Gamers Gold

So it's that time of year, decade or whatever. That time when you realize "shit man, I'm half buried in old junk" and something needs to be done. That something inevitably leads to an attack on various storage bins and other assorted places for the goodies to hide. And then there's the realization that even after spending a week ditching a bunch of ancient hardware from the late 1990s that you're STILL not even halfway done with the project. Until you get to the game shelf. Oh yes. Any gamer worth his (or her) shit has one, and it should rightly be occupied by classics among classics. Today, we reminisce about games of old. Some good, some not so good. Most of them older than some of you people reading here.

A quick rundown on hardware. At least a dozen old CPUs ranging all the way back to an AMD K5 (no, sorry, it was cracked in half) up to recent burials from the old servers, which are also sadly dead now. Numerous sticks of RAM that somehow got loose in the closet and were snapped in half, some dating as far back as the EDO days. Others recent enough to be DDR, but having been sitting exposed on a shelf for 4-5 years did them no favors. Several old CPU fans, mostly copper. Sadly the copper value isn't worth the effort to salvage. An old pair of headphones caked in dust, an old cell phone who's battery apparently exploded inside the casing and turned the whole thing into a soft mushy goo. Boxes upon boxes of old cables, ties, power cords, miscellaneous bits of cases, and half rotted bits of rubber, and the prize yet to be removed - two very very old CRT monitors that look like they'd been in there since before the climate change scam got started. Plus whatever lies beneath and beside them I can't get to yet - more to come on those I guess. There were also two very heavy and very dead UPS's in there. Those are NOT fun to pull out.

Anyway, you're here to hear about old games, right? Onward!

Let's just go way way back. Yes, I found an old copy of Frogger in there. For DOS. Ah, the memories of that poor frog trying his best to get across the highway and over the river to get home. Why I have this, I don't know, because I was king of the arcade machine.

I found one of the hint books to my old Bards Tale 3 stuff, which I sadly don't still have copies of because I played the entire series back on my C-64. Oh yes, some of you folks weren't even BORN in 1986. Shut up :P

Starflight 2, sequel to a truly awesome game from the C-64 days, probably one of my very first PC games that wasn't pirated. Yep, I was a bad bad boy back then. Most of the older stuff I actually played wasn't legit by a long shot and most of those discs are long gone now, but this one is in the box, with all the original materials on a true classic - a 5.25" floppy disk.

For you D&D fans, there's a gold box up there with two floppies inside for Gateway to the Savage Frontier. I vaguely recall having played it, though I couldn't even begin to tell you the plot now. Then there's the more obligatory classics like Icewind Dale, Pool of Radiance (the Ubisoft one), Ravenloft: Stone Prophet, Neverwinter Nights, and its sequel, and of course the all time great Baldur's Gate 1 and 2. I'm fairly certain I HAD a box copy of Planescape Torment but it seems to have grown legs and walked away at some point. Also a copy of Temple of Elemental Evil. Yes, Dwip, I have played more D&D games than you think I have :) Including a copy of Eye of the Beholder 2. One and Three nowhere to be found, despite my having played them.

For the most part, with two glaring exceptions for anyone who has paid attention to my gaming rants over the years, they were good games. The BG titles would probably be the only ones I would be sufficiently nostalgic for to play again.

There's some random Star Trek game up there I don't remember having played, much less owned. It may not actually be mine, but who cares.

The fact that my Fallout 2 box is up there, but my original Fallout box IS NOT really bugs me. Especially since I didn't really like Fallout 2 much. Fortunately that was made up for by the Fallout 3 lunch box that's on my collector's shelf, still in really good condition too. Alas, the scourge of the digial age means there can never be a Fallout New Vegas box up there, although I won't cry too much over that - subject of a future game review one of these days.

Some fairly random stuff: Lionheart, Tron 2.0, Sacrifice, and a copy of Heroes of Might & Magic 3 for Linux. Yep, a very short lived and silly flirtation with trying to game on linux. That didn't last long, nor did the FOUR box copies (where the hell did these even come from) of old Redhat distros. We shall not miss the Redhat boxes as they are now bound for the recycling center.

A copy of Diablo, no Diablo 2 though since my old copy of 2 wasn't legit. Neither game was terribly appealing and I seriously don't know why even kept the original.

Mandatory copy of Starcraft located. Good. I'd be a complete butthead if that wasn't up there. Oddly enough, along side the copy of Warcraft 2 and its expansion back, but no Warcraft 1 or 3. Ah, piracy, you did me so wrong back then.

A copy of Start Control 3, which unlike its two older siblings was a really terrible game that failed to live up to the rest of the series. Sadly the boxes for SC1 and SC2 were horrbly mangled as were the disks inside. Oh well. It pays not to drop a dead UPS on them at some point. Why they were on the floor to begin with is anyone's guess.

Which brings us to the next group, Might & Magic 3, 6, and 8. A somewhat piecemeal representation of the series. I have in fact played everything from 1 thru 8. Some good, some really bad, most somewhere in between. I have no idea where the other 5 boxes ended up. I never bothered with 9 though because 8 stunk too bad for me to care again. Apparently there's talk of a 10th, but blah.

Then there's the Ultima series. Arguably one of the all time best runs of gaming ever, with the glaring exception of the abortion known as Ultima 9: Ascension. I found boxes up there for 6, 7, 7 Part 2, 8, and 9, as well as the box for Ultima Underworld 2. I played the first 5 on C-64 so those boxes are long since gone, though I still have the cloth maps from the ones that came with them. There's a lot of good times had with the Ultima games. Plus I have some CDs that came with one of the game packs I bought at some point with Ultima 1-7 and the two Underworlds.

More recent offerings are laying about as well. The entire Gothic series, which were all excellent despite my having played the first 3 years after their initial releases. The graphics on them held up well for their ages. Two Worlds, which was a wonderful game, and it's horribly deformed little brother which only exists in digital form. Way to ruin what could have been an awesome series there guys.

Dragon Age and the Awakening add-on. Somewhat of a mixed bag of gaming there. Witcher and Witcher 2, which IMO are among the best modern RPGs made. If you haven't played these, you need to fix that problem right quick.

Which brings us to the last group. The games from the single greatest RPG series next to Ultima. The Elder Scrolls. I am rather saddened to find that my box for Arena has vanished. It shall be mourned. However, the boxes for Daggerfall, Morrowind (and both add-ons), Oblivion with both add-ons, and of course Skyrim are very much intact and holding honored positions in the more accessible shelf above my bed. Well, the Skyrim box is under the printer since it's so freaking big, but the CD case for it is up on the shelf. That little display includes the little lich figurine you get with Arena as well as the very tarnished looking septim coin you got with Oblivion. There's also a little black rock which is supposed to be a moonstone from Ultima or something.

It's sad to come to the realization that such moments will be rare in the coming future. As far as I'm concerned, Steam has utterly ruined this aspect of gaming. The boxes can and have become collectors items for a lot of people. The pending death of retail gaming will change things forever in a way I'm just not happy about. No more nice manuals, no more cloth maps, no more cool little trinkets, none of that unless you're willing to shell out for expensive collector's editions.

Anyway, if you're still awake out there, thanks for reading. At least it's not politics :P
.........................
RIP United States of America

July 1776 - November 2012.

       
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Posted on Oct 9, 2012 9:56 pm by Samson in: , | 15 comment(s) [Closed]
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Ohmygerd, Obama tuk yer GAMES!

(sorry, had to)

It's probably bad that I was like "Oh yeah, the K5."

I still have working discs for games dating back as far as the early 90s. Winner of that one probably goes to Warcraft 1 or Heroes of Might and Magic 2, though I've got Mechwarrior 2 and Ghost Bear's Legacy, not to mention Daggerfall in that foot high stack as well, plus a couple of floppies for Sim City 2000.

Boxes are a mixed bag, since most of them got eaten for space long ago, along with all of the 80s games. Sorry, Wizardry I box. You were pretty nice, too, back when real care went into the things. Of my older stuff, I still have the Ultima 7-9 boxes, Diablo 2, Icewind Dale and Heart of Winter, Baldur's Gate 2 and Throne of Bhaal (no idea where my BG1 box went), and the box for Civilization 3. Used to have the box for my Age of Mythology CE, but that one killed itself last move. Also have a Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault box from 2004, which is the last of the old-style big boxes I remember seeing. Everything past 2002 or so still has its box, but it's the new-style small boxes and is much less fun.

Also, if anybody needs a boot floppy for Win98SE.

I'm sort of afraid of what my version of this post looks like.

If only Alsherok had a box. I'm not sure what I did with my doc binders.

       
Funny you should mention Windows 98. I found not one, but two legit copies up there along with 3 different versions of some old Norton tools that are long since obsolete. Since I could care less about operating systems and tools from the dark ages, they're out in the recycling bin now waiting for pickup tomorrow.

And yeah, if only Alsherok had a box. I've got printed maps around here somewhere, the rest is sitting in ye olde Alsherok folder to this day.

       
I kept one to VM shit, but.

It occurs to me that I don't think there's been a time in my adult life where C:\Solan\ wasn't a thing for me. And yes, Solan.

       
Well, that's slightly more extensive than the collection of games on my shelf (which I believe numbers around ten and goes back as far as the first age of empires. Granted, I do get most of my games off steam nowadays).

Although, it has left me thinking that I would really like a set of the New Vegas collectors edition set of cards. I think it might have come with some chips to, which would also be awesome.

       
Edited by prettyfly on Oct 10, 2012 4:54 pm
Yeah, so, I actually did write my version of this. Because I hate free time.

       
So in my continuing pursuit of cleaning up this pig sty I call a room, I threw out yet another large trash bag full of junk from old computers and years old garbage from shitty employers with no character.

Three things came from this latest effort. More shelf space above my bed. My Skyrim artbook I couldn't find (buried under stacks of old papers). And for reasons unknown, a printed copy of the War Powers Act of 1973. I have no idea why I have this.

       
Clearly dating back to that time you were trying to prevent me from invading Vietnam.

I seem to recall us both being involved in some sort of throwdown about the War Powers Act at some point or other, but not much more than that.

As part of my own archaeology trip, I'm playing DA:O again. As annoying as the Deep Roads kind of are, I forgot how much I hate the Dalish section. So, so much hate.

       
Whatever it was, it took place in June of 2004. Well before this blog existed.

       
And I was in Europe at the time, so maybe it wasn't me, even though that sounds sort of familiar.

       
In the continuing saga of closet archeology, I have uncovered yet another treasure or two.

1. An Iomega USB powered Zip drive, 250MB. With 7 unused 250MB disks. All in pristine condition. Not even the usual caked on layer of dust one might expect from 12 year old hardware. This thing makes a shitload of noise, louder than my entire PC case and window fan combined. Disks apparently formatted for FAT. Not FAT32, FAT, as in the old DOS disk format.
2. A cheap looking surveillance camera that can be monitored remotely via PC, also in pristine condition, but lacking any sort of documentation or software. Still in its box.

File this under "why the fuck do I have these".

On a more useful note, my other two sets of sheets for my bed. To be filed under "how the fuck did these get down here". In need of a serious run through the sanitize cycle on the washer before I use them obviously.

       
Edited by Samson on Oct 19, 2012 2:55 am
Apparently I'm also not the only person on this excursion: http://www.reghardware.com/2012/10/19/something_for_the_weekend_throw_away_dilemma/

       
Just going to come out and say that, as awesome as Zip drives were for 5 minutes in the 90s, his bright red Walkman from the land before the land before time probably has you beat.

The camera seems familiar to me for some reason. I just don't remember why.

       
You mean except for the record player I unearthed at the bottom of the pile too, right? Since it was covered by all the other stuff, it's in surprisingly good cosmetic shape, but something is broken, because it won't power on.

Which means my relic exists outside of time. So there :P

Also, someone will need to explain to me why there were 5 boxes of unformatted 3 1/2" floppies down there along with the record player. Still in the shrink wrap, but unlikely to still be useful considering the manufacture date in 1994.

Oh yeah. And I can finally confirm the carpet is still there, right where it should be :P

       
Edited by Samson on Oct 20, 2012 1:42 am
Man, I thought MY closets got bad. My gigantic pile of backpacks and tote bags is probably just luring me into complacancy before it strikes.

Too, when the 90s roll back around, you'll be well prepared for them. Since I'm pretty sure I finally got rid of my box of 120 minute blank cassette tapes, I am likely doomed.

I am slightly astonished you have anything that plays music.

       
Wow. nice excursion. I don't dare go cataloging my old shit like that, let alone like Dwip did in his post, especially not right now while my life's so busy already. Maybe at some point in the future when I have a week or two to spare to the job. Unlike you guys, I don't have a closet worth to clean out, I've got a whole cabin storing what's boxed up and couldn't fit in my office anymore.. with a full stand-up cabinet dedicated just to small hardware and several large boxes with just software. My active CD software collection currently takes three big notebook style holders.. No, I'll continue to postpone my excursion into the past for now, but I will confess that should the 90s, or even the 80s, ever return I'm well equipped already. In fact, I most likely even still have some stuff from the 70s out there waiting to be unboxed once again too. :lol:

       
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