Videogame pack-ins from times long past.

Inspired as I was by this discussion on the B:\ drive, I was reminded of all the cool little PC add-ons that used to be in with games when you bought them. I’m not talking about cloth maps, or novellas relating the history of the land or its people, I am talking about things that actually enhance (or attempted to) the gameplay.

I think my favourite of all time came with the game Leather Goddesses of Phobos II, which came packed not only with 3.5" and 5.25" disk versions, but also a little dongle for your serial port that you would plug in between your mouse and the computer, and it would provide you with somewhat better sound than was available otherwise.

The game itself was utter shite, and I honestly cannot remember actually getting the dongle to work, but as I paid the bargain bottom price of $3 for the game, I was not going to complain too loudly.

What did you get in your game (not limited to PC, just videogames in general) that really made you think “Hey, that’s neat”?

I will give an honorable mention to the Bongo Drum controller from Donkey Konga… it’s not really a pack in, but I’ll allow it, and things like it for this discussion.

I’m going to nominate a pack-in that was the videogame itself: Sign up for a one year Nintendo Power subscription, get a free copy of a little known RPG called Dragon Warrior.

Great thing was, Dragon Warrior ended up being one of the more solid NES RPG titles over the life of the system.

I remember a couple of games (mostly flight sims) that came with these keyboard overlays that indicated which key did what. You put it over the keyboard and could just glance down and see “Oh, ctrl-f5 to open the bomb bay doors” or whatever.

There was an spacecraft/flight sim for the Commodore 64 called Echelon. It came with a ‘voice-activated’ headset, though all it did was trigger the second fire button on any sufficient sound. It was a pretty cool game, too.

The headset actually came in useful on some other games. In the home version of Spyhunter, the smoke/oil was triggered by the second fire button. If I remember, that game came with a bonus device too - a two-joystick holder so that the buttons were right next to each other. It was much easier once I had that headset to use it for the second fire button.

I also managed to fool one of my friends with it. He hadn’t seen Spyhunter, and I told him that it really could differentiate voice commands. The button alternated between smoke and oil slick if you had them both; I merely kept alternating saying the words “smoke” and “oil” and whatever I wanted shot out the back!

StarTropics was packaged with a letter from one character to another that you had to run under water in order to find the answer to one of the puzzles in the game.

Oh, if you’re going to count the bongo drums from Donkey Konga, the winner has to be the guitar from Guitar Hero.

B-17 Bomber for Intellivision came with the Intellevoice.

And I think Starfox 64 for the N64 came with the Hi-Res graphics chip.

In a similar vein, StarFox and Stunt Race FX for the Super Nintendo came with the FX graphics coprocessor. And Sega’s Virtua Racing had a similar graphics coprocessor chip included – and a street price of $100. :eek:

Alas, no, they made us N64 owners shell out separately for that. Starfox 64 came with the “Rumble Pak” so you could really feel it when your ship got hit. And now they build the rumble into every controller on the market, whodathunkit.

I’m rather fond of Lucia’s pendant from the Lunar 2 PS re-release and the soundtrack CDs from both of the Lunar game’s re-releases.

the Infocom text adventure of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy came with some Pocket Fluff, a Don’t Panic! button, a pair of Joo-Janta Super 200 Peril-Sensitive Sunglasses and a Microscopic Space Fleet in a little plastic baggie…

sadly, the Towel was not included…

If we’re talking crazy controllers, the Guitar Hero guitar is easily topped by the Steel Battalion controller.

As for things that came packed in with the game, while it didn’t come with the US version, the Japanese version of th Dreamcast game Rez, a techno-music shooter based around the concept of synesthesia, came with an external vibrator to supplement the controller rumble. I’ve heard tale of it being put to quite other use very effectively, however.