Back To The Pre-Working-For-Future: 1993

By RPS on April 2nd, 2010 at 9:00 pm.

Man - there were so many gags we weren't able to squeeze in. This actual logo only went up at the end of the day. Kieron was also frustrated that whoever had put Cannon Fodder's release date on Wikipedia got it wrong, so his in-progress Wot I Think drawing a line between the MGS4 controversy and CF had to be abandoned. Also, not enough time to actually do the Wasteland Retro piece.

Blogging was all usual on April 1st here. Well, as usual if it was April 1st 1993. It seemed like a good idea. No, really. All the stories follow…

Special thanks for everyone who played along the gags, even everyone who jumped on the DRM-for-game-revealed-it’s-a-codewheel-esque jokes. We were going to do that one, you basts.

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111 Comments »

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  1. karthik says:

    No System Shock preview. :(

  2. Heliosicle says:

    So this was gaming when I was 1? Crazy

    • bwion says:

      I hate the internet most of all when it makes me feel old.

    • Vinraith says:

      @bwion

      I wouldn’t worry about it, he’s clearly messing with you. I mean, no one born after the Berlin Wall fell is old enough to type yet. Right? RIGHT?!

    • Premium User Badge

      Vitamin Powered says:

      @Vinraith

      It’s a scientific fact that they can only write and speak in “txtspk”. Plus, while we can’t check via this primitive forum for a hoodie, we can rest assured that he or she hasn’t tried to knife us yet, so is therefore over the age of 18, when such behaviour stops.

    • Daniel Rivas says:

      This was gaming when I was -1.

      Errk.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Gaming when I was 1, too.

    • Psychopomp says:

      You whippersnappers! This was gaming when I was THREE! You lot still wear your diapers?

    • Vinraith says:

      @Vitamin Powered

      Your conclusions are soothing, and my age-addled brain is incapable of seeing an error in your logic.

      For the record, I was 15 in 1993, and you 90’s babies are entirely too damned young. If I had a lawn, I would order you to remove yourselves from it immediately.

    • Wulf says:

      @The Whippersnappers

      I’m curious! What was the Doom of your generation? Unreal Tournament? Quake III? What marked a turn in the FPS genre for you? What was your Ultima VII? And others can feel free to pitch in on this, with questions and answers alike. It seems like a fun topic, no?

    • EthZee says:

      Damnit, you’re making me feel old. I was 3 in 1993.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Wulf: Delta Force Land Warrior, Dark Forces 2, Quake 1&2 were all fairly important in my metre high stack of demo-discs.

      I remember crying when my dad would kill an alien in Quake 2, I said that he was my friend :(

      OH, and Baldur’s Gate.

    • Lack_26 says:

      @Vinraith,

      Don’t worry I would remove myself while ranting about the youth of today. I’d be far better at being middle-aged than 19, for God’s sake I only wear suits and spend my evenings reading in front of a fire while drinking wine. Although I do own a rather sexy Fedora. I blame watching Mad Men.

    • Bhazor says:

      I was 6…
      You young people with your electric light boxes, meth and Lazy Caca! Back in my day all we had was Super Nintendo, dib dabs and Bjork! We were happy to get those!

      Grr! A spell of national service will straighten you up!

    • Jason Lefkowitz says:

      @Vinraith:

      For the record, I was 15 in 1993, and you 90’s babies are entirely too damned young. If I had a lawn, I would order you to remove yourselves from it immediately.

      I graduated from high school in 1993! You punk kids make me sick.

    • Premium User Badge

      DollarOfReactivity says:

      @Wulf
      Great question! I’ve often wondered where I fit in the RPS experience spectrum (I was 10 in 1993).

      I fondly remember hiding the DOOM disk in my desk drawer and re-installing it every time I wanted to play because my parents didn’t approve. Oh, and our first CD-ROM drive came with Ultima VI and Wing Commander bundled on one disk. I think those were my first “adult” games, and they both just blew me away.

    • Jonas says:

      Apparently I’m more or less the same age as Quinns. Not sure what to think about that.

      Except I think I liked him better when he was 7. I do wonder how such a nice kid grew up to be such a bitter young man.

    • Psychopomp says:

      @EthZee

      Are you despairing over turning 20, too? A QUARTER OF OUR LIVES ARE OVER!

    • Jonas says:

      @ Psychopomp

      Don’t worry about it, it was probably the least interesting quarter. Things have only just started to pick up.

    • Heliosicle says:

      Does playing DOOM on a gameboy count? Can’t remember when that was. I played Pokemon for 5 years pretty much.

      I played Starcraft alot, I was mainly into rts’ in those days, my first fps on pc was Quake 2 I think.

    • Springy says:

      Stop with the faux-pensioner stuff. None of you are old, unless you were able to pay for Elite with your own money. ¬_¬

    • jalf says:

      1993? I must’ve been 11. Good times. I’m pretty sure that was about the time I got my first PC, give or take a year.

    • Lewis says:

      PEOPLE WERE ONE IN 1993?

      FUCK!

      You’ve just made me, Phill, Quinns and Lewie feel old. You do realise that, right? WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE YOUNG ONES.

    • The Hammer says:

      I was 2! I was about to turn 3, on April the 8th! (It’s my 20th this year 8D)

      As far as my generation’s highlights? Well… I didn’t get a PC until I was 13 (now I can’t live without one, both for games and otherwise), so I binged on stuff like… er… Sonic the Hedgehog, Streets of Rage, Monkey Island (my brother used to play it. I watched him), Colin McRae Rally, Resident Evil 2, Tomb Raider 2, Final Fantasy IX, Age of Empires, and WWF Smackdown. A bit hit-and-miss really, but it made me the gamer I am today!

      I’m sorta glad I was born in that period, though. I’m pretty happy with how things are in the gaming landscape at the moment, and I have an amazing gaming backlog to get my hands on.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      Gosh, I was 12 in 1993, can I still be in with the old crowd? I didn’t play Doom until 1995 when we finally got a home PC capable of running it. The thing that got me hooked on PC gaming and made me sell the old NES and SNES was Warcraft 2 though. Man, what a game! :)

    • Jockie says:

      I don’t think I’ve ever felt ‘old’ until I read these comments. But on the plus side, I can understand Dizzie references.

      As for Wulfs question, I was 13-16 when System Shock 2, Half-life and Deus Ex came out, and probably consider them the games that defined my gaming generation, Having said that, I did buy a cherished copy of Ultima Collection, containing the first 8 games. I preferred the more linear Serpent Isle to Ultima VII, but I’m sure that’s heresy in some peoples eyes.

    • Fumarole says:

      So many whippersnappers here. This is gaming when I graduated from highschool. You kids get off my LAN now.

    • Aftershock says:

      I was 1 year old too..

      DOOM 2 was my first introduction to pc fps, on a friends computer. Before that it was various crash bandicoots on the PS1, once again at a friends house.

    • archonsod says:

      I was 14 in 1993. I think I still had my Amiga at the time.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      Damn, you guys are all babies – I was 23 in 1993.

      Early turning points in gaming were pong on a friend’s Atari VCS (later known as the 2600), receiving a Commodore 64 with disk drive for Christmas in 1992, Elite, Sierra adventure games and Wolfenstein 3D.

    • GameOverMan says:

      I am older than the Universe (the PC gaming universe, that is) I got my first PC (a 486DX-33 with 4 MB) the same month Doom was launched (December 1993), coming from the Amiga 500 and a Commodore-128 before that.

    • Roland says:

      I was 24 in 1993, but I stopped feeling old when new starters at my place of work were born after I left school.
      Now I am just happy with my age.

    • BigJonno says:

      I was ten in 1993 and still very much an Amiga boy. Sega vs Nintendo didn’t exist in my playground, oh no, the console kids used to join forces against us Amiga owners. My first console was a Playstation when I was 13 and we bought a PC when I was 15, I think.

    • westyfield says:

      I’m loving this, it makes me feel so youthful!
      Perspective: When Half Life 2 came out (2004), I was too young to play it (rated 15). Yeah, you heard me right, grandad.

    • Thristhart says:

      I was -1 in 1993. The games that defined my childhood were all console/portable games. Sonic, Pokemon, Crash Bandicoot, etc. For me, when I finally got into PC games, it was with Halo and Counter-Strike, which by that point were old enough that I didn’t have to upgrade my computer to play them.

    • Adventurous Putty says:

      I was one too, I’m afraid. And too busy playing baby games on a console, too, to notice PC games until I was about 10. Super Mario ftw.

    • Britpunk says:

      29 here, looking forward to turning 30 in June.
      Began gaming aged 3 back on my brother’s 48k (which I then ‘inherited’ when he upgraded to the 128k) in 85/86 – I inherited that in ’88). Was primarily a speccy boy until it died in the early nineties (I know it technically lives on) with minor tinkerings with the C64, MSX and Atari ST along the way.

      First proper PC exprience was playing Monkey Island on my posh mate’s 386 in about 91/92 (posh because he owned a PC, obviously) and then my brother finally bought one in 93, so this series was a wonderful reminder of my first forays into the exciting world of memory management PC Gaming.

      Anyway, great job guys. I really appreciated these articles.

    • Darren says:

      @Springy

      I purchased Elite with my own money :(
      Oh god. I just remembered my age.

    • Premium User Badge

      phuzz says:

      I’d have been 12-13 in 93, and still on my amiga I think.
      @DollarOfReactivity
      interesting you talk about adult games (well, grown up games is maybe a better term?). I think a lot of the older crowd will agree with me, that back int he day, there was just games, and in some ways they were all considered to be for kids, and occasional weirdos.
      I think a lot of (most?) people over the age of about 30 or so still have this view, and given that most of the people in positions of power still hold this viewpoint, we end up with the “video games teach kids to muder!!!!!11!!one” type headlines.

      As the saying goes ‘Science (and public opinion), changes, funeral by funeral’
      :)

  3. Alex Bakke says:

    When I saw the Commanche one: “Bwuuuh?”

    • Heliosicle says:

      I remember the map of EVERY key that came with the game, I think they just directly converted the buttons from helicopter to keyboard… Or was that Commanche 2?

  4. Zaphid says:

    So, where on a nerd scale do I rank when I was 2 years old around the time this “was” publishd and I still know every single one of the titles mentioned ?

  5. Ubiquitous says:

    Great gags RPS, brings me back to my roots.

  6. James G says:

    I’m glad at least that Vinrath keeps me from feeling old, I was 8/9 in 1993. Was mainly playing on the A600 that year, having got one for my birthday in 1992. Lots of Lemmings, Dizzy, Jeff Minter and other shareware titles. Think I first played Monkey Island in ’93 as well, although can’t be sure.

  7. teo says:

    Personally I just thought all this crap was annoying and excessive

  8. WarFalci says:

    I loved the idea. We should totally have more of it. Like, one every week.

  9. Karthik says:

    What do you know, I was around 7 1/4 in April 1993 too.

    I somehow figured most RPS folks were (much) older than me.
    I was wrong!

    RPS needs to do a readership age survey.

    • Premium User Badge

      Thermal Ions says:

      “RPS needs to do a readership age survey.’

      Yes, must get confirmation there’s someone older than me here.

    • Tom says:

      HA! I was like, 7 1/2!

  10. Army_of_None says:

    I very much enjoyed this! :)

  11. Fitz says:

    Well, I was 21 in 1993, so I win. Away with you, children.

    Eee, iIt were all video arcades round here when I were a lad. Remember those?

    • Wulf says:

      Yes! D:

      My heart tells me that I miss those dearly, that they were places of electronic wonder, glowing screens filled with delights familiar and alien in equal parts, my peers teaching me the tricks of the trade, and the times where it was just myself and the machine, and names like Rush’n Attack didn’t cause an outcry.

      My mind tells me that they were dark, dingy places where only nerds went, they smelled of sweat and bodily excess, poorly covered with cheap aftershave, filled with evil constructs designed to addict me and rob me of my last penny. Then were discordant dens of dirtiness, smoky, crowded, where one would often be bumped by some lumbering beast, and left with a stain that simply would not wash out.

      Despite what my mind tells me, I still think of them as romantic things, and I miss them dearly.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Thank god! I was looking and seeing people saying they were 12, 13… I was 22 in 1993.

      OLD!

    • Vinraith says:

      Like Wulf, I remember and dearly miss arcades. There was something fundamentally different about playing an arcade game, and it simply can’t be captured by any home media. The temporary nature of the experience, the idea of regularly finding a new game, the lack of familiarity, the stick and button controls, it all added up to a unique gaming experience that has virtually ceased to exist in this country. It’s very sad.

    • archonsod says:

      I remember the highest compliment you could pay a game graphicwise was it “looks like the arcade”!

      Then you look back with MAME and wonder what the hell you were smoking.

    • BigJonno says:

      The phrase “arcade-perfect conversion” is still dead sexy.

  12. CMaster says:

    It’s funny, I was 7 in 1993 and this series of articles brough up lots of games that were a big thing to me although not necessarily in ’93. Back in 1993 we had a 386SX 16mhz with 2mb of RAM. I think we’d upgraded to a colour monito by this point, not 100%$ sure. I’m not sure how many years later it was (not many) that we upgraded to a P120 with a quad speed CD drive.

    MOO was my favourite game for a while. UFO passed me by but TFTD would later become a life stealer.
    I never played the dizzy games, but spent hours with various platformers. Notably Commander Keen 4 and Keen Dreams, but also the demo of some slidey wizzard game and Fury of the Furies

    Commanche was the kind of game I always read about in magazines but knew I was never good enough to play, a bit like the long forgotten giant stompy robots genre.

    And then Doom. The game that I never understood. The one that I still feel a little a little like a traitor or something for never liking. Hell, Strife was the only game even vaugley close to Doom that I ever had fun with.

    Of course, back then I owned very few games. Wizkid, Master of Orion are the ones that spring to mind. Digging through floppies would find me more I guess. Most of the gaming I did was demos. Some could absorb a hell of a lot of time though, and the early days of cover CDs could easily manage a whole month of play from one disk. – especially when the demo was hard as nails, like Z or TFTD.

    What was my first FPS? Half Life Uplink in ’98 was the first that I enjoyed, think I got HL GOTY for Christmas that year, while Unreal Tournament (led by the exceptional demo) was my intro to deathmatch and that of all my college friends in the early 2000s. I dont know what Ultima meant to you so I can’t suggest an equivilant.

  13. Will Tomas says:

    I was 7 too, also making me the same age as Quinns. I think it was the lack of iron that made him so bitter.

    However, when I was 7 I think my gaming must have been pretty much exclusively on a Game Gear, or else on my parents’ 486, which they got after a green-screened Amstrad that contained 2 games – an old version of brick and a timed maze game. In fact I had probably just encountered Dizzy and Captain Comic by that point…

    • Will Tomas says:

      Damn reply function not working, that was supposed to be for the thread at the top.

  14. Gumbomasta. says:

    Golden age of PC games right here. I was 10. Ultimate 7 was too powerful for my rig but I worked Ultima 6 and Kings quest 6. Awesome. Still have Betrayal of Krondor on the HD. Been meaning to beat that for 8 years!

  15. Torgen says:

    In 1993, I was….
    30.

    (collapses into a pile of dust)

    • Wulf says:

      Hey, with age comes knowledge and wisdom (as these things take time to accumulate). You undoubtedly know more about your hobbies than most of us!

    • Nox says:

      God bless you, Torgen.

      I was 22 and just getting out of a four-year stint in the Army in ’93. I was seriously beginning to think I didn’t belong here. Which would be nuts since I haven’t felt more comfortable with any community than I with all of you distinguished, attractive folks. And that’s ever. All the way back to the 300 baud BBS days.

      RPS and its readership is akin to home and family for me. I expect to see you all at the next reunion. I’ll be bringing the cole slaw!

  16. Lambo says:

    Hmmmm. Its April 1st 1993 yesterday? Then I guess I will be born in ooooh 3 months from now? Although I was obviously “late” to this game I am extremely fond of Doom, have dabbled in x-com, have syndicate buried in my harddrive somewhere and have the early Sam & Max games in among my To Do list of games.

    CAN I HAZ OLD PPL REZPEC NOW?

    In reply Wulfs question, The gaming highlights of my childhood would have been about 5 years of hardcore pokemon.There was also pretty much everything that goes with being raised on the Playstation (Crash Bandicoot. Spyro The Dragon (the early ones!) and the amazing Ratchet and Clank series). I guess I also had the benifit of having a videogame interested uncle who got me into Doom at a early age. About 6 years ago (when I was still ten *E-GASP*) I began weening myself veeeeeery slowly off of my beloved PS2 and onto PC. Over the last few years I’m sure all of my highlights have been just the same as yours.

    I hope these few tidbits have been enlightening for you curious old pensioners. I would go on but I have homework to do ;)

  17. Jason Moyer says:

    What was the Leather Godesses of Phobos of your generation? The Pitfall 2 of your generation?

    • Wulf says:

      …I did not need to remember that game.

      You know which one.

      Oh lordy.

  18. Jugglenaut says:

    Reading all these comments make me feel bad. Not because I was only 4 in 93, but because when I was younger I was a nintendo kid and I didn’t get into PC gaming until Half-Life 2. I’ve had to work my way backwards in games along with keeping up to have any fun.

    • The Hammer says:

      Mine was Call of Duty, which just makes Activision’s bastardisation of the series all the more tragic for me. Shellshock, hiding behind cow carcases, and iron sights. Man. Call of Duty blew me away.

  19. jarvoll says:

    Man, I was *exactly* 7 on April 1st, 1993, but I had heard of precisely zero of these games. Thanks to my not having a dad to buy games and let me play them, and not having a mum who understood what games were at all, I didn’t really know about computer games properly until about 2000, when I was 14. So even though I’m apparently in the middle age-group in RPS terms, in gaming terms I’m very much the youngster. In fact, since I had no friends to introduce me to new games, and no magazines or anything of that sort, I only really discovered most of the most important PC games a couple of years ago (like Baldur’s Gate & the D&D club, any RTS apart from Red Alert, TBS in general). Thankfully, this final awakening has coincided with the huge retro movement facilitated by the digital distribution scene, so I’ve been able to pick up a large chunk of PC gaming’s back-catalogue and discover what I’d been missing all those years. It does mean, though, that I feel constantly left out of the old boys’ club, and that playing through these games is almost like an initiation rite – as though I won’t be accepted until I can contribute to a whipping up of nostalgia about X-COM, Ultima, System Shocks, Thiefs, Civilizations, &c… I’m not complaining, mind: whatever it is that drives me, the experience is simply playing the best games that have ever been made, and it’s a pleasure every step of the way.

  20. Vinraith says:

    Having just read the alt text, may I suggest you just do the Wasteland retro piece anyway? I’d quite like to read it, and surely I’m not alone.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Vin: Yeah, it’d be a good one… but we’d lose the joke, which would have been writing about it in a pre-fallout universe. The tone would have been much like Fallout fans writing about there never-gonna-be-a-new-real-Fallout at the moment. I’ll miss the satire.

      KG

    • yogSo says:

      Maybe there’s an obvious answer to this question that I can’t see, but… Is there some special reason why the Hivemind chose the year 1993? Is it because it rhymes with “gaming since 1873″?

      In other non-quite-offtopic news: Killap has finally released the latest version of his Fallout 2 Restoration Project! ¡Albricias!

    • Vinraith says:

      @Kieron

      Yeah, I see your point. Clearly you guys need to make this more than a one-time gag, then. There are simply too many great, poignant, and/or hilarious things you can do with it to leave it be.

  21. achso says:

    1993? My Friend and I saved Doom Progess under — NEW SAVE –, so that his older brother never got to know our shenanigans on his PC. Good times.

    • Mr_Day says:

      Sadly, my first thought for that was “that is fucking clever.”

      I never had to hide anything I did on my computer (I was only 13 in 93, but I had my own pc) but if I had, I wouldn’t have been that slick about it.

  22. wcaypahwat says:

    1993… I was 8 years old. I think. Yeah, that sounds about right. Got our first family PC a few years earlier I think…. either that or I’m missing a couple years memory… (top of the line 486). It was actually my grandfather who got me playing games. He was, and still is, the type who likes to keep up with the latest tech.

    He supplied me with shareware copies of Doom, and Wolfenstein 3d. The PC came with something like 50 games demo’s pre installed on it, which was amazing. these kept me going til about…. oh, 1999. I think the only additions I ever made were The Secret of Monkey Island, Kings Bounty and Master of Orion.

    1999 was when I got a spiffy new P3 450, and OMG! CD-ROM! I can play all those games my friends have talked about for years! I absolutely devoured Half-life, System Shock 2, Baldurs Gate, Icewind Dale, Torment (okay, so I was an avid D&D player at the same time) MOO2, fell madly deeply in love with the command and Conquer games. I think Tiberian Sun was the first real game I ever bought with my own money. I still spent a lot of time playing demo’s of many a game, too. We didnt have anywhere that sold games in town, so whenever someone went away and bought something back, it would get passed around.

    Then I grew up, got a job, and bought pretty much every game thats caught my fancy, from the past, and the present. Good times.

  23. Delboy says:

    Hmmm. I was 19, and in my 2nd year at University (doing a Computer Science degree … see Kids … Computeres existed before you discovered them!).

    I think I’d just upgraded my 486SX33 to a DX2-66. Stuck with 4Mb RAM because that was the most the motherboard would take! All for Doom :-)

    I distinctly remember Civilisation being a major game for me at this point in time … I think it’s where my desire for world domination came from ;)

    Delboy

  24. Gassalasca says:

    I was 7 in 1993, like Quinns. But I think I played my first PC game some two years later.
    Didn’t matter, though – when I did get to play all those classics from the early nineties, somewhere around 1999, I was old enough to appreciate them, and infuse them with a wonderful sense of misappropriated nostalgia.

  25. TOOTR says:

    Ha! 23 in 1993.

    Played on an original PONG arcade game when I was about 5 or 6 but it was the mighty Space Invaders in my local chip shop when I was 8 that really got me.

    Then there was an electronics repair shop I’d walk past on the way home from Primary school that would open up the front of a SCRAMBLE machine and flick the lever where the coin slot is multiple times and give us lots of free credits. Those guys were probably only about 20 yrs old but to me they were shining benevolent gods.

    Then a mate got an Atari 2600 and we’d sesh a terrible version of Pacman but a fun 2-player called combat.

    Then I got the battery operated game called Astro Wars for my 11th birthday. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astro_Wars It was ‘THE’ thing to have I can assure you :D

    Then……manic miner, atic atac, chuckie egg,Killer Gorilla, Knight Lore, Citadel,The hobbit, twin kingdom valley, Acornsoft Snapper/pac man/ , Space panic/monsters, Defender/Planetoid, Philosophers Quest, Sphinx Adventure, Repton and then ELITE. (I had a photo of myself in Computer & Video Games with my hard won ELITE status confirmation). ELITE was the first game where I stayed up well well past my bedtime with the sound low so as not to wake my parents as they would have gone ballistic :)

    A long flirtation with the Amiga and then a 386 and then 486 pc : Monkey Island, Fate of Atlantis, X Wing, Doom, Doom II, Dune 2. All seshed to utter completion.

    And it just keeps on going….

    You youngsters come back and moan about feeling old when you hit at least say thirty and not before :D

  26. Web Cole says:

    An extra special RPS style April 1st. Twas awesome, well done guys ;)

  27. Horza says:

    Wouldn’t mind if it was 1993 every day.

  28. bill says:

    I played Dizzy on my ZX spectrum…. when it loaded off the tape recorder that is.

    93… that means I was… er… 17! Good god man!!!

    I’ll grow up one of these days…

    • Wulf says:

      No, don’t do that. In the words of the Doctor, that’s the worst thing you could do!

  29. Taillefer says:

    I was still attached to my Amiga 600 in 1993. I think Scorched Tanks and The Settlers were released that year.

    It is strange, though, to think some people weren’t even old enough to have played Thief or Half-Life when they were released.

  30. dogsolitude_uk says:

    I was 20, and had an Amiga 600. My roster of machines thus far was:
    – ZX81
    – ZX Spectrum
    – ZX Spectrum 128 +2
    – BBC Micro Model B
    – Atari 520STFM, which I sold to buy an electric guitar so I could pull some girl I fancied
    – Commodore 64
    – Amiga 600
    – Amiga 1200

    It was after going from the Amiga 600 to the Amiga 1200 that I realised that the upgradeability of the PC meant that it was probably the way forward. We’d been playing Frontier in the house on a PC and my Amiga, both were juttery as hell. My mate went out one saturday and spent thirty quid on a new graphics card, fiddled with it a bit, and suddenly his version of Frontier was textured and smooth…

    After that I got:
    – An old, half dead 286 off a mate of mine
    – A P200, which I still have, now called ‘Sparky’
    – Athlon 1800+, ‘Euclid’

    …And a bunch of others that I’ve bought/found over the years, including my present desktop ‘Zen’ and laptop ‘ORACII’.

    I’ve been having a sort out, and have ten computers in total in the house, not counting the Spectrum which has wires hanging out of the back.

    • Wulf says:

      My history was something like that.

      – ZX80
      – ZX Spectrum
      – Same Coupe (WHY?!)
      – Sinclair +2 (I loved this thing.)
      – Sinclair +3 (I loved this thing, too.)
      – Amstrad CPC (Family owned.)
      – Commodore 64 (I was iffy about this at first, but came to love it.)
      – Atari ST (my preciousss)
      – Amiga 600 (I was iffy about this at first, but came to love it.)
      – Amiga 1200 (Firmly in the Amiga fan camp by this time.)
      – Amiga CD32 (my new precioussss)

      Interspersed between the Amigas and up to modern day were IBM compatibles and PCs of all descriptions. I continued with the noisy desktop until finally I converted to laptopism, and that’s where I am right now. I wouldn’t give up my gaming laptop for any other sort of computer out there!

    • Wulf says:

      Sam Coupe, rather. Blasted typos. Or SAM Coupé if I’m not being bloody lazy.

      Why did I have one of those? D: They’re the most uncool of uncool computers.

      I will surely be frowned upon.

    • cjlr says:

      @Wulf
      ‘gaming laptop’ ?

      Surely you jest, good sir. I have heard on several occasions of such an animal, but I have yet to catch a glimpse of one myself. A colleague of mine once showed to me what he claimed to be a specimen, but when I examined the beast myself it proved to be far less, in both mien and substance, than he’d claimed.

    • Huggster says:

      Ahh Frontier – Elite 2? I loved that game. I still remember the best ship was the one featured on the intro cinematic. I even wrote a guide and sent it in to a magazine. My UW2 guide was published in PC Format or Zone I think with someone else.

    • cjlr says:

      @Wulf

      But wouldn’t that weigh nineteen pounds and melt countertops? My name is Ozymandias, king of kings! Look on my laptop, ye might, and despair… It’s a very solid piece of hardware, but that kind of laptop is so not for me – even if it didn’t cost four times what the off-the-shelf components would. But don’t listen to me, if it keeps you gaming happily, more power to you.

      That page also had one of the greatest disclaimers I’ve ever read. Personalized nameplate not available in Nordic languages. This is what happens when you cut corners on egraving software, people.

    • Wulf says:

      @cjr

      I can’t help it. There are four reasons I cannot ever escape the laptop (and this is why I’m glad that gaming laptops do exist):

      – Noise. Desktops are just too noisy for me, and I’m frankly terrified at the prospect of putting together a water-cooled system. I find that laptops are always the quietest computer. My hearing is amazing, the sort children have where one can detect a CRT monitor fault just by listening to the frequency of its electrical buzz after having been on for a few hours. So noise matters to me, specifically: the reduction of.

      – Mobility: I like to move around a lot. Sometimes I’ll even setup outside, sometimes I’ll be at different locations throughout the house, sometimes it’s a holiday, what have you. I can keep a laptop at my side and I feel comfortable with the presence of such technology, I wouldn’t be able to do so with a desktop. The most liberating thing when I switched to laptop gaming was this. With a desktop I feel chained in place, it’s not the nicest feeling.

      – Keyboard: I don’t know whether you’ve used a modern laptop’s keyboard, but they’re wonderful, simply wonderful. The problem with standard keyboards is that the keys are too deep, and they require much more effort to press, thus putting greater strain on the wrists, this is a nice way to introduce RSI. I don’t have RSI, and one of the two reasons for this is the laptop keyboard (the other is my trackball). I’ve used ergo keyboards, I’ve used all sorts of keyboards, but the quietest keyboard (no clicky keys), the most pleasant keyboard to use, the most comfortable by far is the laptop keyboard. Plus, it’s quieter than a desktop keyboard for when I’m typing, and again, noise is a concern for me. Laptop keyboards seem almost luxurious compared to the keyboards I used to use, it’s like going from typing on stiff rubber to silk.

      – Almost everything in one place: I put a little extra money into this laptop to have a decent webcam in it. So I have a good webcam, a mic, the monitor, and the aforementioned keyboard all in the same space. When I close my laptop and carry it off with me, the only other thing I need to make space for is my trackball. There’s no need for me to have a million peripherals connected with loads of wires (I hate wire-mess). In fact, I have but two wires; that of my trackball and for power. The areas which I use my laptop aren’t that messy at all, and I kind of like it that way.

      That’s why I’ll be a laptop gamer from now on, I expect. Now the cons:

      – Hardware: A laptop can’t ever match a desktop PC in this regard, but then again, what games are there out there right now that use that kind of hardware? Left 4 Dead, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Mass Effect 2, and the mainstream games I want to play are easily handled by lower end hardware, and they still look amazing. Perhaps the only two games recently that could test my computer is that space shooter from Futuremark and Just Cause 2. I’m not interested in either because I’m not a huge fan of third person games or competitive shooty games. There might come a time when a new game will be so amazing that I’ll have to upgrade to desktop level hardware to play it. Then I’ll have a very tough choice to make.

      As long as I can play the games I want to play, that’s all that matters to me and as long as I can play them on a laptop, that’s what I’ll do. I love all the boons the laptop affords me, because not many people could relocate their gaming computer to a sunny spot for a good game of whatever their poison is, whilst enjoying the sun.

    • cjlr says:

      @Wulf

      Those are all extremely solid reasons. I tend to come across as rather snarky and dismissive, but I certainly don’t mean to imply any condescension or similar. To each his own, right?

      Re: noise. It’s been my experience that a desktop machine is generally quieter – a larger fan is almost always a slower fan, and thus generates less noise. Laptops, particularly large and fast ones, usually have a couple in-line exhaust fans – and they tend to ramp up to near jet engine levels at peak operation. The same is true of any newer video card, though, so I think it wouldn’t be any different, really. Is there actually a noticable difference?

      Re: mobility. I have a laptop of my own for general use and I do the same with it: take it wherever the nicest spot of the hour is. It’s easy enough to do some web browsing or even fairly intensive word processing, image design, coding, what have you more or less anywhere, don’t see it being much of an advantage with gaming, since one is limited to finding a good, stable surface (with good heat flow!) and room for a mouse (or trackball, as you say you use). I find a nice desk with everything carefully arranged – keyboard-to-screen distance being rather a key point of ergonomics – to be much more comfortable for anything intensive. And besides, while it’s not a completely trivial task, I can swap my PC to the den for wiring into the home theatre in about three minutes tops. By the time you get to a ten pound laptop with a 17 inch screen, you’re not really looking at something that’s that much easier to move around.

      Re: keyboards. That one really is to taste. Some people like the minimum of key height and pressure required, and some people will swear by the IMB model M until the day they die. I use a logitech G17, myself. The macros are phenomenally useful – almost enough to warrant the overly-large frame and useless extras.

      Re: almost everything in one place. It’s another appealing point, but the gigantic drawback – which I don’t think you mentioned – is the impossibility of partial replacement. User serviceability – hell, mere user accessibility – is extraordinarily important to me. Most laptop warranties are void if you so much as look at the screws on the bottom – nevermind the fact that all you ever wanted was simply to clean out the fans and air intakes… If one single component starts causing trouble then an all-in-one design starts to look like a regrettable thing, when it means that replacements must be done wholesale, or at least off-site.

      Re: hardware. True – lazy ass rule of thumb says portable tech runs a generation or so behind. Absolute top-end consumer components being what they are (and what they are is a colossal nightmare of cost/performance coupled with dare I say freudian undertones), that’s not actually very important. Plus, any multi-platform release is also usable on console-level hardware, which is by this point ancient.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Considering you could build 2 complete desktop systems for that price with better spec’s & better monitors……..
      You could even make them look as ridiculous too.

  31. gulag says:

    Thanks lads, that was worth the subscription just for today.

    I was about 14 when all this was happening. Golden days.

    *Sniff*

    No, no. Not crying, just have some dust in my eye from blowing into a C64 cartridge.

    • Wulf says:

      I had Last Ninja Remix on a C64 cart, it was one of my most cherished possessions at the time. I absolutely loved that game.

  32. Alaphic says:

    I was 6 in 93… Does that make me one of the Whippersnappers, or one of the Old Respectable Gamers? Also, all of you who were <1, thanks for making me feel ancient on the internet.

  33. Mario Figueiredo says:

    It was the best April Fools’ gag I’ve seen in a few years. I loved it. It was intelligent, didn’t fall for the easy-prank of the absurd lie, it got all of us doing a trip down memory lane, and it was fun.

    I absolutely had to link to you guys. Thank you for the fun.

  34. jalf says:

    Silly anecdote from roughly-1993. (might have been 94 or even 95). My friend and I got hold of Doom (just episode 1, the shareware version), and since it didn’t run very well on my 486 25mhz, we played it on his dad’s, which was waaaay faster (66mhz, I think), but had one minor problem:

    It had some kind of ur-optical mouse, which was apparently extremely accurate (compared to ball mice), but it also used a weird driver which killed the keyboard about 4 seconds after launching Doom.

    So we were just about able to start the game. After that, it was mouse-only until we rebooted the computer. No mouse wheel meant we couldn’t switch weapons. We couldn’t save or load. We couldn’t even quit the game without rebooting. We could barely move (had to keep moving the mouse forward.

    AND YET WE MANAGED TO FINISH EPISODE 1!

    That’s probably one of the proudest moments in my gaming history.

  35. Muzman says:

    This was cute. I kinda like how April Fools has become, a bit like Halloween, as much an excuse to dress up and muck around as anything else.
    You should still have rejigged the whole site into some crude BBS or text n links Navigator website or something.
    I’ll go hide while the crew reels violently at the implied effort necessary.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Muzman: “I kinda like how April Fools has become, a bit like Halloween, as much an excuse to dress up and muck around as anything else.”

      Yeah, totally. With the internet – when lies disperse much quicker and are more annoying than just doing it in real life – that’s dead, unless you can do it in a way which is obviously a joke.

      (The 1988 League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was marvelous, for example)

      Really, just an excuse to fuck around and do something fun is where the holiday’s future should lie.

      And thanks – glad you dug it.

      (Everyone else too, obv)

      KG

  36. Shalrath says:

    If you don’t actually remember the Berlin Wall coming down, or the 80’s as a lad, you don’t exist to me.

    My God… 1 years old in 1993…

  37. Levictus says:

    Damn, I was 5 in 1993. So I am kind of in between the oldskul and newskul generations. Didn’t get a computer till 1997. The games that made me would be Simcity 2000, Quake 1, Warcraft 2, Starcraft (damn I was so happy when I discovered this game), GTA 1 and 2 (2 IMO is the best GTA ever created, even better than GTA3 which I consider the best of the 3D GTAs). I played a lot of CS even back when it was in beta. Surprisingly I didn’t play finish playing HL until much later, maybe sometime 2002/2003.

  38. Mentat says:

    Well, I was 9 at that time, yet Ultima VII was my Ultima VII (discovered three years later though). Maybe because I had to put up with a 486, 4 MB, 33 Mhz with the Turbo Button on until… not sure, somewhere around the time Half Life came out.

  39. Acosta says:

    I was 12 back then, some months away of being 13. Golden age of gaming no doubt, but it´s too unfortunate I had not the ways to pay for the stuff I wanted (everything!). The only computer I had with 13 years was an Amstrad 6128 and a bunch of consoles, I wouldn’t get a… 486? until one year later (memory is fuzzy) and I couldn’t afford many games. I was lucky enough that one of those games was precisely Syndicate (after plenty of problems to make it run), and other was Day of Tentacle (notice my awesome taste for 13 years, now let me destroy that image saying that the other game I bought that year was Cobra Mission…).

    In any case, awesome series, loved it and I really hope you repeat it sometime out of the April’s Fool thing, there are tons of awesome stuff that you could do with this. Thanks RPS.

    • rei says:

      I was also a few months from 13 (3 months and 3 days exactly), and I would also get a 486 about a year later. High five!

  40. cjlr says:

    1993. One cjlr, age 2. A quiet corner of Her Majesty’s overseas dominion. The golden years.

    The games I got started on were Age of Empires, Baldur’s Gate, and Civ 2, but that wasn’t until substantially later. Circa 1998. No, 1993 saw me years away from even learning the dos commands to play tetris.

    Somehow I’m not surprised to see so many ancients kicking around here. If I were being self-servingly flattering, I might say it’s because PC gaming tends to attract a different crowd than the primarily console-playing crowd. I might use the words sophisticated, discerning, mature, or mature at heart. But of course that’s obvious flamebait, so I won’t mention it.

  41. Ghil says:

    My god…I was 8. I was born the same month the Nintendo Entertainment system was launched in the US. My first computer was a 80386 DX. My first games where the likes of Flasback, Commander Keen, and every game made by Apogee :p. I remember I had a flight game that used to be slow, and calculated, and then my father bought me a 486, and the game ran too fast to play it. :p
    It was the time where you counted your memory in in bytes, and when a Mb was way too big!

    You had to start windows from Norton Commander by going into C:\windows and typing win. :p
    And a little later, with the Voodoo revolution in graphics card. I remember I was in high school when Diablo first hit. That was a major breakthrough. :p

    So many memories…

  42. Huggster says:

    Anyone remember the following speccy games:

    Oracles Cave
    Battecars
    Rebelstar Raiders
    Swords of Bane
    Fairlight
    Tir Nar Nog
    Ghostbusters

    Also on Ultima 2 on the Atari, we could never get enough gold to buy the power armour so you could travel in the spacecraft and survive. Very frustrating!

  43. Premium User Badge

    Flimgoblin says:

    Oof, I was 14 in ’93… flashback to endless replaying of Hired Guns, Gravity Force 2 and Portishead (creeping into ’94 a bit there too…)