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You might want to take a peek at the sale GoG just started today for the weekend.  There are some hardcore great DOS classics that are thrown into the mix, and a few epic turds from Capstone(crapstone) such as Corridor 7 and worse too in the same bundle. :D  James Bond isn't in there, but some others like the Descent games, Rise of the Triad, and others popped up.

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I'm debating getting a Gravis Phoenix.

24621167.jpg

 

Besides Descent, are there any suggestions on dos games it could be good for?  Given the look it has, I'm mostly thinking it would be fun to bop around with in space/sci fi flight sim kind of games, rather than more realistic flight sims.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Billy Beans said:

I just recently re-discovered James Bond - The Stealth Affair from Interplay. I'd forgotten how much fun that game was. It got lost in the mix back in the day and didn't get much attention. A graphical adventure that's very similar to Sierra's quest games. 

Coincidentally, I completed this game a couple of years ago and I took notes of all dead ends and impossible-to-guess puzzles (which there are a few of!).

 

My first advice would be to totally avoid the game unless you (like me) had it as a kid and are in a quest to finish every single graphic adventure. If you are only looking for some cool graphic adventures that "feel like the Sierra ones", I recommend playing both Monkey Islands, both Indiana Jones, Full Throttle, the 3 VGA Space Quests and even other French games (Stealth is French) like Lost in Time, Ween or Eternam before this one. Even a game for kids like Eco Quest or French adventures where you can die such as Inca 2 or Fascination are way better than this game. And even Future Wars, made by the same developers (Delphine) and a game where you die every 2 steps, is much more fun. The Secret Files of Sherlock Holmes is also much better and Star Trek: Judgement Rites, with a bunch of illogical puzzles, is also way better due to the amazing graphics, music and plot.

 

If somehow you still want to play the game, I also must warn you that the game has terrible (and I mean terrible) action sequences. Very difficult ones, including a shitty pacman section. Use the SVN Daum version of DOSBox if you play this, you will need to save every 10 seconds in those sections.

 

Are you still there? Okay, so here's a Spanish to English translation of the notes I took. The first one about the inventory was the one that fucked my experience as a kid: the actions/inventory have one of the few drop-down menus in the world where you must use both buttons on the elements (left button does something and right one opens another drop-down menu with actions!). Here are my notes:
 

Spoiler

 

NECESSARY TIPS TO ENJOY OPERATION STEALTH/JAMES BOND: THE STEALTH AFFAIR:

 

- In order to look or use inventory objects, you must click "Examine", "Use" or "Action" with the right mouse button instead of the left one.

 

- Read the PDF manual: it describes how your secret weapons work

 

- All weapons must be used, including the two types of cigarettes (three cigarettes used to take fingerprints and a fourth one which is explosive and must be used with a goal about 10 meters)

 

- In addition, the protagonist can attack the bad guys using the "Action" option on them

 

- At the airport, on the screen where there is a policeman and a guard, there is a hidden exit to the left, behind the glass and the "exit" poster with an arrow.

 

- When using "Activate" on an inventory object does not work, you must try to "Use" that object with "John" (the protagonist).

 

- Large objects, such as walls, can have different parts under the same name. "Examine" can give different results according to the part of the wall, but there is a specific moment in which only a part of the wall is interactive and the rest of the wall is not, even if it returns the same description using "Examine".

 

- When "using" an inventory object with another object in the screen does not work, you must try to place yourself next to the object in the screen and "Activate" the object in the inventory

 

- To avoid getting stuck forever, you must know the following:
   > When they capture you on the bank, you steal the tickets but not the coins
   > The bracelet has a button to inflate it, but you must be unleashed to press it
   > The scene with the bad guy talking on the boat is interactive
   > Do not hurry to jump off from the cables
   > Take advantage of the moment of distraction from the bad guy in your office
   > At the enemy base, there is a hidden object in the dark (terrible pixel hunting)
   > You must create a noise to distract the bad guy before entering the final scene
   > If you have all the objects and you have created the noise, the end sequence is finishable and consists of three quick actions on the map screen and a quick action on the helicopter screen

 

 

Enjoy! 🤓

Edited by IntelliMission

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22 minutes ago, IntelliMission said:

Coincidentally, I completed this game a couple of years ago and I took notes of all dead ends and impossible-to-guess puzzles (which there are a few of!).

 

My first advice would be to totally avoid the game unless you (like me) had it as a kid and are in a quest to finish every single graphic adventure. If you are only looking for some cool graphic adventures that "feel like the Sierra ones", I recommend playing both Monkey Islands, both Indiana Jones, Full Throttle, the 3 VGA Space Quests and even other French games (Stealth is French) like Lost in Time, Ween or Eternam before this one. Even a game for kids like Eco Quest or French adventures where you can die such as Inca 2 or Fascination are way better than this game. And even Future Wars, made by the same developers (Delphine) and a game where you die every 2 steps, is much more fun. The Secret Files of Sherlock Holmes is also much better and Star Trek: Judgement Rites, with a bunch of illogical puzzles, is also way better due to the amazing graphics, music and plot.

If somehow you still want to play the game, I also must warn you that the game has terrible (and I mean terrible) action sequences. Very difficult ones, including a shitty pacman section. Use the SVN Daum version of DOSBox if you play this, you will need to save every 10 seconds in those sections.

 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

NECESSARY TIPS TO ENJOY OPERATION STEALTH/JAMES BOND: THE STEALTH AFFAIR:

 

- In order to look or use inventory objects, you must click "Examine", "Use" or "Action" with the right mouse button instead of the left one.

 

- Read the PDF manual: it describes how your secret weapons work

 

- All weapons must be used, including the two types of cigarettes (three cigarettes used to take fingerprints and a fourth one which is explosive and must be used with a goal about 10 meters)

 

- In addition, the protagonist can attack the bad guys using the "Action" option on them

 

- At the airport, on the screen where there is a policeman and a guard, there is a hidden exit to the left, behind the glass and the "exit" poster with an arrow.

 

- When using "Activate" on an inventory object does not work, you must try to "Use" that object with "John" (the protagonist).

 

- Large objects, such as walls, can have different parts under the same name. "Examine" can give different results according to the part of the wall, but there is a specific moment in which only a part of the wall is interactive and the rest of the wall is not, even if it returns the same description using "Examine".

 

- When "using" an inventory object with another object in the screen does not work, you must try to place yourself next to the object in the screen and "Activate" the object in the inventory

 

- To avoid getting stuck forever, you must know the following:
   > When they capture you on the bank, you steal the tickets but not the coins
   > The bracelet has a button to inflate it, but you must be unleashed to press it
   > The scene with the bad guy talking on the boat is interactive
   > Do not hurry to jump off from the cables
   > Take advantage of the moment of distraction from the bad guy in your office
   > At the enemy base, there is a hidden object in the dark (terrible pixel hunting)
   > You must create a noise to distract the bad guy before entering the final scene
   > If you have all the objects and you have created the noise, the end sequence is finishable and consists of three quick actions on the map screen and a quick action on the helicopter screen

 

 

Enjoy! 🤓

Thanks for the advice. I've played all of the graphic adventures from LucasArts, Sierra, Dynamix, MicroProse, Accolade, Interplay (minus James Bond) etc... Back in the day, if it was a graphic adventure or interactive fiction, I played it if I knew about it.

 

I take your word for it that there are much better games. I did watch some videos of the game and did see some of the action sequences, and they kinda reminded me of Manhunter. But I'm probably way off.

 

That might make an interesting thread. Ranking graphic adventures.

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On 5/8/2021 at 9:58 AM, Billy Beans said:

Thanks for the advice. I've played all of the graphic adventures from LucasArts, Sierra, Dynamix, MicroProse, Accolade, Interplay (minus James Bond) etc... Back in the day, if it was a graphic adventure or interactive fiction, I played it if I knew about it.

 

 

James Bond Stealth Affair might be not be only one of the harder graphic adventures, it might be the hardest I've played.

 

I loved the first Legend of Kyrandia game... how were the sequels?

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been playing some classic wing commander.

 

I think I like the SNES version better than the PC version.  Is that strange?  dogfight tactics are less likely to result in collisions with enemy ships,  and you don't need to aim in the center of the reticule  for really large ships. (seriously, you are flying something the size of a mini bus, trying to shoot something the size of a sky scraper- you should not have to aim for the thermal exhaust port, ok?) 

 

It was rather fun getting MT32 audio emulation up and running via MUNT so dosbox can get real MT32 fun, but still. Yeah, I think I like the SNES version better. :(

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In my case I've:

 

- Continued Star Trek: Judgement Rites, I'm now on mission 6 and have a 100% in missions 1-4. Mission 5, where Spock is transported to another dimension where he is overflown with emotions (lol), I only managed to get 95% even using the official guide, so I guess I need to examine an additional random object with the tricorder or something like that.

 

- Started watching Star Trek (1966). The music from Judgement Rites is taken from here (not only the main theme). It's a great series and I don't care about the ridiculous special effects.

 

- Started the Dangerous Dave saga, which started as an experiment by Carmack and Romero to port Mario to MS-DOS. I already finished most of Dangerous Dave 2 in the past, very different to part 1 and which feels as Doom 2D. 3 and 4 are also like 2, while 1 feels exactly like Carmack and Romero saying "ok, how can we do our own Mario?". 1 is too difficult, but it's very fun with the "saving before each level" technique (the game doesn't even have passwords).

 

- Planned to finish Monster Bash (by Apogee) afterwards.

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Dangerous Dave finished. It's fun, but saving just before each stage to avoid losing your mind over the difficulty. Examples of what the evil mind of John Romero introduced in the level design:

 

- Gems located in places that kill you instantly because you can't get to a platform back in time.

- Pink platforms have multiple, invisible "holes" that make you fall (often to die in some fire) the first time you walk over them. You must memorize their locations.

- In the last level, reaching the limit of the stage to the right changes the (abrupt) scrolling (the screen starts scrolling from the right side and scrolls in different places when you go back with the key), making impossible to kill the final, normal enemy of the game. I'm pretty sure John made this on purpose: They were aware of the scrolling problems (one of Id software's earlier graphical achievements was smooth 2D scrolling in MS-DOS games) and used them as an additional challenge here.

 

I'm also on the last level of Star Trek: Judgement Rites and on S01E14 of the original series. I must say this game contains a few annoying things, such as music that repeats every 20 seconds or puzzles that don't make sense (in the mission before the last one, you can only use your laser against an enemy after drugging another enemy that's behind him, which makes no sense because they don't even hint you about this when you try to use the lasers before).

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I've been taking a break from DOS gaming since completing Exodus: Ultima III and AD&D Curse of the Azure Bonds (currently re-re-re-playing Dark Souls, but that's neither here nor there).

 

I think my next DOS game is gonna be Might & Magic II: Gates to Another World (I've already made some progress in this), but I am also leaning toward Darklands (never really played this before but it is one of the few games I have complete in box).

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MicroProse was such a powerhouse back in the day and they did a great job with Darklands. To me it seemed like a game that Baldur's Gate took a lot of inspiration from.

 

I just started on a LucasArts kick. I've been playing The Dig off and on. The last time I played it was over 25 years ago, so it seems fresh.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Billy Beans said:

I just started on a LucasArts kick. I've been playing The Dig off and on. The last time I played it was over 25 years ago, so it seems fresh.

Here's a list of 10 tips I wrote for my future self to avoid frustration when I complete the game again:


 

Spoiler

1) Examine all the objects in the inventory with the magnifying glass: the game makes you think you don't need to examine an object when it's almost identical to another one, but this is not true.

 

2) If you get stuck, try using the alien artifacts in your inventory with everything on each screen: some have magical powers and are part of illogical puzzles.

 

3) Some of the alien buttons have to be pressed for several seconds with the mouse or can be dragged and dropped across an alien screen, even if there's no indication of this whatsoever. This is obviously an interface problem if you don't know beforehand.

 

4) There is a puzzle that consists of walking across the screen to a specific place. Immediately after you get there, something important is activated.

 

5) The game has a "nonsense physical mechanics" moment: to maintain a tile "pressed", you have to place an object on the floor above the tile, but this object never touches the "pressed" tile.

 

6) One of the screens in the "Map" section has a "hidden" exit to the left.

 

7) There are two moments with rocks and dirt where rocks and dirt that weren't interactive before suddenly become interactive just because something has happened and something needs to be done with them.

 

8) Bats have an use, they are not there just to fool around.

 

9) Across the whole game, there is one specific moment in which you have to do something in the shortest possible time so that it is possible to do it.

 

10) In one of the worst puzzles in the game, you have to give something to someone in a specific screen.

 

11) This game has one of the worst cases of pixel hunting in history. It's an object that appears suddenly on the ground next to a character after talking to him. The character should have given it to you, it doesn't make sense for it to appear on the ground, and it's barely visible.

 

 

Hopefully you won't have to check the guide with this!

 

Edited by IntelliMission

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14 hours ago, IntelliMission said:

Here's a list of 10 tips I wrote for my future self to avoid frustration when I complete the game again:


 

  Reveal hidden contents

1) Examine all the objects in the inventory with the magnifying glass: the game makes you think you don't need to examine an object when it's almost identical to another one, but this is not true.

 

2) If you get stuck, try using the alien artifacts in your inventory with everything on each screen: some have magical powers and are part of illogical puzzles.

 

3) Some of the alien buttons have to be pressed for several seconds with the mouse or can be dragged and dropped across an alien screen, even if there's no indication of this whatsoever. This is obviously an interface problem if you don't know beforehand.

 

4) There is a puzzle that consists of walking across the screen to a specific place. Immediately after you get there, something important is activated.

 

5) The game has a "nonsense physical mechanics" moment: to maintain a tile "pressed", you have to place an object on the floor above the tile, but this object never touches the "pressed" tile.

 

6) One of the screens in the "Map" section has a "hidden" exit to the left.

 

7) There are two moments with rocks and dirt where rocks and dirt that weren't interactive before suddenly become interactive just because something has happened and something needs to be done with them.

 

8) Bats have an use, they are not there just to fool around.

 

9) Across the whole game, there is one specific moment in which you have to do something in the shortest possible time so that it is possible to do it.

 

10) In one of the worst puzzles in the game, you have to give something to someone in a specific screen.

 

11) This game has one of the worst cases of pixel hunting in history. It's an object that appears suddenly on the ground next to a character after talking to him. The character should have given it to you, it doesn't make sense for it to appear on the ground, and it's barely visible.

 

 

Hopefully you won't have to check the guide with this!

 

Thanks, much appreciated. I don't get stuck too often, but any help is welcomed.

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I'm liking the first Commander Keen, I had never tried it.

 

- The control is a bit weird (CTRL + ALT to shoot, CTRL to jump, you jump higher by pressing the button longer).

- Some enemies are harmless and only push you "amicably" to your death, others are killed with a shot and others die with 4 shots, although they do not have a life bar.

- It has a map like the Mario, but you can't repeat stages... I hope there is no dead-ends if you leave a stage without getting a key object.

 

As a curiosity, the developers added a longer than expected text with the silly plot, and they also tell you about the planned but never released RPG with a protagonist named Quake that was supposed to be completed after 1991.

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It has been really like 30 years since I've truly attempted Keen, but I don't think you actually can finish a stage and trap yourself or trap yourself in a stage as it's pretty finely well tuned given who the designers are after all.  Not sure if you have an old copy going or bought the cheap recent bundle release on GoG for a few dollars, but it's worth playing at least once.

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Keen's controls are too clunky for me.

 

If I had the option of using a joystick/gamepad, I would probably play it as a fun early platformer, but as is? no-- my hands have carpal tunnel bad enough, I dont need to inflame my joints any worse.  I suppose I can ham-fist that with redefined keys in dosbox, but really?  Then I have to have a special keymap file just for commander keen, and specially doctor my command line even more than usual.  Not doing it.

 

I did have a lot of fun having some space PEW PEW with wing commander and wing commander II recently though.

 

 

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Commander Keen controls better if you persevere. The guy stops running to charge a jump and that takes time to get used to.

 

Interestingly, I tried the first Wing Commander a few years ago and stopped playing shortly afterwards because I found it too hard, but I just tried it again and checked the manual and I will probably attempt a complete playthrough at some point (it looks like speeding up was pressing the right mouse button and moving the mouse up).

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So I finished Judgement Rites and I must say the best about it was that it made me a Star Trek fan. The plot, music and characters are miles above the frustrating puzzles. These are some of its problems:

 

- The music consists of ADLIB versions of music from the original series and it's great, but it repeats every 20 seconds or so and gets annoying pretty fast.

 

- The points system doesn't work well: some random things you try lower your score and other apparently bad things are needed for a 100% score, like trying to shoot a painting on a wall (violence is supposed to be bad, but not always; its' a bit confusing)

 

- There are dead ends that prevent you for getting the 100% score, even if you can see the bad ending of the mission.

 

- When using Spock with an object, sometimes he analyzes it with the tricorder, but others he just says some comment. This is confusing, as sometimes you need to analyze an object with the tricorder and he discourages you by saying a random comment about the item being normal.

 

- Several puzzles don't make any sense, like turning off the ceiling lights so one of them falls down so you can pick up some circuit that you never suspect is there; only being able to shoot some "guards" after drugging a third one behind them; or answering the questions at the end of the final mission (the game only tells you if you're answered two incorrectly, but doesn't tell you when you're right or wrong in each question, and it turns out the answers make no sense at all).

 

Gameplay wise, I honestly had more fun with Coktel Vision games that are not among their best, like the Inca or the Gobliiins series. Even with Fascination, where you die constantly. Ween is a much superior adventure and Lost in Time, that could be described as a McGyver simulator, is also a much more fun experience overall. At least in those games your characters move quickly and you're not forced to read the same dialogs over and over again to get the 100% score, because there's only one way to win.

 

Here's a PCGamer retro review of Judgement Rites as part of the Crapshoot series. The guy actually liked the game. I guess it's a masterpiece compared to other Star Trek adventures, like 25th Anniversary or the obscure Star Trek: The Next Generation - The Transinium Challenge, that I just discovered. Has anyone played that one?

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Star Trek 25th actually probably is the better game content wise with the stories, don't dismiss it, but yeah that other you linked I vaguely remember seeing something about it decades ago, and don't remember anything much positive said about it either.  The other TNG game Final Unity is largely better, has a few stupid moments too, I'd put it just below the ToS cast pair of games, marginally.

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Games with older graphics and simpler premises are framework for your imagination to explore in whatever detail and style you see fit. They aren't regimented. They don't lock you into a visual style or play pathway. Your imagination changes and grows over time. And therein lies replay value.

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So I'm finishing Commander Keen, and it gets better as you progress as you get the handle of it and start expecting Romero to put a death trap just after each quiet section of a level. One stage left and the game has hinted that I can't kill the final boss "directly"... Whoa!

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I finished Commander Keen and I liked it. The most annoying thing is you die with one touch, but in the end it's a unique game with an original jumping mechanic, a solid smooth scrolling engine by Carmack and some great level design by Romero. I will try to finish the whole series.

 

By the way, here's a nice video about Ultima Underworld. The demo of this game inspired Id Software to create Catacomb 3D, which serves as the basis for Wolfenstein 3D:

 

 

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