Nostalgia, Gaming, and You!

The CRPG Addict has done a good job of putting some of those SSI RPGs – particularly Wizard’s Crown and Demon’s Winter/Shard of Spring – in context as essentially steps on the way to the Gold Box combat engine.

My brother played Wizard’s Crown when it came out. For my tastes, it seems to veer further into the ‘strategy’ (versus ‘rpg’) lane than really appeals to me, and I have to admit that the ass-ugly graphics don’t help. The thing about the Ultimas is that they looked good. They still look good, in my opinion. Add to that the feelies, the larger amount of effort put into lore, etc… it added up to something pretty special.

I may get around to Wizard’s Crown, but there are quite a few old CRPGs that are ahead of it in my queue.

Wizard’s Crown was very, very much foundational for the tactical combat in the Gold Box games. I never played Shard of Spring or Questron as they never were converted to ST, but I did play their sequels: Demon’s Winter and Questron II. I especially liked Questron II.

My favorite SSI RPGs though are the Phantasie trilogy and Rings of Zilfin whose designer, Ali Atabek, became better known for The Magic Candle. I strongly recommend their ST versions!

I played Zilfin at the time. Atabek is great, and Magic Candle is a classic!

Huh. I pretty much have a reason never to leave the house again.



I just looked it up. Seems… less than legal, but one of those things that seems inevitable.

Oh it’s absolutely illegal in most countries, but it’s more for people that enjoy collecting than those who enjoy playing.

It’s also wonderful.

All the games are archival quality, not the warez distos and rips that some of the retro publishers are selling.

All docs are clean scans from originals.

The DOSBox setups are individualized, unlike GOGs generic templates.

There’s an amazing amount of software preservation here, and i dont adhere to Nintendo’s “spend 60 bucks rebuying a 30 year old game” nonsense

What is this wonderful thing?

It’s called “ExoDOS” and it’s available in… well, the usual places. It’s 7K of archival-quality DOS game images, scans, and docs, maintained and set up through a utility called Launchbox. Everything is clean and from original CDs/Disks and manuals. No crappy rips or warez distros.

I mean, for example, the scans of the key presses for F-15 III (1992). Clean. No wrinkles or stains. Those are scans from originals.

There’s two version: a 52GB version that’s metadata only for Launchbox. The games, docs, and box shots themselves are downloaded on demand through Launchbox when first launched. And then the software is smoothly installed with ECE DOSBox ready to go.

The half-a-TB version is everything, all at once – including… magazine scans. Go through them and find the ones that I wrote for CGW, LOL.

Yes, yes, it’s all “abandonware” (and, to be perfectly frank: not so “abandonware”. All the DOS Dooms and Quakes are in there, for example. This doesn’t bother me, because I’ve both bought and warezed Doom and Quake more than once!) but YMMV.

Lovely, must give this a look see.

Oh, did I mention that I’m rocking to the best 90s soundtrack ever, the one from Renegade: the Battle of Jacob’s Star? Redbook music from the game CDs is often included with the game distro in LaunchBox :)

One of the instances where the soundtrack is way, way better than the game it comes from.

That, sir, is absolutely correct.

Some goodies I have installed. I’m such a dirty pirate.

How god damned delightful. I must try this with all dispatch.

I’m not trying to be a killjoy here but this is probably not something @tomchick and @stusser want on the forum. Software piracy may not be a big deal to you, but given many of these are sold at, this probably should not be on the forum.

Abandonware is fine but if a product is still being sold please don’t advocate piracy here.

These are not an era of games I’m interested in playing anymore, but it seems to me that the main appeal of this service is detailed clean scans of manuals, magazines, soundtracks and such in a way that even GoG doesn’t have? It could be a good way to supplement your purchase of games from GoG.

This made me wonder: why is Rails Across America not available digitally anywhere?

God that was a good one. I wish I knew.

In speaking of GoG (…) they’re having a sale on all of the golden oldies until May 9th. Like, 90 pages of golden oldies.