90's PC Gaming Appreciation Thread: From Boot Disks to 3dfx Voodoo cards

wbacon

Capcom USA
Sep 9, 2014
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Canopus Pure3D checking in. 6 MB for life.
Oh wow. I feel really old (I am old!), but yes, that was my very first 3D accelerator card that I've purchased. Quake, with the power of 3dfx chip and Glide API, suddenly transformed into this magnificent 60fps next gen experience with beautiful textures and alpha-blended lighting effects. It was a thing of marvel.
 
Jun 19, 2015
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I worked on a console game in the late 90s, I remember the PC port being done by one guy and the poly count had to be reduced to 25% to fit the PC spec.

DOS games were awesome, none of this GUI OS getting in the way.
Could you tell us the name of the game? Maybe a lot of Gaffers here had played it, who knows ^^
 
Jan 12, 2012
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1998 ghhhhhghhghnnnnnn
Half-Life 1


Thief: The Dark Project


Fallout 2


Starcraft


Grim Fandango


Unreal


Starsiege: Tribes


Descent: FreeSpace – The Great War


Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now


Baldur's Gate


Rainbow Six


Final Fantasy VII (PC port of the PS1 game)


Commandos


SiN


Blood II


Tex Murphy: Overseer


Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned


Powerslide:


Motocross Madness


Falcon 4.0


and of course:

3D Maze Man:
 
Sep 17, 2012
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Mortal Kombat 3 has a great DOS port as well and all three of them are available on GOG: https://www.gog.com/game/mortal_kombat_123

The Mortal Kombat 1 port isn't perfect, but it is was still one of the best home ports of the game for its day. I believe it did suffer from a bit of a colour downgrade, and may have only ran at 30FPS, which doesn't make it as smooth as the arcade game. Also the music is in MIDI format. Mortal Kombat II does run at a full 60FPS on PC making it really smooth, and looks much closer to the arcade game than MK1 did. Also there was a version with CD audio as well as a version with MIDI music. Mortal Kombat 3 was released on both Windows 9x and DOS. But oddly the DOS version is the better of the two. MK3 DOS is every bit as good as the MKII port. It may also be the best home port from that period, even better than the PS1 game because of the lack of loading and non broken Shang Tsung morphs.

Also speaking of Fighting game ports... Primal Rage has a fantastic port on DOS: https://youtu.be/eU1LVzaRk7c?t=83

I am not a fan of Primal Rage at all, but It does almost look identical to the arcade game. The only downside is the MIDI music.
MK ports were the best.
I played Primal Rage too back then. You could choose the max quality option if you had 16 MB RAM.
While in gfx it was faithfull, gameplay was not arcade accurate. Hitboxes were different. Best port on PC is available in Midway's Arcade Treasures.
 
Feb 20, 2014
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Could you tell us the name of the game? Maybe a lot of Gaffers here had played it, who knows ^^
Probably not that many as its pretty old now, Die Hard Trilogy.

Saturn version had half the poly count of PS1, PC had half the poly count of Saturn. Not enough 3D card sales to justify making it require one.
 
Jun 19, 2015
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Probably not that many as its pretty old now, Die Hard Trilogy.

Saturn version had half the poly count of PS1, PC had half the poly count of Saturn. Not enough 3D card sales to justify making it require one.
Wow I remember Diehard games.
I honestly never played this PC port. I played the first on ps1 and only the sequel on PC. But hey it was a cool game, regardless its ports and versions :D
 
Apr 21, 2008
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I remember another dirt bike game around the same time, had this funny quirk (glitch?) where you could hold a key after a crash and the rider would float up into the air and inevitably run into shit with some funny ragdoll physics.

Think the levels were open, and I remember a farm with cows in the demo I played.

Anyone have any ideas?
 
Jan 12, 2012
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I remember another dirt bike game around the same time, had this funny quirk (glitch?) where you could hold a key after a crash and the rider would float up into the air and inevitably run into shit with some funny ragdoll physics.

Think the levels were open, and I remember a farm with cows in the demo I played.

Anyone have any ideas?
I'm thinking that it might be Edgar Torronteras' eXtreme Biker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_9gGOObNKk

Which was released in 1999 by Sierra.

 
Oct 19, 2011
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Early screens of Starcraft
"Doug Lombardi"
Oh.




Probably not that many as its pretty old now, Die Hard Trilogy.

Saturn version had half the poly count of PS1, PC had half the poly count of Saturn. Not enough 3D card sales to justify making it require one.
I surely played it. IIRC, it was running on a showcase PC in a supermarket and I remember a group of kids playing it (or waiting for their turn). I don't think I've seen any of the console versions, though.
 
Dec 2, 2013
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It's a little hard to find authentic screenshots, but Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat 2 had AMAZING Dos ports.

Everything was so on point: The graphics, the sound, the music. Even the weird/glitchy combos I could pull off in the arcade were represented on the Dos ports.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAb8CeamVGI

MK2 especially was off the chain:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFRBmWi5anE
Yes, Mortal Kombat 2 & 3 were great ports. MK3 had a slight pause with fatalities when the red book audio changed tracks, Played MK2 with a keyboard for weeks when my gravis pad went down.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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MK ports were the best.
I played Primal Rage too back then. You could choose the max quality option if you had 16 MB RAM.
While in gfx it was faithfull, gameplay was not arcade accurate. Hitboxes were different. Best port on PC is available in Midway's Arcade Treasures.
Ah, that is a bit of a shame. Because it looks good in the videos.

Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo were suppose to be OK DOS ports, were they not? If I remember, Super Street Fighter II Turbo actually had streaming music tracks from the 3DO game. Though the earlier Street Fighter 2 DOS ports were suppose to be shite.

Sega also released quite a few fighting games onto the PC in the mid to late '90s.

Virtua Fighter Remix (1995/ Win 9x)):

It's a port of the Sega Saturn version of VFR, and is compatible with the Nvidia NV1, which used quads.

Virtua Fighter 2 (1997/ Win 9x):

This is a port of the Sega Saturn version of Virtua Fighter 2. This one doesn't support the NV1, but it does have Direct3D rendering via a later patch. I think this version also runs at 60fps.

Last Bronx (1998/ Win 9x):

Another Direct port of the Saturn game. I honestly have never played the PC port of this game, so I don;t know how well it stacks up to the Saturn port.

Honestly, Sega ported a lot of their Saturn games to the PC.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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VF Remix for PC was awesome, seriously. I didn't play the VF2 PC port. Is it good?
I had it and it was decent. Like I said, it is a direct port of the Sega Saturn game and not the Arcade game, so some of the art assets look a little weird at higher resolutions. But I believe it does support 640x480 and 800x600 resolutions and does run at 60FPS like the Saturn game. There is even a patch out there for early Direct 3D support. It is a decent port, though I always preferred the Saturn version more (which I also had) because of the Saturn's gamepads.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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A little more in-depth look at Virtua Fighter 2 for Windows 9x:

This port is actually better than I remember it. The resolution is locked at 640x480, though for some reason I thought it could run at 800x600, but nope. The game does run at 60fps and has higher polygon models than the Saturn game. You can switch between two different types of characters models in the game options, the Saturn originals and higher polygon models that look closer to the Model 2 arcade game. This version is also patched with direct3D support, so I can enable filtering on the backgrounds or set them to nearest neighbour through directdraw. Gamepads also work, though it only seems to support 4 button game pads. This is not really an issue since VF2 only requires 3 buttons. The forth button on my gamepad is the pause button. The music needs to stream directly off the CD though.

The port is actually enhanced over the Saturn game, but still no where near as good as the arcade game. The backdrops are still 2D like the Saturn game and not 3D like the arcade game. This version also seems to support some sort of online gaming mode through direct IP connection.

Overall, this is pretty solid.

Video (not mine and not 60fps): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5DImhwZ8gk
 
Feb 25, 2012
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Wow a blast from the past.

I remember having a POS Hewlett Packard computer. Still remember the specs.

333MHz 64MB RAM 4GB HDD

always wanted to get on that voodoo 3DFX and Sound Blaster bandwagon.

Running Half-Life at like 10FPS.

I remember visiting my cousin in Germany and pirating Virtua Cop 2 off an AOL server room on his lightning quick ISDN internet (compared to 56K back home). I think I was downloading at like 7KB/sec which blew my teenage mind.

Good times.
 
Jun 19, 2015
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A little more in-depth look at Virtua Fighter 2 for Windows 9x:



This port is actually better than I remember it. The resolution is locked at 640x480, for some reason I thought it could be displayed at 800x600, but nope. The game does run at 60fps though and actually has higher polygon models than the Saturn game. There are two options for game models, the Saturn originals and models that are higher poly and look closer to the original Model 2 game. This version is also patched with direct3D support, so I can enable filtering on the backgrounds or set them to nearest neighbour through directdraw.



The port is actually enhanced over the Saturn game, but still no where near as good as the arcade game. The backdrops are still 2D like the Saturn game and not 3D like the arcade game. This version also seems to support some sort of online gaming mode through direct connection.

Overall, this is pretty solid.

Video (not mine and not 60fps): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5DImhwZ8gk
Awesome
 
Mar 22, 2007
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Man, nostalgia overload! :) I really loved PC back in the days, so much good stuff. Reading PC magazines and getting demo CDs, trading floppies with friends. Also remember when we upgraded from 4MB to 12MB RAM. Then i could play the Destruction Derby demo without any problem.

I also wish that PCs today were 100% compatible with older systems like Windows 98 and older. DOSBox is great, but its not 100% for everything.
 
Sep 17, 2012
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Ah, that is a bit of a shame. Because it looks good in the videos.

Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo were suppose to be OK DOS ports, were they not? If I remember, Super Street Fighter II Turbo actually had streaming music tracks from the 3DO game. Though the earlier Street Fighter 2 DOS ports were suppose to be shite.
Compared to the many console and arcade ports of its era, it was one of the best regarding graphics and the best regarding music, but there were a lot of issues

-Different difficulty compared to arcade

-Controls: PS/2 limitations on keyboard meant that the diagonals were shared with the cpu player. So, when cpu was crouching using a diagonal for defence, you could not use that diagonal to make a move such as the hadouken. Only way to play it properly was using a 6 pad controller, something rare on PC back then.

-Graphics: Incorrect aspect ratio since sprites are larger than the arcade version. 3DO aspect ratio is better. Stages are smaller and characters stand closer to each other at the start of each round Missing moves and frames. Super Street Fighter II on DOS, which was a port of the SNES version, had parallax scrolling in opposition to DOS SF2T

-Crashes if the CD track ran out, making the CD version unplayable. Crashes after beating Bison too without the patch
https://youtu.be/bNswpJJ2o0w?t=217
 
Jun 19, 2015
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Man, nostalgia overload! :) I really loved PC back in the days, so much good stuff. Reading PC magazines and getting demo CDs, trading floppies with friends. Also remember when we upgraded from 4MB to 12MB RAM. Then i could play the Destruction Derby demo without any problem.

I also wish that PCs today were 100% compatible with older systems like Windows 98 and older. DOSBox is great, but its not 100% for everything.
I don't know if this can help you but I can say that backward-compatibility for older Win exes is greatly improved on Windows10. In fact I can finally play olde 95/98 titles without big issues. For example Tomb Raider II, Shadow Man, Turok, VantageMaster, ChoRenSha68 and others!
In Windows 8.1 I encountered various glitches and errors (especially for Turok, it was a crash fest) but after the upgrade it seems that everything goes fine.
 
Jun 10, 2004
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Man, nostalgia overload! :) I really loved PC back in the days, so much good stuff. Reading PC magazines and getting demo CDs, trading floppies with friends. Also remember when we upgraded from 4MB to 12MB RAM. Then i could play the Destruction Derby demo without any problem.

I also wish that PCs today were 100% compatible with older systems like Windows 98 and older. DOSBox is great, but its not 100% for everything.
I use Dosbox for Dosgames and Vmware for Windows Games.

Old Windows games had a bad behaviour installing lots of things in the system folder. Using a virtual machine I am sure not to mess with my current windows.
 
Jul 7, 2014
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I have FFVII on 4 discs and FFVIII on 5 discs.
played em on my parents dell? did i pc right?

edit: totally had Fate of Atlantis on floppies now that i think on it. i played that on the same computer i played Number Munchers on. the 90s were weird.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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I use Dosbox for Dosgames and Vmware for Windows Games.

Old Windows games had a bad behaviour installing lots of things in the system folder. Using a virtual machine I am sure not to mess with my current windows.
I'm back to using Linux Mint as my OS for a little while, and I just use Play on Linux for installation of older Windows and DOS games:



Which does a pretty good job for the most part when creating new instances, each game will create its own unique profiles for Wine and DosBOX.

But right now I have been playing a lot of Command & Conquer Red Alert 1 on my old Windows 98 PC. I don't know why, but the game feels so much better when played on the original 9x hardware. I have a 19'' CRT monitor plugged into the system. The monitor can display up to 1600x1200 resolution at 95hz and 1280x1024 at 120Hz. I am playing Red Alert at 800x600 at 160Hz and just scrolling around the screen feels really smooth with no latency.

I have all of my old C&C discs,

-Command and Conquer (original disc)
-The Covert Operations - expansion
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert
- Counterstrike expansion
- The Aftermath expansion
- Retaliation expansion
- Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
- Firestorm expansion
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2
- Yuri's Revenge expansion

I lost track of time and just plated RA for hours. The Frank Klepacki soundtrack is still a joy to listen too.
 
Oct 20, 2011
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I really love the 90s PC games, but some of them are awfully hard to go back to. You get real spoiled by the modern game conveniences like working tutorials that explain the majority of the mechanics, quest journals, fairly standardized controls and the fact that games today assume you will never look at the manual, ever.

I tend to stick with the GoG versions of almost everything and I've had pretty good luck (Soulbringer is the only thing I've bought that I can't get to work at all no matter what).

Anyway I really loved Interstate 76 when it came out. I've heard the GoG version has a bunch of issues and have avoided it as a result. I would really like to play it again, has anyone had good luck getting it to run well on a Windows 10 machine?
 
Dec 2, 2013
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I really love the 90s PC games, but some of them are awfully hard to go back to. You get real spoiled by the modern game conveniences like working tutorials that explain the majority of the mechanics, quest journals, fairly standardized controls and the fact that games today assume you will never look at the manual, ever.

I tend to stick with the GoG versions of almost everything and I've had pretty good luck (Soulbringer is the only thing I've bought that I can't get to work at all no matter what).

Anyway I really loved Interstate 76 when it came out. I've heard the GoG version has a bunch of issues and have avoided it as a result. I would really like to play it again, has anyone had good luck getting it to run well on a Windows 10 machine?
Nah, too much hand holding nowadays. Part of the fun was figuring everything out through trial and error, or reading the huge manuals.
 
Jan 21, 2010
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Manuals... I remember reading them on the bus when I was on th way to school (1 hour or more). Might and Magic games especially, so cool to read and make plans for everything in the game.
 

Kodiak333

Neo Member
Apr 21, 2014
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I just booted up my old compaq server with a 3dfx voodoo 5500, a socket 370 p3, and close to what i believe is 1.5gb of pc133, ..... only to be greeted with a dreadful NTDLR is missing error.

Had all my classic games in it :( including a running copy of unreal, need for speed 3, and diablo

Will try to fix it and post back once i get a hold of those pesky amigamerlin-winxp voodoo drivers.
 
Jun 19, 2015
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I just booted up my old compaq server with a 3dfx voodoo 5500, a socket 370 p3, and close to what i believe is 1.5gb of pc133, ..... only to be greeted with a dreadful NTDLR is missing error.

Had all my classic games in it :( including a running copy of unreal, need for speed 3, and diablo

Will try to fix it and post back once i get a hold of those pesky amigamerlin-winxp voodoo drivers.
I hope you will fix it, it seems an awesome system, especially for the voodoo installed ^^
 
Sep 23, 2014
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Not going to lie, I've spent more time doing this than playing the actual races.

Holy shit. I did the same thing, over and over! :D

This thread is pure win!

Also i still have my Half-Life installation from 1998 and a working Diamond Monster MX300 (keeping it for the good old memories) That Aureal Vortex 2 chip is a beast. Of course i'm using a Creative soundcard nowadays, but they never reached that perfect sound of A3D 2.0. I miss it.
 
Feb 8, 2008
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At the tail end of the 90s, the PC I was playing games on had an ATI Rage Pro Turbo. 8MB of memory.

I remember running Half Life, Counter-Strike, and Quake 3 on that. Fun times.
 
I hope you will fix it, it seems an awesome system, especially for the voodoo installed ^^
Thanks, I will make it a mission to fix this system.

I even remember saving money for months so that I could afford that card, the nostalgia on getting it running again is just too much haha, I should've kept the box too.

My previous to this one was a voodoo3 3500, which had that huge blue tv in/out dongle paired with an AMD K6-2, spent hours playing carmageddon 2 on that thing.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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I just booted up my old compaq server with a 3dfx voodoo 5500, a socket 370 p3, and close to what i believe is 1.5gb of pc133, ..... only to be greeted with a dreadful NTDLR is missing error.

Had all my classic games in it :( including a running copy of unreal, need for speed 3, and diablo

Will try to fix it and post back once i get a hold of those pesky amigamerlin-winxp voodoo drivers.
The Voodoo 5500 3dfx is pretty rad. Hope you get this machine working.

I took a few pictures of the inside of my Windows 98se PC:
Isometric view with a closer look at the CPU, GPU and RAM.

The graphics card is this one here:



Chaintech GeFroce 2ti with 64MB of RAM. I bought this as a replacement for my older GeForce 265 and was a pretty solid replacement. It is a early 2000 card though, so it is one year out of this thread. :p


Full specs for this system:

Intel Celeron 466MHz
Soyo i440BX-ITE8671 Mother Board
256MB of SDRAM (four 64MB modules)
Chaintech GeForce 2 Ti 64MB
Creative Sound Blaster 128 PCI CT4750
15GB Maxtor HDD (LOL, it's smaller than most micro SD cards)
Windows 98SE
250W power supply
56K V90 modem
LAN interface card


Here's some screenshots I took of Unreal Tournament running directly off this machine, at 1024x768 at 32bit colour depth.











Though I have to run the game in OpenGL mode for it to work. For some reason the game hard crashes with Direct3D. I'm not sure why that is as it use to work perfectly fine under D3D. Maybe I need to reinstall the video driver or even roll back to an older Nvidia Driver? Not like it really matters as the game runs pretty well under OpenGL, it gets about 40-60+FPS on this machine at 1024x768. Which is alright.
 
Jan 12, 2012
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A few more screenshots, but this time running with an ancient version of FRAPS. Version 1.9D:








Heh, the Framerate is actually all over he place anywhere between 20-60.

Also for the hell of it, Software rendering mode. Set to 16bit colour depth with low settings at 800x600:



Oh yeah.
 
Sep 17, 2012
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Brilliant game the atmosphere was immense!!....never did play the 2nd game!
I bought the second game, but unfortunately the version I got did not include the castle map. So I had to navigate in that huge maze without guidance.

It was much larger than the original and much more frustrating. Also climbing and descending stairs was a nightmare as you could fall and die in an instant. Constant saving was necessary.

Unfortunately the main ingredient was missing that made the original a hit: the tension and horror atmosphere. Here instead you got infinite frustration.

Who knows, maybe the cancelled Urban Decay would have been so much better. A pre-cursor to 3D GTA so to speak
 
Apr 8, 2014
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That last pic in software mode looks pretty good.
UE1 uses a special dithering algorithm on the environment when running in software mode without bilinear filtering. It kind of sort of smooths the textures out so they don't appear so pixely. Other than that, a lot of the visual tech and gimmicks in the engine were coded to run in software, whereas most others at the time relied exclusively on 3D acceleration for those effects, like colored lighting and such.