exoDOS Adventures version 2

qf0JYD9.jpgIn what may come to be known as the worst possible thing that could ever have happened to my ability to be productive in this life, I have found the Internet Archive.

While clicking around, I found a world of interesting things ranging from old, forgotten consoles (and ways to emulate them) to full downloads of “abandoned” adventure games.  That led me to the exoDOS Adventure collection. Good bye, free time!

The exoDOS collection is an attempt to collect all of the great DOS software from “back in the day”.  I’ll be concerned mostly with the Adventure collection, but there are collections for simulations, RPGs, shooters, etc.  It’s amazing how well adventure games age–honestly, they are as fun today as they were then.  Try saying that about any other kind of game.  Try playing Madden ’98.  Exactly.

This collection is particularly interesting for a number of reasons.

  • It includes software from publishers that I always wanted to get my hands on but could never justify the expense for at the time.  Cascade Mountain Publishing.  Malinche.  Horror of Rylvania.
  • It includes Infocom games that even I wasn’t aware of.
  • It includes the most extensive collection of user manuals, box scans, disk scans, etc. I’ve ever seen.  Period.

Some notable absences…  The Myst games.  Copyright?  Probably.  Neverhood.  I can’t fathom why this wouldn’t be in there.  I don’t think it’s available in any other format. Also, the archive size is around 130 gigs.  Yes, gigs. So, make sure you have some space available.

I don’t see any better springboard to get myself back into some of those old games and mess around with them.  I’m still working out exactly how I intend to do it, but I will go through these games in some systematic way, and hopefully keep this updated as I do.

 

Get Lamp on YouTube

 

Get Lamp is currently available for free to watch on YouTube.  I’ve been out of the scene for a while, but last I checked you had to buy a copy to watch it.

It is very interesting.  I wouldn’t say there’s a lot or really any new information in it, but it is neat to see the interviews with the original Infocom people.  It was also kinda cool to see the regular modern-day IF authors–I’ve had email conversations with some of them and it’s cool to put a face to the name.

While you’re there, the related videos are also worth watching.  Jason Scott’s the Race to Undelete History in particular.

Codename: Iceman by Sierra [1 Star]

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I first learned of Sierra’s Codename: Iceman while killing time playing around with computers in the Sears electronics department.  It was one of the demo programs that they left running on one of their IBM-PC clones, along with maybe Microsoft Flight Simulator and some boring office programs.

One day my mom and I were probably out shopping at Alderwood Mall and I managed to get her to leave me in the electronics department for a few minutes so I could mess around with the computers. The game was

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Earn a point playing volleyball

running, and I was able to input a few basic commands and movements before the older guy with white hair and garlic breath came over to see if he could help me.  I declined assistance and futzed around with the game without really getting anywhere, maybe reading a newspaper article and playing a game of volleyball.

But, I knew that I had to somehow get this game.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be.  I don’t even think I learned the name of the game until recently.  So, fast forward 30-some years and now I am finally getting a chance to play it. All I can really say is, “wow, I waited 30-some years to play this?”

From what I was able to glean from the story for the short time that I played it, you are a Navy submarine captain being called back from some PTO (or whatever they call it in the military) in the tropics to assist with a hostage situation.

There are a few sequences in Iceman that are enjoyable, but the majority of the time in the game is spent trying to successfully manage the submarine simulations.  Maybe the controls just don’t translate well through DOSBox.  I’m not sure–but it put me on the thin edge of wanting to forge ahead through the game and wanting to give up.

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Some trademark Sierra humor

Ultimately, I had to call it quits after getting hung up on the part where you are supposed to decode a couple of messages.  After consulting walkthroughs and everything, I still couldn’t get it to work, and gave up. Part of this decision was based on glancing through the walkthrough and seeing just how much more head-pounding frustration was in store for me with the submarine simulations.

So this childhood memory had a somewhat unhappy ending.  There are many more, though, and I’ll be going back through some other games that I expect will be more enjoyable in the very near future.

Links for Code-name: ICEMAN

Alone Season 2 renewed by History Channel for 2016 – Alone

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I. Loved. This. Show.

I’m not entirely sure why.  It certainly wasn’t the most exciting survival reality show.  Maybe it’s because it’s decidedly unscripted.  Unlike most reality television with their huge set of crew members filming everything, arranging everything, etc., this show stands out because there is no film crew or anything else–it’s literally just a bunch of guys in the wilderness, setting up their own camera shots, talking to the camera (not being interviewed).  It doesn’t get much more authentic than this.

Deadline.com has a good summary:

The series, produced by Leftfield Pictures, pits 10 hardcore survivalists isolated in the wilderness – no camera crew, no teams, no producers – on a single mission to stay alive. Self-documenting their experiences and carrying only what they can fit in a backpack, the survivalists are separated from one another in harsh, unforgiving terrain to hunt, build shelters and fend off predators.

Mostly I think what I like about it is this… I’m just fascinated by people “reconnecting” with themselves out in nature.  Away from phones, laptops, tablets, office buildings, televisions, etc.  It changes a person after they have been out there for awhile.  Watch season one of this show–you will most definitely see that.  What kind of changes would happen to me?  I’m dying to know.  Unfortunately, the demands of life are inescapable.  I’ll probably never know.

There are some other interesting tidbits in this article aside from the fact that the show was renewed.  Apparently (surprisingly) it is popular.  It was the #3 new non-fiction series in 2015.

“‘Alone’ is a groundbreaking series that has truly connected with audiences,” said Cabana. “In today’s crowded landscape, it is incredibly rewarding to see a new series break through the clutter and grow week after week.”

I’m excited to see season 2 of this show.  The second season often has many improvements, more funding, etc..  I can’t wait to see what they do with it.

via Alone Season 2 renewed by History Channel for 2016 – Alone.