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Is it just me or have games gotten away from rewarding the good (think logically and effect change)? I'm beginning to detect a theme in some of the newer games. It's the "do something or get punished" method of gaming, where plants die if you don't water them, flies swarm if you don't take out the trash or you can't do anything because you don't have a job.
I know these things are important to learn in reality, but they are distractions in a game. The child in me wants to adventure. I want to see things get healed because I solved a puzzle. I want to figure out how to get from point A to point B without getting killed by evil monsters. These are higher stakes with no distractions. The older games had those kind of stakes. They weren't mindless time-wasters.
So, I went on a mission 10 years ago, reminiscing about an old game that I adored called Legend of Kyrandia. It was based off of Kyrandia, a multi-player online RPG which was text-based and originally programmed by Scott Brinker and Richard Skurnick in March-June 1988. Like many of the DOS games back then, Legend didn't take up a lot of resources. The graphics pale if compared with today's games, but the gameplay was very engaging. The days before Windows grew into the monster it is today are long gone, but those DOS games are still around!
When Hand of Fate (Kyrandia II) came out I was ecstatic. I remember finishing it in half the time it took me to finish the original. That's probably because I'd caught onto mapping and saving. It was very painful having your fireberries burn out before you found the next one, then meeting a bunch of eyes in a dark cave coming at you just before you die.
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By the time I'd heard about Malcolm's Revenge (Kyrandia III) years after its release, I had advanced two PCs within a matter of 3 years and Westwood Studios, the game developer, had been liquidated by EA. I searched for Malcolm's Revenge every time I thought to but I was not successful in finding a copy to download and even if I had found it, I knew I would have to figure out how to run it on my newer PC. Having had driver issues with my hardware during upgrades and more complexities with DirectX installations/compatibility issues with other games, I didn't put a lot of effort into finding it. I knew it would be a frustrating adventure, so what was the point?
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My Efforts Pay Off
About 6 months ago, I found myself aching to play Legend of Kyrandia once again. I had to wade through mounds of links to YouTube walkthroughs before I found my copy of the executable along with instructions that were no good. Nothing worked and the technical documentation was just gibberish to me. It seemed as if nobody out there in Google land could help, or maybe it was just that I wasn't particularly savvy in selecting my keywords in search of the elusive instructions on how to operate Legend of Kyrandia on my newer PC running Windows Vista.
Then I stumbled upon a link to Dosbox. This was promised as the software that can be installed on my Windows Vista OS and run as the original DOS shell! I was so excited I almost cried. But, here's the best part. When I followed the step-by-step instructions to get the game configured to run on my machine...they actually worked!
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How It Works
It's basically an install of the DOS shell into its own folder. Rename the folder to your game "Kyrandia" and install according to specific instructions. There are some changes required in the batch file to get the C: drive mounted and switched to the game directory so that Kyrandia will run on launch, but these instructions are so specific, you will not be disappointed. Some new screenshots have been added since I visited last, but I think they will be helpful in selecting options for video and sound with the newer PCs.
The graphics are a little blurry, but what I can say is there's nothing better than experiencing the sounds and gameplay of a game that you
loved and thought you'd never see again. And to have fought so long, maybe not so hard, to find a resolution after 10 years, this was a great nugget of information for me and I hope it is for you.
If you decide to play and need help with the gems quest, let me know. I just finished it for the 2nd time. Also, if you have any DOS games that you remember and would like to share, please let me know. I'm ready to play them. My OCD is in over-drive. Now I need to find Dragon's Lair.
Proof that I completed the gem quest. Don't give up!