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Rail! Entertainment > Docs >

Three Of My Favorite Old-School PC Games - With Downloads!

By Michael - 01-11-02

9:22 PM - Right now, as I type these words, this entire site is being re-uploaded to the server from my hard drive. I did something really stupid. You see, there's this thing I get with this site called an Email Control Panel, where I can make up email addresses (,, etc.), and have them forwarded or whatever. In bold red letters, this Control Panel page tells me:

*** Warning ***
Do not delete or change the password on your Master account!

...So guess what I did. To make a long story short, I locked myself out of my Email Control Panel. I had to have my site reset to get it to work again. I am unworthy of the title "Web Master" (Almighty Master of the Web). Anyway, I'll try to complete this review while WS_FTP finishes uploading.

Note: I was originally going to write about five different games. I cut it down to three because I am stupid and lazy and I need to shave.

rockstar2.gif (15856 bytes)ROCKSTAR (1989) by Wizard Games - I've been playing video games for almost as long as I can remember. I played the original NES as a teenager. Before that, there was the Atari 2600, and before that; PONG -

But this is the first PC game I can recall playing. Rockstar holds a LOT of sentimental value for me. I played it with two of my friends on my best friend's dad's computer. The thing was, we'd all get into the game. We'd take turns sitting at the keyboard, and we took turns naming songs. Most game decisions were voted on. We'd cheer when our single would go to number one on the charts. We'd scream profanity and break expensive objects when our character died of a drug overdose. 

Rockstar is a sim-type game of sorts. You play a rock musician trying to make it big. You have a "Star Meter" that tracks your progress. There are options to practice and write songs, gig, record singles or albums, or just sit around and be lazy. Characters in the game offer you chances to go to promotional gigs, parties, orgies, or support tours for other bands. Your responses can affect your happiness, popularity, or creativity. 

You can record singles, albums, and videos. Then you can watch the charts to see how they do against other fictitious bands. "Damnit! Frank Baboon's single is number one again! We need more heroin!"

Let's talk about graphics - There are no graphics. This is a text-based game. No pretty pictures. No polygons. No lens flares. Just RED AND YELLOW and GREEN text on your monitor. Sometimes the screen will flash or do something crazy if you took some good drugs (I'm not joking), but that's all you'll see as far as special effects.

Rockstar has been very influential to me. Most of my early song titles were made up playing Rockstar. Also, my second (unfinished) game, Boredom, originally used a Rockstar-style interface. It even had a grandma that beat you up!!

I had a very hard time finding this game. I bought my first PC in 1995, and I got internet service about a year or two later. Wanting to relive my youth, I went searching ALL OVER THE WEB for Rockstar. I couldn't find it through AltaVista, Yahoo, Exite, or any other search engine. Most search results came up with fan pages of asian pop stars. It literally took years for me to find this game. Sure enough, my persistence paid off, and I got to enjoy the yellow and red glory that is Rockstar once again. You can check it out yourself by downloading the shareware version here (123 KB). I recommend getting yourself in the mindset of a fourteen year-old before playing it.

doom.gif (104901 bytes)DOOM (1993) by id Software - Oh, don't think for a second that I'm gonna forget Doom, one of the bestest, keenest games ever. These days, the kids'll joke about its graphics, but for the time, they were incredible. I might sound stupid, but this game really was scary. I'm talking about playing with the lights off with no cheat codes with 20% health and a pink demon comes around the corner and tries to munch on your brain, but you don't wanna die, and you're all like, "NOOOOOOOO", so you run backwards, firing the last rounds from your shotgun, whispering, "Ohshitohshitohshit" - That's good stuff, and makes for fine gaming.

In case you're one of the three people in the world who don't know, Doom is a classic First-Person Shooter (FPS). You run around and kill monsters and demons and blow shit up with a variety of weapons. Doom and its predecessor, Wolfenstein 3D, spawned an entire genre of games in which you kill stuff.

Enemies: You are constantly under attack by evil undead monsters of evilness. You've got your Undead Humans, Imps, Pink Demons, Lost Souls (Giant floating skulls that are on fire), Cacodemons (Sorta like a flying mutant Pac-Man with one eye and horns), and more. The list goes on and on. 

IMPORTANT GAMING TIP: Shoot them. If they don't die right away, shoot them some more.

Doom requires skill and sharp reflexes... Which I ain't got. Just like in junior high school, the monsters smack me around like a whiny little bitch. They gang up on me and hold my book bag, and then they don't let me have it, and I'm like, "Give it!", and they're all like, "Make me"...

...Ok, what I was getting at is this: even if you suck at the game, you can pretend to kick a lot of ass by using these miraculous CHEAT CODES (Type them while playing). 

IDDQD = God Mode (Invulnerability)

IDKFA = All weapons and ammo

IDSPISPOPD = Walk through walls

I didn't have cheat codes in junior high. Girls laughed at me when they made me step on bubble gum and this asshole pretended he was retarded and picked on me.

I know a few people who have never played Doom. Some of you FPS gamers out there probably blinked at that. 

FPS Gamer: (Beating his victim's shins repeatedly with a crowbar.) "What? Never played Doom? I can't believe it."

Well, if you've never played it, or haven't played it in a while, here's your chance. You can download the shareware version here (DOS 2.33 MB).

CASTLE OF THE WINDS (1989-1993) by Epic Megagames- Ah, the days of Windows 3.11. Back then, we didn't have right-clicks - and we liked it that way! Fourcotw.gif (20339 bytes) MB of RAM was about average. I had a 50 MHZ 486 PACKARD BELL. It's still sitting under one of my cabinets, cannibalized for parts. Oh, how I miss "Old Grindy". Um... anyways, I bought this CD for like ten dollars called "Crappy Ass Shareware Games For Windows", or "Failed Computer Science Projects", or something like that. Out of maybe 50 games on the CD, only three or so were any good. Castle of the Winds was one of them.

COTW was based on earlier text-based RPG's such as Rogue and Dungeon Hack. It starts out with a simple story line: You are a pale 32x32 pixel icon with huge pectoral muscles and no legs. You must go out and kill lots of other 32x32 icons by walking into them. Then you take their treasure, which you can hock to stores back in town for money. Lather, rinse, and repeat.

Spells: As with a lot of RPG's you can learn spells. Every time you level up, the game gives you a choice of several spells to learn. You can also buy them at stores in a variety of forms, such as wands, scrolls, staffs, and spell books.

Enemies: There's a pretty decent variety of dungeon creatures to eat you, stab you, or just plain kill you. I'm not going to bother listing them, because that would take too long, and The Daily Show is coming on. Let me wrap this up...

Bottom line: You think it's gonna suck, but it ends up being cool. It's an enjoyable, addictive RPG despite its simple graphics.

I'm tired of writing. Play the damned game already. If you want to check it out, you can download part one here (354 KB). Hope you enjoy it.






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