Fri. Mar 31st, 2023
We're going to be playing A LOT of One Must Fall 2097 now that the Internet Archive has driven MS-DOS crazy.

We’re going to be playing A LOT of One Must Fall 2097 now that the Internet Archive has driven MS-DOS crazy.

In 2013, the Internet Archive began a major effort to store and host hundreds of classic video games for free play through your web browser, and after an addition of classic arcade games in late 2014, the site’s software library exploded in the last week of 2014 with the largest update so far: 2,334 MS-DOS games, all playable through a standard browser.

“Some of [the games] shall still fall over and die,” longtime IA conservator Jason Scott wrote on his personal blog when announcing the new game roster Monday, but our cursory testing showed remarkably functional MS-DOS games in our web browser; they all run through the Em-DOSBOX emulator, an offshoot of the same emulator that powers many antiques sold on archive game sites like Keep that mute button handy, because we’ve run into some awful sound emulation quirks in classics like Jazz Jackrabbitbut fortunately the speed and functionality of the games remained intact.

Scott also took the opportunity to ask gamers to try out the Internet Archive’s brand new beta design, complete with screenshots for every item and an endless scroll feature; click here to give the beta a shot. You’ll want the improved design when sifting because the selection is, quite frankly, insane. Do you have an urge to find Carmen Sandiego? Now you can follow her across the US, the world, Europe, space or even time. Do you have pinball in mind? Welcome back to EA’s incredible classic, the Building kit pinball machine. Looking forward to the French version of the really awful Smurfs game? Please. Really, you could waste hours on nothing but the MS-DOS subgenre of erotic adventures, including the hilariously titled Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2. (Which makes us wonder, where the hell is the original?!)

We were curious to see how long some of these titles will remain available, including DOS ports of famous series such as Street Fighter II, Donkey KongAnd Pac man. As we were preparing this report, the number of playable games actually dropped from an original count of over 2,370. In Giant Bomb’s report on the collection, reporter Alex Navarro pointed to the Internet Archive’s DMCA exemption, which has been applied to much of this hosted software, even when it comes to playable games that are still for sale, due to that specific code‘s rarity and need for preservation. So we think games were removed largely because they don’t meet the standards Scott set for the playable collection, a fact he alluded to in the aforementioned blog post.

By akfire1

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