The Good Times . . .

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    • #28107 Reply

      Nothing special. I just remember a time when VGA was king, nobody had a sound card, and Windows 3.1 was high-tech. I still have the games (original floppies and early 480 and 500 MB CDs) running on my PC (via Virutal PC for WinXP). Though I think that the current generation of gaming consoles killed the industry altogether (actual number of true retail sales from a few company reports place the amount of liquid revenue generated at around $3.5 billion to about $9 billion, much lower than the EGM-claimed $250 billion), game sales are down. Both GameSpot and EB Games had to cancel or limit the amount of inventory, then blamed piracy. How about crappy games? I don’t look forward to games like Half-Life, No One Lives Forever, or StarCraft. How many times can these companies, like the movie companies, keep pumping out the same game with a different name?

      During the late ’80s and early ’90s, games were great. On the PC, all Sierra and Virgin/Westwood games were a must to have. No PC was complete without SimCity, Prince of Persia, and one Carmen Sandiego game. Myst and The 7th Guest, the most boring games in history, showed the future of CD gaming, and who could forget the annoying voice of Cecdric the Owl on the King’s Quest 5 CD? (Annoying altogether was the Nintendo version of King’s Quest 5. There was even a Sega Master System version of King’s Quest 1!) I remember when it was neato to hear a game talk, like the Apple ][GS versions of Sierra games. Or when I saw the first VGA games (on a Mac LC III, but still), it was beautiful. The atmosphere of gaming was great! When King’s Quest 6 hit the CDs on the old IBM PS1 machines, I thought the world was finished for upgrading. The intro was how intros should be done in games today. Not any of this silly 30 minutes of movie every 10 seconds of action. And it used Windows in a way most of us never used Windows. Back then, DOS was king for games, if you could get it working via boot disks. (The dark side of the good times.) I remember horrible arcade ports of games like Ninja Gaiden, Double Dragon, Ninja Turtles, the Simpsons, Street Fighter etc. etc. But I remember most for this age, which ended with Windows 95, was the games, from Sierra, Virgin/Westwood, and LucasArts, really broke new ground and transported us to a world unlike any other. A world that I haven’t visited since 1995, when King’s Quest 7 2.0 came out, and that’s when the good times end. Anybody remember throwing down their school books and playing Space Quest III and forgot to do their home work or remember they had a date with somebody?

    • #28108 Reply

      (re: The Good Times . . .)

      I remember something very cool from when I was in high school. I had just bought KQ6 abd played it everyday… On wednesdays my classes started at 11 o’clock. So I got up at 7 had some breakfast and played KQ6 till half pas 11 and went to school. At least that was my intention… I got up at 7 played KQ6 had no breakfast and was always late at school (at least every wednesday). I always had an excuse why I was late. Then I guess is was the 4th wednesday I told my teacher the real reason I was late. He just laughed and told me to tell him how to escape the labyrinth when I was done… I never got any detention… 🙂

    • #28109 Reply

      (re: re: The Good Times . . .)

      During the late ’90s, I used sleep for 1A till 4A and play video games till I had to go to work or class, at around noon. I’d get home ’round 5 or 6 and play till 1A. Then I remembers that women existed and I wanted to meet some.

      I still sleep this pattern today, but I’m more doing work on the PC or ordering stuff for my businesses. I think I’m nuts.

      Funny, but a strange combination of adventure and racing was Ridge Racer 4, which I bleemed onto PC for some strange reason. Oh, yeah, I couldn’t stand the 320 x 200 resolution of the original PlayStation, so I played that on my PC. It had this story mode, and the coaches were quite sarcastic.

      Hey, speaking of which, I liked NASCAR Racing on PlayStation! I thought that was so cool about 9 years ago or so (maybe 8). And it was a Sierra game, that’s why I bought it!

    • #28110 Reply

      (re: The Good Times . . .)

      Binky, your post reminded me of something. A few months ago, I dug out my girlfriend’s father’s old computer and got it working. It was a 486SX w/8 meg RAM, 3 1/2 + 5 1/4 drives, 100 meg hard drive, 25 mhx and it was like someone had reached back into the past and pulled the computer straight into the future because the hard drive still had everything on it. Here’s some of the stuff:

      Dos 6.22
      Win 3.1
      Banner Mania!
      Harvard Graphics
      Wordperfect 5.0
      Wheel of Fortune
      Classic Concentration
      SkiFree for Windows
      Lotus 1-2-3
      Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

      What a blast from the past!

    • #28111 Reply

      (re: The Good Times . . .)

      Heh… what about Fantavision, Dr. Halo, Autodesk Animator, Commander Keen, all those old shareware games and old dos programs! Good times indeed 🙂

    • #28112 Reply

      (re: re: The Good Times . . .)

      Hell, I think I have all of you guys beat. My uncle worked for IBM’s R&R department and he talked me father into buying a computer back in the mid to late 80’s. An IBM PC cost an arm and a leg back then, so my uncle convinced my uncle to purchase the less expensive PC Jr. Big mistake…or was it? I’ve read that the Jr. was a commercial disaster for IBM (something Ken could tell you more about, since he had a KQ/Jr. partnership) and at the time I was crushed – I couldn’t find more than a small handful of commercial, store-bought games to play, forget the early Sierra staples like Space Quest or, my personal holy grail, Leisure Suit Larry. My Jr. was just too weak in the memory department.
      My father worked for a corporation that employed a lot of computer geeks. They passed on to him homemade games that would work on the PCjr. My favorite was a Mad Max type game that involved side-scrolling bi-planes. It even had a boss character – a huge blimp! And the amateur programmer even worked in campaign slogans (“Win one for the Gipper!”) for Reagan’s ’84 campaign into the game.
      I think there is one simple reason why computer and video games are getting worse as the technology gets better – back in the day, a PC wasn’t a home appliance that came with dumbed-down software and user-friendly controls. It was a mystery box that could be explored and mined for fun, and only intelligent people (or extremely rich ones) owned them*. Games were tailor-made for a niche market of intelligent explorers. No wonder Sierra was so successful -it was a company founded and run by intelligent explorers.

      I can only think of one game series that captures (or once captured) the spirit of these earlier games – Grand Theft Auto. Sure, the content of the games is certainly of questionable taste, but the games themselves seem to have an independent spirit and tone that suggests they were made in a basement or garage, as opposed to a corporate complex.

      * I actually stole part of this theory from an essay that Al Lowe (one of my personal heroes) wrote for a PC magazine years ago. I’ll try to find the link.

    • #28113 Reply

      (re: re: re: The Good Times . . .)

      Wooten: you are so damn right about then-games and intelligence. I think the interview you are referring to is somewhere on Al Lowe’s site, I remember reading similar words to yours. Thanks for sharing; it’s good to know more people are feeling in this way. Best regards -Vesko.

    • #28114 Reply

      (re: The Good Times . . .) I still have our first computer and moste of the games.
      A custome built PC.
      386 25MHZ
      8MB ram upgraded from 4MB
      sound blaster 16bit
      1MB ram upgraded from 512KB
      5 1/2 floppy
      5 1/14 floppy
      14in monitor
      50MB hard drive
      the 1540MB hard drive crashed

      Dos 5.2, 6.2.1
      Win 3.1, 3.11

      Kings Quest 5
      Conquest of the Long Bow
      A few more as well

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