The Intel 486 DX2-66 :: My Story and some Games | Ep. 188

The Intel 486 DX2-66 :: My Story and some Games | Ep. 188


By September of 1993, was when I bought my
very own PC leaving my Amiga behind.
Well, I never really left my beloved Amiga,
only needed to focus my attention towards
my brand-new IBM PS/1 because of my academic
choices at high school.
Launched by mid-1992, the Intel 486 DX2-66
was a massive advance from its predecessor.
Gaming on a PC had never looked or been so
good!
The DX2-66 was the ultimate in gaming processors.
It was fast, had an extra 8KB of on-chip cache
and was priced just right for the new DOS
gamer, like myself, to enjoy the benefits
of an amazing gaming setup, where the likes
of Doom 2 and X-Wing ran beautifully.
This was the top of the range in terms of
gaming and a super-fast processor compared
to what came before, and telling your friends
at school that you had a DX2-66 and inviting
them over to play Doom 2 the way it should
be played, really helped to have a ton of
envy eyes looking over my shoulders!
My IBM PS/1 model 2168 that I managed to buy
by September of 1993 has a silhouette that,
for me, is a symbol of the best years of MS-DOS
gaming.
So, for now, let’s just recall some of my
biggest addictions back from the glory days
of DOS gaming that I still play nowadays on
my beloved IBM PS/1 486 DX2-66 and that always
remained on the hard drive since then.
You’ve already noticed that I’m the biggest
Indiana Jones fan out there and The Fate of
Atlantis should be turned into a movie, and
remastered for current gen systems, like Day
of the Tentacle was!
Screenwriter Hal Barwood, that would return
later to also write the story for Infernal
Machine, wrote an amazing plot centered around
the lost continent of Atlantis.
I’ve forever been intrigued with Plato’s
amazing “Atlantis Dialogue”.
So, The Last Crusade was begging for a sequel
and it eventually arrived, firstly in 1992
and, a year later, in an enhanced CD-ROM
version which included amazing voice acting
and digitized sound effects.
This was the one that I’ve played back then,
and played again, and again, and again…
It offered an overwhelming and original story
that can rival with the ones from the three
first movies.
The 4th one is quite forgettable!
So, Nazis, a sort of mythological flavor and
a beautiful, and somewhat annoying, female
character, were the perfect ingredients for
an Indiana Jones adventure.
Sofia Hapgood would return, later, for Indy’s
first 3D action-adventure, The Infernal Machine,
released in 1999 and that I’ve also reviewed
in the past.
Needless to say that, later, I would also
grab the GOG and Steam versions to play again,
and again, and again…
Damn!
I completely lost the count of how many times
I’ve played and finished The Fate of Atlantis!
It still has the power to held my attention
hostage like if there was no tomorrow!
And let’s not forget that this game was
included as an unlockable extra of the Wii
version of Indiana Jones and the Staff of
Kings!
Pinball Dreams was the first Pinball video
game that I’ve played on my brand-new IBM
PC, in a time when sound cards were so freakin’
expensive!
It was developed by Digital Illusions and
released, in 1992, by 21st Century Entertainment.
It was designed by Olof Gustafsson who also
composed the amazing soundtrack that would
return 3 years later, in ’95, with its sequel,
Pinball Dreams 2.
You’re seeing here the Deluxe Edition that
is available on GOG.COM within the Pinball
Gold Pack that gives you the chance of playing
all 8 tables from both Pinball Dreams titles
and, also, a bunch other amazing classic pinball
video games from Digital Illusions.
1993 was the year when my life as a gamer
changed.
Due to my academic choices, I had to embrace
the PC.
That was when I came across Syndicate, this
futuristic cyberpunk real-time tactical game
from Bullfrog in where we have to perform
missions that range from rescuing captured
allies, persuading scientists and civilians
to join our cause, kill leaders of rival syndicates,
etc.
And, while the game progresses, we must try
and stay ahead of the latest breakthroughs
in what weaponry and cyborg enhancements are
concerned.
Syndicate annoyed a lot of people back then.
It can be completely disrespectful to the
morality of our society.
But that’s just what attracted players in
the first place!
It was available for a lot of systems, but
the PC version is, with no doubt, the one
that everyone should play!
Two years before becoming Digital Extremes,
James Schmalz developed Epic Pinball that
was published under the Epic MegaGames label
and exclusive to DOS machines.
I believe that every PC gamer, back in
1993, played this one, ‘cause it was distributed
as shareware with only the famous “Android”
table available to play!
And I’ve played the crap out of it!
The complete game was composed of 3 different
packs, and each pack contained 4 tables.
So, in total, we had the astonishing number
of twelve completely different tables, being
Enigma the weirdest one!
Again, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing!
Just listen to it!..
In 1995, one of my favorite first-person shooters
was born:
Star Wars Dark Forces.
But, also in that same year, we saw the release
of my favorite title in an isometric style
of gameplay:
Crusader: No Remorse!
Set in the 22nd century, we control this red
elite soldier that rebelled against the mighty
and powerful World Government after disobeying
a superior order of killing innocent civilians
wrongfully mistaken by rebels.
After being ambushed, he managed to escape
ending up joining the rebel cause.
To gain trust amongst the rebels, that still
sees him as the enemy, he must undertake several
dangerous missions to prove that he’s on
their side.
That’s where the player comes in!
The main goal is to gain access to the plans
of a space station used by the enemy to threaten
cities to surrender to them.
This space station, known as Vigilance Platform,
is a sort of Death Star that can completely
annihilate from space a city that is still
under control by the rebels.
With absolutely gorgeous graphics and music,
Crusader: No Remorse was a huge inspiration
for the Fallout development team and it’s
still an amazing adventure
that everyone should experience!
I’m still hoping to see a remake of this
gem!
I always recall this 6th title of the King’s
Quest franchise with huge nostalgia.
Five friends and I saved money for months
to buy the original boxed DOS version, and
managed to do it a year after the game’s
release.
So, in late 1993, and after playing a pirated
copy of the previous title, the 3D graphic
intro movie, the professional voice acting
and the multiple routes through the story
overwhelmed us!
It just blew us away!
Obviously that we needed to make copies of
the original floppy disks, so that each of
us would play it and share experiences helping
each other advancing through the story.
Every day, at school, we would gather around
and talk about each other’s progression
and this was how we shared “walkthroughs”
in early 90s!
We would even draw sketches for the puzzles
and take photocopies so that, when we got
home, could advance a bit more.
It was the first point ‘n click graphic
adventure that I played on my brand-new IBM
PS/1, with sound coming only from the PC Speaker.
Sound cards and a pair of speakers were so
expensive back in those days!
A luxury!
So, King’s Quest VI was played entirely
using the internal speaker of my IBM that,
gladly, had this pretty handy volume knob
so that I could play the game all night long!
King’s Quest VI brought huge improvements
to the series and could finally rival LucasArts
graphic adventures with its awe-inspiring
visual beauty.
An amazing experience that brings so many
awesome memories!
Raptor: Call of the Shadows was originally
developed for MS-DOS by Cygnus Studios and
published by the mighty Apogee Software back
in April of 1994.
It was, in fact, placed in stores’ shelves
on April 1st of 1994!
When Apogee announced to the public that Raptor
would be available on that day, everyone thought
that it was an April fool’s joke.
But it wasn’t!
And, the game was supposed to be called “Mercenary:
2029” and not “Raptor: Call of the Shadows”.
My first experience with it was provided by
a shareware version available for DOS which
included the first episode: Bravo Sector.
And its music, composed by Matt Murphy, still
pounds in my mind since then!
Raptor: Call of the Shadows is divided into
three sectors:
Bravo Sector, Tango Sector and Outer Regions,
each one composed of a total of 9 levels.
As for its plot, is as basic as being sent
on interplanetary missions to destroy everything
that crosses our path, in this case, the Mega-Corps’
thugs.
Being a shoot ’em up, everything that appears
on screen must be destroyed, from other flying
objects to ground targets, like turrets, buildings
and vehicles.
Obviously that a shoot ‘em up without end
level bosses wouldn’t be a shoot ‘em up,
so there’s plenty of those!
Even halfway through a certain number of later
levels!
Credits and bonuses are earned by destroying
stuff, and the more difficult the enemies
are, the more credits and bonuses we’ll
get!
The player will only have
one life, but there’s an energy meter that
makes Raptor stand out from most shoot ‘em
ups available until then.
Also, a save option is available between levels,
that is really welcomed in this type of games.
Our ship can withstand quite a huge amount
of damage, always having the chance to upgrade
it with shields and more powerful weapons
that can be bought or collected using the
credit and purchase system implemented.
When facing the various types of enemies,
we can dynamically switch between the weapons
installed to face with the situation in hands,
‘cause some weapons can only hit airborne
targets and other only ground targets.
Even so, there’s a few that can hit both,
so these last ones are pretty practical!
The more original weapons present must be
the auto-tracking turrets and, besides the
megabomb that will destroy everything on screen,
including enemy bullets and projectiles, there’s
this weapon that fires continuous instant
beams capable of penetrating and destroying
multiple targets in one shot.
Also, we can purchase a certain item called
the “ion scanner” that, when confronting
a level boss, can measure its own energy and
damage meter.
Also available for the SEGA Mega Drive, Psycho
Pinball grabbed me right away, but, again,
on my IBM PC.
Don’t get me wrong!
The Mega Drive version is also extremely good,
but the good old DOS version is ever better!
For PC it was released only in ’95, a year
after the exclusive European Mega Drive original.
Developed and published by Codemasters, Psycho
Pinball features the traditional number of
4 tables.
However, I must highlight the one that gives
the name to this awesome game, ‘cause it
offered a different approach to the genre!
From this table, and by activating certain
jumpers, we can reach the other three tables
by entering one of the tents!
There’s also plenty of minigames in each
table, so there’s a lot to discover
in Psycho Pinball!
In early and mid-90s, along with point-n-click
adventure games, I loved to play Pinball on
my DOS machine.
The PC version would normally have extra features,
like, in certain cases, extra tables, compared
to the Amiga one.
So, finally, the CD format was starting to
show all its potential, rather than being
used to store crappy full motion video stuff!

9 thoughts on “The Intel 486 DX2-66 :: My Story and some Games | Ep. 188”

  1. Foi o 2 computador que tive. Passei de 1 amstrad 1512 a 4mhz e cga para esse. Os pcs eram em caros lembro me que o 486 dx2 custou 330 contos e mais tarde ainda comprei o CD-player, a placa de som e fiz 1 upgrade de 4 para 8 megas de memoria so para jogar o doom2. Bons tempos. Dessa epoca as aventuras gráficas e os pinballs foram os jogos que melhor resistiram ao teste do tempo. A parte disso só jogo o doom, quake, o ufo original (em engines modernos) e as últimas aventuras de texto da legend entertainment (Eric unready, gateaway 1 e 2, etc ) pois tem 1 interface (click and play) perfeito dentro do genero. Ainda está anos luz.a frente de todos que foram criados posteriormente (n percebo como ainda ninguém o copiou).

  2. O meu segundo computador foi baseado num 486DX2-66Mhz, passando de um 386SX, foi avanço enorme que me permitiu jogar alguns dos jogos que mostras no video. Mas o meu não tinha placa de som nem CD-Rom quando o comprei em 1994, Só mais tarde é que adicionei o "kit multimédia" da Creative com uma Sound Blaster 16 e um leitor de CD's de 2X. Ficou para sempre na minha memória.

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