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CD Exclusive Demos

Posted: Thu Aug 25, 2011 8:48 am
by MrFlibble
This topic has been mentioned here already, and it certainly is of historical interest. Recently I've found some "exclusive" CD demos available on, thanks to the archiving efforts of Jason Scott. These demo versions are indeed pretty rare, often showcasing games that did not get other demo releases at all. One has to wonder why many of these demos were not made widely available by the developers/copyright holders etc. when up- and downloading files that are several dozen megabytes large ceased to be a problem for the majority of users. Anyway, here's the list so far:

Age of Empires Demo
An early demo version of the game, published on the CD of the November 1997 issue of Computer Gaming World Magazine. It was a rarity until Matt Pritchard, an ex-Ensemble employee, made it public in Fabruary this year. The original download is here; read more about the demo here. Thanks to Litude for providing info about this release!

Crusader: No Remorse
The download demo of Crusader: No Regret is widely available, but the demo of its predecessor isn't, presumably because it includes videos, bringing the size up to over 40 megabytes. The demo was published on the PC Gamer Magazine cover disk #14 (January 1996) and can be found here:

Hammer of the Gods
I've already posted about this demo here, it seems to be the only demo release of the game, found on the Interactive Entertainment #7 cover disk.

Heroes of Might and Magic
A playable demo of the first game seems to have been published on several magazine cover CDs, including Computer Gaming World Magazine issue #64, Computer Gaming World Magazine issue #140 (March 1996), and PC Gamer Magazine issue #2.2 (March 1996). The one version available so far is from CGW #64:

Litude points out that it is broken, but still can be made playable:
Litude wrote:Actually it seems the copy on that CD isn't even complete since it is lacking the sound folder. Ironically, the game CD check which is broken anyways since it expects the game to be located in <CDROOT>\HEROES\HEROES (yep under two HEROES folders for some reason) actually checks for one of the sound files, HEROES01.82M more specifically. A dummy file should work so to make the demo work do the following:

1. Download all the files off that website.
2. Copy/cut the ANIM folder into a separate location under ...\HEROESCD\HEROES\HEROES as you will use have to mount the HEROESCD folder as the CD-ROM drive under DOSBox later on.
3.1 If you don't have the full game, create a dummy file called HEROES01.82M and move it into ...\HEROESCD\HEROES\HEROES\SOUND\
3.2 If you have the full game, copy over the sound folder from it to ...\HEROESCD\HEROES\HEROES\SOUND\ so that you get to hear the game music
4. Mount your HEROESCD folder as your CD-ROM drive in DOSBox and you're ready to launch the demo
The PC Gamer issue is mentioned in Jason Scott's CD collection, but he hasn't uploaded it yet, as it seems (BTW, he's uploaded whole ISOs of his CDs at's shareware CD library, and may be expected to upload more in the future).

William Shatner's TekWar
Called a "Beta Demo" in the readme file, this one is found on the PC Gamer Magazine Cover Disc #12 (November 1995):

This demo has Smacker video intro and some other sequences, and, judging by the date stamps on the files, it might be a later release than the regular Internet demo download of the game.

Witchaven II: Blood Vengeance
A playable demo of this game is said to have been published on cover CDs of PC Gamer UK (Issue 33, August 1996) and PC Power UK (Issue 31, July 1996) only.

Posted: Tue Aug 30, 2011 11:27 am
by MrFlibble
Alien Trilogy Preview Demo
This demo has the first two levels of the full game (as opposed to one in the Internet demo) and the intro video, but, more notably, it's based on a pre-release build, with a different title and loading screens, different sound effects (Ripley's speech is missing though) and other small changes. It's only in 256 colours though. The demo seems to have been distributed on a separate CD, maybe with some audio tracks, but the available download only has the contents of the CD.

Alien Trilogy Demo
This demo has the same first level as in the regular internet demo, but there's the intro video, one music track and you can either play in 256 or 16-bit colour.

Dark Colony Demo
A large demo, probably with the intro video:

Settlers II English Demo v1.01
This demo has the Smacker intro video with background narration (this is why it's so large in size). Other than that, it has the same missions as the Internet demo, although it must be noted that the Internet demo is a later version, bearing the number 1.02.

Posted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 11:54 am
by MrFlibble
The Shareware CD Archive at seems to have been updated several times recently. There's a LucasArts Demo Disk from 1996 among other things.

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2012 7:16 pm
by MrFlibble
Here's a demo of a rather nice but not well known RTS game called Primitive Wars:

It's a somewhat Starcraft-ish looking game yet set in a prehistoric fantasy setting (weird huh?). There are four distinct races, two of which are available for play in the demo. In addition to the standard RTS scheme, the game has some nice twists, like units being able to gain experience and wield special items, issued individually to each unit (as opposed to global weapon and armour upgrades), that give specific bonuses.

Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 9:20 pm
by MrFlibble
System Shock CD Enhanced Demo
Just found it on FilePlanet. This version includes voice-overs for log entries and SVGA graphics: ... anced-Demo

Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:58 pm
by MrFlibble
Just watched this interesting video:

It appears to be an enhanced version of the Warcraft II shareware (most probably distributed on a CD) with mission briefing voice-overs, fully animated intro sequence and CD audio music. The main menu screen (visible at 02:07) identifies this version as WARCRAFT 2 SHAREWARE v1.08sh.

[Edit] Found a download at a German website: ... 7f850fab8a

It's not an ISO though, just the files in a folder, so I'm not sure if the high-quality music audible in the video is actually included.

[Edit 2] The actual CD: ... B000MTRSUY

Posted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:20 pm
by MrFlibble
Heroes of Might and Magic Demo v1.2 (DOS)
This demo was released on the Computer Gaming World Extra #143 (June 1996) CD. It features all four playable character classes, and several standard game single-player scenarios. The campaign and multiplayer modes are not available in the demo.

Star Wars: TIE Fighter (Collector's CD-ROM) Demo
An exclusive demo of the updated edition of this game was included on the Chrysler Plymouth LucasArts Sampler promotional CD.

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:52 am
by MrFlibble
In Pursuit of Greed (large demo with intro)
Not a CD exclusive release, but rather a large downloadable file that is pretty hard to find these days. It was mentioned on the game's downloads page at the old SoftDisk website:
NOTE: If you've got a really fast Internet connection and lots of disk space, you might alternatively want to download the 20 megabyte version with some cool animations; if so, click here. Be warned that this download will take quite a while with any connection less than a T1!
DOSGuy of RGB Classic Games managed to find the demo and added it to his site.

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:14 am
by MrFlibble
Litude has posted info about an early self-running demo of Heroes of Might and Magic at RGB Classic Games Forums:
Litude wrote:Found an interesting self-playing demo of Heroes I, download it from here (162 MB). It's quite early, being from January 1995 so a few differences are noticeable like the intro being quite different and music pieces are used in different places in the preview. Sadly it isn't playable. Judging by the file names and the time frame, this preview might have been also used at CES 1995.

EDIT: Actually, seems like you can play it simply by deleting the file DEMOFILE.BIN from the game directory. It is quite unstable though (visiting artifacts or locations like mills will crash the game), but a nice early look at the game nonetheless.
In the same thread, leileilol mentioned an exclusive demo of Myth: The Fallen Lords found on a Computer Gaming World Magazine coverdisk.

Posted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:16 pm
by MrFlibble
Can anyone tell me what magazine CDs did the Betony Demo of The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall appear on? The info on the net seems a bit vague on this, I've seen mentions PC Gamer Volume 4 Number 1 (January 1997), but I think other magazines had it too.

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:59 am
by MrFlibble
Command & Conquer 6 Level Interactive Preview
A shareware CD release of the DOS version of Command & Conquer, it features three more Nod missions in addition to the three GDI missions from the Internet demo, updated game files, and lots of music and video cutscenes that could not have possibly been included in a downloadable demo back in the day. This release has been discovered by Nyerguds:
Nyerguds wrote: I found myself a CD version of the C&C1 demo (from Ebay), which has 3 GDI and 3 Nod missions, and about 200 mb of videos and music. Now, since I collect unique official data and programs, this is really neat for me.

Odd detail: I tested the sell-stop cheat ingame, and it didn't work, meaning the demo, hiding behind version number "DEMO 1.2" is actually game version 1.22 :)


ISO: (208 mb)

Now, the part which is even more neat: to my surprise, it has an installer which (unlike that of the original DOS C&C) functions perfectly on WinXP, and which is 99% identical to that of the original game (it has the scary outro, but doesn't copy the \AUD1 folder from the CD).

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 9:50 am
by MrFlibble
Litude at RGB Classic Games Forum has been very kind to upload the image of PC Gamer Volume 4 Number 1 (January 1997) CD, which contains The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall Betony demo. You can get it here. Kudos to Litude for sharing that! :D

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:17 pm
by dosraider
MrFlibble wrote:Litude at RGB Classic Games Forum has been very kind to upload the image of PC Gamer Volume 4 Number 1 (January 1997) CD, which contains The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall Betony demo. You can get it here. Kudos to Litude for sharing that! :D
Ah nice, added post to

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 3:25 pm
by Larry Laffer
I think it's about time for this thread to be stickified for great justice(and quality).

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 8:50 am
by MrFlibble
Great, thankies! :D

Meanwhile, I've played around with the early Heroes of Might and Magic demo a bit. Except said crashes when you try to pick up artifacts and enter special locations, the demo is quite playable. There is no movement limit, or building limit per turn (ending the turn will also crash the demo), and there is also no AI action at all (two enemy heroes are present on the demo map, and can be fought though). Picking up resource piles (but not the "enemy campfire" event) do not lead to crashes, and you can also capture mines, enter castles and cities, build structures in castles and hire troops as normal. Spells also work most of the time.

There are quite a few interesting things in the demo, for example, the hero list on the sidebar shows generic hero class icons instead of individual portraits:

Another interesting difference is that on battle screens, the hero is visible, much like in Heroes of Might and Magic II and subsequent games in the series, while only the hero's tent is visible in the final version of the game:

Unlike the final version, the hero was supposed to be able to command the catapult during castle sieges:

The catapult cannot be targeted manually, only given orders to fire. Notice there's a "siege skill" in the list hero's characteristics, which must have somehow affected the efficiency of the hero's catapult's attacks.

There are also many minor differences in graphics, both on the adventure map and in castles/towns.

If you give it a try, note that you can actually save the game and then replace your save with the original one (for some reason or other newly saved games end up in the demo's root directory, not in the GAMES folder). This way you can experiment with the demo and be able to return to your saved position in case of crashes, rather than start everything from the beginning each time.

Posted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 8:55 am
by MrFlibble
Awooo at the BetaArchive Forums has uploaded The Elder Scrolls Daggerfall - Interactive Preview CD-ROM:
Awooo wrote:Okay, Here's the Daggerfall Preview CD. ;)


I never knew about the Demo which came with the Collectors Edition, He mentions that it randomly generates both Male and Female characters which isn't found in any of the other available demo's as far as I know, apart from the demo on the European Version of the April 1996 PC-GAMER which starts you off with a Female character to begin with.


Just found some info on the missing 0.1 Demo which was featured on the 'European PC Gamer CD', apparently it was also found on 'PC Power'.

Source: ... aad8008837

Additionally, The 'Betony' Demo was also available on 'PC Games'.

Source: ... 0a9a696f86

Posted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:15 am
by MrFlibble
Blood Shareware CD
An enhanced version of the shareware episode of Blood was released on CD. The extra content includes video sequences and CD Audio soundtrack. The CD is available from's Shareware CD collection:

You can also get the CD shareware at RTCM website which is dedicated to Build engine games.

[Edit] The Shareware CD Archive now also has the shareware CD editions of Duke Nukem 3D, Quake and Starcraft: ... -shareware ... -shareware

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 9:42 am
by MrFlibble
Not exactly a pure exclusive thing, but Hendricks266 at Forums has uploaded a shareware CD called "Apogee's Greatest Hits":
Hendricks266 wrote: When I was a kid my first experiences with Duke, Commander Keen, and other Apogee-published games came from a CD called "Apogee's Greatest Hits" which contained the shareware versions of 15 of their games.

Since they are shareware I have no qualms with uploading it here.

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 11:57 pm
by dosraider
MrFlibble wrote:Not exactly a pure exclusive thing, but Hendricks266 at Forums has uploaded a shareware CD called "Apogee's Greatest Hits":
Now that's what I call 'a nice shareware CD' . :)

*downloads* :bday:

Posted: Thu May 24, 2012 8:38 am
by MrFlibble
Apparently, Computer Gaming World Magazine had an exclusive pre-release demo of Descent to Undermountain on one of their coverdisks in spring 1997. I've found that demo on a Russian website, but the files have been repackaged in WinRAR by site admins, so the original file package, if there were any, is not preserved. The readme also mentions that another, public demo was on the way, and I did a bit of Googling for that, yet with no results so far.