favorite childhood games

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favorite childhood games

Post by Dogbreath » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:13 am

Over the holidays I've had some time to replay old games, and got to thinking about what made them so special to me.

There are some games that I hold an almost sacred reverence for... they've stuck with me. Usually, I played them during a formative part of my childhood -when I was first learning to read, or think creatively, or appreciate science fiction, etc. I still have dreams about them from time to time, and just the virtue of me thinking about them and exploring them in my dreams has turned them into something far greater than the simple game they actually are.

Interestingly enough, these aren't necessarily the greatest games I've played, or even *good* games, they're simply games that have had a huge influence on me for whatever reason.

For me, those games are:

Solar Winds. It's probably the first open ended space exploration game I played, and for some reason, I constantly have dreams set in the Solar Winds universe, where I fly around the different solar systems in the game (and sometimes make up new ones) and have adventures. If I ever got bored/unlazy enough to make my own game, I'd make a Solar Winds Tribute.

Super Solvers: Ancient Empires, Gizmos and Gadgets, Outnumbered! and Midnight Rescue. They all feature the same hero and villain, and kind of occupy the same spot in my recollections. I'm always surprised and a little saddened playing through them again to realize how small the caves/school/factory is, in my memories they're always HUGE. Especially Gizmos and Gadgets.

Treasure Mountain. Probably the first computer game I was able to play proficiently (after Nibbles and Gorillas), I still have very indepth dreams about exploring the tree house in game.

Tyrian. One of my all time favorite games, it's actually also one of the best games I've ever played. It's just that good. I still love playing through episode 1 on arcade mode, it was a blast when I was a kid, and it's still just as fun nowadays.

Dungeons of the Unforgiven. God knows why I love this game so much. Every time I play it, I get ridiculously frustrated and break shit... until I get a good character and play for 10 hours straight. I love to hate it, but even more so, I love to love it. It's like crack to me, it has been since I was 7 or 8 years old.

Ken's Labyrinth. The first 3D shooter I ever played. While most people have fond childhood memories of Wolf3D or Doom or, perhaps nowadays, Half Life, it's Ken's Labyrinth that does it for me. It's got the perfect mixture of goofiness and lucid level design that make playing it feel somewhat dreamlike.

ZZT. This is a little weird, since more properly ZZT is a game creation system rather than a game itself. I remember being 4 and 5 years old, playing the original ZZT games, and watching my older sister play them. Later, between the ages of 10 and 14, I played over 500 ZZT games. None of them were good (not even Death :P), and some of them were downright terrible. What made them so appealing was almost all of them were made by people my age, with the oldest ZZTers being 16, 17 years old.

The games were made by children, and I treasured them because for the for the first time I had a window into the minds of other people my age... they told stories which probably only make sense to other children, because they were about things children care about, the questions we didn't know how to ask, the frustrations and the deep loneliness. They lacked the dumbed down language and cardboard characters of works made for children by adults, or the kind of saccharine stupidity of "stories by children" that actually get published in magazines or books. These games were raw and real, and usually incredibly stupid, and often cliched and stolen from other works, and occasionally profound. It's impossible to explain what they meant to me fully, because anyone reading this who goes and downloads a few ZZT games to see what I'm talking about will be disappointed by a bunch of 256 color ASCII characters running around badly designed game worlds with loads of typos, bugs, and/or profanity.


Anyway...

I realize not everyone here had such a deep connection to the games they played as a kid, and some dosraider of the people here are so old they didn't even *have* games as a kid, they just sat in a chair and stared at the wall all day. But I'd love to hear some of your favorite games.

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Post by Santhosh CHRiS » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:37 am

The first game I really liked playing and developed my skills of a gamer at 8 years old and still consider the best ever made was 'Super Mario World' since then it's all Mario games and Nintendo originals like Star Fox, Zelda a link to the Past, Killer Instinct, etc. For P.C. its all Dosgames like Wolf 3D, God of Thunder.

My first memory of what a video game is (around 5 or 6) was based a lot on handheld ones they prolly don't even make anymore. My dad bought me and my bro this amazing Submarine game back in 1990

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Re: favorite childhood games

Post by dosraider » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:51 am

Dogbreath wrote:... and some dosraider of the people here are so old they didn't even *have* games as a kid, they just sat in a chair and stared at the wall all day.
Spot on.
(Except that 'stared at the wall all day') :laugh:

But I do remember the first videogame I played@home, must have been almost 20 by then.
It was this one:
Image

.... but I don't dream of it.

However, the first videogame I ever played was@school on a early compy with some oscilloscope screen, don't even remember what it was.

Poor me, no gaming in my youth. :cry:
On the other hand, we had a lot 'real life' friends, and we were social, no the kind of fake facebook social ....... :D
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Post by Patrick Theswayze » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:13 pm

Heh, I'm sure there's other threads like this one, but I like your post Dogbreath (and your Shofixti avatar.)

Dungeons of the Unforgiven is one of my all time favorite games as well, it's actually what led me to recently discover this site. I've actually defeated it (as much as you can anyway) I've defeated all of the shadow monsters.

Some of my other favorites; One Must Fall 2097, Master of Orion, X-Com UFO Defense, the Commander Keen games, Major Stryker, Biomenace, heck pretty much any Apogee game from the early 90's. I remember Solar Winds, but I didn't much care for it. Star Control 2 was of course also amazing. As was Star Flight if you go back a bit further. (Used to play it on an old 1987 IBM laptop which I still have.)

Probably my all time favorite game from that era, and one of the first I ever played was Mechwarrior. In fact I now play Classic Battletech, the minatures game based in that universe.

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Post by Vyothric » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:30 pm

Ken's Labyrinth, ha! I saw that game on a disk about a week ago while going through some old games and thought "oh yeah.....THAT".

As for my favourite childhood games...I'm not sure where to start.

Captain Comic, Galactix, Commander Keen, Supaplex, Prince of Persia, The Monuments of Mars, Digger (not Digdug), Crystal Caves, Major Stryker, Eye of Horus, Netherworld, The Dizzy games.....

I was trying to keep the list short and only count DOS games. :P

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Post by Dogbreath » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:53 pm

Patrick Theswayze wrote: Star Control 2 was of course also amazing. As was Star Flight if you go back a bit further. (Used to play it on an old 1987 IBM laptop which I still have.)
Star Control 2 and Star Flight are two of my favorite games. Sadly, I didn't play either of them until I was about 15 years old. I would've really enjoyed playing Star Control 2 as a kid, I think.

Another game in a similar vein that I really enjoyed as a kid was Alien Legacy. It is in many ways a spiritual successor to Star Flight, except set in a single, incredibly detailed solar system.

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Post by emmzee » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:40 pm

Dogbreath wrote:None of them were good (not even Death ...
:cry:

Interestingly I loaded up both ZZT and Megazeux briefly over the holidays. I also played Jill of the Jungle (after putting her in the logo :D), Kiloblaster, Duke Nukem, and God of Thunder.

I think the ones that had the most impact on me were the Sierra adventure series (Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, King's Quest, Tex Murphy, Phantasmagoria, etc). And even tho it's not an adventure game, Incredible Machine! :D I really loved DOOM ... even made some extremely shoddy maps for it. :) Also all the early Apogee games, like Pharaoh's Tomb, KROZ, Crystal Caves, etc ...

So many games. :) If I had to pick one, I guess it would have to be Megazeux, only cuz I spent so many hours making games with it ... (stupid trivia: my name is mentioned only once on Wikipedia, in the entry for Megazeux ... and no, I didn't put it there :P)
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Post by wardrich » Thu Dec 30, 2010 1:09 am

Kiloblaster was the shiz.... so was Xargon, I Think Xargon was better than Jill of the Jungle.

One game that always gets me is Vampyr: Talisman of Invocation. That and the first Descent. I give full credit to Interplay/Parallax when it comes to my WPM's and my ability to be able to touch-type at such a young age... I swear Descent took up the whole keyboard just to play properly.

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Post by Larry Laffer » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:47 am

If I were to pick DOS games(and not NES games, since those are the ones I actually grew up with) it'd still be a pretty hefty list.

The Sierra Online and Lucas Arts games: I still play them every now and then when nostalgia strikes.

Supaplex: I recall spending hours upon hours trying to complete this game. And to this day I don't think I've passed the last two levels.

The Lost Vikings: Again, I spent hours playing and replaying this one. I never liked the second game quite as much as I did the first one.

The first two X-COM games: Yeah, they were brutal. Yeah, I was never able to finish the second game(not even when I replayed it recently, prepared with internet guides and all). But boy, where they awesome!

Dune II: This was the first game-based-on-a-book that I played after reading the book. I loved it, I used to name various units after characters from the book! :laugh:
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Post by Dogbreath » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:00 am

emmzee wrote: Interestingly I loaded up both ZZT and Megazeux briefly over the holidays. I also played Jill of the Jungle
Strangely, I also loaded up ZZT and Megazeux... been playing Ned the Knight and Rhygar, two of my favorite ZZT games. The Ned games went on to MZX as Bernard the Bard. They had planned to make a MZX conversion for Rhygar but I don't think they ever did. I also tried playing the Chrono Wars games, since I really loved them as a kid... but they're pretty buggy and terrible. Great concept though.

I actually haven't played Jill of the Jungle since I was 8 years old. I still remember my mom being rather amused/horrified by my reaction to Jill's outfit. Ah, sweet pixelated boobies. :)

At the time, one of my best friends was a girl named Jill, sadly she wasn't nearly as enthralled as I was, and would hit me when I called her Jill of the Jungle. I'll have to play it again.

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Post by dosraider » Thu Dec 30, 2010 5:48 am

Rollerskating on the sidewalks.
:D
wardrich wrote:The contrasts in personalities will deliver some SERIOUS lulz. I can't wait.

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Post by Dogbreath » Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:02 am

What is this rollerskating you speak of?

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Post by nickherc » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:00 am

Has to prince of persia 1, duke nukem 1, prehistorik 1. I was a kid, maybe 4 years old, when I played all those games. I remember how I always restarted the whole computer, when I wanted to quit the game, simply because Esc key was unknown to me :D.

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Post by Quadko » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:31 am

What is this rollerskating you speak of?
I think it's like ductaping two rollerblades to each foot and trying to not go in straight lines. It must be an advanced challenge of some sort. As I recall there is an instructional video documentary: Ah here it is.


Mmmm. Prince of Persia 1. Breach. Sopwith. RFTS. King's & Space Quest! Warm glow of memories.

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