First Two Tex Murphy Games Free On GoG

By John Walker on December 17th, 2009 at 10:03 pm.

You can't argue with a brown mac like that.

You know what some people are wrong about? The Tex Murphy games. Some people are way wrong about them, because they incorrectly think that the inclusion of FMV and old fashioned adventure gaming means something is automatically bad. In fairness it’s not a poor rule to live by – it’s pretty much true otherwise. But not for Tex. The Tex Murphy games managed to both mock the corniness of the genre, while carrying a surprising emotional weight. However, what I always forget is that the series began before them. It began with Mean Streets and Martians Memorandum. I admit I’ve never played them, so in light of the news that both games are completely free on Good Old Games until 24th December I turned to adventure games uber-expert Mr Richard Cobbett to ask about them. “They’re rubbish.” So there we go. But they’re also free. And more importantly, you can get the later games, Overseer, Pandora Directive and Under A Killing Moon from GoG too.

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46 Comments »

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  1. Richard says:

    I like the later games, I swear! The Pandora Directive especially is a fantastic interactive movie.

  2. Gremmi says:

    Mean Streets is extremely confusing and awkward for those unused to bizarre interfaces and having to *gasp* type things in. But still worth it.

    Martian Memorandum is excellent though.

  3. Premium User Badge

    DarkNoghri says:

    And here I was on my way to the forums to announce this in the PC Gaming Deals thread, only to be beaten to the punch by the RPS front page.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    I bought the three latest Tex Murphey games from gog.com a while ago.

    Still waiting in my “to play” queue…

  5. malkav11 says:

    Mean Streets is funky. Martian Memorandum I haven’t gotten to yet.

    Also worth noting is that they promise there will be an “alternate gift” for people who already own this bundle through GoG…but you have to register at this link:

    http://www.gog.com/en/page/alternative_gift

    • jsutcliffe says:

      Not that I’m eligible, but I’m very curious what the alternative item is — it’s very cool of them to recognise that their free gift might not be useful to everyone.

  6. moyogo says:

    I actually won a GOG giveaway, got Under a Killing Moon, finished it last night and woke up to find this email from GOG. Don’t tell my woman, but I would propose to them if I could.

  7. rei says:

    My new computer seems to not make it before the end of the year, so I guess I’ve got time for free “rubbish” over the holidays.

    Obligatory mention of Gabriel Knight 2 as another exception to the rule. That’s about it, although I remember liking Star Trek: Klingon too, but that may have been due to personal bias.

    • Richard says:

      I’d add Spycraft and the Wing Commanders (except Prophecy) to that. And there were a few other games that used FMV pretty well, like Realms of the Haunting, even if they weren’t full-on interactive movies.

    • Richard says:

      (WC isn’t an adventure game, obviously, although it had its moments, like the debate at the end of the fourth game, or the relationship stuff in 3)

    • Richard says:

      (Really, with interactive movies, there are so few good ones that genres don’t matter.)

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      Yeah, I liked Star Trek: Klingon. And Star Trek: Borg. Looking back, I’m fairly certain that was just my blind young Star Trek loving self lying to me.

    • Thants says:

      Spycraft was good, wasn’t it? I gotta find my copy of that.

    • LionsPhil says:

      @Vandelay: All the video from Star Trek: Borg is on YouTube. It features Q chastising you and hitting you over the head with a modified tricorder. How can a game containing this not be good?

      Last I looked, though, it was i) impossible to aquire legally ii) hilariously technically broken (assuming that anything that’s not 16-bit graphics isn’t good enough), so “playing” it by watching it all unfold via YouTube is probably the best way.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Oh, ST:B also wins many points for (spoiler) taking the old broken-game-design “to solve this puzzle, you need information you can only get by losing” thing, and turning it inside out thanks to a heaping dose of Q powers.

  8. Igor Hardy says:

    Mean Streets and Maritian Memorandum are truly not very good games (in contrast to the later Tex games). Dead ends upon dead ends, awful death traps, unfair puzzles…

    But you can hear you PC Speaker speak!

  9. Magius Paulus says:

    Under a Killing Moon was a pretty fun and at that time even revolutionary adventure.
    Talking about old fashioned adventure games; the following games are a must imho:
    Gabriel Knight 1 and 3 (best adventure series of all time), Yathzee’s Chzo games (especially Tribly’s Notes is cool, but you’re better of playing them in the order they appeared) and King’s quest 2 (new release by vga studios).

    • Gotem says:

      Since when you started with those masochistic tendencies?
      Or maybe you can deal better with frustration than the rest of us
      I too liked the Sierra games until I discovered the LucasArts ones

    • Ozzie says:

      What?
      The remake of KQ2 is very well designed!

  10. malkav11 says:

    Having watched an LP of Phantasmagoria 2 I rather liked that one. Though it’s not up to the Gabriel Knight standard by any means.

  11. Dean says:

    Having played these, they really were awful. The later 3D FMV games were alright though. And I’d defend Black Dahlia as a decent FMV game, and Ripper very almost was if not for a huge design flaw that made the whole thing pointless.

  12. Grey_Ghost says:

    OMFG! I played these when they were brand spanking new games. Hell I modded my PC speaker to play through my stereo system back then, they told you how to do it in the manual. Oh man this really takes me back.

  13. Zerotonine says:

    Wasn’t Overseer just a remake/retelling of the original Mean Streets anyway? Martian Memorandum is not a good game these days, but it right up there for having amazing sound come out of a PC speaker, I believe Access did the same thing with Countdown.

    The later Tex Murphy games, particularly Under A Killing Moon and Pandora Directive were amazing. They should be bought, immediately :) I still have my original CD-ROMs for UAKM and TPD, got the DVD version of Overseer too. I think I’ll rebuy them through GOG as they might actually work on my machine.

    Chris Jones and Aaron Conners have dropped hints of a project called “Fedora” and it may be a new Tex game, who knows what’s going to come of that.

  14. Martin Kingsley says:

    UNDER A KILLING MOON! SQUEEEEEEEEE! I never managed to play Pandora Directive or Overseer, but wanted to, desperately. Oh, I am so very tempted.

  15. Ozzie says:

    You should be! Pandora Directive is even better!

  16. chunks says:

    remember how many freakin’ cds this game was? it was like 6… or 7.

    Speaking of which… when you think about it, it is pretty incredible that return of zork fit on 12 floppies.

  17. Risingson says:

    …. though I’m more a fan of Countdown. Or Noctropolis.

  18. Gremmi says:

    Aye, Spycraft was an absolutely awesome game. Gabriel Knight 2 is also my favouritest favourite game of all favourite time favourite. Though Le Serpent Rouge in GK3 remains the best puzzle in an adventure game (though curiously it also contains the single worst one – the cat hair moustache disguise…).

    I am curious why the GK3 engine wasn’t reused. It was the best 3D point and click engine I’ve ever seen.

    • LionsPhil says:

      @Gremmi: Discworld Noir did 3D point-and-click perfectly (as in, from a user interface perspective, it was exactly the same as 2D games—no stupid “oh, it’s 3D, so we’d better change the controls to be like a shooter” like LucasArts suffered). Admittedly the backgrounds were still prerendered, but that’s implementation detail (and if you’ve no reason to ever move the camera and peturb your moody scene composition/introduce camera-control woes, why not?).

      Discworld Noir needs more love.

    • malkav11 says:

      Ugh. I really hated GK3’s engine. The game was (in many respects) brilliant like the other Gabriel Knight games, but it was a severe downgrade in playability from either of the previous games, and looked worse to boot.

  19. Gremmi says:

    That was in response to Richard. Damn you, non-working reply button.

  20. Richard says:

    From what I understand, the GK3 engine was a bit of a nightmare to work with, and Sierra wasn’t exactly in the mood for another adventure game at that point anyway. I wasn’t a huge fan of GK3 (although I do mean to replay it at some point just to memory-check my problems with it), but yeah, I really wish more companies had tried their hand at proper 3D-as-in-uses-the-3D adventures.

  21. Casimir's Blake says:

    The illustrious Hardcore Gaming 101 have a detailed article about this series. FMV needs to make a comeback. No, really, it does.

  22. LionsPhil says:

    Ooh. Grabbed. Under a Killing Moon was ace.

    Dear RPS Hivemind: Pandora Detective. Want to buy it as a Christmas present, GOG have it, but there’s no manual. How obtuse is the interface? Would the UaKM manual roughly work as a substitute (which they have)?

    (As noted, even eBay/Amazon copies don’t tend to have it—and the one I saw that did was 90-odd quid in “meh” condition.)

    • Bioptic says:

      They share most of their interface, and neither are particularly unintuitive (mouse to move, keyboard to look, click to interact). The only Tex Murphy game I ever played near release was Pandora Directive, and never recalled looking at the manual for it (don’t even think it came with one).

    • Richard says:

      You don’t need the manual at all. The only cumbersome thing about the interface is looking up and down, really. The rest is either intuitive, or controlled with buttons with what they do written on them.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Righto. I shall finally give these fine gentlemen of game preservation a smattering of coin, then.

  23. Buemba says:

    Rubbish or not, for that price I’m definitely giving both games a go.

    And speaking of the Tex Murphy series, Under A Killing Moon was one of my favorite games, but as an early 3D game I’m a bit wary of replaying it now since they tend to age terribly. I’d kill for a remake or modern sequel to it, though.

  24. Scorpi says:

    As a proud Canadian, I did a double-take at the title of this post. Don’t scare me like that, or I may end up looking like him: http://nsb.com/media/espeakers/photo/5966/13325.jpg

  25. Ozzie says:

    Wha?
    The remake of KQ2 is very well designed!

  26. Ozzie says:

    OH….replay fail… :-/

  27. Ozzie says:

    Reply of course, reply! Gah…

  28. no says:

    The Tex Murphy game with Christopher Walken and the Blue Oyster Cult was one of the first games I ever purchased and I still remember (as goofy as the whole thing was) how awesome the intro was. The murder scene with “seasons don’t fear the reaper” playing in the background with the scene cutting to silhouettes and lightning. It was so awesome!