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Thread: Head's up: Apogee's Bio Menace freeware

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Default Head's up: Apogee's Bio Menace freeware

    http://www.3drealms.com/downloads.html

    This was actually a Christmas happening, but it's not too late to check it out. 3D Realms added the classic sidescrolling platformer Bio Menace to their growing back catalog of Apogee freeware. It's surprisingly very good, with some of that Duke Nukem I/II feeling but totally original graphics. Aside from the music (Bobby Prince, great musician) and perhaps some other minor work, the programming, graphics, and (I think) even the box art were all done by one guy.

    There's a news post about the game on 3D Realm's front page; can't miss it.

    I haven't played too much of the game yet as the soundcard emulator I'm using limits playtimes to 4 minutes, but so far it's been pretty amazing. Remember the original Duke Nukem, with its stolen Turrican platforms? No more; there's a huge variety of tilesets and unique graphics for monsters and such. The game's excitement level is a bit limited as the character is pretty limited in movement options and enemies are pretty static as well, but the environments really make it worth blasting your way through the levels.

    There's some tips for running the game in DOSbox, but I got the game to run just fine without any modification on my other Windows XP machine by using a soundcard emulator called "SoundFX2000." It does Sound Blaster 16 and AWE 32, among other things. It's an awesome program, but you need to register it or else you'll only be able to play your games for 4 minutes. Registration isn't cheap, either; it's $39 dollars. Price aside, it seems to be superior in resource usage, compatibility, and sound quality to VDM Sound, which I had a heck of a time with. Of course, if you have an older box, you can just put the files on a few floppies and it should work just fine.

  2. #2
    Apple (Level 5) evildead2099's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head's up: Apogee's Bio Menace freeware

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    Bobby Prince, great musician
    Isn't Bobby Prince responsible for Doom's music - a soundtrack which blatantly rips off such bands as Metallica and Alice In Chains?

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    Alex (Level 15) InsaneDavid's Avatar
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    Bio Menace rocks, one of the truly forgotten PC games originally distributed as shareware (episode 1). Some of the levels near the end will give any action platform fan a workout. Yet another game I can check off my "abandonware" (although I did actually purchase a copy of Bio Menance on disk years ago) list as being truly legal now.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head's up: Apogee's Bio Menace freeware

    Quote Originally Posted by evildead2099
    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    Bobby Prince, great musician
    Isn't Bobby Prince responsible for Doom's music - a soundtrack which blatantly rips off such bands as Metallica and Alice In Chains?
    This page explains what they were thinking pretty well. Strangely enough, it seems they were right; I don't recall ever hearing iD was sued by the bands.

    To say that Prince is talentless just because of this would be a mistake, though. The music in Bio Menace is great.

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    Insert Coin (Level 0)
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    YES!!! I have been waiting for this day for over a year! My mom and I spent HOURS playing this in the early 90's... When I started looking for a registered version a few years ago, they had stopped selling it! I couldn't find a full version copy ANYWHERE...

    So, finally! It's all mine! And my mom's... lol

    doogy

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    biomenace is an excellent game, my mate had one of those very old laptops, and that game came already on it. many a night trying to finish that on one life (we never managed it)

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    Crono (Level 14)
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    Grea game indeed Used to play the shareware back on my 486. My sister also loved this game.

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    Apple (Level 5) evildead2099's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head's up: Apogee's Bio Menace freeware

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro

    To say that Prince is talentless just because of this would be a mistake, though. The music in Bio Menace is great.
    No one implied that Prince is talentless - just that some of his best known work isn't exactly original.

    I agree that Bio Menace's music is great, as is the overall game. I had a lot of fun with the shareware edition, even though scrolling caused graphical glitches whenever I ran the game on anything faster than a 486.

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    Ok, I'm playing on a new laptop with WinXP, and I can't seem to get the audio figured out... I'm really anxious to hear the music everyone is referring to...

    Advice?

    doogy

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    Apple (Level 5) evildead2099's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doogy
    Ok, I'm playing on a new laptop with WinXP, and I can't seem to get the audio figured out... I'm really anxious to hear the music everyone is referring to...

    Advice?

    doogy
    Try running the game using VDMsound to ease out compatibility issues. Or try DOSbox.

  11. #11
    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head's up: Apogee's Bio Menace freeware

    Quote Originally Posted by evildead2099
    No one implied that Prince is talentless
    I'm just covering the bases before somebody says it, that's all.
    - just that some of his best known work isn't exactly original.
    The DOOM music is mostly (I didn't check the link to carefully, that might actually be ALL the tracks) covers, so indeed, his best known work is a compilation of covers.

    In Bio Menace, I've already recognized one of the songs (Caverns level from the first episode) as a cover of Bob Dylan's Rainy Day Women #12 & 35. Fun to listen to.

    Speaking of being stoned, Snake Logan (hah) has some really amusing dialogue, and I like the weapon system. Grenades, excellent map design and a wide variety of shot types keeps the game from degrading into sniper battles. What I like most about it is that you need to think - spend a few lives getting the layout of the level, and then try to plan your way through the level without getting hit.

    I agree that Bio Menace's music is great, as is the overall game. I had a lot of fun with the shareware edition, even though scrolling caused graphical glitches whenever I ran the game on anything faster than a 486.
    I just copied the game to floppy and ran it on my Packard Bell L90 (Pentium machine), runs at 200 MHz. There weren't any problems with the distribution 3D Realms gave out. I also got pretty much perfect sound, unlike SoundFX 2000 (I emailed the folks last night; eh, I'll save my money for now).

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    ServBot (Level 11) roushimsx's Avatar
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    Default Re: Head's up: Apogee's Bio Menace freeware

    Quote Originally Posted by evildead2099
    Isn't Bobby Prince responsible for Doom's music - a soundtrack which blatantly rips off such bands as Metallica and Alice In Chains?
    He's also responsible for the music in Night Raid, a reasonably badass super fucking insanely fast shmup from Takumi. Drifty controls in the playstation port, but it's still a damn fun game.

    Biomenace kicked ass. I always liked it more than Duke Nukem 1 and 2, and easily one of the best games from Apogee. Seriously, the only way they could one up this is by giving away Mystic Towers for christmas next year (oh please oh please oh please)

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    Red (Level 21) Jorpho's Avatar
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    Yep, charming game. The addition of grenades, mines, and bosses made a nice addition to the Keen 4 engine, though of course it lacked that whimsical touch that made Keen so amazing. Maybe someday this decade I'll actually get around to playing this.

    Why don't my Camera Contest entries ever get anywhere? (Well, one of them did...)
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    Apple (Level 5) Julio III's Avatar
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    I used to love this game and put far too many hours into just the shareware release. Great to see it being made available and I may just have to get it

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