Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Classic Games (Games) Games

Lost Online Games From the Pre-Web Era 186

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-are-no-match-for-my-imperial-starship dept.
harrymcc writes "Long before the Web came along, people were playing online games — on BBSes, on services such as Prodigy and CompuServe, and elsewhere. Gaming historian Benj Edwards has rounded up a dozen RPGs, MUDs, and other fascinating curiosities from the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s — and the cool part is: they're all playable on the Web today." What old games were good enough for you to watch them scroll by on your 300 baud modem?
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Lost Online Games From the Pre-Web Era

Comments Filter:
  • by symbolset (646467) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @01:44AM (#33768460) Journal

    If I could get the hours lost back from Barren Realms Elite, I'd be young again. It was just an evolution of a game called Hamurabi [wikipedia.org] for the IBM Model 5150 I learned to write machine code, Basic and APL on, but the addition of online opponents and leagues made it cool. We also had a Star Trek game, and football with random-generated game events and leagues and computer generated text play-by-play.

    And then there was LORD (Legend of the Red Dragon), Solar Realms Elite, Trade Wars, and the other door games.

    Ah, old times. Kids these days think games began with Quake.

    /onion, belt, off my lawn and so on.

  • by MstrFool (127346) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @01:57AM (#33768498)

    Heh, I remember getting into MUSH's and MUD's back when 2400 bps was a good speed. Spent more time on those games then a full time job. Folks said I had no life, but they were wrong. I had a lot of them. So what if they were all virtual? These days I can't spend as much time on them, but I still play a few MU*s. To me it's like reading a book rather then seeing a movie. I don't need some one to show flashy graphics. My mind can fill that in on it's own from a bit of text. Heh, I feel like I should be making a comment about how we had to use raw telnet, up hill, both ways, and we liked it. Heh. Gods, I'm getting old... And get off my lawn...

  • Interesting take... (Score:4, Informative)

    by IorDMUX (870522) <mark@zimmerman3.gmail@com> on Saturday October 02, 2010 @02:04AM (#33768530) Homepage
    Hmm...

    First off, since when is Nethack "forgotten"? Most people I know who still play it, do so on a centralized server like alt.org (mentioned in the article). There are even annual tournaments over at /dev/null/network [devnull.net].

    Also, where is the MUD/MMORPG GemStone? (Gemstone II came out in 1988, though Gemstone III gained big popularity in the mid 90's.) Gemstone II predates The Realm, mentioned in the article as "one of the Internet's first MMORPG's", by nearly a decade.
  • by OnePumpChump (1560417) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @02:21AM (#33768592)
    SRE was so much better than BRE. Every BRE game played out the same way: If you got in on the first day, and you played all your turns every day, you had a chance of winning. If you did not, you might as well not play, you would be completely dominated. SRE was far less clear-cut.

    Also, did you never play Exitilus? Like LORD, but MORE.

    And there was this BBS for the Mac which was almost exactly like WWIV...it had, or could run, a door game which was like Tradewars, but IMO, better.

    I think my favorite door game, though, was The Pit. Gladiatorial combat, in ANSI graphics.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 02, 2010 @02:30AM (#33768630)

    Best game from the bbs era.

    Sadly the author (Amit Patel) didn't have a second backup of his data. So when he went to get it from backup and the floppy wouldn't read, it was all over but the crying. Never remade since the last version in 1994.

    Though he did have Barren Realms Elite too. Good but not as good.

  • by darkpixel2k (623900) <aaron@heyaaron.com> on Saturday October 02, 2010 @02:37AM (#33768654) Homepage

    If I could get the hours lost back from Barren Realms Elite, I'd be young again. It was just an evolution of a game called Hamurabi [wikipedia.org] for the IBM Model 5150 I learned to write machine code, Basic and APL on, but the addition of online opponents and leagues made it cool. We also had a Star Trek game, and football with random-generated game events and leagues and computer generated text play-by-play.

    And then there was LORD (Legend of the Red Dragon), Solar Realms Elite, Trade Wars, and the other door games.

    Ah, old times. Kids these days think games began with Quake.

    /onion, belt, off my lawn and so on.

    Every time I see these pop up, people fail to mention LOD (Land of Devastation) by Scott M(?) Baker. That game was hands-down the best. Roam the wastelands of post-atomic earth and fight monsters while trying to recover stolen parts to the puritron(?) that will help clean up the radiation. After years of playing, you slowly uncover the dark secret that an alien badass tampered with the nuclear launch systems and nuked earth so he could take over. Then you go kill him.

    Am I the only one who played LOD? Am I the only one that thought it was awesome?

    Wildcat 4.11 forever.

  • Re:XvT (Score:4, Informative)

    by BlueBlade (123303) <{mafortier} {at} {gmail.com}> on Saturday October 02, 2010 @02:43AM (#33768678)

    LucasArts actually made a sequel in the same genre as XvT, called X-Wing Alliance. It will run fine on modern Windows systems (it uses Direct 3D), and you can even download fan-made high resolution texture packs for it to make it look better on newer systems. You only get to play the alliance side (at least in single player), but the campain is even longer than XvT's. There are also more varied ships than just fighers (Correlian Transports, shuttles, etc).

    The game follows the story of the Azameen family shorty after the evacuation from Hoth. You'll be playing several family missions, eventually joining the Rebel Alliance. From there you'll be staging Alliance missions, stationed in a variety of capital ships as the story progresses. There are also still family-related missions when you take leaves from the Alliance, which makes thing even more interesting.

    If you liked XvT, you'll love X-Wing Alliance. I wish they would make another of those games so much, but they are too complex to fit in today's "shoot everything that moves" paradigm.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 02, 2010 @02:51AM (#33768694)

    Oops. That domain expired. It now lives on StarShipTraders [starshiptraders.net]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 02, 2010 @03:00AM (#33768726)

    I ran a BBS in the Chicago area in the 90's called "Throwing Copper", and Legend Of The Red Dragon was my addiction. Sometimes I think I set up that BBS just so I could play it without dialing in. This brings me back, The Whammy Bar, Disallusioned Society, and a bunch that are on the tip of my tongue.

    Someone should make a gritty reboot of LORD. I'd play it.

    http://www.lotgd.net/home.php?

    Someone did. You can even grab the PHP code and run your own Legend of the Green Dragon server.

  • Materia Magica (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 02, 2010 @06:52AM (#33769358)

    List is missing quite possible the best one. Materia Magica, (http://www.materiamagica.com) formernly Moongate, a text based game with new additions been rolled out all the time, played through a client such as Zmud, Cmud, Mush, Portal, simply just Telnet, or even the games own custom built Java client.

    "Online for over fourteen years, MATERIA MAGICA is one of the longest-running, continually-developed games available, with a vast game world, detailed environments, intelligent monsters and other denizens, and many, many thrilling quests - you'll never run out of things to do." - Game login.

    The login hardly does it justice, so I'll name a few of the features that you can expect:

    *Multiclass - There are 12 races to choose from, each with its own perks and pitfalls, each race has access to a pool of classes, from the 4 fighter, 4 mage, 4 cleric and 2 thief, every 60 levels you can multiclass info one of the pools you don't have yet (help multiclass) can explain it in more depth should you choose to give it a try.

    *Archon system - Hit level 240? Ready for a challenge? Then go attempt the Domain of Arbaces, 9 floors of some of the most challenging creatures around for your level, and topped off a tricky little doll to help home. Archon's are rewarded with a massive stat and vitals boost that they can train, as well as new spells and skills. How ever becoming an Archon is not all benefit, for your troubles you will be hounded across the face of Alyria by the Ithrix, a race of extra-dimensional beings who will create rifts through time and space as they hunt down Archons to kill, are you prepared?

    *Clans and Alliances - Join a Clan, get together with like minded people, have access to a clan hall to recall to, slay enemies you could not on your own with them, have access to extra help when you need it. Some Clans are even in Alliances which gets you even more backup, in addition to this you can partake in alliance invasions; defend your home town as waves of foes descend upon it to earn passive rewards and points to spend.

    *Religion system - Find a clergy of a power and dedicate yourself to it, gain access to that deity's spells, help your power out by partaking in player vs player religion battles as you assault other religions shrines to make your god more benevolent towards you.

    *Character development - 7 quest masters with several thousand quests to do for rewards to better your character. There are also alternate ways to better your character, a treasure hunting quest, a body part collecting, various collecting of random scatters to build up items to improve yourself to name a few ways.

    *Marks - Currently there are 274 marks in game, what are marks you ask? Feats of bravery, luck, exploration, *cough* evil doing, and others award a mark for your efforts, marks are a one time deal which offer great rewards, people will frequently ask which marks you have earned so far!

    *Skill & spells - There is currently just shy of 300 skills and spells available, picking your classes will earn you access to the unique and fun spells and skills of those classes.

    *Player homes - Build and customize your own home, pick a plot, create the rooms, doors, hidden rooms, dark, light, outside, player killing, safe, and many, many more flags for you to play with in creating your own private domain. You can even build one home per home zone and have access to safe recall points all over the globe.

    *Massive world - Alyria is composed of an overhead virtual world approximately 2300 x 1600 rooms, richly featured with 10 main towns, and dozens of dungeons, villages, inns, keeps and more. Head underground and you will find yourself in the Great Alyrian Underground, yet more towns and isles with some of the deadliest creatures found. Also you can find your way to the Faerie Plane, where you can locate the seat of power for the Sidhe and Fey races, with more zones to explore. Topped off with the recent addition of the Sigil Underground, which has several zones to explore, and is the

  • by Brobock (226116) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @07:22AM (#33769422) Homepage

    Here's a wonderful little piece of trivia about Solar Realms Elite:

    The author of SRE, Amit Patel, went on to work at Google, and is one of two people credited with devising their "Don't Be Evil" motto.

    and that he lost the source code to SRE due to a hard drive crash.

  • Re:Wow.. i feel old. (Score:3, Informative)

    by echucker (570962) on Saturday October 02, 2010 @07:56AM (#33769480) Homepage
    LoRD probably reset at midnight as well. It still exists in a slightly changed for as LotGD - classic server can be found at http://www.lotgd.net/ [lotgd.net]

"The vast majority of successful major crimes against property are perpetrated by individuals abusing positions of trust." -- Lawrence Dalzell

Working...