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Retro Gaming Hacks by Chris Kohler

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Rediscover Classic DOS Games

Remember that game? You know, the one with the thing that stayed on the ground and the thing that went up in the air with the beeps and the boops?

DOS games were a funny affair. If you were a home computer fan from the days of 8-bit home computers like the Atari, C64, and Apple ][, you probably thought it was an odd transition to go from all that color and sound to a computer with no sound card and, at best, four washed-out pastel colors. But then you picked up an EGA card. And then a Soundblaster. And next thing you know, you had a CD-ROM drive in your computer. Sure, it was a few hundred dollars above and beyond the original cost of your computer, but you finally had sixteen colors on your screen and multichannel sound.

Of course, if you were one of the lucky owners of a PC that had fancy audio and graphics features out of the box, you started having fun before the rest of us. Who can forget the venerable Tandy 1000, which had the graphics and sound capabilities of a PCjr, but stuck around a bit longer? In fact, if you run the installers for some classic DOS games, you’ll still see a configuration option for Tandy Graphics.

There were plenty of games to be had on the shelves of video game stores back then, but there are plenty of classics that weren’t quite as mainstream. If you hounded the bulletin boards back in the old days, you might remember such classics as Sopwith and Alley Cat.

Once you know how to get FreeDOS [Hack #68] running on your old ...

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