Classic Games in Java
November 11, 2005 8:15 AM   Subscribe features a boatload (approximately) of classic games, playable in Java. Lemmings! Duke Nukem! Toejam and Earl! Trampoline Terror! (What?)
posted by Gator (30 comments total)
Also, previously.
posted by Gator at 8:16 AM on November 11, 2005

Well shit, there goes the rest of my day. Possibly the rest of my life.
posted by mikrophon at 8:20 AM on November 11, 2005

Fortunately for my employer, these don't seem to work on my office system. Site looks great, though. Nice link.
posted by brain_drain at 8:38 AM on November 11, 2005

Everything relies on Java 1.5. Useless to anybody still running Panther on their Powerbook :(.
posted by onalark at 8:39 AM on November 11, 2005

onlark: You can get Java "5" for apple here
posted by delmoi at 8:52 AM on November 11, 2005

I stayed away from developing java 1.5 betas because JDK 1.4 beta 1 had diffrent RegEx syntax, and a program I wrote relied on jdk1.4b1 regex code, so I was stuck with it forever... But I guess it's out of beta now, so I should try it.
posted by delmoi at 8:54 AM on November 11, 2005

I've been waiting all my life for a Java version of 3 Ninjas Kick Back!
posted by kosem at 8:57 AM on November 11, 2005

Toejam & Earl! Best. Repeat. Ever.
posted by geeky at 9:11 AM on November 11, 2005

they actually properly emulate the Genesis SFX.

why can't the stand-alone emulators do that?!!?
posted by swinginjohn at 9:18 AM on November 11, 2005

This is, perhaps, the greatest and worst day of my life. Greatest for all the memories the games bring back. Worst for all the memories of who I was when I played these games.
posted by david wester at 9:32 AM on November 11, 2005

Just out of curiosity, does anyone actually remember any of the more obscure, head-scratchin' titles? Such as Awesome Possum, Boogerman: A Pick and Flick Adventure, Greendog the Beached Surfer Dude, Rent A Hero, or Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel? I'm kinda scared to click on 'em, myself.
posted by Gator at 9:42 AM on November 11, 2005

ALTERED BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Time for a beer and time to plant my ass down to play this
posted by evilelvis at 9:46 AM on November 11, 2005

Matthew Sweet wrote an album about it...
posted by bardic at 10:52 AM on November 11, 2005

Forgetting for a moment that this is essentially a warez site....

The best games here:

ToeJam & Earl: SEVERELY underrated game, one of the best ever made. Takes surprisingly many of its concepts from roguelike games -- I email the creators once and got back a nice reply saying they had played lots of Rogue in college. It's a real shame the recent Xbox sequel got no love (perhaps because of its urban stylings, the original game was actually more silly than funky).

General Chaos: From the people who made arcade classics like Arch Rivals, Pigskin 921 AD, as well as Rampage. Considering that those sports games had surprisingly many ideas in common with fighting games, it was really only a matter of time before someone decided to make a combat game in that same goofy sports style! And it works, indeed this is one of their better games, although it's got a difficult-to-learn control scheme. Its makers, Game Refuge, it turns out they're still in business, although mostly they make redemption arcade games these days. Most recent release: the arcade Star Trek Voyager machine. No respect, no respect I tell ya.

Gemfire: Sorta-cool fantasy take on Koei's line of historical simulations. A bit simplified compared to the likes of Nobunaga's Ambition, but that's a good thing believe me.

Golden Axe: Not as cool as the arcade version, but still not bad. The Genesis version doesn't have nearly as much polish.

Gunstar Heroes: YEAH baby! Perhaps the greatest side-scrolling shooter. Developed by Treasure, whose recent GBA sequel follows admirably along the same lines.

Disney's Aladdin: I've never played it, but word is that this Genesis game is cool beyond licenced game expectations.

Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse: Much was made of this game's animation and art style when it was released, and it does have a delightful whimsicality to it that you'd expect would be in more Disney games. (Grumble grumble Kingdom Hearts grumble.)

Herzog Zwei: You are simply not a knowledgable RTS player if you've never played this genre prototype. And yet, it also works as a straight action game. Very, very cool.

Flicky: A surprisingly addictive arcade port. Not the most graphically impressive game for the Genesis perhaps, but it scratches a certain itch.

Landstalker: Climax (the Japanese one, the makers of the original Shining Force as distinct from Camelot) developed this surprisingly charismatic game that plays a bit like an isometric action RPG. Like many isometric games, jumping puzzles are a big part of it, and there are some real challenging ones here.

Shining Force and Shining Force II: Sort of like low-stress versions of Fire Emblem. Turn-based fantasy strategy combat.

Sonic II: Arguably the highlight of the series, with a surprisingly well-done two-player mode.

Starflight: Possibly the best version of the computer classic is the one for Genesis.
posted by JHarris at 11:07 AM on November 11, 2005

Madden has come a long ways.
posted by geoff. at 11:24 AM on November 11, 2005

Is anyone else concerned that mikrophon is not planning to survive today?

posted by Eideteker at 12:25 PM on November 11, 2005

"onlark: You can get Java "5" for apple here"

that still says it is for 10.4 not 10.3.9 ?
posted by cusack at 12:26 PM on November 11, 2005

Toejam and Earl! Jammin!
posted by TheStorm at 12:27 PM on November 11, 2005

Oh man, I just spent two hours here, and I plan to spend at least two more (until my shift in the computer labs is over). Thank you for this.
posted by jenovus at 12:43 PM on November 11, 2005

Holy crap that website is awesome. And so, so illegal.
posted by graventy at 12:56 PM on November 11, 2005

gator, i remember Greendog all too well. is anyone else having issues with these games? they are running extreeemely slow for me.
posted by gnutron at 1:13 PM on November 11, 2005

And so, so illegal.

Heh. Well, they do have an impressive-looking disclaimer referencing the DMCA and "obsolete formats," but yeah, it might be interesting to see if the site is still online a year from now.

i remember Greendog all too well.

Wow. Was it fun? "Greendog the Beached Surfer Dude" sounds like someone thought a video game version of Cast Away would be good idea.

I'm venturing into some of the other bizarre titles, and I have fallen in love with the intro to BattleToads:



I'm not having any speed issues, although a few of the games refuse to load for me.
posted by Gator at 1:24 PM on November 11, 2005

Crue Ball! Huzzah!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 1:33 PM on November 11, 2005

Gator: don't forget DecapAttack, starring Chuck D. Head.
posted by jenovus at 1:48 PM on November 11, 2005

Oh wow, they actually have it! Holy hell that is awesome.
posted by jenovus at 1:49 PM on November 11, 2005

Boy....I feel old when as we start referring to "Duke Nukem" as a 'classic' game.
posted by Todd Lokken at 1:59 PM on November 11, 2005

Why won't it work for panther! I want to play altered beast until 5!
posted by cusack at 2:44 PM on November 11, 2005

Somebody set up us the bomb.
posted by teleskiving at 2:55 PM on November 11, 2005

Gator, haven't heard of most of the obscure games you ask about but I definitely know about Rent a Hero -- there is a sequel called Rent a Hero No. 1 that I really wanted to play. It's a bizarre story actually -- the English version of RAH No. 1 is totally done and was even advertised, but it may never be released.
posted by ProfStevie at 5:21 PM on November 11, 2005

OH MY VARIOUS GODS. If their emulator included joystick support [is that an issue with java?] I would stop doing everything for about a month. And if somehow this was available when i was 12, i would lack all pigment in my skin, and would have the social skills of a hermit crab.

About the Legality of it - this site doesn't seem like it does anything different than having the world over to your house to play some games. It doesn't allow downloads to any of the roms, so maybe it will last [i hope!].

Unique Sweetness:
DJ Boy -- Rollerstaking Beat-em-up
Last Battle -- Strategy-Fighting in the desert!
Resq -- Mining Puzzle/shooter
Ecco: The Tides of Time -- Dolphin Platformer/Puzzler
Gunstar Heroes -- Unparalleled in the shooter genre years after it was made.
posted by phylum sinter at 2:51 AM on November 12, 2005

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