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Microsoft Boa / MS Boa

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2013 3:46 pm
by olahh
On my family's first PC, which we got in 1992, we had a small and funny game for Dos called "MS Boa". The graphical interface is made with Ascii characters. With the mouse, the player controls a smiley (the second character in this picture: Image).
An ever-growing snake enters the screen in the upper-left corner, and is constantly moving horizontally and vertically towards the player. The game is over if the player touches any part of the snake. In the beginning, it is easy to avoid the snake, but the available space for moving is quickly reduced. The goal is to survive for the longest time.

The game consists of two files, "boa.exe" and "boa.top". One day many years ago, I wanted to open the exe-file to see how it looked inside. I was probably 11-12 years old then. I had never heard about hex editors, so I opened the file in MS Word. I can't remember if I changed anything, I don't think so, but when I closed the file, Word asked if I wanted to save the file, and by a clumsy mistake I answered "yes". Of course that left the file completely unusable as an executable file because of the Word formatting.

Some years later I opened the file in Notepad, and saw that "Dean (super mouse) Ballard" has written the game. I once sent him an email to an adress I found on Internet, but I didn't get any answer. I would like to try the game again, but I can't, because no one else's ever heard of the game, and I haven't found it anywhere on the internet. But maybe you can help me? It was made in 1989, and is for MS-DOS.

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 2:12 pm
by Lalala
As the description reminds me of a game I used to have as a kid, I think I might join you in your efforts finding it.
Do you still have the two files of this game? If you do, could you please tell the exact size of the files measured in bytes? Sometimes I have luck with finding old programs via google by referring to the filesize.

Another MS Boa fan over here!

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:58 pm
by Dr. Ludos
Hi olahh, it's nice to see someone else is aware of the game "BOA." I also used to play it as a kid, and enjoyed it quite a lot despise its simplicity.

What a coincidence, I'm currently working on a tribute/remake of this game in Flash. If you're interested, you can play a beta-version of this tribute game to BOA, called "Moreia", over here:

Please let me know what you think of it!

Regarding the original game, you can download it (in a french version) from this site, which is the only one to appear to be aware of its existence:
ht tp:// <snipped>
(as the site is in french, to download the game simply click on the little space invader image with the word "Telecharger")

BTW I must also thank you for the name of the author. I just opened the exe with notepad, and it indeed says that this game was created by "Dean Ballard" from Microsoft in 1989. Until I found your message here I was still wondering who made this great game during all these years...

P.S. : Please remove the space between "ht" and "tp" to open the links (I'm guest here, so cannot post links)

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:25 pm
by dosraider
Link to French site snipped, not allowed.

But here's ya game:
http://www74.zippyshare.com/v/81778683/file.html
Grab it whilst it's still there............................

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 4:51 am
by olahh
Thank you very much! Now I finally can play it again when I get to a computer with Dosbox.

The floppy disk with the game is at my parent's home, so I can't post it to you. But I guess it will be to messy to get any useful data from it, as the file now has MS Word formatting :(

I didn't get the link to the flash game, could you try to post it once more?

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:18 pm
by Dr. LudoS
Glad I've been able to help you. The game runs fine with dosbox, so I hope you'll enjoy it as much as when you where younger!

And for the remake, you can play it here
forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=35057.0

Please let me know what you think of it, as I think you'll be one of the very few people to have played the original :).

(dear admin, please do not remove this link. The forum linked here is about current "indie games", and only deals with legal games. The link provided above is to a freeware remake of the old dos game discussed in this post. And I don't think it can be considered as "advertising", as it is requested by the user who started the post. So I hope it is compliant with the forum rules)

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 8:48 pm
by dosraider
No worries, the removal of link to the French AW site was intentional, can't allow that, but the link to that indie forum is no problem, was removed by accident with the other, sorry.

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:16 am
by dosraider
Renewed zippy link on demand by PM:
http://www38.zippyshare.com/v/68663015/file.html

Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:55 pm
by dosraider
*update*
zandro by PM wrote: Subject: Re: MS Boa
It can be started in English, Francais, Deutsch, Espanol, Italiano, Suomi, Nederlands, or Svenska, by typing "BOA.EXE [Lang]"
Aha, good to know, THX zandro.

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 11:03 am
by Dr. LudoS
Better late than never, for those still interested about the game, I managed to find its author, Dean Ballard, and interview him about the story of this game.

Some historical details about this game, alongside with a short gameplay video, on the following blog post:
www.ludoscience.com/EN/blog/728-The-his ... t-BOA.html

It appears the game was actually distributed through the driver disk of the Microsoft "Dove Bar" mouse model, and that it was the only distribution model of this otherwise freeware game.

Posted: Mon May 12, 2014 2:23 pm
by MrFlibble
That's great, thanks for the link to your blog! :)

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:08 pm
by exoscoriae
Is it possible to get a renewed link again? Thank you.

Microsoft Boa / MS Boa

Posted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 12:37 am
by ausboafan
New link to 7z file containing the boa exe and top files. Tested in DosBox and works without issue.
Boa.7z
7z containing boa.exe and boa.top. Runs fine in DosBox.
(41.88 KiB) Downloaded 76 times
MS Boa is a game I remember playing in primary school roughly 15-20 years ago, so I decided to try and find a copy which led me to here.

I was saddened to find all the links dead, and while the fan remake is good it just wasn't the same.

I managed to located a copy of the game in the Microsoft Mouse 7.00 driver available on WinWorld. I extracted the zip, and in disk 4 was the 2 boa files.
MS Boa running in DosBox
MS Boa running in DosBox
ms_boa.jpg (40.12 KiB) Viewed 3246 times