ScuzzBlog: Diaries November 2018
Entry 19th November 2018: Post 01: Stars - Life before the Console
Stars - Life before the console
Twas July 1996 when I finally kicked the Amiga habit. I had been
struggling justifying keeping the Amiga as my main machine given
the lack of Internet and CD player. The 1200 was still very special
to me and didn't lose its place in here for a while longer, but I
was getting so frustrated not being able to play the latest games
and enjoying content on CD.
So I purchased a Windows 95 machine from Colossus which was a Pentium
120 with a 1GB hard drive and cost me over £2000. Which, surprise
surprise, I still have fully functioning. In truth the computer was
both a blessing and a curse. A blessing for the joy of the internet
and a curse for not being able still play games. Windows, in those
days ... was still functioning as a DOS based OS. So to play Duke
Nukem you had to go through a whole bag of customising in DOS to
make the game work.
The computer was just not suited to auto install yet and so whenever
I purchased any game or software there was always the possibility
it would not work. More often than not.
I soon got very tired of the games situation with the PC and after
having one very unsuccessful experience trying to play Tomb Raider
I gave up. I decided to buy a PlayStation and the rest is history.
I didn't again venture onto the gaming scene with a PC until 2008
with World of Warcraft... which I am still playing and was playing
just five minutes ago.
I did have one minor success with gaming on the PC and that was
with a game called Stars. The game was a bit like Elite except you
didn't actually fly the ships. I played Eve Online for a bit and
was very much reminded of this game.
Having had my recent session with the PS1 I was drawn to the game
yet again when I reflected on why I went over to the PlayStation
in the first place. So I dragged out an old AMD Duron running Windows
98 [ lovingly known as Fern ] and proceeded to install the game.
Man did that bring some memories back. Long winter weekends in my
room not even noticing it had gotten dark. It really was very
absorbing. I soon got back into the hang of things. Happy times.
I have captured the tutorial here with some pics to show the basic
format. It is difficult to explain the depth to which this game
sinks, but trust me once you start exploring and building up your
ships and resources it gets very complicated. The joy for me back
then was it actually worked on the Win95 machine.
I include also some snapshots of the AMD Duron machine. I don't
want to be accused of ignoring the PC Windows based systems. I don't
need to ever bad mouth Microsoft, their systems do a pretty good
job of doing that without my help. I have any number of old redundant
PCs that are dull as soup so finding one to run this game wasn't
that hard. I also include a few images from Tomb Raider.. the actual
boxed game that I bought that refused to work on the Windows 95
machine. I recall the opening scene with the tinted glasses of Lara
as being the first time I had ever actually had the pleasure. Seemed
to be all I did for months after getting the PS1.
Happy days.. all of them. I shouldn't be that hard on the PC. I have
spent way more time with Windows than anything else both at work
and at home. So must be doing something right.
You can watch a video review .. H E R E