This is a great gift from GOG.com! For anyone who has registered an account during their beta period (which lasted at least over a year, I think) they are giving away a copy of Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games for free to anyone.
If you’ve read my blog for a while you will probably know that JA:DG counts to my absolute favorite games (together with JA1) so expect utmost nerdiness whenever I mention this game. For anyone who doesn’t know this pearl of a game yet, it’s a turn-based, tactical strategy game with role-playing game elements where you control a squad of mercenaries around wilderness areas of enemy territory to fulfill various foolhardy missions. The main difference of JA:DG to it’s prequel is that it doesn’t come with a particular story or campaign but with a collection of scenarios and an editor that can be used to create your own scenarios and campaigns. The biggest fun part of JA:DG are however the many characters that you can choose from to assemble your team, which all have their very own quirks and perks.
If I wouldn’t already own the original box of this game I’d probably be even more looking forward to this gift but as it stands I’m going to enjoy getting this game yet another time. There’s something to the first two JA’s that the later and newer Jagged Alliance 2 titles lost. Maybe it’s the story of JA2 that I didn’t like so much or it’s simply the cozily tootling MIDI music of the first two games in this series.
A video courtesy of CRPGAddict that shows the final gameplay of the classic space exploration/role-playing game Starflight. I remember playing this game back in the day on the Amiga but never really came around to finish it. But now that I’ve read how the game’s story resolves with a big surprise in it toward the end it dims to me what a great plot this game had. There are many of today’s modern role-playing games that story-wise would pale in comparison that Starflight.
This was also one of those games from the era where I realized my affinity for science fiction-themed games. Back then whenever there was a new review to be read in a game magazine about a space-themed adventure or RPG my eyes started glowing. I liked the idea of flying around with the ship and explore a vast number of planets and Starflight was basically a whole galaxy squeezed on a floppy disk.
If you’re interested in classic role-playing games I recommend to check out CRPGAddict’s blog! I don’t know how he manages to find the time but he already finished playing 26 games since he started last year. And not only that! He analyzed them, drew maps about them, and reviewed them in a very detailed way. On top of that he made a long list of CRPGs that he yet wants to play and review and it seems he’s serious about it. Determination is everything!
There’s also the whole write-down about Starflight, no less than nine blog posts!! Check it out! You will certainly have enough to read for a while!
Another secret gem from the Golden Age of RPG, Origin’s Martian Dreams can best be described as a fantastic Steampunk themed role-playing game set in a ‘Ultima meets Jules Verne universe’ where you travel with Nikola Tesla, Sigmund Freud, Nellie Bly and several others to Mars to rescue a handful of important people that stranded there some years before. If this doesn’t sound like a good premise then what does?!!
I’ve mentioned before that it’s possible to run Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic in DOSBox with Tandy sound enabled but I couldn’t figure out how to get it working. Today I’m back with good news in that I can tell you how to get this fixed so the trillions of SWFM fans out there can enjoy this fantastic game with the excellent Tandy sound!
Today’s video pick (yeah right, as if I had a new post everyday here) is from YouTube user Five5Six and about how he managed to get Sentinel Worlds 1: Future Magic to run on DOSBox with Tandy sound enabled. That’s right, Tandy sound! By default the game uses those bleepy PC speaker sounds as in my own video. Personally I haven’t yet figured out how to get Tandy sound working with this game, so there … a video with the marvelous Tandy-enabled sound of SW1:FM in all it’s glory …
Back in the days when computer games still required you to use your imagination to play them there was a role-playing game pearl named Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic, one of the many scifi-themed RPGs back then which today are only sparsely seeded in retailer shelves.
Future Magic was first released for DOS and a port for the C64 was published later which looked almost equally good as the DOS version with excellent graphics done by Michael Kosaka. At times the game is quite bizarre. For example there is a planet with ranchers and farms just like in an old western. Another planet has two very high towers that reach into the orbit and these are the only colonies on the otherwise untouched surface. On another, icy planet you scout an abandoned research base which is overrun by saber-toothed creatures … but this is how the games were made in the golden age of RPG. Despite the number in the title a follower was never developed for Future Magic but instead the acclaimed Hard Nova served as a spiritual sequel.
The game let’s you control a group of five space mercs who are send out on a mission to stop mysteriously appearing raiders which are attacking ships in the local system. Right after your ships drops out of hyperspeed you are being attacked by them. However while the other ships of the space convoy with that you came are trying to fight them you are able to take some distance and locate a yacht floating in nearby space. It’s the space yacht of a tycoon named Grager which turns out to be a luxurious vessel full with the newest technology.
After their last RPG masterpiece release, the Might & Magic 6-Pack, gog.com have now released Realms of Arkania 1+2 and 3. RoA is the English version of what I only knew as Das Schwarze Auge in German back in the 16-bit days of Amiga. If my memory serves me right only the first part of RoA made it to the Amiga while the two followers were only available for DOS.
Realms of Arkania is classic hardcore role-playing, flip3D style intermezzed with isometric combat screens and you can get this for a ridiculous cheap price now.
So far gog.com is only releasing DOS or Windows based games. For some games I wish they’d add Amiga games to their line-up simply because many Amiga games were better than their DOS conversions, just take a look at highly regarded Hired Guns. in case of Hired Guns you feel that the developers were a team of Amiga enthusiasts. The DOS version feels bland and rushed compared to the shiny and atmosphere-oozing Amiga version.
Either way, for DOS games Good Old Games are packing their releases up with a copy of DOSBox pre-configured and ready to install and run. For Amiga versions they would probably have to pack up a copy of WinUAE to assure a hassle-free experience. Not sure how that would work out.
While Jagged Alliance is without discussion one of the finest squat squad-based strategy games ever made that has seen the daylight, I especially enjoy the ‘personal’ characteristics that the mercenaries bring with them and the frivolous Butt Groping demonstrated in this clip shows this side of JADG nicely. The map seen in this video is one of the scenarios that can be found [intlink id="37" type="post"]here[/intlink].
One of my very favorite games back on Amiga was the space RPG Hard Nova (to be reviewed in a while) which took me long cozy winter nights to solve. The predecessor of Hard Nova was a game called Sentinel Worlds 1: Future Magic which was released in 1988 by Electronic Arts and had it’s success under science fiction RPG videogamers. Me – PC-less – always looked enviously over to the PC crowd. But that only until decent DOS Emulators were developed, like DOSBox.
Download: Custom VEB Missions and Campaign for Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games
My big move has been delayed for a short time! I will leave here at the end of December and move to far east in middle January! I actually packed everything and made most preparations so I’m stuck with being bored now, counting every minute and hope that time passes faster.
So what to do? One good idea I had, was to keep up with writing some blog stuff that I already planned in my mind. One if it being about one of my favorite Abandonware DOS games Jagged Alliance: Deadly Games!
Over the last couple of decades this game kept me from being bored often! With it’s cozy winter evening fireplace warmth strategy gameplay atmosphere and quietly playing midi music it charms easily to take a session of round based war monging.