Until a few weeks ago, I looked back fondly on PC games from the 1980s. These games piqued my interest in computers and programming which set a path for adulthood. Many hours were spent exploring mysterious castles and vast kingdoms. Imagination expanded the games beyond the basic 16 colors available at the time.
Now that The Internet Archive has released hundreds of old MS-DOS games (I suppose they’re considered “retro” now), I’m reminded of how difficult these games were to finish. Time faded the memories of swapping disks and choosing display types (CGA, EGA, or VGA). The frustration of finding the correct verb to act on that pixelated thingamajig had been forgotten.
I spent weeks trying to catch Carmen Sandiego. The 1986 Fodor’s USA Travel Guide was worn out. There was no Google to look up answers to seemingly impossible clues. I never caught her. I broke bones and died of dysentery trying to get to Oregon. I never made it to Willamette Valley. Time has passed, but a lot of unfinished business remains. Thank you to the Internet Archive and the creators of DOSBox for giving me another opportunity to survive the journey, to catch the super criminal, and to relive childhood memories.
Completing Oregon Trail was somehow easier today than it was in 6th grade. Perhaps I realize now that resting is more important than hunting squirrels during the long journey.
The elusive Carmen Sandiego awaits. My Fodor’s Travel Guide is long gone, but I foresee success with my new Super Sleuth tools (Google).
I finished the NES version of Shadowgate, but I will try the PC version. The creepy storyline and music instantly gave me goosebumps.
These games and others may be found at The Internet Archive – Collection of MS-DOS Games.