Tuesday 18 August 2009

Squirrel scores the jackpot

One of the benefits of having a really old computer from 2001 is that it's still got a built-in 3½ inch floppy disk drive, so when a cleanout happens and I'm re-united with the hoards of DOS games from years long past, I can have a proper search through for gems. Along with the expected original Duke Nukum and various other common games (such as Squarez Deluxe which went freeware a few years ago), there were a few disks that sparked my interest.

It's clear that despite supposedly going through these games half a decade ago, my dear old dad was keeping a few things secret. There's a corrupted strip poker game for DOS and a couple of other NSFW disks cleverly marked as "SPARE" and "MORE SPARE". Ironically despite being not safe for work, chances are these came from work, but it doesn't really matter as sadly these disks are probably headed towards a landfill site now. But since this is the only active computer with a floppy disk drive left and it too is due to be replaced, I can't see anyone losing sleep over it. There's also a copy of Leisure Suit Larry 6. I knew there was a Leisure Suit Larry game hanging about somewhere in this house but I didn't think it would a one from as late as 1993. The things you learn.

But on the SFW side of things, I've safely copied over two DOS games from my early childhood:

"Noddy", in it's graphical rollercoaster entirety and

"Shoe People". I'd go into great detail about these edutainment "classics" but since they're a lot worse then I remember I might just send them off to abandonia or somewhere if there's a demand.

Other interesting things were the appearance of Commander Keen 2, 3, 5 and 6 (full). Though it looks as if they were written onto floppies in 2002 (possibly by myself) this particular version of Keen 6 was a better copy than the one I had on this hard drive, lacking the copy protection enemy guessing stuff. Nice. There's also a broken copy of what appears to be a Space Invaders game relying on the PC's internal speaker - I might look into that one further because everyone loves Space Invaders.

Finally one of the more impressive treasures

Mean 18 for DOS. A golf game developed by Microsmiths and published by Accolade in 1986. It's a game I didn't even know we owned, but there it was, split across two disks having been left for dead for the best part of twenty years (and would have stayed that way if it wasn't for DOSBox). Sadly two of its colour options are now redundant, relying on composite monitors that nobody has anymore (and DOSBox can't emulate it). It means I'm left with the not-so-nice looking 4 colour mode, but aside from this it's a pretty nifty golf simulator that also held up well on the Atari 7800 and Apple IIgs.

As with many of these games, a few years down the line this thing got ported to better systems, in this case, the Amiga and the Atari ST who both run rings around the DOS version, but who cares - this is a long lost computer game found in a cupboard, and that's not something that happens very often. Now if there was an Atari ST in this cupboard, that would be something, but I'll have to make do with a book about shorthand, a TV from the 70s and VHS tapes featuring Sooty and Co.

1 comment:

  1. So I know this is an old blog but I used to LOVE that Noddy game when I was younger!!!! Is there anyway to get it online??