DOSBox Nostalgia Thread



Here’s a rare one for all you Mudhen lovers :wink:


Oh geez.

The music. The voice acting. The odd, physics defying movement. :smiley:

I distinctly remember as a kid playing games like this and wondering if, some day, the games themselves were going to look as good as the cutscenes…


Who didn’t—


I commented on one of the DCS SU-33 video’s a few days ago along those lines. Growing up on sims in the 80’s on a ZX Spectrum with the likes of Microprose’s Gunship and F19 Stealth Fighter and Activisions Bomber (yes they did make other stuff besides Call of Duty LOL) I often wondered if we’d see graphics like I saw in an article in EDGE magazine showing a military simulator that when looking back wasn’t much more detailed than Falcon 3.0 a few years after that article. The level of detail in the sims these days would have blown my young mind even if it was a cut scene back then :slight_smile: to think we’re at that level now and with workable and affordable VR its an amazing time. Anyone from the UK remember the H2H BBS based in Bristol? I got a modem in 1991 and started looking for different BBS services across the country and found that one in Bristol as it ran challenge ladders for Falcon 3.0 and its add-ons, I used to love reading the AAR’s.


When someone will ask me why did Microprose died, I’ll point them to this movie.
This is bad. So bad that’s unexcusable the money they spent on that crap.

Sorry, someone had to say it.


Do you mean the intro, the history or both? While the intro indeed was crappy the history part was interesting and at the time (1993) it was one of the first flight sims to do something like this. Anyway here’s the rest of the CD version “multimedia” content - the Tutorial segment:

and the fix for the crash when selecting “Iraq 93” mission set in the CD-ROM version


Hehe, nothing really- I was being unfunny.
WHile we can all agree the video was beyond the point of no return, Microprose proveided with some of the best sim of the past, no doubt about it, and in some cases still nowadays.

So, sorry for my poor attempt at humor. :wink: But that intro is really one of the worst ever.


Can’t argue with that. On a brighter note, here’s something you don’t see everyday … :scream: :f111: :dragon_face: :japanese_castle::tokyo_tower::shinto_shrine:


Hehe, that’s just fantastic! IIRC there was also a Dragon and an UFO in F-14 Fleet Defender!
I loved this sort of easter eggs, and you really got me thinking another AMAZING flight sim that sadly didn’t get all the recognition it should have…


There should be more games trying to push the envelope of that stuff.


I played Stunt Island back in the DOS days, but didn’t used its full potential, you could make pretty cool clips with it and had really wide selections of flying things. The flight model was really bad though. It was the only thing that kept me from playing it more.


Now with internet it would be easier to share the clips!
I’m saying it, someone should totally re-do it! :smiley:


Ah yes, there were 2 dragons even, and when they both spawned in North Cape campaign they would fight each other. The missions had a randomize mechanic built in so the object could have a certain probability of appearing in the mission. Scott Elson mentioned it in his interview back in SimHQ a while back.

The UFO could show in one of the Micellaneus Training missions, along with Cuban MiGs or the lost Avenger flight. Some time ago I recorded this one mission started several times, sorry for bad qualtiy I used DOSBox built-in capture feature.

UFO encounter

Avenger Flight 19 encounter

Cuban MiGs encounter


Stunt Island had the Shuttle orbiter, X-15, and the SR-71 didn’t it??
I remember the Blackbird 3d model had a bent wing outboard of the left engine, it was never fixed.

Or I’m conflating Stunt Island and some other sims, because I remember flying the X-15 beyond the atmosphere and losing control once the air was gone, as well as dead-stick landing the shuttle after spawning it around 100k ft.


I couldn’t remember, but had a look in this (it runs it in a browser, sort of):

The DRM consists of asking a question from the manual. Nice! :slight_smile:


Was pretty common back in the day when games came with HUUGE manuals. :slight_smile:
I remember the Dynamix manuals and I epsecially loved Chuck Yeager’s Air Combat and F-16 Combat Pilot.

Falcon 3.0 came after that and was an instant classic. I never stopped loving it.


I liked the ones where having sufficient knowledge got you past the check.

Some had code wheels, some had “first word on page 24”, blah blah blah. The worst were the disk checks where it needed the disk with a bad sector in a specific place which prevented copying but also sometimes just failed.


Elite on the ZX Spectrum had a unique one. A set of plastic lens which came with the tape cassette. You had to hold them up and squint pretty hard to decipher a number.

You had to calibrate with the size of your TV, and it had a success rate of about 1 in 4. It only got used for a couple of games…

Here’s a test example of ‘OK’.



Ah yes, I remember the Aurabesh code wheel from the original X-Wing.


I loved Monkey Island 1 & 2 pirate faces!

or LooM musical codes…


November 30, 1942, 75 years ago, was the date of the last major surface action fought during the Guadalcanal campaign, off Tassafaronga Point.

Since almost the beginning of the campaign, in August, destroyer units of the Imperial Japanese Navy based at Rabaul, under the command of Rear Admiral Tanaka, had improvised a method to keep the Japanese troops supplied on Guadalcanal. Lacking effective air cover, it was necessary that the Japanese conduct these supply operations at night to avoid attack by US aircraft. The standard “Marus” being too slow to accomplish this before daylight exposed them, Tanaka devised a plan to employ his fast destroyers to carry supplies in drums, get in quickly under the cover of darkness, and just as quickly, get out again. It became known as the “Tokyo Express”, and its efforts enabled the Japanese troops to prolong the ground battle and in the process, allow a dreadful contest of attrition to be protracted perhaps longer than it should have been able to under more standard supply conditions.

By November, however, a series of naval actions in Iron Bottom Sound had weakened Japan’s hold on Guadalcanal, and the impending opening of the allied New Guinea campaign, technically in the rear of Japan’s forward base at Rabaul, threw the dice very unfavorably for their efforts at Guadalcanal. They had made their presence costly, yes, but now they had to reluctantly relinquish their furthest point of advance. But it wasn’t going without one last fight, in good Japanese tradition, which in this instance, the US Navy served to them literally on a plate.

Once more, as for Midway, Japanese radio messages were intercepted and decyphered by US cryptography. This time, it revealed the details of a Tokyo Express supply run, the night of the 30th. A sizable USN task force (named WILLIAM) was assembled at Espritu Santo, consisting of four heavy cruisers, one light cruiser, and four destroyers. Its mission, under the command of Rear Admiral Wright; intercept and destroy the fabled Express with overwhelming force. They would be up against just 8 Japanese destroyers, loaded down with provisions.

Enter my favorite game of all time; “Action Stations!”…

This game, released in 1991, is not exciting to look at in the least. It is archaic, programmed in a compiled version of QBASIC, devoid of graphics, and driven by a most complex series of menu driven commands. You’ll see no gun flashes, or any other arcade, quick and dirty battle scenes in glorious 3D. It is, however, the very best analysis tool for naval battles ever created, programmed by a naval officer and battle analyst. The level of detail in the models goes beyond anything since or before. Consider that even slant armor calculations are effected. Enough said. DOSBox has permitted me to keep playing this game now for over two and a half decades, long after its originally intended platform is defunct, and I’m still not tired of it.

To recreate the Battle of Tassafaronga, I had to build it from scratch, it not being a scenario included with the original game. Fortunately, the scenario creator permitted this to be accomplished with relative ease, though a lot of number crunching was required, there being no graphic ME, so to speak…

And then it was into battle with my brand new custom scenario (exciting, huh? You bet!)…

Here is one of the screens used to control your fleet, to get a taste (I took the US side)…

And here is the only graphics screen there is, the Battle Plot. From left to right; destroyers Fletcher, Perkins, Maury and Drayton, followed by cruisers Minneapolis, New Orleans, Pensacola, Honolulu and Northampton, and tagging along astern, destroyers Lamson and Lardner…

Here is the opposition, the Japanese destroyers Takanami, Oyashio, Kuroshio, Kagero, Makinami, Naganami, Kawakaze, and Suzukaze, sailing into Iron bottom Sound south of Savo Island…

Battle is joined! The Japanese destroyers fire out of the gloom at the van of the US TF…

The battle report screen shows no hits…

Time to get some torpedoes off. This involves some planning, as arcs of fire are respected, and run times are according to selected speed, which in turn is dependant on required range, which can be affected by the angle on bow of the target and; I did say it was in depth, didn’t I?..

After all that, all spreads miss. I grit my teeth expecting the retaliation by Japanese Long Lances. Nothing happens, except more gun fighting, with starshells all over the place. The Japanese destroyers have thrown away the chance at the only advantage they had (and which was used to great effect in the real battle). I get to ordering the gun directors of each ship in the force…

It gets hectic and messy, fires breaking on on the IJN destroyers as ammo and torpedoes on deck are hit…

Even though this particular battle is far too close range for it to be of any value, there is an armor penetration analysis screen, which helps you find the best range to fight a particular ship, considering its belt and deck protection. Useful for stand off, battle line actions with heavy weights, when you want to avoid pointlessly firing at a ship that is in its famous “zone of impenetrabilty”…

With the destroyers engaged already, I get the cruisers’ directors picking and tracking targets. The longer they track, the better their solution for when they open fire, saving some ammo in the process. Drawback, you are exposed to withering light fire while this is happening…

Finally, I let the cruisers open fire, and the wait pays off, Minneapolis and New Orleans scoring hits in the first salvo…

I break off the van destroyers to the north, as they are beginning to take some serious hits, and allow the heavier fire of the cruisers take some toll. Three of the Japanese destroyers suffer explosions in short order. Later, one of them capsizes. This is going as Wright would have wanted it to…

The cruisers continue dispensing carnage, looping north of the Japanese force. But Northampton is hit and set ablaze momentarily, having to cease fire and break formation while damage control does its thing. In the meantime, the van destoyers have arched around to the rear and caught a fleeing Kagero…

One of the US destroyers, however, is seriously hit in the engagenment, loosing all power and turrets and taking on a list, as shown here on the ship status screen…

Then a small tragedy; New Orleans is suddenly hit by two torpedoes launched by a brazen Shiratsuyu that streaks daringly along the broadsides of the cruisers in the opposite direction. New Orleans, speed reduced, has to break out of the battle line to the north, counterflooding to avoid capsizing…

But it is too late. A subsequent, third torpedo hit puts New Orleans out of control, and she capsizies astern of Northampton, which also eats a stray Long Lance. That Shiratsuyu really did some damage in the closing stages of the action, despite it eventually paying for its boldness…

The engagement is over…

Time to look at the stats…

Despite the loss of the New Orleans, this recreation went a lot better for the US Navy that the real battle. One of the features of Action Stations! is that the program randomly selects an AI commander “temperament” every time you play a scenario, so the opposing fleet will rarely behave the same way twice. On this ocassion, the Japanese commander was late with his decision to let loose his torpedoes, and behaved much as the US commander would have liked Tanaka to behave. It would have been a great USN victory…

But it wasn’t. Tanaka did not hesitate in utilizing his Long Lances, from all the destroyers that could bring them to bear at once, in an almighty “barrage” of torpedoes. In the real Battle of Tassafaronga, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Pensacola and Northampton were hit. All four heavy cruisers were put out of action within 20 minutes, and the Northampton sank. For all that damage taken by the US Task Force, how much of their mission did they accomplish? Very little. One Japanese destroyer was sunk (though it is fair to say they disrupted the supply run). Tanaka, though he may have been considered an unimaginative commander by the top brass of the IJN, certainly was one hard, decisive expert in his field.

Damage to USS New Orleans after the battle…

The battle was a debacle for the US Navy, yes, but it was a hollow victory for Japan. Tanaka would be involved soon after in the evacuation of Japanese troops from Gudalcanal, again, handled with the customary mastery of his “profession”. But it was, nonetheless, an evacuation of a bit of land they would never come back to.

Anyway, I had fun boring everyone with that bit of my own DOSBox nostalgia! LOL!