So yeah if you linked your bethesda.net account to your steam account it’ll transfer it over. I guess to their credit it links your saves and all that.
I loaded it, against my better judgement. And 55GB later they have finally updated it to have NPC’s! But it’s still online, and despite having a commercial internet connection with synchronous up/down it’s still super laggy, and suffers from the damage from after the fact artifacts on launch.
Seriously my internet connection isn’t that crap. No doubt I’m playing on servers on the other side of the planet, but of course you still cannot select what server to join.
Even with an i7 9th gen and a RTX-2070 the game still chops and texture pops.
I guess I missed all the excitement of the new DooM whatever, but Bethesda decided to dig up that N64 ‘DooM 3’ aka DooM 64. It’s a unique game unlike all the other console ports that were straight ports of the original DooM, although some like the 32x (Mars) or Jaguar versions that had a bunch of details removed from the levels to either spare the limited processors, and/or save precious cartridge space.
At $39 HKD, it’s $4 USD, so it’s a bit ‘pricy’ for something that is a 23 year old game, but at least I guess it’s out in the wild in a legal format. No idea if it made it to Bethesda.net as that whole thing collapsed quicker than Fallout 76 became a meme riddled disappointment.
Anyways I know I’m late to the party, but it’s all new to me.
On one of my later trips I picked up this fun title, Lemmings!
And looking at the back of the box, what fun it contains!
One interesting thing about 1995, is that with the rise of Windows 95, this marked the end of the specialized PC market in Japan. Just as WING/Direct X basically killed off the DIY driver/extender environment on MS-DOS, by being able to abstract the hardware it removed any meaningful difference between an EPSON PC vs a PC-98, FM Towns, or even the lowly IBM AT/386.
This being a Win32 includes both WING & Win32s. A perfect snapshot of an early Win32 commercial game circa 1995, as you needed to cater to that massive Windows 3.1 install base, although so many were rushing to Windows 95. Naturally this also means that the setup program is a Win16 app, once more again to preserve that bridge of the Windows 3.1 & Windows 95 world.
Well the obvious thing to do is just install it on a legacy 32bit OS, and what better than Windows XP?
Now to run it on something like Windows 10, it’s just a matter of copying the WINLEMM.INI into %sysroot%, along with placing a copy of WING32.DLL into the %sysroot%\SysWOW64 directory and you are good to go!
Sadly the character encoding in Windows is still really lacking and doesn’t render all that great. However that had me thinking as almost a decade ago I did find a demo of Lemmings for Windows. Could it be possible to just overlay the executables & DLL’s to produce an English commercial version?
Surprisingly the answer is yes. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it’s as simple as that!
The game is mostly playable, some parts are just coded to run as fast as possible, as no doubt nobody was imagining 1+ Ghz machines. So the intro, warp & suicide are almost instant.
It’s something to keep the kids entertained for a day in recent events. It’s been a LONG CNY.
So I was lucky enough to get to Beep before it close, and I picked out a couple of FM Towns titles (and a junker!), and I thought ‘Return to Zork’ would be a good title, something to compare the MacOS & MS-DOS versions against.
Although slightly faded, it does come in this nice box, which reminds me of the NEOGEO… which is probably an apt comparison.
The artwork has faded, although the CD-ROM inside was still sealed, never before opened. I picked this up for an eye watering ¥3,480 but flipping the box over revealed the launch price of an astonishing ¥12,800! I’m not sure what the exchange rate from 1994 was, but even at a generous 100:1 JPY to USD that’s half the price of the old multimedia kits which included the drive, sound card and so many came bundled with Return to Zork.
Another random title I grabbed was even more insane!
¥ 14,800 for Silent Möbius: Case: Titanic!
I need to get a RGB monitor & keyboard to see if this thing even works, meanwhile I fought with UNZ to get it running, and the mouse tracking is totally broken unless you change the DPI scaling, credit to this post in the UNZ ‘BBS’.
One thing is sure, the voice acting in the Japanese version is so terrible.
As people complain about ‘AAA’ games, and paying $60, just look at this! $134 USD for some cartoon boat game thing.. Although I’ve never heard of Silent Möbius or played it, I just saw it was available for the x68000 and PC-98. So I guess it’s one of those Lowest Common Denominator games.
One interesting thing about the FM TOWNS is that they have that ROM DOS with CD-ROM drivers, and their apparently blanket licensing for PharLap 386. Although while I was wasting time looking at cartoon rabbits, someone else scooped but the 386 BASIC kit. Darn.
But in the Return to Zork world, the ‘made.exe’ is in fact a Pharlap 386 EXP, meaning that it runs in 386 protected mode, so you don’t have to struggle with emm386, himem.sys and trying to get a ludercus 580-600kb of conventional memory. Seriously it was such a chore to get this running the manual has a big section on setting up a boot disk. It’s a shame they didn’t license a DOS extender for the US PC platform, although I can see why they chose that route on the FM Towns (and I believe PC98), as there is a RTZ9821 directory there which includes an EXP. Shame it was never relased state side as a patch, as it would have been a GREAT user change. Well that or a Win32 executable.
The engine suffers many limitations from supporting 8bit machines, although they did uplift the graphics, music and sound although they didn’t increase the overall sizes. And the engine on the PC side was written in PASCAL of all things. I mean it was the hip language of the era, and well C is just too portable and reliable. The later SSI games were C++ apparently.
That said, for MS-DOS purists and those wanting to be legit, the old SSI AD&D games are on sale over on GOG, broken up into a few collections.
With collection 2 being the gold box editions, featuring:
POOL OF RADIANCE
CURSE OF THE AZURE BONDS
SECRET OF THE SILVER BLADES
POOLS OF DARKNESS
GATEWAY TO THE SAVAGE FRONTIER
TREASURES OF THE SAVAGE FRONTIER
FORGOTTEN REALMS UNLIMITED ADVENTURES
Which is a bargain at $3.39 USD!
I don’t know why I’m finding so much fun things on GOG, but here we are. In other news I got a new $99 USD dual Xeon board, although it seems to have some weird mystery issues including a ’99’ power issue, and when it does boot even the install media for Windows 10 bluescreens. Sad.
Also included is a bunch of concept art from the film!
Naturally it’s using ScummVM to run the game, instead of the horribly broken Windows 95 specific executables from 22 years ago.
While starting up the game it dumps this:
From the dark recesses of David Leary's imagination comes a game unlike any
other. Blade Runner immerses you in the underbelly of future Los Angeles.
Right from the start, the story pulls you in with graphic descriptions of a
grandmother doing the shimmy in her underwear, child molestation, brutal
cold-blooded slaying of innocent animals, vomiting on desks, staring at a
woman's ass, the list goes on. And when the game starts, the real fun begins - shoot down-on-their-luck homeless people and toss them into a dumpster. Watch
with sadistic glee as a dog gets blown into chunky, bloody, bits by an
explosive, and even murder a shy little girl who loves you. If you think
David Leary is sick, and you like sick, this is THE game for you.
JW: Don't forget the wasting of helpless mutated cripples in the underground.
It's such a beautiful thing!
DL: Go ahead. Just keep beating that snarling pit bull...ignore the foam
around his jaws. There's room on the top shelf of my fridge for at least one
more head... - Psychotic Dave
MG: Is David Leary a self-respecting human or is he powered by rechargeable
JM: Chrome...is that what that is?
JM: It's hard to imagine that thing on either a car or a horse.
MG: McCoy! What a witty chap...
JM: He keeps me chuckling non-stop!
JM: That McCoy--he's one funny guy! Jet-black fire truck, hehehehe...
You can find this over on gog. I remember the original that I had on the commodore 64, it was super tough (well for a kid), although I do remember chasing mutant rabbits through some farm, along with all the text being in a book, because the disks were simply too small back then.
But it was the inspiration for the later Fallout. Nice to see how it’s managed to get out from under the control of a dead & collapsed studio.
And sure enough the are the latest versions of the game files to be found according to doom.fandom.com. Great! So to further the abuse I tried them under my mutilated DooM.
Ultimate Doom seems to work just fine on it’s own I tested it briefly warping to a few levels but yeah it just works! Doom2 however bombs out that the resource TITLEPIC is missing from the wad. How disappointing!
Naturally I just took the easy way out, and basically checked for the resource, and load another if it’s missing.
@@ -477,7 +477,11 @@
pagetic = 170;
gamestate = GS_DEMOSCREEN;
- pagename = "TITLEPIC";
+ /* the Doom 3 BFG EDITION version of Doom 2 is lacking the titlepic */
+ pagename = "TITLEPIC";
+ pagename = "DMENUPIC";
if ( gamemode == commercial )
Another interesting thing is that DooM 3 BFG also includes the gravis ultrasound bank data, so you could load them up into some other emulator and enjoy that gravis experience. I don’t know if it’s licensed or what, but it’s a nice touch.
Back when OpenGL accelerated hardware became a thing at the consumer level (and even non OpenGL, like the Rendition Verite v1000E !) games like Quake suddenly took on an entirely new life, with the amazing ‘realism’ that OpenGL could bring. And what an amazing change it was from the software renderer.
I had bought the Diamond Fire GL 1000, and it honestly kinda sucked. It did the OpenGL demo’s okayish under Windows NT, but Quake, not so much. But it was a sign of things to some, as I could run the 3D pipes screensaver without running the CPU at 100% But the Fire was meant more so for ‘adult’ or productive things, not for playing a game.