Games that time forgot

The shareware version of Raptor that came on the Duke Nukem 3D install CD is the only version I have played. I should look into buying it since I get a lot of enjoyment out of other PC shmups like Tyrian, Silpheed and Touhou.

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Slipheed is the shit. It was remarkable for its crude but impressive use of 3D models for the ship/enemies/lasers, although it suffered from an odd visual flaw: If a model was in front of another model, the one in back would be obscured as if the foreground model had black, non-transparent pixels behind it. Additionally, the engine implied shading by coloring shaded areas with specific patterns of black and the face's color; for whatever reason, this caused the black pixels to bleed through, exposing the star field background behind it. I'm pretty sure zero people care about what I just typed.

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GoatLord said:

It may not be forgotten to us, but does the average gamer remember it, or has even heard of it? I doubt it.

By that standard, almost any game older than 5 years should be on the list.

Belial said:

Terra Nova

Definitely not a game that Looking Glass is remembered for, despite being awesome.

I only ever got hold of the demo for it. It was really cool.

To add to that though. I'd say System Shock and Terminator future shock are something of forgotten games. People drone on about how Half Life changed FPS games, without knowing that they were a lot more diverse than Half Life made them to begin with.

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kristus said:

People drone on about how Half Life changed FPS games, without knowing that they were a lot more diverse than Half Life made them to begin with.

Some people say similar things about Doom.

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i used to play a lot of really interesting shmups when i was younger, thanks to a CD that was filled with a bunch of shareware versions of them. however, whenever i see shmups nowadays, it all seems to be a gigantic pile of bullet-hell alikes, like the Touhou series. what happened? was shmups always about this kind of bullet intensity?

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yukib1t said:

Anyone remember Terminal Velocity and its kick-ass music?

Yeah great fun in SP. Even tried that in Deathmatch once. It was not a very good experience. :P

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When shmups started getting more and more niche, the remaining devs got increasingly insular by targeting the more hardcore bullet hell demographic, so that's pretty much what the entire genre is today.

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yukib1t said:
Anyone remember Terminal Velocity and its kick-ass music?

I think I remember having a demo of this game and the menu music is what I recall best about it.

GoatLord said:
Slipheed is the shit. It was remarkable for its crude but impressive use of 3D models for the ship/enemies/lasers, although it suffered from an odd visual flaw: If a model was in front of another model, the one in back would be obscured as if the foreground model had black, non-transparent pixels behind it. Additionally, the engine implied shading by coloring shaded areas with specific patterns of black and the face's color; for whatever reason, this caused the black pixels to bleed through, exposing the star field background behind it. I'm pretty sure zero people care about what I just typed.

Hmm. I wonder if these issues were due to technical limitation or programmer error? This is an 8-bit computer gaming toting fully-3d models after all, so I wouldn't be surprised if the creators had to do some pretty hackish things to get it to work at all. I guess I've never squinted hard enough at the screen to notice the bugs.

Also, it would be nice to see more shmups that aren't bullet-hell oriented because, as much as I enjoy Touhou, I'm just not good enough to get the full experience out of "hardcode" shooters.

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Stygian said:

Hmm. I wonder if these issues were due to technical limitation or programmer error? This is an 8-bit computer gaming toting fully-3d models after all, so I wouldn't be surprised if the creators had to do some pretty hackish things to get it to work at all.


They simply used a very crude way of shading, which consists of "peppering" the model with patterns of black pixels to simulate shading. More refined 3D games with polygon engines, e.g. simulators used a more refined way to cull the pattern (so that it didn't bleed off the polygons it was "shading") but obviously in Slipheed they had to go with a compromise, not bothering with polygon-precise culling.

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Jason Storm in Space Chase (1993). An outdated, glitchy, long and tedious Commander Keen clone. I actually played the shareware several times in the late 90s or early 00s and beat the full game 3 years ago for the damn's sake. The music was ok though.
One of my best obscure games was God of Thunder which I've replayed many times occasionally and wished there was a level editor, but there's a guy working for it.

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yukib1t said:

Anyone remember Terminal Velocity and its kick-ass music?


Hah, I was just listening to the soundtrack today. Back in the mid-to-late 90s, my sister and I played a lot of TV, although she was more into Fury 3, a Microsoft game using the same engine, and possibly some of the same resources. Terminal Velocity had a distinct advantage, namely the sort-of high res mode. It was pretty standard dogfighter gunning, but was interesting for exploratory nature.

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Stygian, if I could find an interview a with one of the developers or an article about the engine, I'm sure I could shed more light on the subject. I actually thought they were cleverly animated sprites for awhile, due to these strange issues.

Getting back to the OP...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rczRiXCeWKY

Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure was an early Apogee title; a pretty standard hop-and-bop platformer in which the title character could, in addition to a jump attack, plant bombs on the ground (or in midair) that can blow up quite a few of the enemies and even some of the items. He can also use his suction hands to climb up walls, somewhat like Knuckles, although two years before the release of Sonic and Knuckles. It might interest Doomers to know that Bobby Prince composed the soundtrack--which is pretty good, by the way--though the game credits id Software with the music. Cosmo isn't all that challenging, but its art style is unique, and squeezes an awful lot out of the old EGA palette. It's a truly adorable game.

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Maes said:

I don't think that's a "forgotten" game per-se, it's the entire genre that is "forgotten" or "out of fashion" now, let alone that purebred shoot-em-up games were never very popular on the IBM PC.

However Raptor is definitively more "forgotten" than Tyrian, which at least got a Windows 9x/2000 compatibility upgrade at some point.


There is a Raptor 2010 edition that you can get on GOG for like $6. It even runs on newer versions of windows and has higher resolutions.

Raptor is also on iOS, but is very awkward to play with touch screen controls. I do not recommend it.

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Solar Eclipse for the Sega Saturn. It's an old rail shooter in the same vein of Star Fox, only it's probably twice as hard. Despite being made in the time of awful full-motion FMVs, Solar Eclipse had great acting.

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Vulture said:

There is a Raptor 2010 edition that you can get on GOG for like $6. It even runs on newer versions of windows and has higher resolutions.

Raptor is also on iOS, but is very awkward to play with touch screen controls. I do not recommend it.


A remake here and there does not bring an entire "extinct" genre of games back, at least not to the mainstream.

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kristus said:

Yeah, because the mainstream is all the counts.


It certainly does for developers / publishers. That's how they get their money and are motivated to make more games, thus letting a given genre live on.

It's hard to stay away from the mainstream and achieve financial success. I'm still puzzled about the early 90s. "Masters of Doom" says that Doom never achieved mainstream success when it first came out. It was "the king of underground".... and it brought millions.... I dread to think how much money mainstream games earned back then if "underground games" could make you a millionaire. I'm not sure you can do it with indie nowadays.

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Perhaps a reference to the fact that Doom was initially sold via mail order by ID themselves, rather than by a publisher?

Only later did a publisher pick up Doom to sell at retail (excluding specific negotiations with some shops) with Doom2 and later Ultimate Doom.

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Not nearly old as most of the games listed, but still forgotten by time and one of the coolest and hard and unique games I've ever played: Gangster: Organized Crime. Every new game you start is different. I've never played the same game after all these years. Plus there's nothing more satisfying than tossing a bomb through your rivals shop window and hearing: "This is a message from the boss." What happen to this kind of replayability? http://www.gog.com/game/gangsters_organized_crime

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GoatLord said:

"Raptor"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grXkzisSEM4

Standard vertical dogfighter shooter ala "Aero Fighters." Uses a shield system rather than a one hit/one kill/three lives setup. You can use points/money to upgrade your ship between levels, though with some of the more creative takes on this genre, the upgrades seem limiting. It's really relentless and repetitive, but the graphics are excellent, some of the very best of the time (mid 90s), not just for that genre but for VGA games in general. Music is dull but not unbearable.

I grew up playing this game constantly. :D

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Zed said:

I'm sure a lot of us remember Blazing Star, but do you remember Pulstar?

YES! Though probably only because I was such a NeoGeo zealot at one time.

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I think people forgot about most DOS games like: Isle of the Dead, Monkey Island, and Blake Stone.

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doomguy93 said:

I think people forgot about most DOS games like: Isle of the Dead, Monkey Island, and Blake Stone.


Nope. I haven't forgotten about Blake Stone at all. There was a time when I praised him more than the DOOM marine.
Asides from him, I'm also keeping Roger Wilco and Sludge Vohaul alive in a bunch of backups.
Some things just can't be thrown away.

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doomguy93 said:

I think people forgot about most DOS games like: Isle of the Dead, Monkey Island, and Blake Stone.


That's mainly because they forgot about DOS, and when a platform dies, so do the games that were tied to it...unless they were really big or spanned multiple platforms/had an ongoing legacy. Monkey Island is hardly a forgotten game by any definition, for example.

On the other hand, does anybody remember FX Fighter? Now, if "early DOS-based 3D fighting games" are not obscure, then I don't know what is ;-)

What about Pray for Death, a game which "allows players to control Cthulhu himself"? :-p



Also, this one weird trick:



All I can remember from it is a demo where I constantly heard "you are nothing!"

In general, I notced that "forgotten" games usually belong to an out-of-fashion game category, or were inferior copies/knockoffs of much better products during their time.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GvYcUPiRps
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2XMzgKw04w

Loom, from LucasARts, a 1990 point-and-click adventure that is pure fantasy, although surprisingly enjoyable to people who aren't into fantasy (such as myself). The second link is footage from the VGA version of the game, which looks great and has digitized voice acting. Loom has a deep and involved story, taking protagonist Bobbin through a number of diverse environments and interacting with a large cast of characters. It's morbid, beautiful, surreal and musically oriented--Bobbin carries a staff which performs spells based on different melodies. I always felt that, given the right studio, this would have made an excellent film.

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Hmm...old Sierra and Lucasfilms/Lucasarts adventure games aren't exactly obscure or forgotten, also because their VMs are well-documented and emulators for their VMs/interpreters exist. You could say they are "niche" games though, as by now they appeal only to hardcore adventure fan games, but they are in no way obscure like e.g. that TKO boxing game ;-)

I think the premise of this thread is not well thought out.

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Bucket said:

There was a freeware game for Windows that was basically a sidescrolling arena shooter with multiplayer. The premise was that you were in hell and fought for a place in the hierarchy. Tons of blood and gore. I can't remember the name, for the life of me.

Sounds like XEvil.

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