 [9 favorites]


I found Scorched Earth, but the mouse is offset and not very functional.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:29 PM on January 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Has anyone been able to actually PLAY anything? The DOS Box plugin seems to just spin and spin for me.
posted by sleevener at 1:34 PM on January 5, 2015


I played Alleycat because Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton mentioned it and now we are in a fight.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:36 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hell, many of these work on my Android tablet with bluetooth keyboard and mouse.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 1:37 PM on January 5, 2015


Spy Hunter!
posted by Kabanos at 1:39 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


The mouse in scorched earth works if you go into fullscreen mode.
posted by Pyry at 1:40 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


> I played Alleycat because Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton mentioned it and now we are in a fight.

It'll be worth it once you get the screen of dancing lady cats.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 1:42 PM on January 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jumpman loads for me but runs at about 20% speed.
posted by user92371 at 1:49 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I had trouble with my soundblaster configuration for Wolfenstein 3D...", is a sentence I never thought I'd utter in 2015, but here we are...
posted by mikelieman at 1:50 PM on January 5, 2015 [26 favorites]


oh my god you guys they have Zaxxon
posted by xbonesgt at 1:57 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Heh. I just pulled up "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego", and it said "Cracked 1991 by Razor 1911." That brought back some memories.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:58 PM on January 5, 2015 [12 favorites]


Metafilter: It'll be worth it once you get the screen of dancing lady cats.
posted by maryr at 2:01 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sadly, they only have the Apple IIe disk images for Battletech : The Crescent Hawks Inception...

But they do have a scan of the manual... a Wasp in all it's glory.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 2:04 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


They have my old childhood favorite: Super Solvers! Now I can learn how to count again!
posted by branduno at 2:08 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Seven Cities of Gold was my Minecraft back in the day.

Wasteland was the first computer RPG I played that had depth approaching a tabletop RPG.

Elite was a spacefaring sandbox game.

Of course, I had the Commodore 64 versions. But these look mighty fine.
posted by rikschell at 2:11 PM on January 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


At first glace, I'm seeing so many inferior ports of arcade of NES games.

I'll stop being a grumpy gus and dig for some treasures now.
posted by thecjm at 2:21 PM on January 5, 2015


I found the Cold War political/war sim Balance of Power (1990 edition)

But it won't run in my browser.
posted by FJT at 2:23 PM on January 5, 2015


oh wow, they have the FriendlyWare disks from '83. This was, quite literally, one of the first computer programs I ever ran on the first computer my family ever owned. There is a 3D ASCII maze!
posted by en forme de poire at 2:24 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Adding Microprose you your search query will cover you for the next few years of gaming.
posted by thecjm at 2:26 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is anyone else having trouble getting it to recognize keyboard input?
posted by en forme de poire at 2:28 PM on January 5, 2015


Yeah Jumpman! But it's so very slow..... I'll have to try it when I'm not at my desk *cough*
posted by msbutah at 2:28 PM on January 5, 2015


Psygnosis games.

Sierra games.
posted by thecjm at 2:29 PM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Shadow of Yserbius! I somehow convinced Old Man Penguin to pay $100/month so I had unlimited Sierra OnLine hours to play that over our only phone line. Good times.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:31 PM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't recall a good chunk of these games, but looking through the archive I imagine my future children and grandchildren will look at me the same way I looked at my dad when he talked about receiving snowy black-and-white broadcasts of Star Trek, but only on the days the ionosphere was right and allowed the signal to bounce over the horizon.
posted by backseatpilot at 2:32 PM on January 5, 2015


No Stargoose.
posted by lagomorphius at 2:36 PM on January 5, 2015


No Stargoose.

https://archive.org/details/msdos_Stargoose_Warrior_1989

And let me say my favorite part of any buffet is the person who waddles up and shouts "WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE SWEET POTATO FRIES"
posted by jscott at 2:38 PM on January 5, 2015 [7 favorites]


They have my old childhood favorite: Super Solvers! Now I can learn how to count again!

I've been trying to remember what those games were called for FIFTEEN YEARS. We had Super Solvers: Outnumbered and Mathstorm in grade school and my friends and I played them obsessively. I just captured the Master of Mischief again! It's nice to know I can still do simple addition. Thank you!
posted by oulipian at 2:40 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks!
posted by lagomorphius at 2:40 PM on January 5, 2015


full version Ultimate DOOM


Shadow of Yserbius! I somehow convinced Old Man Penguin to pay $100/month so I had unlimited Sierra OnLine hours to play that over our only phone line. Good times.


I made do with the 30 hours/month basic plan. =/

Also at some point I made a post about INNRevival; you can play most of the INN games online via your DOSbox of choice, including the 'cano games.
posted by curious nu at 2:42 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, Incredible Machine 1 and 2! Sadly, no sign of Think Quick.
posted by oulipian at 2:43 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


My system takes forever to download anything, but I'm so excited to find some of the best old games - Epic, Apogee, Sierra and others. Lemmings, Brix, Commander Keen - I hope something will download and run because these were loads of fun.

Weird to remember what it felt like to have a computer of my own, with a game, even! The computer cost $2,200, top of the line; it had a hard drive that was huge - I paid extra to get the biggest they had - it was 126 KB! Kilobytes - there were no megabytes yet. The game was Mahjongg. At the time, home computers were hot items for thieves and when I bought mine, I brought it home at night - in the dark of an unlighted alley - to my back door, and we unloaded it quietly so my neighbors wouldn't know I was moving a computer into my house. The next day I had a big old box with a picture of a monitor on it and I had to keep it in case the monitor had a problem and had to go back so it had to go into the crawlspace under the house. I waited for another dark night to take it down there so no one would see the box. It wasn't the neighbors I worried about but their kids could spread the word to some of their more unsavory schoolmates and a thief would be thrilled to get their hands on such a hot item.

Ahh - now everyone has a unit that's a thousand times the capabilities of that one and they carry it around in their hands!

Still, my DOS games return - THANK YOU!
posted by aryma at 2:46 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


And to continue on my Cold War kick, there's Hidden Agenda. A gov sim where you're the leader of a fictional Latin American country called Chimerica (not related to the other more modern Chimerica).
posted by FJT at 2:48 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


It has Dung Beetles, which is a Pac-Man ripoff I used to go up to my mum's lab to play, c. 1982-1983, but dammit there's no sound. And I've been waiting 30 odd years to once again hear the weirdly synthesized 'We Gotcha!' when the termites (?) catch the dung beetle, because I think of that whenever I see a bottle of Sriracha and nobody understands how when I pronounce Sriracha as 'Sri Racha!' that I'm referencing a 35 year old video game.
Oh, here it is on YouTube, but apparently the 'we gotcha' is too slow and not chipmunky enough.
posted by Flashman at 2:50 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


They even have Azrael's Tear.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:53 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I just noticed that the MS DOS showcase link on the first page includes games not in the game library, notably Commander Keen 1, 2 & 4.
posted by fings at 2:54 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Hah, some of these will need some tweaking I think. Zaxxon seems to be running.. a little fast for me. =D I'll have to dig around and see if we have access to usual DOS-box hotkeys for adjusting CPU cycles, etc.
posted by curious nu at 2:54 PM on January 5, 2015


It's a sad statement on the current state of copyright law that my first reaction after "Wow, this is awesome!" is "Wow, I can't believe the Internet Archive hasn't already been buried by legal threats."

Are we going to see games disappear from the collection one by one as the companies that own them send lawyers into action, or is there an actual "abandonware" loophole involved?
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 2:55 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've been trying to remember what those games were called for FIFTEEN YEARS.

I'm glad I said something then! There truly is nothing more satisfying that unexpectedly finding the name of something you'd forgotten after more than a decade.
posted by branduno at 2:58 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


DARK SUN SHATTERED LANDS aka The Game That Ate 1993
posted by um at 2:58 PM on January 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Are we going to see games disappear from the collection one by one as the companies that own them send lawyers into action, or is there an actual "abandonware" loophole involved?

Some of them are still sold by e.g. Steam and GOG (DOOM is one, and Might & Magic series), so not even a loophole situation. Will definitely be interesting!
posted by curious nu at 3:00 PM on January 5, 2015


I am trying to run Bricks and apparently the emulator crashes. I can't use it in chrome or firefox on mac. On firefox I get the "unresponsive script" message, chrome just freezes up.

Any thoughts?
posted by HermitDog at 3:02 PM on January 5, 2015


One of the games on here is the PC version of RAMPART, which remains one of my absolute favorite games of all. Sound is janky though, the framerate is inconsistent which makes precise placement difficult, and the right mouse button rotates blocks but also makes the browser's right-click menu appear. Still, though, it is nice to see it again.
posted by JHarris at 3:07 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Internet Archive has long had a policy where copyright owners who ask can easily get things taken down, which dates at least as far back as the Wayback Machine.
posted by JHarris at 3:10 PM on January 5, 2015


Moving on to the less triumphal part of this comment, anyone get Master of Magic to work without a gamepad? There's no reason it should require a gamepad.

Shadow of Yserbius! I somehow convinced Old Man Penguin to pay $100/month so I had unlimited Sierra OnLine hours to play that over our only phone line. Good times.

DARK SUN SHATTERED LANDS aka The Game That Ate 1993

I feel especially close to you guys right now

Oh, and about Master of Magic: if you don't have anything important to do for the next few weeks, you can pay a few dollars to ensure that it will work perfectly.
posted by clockzero at 3:13 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Let's stay focused on Rampart, people.
posted by iamwoodyharrelson at 3:14 PM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


yellow-border-flavored nostalgia and I'm not talkin' National Geographic
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:17 PM on January 5, 2015


At least in 2003, the Internet Archive had a DMCA exemption. Further searches turn up them getting sued under the DMCA in 2005 for Wayback Machine-related reasons, but that was settled out of court.
posted by JHarris at 3:19 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Great, now I can finally finish MegaTraveller 2, which was bugged when I bought it as a kid

Strategic Simulations

Oh shit, they have the AD&D gold box series. If my spoonrocket account goes silent, I died from lack of sun and human interaction.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 3:34 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


They have the original Warlords. The mouse tracking is kind of funky but otherwise it seems to run perfectly. What a gem.
posted by ropeladder at 3:40 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


The GOG release of Wasteland 2 comes with the original Wasteland (optimized to run on today's PC's in pixellated perfection) and also The Bard's Tale, if anyone needed a push to buy the game.
Time to replay Doom and see if I can remember all the secrets.
posted by Zack_Replica at 3:44 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am of the age where this is when my conscious life began and where it will now end.
posted by WhitenoisE at 3:47 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was embarrassingly excited to grab up my lance and get back into the saddle in DragonStrike, but ancient DRM ("Please enter the 1st word from paragraph 1 from blahblahblah") just bit me in the ass.

So many curse words right now.
posted by DingoMutt at 3:49 PM on January 5, 2015


To be fair, we're probably breaking it with our might. :)
posted by corb at 4:01 PM on January 5, 2015


DingoMutt: Dragonstrike manual can be found here.
posted by el io at 4:10 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Browse by keywords/categories does not work and is a bad link.

This is nothing fancy using EM-DOSBOX to play DOS games in the web browser.

We did that at Blastar.in before Archive.org did it:
http://blastar.in/dell/poker/

http://blastar.in/dell/slots/

http://blastar.in/dell/bj/

We used public domain BASIC Games from 101 BASIC Games, and an image of IBM PC-DOS 2.0 that IBM released to the public, and the BASICA game compiled to an executable file so it ran faster. In doing so we didn't violate any license or cause any piracy.

Jason Scott should know that a lot of these DOS games have been re-licensed and for sale on Steam or other stores as retro games, and the video game makers might issue DMCA takedown requests or sue him. He is taking a big risk by archiving copyrighted materials.

I recall he did a Sabbatical on Kickstarter and sold hard drives filled with his Text Files archive. Then people who wrote those text files and donated them got upset that he was earning money off their work, and they had an agreement that he would not sell the text files for profit. I wonder if he would do another one and sell MS-DOS video games on hard drives for another Sabbatical?
posted by Orion Blastar at 4:16 PM on January 5, 2015


Thexder! The first thing I was ever better than my dad at.
posted by Gygesringtone at 4:18 PM on January 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jason Scott should know that a lot of these DOS games have been re-licensed and for sale on Steam or other stores as retro games, and the video game makers might issue DMCA takedown requests or sue him. He is taking a big risk by archiving copyrighted materials.

Like clockwork, one person shows up every Internet Archive thread to say this. I don't know if this is true or not, but considering that they applied for, and got, DMCA exemptions in the past, I presume their legal team knows what's what.
posted by JHarris at 4:23 PM on January 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


Star Control! (1). Have not tried yet.

Some of these games you can run in a stand-alone DOSBox; Scorched Earth is a free download you can run that way.

Edit: also Star Control II!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:24 PM on January 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Wasteland was the first computer RPG I played that had depth approaching a tabletop RPG.

The new one is actually genuinely spiffy, and very much worth a look.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:24 PM on January 5, 2015


I recall he did a Sabbatical on Kickstarter and sold hard drives filled with his Text Files archive. Then people who wrote those text files and donated them got upset that he was earning money off their work

I am not familiar with that case. jscott is a member here and can speak for himself, but that sounds like the contents of the hard drives were insignificant compared to the cost of the drives themselves, since all the files are available for free download anyway.
posted by JHarris at 4:28 PM on January 5, 2015


Try CTRL-F11 to slow things down, CTRL-F12 to speed up. Works in Firefox, at least.

More at http://www.dosbox.com/wiki/Basic_Setup_and_Installation_of_DosBox

Thanks curious nu for reminding me that dosbox even had hotkeys for this...
posted by Zimboe Metamonkey at 4:29 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


If you find this interface a bit much, just search for 'abandonware' for tons and tons of old school game websites like myabandonware.com
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:35 PM on January 5, 2015


I'ma let you finish but this is the best Super Solvers game OF ALL TIME
posted by en forme de poire at 4:36 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh Jesus. Tongue of the Fatman is in there. Best splash screen ever, a large man massaging his moobs.
posted by benzenedream at 4:46 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I recall he did a Sabbatical on Kickstarter and sold hard drives filled with his Text Files archive.

This kickstarter, I assume is what you are talking about.

He comments on the hard drive 'sale' here. Look, if you are going to make insinuations about accusations of unethical conduct, why don't you link to the material you are referencing? There is no shortage of documented drama on the internet... A brief google found it difficult to find actual documentation on a controversy that you allude to.

In doing so we didn't violate any license or cause any piracy.

This project isn't Jason Scott, this is a project of a non-profit organization that has lawyers to vet its work. They have a contact page for DCMA take-down requests. Look, archive.org really isn't a controversial thing. I say this as someone who authored copyrighted material from the text archive that you speak of.
posted by el io at 4:49 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh Jesus. Tongue of the Fatman is in there. Best splash screen ever, a large man massaging his moobs.
Huh, I just realized I had the pleasure of working for both creators of Tongue of the Fatman. Interesting gentlemen.
posted by ArmandoAkimbo at 4:53 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


OH MY GOD IT HAS FIRE & ICE.

That game was like, the super ghouls & ghosts of the after school camp thing i went to in elementary. The baddest dudes(and dudettes) couldn't even make it past level 3.

I remember, at the time, when the internet was just barely getting started and there were terrible simple java games and stuff going "some day, ALL these games are just going to be on some site for free, you'll just click them and play".

It made perfect sense to me as a 7 year old, but all the adults thought that was stupid because "why would they just give this stuff away?".

What this can't emulate however, is the IBM PS/2 i played it on :( i miss all those noises.
posted by emptythought at 4:59 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, i hope that some day they do one like this for crappy(and occasionally brilliant) windows 95/98 era freeware and shareware games that are basically abandonware now. That's the era i really remember well.
posted by emptythought at 5:00 PM on January 5, 2015




It was a post that was not addressed:

Dear Jason,
Can you speak to the authors' rights and copyrights you will be violating on the hard drives that you're sending out to your patrons? Does this seem like an even remotely ethical situation for you to be in-- after establishing your reputation on the honorable collection of other people's work, you're now selling copies of this work in exchange for your independent solvency? How does this in any way honor the implicit social contract of textfiles.com with the various authors it has hosted for well over ten years?
I am sending you email to formally request that we discuss this issue and asking you, as a man of honor who has done the BBS world an enormous good, to hold off before you distribute unauthorized copies of my work and the work of thousands of others.
many thanks,
Jarett

I think it is a valid point, and I never heard the reply to it.

I can understand authors donating their text files to his archive. With a social contract that it not be sold in any way shape or form.

Yet these DOS games are not being donated by the publishers, and they pile up, they can be played at Archive.org via EM-DOSBOX, and some are for sale on Steam, Gog.com, etc as retro games. You say it is a non-profit with lawyers, a DMCA request page, but you don't address the ethical issues of hosting copyrighted material that is still for sale on various Internet video game stores. Should we make the argument that BitTorrent sites host them for free, and there are countless abandonware sites they can be downloaded from, and that the ends justify the means in any anything goes environment of archiving DOS video games?

I used to work for lawyers, I know how some of this works.
posted by Orion Blastar at 5:08 PM on January 5, 2015


Winter Games!

It probably says a lot about my childhood how fondly I remember the CGA graphics editions of Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, and Classic Concentration.
posted by Gary at 5:14 PM on January 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Oh wow, I was literally going to do an ask mefi this week to find out if anyone remembered this game.
posted by xiw at 5:19 PM on January 5, 2015


I think it is a valid point, and I never heard the reply to it.

That comment was made on November 10th, and jscott's response immediately above it was made on the 11th.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:22 PM on January 5, 2015


Mario Teaches Typing did not recognize my semicolon. Damn you, ;, always standing in the way!
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:26 PM on January 5, 2015


His response doesn't make any sense.

There is a big difference between getting a hard drive of text files on it and downloading them from a torrent site. One you have to pay for $750USD and the other is free.

Is the shipping and handling of a hard drive cost that much?

Will these DOS Video games be offered on hard drives for $750 on another Kickstarter later on?
posted by Orion Blastar at 5:28 PM on January 5, 2015


Sadly, Castles 2: Siege and Conquest is
a) sitting on a shelf about 10 feet behind me in its original box on a pair of 5.25" floppies which I have no way to read, AND
b) not in this archive

So close. So very, very close.
posted by Ryvar at 5:30 PM on January 5, 2015


It probably says a lot about my childhood how fondly I remember the CGA graphics editions of Family Feud, Wheel of Fortune, and Classic Concentration.

Aaaah! I had completely forgotten about those game show games! So many hours inexplicably spent on those, along with Card Sharks. I'm so glad this thread exists - the archive itself is great, but having all these memory joggers from other folks makes it even better.

(and el io, thank you! Here I was afraid I was going to have to be productive at work this week ...)
posted by DingoMutt at 5:35 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ryvar, search the title on google with "abandonware" and it will come up.

Or if you want to be legit get a USB floppy drive for $20. Personally I wish i didn't throw all those games out years ago. I miss the satisfying click of the drive guard and the sound of the spin up.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:37 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or if you want to be legit get a USB floppy drive for $20.

WAIT GUYS, do these actually exist for 5.25" drives? I remember checking and could only find some unholy solution costing >$100 and requiring you to wire stuff together in a free 3.5" internal drive bay (!).
posted by en forme de poire at 5:40 PM on January 5, 2015


Or if you want to be legit get a USB floppy drive from Fry for $8.

There are USB 5.25" floppy drives? Link please?
posted by Shmuel510 at 5:40 PM on January 5, 2015


I think it is a valid point, and I never heard the reply to it.

Orion, you can say that the question wasn't answered to your satisfaction, but it's extremely disingenuous to suggest that the post you linked wasn't addressed. Seriously disingenuous.

The *next* post in that kickstarter thread was from Jason Scott, directly replying to the comment:
People who are contributing to the $750+ level of the fundraiser are being sent hard drives with TEXTFILES.COM on them as a courtesy to save them time of downloading the equally available files through an internet connection. They are not being sold hard drives of textfiles.com, nor are the people who are being sent DVD-ROMs or the people downloading ISOs being sold either of those items.
Folks who want TEXTFILES.COM material are able to acquire it in a large variant spectrum of media, including a torrent: http://thepiratebay.org/torrent/4315677/Textfiles.com_Archive_July_2008
Your work with HOE, PuD and whatever else your work under the handle of "AIDS" appears available in this and many other locations online. Being unhappy that it's on a mailed magnetized disk versus a TCP/IP packet seems unusual, to say the least.

I used to work for lawyers, I know how some of this works.

Well, that's pretty close to being an IP lawyer, I guess.
posted by el io at 5:42 PM on January 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


DARK SUN SHATTERED LANDS aka The Game That Ate 1993

Thank goodness they don't have Menzoberranzan or that Ravenloft game. I'm not sure whether I'd rather have them turn out to be good in retrospect and steal away more months of my life or for my youth to have been (further) wasted playing (more) bad games poorly.
posted by Copronymus at 5:50 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


My bad, seems only 3.5" are available. You can have the data transferred to a USB key or buy this strange USB -> Floppy Controller hack
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:51 PM on January 5, 2015


Yeah that Deviceside thing is what I was thinking of. My parents have some old 5.25" disks lingering in the basement that I'd love to be able to salvage for them as a present, but it sounds like it's the kind of thing where I'd really have to go install it in person and my next trip East won't be for a few months. I guess they could mail me the 5.25" disks but that makes me a little nervous because after all, it's old, fragile, barely-magnetized tape...
posted by en forme de poire at 5:57 PM on January 5, 2015


Be aware that your old collection of floppy disks may be degraded and not work at all. Data storage lifespan link. Which is really the motivation of this project - to preserve data that might otherwise be lost.
posted by el io at 5:59 PM on January 5, 2015


Fine I'll say it wasn't answered to my satisfaction. Apparently I didn't make it clear in my post, apologies for that.

Based on what I know about the law, charging $750 and up for a hard drive full of text files and downloading the same text files for free are two different things.

Can one justify the $750 for the hard drive? It seems quite excessive. I can buy a 1TByte SATA drive for $49 from Microcenter and New Egg and Amazon and other places. Does it cost $701 to format the hard drive and copy the text files to it and then postal mail it to the person who paid for it?

Saying that buying the hard drive for $750 and up and downloading a torrent of the text files is the same thing, does not make any sense to me. It just seems like, in my opinion, that it is a BS excuse to justify charging $750 for the hard drive.

I am asking questions so I know what is going on here. I am still confused over the ethics of having a large collection of DOS video games playable in the web browser, when many of those games are still for sale on Steam, Gog.com, etc and nobody has ever answered that question.

I only ask these questions because nobody else has the guts to ask them. I am not an IP lawyer, I used to work for lawyers who did IP work. While I don't like the DMCA it is a law on the books that has to be obeyed.

Personally I like the idea of a DOS Video game collection, collection of ROMs, etc, I just question the ethics and legality of it. If Archive.org had the legal rights to distribute said games from the publishers it would be a total different story and I would not have to ask any questions at all.

Sorry for playing Colombo/Sherlock whatever, this is how I learn.
posted by Orion Blastar at 6:00 PM on January 5, 2015


So close. So very, very close.

Sounds like the work of Anti-Pope Christopher, if you ask me.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:04 PM on January 5, 2015


Huffy Puffy: Edit: also Star Control II!

If you're a SC2 fan, in addition to trying the DOS version, I would recommend giving Ur-Quan Masters a try, in particular the HD mod. I love blocky pixelated graphics as much as the next guy, but it's also kind of neat to have the old-school gameplay updated with more detailed graphics.
posted by tonycpsu at 6:06 PM on January 5, 2015 [4 favorites]


Saying that buying the hard drive for $750 and up and downloading a torrent of the text files is the same thing, does not make any sense to me.

The thing is, that kickstarter wasn't a kickstarter for textfiles.com. If you go many many kickstarters and look at the highest level pledge it doesn't make financial sense as a 'product'. Particularly ones that are based on creative output. The top-level pledges on kickstarter are a way to support the goal of the kickstarter, and the rewards are not products you are buying, but are rewards for supporting the kickstarter.

I just went to kickstarter and picked an open kickstarter at random and looked at the highest level pledge (I won't link to the kickstarter because of metafilter policies about linking to active kickstarters), here is the description: "You receive one of our limited edition Pants of Fire buttons (literally a button you can press when someones fibbing). Plus the chance to pick a fact-check, the coffee mug, the shout out and the email." So, you get a little button with a light on it, perhaps a 10$ value, plus a coffee mug, call that a 20$ value (10$ for product, another 10$ shipping) and no other physical goods. That pledge level was 500$. Was it worth it? Well, that depends, if you are supporting the kickstarter for its own sake, then yes. As a product 'valued' at 500$ it's pretty absurd. And that's pretty much how most/many kickstarters work - the highest level of pledging is to support the project (in this case a Sabbatical).

To put it another way, why the heck would anyone pay 200$ for a 5$ bookbag? But no one accuses PBS of ripping people off (well, I guess there are some ideologically opposed to PBS, but they don't critique their pledge packages, instead miserly government support of the network).

I am still confused over the ethics of having a large collection of DOS video games playable in the web browser, when many of those games are still for sale on Steam, Gog.com, etc and nobody has ever answered that question. I only ask these questions because nobody else has the guts to ask them. I am not an IP lawyer, I used to work for lawyers who did IP work. While I don't like the DMCA it is a law on the books that has to be obeyed.

I think there are plenty of folks with guts on metafilter; they just don't share your concerns/opinions. Archive.org has a DMCA contact here: http://archive.org/about/terms.php.

Now another question you could ask is why don't the software makers that have steam versions of this software file DMCA complaints with archive.org? Well, I would imagine that's because archive.org isn't competing with them. They aren't offering their original IP along with a DOS emulator - they took their IP (graphics, sounds, game concepts, trademarks, etc) and reworked them into games that can be reasonably played on modern systems without hiccups. I assume that these folks don't think that archive.org is really cutting into existing sales. Actual pirates won't be using archive.org, they'll be simply torrenting modern ports of old games.

Without these efforts, the history of early computing would literally degrade away. We've already lost the beginning of film history due to IP owners not archiving their original material - it wasn't worth the cost of archiving for them, and there weren't profits to be made (that they saw). So much of early film is lost forever. Magnetic media degrades faster than film does (and losing a few bytes here and there is worse than having some spots on an old film). While there are some companies (a tiny minority, I would imagine) who have updated their intellectual property to run on modern systems (and sell it), most of the companies that were creating software in the 80's and even early 90's are no where to be found, with much of the original software essentially being orphaned. Without archive.org (or something like it) early software from beginning of the software industry would be lost forever (much as humanities early film is lost forever).

You can make arguments about the ethics or preserving this data if you wish, but I think there are stronger arguments to be made that it would be unethical NOT to preserve this.

And if any given party has a problem with this, there is a simple email address archive.org gives out and they'll yank anything at any time.
posted by el io at 6:30 PM on January 5, 2015 [13 favorites]


Am I missing something? It seems like any other kickstarter benefit. As in, you're mostly paying to support the project, not for $TRINKET unless the project is specifically "we're creating this neat doodad!".

The hard drive is basically a loss leader or macguffin. You're giving him/them that money for the hosting and hassle.

Is the issue that the guy is just pocketing it? I don't get it. Serving up a several hundred gig archive is not free, barring the torrent. Nor is whatever curating and such he may have done, site/server maintenance, etc. especially if he's been at it for 10 years.

Why the hate? Did I miss some important detail? This just reminds me a lot about stories of someone meticulously documenting an obscure music scene, then everyone getting mad and holding their hand out or just crapping on that person when they try and turn that work in to a buck.
posted by emptythought at 6:46 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


There is no hate here, I just happen to have questions and wondering if this sort of stuff is legal.

It seems as if they are going by the library defense, in which case they'd have to follow federal law about libraries and purchase each copy they lend out to members. Then limit the number of copies to those that were purchased and wait for members to return the original item.

You still haven't addressed the legal statues for the DMCA and IP laws in general. Just gave me a web page to send an email to take down a file. Just made up in my opinion, a BS excuse to go about copying every DOS video game on the planet because the original publisher didn't want to save it. Well most of the original publishers did save them and sell them on the Internet. Having a free version cuts into their sales.

The Pirate Bay made the same arguments and had a page for DMCA takedowns, they still got raided, they still got arrested, they even used the library defense.

This Kickstarter thing makes about as much sense as the government paying $500 for toilet seats and $1000 for hammers, you know they are doing something with the money and the items don't cost that much. I tried Kickstarter myself and I never got one penny. I guess it only works for popular people?
posted by Orion Blastar at 7:07 PM on January 5, 2015


Thanks Jason Scott! Now I can relive the frustration of being a nine year old trying to play Prince of Persia without dying every single time I try and jump across anything!
posted by oceanjesse at 7:12 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Re: Castles 2: the GOG version is the CD-ROM version which is blah. Cherish your disk version!
posted by curious nu at 7:21 PM on January 5, 2015


Well most of the original publishers did save them and sell them on the Internet.

Anything to back that assertion? Seriously, do you have anything to suggest that most of the publishers from the 80's still exist as companies?

Having a free version cuts into their sales.

Do you have anything to back up that assertion? Seriously, you are making a bunch of assertions here; do you think the companies would allow archive.org to have original versions of their games if they thought it would lose them money?

Archive.org is based in the US (unlike pirate bay), it is well within the reach of US authorities. Furthermore, archive.org is a non-profit registered with the IRS.

I tried Kickstarter myself and I never got one penny. I guess it only works for popular people?

And why would Jason Scott be popular? Because of creative commons documentaries he's made? Because of his non-ad supported textfiles.com? Because of the numerous engaging and amusing speeches he gives? Because of his tireless work at preserving internet and computing history? Honestly, he should be a lot more popular than he is (certainly he should be more popular than Paris Hilton and Kim Kardiashian). Hell, his fashion sense alone should make him more popular than those folks.

Yes, people that are well known and have a history of producing creative output successfully tend to get better funding on kickstarter. If you don't have a reputation, you are less likely to have strangers hand you money. This isn't a bug, it's a feature.

(okay, I think I'm done with this defending of Jason Scott, the goalposts seem to be moving).
posted by el io at 7:50 PM on January 5, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yup, ei io, a series of vaguely related questions, some indirect authority, a moving of goalposts that are trying to continue to make Orion Blastar's point... I'm not an expert on aquatic mammals but I do play one on television. (An expert, that is. Flipper has the other market covered.)
posted by nfalkner at 7:55 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Re: Castles 2: the GOG version is the CD-ROM version which is blah. Cherish your disk version!

Alone in the Dark is the same way- the FM synth soundtrack from the floppy version is way better than the faux-orchestral CD soundtrack that the GOG version uses.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:57 PM on January 5, 2015


Be aware that your old collection of floppy disks may be degraded and not work at all.

Yeah, I'm hoping at least a few of them beat the Kaplan-Meier curve for electronics -- still, other people have had pretty good luck reading 20-30yo floppy disks that were stored in okay conditions. Just wish I could rig something together for under a hundred... (Of course, I'd need to track down a copy of the somewhat-obscure word processor Norton Textra to read most of it anyway.)
posted by en forme de poire at 8:03 PM on January 5, 2015


Thexder! The first thing I was ever better than my dad at.
posted by Gygesringtone


Aaaaaa Thexder! Thank you so much, that name had been eluding me for decades now, I kept conflating it with Sylpheed and then looking that up and getting disappointed. Oh man I was horrible at this game as a kid but I still loved playing it.
posted by drinkyclown at 8:11 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was horrible at this game as a kid

No you weren't, that game was for masochists. The levels were huge with no save or checkpoints, when you died you had to start off from the beginning. And trying to transform with a crappy PC joystick was sometimes pure luck.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 8:33 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I won't link to the kickstarter because of metafilter policies about linking to active kickstarters

That's only for FPPs, I think.

AFAIK linking active kickstarters inside a thread has never been an issue unless you're being a dick about it by advertising your own project or whatever.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:41 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


There seema to be a rather large Golden Axe to grind.
posted by benzenedream at 8:44 PM on January 5, 2015 [5 favorites]


Jason Scott is the Kim Kardashian of Internet archival. Ok, that's not true. But maybe it is. Think about it. Maybe it is.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:52 PM on January 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


Populous is delightfully playable and I still delightfully suck at it.
posted by rouftop at 9:32 PM on January 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


My dad bought me Populous the week my grandmother died and playing it always took me back to a depressing place. I should try it again.
posted by Brodiggitty at 9:43 PM on January 5, 2015


My dad bought me Populous the week my grandmother died and playing it always took me back to a depressing place. I should try it again.

I feel like B doesn't necessarily follow from A here
posted by en forme de poire at 9:56 PM on January 5, 2015


one of the recent uploads is Tongue of the Fatman

*investigates*
What in the whatting shit
posted by en forme de poire at 10:05 PM on January 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm getting really bad sound glitches with every game (example) which is ruining what could be an amazing night. :(

Any suggestions?
posted by dagosto at 10:14 PM on January 5, 2015


dagosto, you could try changing the number of cycles up or down as Zimboe mentioned, and/or adding some frameskip (see here) - that's what I do on a regular computer when I'm getting sound glitches from DOSBox, so maybe it'll help here?
posted by en forme de poire at 10:53 PM on January 5, 2015


Fuck yeah, Sim Ant!
posted by kaibutsu at 11:16 PM on January 5, 2015 [6 favorites]


Thanks for the tips! Speed and frameskip don't seem to help much but I can delve into the wiki a bit perhaps.
posted by dagosto at 11:19 PM on January 5, 2015


Because the Internet Archive is a total dumpster fire when it comes to usability, here is a plain text listing of all titles with descriptions, in one page, in alphabetical order.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:16 AM on January 6, 2015 [15 favorites]


Goodbye, everybody; I think my personal singularity just pulled up

I'm now sifting through archive.org's collection of old BYTE magazines from 77 - 80 thinking about whether we can put together a 5-1/4" floppy controller....
posted by mikelieman at 1:19 AM on January 6, 2015


A couple of games I loaded took an early opportunity to stop moving, and when I booted up Wizardry I, I stopped it quickly, knowing that no good could come of continuing.

But I got to play Alley Cat again, so the whole thing is aces, as far as I'm concerned. No oops, game, I jumped out the window on purpose! I was never good at the fishbowl level.
posted by gadge emeritus at 6:28 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh hell yeah I played the SHIT out of Amulet of Yendor (text-based dungeon crawler) as a kid!
posted by misskaz at 8:26 AM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyone interested in salvaging 5.25" (or 3.5") floppies formatted with IBM compatibles, or basically any computer with a floppy drive ever, would do well to look at KryoFlux. Not cheap and definitely nerdy specialist hardware, but I own one as part of some preservation efforts I've taken part in, and I must say it's fantastic. Or just build a retro DOS rig with parts from eBay, if you have excess space in your house.

But on topic: this is unbelievably cool. It's a shame that the DOSBox project itself seems to be stalled; here's hoping this project will eventually see improvements that upstream (possibly) never gets around to implementing.
posted by jklaiho at 8:51 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


SimEarth!
posted by Chrysostom at 10:42 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


AND SimFarm! That game came to mind immediately when I saw this question a few weeks back but I didn't think it was available for play anywhere - not sure if the OP of that question is still reading it or not, but I just posted to it just in case.

How fondly I remember my strawberry patches ...
posted by DingoMutt at 10:54 AM on January 6, 2015


Oh my god, SimEarth! That was one of the first games I bought for my first-ever computer back in sweet Jesus 1992. I remember that I used to like dropping asteroids on India--not because I have any particular grudge against India, but because I found the resulting shape of the Indian Ocean aesthetically pleasing.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:02 AM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, you want to download the game and not just play it in the browser, right ? (eg to load that save game)

The FAQ answers that (but not where you expect it).

eg the play in browser URL for LotA is:
https://archive.org/stream/msdos_Legacy_of_the_Ancients_1989/Legacy_of_the_Ancients_1989.zip?module=dosbox&scale=2

But to download it, you want:
https://archive.org/download/msdos_Legacy_of_the_Ancients_1989/Legacy_of_the_Ancients_1989.zip

and voila, firefox asks me where to save the ZIP file.

short answer: replace "stream" with "download" in the URL, and remove the trailing arguments.
posted by k5.user at 11:20 AM on January 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh hell yeah I played the SHIT out of Amulet of Yendor (text-based dungeon crawler) as a kid!

AHHH HOLY CRAP ME TOO AND I'VE BEEN TRYING TO REMEMBER WHAT THIS GAME WAS CALLED FOR YEARS
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:22 AM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]




Damn! You must have a 386 or more advanced processor to play.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:56 PM on January 6, 2015


Oh man, is anyone else playing Amnesia? It's a surprisingly complex text adventure with "detective", "character", and "survival" skill points, and an entirely no-shit complete map of Manhattan in game.
posted by corb at 4:45 PM on January 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


God I'm such a sucker for that kind of thing corb. Did you ever play Manhunter: New York?
posted by en forme de poire at 5:11 PM on January 6, 2015


Did you ever play Manhunter: New York?

I'll, uh...see you in a week. ;)
posted by corb at 5:14 PM on January 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


I read the description of Amnesia, and really wanted to hear how the game actually played, since it sounded surprisingly complex, but in a way that could either be totally engaging or absurdly finicky. Or of course anywhere in between.
posted by gadge emeritus at 12:25 AM on January 7, 2015


Thanks for the big list, Rhomboid. I'm delighted by the incredibly uninspired descriptions of the games, i.e. "This is a side scrolling action game in which you must collect power ups and avoid obstacles. There are four levels." Sign me up!
posted by HeroZero at 7:45 AM on January 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


"The most boring game..."
posted by Wordshore at 8:42 AM on January 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


In Search of the Most Amazing Thing!

I have been waiting 25 years to beat this fucker now that I am old enough to understand it. YOU ARE GOING DOWN, AMAZING THING.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:21 AM on January 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not to spoil anything, but a friend of mine remembers being bitterly disappointed by the titular "most amazing thing," Eyebrows McGee.
posted by JHarris at 11:21 AM on January 7, 2015


is it some bullshit like "friendship"
posted by en forme de poire at 12:41 PM on January 7, 2015


Like JHarris, I don't want to say too much, but it is shaped like a pear.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:10 PM on January 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


omg you guys Winter Games. Still excellent at the biathlon and pretty sucky at ice skating. I didn't even have to look up the keystrokes to play about as well as my 10 year-old self; my fingers apparently still live in my dad's office on a winter Saturday in 1989.
posted by charmedimsure at 4:30 PM on January 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


This FPP from 2013 may be of interest as well.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:57 PM on January 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cool.
posted by homunculus at 7:35 PM on January 7, 2015


I would have thought that puzzle isometric D-Generation would have way more views. I guess it's more an Amiga game, you wouldn't understand...
posted by anthill at 11:25 PM on January 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aah D-Generation is great! I actually just looked it up last year after a couple decades of vague memories of the game (my next door neighbor had it) - holds up surprisingly well.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:24 PM on January 9, 2015


We just upgraded the emulator - sound, keyboard mapping, and speed should be improved.
posted by jscott at 8:30 AM on January 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


I just discovered this thread, and my first thought was "fine, but these things never have Seven Cities Of Gold". Then I came across the comment above that said oh yes they do. Woohoo! Commodore 64!

And now I get no response from archive.org .

WHY MUST YOU TEASE ME SO
posted by intermod at 4:52 PM on January 11, 2015 [1 favorite]




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