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Old 08-06-2019, 07:53 PM
Wesley Clark is offline
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Is there a way to play 90s PC games on my laptop?


I miss the 90s games like civilization 2, warcraft 2, age of empires 1, red alert 1, command and conquer tiberian sun, etc.

Are there ways to buy or play these games nowadays? I own a few CDs, but they said they weren't compatible last time I tried installing them. At least Civ 2 said that.

Some 90s games like Doom or Quake are on steam (and I own them there), but not the games listed above.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 08-06-2019 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 08-06-2019, 08:39 PM
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Abandonia.com or myabandonware.com should have most or all of those. Also see what's for sale on gog.com.

Installation problems can be dealt with using DOSBox, Windows compatibility modes, virtual machine or emulator installation, or similar techniques.
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Old 08-06-2019, 10:37 PM
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What about DirectX compatibility issues? I've one old game that I wouldn't mind revisiting (Dark Reign), and it runs fine, except that the colors are all mangled into unrecognizability by not having the right DirectX version.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:06 AM
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A quick search for Dark Reign shows a colour-fix patch floating around; I haven't tried it myself, but it suggests an ad hoc solution for that particular game.

More generally, if you install a clean copy of Windows XP or Windows 2000 in a virtual machine, you would have full compatibility with that operating system rather than running the game in "compatibility mode". (Virtualbox, VMWare, and the ilk all support DirectX to some degree). The serious way to do it is to install a second graphics card and enable GPU passthrough to the virtual machine (this also works for running Windows games under Linux), but that is probably not necessary for a game that old.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:19 AM
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Installation problems can be dealt with using DOSBox, Windows compatibility modes, virtual machine or emulator installation, or similar techniques.
That's the big one. Get yerself VMware or similar, some sort of downgrading driver to make your fancy-ass modern video card read as old sputtering hardware struggling to put out 800x600 that your VM installation of Windows 98 can recognize and your old shit'll run on that no problem.
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:27 AM
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You can install an emulator like PCem.
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:36 AM
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All of the command and conquer series are available direct from EA on Origin but compatibility is not guaranteed. For example I was running Red Alert 2 fine on my Windows 10 machine until I upgraded my graphics card and drivers then it went wonky. Fortunately the C&C games are popular enough that I could find a fix without much effort. Origin also has the Wing Commander games available which come bundled with DosBox if required. I only have Wing Commander 3 installed but it does work on my machine via dosbox.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
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I miss the 90s games like civilization 2, warcraft 2, age of empires 1, red alert 1, command and conquer tiberian sun, etc.
AoE II is on available on Steam and I see that the original AoE is listed as coming soon. Steam also has Civ 3 and later, but not one and two.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:53 AM
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I can heartily recommend www.gog.com

It started life as a website that had old games that they had remastered and reworked to run on modern PCs. While they have expanded into new games as well, they still have a big catalogue of remastered old games. Theyíre quite inexpensive in general, but also have regular sales, where you can pick up games for a couple of quid/dollars.

Their success in remastering is generally good, out of about a dozen games Iíve bought, Iíve only struck one that didnít like my system, and ran poorly. Otherwise theyíve all played fine, without needing emulators, etc.

I recently bought the original Diablo off them, and spent quite a few nostalgic-soaked hours dungeon crawling.
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Old 08-07-2019, 08:59 AM
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I can heartily recommend www.gog.com

It started life as a website that had old games that they had remastered and reworked to run on modern PCs. While they have expanded into new games as well, they still have a big catalogue of remastered old games. Theyíre quite inexpensive in general, but also have regular sales, where you can pick up games for a couple of quid/dollars.

Their success in remastering is generally good, out of about a dozen games Iíve bought, Iíve only struck one that didnít like my system, and ran poorly. Otherwise theyíve all played fine, without needing emulators, etc.

I recently bought the original Diablo off them, and spent quite a few nostalgic-soaked hours dungeon crawling.
Absolutely!

Thanks to gog.com I'm playing:

- Master of Magic (1994)

- Heroes of Might and Magic 3 (1999)

No problems or crashes - and lots of fun.
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  #11  
Old 08-07-2019, 09:19 AM
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AoE II is on available on Steam and I see that the original AoE is listed as coming soon. Steam also has Civ 3 and later, but not one and two.
Yeah, I own aoe 2 and civ 3 on steam, but I like aoe 1 and civ 2 better. Finding compatible versions isn't easy.
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Old 08-07-2019, 09:25 AM
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Absolutely!

Thanks to gog.com I'm playing:

- Master of Magic (1994)

- Heroes of Might and Magic 3 (1999)

No problems or crashes - and lots of fun.
The Heroes of Might and Magic series was one of my guilty pleasures. I have no idea how many hours I spent playing the various iterations. Even plenty of good old hot seating multiplayer.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:29 AM
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I also recommend GoG, but I'm having problems with my copy of MoM not launching. I think it has something to do with their cloud saves patch.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:43 PM
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The Heroes of Might and Magic series was one of my guilty pleasures. I have no idea how many hours I spent playing the various iterations. Even plenty of good old hot seating multiplayer.
Yep, I was a fan of that series from the start. I've never played HoMMVI, though, because at the time of its release, it looked like there was no way to play it without creating an Ubisoft account and logging into their server anytime I wanted to play. Has this issue ever been solved (legally)? I also remember that VI seemed rather dumbed-down from V, so I've never really felt like I'm missing out much. But it might be cool to check it out.

(I hope this isn't a hijack... my question is, after all, about getting an older game to run. )
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Old 08-07-2019, 02:44 PM
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The Heroes of Might and Magic series was one of my guilty pleasures. I have no idea how many hours I spent playing the various iterations. Even plenty of good old hot seating multiplayer.
I played the crap out of that in college with buddies. I remember being especially fond of the necromancer.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:19 PM
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Yep, I was a fan of that series from the start. I've never played HoMMVI, though, because at the time of its release, it looked like there was no way to play it without creating an Ubisoft account and logging into their server anytime I wanted to play. Has this issue ever been solved (legally)? I also remember that VI seemed rather dumbed-down from V, so I've never really felt like I'm missing out much. But it might be cool to check it out.

(I hope this isn't a hijack... my question is, after all, about getting an older game to run. )
No you still have to log into a Ubi account to play VI. This because there are super powerful artifacts with an experience bar that you can power up throughout multiple careers/campaigns and they don't want people to cheat about it (also Ubi being generally terrible for the sake of it).
I'd say VI is less great than V (which itself is slightly less great than III but it hurts the eyes a lot less) but there are interesting ideas in it yet.
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:54 PM
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No you still have to log into a Ubi account to play VI. This because there are super powerful artifacts with an experience bar that you can power up throughout multiple careers/campaigns and they don't want people to cheat about it (also Ubi being generally terrible for the sake of it).
I'd say VI is less great than V (which itself is slightly less great than III but it hurts the eyes a lot less) but there are interesting ideas in it yet.
Oh well, I guess I'll still give it a pass. IIRC, most of the new stuff in VI were things that HoMMIII Era II already had... I'll just stick with that.
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Old 08-08-2019, 12:27 AM
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Installation problems can be dealt with using DOSBox, Windows compatibility modes, virtual machine or emulator installation, or similar techniques.
This is absolutely the key. In addition to various emulators already mentioned, for example, I currently have The 7th Guest running on my Windows 7 laptop using ScummVM. This was the first PC video game to exploit the potential of the CD-ROM medium and goes back to the days of DOS and Windows 3.1. To this day I think it's one of the most slickly produced and entertaining video games, combining live-action sequences with great audio-visual effects in a haunted-house setting, and requiring you to solve sometimes challenging puzzles in order to move ahead and explore more of the house. It was sufficiently elaborate for an early DOS game that it actually required two CDs, not just one.
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Old 08-08-2019, 01:32 AM
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No question; without VMs and emulators, even the most resourceful computer museum curator would be hard-pressed to collect playable copies of all the old Atari games, Amiga, Nintendo, Colecovision, vintage arcade, classic Macintosh/Apple, Spectrum, Genesis, Wii, etc. Yet, you can play them all today, for free, by installing the appropriate virtual environment.
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