• Category Archives DOS
  • Might and Magic II

    Might and Magic II (Commodore 64, Apple II, DOS)


    Might and Magic II, subtitled “Gates to Another World”, was originally developed as a computer role playing game for the Apple II in 1986, ported in 1988 to the Commodore 64, DOS, and Macintosh and later also ported to the Amiga and other computers as well as the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo. It is the sequel to Might and Magic Book One: Secret of the Inner Sanctum and offers a few improvements over that game including improved graphics, a “delay selector” to control the speed of the game, an indicator to make it obvious when input is necessary, and auto mapping (if you have a character with the appropriate skill).

    In this game you control a party of six characters at a time though up to twenty-six can be created. You can also import your characters from the previous game. In addition, you can hire up to two additional characters to join your party. They are controlled in the same way as the rest of your party but you have to pay them a certain amount of gold every day based on their level. New characters, more spells, a larger number of quests and secondary skills were also added (including the cartographer skill that allows auto mapping).

    While Might and Magic II spends a lot of time on combat (battles could be massive), there are also plenty of clues to be found, mysteries to be solved and things to discover. There are a number of features unique to RPGs of the time including the fact that your characters age (and can die of old age). Time travel and sci-fi elements were also thrown in to this otherwise fantasy-based RPG.

    Might and Magic II received mostly positive reviews and the series was a long lasting one, stretching into ten games for the main series plus a number of spinoffs with their own sequels. Some of these are better than others but I highly recommend the first two and the next 5 or 6 are pretty decent as well. The most recent one (Might and Magic 10) was just released in 2014 and while it is a decent game it obviously bears virtually no resemblance to the first few.

    Might and Magic II has been featured in a few compilations but the most recent I could find was a Windows version released in 1998 that included the first five games and some additional stuff. If you want to play this game you are going to have to break out some old hardware of one kind or another or use an emulator. Pictures above are from the Commodore 64 version of the game.

  • Crossbow (Commodore 64, Apple II, DOS)

    Crossbow (Commodore 64, DOS, Apple II)


    Crossbow started life as an arcade game developed by Exidy in 1983. In 1987, it was ported to a number of platforms including the Atari 2600, Atari 7800, Atari XE, Commodore 64, Apple II and DOS. The ad above is by Absolute who handled the Commodore 64, Apple II and DOS versions. Atari handled the Atari versions.

    The arcade version of Crossbow is a light gun game in which you are responsible for protecting a party of adventurers. The light gun in this case takes the form of a full size crossbow. The adventurers walk from the left hand side of the screen to the right and you have to protect them from various enemies and obstacles. The adventurers that survive the trip get to go on to the next location. You have to be careful not to shoot any of your friends (as the game refers to them) because you can hurt and kill them. This was the first light gun game I ever played and still one of my favorites.

    The disadvantage of the computer ports done by Absolute for the Commodore 64, Apple II and DOS is that they do not support a light gun. Instead, you control a crosshair with a joystick in order to aim. Despite this disadvantage, the conversions are fairly good and if you liked the arcade original then you would probably like these. I’m not sure why light gun support was not included. Light guns were not popular on home computers though I know they were technically feasible as there were a couple available for the Commodore 64. My guess is that they only worked well with TVs and while many people did have their 8-bit computers connected to a TV, many others used computer monitors.

    Being a Commodore 64 fan, that version is my favorite. However, I would also recommend the Atari 7800 version for the best combination of good graphics and light gun support. You’ll have to play on a real 7800 with a CRT TV though for that to matter. If you are playing on an emulator or making use of a modern television or computer monitor then you are probably better off with the Commodore 64 version anyway.

    This is a good example of an early light gun game and a nice change of pace from more modern rapid fire light gun games you see today. I think this game would make a good candidate for an update. A company called Mean Hamster released an iPhone version of the game. They had developed some Atari 5200 games around the turn of the century and some other mobile games more recently. They were apparently planning a Windows version of Crossbow before going out of business (at least in terms of developing new software…I think the old stuff is still available).

  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo (DOS)

    Super Street Fighter II Turbo (DOS)


    There were sooo many Street Fighter II games. Super Street Fighter II Turbo was actually the fifth game in the Street Fighter II series (and never mind about the original Street Fighter). This advertisement is for the DOS port of the game that was released in 1995, only about a year after the arcade release. At least by this time they had gotten things in gear with the PC release. The original Street Fighter II was ported to DOS also but three years after the original port to the SNES and it was pretty horrible.

    Thankfully, Super Street Fighter II Turbo is a much better port. With a decent PC at the time, the graphics and animation were reasonably close to the original with the biggest problem being the fact that the graphics were ported directly and the aspect ratio was a little off vs. the arcade. There was a little less horizontal distance available in the game. This wasn’t a huge deal though.

    Super Street Fighter II Turbo introduced a few new play mechanics to the Street Fighter II series. It added new combinations including super combos and air combos. It also features the first appearance of Akuma as a secret character.

    This game was also ported to the 3D0, PlayStation and Sega Saturn (as part of Street Fighter Collection in the case of the last two). Arguably the PC version is better than all of these but there is something to be said for the convenience of a game console hooked to a tv. This is especially true today for this game because getting a DOS game to work on a modern PC takes a bit of work. However, there have been a number of re-releases of this game over the years. It was released as part of Capcom Classics Collection Volume 2 for the PS2 and Xbox (though these had various glitches) and then there were rearranged versions for various systems that were somewhat different games.

    As far as the original ports, short of emulating the arcade version, your best bet is probably the PC version with the Saturn and PlayStation versions being close seconds. If you are looking for a modern remake, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix was released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2008 and offers a classic mode.