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Has anyone finished Gateway? I played it 20 years ago or so, but I left it halfway. It's an English text adventure, but it has graphics, you can even click on them, there is a list of objects and verbs... In the end it's like Myst with lots of verbs.


I just saw a recent review and the guy really liked the game, he says that the puzzles have just the right difficulty and the plot is based on a series of science fiction books:


I'm a bit frustrated with the standard 90s graphic adventures I'm playing lately because they are a bit bad (it is a very difficult genre to design, you always end up doing a game that's either too easy or too difficult), so I may give it a try.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm really enjoying the Commander Keen series. I have already finsihed the first 2 and I am playing the third. Also, parts 4, 5 and 6 have a new graphics engine and they add things that they later carried over to Doom, like saving at any time.


Of course, you have to take it very calmly. I recommend using a DOSBox subversion (SVN), like ykhwong's, to be able to save the game at any time, but mostly to avoid going back to the main menu to choose "LOAD GAME". The special flavour of the saga is that a touch kills you and returns you to the beginning of the phase: the fun (and challenging) thing to do is to finishing all stages without saving in the middle.


Some of the most important problems are:

- Romero and Carmack wanted to be "more advanced" than the game they were inspired by, Mario, and they put crazy enemies that are jumping all over the screen. Exasperating.
- There are many things that kill you when you touch them, including almost all enemies.
- In part 3 there are some aliens whose shots go through the fucking walls and screw all your efforts.
- Romero designed levels that are challenging and fun, but sometimes he added things just for the hell of it: phases that you don't need to complete (they only give points/lives/bullets) and are real hell, buttons that when pressed cause a GAME OVER for "exploding the Earth" (in part 2)...
- Jumps are not exactly intuitive at first, you can choose the force and they have inertia immediately after landing.
- In the first 3 parts, you need to press CTRL+ALT to shoot, but CTRL is jumping and ALT is enabling/disabling the pogo stick. You end up shooting instead of pulling out the pogo stick + jumping many times.


The good is everything else, they are games that demand the best of you for the design of the levels. There are stages where you must lure the enemies to one wall so you can jump to the other side. In others, you have to reach difficult platforms by jumping on top of some little red robots that walk through the walls, the ceiling and the floor until they reach the end of the stage and then start again (or disappear if the floor continues to exit the level).


To give you an idea, these are my two most recent experiences:


1) Yesterday I abandoned a stage for impossible in part 3: I knew it was a "bonus" phase, but I had assumed that Romero had failed in level design, that it was incomplete. Well, it turns out that the fault was mine. I had not tried to hit a wall so that the enemy waiting for me at the top would follow me and fall to a lower part, allowing me to jump from where he expected me before and be able to shoot him 4 times without he touching me (it's one of the most difficult enemies).


2) In that same phase and just after achieving that feat, Romero, for the second time in the series, added an object that later was carried to Doom, an Egyptian symbol that gives you temporary invincibility for a few seconds. Well, my mental retardation made me take the invincibility when the elevator was going down and I lost 10 seconds going up, when I was supposed to take advantage of it while rushing to the exit. I thought I was going to die or spend 8 bullets trying to kill them (you have to wait for them to jump up to your height to shoot them: it's like the lateral movement in Doom, but in 2D platforms), but in the end I managed to lure them towards a small corner from a previous corridor and they let me reach the exit for some tenths of a second.


No wonder the crappy mobile reboot of 2019 was only downloaded by 5000 people and had to be withdrawn: the sauce of the game is its criminal difficulty. When I'm done with these, I think I'll try with Monster Bash, Hocus Pocus, or  Secret Agent, all in the same vein. So much MS-DOS graphic adventure  and Flash "escape the room" games was affecting my reflexes, these games are good for "waking up from slumber."


@jgkspsx Considering your avatar, did you finish all the games in the series?

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I think I beat all of them except for Keen Dreams. Including the Game Boy game. If there is one I didn’t beat it was Episode 3. I remember that one being real nasty.


The new trilogy is way kinder and more fair (still not a pushover, especially Episode 5!), and it controls better. They are my favorite platformers to this day.

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  • 9 months later...

Hello DOS ladies and gentlemen.


I've been playing a lot of games on my dedicated MS DOS machine lately, as well as doing various and sundry modifications to my machine, so I though I'd summarize my activities.



  1. I ended up removing an old serial/parallel port "card" (actually just a plate with wires to connect to the motherboard), since I wasn't using these.  I disabled both in the BIOS to free up resources, just in case.
  2. I replaced the SiS video that came with my used motherboard with a decent S3 card.  Image quality seems noticeably nicer, sharper and with better contrast.
  3. I got a kit of "PC screws" on Amazon, and replaced the standard case screws with thumb screws.  A minor thing, but it filled my heart with joy.



Wolfenstein 3D

A nostalgic favorite from when I was young, I remember this being a bit of a killer app back in the day for MSDOS gaming.  It ran perfectly fine on my ancient 386-16, and we wouldn't see a console that could run it as well (or better) until the 3d0 or Jaguar!  Anyway, you might think it's too simple to enjoy now, but it's a lot of fun.  Just employ the good old "pick a wall and stick to it" technique and you will never have a problem with the mazes.  Without having to worry about mazes, it's just a great action/arcade game that plays great even just with a keyboard.  I completed Episode One on difficulty level 3, and had a blast!


Space Quest: Chapter I – The Sarien Encounter

I was in the mood to play a graphic adventure, and decided to go with this one.  I went in mostly blind, and a few hours later I was able to complete it (I had to look up a couple of hints).  Outside of a couple very unfair parts, I felt this game was pretty cool, and I had a good time with it.  I'd like to go on to SQ2, but will probably switch to King's Quest 1 or Leisure Suit Larry 1 first.




Let me show you some fancy MSDOS action now.DSC_0698a.jpg 

I have The Legend of Kyrandia: Book Two - Hand of Fate (what a title lol) running on the PC.

I was really pressed for space for my dedicated DOS gaming machine, so I ended up making some space for it on the printer stand in my office.  It took some time to find speakers that were decent but small enough to fit, but I'm happy with the setup now.  There is no room to use the mouse, so I just place a clipboard halfway under the keyboard, and it works just fine.  I can store the clipboard below when not in use to keep things compact.


It's a lot of fun having this system in the corner like this.  No distractions, no Internet, just gaming.



Edited by newtmonkey
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4 hours ago, newtmonkey said:

I got a kit of "PC screws" on Amazon, and replaced the standard case screws with thumb screws.  A minor thing, but it filled my heart with joy.

Yes it's amazing how an absurdly simple upgrade tweaks the panties just so.


I have a modern i7 I did the exact same thing to. The next mod to it will be to remove the optical drive and replace it with HDD. Decided to do the optical drive as an external.

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