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Classic Games (Games) Entertainment Games

The Return of (Old) PC Graphic Adventures 93

KingofGnG writes "Though they belong to a genre already considered defunct and inadequate for the mainstream video game market, adventure games have a glorious past, a past that deserves to be remembered, and, of course, replayed. At the center of a good part of this effort of collective memory, there is ScummVM, the virtual machine which acts like an interface between the feelings and the puzzles from the good old times and the modern operating systems. As already highlighted before, the ScummVM target has grown immensely over time, going from the simple support of the 'classic' adventure games par excellence published by Lucasfilm/Lucasarts, to a range that includes virtually any single puzzle-solving game developed from the beginning of time up to the advent of the (Windows) NT platform. The last video game engine added to ScummVM within the past few days is Groovie, created by the software house Trilobyte for its first title released in 1993, The 7th Guest ."
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The Return of (Old) PC Graphic Adventures

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  • Not mainstream? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 22, 2008 @02:19AM (#26197471)

    While the definition of mainstream videogames can be debated, new adventure games are still sold in places like best buy and wal-mart. That seems mainstream to me. It is true they don't have the prestige or marketing behind them that they used to but they are still good.

    I picked up the Agathe Christie series on a whim at best buy one day and am presently surprised. and are still 'keeping it real' so to speak.

    • I picked up the Agathe Christie series on a whim at best buy one day and am presently surprised.

      is it also responsible for your new japanese accent?

    • Well Adventure games have been declared dead since 1992 (thats when I can remember the first gaming mag articles declaring them dead) the funny thing is, the genre thrives, and still is probably one of the genres still very strong in the PC world. The problem is it is outside of the scope of big publishers saleswise, no adventure game since Myst probably has sold more than one million but the sales are solid and you can preplan with sales between 30.000 - 200.000. So where does that leave the genre. Well ga

  • Productivity of all geeks over the age of 25 has dropped markedly.

    The 7th Guest/11th hour were quite good, but maddeningly difficult. I wonder if we'll get "Return to Zork" too in a few years..

    • I wonder if we'll get "Return to Zork" too in a few years..

      Maybe. But Return to Zork (RTZ) will definately not run on the Scumm VM. Despite RTZ departing from the traditional Zorks I actually quite liked it. The "other" Zorks (e.g. Zork Nemesis et al) I didn't enjoy so much... I think they were missing the humour.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Maybe. But Return to Zork (RTZ) will definately not run on the Scumm VM.

        Actually, there is a work-in-progress engine for it [] already. It seems playable, but I've only looked at the first few rooms (I'm not familiar with the game) so I couldn't say how well it works yet.

        • Maybe. But Return to Zork (RTZ) will definately not run on the Scumm VM.

          Actually, there is a work-in-progress engine for it [] already

          Nice. Thanks for the link. I was wrong... I didn't know people were working on that. Gosh, I must be getting old.

          Who would have thought I'd be sitting here typing these comments about a game that I played maybe 14 or so years ago. And it gets worse. I played the original Zorks (on a C64).

          RTZ was state-of-the art when I first played it and I distinctly remember being amazed at the graphics and the wonders of modern technology and how amazing I thought the graphics were. It actually inspired me a little bit (

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Atrox666 ( 957601 )
          There was an unfortunate set back when the video driver crashed, turning the screen black and the entire dev team was eaten by a Grue.
      • Zork Grand Inquisitor definitely has the humor back, unfortunately ZGI and Zork Undiscovered Undergrounds (a free text adventure easter egg on the ZGI CD) were the last Zorks produced ever.
        After that Activision lost interest in the adventure game market!

  • One of my favourite games that came out on ScummVM was Beneath a steel sky. Got the floppy version years ago, on my old pentium, but didn't have the book, so I couldn't get passed a certain point (where I needed the codes). When I was searching on the internet a few years later to see if I could download some illegal version somewhere, I came across the ScummVM website. I think it's really a good initiative, because I could now play this game on my linux box (there was no Dosbox yet, or at least I didn't kn
    • Beneath a Steel Sky was such a great game. Good plot and graphics!

      Here's a video []

      Wiki article, I think. []

      Seriously, go play it!
    • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

      There's one major caveat to BASS, which is that it requires two mouse buttons. I tried playing it on my PDA and became very frustrated very quickly.

    • by Jawdy ( 864553 )
      I guess I must be the only one who likes the more "mainstream" of these kinds of games in:
      Sam and Max: Hit the Road
      Full Throttle
      Day of the Tentacle (Maniac Mansion 2)
      and I only mean "mainstream" as TellTale games has done the latest Sam and Max's, and Lucas _were_ doing a Full Throttle sequel but canned it years ago :(
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bashae ( 1250564 )

        Tim Schaffer's studio Double Fine is working on Brütal Legend, you may be interested: []

        Also try Psychonauts. It's free on Gametap until the end of the year, so if you hurry...

        • by Jawdy ( 864553 )
          How had I missed Brutal Legend!? Awesome :)
          and getting Psychonauts now - good find, thanks man!
          • by Bashae ( 1250564 )

            An advice: Psychonauts is a masterpiece, but don't be discouraged by the somewhat lengthy training part (3 levels, with 1 plot level simultaneously) and play until the end. The six real psychic missions are very well made and (almost always) very funny.

        • by Hatta ( 162192 )

          Psychonauts is an adventure game? I just started playing it last week, it seems like a platfomer/action-adventure to me.

          • by grumbel ( 592662 )

            Its a pretty wild mix, some levels contain classical adventure elements, while others are plain jump'n runs and others feel more like a Zelda-like action-adventure. The game overall is a little uneven and has plenty of annoying spots, but it also features some insanely awesome ideas.

          • by Bashae ( 1250564 )

            Well, yes, it's action-adventure. Can't it be an action-adventure platformer AND good? ;)

            It's a Tim Schaffer game. You play it for the awesome humor and absent minded insanity that made the Secret of Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and Grim Fandango so enjoyable. Do NOT expect item-based puzzles, it's rather more collection-based (with platformer-style fights and boss fights spread through it, as well as character control based challenges).

            Note that I'm a huge fan of Schaffer's, so I'm not

            • by Hatta ( 162192 )

              Oh yes, Action-adventure games can be good, I was just wondering why you brought it up in the context of adventure games. Now I know. I expect it to be good, but it does seem like a waste of talent to have him making an action-adventure game.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hedwards ( 940851 )

      You can get that for free including a snazzy installer set up that works directly in Win XP from Love that site. Great price and increasing selection. As of a couple of days ago BASS was still free to download complete with modern installer.

      • That's what I already said in my post. I was looking for an illegal version and ran into the ScummVM website. Obviously I downloaded it over there ( Beneath a Steel Sky is listed over there as well :)
  • ... I'm like totaly addicted to scummvm since ... can't remember. Worse, I already played many of those games when they got out circa 1990. It went to the point I spent as much time playing as I spent studying ; factor in the occasional parties, and I still wonder how I managed to make it in the end. Scummvm has allowed me since to play the few I missed in those times. I dedicated a whole Ubuntu on Usb to play scummvm on my Asus 900A while commuting. For all their shortcomings, netbooks are perfect portab
    • with a challenging puzzle and a growing level of difficulty geared toward the solution of a rich storyline

      Good points Anne; I agree totally. The other thing about the old text based adventure games is that they were often hilariously funny! If not always obvious, there were always "inside jokes" that only a nerd would be likely to pick up or, indeed, maybe, find funny (for example, 69,105). The responses from the parser were often humerous as well (e.g. the response from "attack me with sword"). Then, of course, the grue.

      There were many other great adventure games but, in my little part of the world Infocom alw

  • by Lord Byron II ( 671689 ) on Monday December 22, 2008 @05:53AM (#26198281)

    With many of the companies that made these games now defunct and out-of-business, how do you expect to connect to the activation servers in order to play these games?

    And some of these games likely came on 3.5" disks, unless you happen to have an old disk drive connected to your machine, you're also out of luck, since we all know that you need to have disk #1 in the drive in order to get past the Securom checks.

    Besides, I'm sure that most of you have long since used up your 3 installs.

    • If I had mod points, I'd mod you funny! Imagine activation servers in times when most players didn't have Internet access!
    • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

      I nominate the parent for "Depressingly True Comment of the Day."

  • Sorry, what's the news here "Hey guys ScummVM has been around for eons but it's pretty cool check it out" ?

    Oh did you guys here that there is MAME out there? It can play a bunch of old arcade games, maybe we should submit something to Slashdot to tell the world about it? Or can we just use Slashdot to tell people about any program we want to promote? That's really cool then because you see I have this new program called Photosounder [] and it does some pretty cool stuff with images and sounds you should totall

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      We apologize for the confusion. Rest assured that the editors responsible for the oversight have been reprimanded. From now on we shall only display scientific and technological news of global importance. Would you like for us to eliminate duplicate postings of news items, as well?

      • by 4D6963 ( 933028 )
        Yes, please, and ensure that all the odd stories of little relevance are filed under the Idle section of the website, if you would be so kind.
    • Just a quick check confirms that the not-so-much-a-rule-as-a-guide banner reads "News for nerds" not "News to 4D6963" (or even "News to Slashdot colors").

  • Sorry, but ScummVM doesn't "virtually include any single puzzle solving game developed from the beginning of times".
    In fact a whole giant half of the gaming history is missing.

    The two adventure games giants back in the days where Lucasfilm/LucasArt and Sierra.
    ScummVM was designed from day to support Scumm system (the system used by all Lucas*).
    But Sierra's engine aren't all there. The old AGI engine used in their first games has been worked in. But the SCI engine behind most of the classical adventure perio

    • Sierra very recently started re-releasing many of it's classic games as series collections, powered by DosBox. I picked up the Space Quest and Police Quest collections, myself.

    • by DrMcCoy ( 941651 )
      The difference in ideology - ScummVM working with disassamblies of executables, while FreeSCI does it the clean-room way by reimplementing what can be noticed from the "outside" - pretty much stands in the way of a direct merge.

      But there is SCI support for ScummVM [] coming, what we need is developers willing to help (*hint hint*).

      As can be read there, the FreeSCI could use some help, too, with introducing the GSoC project into their tree; and, I'm sure, general devs wanting to build a clean-room SCI imp
  • SCI? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Well, that's all fine and dandy, but when are we finally going to see SCI support (for Sierra's later games)?

    I remember that many years ago, the ScummVM team said, essentially, "ScummVM is for SCUMM games only, therefore we won't add SCI support even though Sierra's games were the 'other big thing' along wit LucasArts'"; these days, with support for just about any and every engine thrown into ScummVM, is there any update on whether SCI support is planned? Or at least considered?

  • The one embedded in Fallout 3 was pretty cool to find. It being on a green screen really helped to bring back the feeling of playing them in the old days.

  • You can hear the tunes from the 7th Guest and 11th Hour again, and download them, from Amiestreet: [] I tried to make the audio CD a real nice experience, flowing from track to track, and kind of telling a story. I think it came out pretty enjoyable--it feels better to listen to than the CD that came with the game, or the mp3's. At least to me. I hope you enjoy it... []
  • How the hell can a submission titled "The Return of (Old) PC Graphic Adventures," on a geek oriented website, no less, leave out the amazing Adventure Game Studio project and associated community? There is so much original, independent, and FREE adventure gaming awesomeness coming out of of here, I recommend any fan of the genre check it out.

    Adventure Game Studio []

    In particular, I have to give a hearty recommendation to "No Action Jackson." The graphic style is a dead ringer for DoTT, and it's amazing o

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