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Benny's awesome 90s PC game corner. Sometimes obscure.


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33 minutes ago, PikaStu said:

I’m sure I read Nightdive Studios were working on a remaster of Bladerunner?!

 

I never played the original, although it’s definitely on my bucket list. A remaster would be welcome!

 

well, yes, but... the cg they have been AI "enhancing" looks awful, and running it at a high frame rate, just does not work. Hopefully they wont actually release it like this!

 

 

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4 minutes ago, 5R7 said:

 

well, yes, but... the cg they have been AI "enhancing" looks awful, and running it at a high frame rate, just does not work. Hopefully they wont actually release it like this!

 

 

Oh no. They wouldn’t, surely?! Their past projects have always remained faithful to the originals. 
I wonder if I can get the original game working in ScummVM on my eMac, just to see those classic graphics on a CRT 😍

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1 minute ago, PikaStu said:

Oh no. They wouldn’t, surely?! Their past projects have always remained faithful to the originals. 
I wonder if I can get the original game working in ScummVM on my eMac, just to see those classic graphics on a CRT 😍

the game is on gog right now, with a discount!

 

https://www.gog.com/en/game/blade_runner

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Yeah GoG is where I played it from last night. No setup required, as it's automatically packed with ScummVM and just works. Change to "user choice" in the dialogue options though.

 

As for the high framerate CG above - what a truly terrible version. Art "restoration" by people who don't understand framerate in cinema is a delicate thing.

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There are so many 90s/early 2000s games that I do fondly remember and think I would like to play but, especially in the case of RPGs, the QoL stuff puts me off.

 

Anybody know how the Krondor games hold up these days, for example?

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2 hours ago, Benny said:

Finished it early this morning. I didn't know about the randomly selected Replicants thing, that's really clever. Probably added to the experience that I didn't know!

 

By dated I was referring to the CG rendering being a bit jarring now, but it's serviceable enough once you're used to it. My ending was

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Jetting off to space with my Replicant brothers, having wasted the police chief who framed me and the other cop who wouldn't let me go :lol:

 

 

You should try giving it a replay, some characters respond differently (or may not even turn up) depending not only if they're a replicant but also depending if they even know they are a replicant and if they think you are. It's one of those games that people only realise how good it was when they compare notes. They've lost everything though, source code, key art, everything. The only reason we have this version is some people spent almost a decade getting it to work on modern systems and working out how to clear the rights.

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I'll probably play through again at some point. Only issue is the run speed when going between locations can get a bit laborious (you have to keep clicking to speed up).

Tonight I'm going for some modded and updated Freespace 2 action.

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4 hours ago, 5R7 said:

the game is on gog right now, with a discount!

 

https://www.gog.com/en/game/blade_runner

Aye the issue is my eMac is it’s a Power PC running OSX 10.5. The very last version of ScummVM released for PPC introduced support for Bladerunner, but my system is only 750mhz, so might not play well.

The screen is stunning though so I really do need to give it a try 😍

 

I managed to get the talkie classic versions of Monkey Island 1 & 2 working, so I can always just play through them again 😂

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3 hours ago, PeteJ said:

Some cool stuff in that link, though much of it is obvious. 

 

 


Ultima Underworld and Ultima VII need remasters! Incredible games but so very clunky these days.  
 

Seeing Magic Carpet reminded me… does anyone remember in Neighbours - Jim Robinson bought a PC and Todd (I think) and his pals were addicted to Magic Carpet?

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Something else I really liked about the Blade Runner game: it's not set before, or after the events of the film specifically, but rather intertwined with them, which makes it extremely involving in terms of the references to events and for when you cross paths with certain characters. They didn't take the easy route with it and it's better for it.

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Because of this thread leading me to a trawl through gog, I decided to buy Might & Magic VII (I owned this years ago and even had the Prima guide) and spent an enjoyable couple of hours on it this afternoon. It's a bit clunky of course, but doesn't miss QoL features that, say, a dungeon crawler would.

 

Anyone else play it back in the day?

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Speaking of clunky, I tried Syndicate Wars yesterday. Not aged at all well unfortunately, with buildings obscuring stuff all the time and rotating the camera being unwieldy.

 

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I only played PC games between about 1993 and 1995, on my Dad’s 386. It struggled to run a lot of the big games of the day, but I soldiered on with Doom in a tiny window and Ultima Underworld 2 at a ludicrously low frame rate. Fun times.

 

However I used to get just as much joy from more obscure titles, especially RPGs. 
 

A couple I remember very fondly despite never finishing them:

 

Ishar 2: Messengers of Doom

 


And the fabulously creepy The Legacy:

 

 

A fiver on GOG. Sorely tempted…

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Ah, The Legacy, such an odd last hurrah for Magnetic Fields, better known as masters of interactive fiction! 

 

And I have very fond memories of exploring Legends of Valour's city on the Atari AT — it felt so bustling and alive compared to the (wonderful, but) lonely expanses of "true" 3D sandbox games like Mercenary and Midwinter.

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Freespace 2 has still got it. Holy shit!

 

I've installed the FSOpen upgrades for the main game via Knossus into a GoG install, which was completely painless. Also decided to use a 360 pad which works great via the built in xinput. (I have a flightstick but I wanted to play it on the living room TV)

 

It still plays wonderfully. And still has a uniquely special visual style. For me, still the best looking space combat game ever made. Yes, Elite Dangerous included.

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28 minutes ago, SeanR said:

no one ever talks about Legend of Valour

 

 

I remember playing a demo that came with PC Review. Can’t remember much about it, other than wandering around a village.

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41 minutes ago, Davros sock drawer said:

And the fabulously creepy The Legacy:

 

 

A fiver on GOG. Sorely tempted…


Reminds me of The Uninvited which I played on a friend’s ST back in the day. Such an atmospheric game!

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4 minutes ago, PikaStu said:

I remember playing a demo that came with PC Review. Can’t remember much about it, other than wandering around a village.

 

the ST demo ended with the werewolf I think

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Another game I just thought of, and loved. Microprose's Sword of the Samurai, with Sid Meier in a minor programming role.

 

EDIT: Apparently released in 1989, but I definitely didn't play it until the 90's. Hopefully it still merits consideration. :D

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3 hours ago, SeanR said:

no one ever talks about Legend of Valour

 

 

 

Man I eas just thinking about it the other day. Got a demo disc from ST Format but as it was 1MB only it wouldn't work on my ST520FM so I decided to get an Amiga 1200. In 1993 (doh!)

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7 hours ago, PikaStu said:

Seeing Magic Carpet reminded me… does anyone remember in Neighbours - Jim Robinson bought a PC and Todd (I think) and his pals were addicted to Magic Carpet?

Yes! I remember that. Didn't they play it two player with two SNES controllers or something? I remember pointing out the inaccuracies to my family but they didn't seem to appreciate how serious it was. 

 

I also seem to remember hearing the magic carpet fireball sound all over the place for the next decade, it appeared on other games, TV and film (possibly adverts?) as well. So weird. Thinking about it....I guess magic carpet may not have been the origin and they used the same sample as elsewhere, but I like to think Bullfrog created the sound effect of the 90s. 

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Freespace 2 has really hit the spot. The mission design is still really varied and full of cool moments designed for maximum drama. It's also clever how

 

Spoiler

It makes The Colossus out to be this massive weight flexing ship that is going round the galaxy putting down rebellions etc, with propaganda videos about how awesome it is. When it turns up in missions you're like yeah take that chumps etc. So of course when the big bad aliens turn up with an even bigger ship and just straight up merk it it's a really cool moment.

 

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Also, the FSOpen upgrade mod really is transformative. I tried the Tie Fighter total conversion mod a while back, and much as I love Tie Fighter, something about the mod just felt buggy and a bit "off". It was obviously using the X-Wing Alliance engine, so maybe it had just messed with the "feel" of it or the visuals too much despite obviously being a huge improvement to them. But it just didn't seem to work quite right somehow.

 

Not so with Freespace 2. It feels exactly like what it felt like to play back then, with graphics as cool as I remember them in my head.

 

And I hate to say it, but I think the missions design and overall dogfight action is just more exciting in Freespace 2 than Tie Fighter.

 

It's the best space combat sim ever made to play right now, with the current available mods, imo.

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Freespace 2 was indeed immense, great that it holds up. One of the best senses of scale I've ever seen in a game, the capital ships (or whatever they are) were just incredible. 

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it's very clever in how it uses them to create drama as well: there will be bits where there is a lull in combat intensity, and there will be the loud and distinct warp in sound, and your view will just fill up with them as they jump in slicing their beam lasers across vast distances. They always seem to warp into the exact point in the action where it'll inspire the most awe.

 

Add to that you have the actual graphic design in terms of the different visual elements of space: nebulae feel deep and more than just part of a skybox, and sometimes you'll actually be going through them. And the brightening effect when you look at the local star is one of the coolest things in any space game, and it's specifically designed to look that way.

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Are you playing it with a pad? Or a stick?

 

I'm interested in how it works with a pad, as I'm now tempted to give it an install later!

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1 hour ago, 5R7 said:

Are you playing it with a pad? Or a stick?

 

I'm interested in how it works with a pad, as I'm now tempted to give it an install later!

 

I've been using a wired 360 gamepad and it works perfectly via x-input through the Knossos installer. Only the analogue triggers don't work, but you can remap all the other buttons including the d-pad and back and start buttons for other functions. You have probably enough for most major functions but might still need to reach for a wireless keyboard occasionally, and menus are mouse driven.

 

It takes a little time to become familiar with which controls are best to map to the pad to set them up as you go, but the training missions make this easy.

 

Only issue really is the accuracy of the left stick for aiming is very poor, but the way the game plays kind of doesn't matter much for this as you can boost towards ships and rake them with lasers and dumbfire rockets or just use heatseakers.

 

I do have a good flightstick but I've not felt hampered by the 360 pad really enough to set it up. It's definitely much better for immersion though, and I've been playing on easy mode which is still quite tricky, so I suspect on harder difficulties a flight stick or using the mouse for aiming is probably necessary.

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