Help find me an RPG from the mid 80s

I was going to suggest that, as well. I remember a looked back at screenshots from SimFarm a couple years ago, and it was way uglier than I remember it being.

It’s all relative, though. Back then, the graphics WERE pretty.

It’s true. When I got my original Xbox One several years ago, it came with the Master Chief Collection, so I fired it up, hearing that they’d updated the graphics. I was playing for a bit, thinking “this isn’t much better than I remember”, then I hit the button that instantly switched back to the original graphics (which is a neat feature). Wow. In my memory it looked so much better!

I thought F15 strike eagle back in the old 5 1/4 days looked amazing. ‘Visually stunning’ seems to be highly mailable based on expectation and available comparisons.

I remember looking back at The Sims (1) and the image quality did not match my memory of it.

(Honestly, though, I DID have Little Computer People, the game pictured above, and this image looks a lot better than what the family Apple IIe with the green-and-black monitor was able to render.)

I still think the best old graphics are pretty, and even some that aren’t are elegantly functional.

My absolute favorite games from the Atari 8-bit computer era were Alternate Reality : The City and Alternate Reality : The Dungeon. They had what I considered to be the most incredible graphics, sound and music in any games for those systems ever. I look back on them now and can honestly say I am still astounded by everything Phillip Price, Ken Jordan and Dan Pinal were able to pack into them given the constraints of the hardware, and Gary Gilbertson’s sound and music should have won some sort of technical achievement awards for how amazing it was compared to every other 8-bit game.

The City:


The Dungeon:


Opening sequence of The City (playback is too slow though, set speed to 125% to get closer to actual original experience)

I know you said no party, otherwise I would have tried Phantasie III The Wrath of Nicodemus.! Image is Phantasie II image|640x400

My God, I loved AR: The City. Truly the real precursor to open-world games like the Elder Scrolls series.

Absolutely. My biggest 8-bit gaming disappointment was finding out that the other modules in the series would never be completed. They had planned additional interlocking games including Wilderness, Palace, Arena and more that would have allowed you to transfer your character from game to game and continue to level up, explore and continue the story, eventually confronting the aliens and attempting to return home. Phillip Price went back to coding for the Defense Department though, and Datasoft fell on some financial hard times and went bankrupt not long after the release of The Dungeon, tying up the Alternate Reality IP in limbo for all eternity.

I’ve become hooked on this thread as a fascinating exploration into the fallible nature of human memory. Kind of like a lower-stakes version of the Serial podcast.

I will try to draw a better picture …but I just can’t make out details… It had vibrant colors, it wasn’t a black background game…

Can you remember anything about the gameplay? Did you shoot something or swing a sword? What kinds of interactive objects might you find? Anything about the onscreen UI you remember. Etc.

Could it be Wizardry?


My blind guess is Legacy of the Ancients.

This could be one of those clever trick questions Captain Kirk used to distract the AI while Scotty fixed the warp drive.

That would explain the smoke coming out of my ears.

@newbrof you’d better start being more forthcoming or Gordon Cameron is going to fly to Germany and kick your ass.

Oh, it’s not anger smoke, it’s “confused Star Trek robot” smoke.

One non-sequitors Nimrod at their peril