Retro City Rampage Coming To… DOS?!

Alec described Retro City Rampage [official site] in his Wot I Think as a “pseudo-8-bit, pseudo-open open world game which uses Grand Theft Auto as a bedrock.” The game swims in an ocean of pop culture references, so much so that it’s probably going to surprise no one to learn that the game is coming to MS-DOS.

Yes. Totes. MS-DOS. As in, that operating system you now need an emulator for, unless you have your parents’ computers still hanging around. That one. Developers Vblank announced the imminent arrival of Retro City Rampage 486 on Twitter, along with that glorious teaser image from the retro-style install screen.

Few other details have since surfaced. We know that the port will be free for PC/Mac users that own Retro City Rampage: DX. And we know that virtually 486 DX will work with the port. The developers have also said that Retro City Rampage 486 can actually run on a 386 with a co-processor, but it will be slow and unsightly. So, yeah. Make sure to get a 486. Or to emulate one, at least.


  1. Syme says:

    I’ve only got a 486 SX, will I be okay?

    • vorador says:

      The SX lacks a floating point unit, so nope.

      • Ross Angus says:

        Hence it’s inability to run Quake.

        This information has been lodged in my brain since 1996.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Beautiful. :’)

          I was three and wouldn’t have known…

          • Samwise Gamgee says:

            I was 18 and had a 486 DX2-66 with 4mb of RAM and I played DOOM like a boss

        • Juan Carlo says:

          Quake ran like shit on a 486DX2. You needed a pentium to run it properly.

          • Apocalypse says:

            I call bs on that.
            My DX4-133 did run Quake fine at higher resolutions than most console gamers will ever play their FPS games on … well maybe not that fun on those resolutions, iirc 1600×1200 run like arse, but I could play the game fine on below max settings 800×600 for multiplayer iirc … 30 fps would have been unacceptable for that :D

      • Premium User Badge

        john_silence says:

        My dad had bought a lowly 486SX, much to my dismay. He later had it upgraded to a DX for the sole purpose of gaming, unbeknownst to my mom who wouldn’t have approved of such frivolous spending. What a thrill! Did she ever suspect?… Alone in the Dark was worth the risk.

  2. moryseth says:

    What is the purpose of doing it, just for fun I or be retro as possible maybe :P

    • Gap Gen says:

      One possible advantage is that if it works with DOSBox, it could work on any platform DOSBox works on, which is quite a few.

  3. LionsPhil says:

    Respect. It’s a bit of a pain getting the tooling to build for an environment that’s two decades out of date, although it looks like DJGPP is still being maintained.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Oh my god, DJGPP actually has GCC 4.7.3, which is only a couple years old. I can’t believe it’s still going. At least they have a cross-compiler that runs on Linux, so you don’t actually need to have MS-DOS installed.

      That’s how I got started making C/C++ games like 20 years ago, with DJGPP and Allegro.

  4. JimThePea says:

    Let me know when it’s on Teletext, I need something to break up all the Bamboozle.

  5. ansionnach says:

    I wonder what version of DOS it’ll need? Presumably 5 or 6+? Should be possible to run it natively on a modern machine with something like FreeDOS installed. Only barrier to doing this for all games is that there’s no Sound Blaster emulator for modern sound chips that runs natively in DOS. Pretty much all DOS games could theoretically run on modern machines but with no sound unless they support PC Speaker. May need to slow down the processor for some of them, of course.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      FreeDOS compatibility: link to

      • ansionnach says:

        Thanks. Original misplaced reply is below! Would really love a sound blaster emulator for DOS. Had been discussed before and it’s seemingly impossible to get it working perfectly because of the interrupts used by ISA cards. Drivers would need to be written for each piece of sound hardware as well. Still, it would be nice…

        • LionsPhil says:

          What would it, really, give you over fullscreen DOSBox on a modern machine, though?

          There’s not a huge deal of point to using real DOS here. Real ’90s hardware, yes—the analogue components of some of the sound cards of that era are not perfectly emulated. But you’re suggesting emulation of them anyway, on top of a modern card, running an antique OS.

          • LionsPhil says:

            (DOSBox’ll also give you proper nearest-neighbour chunky-pixelvision upscaling; most flatscreens I’ve seen turn low-res sources into a godawful interplolated smear.)

  6. Kitano1314 says:

    I’d like to see if this runs on the Dos emulator I have on my DS (DSx86).

  7. dsch says:

    Idea: Instead of news articles on news that’s two days old, perhaps some kind of news roundup with a bit of commentary would better suit RPS’s style?

    • Dare_Wreck says:

      I don’t see what’s wrong with posting this a couple days after it was announced. There’s too much gaming news going on these days to be on top of everything right away.

  8. ansionnach says:

    Great! I know you’d be casting aside a lot of the benefits of modern APIs but in theory releasing games for DOS or ScummVM would mean they’re pretty cross platform. Some of the very best adventure games ever made were SCUMM games that worked really well on a 386. There must be at least one good game left in those old legs!

  9. eggy toast says:

    My phone has a DOS emulator so I guess coming soon to my phone.

  10. apa says:

    How are we supposed to keep up with the ever-growing hardware requirements?! I have a perfectly good 386sx 33MHz, VGA and SoundBlaster. It should be well enough for this kind of game.

    The future-machine ports are killing PC gaming!

    (I just booted the 386sx last winter and it still worked)

  11. syllopsium says:

    Now that’s something I didn’t expect to see!

    Good job I have a 486, and a pentum 2 retro gaming PC. Time to warm up the SoundB/laster. Wonder if it supports Roland sound modules too..

  12. Janichsan says:

    I hold off ’till it’s coming to the Amiga 500…

  13. GallonOfAlan says:

    MS-DOS is 16-bit.

    Down with the lazy use of ‘8-bit’ as shorthand for ‘sort of old looking’ by people who weren’t born when there *were* 8-bit computers.


    • Niko says:

      I very much like my own lawn to be in pristine condition, too, but the words “pseudo 8-bit” are from Alec’s Wot I Think of the original Retro City Rampage.

      • P.Funk says:

        How is pseudo-8-bit in any way descriptive of 16 bit?! XD

        The point stands, its a sloppy appropriation of a specific term for a generic retrospective impression which is a rather common occurrence in a culture where 20-30 year olds think they understand what the 80s were like thanks to a few episodes of pop up video and The Wedding Singer.

  14. Whelp says:

    Will it run too fast on my Pentium II 350Mhz?

    • syllopsium says:

      At least in this case they know what comes after a 486 and can code for it..