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Lost and forgotten (except by us)

CryptRat

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
3,362
You can find cool stuff directly by browsing myabandonware. Last time I checked I ended up playing these two games that I didn't know about (I haven't finished any yet).
- Josel Killer, a spanish language Metal Slug clone, the characters' sprites arguably don't look good but everything else, including vehicles, looks great and the game is fun.
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- Eternal Daughter was made by the Spelunky dude but I had no idea this game existed. I can't say I love how inertia works but I like the game anyway and it's from 2002, not a time when making indie incline or die trying what a common thing. EDIT : I forgot to say the soundtrack is genuinely good.
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Binky

Cipher
Joined
Nov 17, 2015
Messages
453
I'm constantly looking for new games to play. In fact, most of the more obscure games posted in this thread (like Hannibal) I've found via Home of the Underdogs (rest in peace). I've replayed some of the games I've recommended recently (Zeliard, Budokan, Veil of Darkness,...). Others, I haven't played in decades.
 

Merlkir

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
1,216
Budokan and Blackthorne are far from obscure. But thanks for Veil of Darkness, that looks neat.
 

Unkillable Cat

LEST WE FORGET
Patron
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
23,985
Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
Are you guys just trawling myabandonware and harvesting brofists?

Seems that way. Binky's post on the previous page, for example, only has one game that I've heard next to nothing about (Murder Club).

But one has to keep in mind that opinions are subjective here. I have 32+ years of gaming experience on my back, I'm familiar with shit tons of titles across dozens of platforms. There are people posting in this thread that aren't even 32 years old. They're missing out... but fortunately some of them are catching up and posting about it.

I'm OK with that, as long as people aren't spamming wildly in this thread and try to keep an acceptable level of quality in the posts. So far so good.
 

lightbane

Arcane
Joined
Dec 27, 2008
Messages
8,977
osel Killer, a spanish language Metal Slug clone, the characters' sprites arguably don't look good but everything else, including vehicles, looks great and the game is fun.

Obscure for a good reason:


Watch without sound if you can.


Blatant copy of the original with minimal changes and worse quality overall. Typical Spanish product.
 

Zandig Slaytanic

Educated
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Messages
57
Not going to vouch for quality, but I love seeing stuff like this dug up.



Nice find. Played a bit of this today after seeing your post and found it interesting.

If anyone wants to give this one a try I've compiled a floppy disk image of the game and also a PDF manual of the website you linked to.

Download link for the files here:
https://www.sendspace.com/file/tyclv4

- I tested it on the Hatari, Steem, and Steem SSE emulators where it works fine.
- The game can be run from the floppy or the hard drive.
- If running from the hard drive make sure to copy all the files from the floppy into a folder called AVECTA on the hard drive.
- Set the ST desktop to Low Resolution before playing.
- Start the game by double-clicking on AVECTA.PRG
 
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PanickedTushkano

Educated
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
18
Credit where credit is due, so don't ask me, simply follow the link:

https://wkduffy.wordpress.com/

It's a blog about mostly obscure and forgotten Shooters (FPS and TPS). Some of them really, really obscure. Neuro and Solarix for instance.



Edit:

Confrontation (2012, french): A "3D tactical RPG" according to mobygames. Apparently a predecessor to Aarklash: Legacy, but I had never heard of it.

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Stranger (2007, russian): By the same people who made the Sudden Strike-series. Similar to Rage of Mages, KnightShift and such (RPG+Strategy more or less).

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Dawn of Magic/Blood Magic (2005, russian): ARPG with some original elements: the character-building is purely focused on Magic and spells can be combined. Some nice experimentation is possible, but the system isn't as open as I would have wished. Choice of spells influences appearance of the character. The choice of alignment is made at the start and has some nice influence on how exactly a playthrough will go. Maps are huge which is good and bad. Towns seem a bit more believable because of it, but it leads to a whole lot of somewhat pointlessly running around. Another negative is that attribute-requirements for items are often unreachable. I assume it was built with repeated playthroughs on higher difficulties in mind. The situation is similar with the parts required for unique items. Also: At least the two builds which I have tried were very heavy on the kiting they required. The game isn't really hard, but it certainly requires a lot of footwork. What stood out as a more clearly negative thing though was that some fetch-/kill-quests need to be done repeatedly to get a small reward. It's unfathomable to me how somebody could have got it into his head that this was a good idea. Making a bad thing much worse basically. The art (especially in regards to changing architecture) and soundtrack are great though.

Edit2: Forgot to say that the humor is basically Larian-esque. The whole thing doesn't take itself serious at all.

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luj1

You're all shills
Vatnik
Joined
Jan 2, 2016
Messages
6,957
Location
Eastern block
The rpgcodex-forums are a veritable treasure trove of the weird and forgotten, so Thanks to all the contributors!

Red Ocean (2007, german), an FPS set underwater. Footage on youtube looks good in terms of the shooting, but the review on yiya.de seems to consider it mediocre. Not on steam, but there are some used copies on amazon.de.

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Psychotoxic (2004, german), another FPS which seems to be considered average by most reviewers. There is also one good review on youtube, which is more negative, but which also points out that the game went through a rather lengthy development cycle. Development hell might be more fitting though: Their first publisher didn't give them enough money for the initial design vision and they didn't even get all of it, since they (cdv) went bankrupt at some point in development. Add in some lawsuits, money running out and so forth and it's frankly surprising that this one got released at all.

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Exodus from the Earth (2008, russian, FPS): Have barely found anything on it, but it's available on steam.

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Operation: Matriarchy (2005, russian, FPS): Seems to be just as broken as Psychotoxic from what I've been able to gather on youtube and elsewhere. But it also seems pretty weird and potentially interesting in terms of setting. Maybe worth a look in that regard. Also available on steam.

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The Stalin Subway (2005, russian, FPS) and The Stalin Subway: Red Veil (2006, some kind of follow-up): Not much to say on them, but what little footage I've seen reminded me of the gameplay of Vietcong 2 (quickload-fest). They are both on steam.

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You are empty (2006/2007, by the ukrainian MandelArt Plains, FPS): Nice architecture, great atmosphere (soundtrack). There is barely a story in-game, but the cutscenes are really, really good. Was quite surprised. Feels like Half Life 2 with stalkerish vibes thrown in. Quite short, though I liked it that way. Neither steam nor gog have it, but there are still some copies on amazon.de.

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Harvest: Massive Encounter (2008, swedish, tower defense/light RTS): You need to collect ressources and ensure energy flow. There's only four turrets, but you can link up as many lasers as you like and missile turrets can be upgraded to either provide splash damage or very long range seeking missiles. I recommend it if you like death stars. On steam. There's also a demo.

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SunAge (2007/2008, austrian, RTS): Haven't played it, but the developer fixed some issues and recently re-released it on steam, so that the weird control-scheme should be gone. Somebody mentioned it on some RTS-thread on the codex a while back.

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Locoland
(2003, russian, RTS): Locomotives and steampunk robots or something like that. Recently got re-released on steam. Snowbird (Eador, RIP) developer mentioned it in an AMA.

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The Entente Gold (2004, russian, RTS): They licensed the Cossacks engine and made a WWI-game which seems to play similarly. On steam.

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Aggression: Europe under fire (2007, russian, RTS+TW-style map): Have found much meaningful info on it, but the physics certainly seem impressive. On steam.

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Pacific Storm/ Pacific Storm: Allies (2006, russian, RTS+Grand Strategy map): Seems to have been well received in Russia and the reactions I have seen on it are mixed, so it's probably worth a look. On steam.

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Rising Kingdoms (2005, bulgarian, RTS): Fantasy-RTS by Haemimont who have made Tzar, some of the Tropicos, Victor Vran and Surviving Mars. But as opposed to the all these games, this one still hasn't appeared on steam or gog. I have tried the demo and did rather like it. However, without putting in more time it's difficult to say how well it distances itself from WC3. Or if it even tries to. The glory-system and the conquest of minor races are some interesting twists on the formula, so I have some hope that things turn out more interesting than in Armies of Exigo.

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Loving these obscure games.

This thread is awesome.
 

Modron

Arcane
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
5,242
Here are some random sport games I enjoyed in 96.
Rocket Jockey where you ride around on a rocket like you are racofer, said rocket has sideways launching grappling hooks you can use for turning, clothes-lining other jockeys, grabbing jockeys/balls, fun physics shenanigans, et cetera. Game had several different modes from arena types, racing, and a soccer like one where you used the grappling hook to hurl the ball into the goal. Graphics aren't even terrible for a mid 90s full 3d affair either.
https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/rocket-jockey

Hyperblade, basically a futuristic ultra violent hockey game where you can decapitate your opponents and use their head to score a goal. Had singleplayer/multiplayer seasons, with each team having a different arenas with a number of hazards, boosts, powerups, ramps, et cetera.
https://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/hyperblade
 

Dodo1610

Magister
Joined
May 3, 2018
Messages
1,980
Location
Germany
Freedom Fighters by IO interactive from 2003 https://www.mobygames.com/game/freedom-fighters
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3rd person shooter with simple squad based combat. Mission objectives that actually mattered in the game world for example if you blow up an important bridge in one level the enemy would no longer get armored support in a differnt map. The most memroble part is the epic score by Jesper Kyd

The story is that USA get's invaded by the USSR and you have to build up a resistance force in the literal underground of New York City
 

Punch

aaaaaa
Patron
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
141
Grab the Codex by the pussy
Murder Club (1991)
Investigate a murder. Who killed the bastard? Was it the butler?
https://www.myabandonware.com/game/murder-club-16h
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That fucking district attorney. That's a great game and it's no surprise it got plenty of sequels and countless ports, and was released on JP Nintendo Switch just a while ago. The PC Engine (Turbografx) CD version is excellent and highly recommended, it has some pretty good voice acting and digitized pics, not to mention all versions have a pretty good murder mystery with plenty of characters and red herrings and a cool twist at the end. If the ending wasn't a bitch to trigger at the end this would be an easy 10/10 to me.
 

Gauldur's Bait

Arbiter
Joined
Oct 14, 2015
Messages
247
Piece I found on BBC on digging around in the code of old computer games, in order to see how the programmers could make do with such limited tools and memory compared to today. I especially enjoyed this part, about how a programmer figured out a table that ensured a procedurally generated maze never came out as unplayable in the game: "...it had been the work of a programmer who developed it while not entirely sober: “He told me it came upon him when he was drunk and whacked out of his brain.”"

Get drunk and play with code! :obviously:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190919-the-maze-puzzle-hidden-within-an-early-video-game
 

Ninjerk

Arcane
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
14,195

Unkillable Cat

LEST WE FORGET
Patron
Joined
May 13, 2009
Messages
23,985
Codex 2014 Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy
I recently revisited a game from my childhood - Strangeloop.

Thumb_Strange_Loop_-_1985_-_Virgin_Games,_Ltd..jpg


Originally released on the ZX Spectrum in 1984, it got C-64 and Amstrad releases the year after, an updated Amstrad version in 1986 and finally a MSX release in 1987.

In the future mankind has set up giant factories in outer space, crewed and operated solely by robots. One of these factories has been invaded by aliens, who have reprogrammed all the robots to guard the place and are currently reworking the factory into producing deadly robots to use in an Earth invasion. As the factory is too big to be shot down, a lone astronaut is sent to infiltrate the factory instead, with the goal to get to the control room and shut everything down from there. Guess who drew the short straw for this op? With nothing else but a blaster, a small scanner that acts as a mini-map and some Really Large Pockets, can one man save the day?

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When I said that the factory was too big, I wasn't kidding. It measures 250 screens in size (which is bloody big in 8-bit terms) and is packed full of elevator tubes, conveyor belts, acid pools, crushers, deadly robots and SWARFS. SWARFS are tiny little bits of sharp space debris that will puncture the player's spacesuit any chance they get, causing oxygen leaks. Fortunately the player came prepared with a packet of patches (and more can be found in-game) but dodging/blasting the SWARFS is the penultimate filler activity in the game, only outdone by getting around the humongous factory. The player starts the game on foot, and while the factory can be traversed that way, there's also a very handy jetbike just round the corner from the starting room. Of course the jetbike needs fuel, so the gameplay consists of getting around the factory (70%), dodging the nasties (20%), keeping an eye out for supplies (5%) and then finally, somewhere at the bottom of the To-Do List, the task of the mission itself (5%).

The aliens have sealed themselves in the control room, so the first task is getting inside. That means finding a way through the barrier, but there's also a robot guarding the barrier so that needs to be disabled somehow. All the robots are controlled by the main computer, so something needs to be done about that, but to do that you need to do this, and then that and so on and so forth, and before you know it you're scrounging for coins in a remote corner of the factory so you can use a vending machine to get the part needed to fix a teleporter that takes you God Knows Where. That's right, Strangeloop is an adventure game at its core (though not one with a parser) with the accompanying Adventure Game Logic - you will be doing some Strange Things here.

Playing Strangeloop again after all these years was an interesting experience. I beat it back in the day but couldn't remember how. When I did so again this time I realized that my younger self had brute-forced my way through the game - essentially tried using Everything on Everything until something happened, instead of trying to think things through. Considering the size of the game that must have taken me a lot of time. Meanwhile older me dug up a walkthrough online and was kinda amazed to find that beating the game involves a rather short list of tasks. Another point of interest is that while the gist of the gameplay is identical across all the various versions, they all play differently enough to stand apart from each other. I originally played (and replayed) the updated Amstrad CPC release (aptly named Strangeloop+) and then I gave the C-64 version a go afterwards. The C-64 version is much harder to play, the starting supplies are much lower and the SWARFS move much faster and cause more punctures... and then there are the MegaSWARFS. You don't want to run into those. The Amstrad version has no MegaSWARFS, but instead there are these giant beach balls floating about. The Spectrum version is fugly even by Spectrum standards, but it has hazards and obstacles that neither the Amstrad or the C-64 versions have, like moving grappling arms. More than that, the Spectrum version doesn't even have the same map layout and all the items are in different locations. And what little I could gleam of the MSX version had little in common with the other versions.

That makes Strangeloop a rare oddity in gaming - where the concept of making the game be (and play) the same across different platforms isn't followed so strictly as it has been through the history of video games. Weirder yet, the C-64 and Amstrad versions are straight upgrades compared to the Spectrum original, being both better-looking and playing smoother. Right now I can only think of one other game where people looked at the original, thought "Nah, let's do something else than that" and then went and did precisely that, and that was the various ports of Dragon's Lair (1983). The coin-op original was a laserdisc release with full video and audio playback, something that no computer or console at the time could even possibly begin to match. So the decision was made instead to create a Dragon's Lair game starring Dirk the Daring, but otherwise have it a completely different beast, comprised of lots of little mini-games that were inspired by scenes from the coin-up original. This is what 8-bit home computers got in 1986. To add insult to injury they even made a sequel to this Dragon's Lair botch-job the year after called Escape from Singe's Castle, which is just more of the same, but at least this time they got Rob Hubbard to compose the music. (Don't get me started on all the other versions of Dragon's Lair floating about out there.)

One final note, Strangeloop+ has one of the coolest (if not the coolest) Easter Eggs I've seen in a video game. I don't think the other versions of the game have it, but it's simply this: Fly into the teleporter before fixing it. If you're somewhat familiar with other notable Amstrad games, you're in for one hell of a surprise. :)
 
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