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Do you know some obscure 1990's PC games?

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Posted (edited)

Esoteria: Techno-Assassin of the Future (1998) is another interesting game almost nobody knows.

26625-esoteria-techno-assassin-of-the-fu

 

It's an early Third-Person Shooter/Adventure and one of the few examples were the player character is sprite-based. I liked the style of Esoteria, it had some pretty open levels with interesting futuristic architecture. I once tried to play through it, but somehow the controls were wonky, so I never made it very far. Would play it again if there was a good source port.

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"Gruntz" is probably the most obscure 90's one that I've played (the most obscure one that I've played is from the 2000's).

 

It's a top-down, sorta RTS, but mostly puzzle game about a bunch of goop monsters beating each other over the heads with shovels. Good game, never beat it tho :(

 

 

 

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A few more that came to my mind, and may not be that obscure

  • Math Rescue
  • Wing Commander: Privateer
  • Freddi Fish
  • Marble Drop
  • Logical Journey of the Zoombinis
  • SimEarth
  • Hugo II: Whodunit
  • CD-Man
  • Zulu Assault
  • BreakFree! (Yeah I know someone else mentioned this one but still this game was pretty kewl)
  • Hyperball
  • Dune (1992)
  • Star Wars: Droidworks (unfortunately my CD-ROM for this game is all fucked up and it won't install properly anymore :.( )

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On 1/28/2021 at 8:14 AM, Ruritanian said:

https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/3146/

 

Codename: Tenka.  It's unplayable without this ROM hack, as it didn't have separate buttons for strafe left / right.  With the hack, it can be remapped in an emulator onto the modern control scheme on analog sticks.

 

It was the first First Person Shooter game on the PS1 which had proper 3D polygonal graphics.  Unbelievably for a PS1 game, it has a widescreen option for presenting the game in 16:9.  I play it on my jailbroken Vita.

 

It's really good.

 

On 2/2/2021 at 3:20 AM, mrthejoshmon said:

Thank you! You have no idea how long I have been looking for this!

 

I remember playing it on a UK PS1 demo disc way back when and I spent forever looking for it, I have seen this game title and thought nothing of it, turns out that it is actually called Lifeforce: Tenka in my neck of the woods apparently.

 

I also played it on a demo disc, albeit in New Zealand and found it neat. Never found the game, and ultimately forgot it ever existed. Watched a video and a couple of things, like the loading screen with the laser hitting the spinning disc, were instantly familiar. Thanks for the reminder about it. Demo discs back in the PS1 days were great, so many hidden gems to be found, and a lot of them were unique versions. Silent Hill's demo was amazing, but also a really different take on the school that differs from the final game, for example.

 

I don't have many games from the 90s, but one I have a lot of memories of that was totally an unknown game, was Darkstone. It was a Diablo clone with pretty terrible 3D graphics, but I had so much fun with it. 'Eight' characters (four classes really, with gender variations), a silly amount of difficulty levels compared to Diablo's three, and the Playstation version was a noticeable different version to the PC version; the graphics, plot etc was identical, but the UI was friendly on a console, the multiplayer was gone, and you now only controlled ONE character; in the PC version you have two characters at once, with the AI controlling one of them. You also had only one quest per region, resulting in a unique land for each of the Crystals, instead of several regions all sharing a few. I felt this was far better for the pacing; every new region I advanced to back then was an achievement. And I never knew which quest I was going to get, as just like Diablo, every game was random with the same crystal often having two or three variations on how it might play out. The reward for beating the game actually was satisfying too; after slaying Generic Evil Dragon Mage Guy, whos just kinda there with almost none of the worldbuilding that made the original Diablo so captivating, you unlock his treasure room and loot SO MUCH GOLD. It felt great. Compare to something like the Borderlands story rewards these days, where you open a fuckton of chests, and leave 90% to 100% of it behind.

 

I recall finding a great cheese strategy for the PS1 version involving the Thief and Assassin; the Pickpocket skill was OP beyond reason, I could fill my inventory with quality goods from monsters by spamming the skill on high level creatures, and it was often magic goods that sold for a buttload. Once I got enchanted throwing axes for my Assassin from this trick, he basically became an axe murderer with a penchant for magic explosions. Given how OP the endgame monsters were, with traps or creatures often oneshotting me, I was only able to beat the game as these two. Wonder if I can beat the PC version? Probably not, it plays like total ass on keyboard and mouse, at least to me.

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On 1/27/2021 at 9:47 PM, Redneckerz said:
  • Thor 3D

BTW, I keep forgetting to ask, what's that one? I can't seem to find any info (it's not Thor's Hammer is it?).

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32 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

BTW, I keep forgetting to ask, what's that one? I can't seem to find any info (it's not Thor's Hammer is it?).

it seems to be a seperate game but i never saved up detailed info on it, sorry.

 

Its either that or an early version of Thor's Hammer.

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Posted (edited)

Another gem from the 1990s: Sanitarium (1998).

147870-sanitarium-windows-screenshot-the

This is one of my favourite Adventure games. For some reason I played many point-and-click Adventures in the 1990s, but since the 2000s my main gaming interest shifted towards FPS games and Action RPGs, and to much lesser degree, RTS games. It has been ages since I played a good Adventure game. Machinarium is the last I positively remember, and that was 2009.

 

Sanitarium has the protagonist in a state of mental derangement after some accident happened to him. You have to travel through nightmarish realms that are still somehow grounded in reality, connected to things that happened in the characters life. You have to find out what all this means. A very fascinating and atmospheric game.

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Posted (edited)

I realised that there appears to be no mention of ZPC in this topic - a game which I believe to be the most stylish (or maybe I should say kitsch? but in a positive way) Doom clone that I know. It runs on the Marathon 2 engine, and the comic book style art was created by English artist Aidan Hughes, who I believe also came up with the concept of the game in the first place. It has a few odd gameplay twists, like using the "Chi punch" attack to jump, and most player weapons are combined into one that switches between various ammo types (usually found in "secret" areas), but otherwise it feels very Doom-ish, I'd rank it right next to Powerslave in the list of "true" Doom clones (meaning that the similarity to Doom is not only superficial as with many would-be 2.5D FPSs but indeed a very close replication/continuation of the original look & feel).


I know there are at least two demo versions of the game, but not sure how well they run on modern Windows. Theoretically the game should or at least could be supported by the Aleph One port.

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7 hours ago, PSXDoomer said:

Chasm: The Rift is definitely worth your time.

 

 

This has become mentioned so often that it actually lost its jacket of obscurity somewhere, lol.

 

Brilliant game in artstyle though.

3 hours ago, MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai said:

Real G´s remember the OG Lego Racers:

 

obrazek.png.e9f93fe4887d79cb24844e98bc830c06.png

 

 

^^ Here! The opening tune on the PS1 is something i can still whistle from time to time. And Rocket Racer ofcourse.

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Redneckerz said:

This has become mentioned so often that it actually lost its jacket of obscurity somewhere, lol.

 

Brilliant game in artstyle though.

^^ Here! The opening tune on the PS1 is something i can still whistle from time to time. And Rocket Racer ofcourse.

I still have an old CD with the game for PC, but it´s so scratched that I have no idea if I will ever get it running.

It´s kind of shame realy as this game serves as a sort of treasure trove, when Lego was making it´s own original sets instead of licencing popular franchises to base their sets around them.

 

Just look at this @Redneckerz:

 

obrazek.png.f2e35b6d70a7b8c0ebad51c724ab862f.pngobrazek.png.e5206a91d1a123725a655ca6ba768e97.pngobrazek.png.66fa4c43f42d12af0f482ec7383807f7.pngobrazek.png.4842ec80d37739805742550af4ab1965.png

 

Take me back ;(

Edited by MS-06FZ Zaku II Kai

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Star Wars: Gungan Frontier

7TRaRwo.jpg

 

Probably the most obscure game I've ever played (and that's truly saying something...). A surprisingly deep ecological sim set on the moon of Naboo. I spent hundreds of hours playing it as a child, though I never really figured out how to create a functioning ecosystem.

 

Star Wars: Droidworks

EOWUTir.jpg

 

Another obscure Lucas Learning game from the late '90s, and an old childhood favourite of mine. Essentially a 3D puzzle game, centered around the creation of various droids, each tailored for a specific mission. It was surprisingly difficult for an edutainment game, and typically obtuse for a game of its vintage.

 

Amusingly, I played both of these games over a decade after their release. Truly, one ends up finding the strangest games growing up in provincial South Africa.

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Posted (edited)

Funny, I was thinking about making a thread about Bodyworks Voyager: Missions in Anatomy last night, and I completely forgot about this thread. For some reason this game popped in to my head and I was wondering if anyone else had ever played it. 

 

Essentially it's like Inner Space, if you've ever seen the movie. It's the end of the 21st century, and viruses are running rampant, so they find a way to shrink ships down so they can enter the human body and eradicate the microbes. It plays like an arcade shooter, you move around over an image of various parts of the human body and shoot the viruses, there are hostile enemies that shoot back at you, and passive enemies that try to attack the host. And there are times when you have to answer trivia about the human body. It was advertised as an educational game, one of my Aunts bought it for me when I was a kid, she was always getting "educational" games for me. Truth be told I just liked shooting things.

 

It's interesting at least, and I'm pretty sure I still have the CD around here somewhere, but I have no idea where at this point. Anyway, a Youtube video of it:

 

 

And you can actually play it here, I don't recall it being this clunky, but when you're emulating dosbox in a browser that's probably inevitable:

 

https://playclassic.games/games/educational-dos-games-online/play-bodyworks-voyager-missions-in-anatomy-online/play/#

 

But yeah, I didn't see this game mentioned in this thread, nor anywhere else really. It was actually kind of fun, at least when I was a kid. I'm not sure how much I actually learned from it. Plus, the Commander really seems to like balls.

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32 minutes ago, Boaby Kenobi said:

Queen: The EYE

 

Interesting game, never heard about this one! I like the Giger-esque look of the interiors. Combat looks like a chore though. Endlessly clubbing monsters in disorienting Resident Evil style fixed camera views.

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There are five games I can think of right now, all of them made by Pantera Entertainment and ran on the same engine.

 

Winter Race 3D - a crappy winter sports game with only 5 levels, three vehicles to choose, no music (except at the menu I think), and awful graphics.

Precision Skateboarding - a low-budget skateboarding game with 8 tracks but only one vehicle being the skateboard.

Rollercoaster Factory (AKA 3D Rollercoaster Designer) - a crappier version of Rollercoaster Tycoon with only wooden & steel coasters to build with a 3D perspective, but with the coasters collapsing if it wasn't properly built.

3D Scooter Racing - likely similar to both Winter Race 3D & Precision Skateboarding but with Scooters.

Evel Knievel Interactive Stunt Game - Similar to Winter Race 3D, Precision Skateboarding & 3D Scooter Racing.

 

Those are some of the games that haven't been mentioned by many here.

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29 minutes ago, Devalaous said:

Operation Bodycount and Corridor 7 got added to GoG; ECWolf has plans to support these someday. Theres also two other 'so bad its good' obscure FPS games added alongside them, 'Killing Time' and 'Last Rites'

 

https://www.gog.com/game/retro_shooter_rampage_bundle

I might be one of the only people in history that actually enjoyed Corridor 7. The weapons, enemies, and textures were slightly more varied than Wolfenstein.

 

CyClones was also entertaining, but the weird aiming system was kind of a turn off. It used a mouse aim where you moved the reticle around the screen, but had to move it to the very edge of the screen to actually turn. 

 

But I was a kid, and I took whatever game I could get.

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1 hour ago, Jello said:

I might be one of the only people in history that actually enjoyed Corridor 7. The weapons, enemies, and textures were slightly more varied than Wolfenstein.

 

I thought corridor 7 was really cool. So I guess that is 2 people in history. :)

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Tagging @Blzut3 to let him know these two games are legally purchasable again. That's all the Wolf3D clones available again these days, isn't it?

 

Now we just need the 'bad' Build games available again, just so we can annoy the Raze devs with requests for them

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Robinson's Requiem:

A Survival Sim before Survival Sims where a thing: You got to manage Thirst, hunger, sleep and a host of possible diseases and injuries in your bid to escape a planet of Tigers, Giant Birds, Gian spiders, Dinosaurs, Lizard men, Rock ape things and Centaurs. The treatment system was pretty detailed to the point that you could surgically remove all of your limbs.

Very Steep learning curb though, with a basic yet still user unfriendly crafting system.

Fascinating bit of video game history though. The 3D engine is something else as well. Looks like ground is made hundreds of sprites? Makes navigation confusing at times but was an interesting way to get more look natural terrain. 

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3 hours ago, Jello said:

I might be one of the only people in history that actually enjoyed Corridor 7. The weapons, enemies, and textures were slightly more varied than Wolfenstein.

You're definitely not alone.  C7 has a decent number of fans (judging by the number of people I get asking if ECWolf will support them), but it's definitely one of those games you either get it or you don't.

1 hour ago, Devalaous said:

Tagging @Blzut3 to let him know these two games are legally purchasable again. That's all the Wolf3D clones available again these days, isn't it?

Yep.  The real good news is this means someone out there has a definitive answer to who the IP holder is.  I sent Ziggurat Interactive an email to try to find out but so far haven't heard back from them.  Would be nice if the reverse engineered code could be blessed to actually be licensed (or better yet find out they have the source code still, but the top suspects claim to not have it so I consider it unlikely).  The retro gaming community tends to play loose with reverse engineered code, but technically all rights to code derived from disassembly would belong to the IP holder.

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10 hours ago, Blzut3 said:

Yep.  The real good news is this means someone out there has a definitive answer to who the IP holder is.  I sent Ziggurat Interactive an email to try to find out but so far haven't heard back from them.  Would be nice if the reverse engineered code could be blessed to actually be licensed (or better yet find out they have the source code still, but the top suspects claim to not have it so I consider it unlikely).  The retro gaming community tends to play loose with reverse engineered code, but technically all rights to code derived from disassembly would belong to the IP holder.

I appreciate your efforts to get the source code from various early DOS games properly licensed and published. I know that you had a big part in getting the source code of the Catacomb games published, and I'm pretty sure no Catacomb source port would have existed without it. It's good to see that you're still eager to give more games a chance at unlocking their hidden potential. Good luck!

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Here's some games I don't see people talking that much: 
 

 

 

 

On 5/8/2021 at 1:16 AM, bLOCKbOYgAMES said:

I thought corridor 7 was really cool. So I guess that is 2 people in history. :)

We are three :-)

Actually a lot of people enjoyed Corridor 7 back in the day. It was Civvie who started the whole "Capstone = Bad" meme, repeated even by those who never played them.

Edited by Noiser

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