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The "unidentified game from your childhood" thread

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Following yuppicide's post here, I thought it might be fun to have a dedicated thread in which we dig up our fuzzy childhood memories of obscure computer games whose titles we can't recall, and ask others to identify them. Let's stick to non-console titles, for obvious reasons. Here are my contributions:

 

  • A game for the TRS-80 Model III (probably Model I originally) in which you wander around some sort of building filled with robots, one of which I believe was called a "garcon" (boy or waiter). One of your key stats in this game is "suspension of disbelief"; if it gets too high (or low?), I think the game ends. I don't remember too much about the gameplay, but I'm pretty sure it was a menu-driven adventure game (not action).
     
  • A game for the Apple II, probably an educational title, in which you go to an automat at one point and buy a napoleon. I think you may later have the opportunity to give the napoleon to Napoleon Bonaparte. I believe this one was set in a museum, with menu-driven gameplay. There's even a Metafilter thread about it!

Anyone have the answers? And who else has a subconscious filled with forgotten games?

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Oh yeah!

 

Game 1: Apple 2 game, I think (I believe it was green-screen).

 

You enter a museum, and I believe it has like 4 or 5 floors.

Type S to search. I think other commands did other things.

 

You walk around, and have to get to the top floor of the museum.

Now, I do remember that there was a coffin. You could enter that, and it was a secret passage.

There was also medusa (I think on the second floor). Only way to get past her was to find a looking glass and use it on her.

 

Maybe it wasn't a museum after all-- maybe it was some monster game (based on the coffin and Medusa references).

But, I definitely played it in school.

 

Game 2: Also, I think this was an apple game, but I may be wrong.

 

You are given a type of fish. I remember the rainbow trout, chub, and barracuda.

Then, you see another fish. You can do the following:

- attack it and eat it

- swim away

- ignore it

Different situations require different inputs; or you could meet your demise!

 

Any ideas on these 2?

 

-John

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Yeah, that's totally Odell Lake. Don't know what Game #1 is tho.

 

1) Apple Educational game where you had robots on four platforms and you had to answer math problems to get your robot to the end the fastest. Any ideas?

 

2) Another Apple II math game where you had to answer math problems, which, if you got them right, gave you bombs. Then there was a second arcade segment where you flew an airplane and bombed targets with the bombs you accumulated in the first segment. The arcade game segment was really well done, making me wish that was just a game by itself and didn't involve any math. :)

 

3) some kind of racing game for the Apple II with an elaborate introduction, featuring a large marching band leader and a marching tune, and he walked up to the top of the screen, and the title screen appeared along with your race car. The game was a lot like Enduro, I think, and might have been called Gran Prix, but can't confirm since I've never seen a disk image for this.

 

I'd love to know the names of any of these.

 

And on the other hand, I know the Apple II library very very well... if you have an Apple game you can't identify, I'm into having a shot at it.

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I never owned a Commodore 64, myself... but a couple of other kids I knew did! Like, there was the one guy who found his dad's old copy of Strip Poker - neither of us knew anything about how poker was played... but boy, we sure did figure it out in a hurry! Ah, good times... ;)

 

Anywho: There was this game that was basically the same as Star Raiders - only more cartoony, and with added humor. You selected your shipmates from (I think) four possible candidates for each position (ex. weapons, navigation etc.) - and they would often act independently of your orders, with hilarious results.

 

I remember for certain that one of the crew members you could choose was named "Grollo" - he was shown to be constantly eating something... and at one point, he accidentally inserted a candy bar into an instrument panel, shorting it out!

 

There was also this killbot you could put on weapons - one who had the unfortunate habit of firing on much stronger, friendly ships without your say-so...

Edited by Kris Snyder

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I also have a TRS-80 game I haven't been able to figure out. We played it on a Model III back in 1982-83. It was a text adventure with the goal (IIRC) of reaching Xanadu...

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Apple II game that I played in elementary school, roughly around 1985-1987 or so.

 

You had to put in percentages and you would come up with different monsters based on the percentages of ingredients you put in the computer. I played that thing for hours back in 4th - 6th grade.

 

I totally don't remember the name of this game, but it was fun!

 

This is coming from a school that had both 16mm and 8mm films AND laserdiscs depending on what we were learning at the time. It was fun seeing an old science film from 1955 and then watching a history program that was state of the art on disc in 1987! haha

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Fifteen years ago, a friend of mine had gotten a couple of old 286 DOS machines from the school/church he went to (it was a Lutheran school, and his mom worked there), and there was a disk included with a bunch of old text-mode games (I think they were written in BASICA...I distinctly remember some prompt about BASICA when the disk loaded up). The games included Battleship, Biorhythms, Frogger -which we could never get to work- a bunch of other simple/uninteresting ones I don't remember, and, the one we were most interested in and which I wish I could find now, Pac-Man. There might have been a Hang Man and a Chess on there too.

 

Anyway, with this Pac-Man game, you had to enter the game speed/clockspeed (0-30000 or something), and then you could choose how many ghosts the game would have (1-4, 1 being the number we generally went with since the game ran the smoothest that way). As mentioned above, the game was all text-mode/ASCII graphics; Pac-Man was represented by the Smiley Face, and the ghosts by a respective card suit (Spade,Heart,Diamond,Club). After Game Over, there was a leaderboard of about ten high scores that you could enter your name on. It was a pretty damn fun little game.

 

The closest thing I can find to this is Pac-Gal (aka Pac-Girl) by Al Jimenez, but it's not quite the same. Pac-Gal doesn't let you choose how many ghosts you want, nor is there a high score board. Otherwise, Pac-Gal looks pretty much identical to what I remember.

 

(At the disk's menu screen, there was an address located in Texas, but I don't remember more than that.)

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Anyway, with this Pac-Man game, you had to enter the game speed/clockspeed (0-30000 or something), and then you could choose how many ghosts the game would have (1-4, 1 being the number we generally went with since the game ran the smoothest that way). As mentioned above, the game was all text-mode/ASCII graphics; Pac-Man was represented by the Smiley Face, and the ghosts by a respective card suit (Spade,Heart,Diamond,Club). After Game Over, there was a leaderboard of about ten high scores that you could enter your name on. It was a pretty damn fun little game.

 

Oh, I think I had this on my first PC! We had bought it used and the previous owner obviously didn't bother to clear the hard drive, so there was definitely some copyright infringement going on... |:)

Back then it was very exciting for me to look around that 20 MB hard disk (btw. it had DR-DOS, we always said "Doctor DOS" :D) and discover some new little program or even game hidden somewhere... Apart from that Pac-Man game mentioned, it had some other games with ASCII "graphics", I think one was a Bridge (card) game I never understood (at that time I couldn't speak or read English)... The games Sokoban and Blockout were also on there, and PC-World - a geography program with outline maps and statistics for all countries of the world (of that time, that is), and I also recall some really weird file manager type program or more like a "Wannabe-Windows/GEOS", but with no real graphical interface but made of ASCII text... I remember the "icon" in the corner of a window to close the window was the character of 3 horizontal lines)... In retrospective I fail to see the point of the program, as Norton Commander was (of course) also on it and better suited for all the tasks that weird program could do (well... file management and text file editing - as far as I remember it, that is ;)). I surely remember that although as a kid I didn't have any purpose for it I kinda liked that program and ran it just to goof around a little - at least until we installed Windows ;) I remember at one occasion I typed a letter for a classmate in it, then I realized, that program didn't even have a Print feature! Well, I just hit the "Print Screen" key and so I got it printed anyway... and the next day my friend could wonder about the menu bar on top of the letter.

Well, eventually the hard disk just "gave up" with no warning and all those "trasures" were lost... :sad:

 

Back to the Pac-Man game, I'm not sure if the game I remember had the speed setting and number of ghosts, but I clearly recall Pac-Man being represented by the smiley face and the 4 card suits being the ghosts.

 

So, I'm interested in seeing that one again, too ;)

Edited by Herbarius

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There was a game for the Commodore 64 for kids where the object was to unscramble words. I checked out Kindercomp (a kid's game I remember playing) via emulator and it doesn't have a word unscrambling thing. I doubt there would be very many C64 games where you unscramble words, so I'm hoping someone out there might know what I'm talking about.

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I doubt there would be very many C64 games where you unscramble words

Well, I guess there could be dozens... hundreds... especially if you take into account type-in programs froms Magazines and Books or even independentely developed programs by computer enthusiasts.

Edited by Herbarius

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Anywho: There was this game that was basically the same as Star Raiders - only more cartoony, and with added humor. You selected your shipmates from (I think) four possible candidates for each position (ex. weapons, navigation etc.) - and they would often act independently of your orders, with hilarious results.

 

I remember for certain that one of the crew members you could choose was named "Grollo" - he was shown to be constantly eating something... and at one point, he accidentally inserted a candy bar into an instrument panel, shorting it out!

 

There was also this killbot you could put on weapons - one who had the unfortunate habit of firing on much stronger, friendly ships without your say-so...

 

Sounds like Psi 5 Trading Company...

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Thank you so much! After all these years, I could still hum Song 2 of 10 on the page to which you linked... :D :thumbsup:

Edited by Kris Snyder

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Ok I have one. Apple II game, possibly by Sunburst, where you had to care for and feed several different types of aliens. Some of them had specific food requirements and some of them had to be kept apart or they'd kill each other. You could build little barriers to keep them apart and give them specific food, I remember that much.

 

Tempest

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I'll bite.

 

Back in 1980 or '81 or so, my mother's school had TRS-80s (not sure of the exact models). One game we played a lot of was a cross between pinball and Breakout. That is, it was supposed to be a pinball game, but you kept the ball in play by using a Breakout-style paddle instead of flippers. The game also had a table editor, and one day we discovered you could use the editor to erase even the paddle! The paddle would reappear once you started playing, though.

 

Any ideas what this one might be?

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Back in 1980 or '81 or so, my mother's school had TRS-80s (not sure of the exact models). One game we played a lot of was a cross between pinball and Breakout. That is, it was supposed to be a pinball game, but you kept the ball in play by using a Breakout-style paddle instead of flippers. The game also had a table editor, and one day we discovered you could use the editor to erase even the paddle! The paddle would reappear once you started playing, though.

 

One of the very early Coco cartridges was a pinball game that apparently allowed user-made tables. I never played it myself -- it was alreday discontinued when I got my Coco in 1983 -- but I remember seeing it in old catalogues. Unfortunately, I don't recall the name.

 

There was also a fun Breakout-type game on the system -- "Bustout".

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I have two:

 

1. I played this text adventure on VAX terminals in '82 and '83; it seemed to have a "Lord of the Rings" theme, but I can't recall if it was called "Rivendell" or "Moria" or "Gandalf". Any suggestions?

 

2. A bridge-building game on the Apple II, which was apparently coded to introduce students to simple architectural concepts.

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I have two:

 

1. I played this text adventure on VAX terminals in '82 and '83; it seemed to have a "Lord of the Rings" theme, but I can't recall if it was called "Rivendell" or "Moria" or "Gandalf". Any suggestions?

There's a MUD called Moria that was for mainframe terminals.

 

Tempest

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A bridge-building game on the Apple II, which was apparently coded to introduce students to simple architectural concepts.
I think I remember that as well... don't know what it was called, though.

 

I even think there were lots of clones/versions/ports of it around, because I seem to remember thinking "Oh, it's one of those games again" on the sight of that kind of game.

 

They pretty much had (pseudo) vector graphics, and were kind of a physics simulation. Build your bridge so it doesn't crumble.

 

I think in the late 90s there was even a remake of that concept, this time with 3D graphics, on the PC.

Edited by Herbarius

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I think your game #1 and my game #2 might be the same game! Maybe not, but they definitely sound similar, and some of what you mentioned rings a very faint bell...

 

Know what? I should have looked at your link sooner.

The reference to a "skeleton key" inside the T-Rex rings a faint bell as well.

 

So, now I do think we're thinking of the same thing.

I never got to the top floor, so never saw the automat. I only got to the second floor, IIRC.

 

Curses! Seems that anyone who played this game had no idea what it was called, yet has like one single memory of it.

 

I think we're all pretty sure this was like an Apple IIGS or Apple IIE game, right?

 

-John

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I remember the two games from my childhood. I just wished I could find them again. We always played two games in high school on the apple II's (I think they were II's) One game was called "Taipan" the other was called "Hard Hat Mack" they were both on 5.25" floppy disks. The Apple machines we had used two disk drives. I do not know enough about apple machines to even guess what speed they were or what they were exactly.

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