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Thread: The Windows 95 Era: Suggestions on exclusives

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    Insert Coin (Level 0) motley6's Avatar
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    Default The Windows 95 Era: Suggestions on exclusives

    I recently received an old Dell computer with Windows 95 on it and I'd like to find some games for it. I know a bunch of console ports were released during this era for PC like Resident Evil, Virtua Fighter and such, but I'm mainly interested in Win95 PC exclusive titles from 1995-2002 or so.

    These two look interesting; has anyone ever played them?:




    Last edited by motley6; 01-04-2016 at 11:37 AM.

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    Outcast and Nocturne are both enjoyable (I don't think the latter is even on GOG). If you like Nocturne check out the semi sequels based around Blair Witch. They were all fairly ok.

    For mindless action, look no further than the criminally forgotten Take No Prisoners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by motley6 View Post
    i recently received an old dell computer with windows 95 on it
    Dude, you're gettin' a dell!

    Couldn't resist that one. It's certainly that era.
    (so there's an all-caps filter here?)

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    Kind of a stretch as it works on some later OS's increasing more with hacker help, but it came out exclusively in the era as the only Windows 95 version of the 3 games -- Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga -- WC1, 2 and 3 -- and the addon packages for 1+2 are free downloads still easily picked up. Hundreds of hours of fun there between all the games.

    I know you don't want console ports, but W95 had a nice version of Earthworm Jim that was pretty hateful on anything once DirectX came out as I think it ran off the old Win32/WinG pre-DX stuff. There were also some Lemmings games exclusively out about that time to that missed consoles.

    Wouldn't Diablo 1 qualify for this? It was an early windows game. I also know the sequel to that badass Terminal Velocity title FURY3 came out only for Win95 too and it was loved as well. Sim City 2000 still was best on Win95 though they co-released it with a DOS version for those who didn't move along with the crowd, and it shames any console/handheld version since.



    Sorry had to post this --> http://www.geek.com/games/someone-go...a-3ds-1643614/
    Dude gifts the world upon the new year on the 1st, the gift of Windows95 booting onto a New3DS system. It apparently is a little slow to boot like a mid-life PC at the time with it, but once inside it runs fine. Or you can kick the tires like the old day and block W95 from booting and fire up DOS games really nicely. Runs off a mix of dosbox+retroarch. Perhaps you could throw this on there if you have one for your exclusive games on the go.

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    It depends on what types of games you like to play. If you're into adventure games then there's plenty of titles to play on Windows 95. There's thousands and thousands of games available for the PC so any type of narrowing down would be helpful.

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    Random game post. I was playing around with 'The Wheel of Time the other Day'. I played it back in the day and remember enjoying it. There is a version on the web to work with modern PC's as well.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Edmond Dantes's Avatar
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    There's an article on HG101 about Nocturne. I found it at a flea market, but never bothered to run it and play it (mood swing). Maybe I should boot it up.

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    I owned Nocturne back in the day (still do apparently) but at that point I hadn't gotten the hand of 3D controls and because it was more action than adventure oriented I hated it. Never made it beyond the first village. Which is a shame, because in general I love creepy games.

    From that same era I much prefer Sanitarium and AMBER (which we've discussed before).

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    There were also a lot of Windows 95 games that were ported to consoles rather than vice-versa. Command & Conquer, Deus Ex, and a few others come to mind. Honestly, the era you are looking at is so full of amazing games that it is hard to pick just a few. I really believe that 1990-2005 was the absolute shining, golden era of PC games. While there are some true gems being released today, it just doesn't come close to the near-constant string of amazing, hit games that were released during that timespan. The years 2000-2002 are probably outside of your "window" (heh) if you're going to stick with Windows 95, because most games required '98 at least by those years.

    In my opinion, the following are the best games for the PC from that era:
    • Looking Glass Studios games: Thief: The Dark Project (and its sequel, Thief 2: The Metal Age),
    • System Shock 2. The original System Shock was 1993-1994, IIRC, and its controls aren't easy to manage - but I still played it.
    • Irrational Games kind of took up the LGS mantle, and Freedom Force is a great game at the tail end of your time range (2002), but I think it might require Windows XP...I am not sure if it works with Windows 98 / ME.
    • Deus Ex is perhaps my favorite game from that era - I think it was released in 1999 or 2000.
    • The Command & Conquer games from that era are pretty solid (the original might be slightly early, like 1993? Red Alert is '95 or '96 I think, and Tiberian Sun was...2000-2002?).
    • Starcraft and its expansion, Brood War, are almost a must.
    • Age of Empires 2 and its expansion
    • I think Warcraft III hails from the end of your era (2002/2003); I would not bother with Warcraft II, which comes from around 1995. It's too clunky.
    • The original XCom: UFO Defense is from the early 1990s, I think, but man...you have to play it.
    • Some early Heroes of Might & Magic games...II and III are in your window, I think, and then there were the four "Chronicles" ones that I've never played.
    • Was Civ III in this era? Also: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (and expansion, Alien Crossfire)
    • Homeworld is considered a classic, although it isn't my absolute favorite
    • Countless great RPGs. All the Bioware / Black Isle games (Baldur's Gate / BG2, Icewind Dale / 2, Planescape: Torment, and I think the original Neverwinter Nights was 2002)
    • The later Quest for Glory games were released in your window; I would argue the entire series is worth playing, though, even though the early ones are from 1990-1995.
    • Ultima VII. Don't bother with 8 and 9.
    • On that note: Ultima Underworld and Underworld 2.
    • Morrowind was released at the tail end of your timeframe (2002); IIRC the expansions stretched into 2003.
    • Anachronox is pretty good.
    • Commander Keen 4-6...was that 1995? Or 1993-1994? Worth playing regardless.
    • Quake and Quake 2, IIRC, if you're into classic FPS games...along with the classic Duke Nukem 3D.
    • The original Unreal, though, was the best.
    • There's also No One Lives Forever...I think 2001-2002?
    • Dungeon Keeper
    • This was also the "golden age" of the initial "MMORPG" games, like Ultima Online, EverQuest, and a few others. Most of these I think you can't play any more, but I know there is a fairly sizable group of gamers that consider EverQuest from this time period to be particularly classic, and have set up some servers / emulators that you can play on. I don't avidly follow this but I did play the game during this time - it was a lot of fun, and I imagine these classic servers might be, too. I just haven't tried them - it's a huge time sink.
    • Was the original Sims from this era, or slightly after it?
    • There are a few classic LucasArts adventures, like Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, that come from this time period.



    That's the list I can think of - all the absolute best. I am sure there are lots of other good ones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by calthaer View Post
    [*]The Command & Conquer games from that era are pretty solid (the original might be slightly early, like 1993? Red Alert is '95 or '96 I think, and Tiberian Sun was...2000-2002?).
    That said, the first Command and Conquer had a Windows 95 update called C&C Gold, which I think is slightly higher res than the DOS version? I never played the DOS original so I'm not sure.

    [*]I think Warcraft III hails from the end of your era (2002/2003); I would not bother with Warcraft II, which comes from around 1995. It's too clunky.
    I think you're getting Warcraft III and II mixed up with Warcraft II and I respectively. Warcraft III claims to work on 98SE but definitely requires XP (I tested, and couldn't make it work on my machine, which is 98SE that's elsewhere far above the requirements except for the video card).

    Also I'm not sure on what planet Warcraft II with its simple right-click-to-do-everything interface that's basically the same as Starcraft's can be "clunky." The original Warcraft, yeah maybe....

    Warcraft II had a slightly updated Windows 95/98 version (I'm actually not sure about Win95 support) called the Battle.net edition. The original version was a DOS game but could be run from Windows 95 without hassle (in fact back in the day you had to run it in Windows to play online via things like Kali).

    [*]Some early Heroes of Might & Magic games...II and III are in your window, I think, and then there were the four "Chronicles" ones that I've never played.
    EIGHT Chronicles games.

    Also there was a Windows version of part one, but its identical to the DOS version pretty much.

    [*]Was Civ III in this era?
    Civ *II* was, not sure about III.

    [*]Countless great RPGs. All the Bioware / Black Isle games (Baldur's Gate / BG2, Icewind Dale / 2, Planescape: Torment, and I think the original Neverwinter Nights was 2002)
    Pretty sure all of these were 98/98SE at the earliest.

    [*]Morrowind was released at the tail end of your timeframe (2002); IIRC the expansions stretched into 2003.
    I can confirm from experience that Morrowind will NOT work on anything below XP, regardless of what the box says.

    [*]Quake and Quake 2, IIRC, if you're into classic FPS games...along with the classic Duke Nukem 3D.
    And Shadow Warrior, and Blood, and the Windows 95 port of Doom (which was basically just a new launcher, tho some hardcore fans claim gameplay differences as well, and the wrong background shows during the post-level score screen in Episode 1). Might as well throw in Heretic and Hexen... for that matter, Hexen II would be right in this guy's ballpark.

    [*]Was the original Sims from this era, or slightly after it?
    Slightly after.

    [*]There are a few classic LucasArts adventures, like Full Throttle and Grim Fandango, that come from this time period.[/LIST]
    Play the Dig play the Dig play the Dig play the Dig play the Dig....

    I also effing love Myst, Riven, The Journeyman Project Turbo (IMO the remake, Pegasus Prime, isn't as good though its still an excellent game), Amber Journeys Beyond, Timelapse is pretty awesome so far, Zork Nemesis wasn't terrible despite not really fitting the feel of a Zork game...

    On that note, if you use the Windows versions of a Z-machine interpreter, arguably various text adventures play better in Windows than they do in DOS.

    (Actually even in DOS I have to use an interpreter because the default ones the games come with seem to have a huge flaw... they auto-exit when you reach the ending, not giving you time to read the endgame text. At least this was true for Zork I, dunno about later on).

    EDIT: Also, recently I acquired the PC version (and specifically the "Gold" edition) of the original Tomb Raider. That's not exactly an "exclusive" (seeing as the game originated on consoles) but I personally feel like this is the definitive release. It's technically a DOS game, but I was only able to get its GLIDE support to work while playing in Windows, so there you go. Even without a glide-capable card the in-game graphics, once set to high res (press F1 during gameplay) are much better than the console versions, and this version has more levels. I'm also shocked at how well it controls with a keyboard.... its far more intuitive and natural than with a gamepad. when you first see the button loadouts you think they would be bollocks, but nothing could be further from the truth.

    And I'm pretty sure Tomb Raider II (which also had a "Gold" version) is a native Windows 95 game, as was III (which did NOT have a Gold version, but DID have an expansion called The Lost Artifact). Amazingly the system requirements on the Core Design games never get all that heavy.... even the final one, Tomb Raider Chronicles, requires only 266mhz and a 16mb video card, and probably still runs on Windows 95 according to some things I've read.
    Last edited by Edmond Dantes; 02-07-2016 at 02:46 AM.

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    Good selection of titles, and it reminds me too, I'm sad my Heretic disc went missing years ago in some move I think. I bought it when it came out, then went and got the fuller version with the Serpent Riders. Miss it, sure I could just go get the WAD files but I don't. I'm surprised GoG hasn't thrown that up there yet unless there's some contract deal maybe with Raven? I know Raven had their name on Hexen, but not Heretic.


    Also CIV3 came out in 2001 and was for win98/98/me/2000. It was developed just before XP so it wasn't on the box as native to it. It'll work.
    Last edited by Tanooki; 02-07-2016 at 08:54 PM.

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    I'd like to toss in a vote for everything made by LucasArts (especially Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II), both Age of Empires 1 and 2 + expansions and Serious Sam First and Second Encounters. Also the original Half-Life if you haven't played it yet.

    What's nice about the original Serious Sam is although it was quite advanced for its time, it was not very demanding on hardware. It was sort of like a reverse FarCry or Crysis. You can run Serious Sam Second Encounter on Windows 95 OSR2. If you liked Doom or Quake at all, you should try Serious Sam.

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    The main reason I consider Warcraft II "clunky" is because - unless I don't recall correctly (and I know there was a Battle.net edition that might have changed this) - it doesn't have a feature that has since become a staple of the RTS genre: the ability to create "units" by pressing CTRL-#. You could select 12 at a time, and then send them into battle, but recalling them if you run into something unexpected was exceptionally tedious. Makes it hard to send out the brawlers, retreat when they hit ranged, then send in fast units to take out ranged, retreat when the enemy sends out brawlers, and so forth.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guntz View Post
    I'd like to toss in a vote for everything made by LucasArts (especially Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II), both Age of Empires 1 and 2 + expansions and Serious Sam First and Second Encounters. Also the original Half-Life if you haven't played it yet.

    What's nice about the original Serious Sam is although it was quite advanced for its time, it was not very demanding on hardware. It was sort of like a reverse FarCry or Crysis. You can run Serious Sam Second Encounter on Windows 95 OSR2. If you liked Doom or Quake at all, you should try Serious Sam.
    I've always thought of Serious Sam not as FarCry as it has it's own slant and some problems, never touched Crysis. To me it was the DOOM 3 we never got. It was like if iD had used their Quake 2 engine, beefed it up a bit, then threw the overkill nutso amount of firepower, health and armor pick ups, and a relentless wall of enemies and crap being thrown at you both in open and close quarters combat. It became a guilty pleasure playing SS FE and SE. I do agree it's a must as are those Lucasarts games. Now I know it was a console game overkill on releases, but there was a solid release of Earthworm Jim that basically only works on Win95/98 due to some pre-DirectX garbage (WinG/Win32) they used.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calthaer View Post
    The main reason I consider Warcraft II "clunky" is because - unless I don't recall correctly (and I know there was a Battle.net edition that might have changed this) - it doesn't have a feature that has since become a staple of the RTS genre: the ability to create "units" by pressing CTRL-#. You could select 12 at a time, and then send them into battle, but recalling them if you run into something unexpected was exceptionally tedious. Makes it hard to send out the brawlers, retreat when they hit ranged, then send in fast units to take out ranged, retreat when the enemy sends out brawlers, and so forth.
    If you're talking about grouping (IE pressing Ctrl+1 makes the current selection "group one" and then pressing 1 autoselects that entire group) then yeah, Warcraft II has always had that.

    If you're talking about something else tho, then I'm not really sure. Not a huge RTS player myself... I actually find the genre irritating and Warcraft II is one of the few I can stand.

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    A quick update on one of my replies here:

    Recently installed and started playing EverQuest on the "Project 1999" server. I have to say...it's pretty amazing. The game is dated and the interface can be clunky, but it's still really magical - and totally worth playing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guntz View Post
    I'd like to toss in a vote for everything made by LucasArts (especially Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II), both Age of Empires 1 and 2 + expansions and Serious Sam First and Second Encounters. Also the original Half-Life if you haven't played it yet.

    What's nice about the original Serious Sam is although it was quite advanced for its time, it was not very demanding on hardware. It was sort of like a reverse FarCry or Crysis. You can run Serious Sam Second Encounter on Windows 95 OSR2. If you liked Doom or Quake at all, you should try Serious Sam.
    I always thought the same about serious sam. TONS of stuff going on and not much, if any, slow downs. huge areas too

    any way as far as suggestions I would say any thing MechWarrior except the strategy games, they blew

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    I'm backing that post up about Serious Sam. That crytek group before they got into making bloated engines knew how to make an amazingly powerful yet lean engine that could cough up an insane amount of large areas and things moving in them independently within the confines of fairly weak hardware at that time -- it scaled well and the loss for it wasn't a kick in the teeth either. Serious Sam to me for years was the DOOM we never got, kind of still is since D3 was awful and that new one is more of a hyperactive ragefest without a moment to slow down while the old Doom had that stuff but it was compartmentalized too and you could employ some slower tactics and strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    That crytek group before they got into making bloated engines knew how to make an amazingly powerful yet lean engine that could cough up an insane amount of large areas and things moving in them independently within the confines of fairly weak hardware at that time -- it scaled well and the loss for it wasn't a kick in the teeth either.
    Serious Sam was made by Croteam, not Crytek. I haven't played Next Encounter, Serious Sam II or BFE yet. I don't play much for new games, but I am happy to see Croteam didn't erode nearly as much as Crytek or 3DRealms.

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    Love how very few of the games being discussed are actually from the Windows 95 era.

    That actually is starting to worry me. Its like PC gamers know DOS, then they know Windows 98 or XP, but between them is just a huge black space.

    First person to suggest that Win95 didn't have that many memorable games gets a pie to the face because I know I loved it when I had it, its just for some reason when we're asked to narrow down it becomes a tough proposition. In my case its also because I like to have played games recently before I go spouting off. I mean I could say that Microsoft's Hover was a good game but its been so long since I played it I really don't know.

    Funny thing, King's Quest VII apparently was originally a Windos 95 exclusive.

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    Yeah but we weren't quite given the stipulation that the games had to be for Windows 95 - the stipulation was 1995-2002. I have to admit that I enjoyed 1998-2000 more than I enjoyed 1995-1997 (when the actual W95 OS was in vogue), but this is largely a matter of personal taste.

    Also: I did try to play Serious Sam within the past two years or so. I actually didn't find it all that fun...but maybe that's because I don't find mindless shooters quite as fun any more. It's hard to say whether I would have loved it "back in the day."
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    For Windows 95 games I would include anything that was compatible for use on Windows 95, even if other newer operating systems were already out. Plenty of games that came out after Win 95 did but before Win 98 were still made for DOS, I'm sure people will still count those as DOS games.

    Even today, most new games are compatible with Windows 7 if not still XP, and Windows 10 is out. Windows 7 is technically two generations back but it's still a current OS.

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    And to be fair, it seems like a lot of games that were originally designed specifically for 3.1 or 95 later got updates or ports to other OSes... King's Quest VII later got an MS-DOS port for example, and Lode Runner: the Legend Returns got an updated edition rechristened Lode Runner Online: the Mad Monks' Revenge (which unfortunately undersold because people thought the "Online" part meant you had to play it on the internet, which you don't).

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    Wing Commander 4 was released in DOS, but they did put out a Win95 version as an optional patch. http://www.wcnews.com/techsupport.shtml#wc4dostowin
    Wing Commander Prophecy was Win95 native.

    Quote Originally Posted by calthaer View Post
    • Ultima VII. Don't bother with 8 and 9.
    • On that note: Ultima Underworld and Underworld 2.
    Ultima 7 and both Underworlds are DOS, not Win95. So is 8, but as you said, don't bother. Ultima 7 in particular is not something you want to try running unless you know how to get Win95 to reboot into MSDOS 7 and also know how to mess with DOS configuration files. It can be done, I've done it, but you're better off using some of the ways to get it running in modern OSes, which defeats the point of running it in 95, just run it on whatever your main system runs.

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    To be honest, I'm kinda with Spoony in that while the Ultimas after part five may have had the best storylines ever, I HATED their interfaces. Just because computers had mice doesn't mean you had to use 'em, guys. how is it that a control scheme that used the entire keyboard was somehow less cumbersome and more intuitive than games that made everything about clicking and dragging?

    I actually found Ultima 8 kinda fun, but yeah its not a great game by any means.

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