Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Halloween Treats 2011

Just in time for Christmas, let's take a look at some of the Halloween treats currently filling up a trolley-based bargain bin next to your local supermarket checkouts. Sadly, I didn't get the chance to pick up a bunch of candy this year, but I did manage to grab a few new Halloween-themed treats, as well as some genuinely terrifying pop merchandise. It is indeed "time for scary cake", so let's get munching.

Smarties Jack-o'-lantern

The loneliest Halloween candy in the world, here we have a pumpkin-shaped chocolate shell filled with mini Smarties. I quite like the presentation of this, and the Smarties inside are as good as ever, but the fairly thin, bland shell doesn't really add much to them. Buy yourself a tube of Smarties instead. 2/5

Mr. Kipling Demon Slices

Texture-wise, I quite like these; The sponge is nice and springy and the frosting is soft and smooth - perfectly engineered for rapid cake ingestion. Taste-wise though, they're awful. The raspberry filling is fine, but the sponge is far too sweet and the chocolate and raspberry flavoured frosting is just nasty. 1/5

Cadbury Cinder Toffee Cake Bars

As much as I like Cadbury's chocolate, their cake offshoots rarely hit the spot for me. Like all of those, the chocolate coating here has the same watered-down Cadbury's taste. The sponge isn't nearly spongy enough either, with a slightly dry, slight powdery texture. What redeems these cake bars completely though is the filling, which is a deliciously rich, toffee-favoured affair. If you find these hanging around anywhere still, I heartily recommend them. 4/5

Cadbury Scary Orange Cake Bars

Basically the same bars as above, but with a similarly rich orange jelly filling. Decent enough, but the filling isn't nearly orangey enough for my liking though. Also, not that scary. 3/5

Jedward Popping Chocolate Bars

Not a Halloween treat, but horrifying nonetheless, pop dimwits Jedward now have a licensed chocolate bar. But, O-M-G, like, a plain chocolate bar would be like, soooooo boring, so they threw a couple of pop rocks in there too. At last, everyone can experience the taste sensation of Jedward exploding in their mouths. To be fair, this is actually a pretty decent quality chocolate bar. The popping action is kind of weak, but Jedward aside, you could definitely do worse. 3/5

Feel free to use my promo code. I won't be needing it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Archive Raiding: Protoshops

(sigh) I have a feeling I'm going to regret this. :D

Back in 1998 and 1999, in between bouts of playing Doom II, I took my first tenuous steps into the world of Photoshopping. Actually, that's not even quite right; I'd never even heard of Photoshop at the time, or of anyone screwing with photos for comedic effect. Hell, I didn't even have the internet at the time. Somehow I arrived at the idea independently, taking taking a bunch of lo-res images and trying to weave them into (mostly offensive) comedy gold with the crudest instrument imaginable: Microsoft Paint.

These shocking(ly bad) images have never been seen on-line, until now:

White House and Durty Nellys
Last Modified: ‎11 ‎August ‎1999, ‏‎19:54:16

This, my friends, is the very first 'shop I ever made. Not very funny, but I think the photo editing is actually fairly decent for a first attempt. Even my Dad was kind of amused by the results. I was pretty proud at the time too, printing this out and sticking it on my bedroom wall afterwards.

For those wondering, Durty Nellys is a semi-famous pub in Co. Clare, one that we visited a couple of years previously while in the area. Both the White House pic and the Durty Nellys one were taken from Mindscape's World Atlas 6.0, which we'd picked up for our then still-new PC in October of 1998.

Satellite on Collision Course
Last Modified: ‎11 ‎August ‎1999, ‏‎19:51:54

In the wake of what's happened since, a satellite crashing into the middle of a city doesn't seem quite that chortle-worthy any more. But I never thought this was really that funny; It was just something seemingly easy to throw together on an idle Sunday morning. I still managed to balls it up though. I couldn't even manage to spell "footage" right. :D

Sadam and Adolf Movie
Last Modified: ‎11 ‎August ‎1999, ‏‎19:49:00

Because nothing says "funny" like crazy-ass dictators. (You can definitely tell I was a big South Park fan at the time.) Having said that, I'd still probably go and see this, mostly just to see what the hell it actually was. I have to imagine the English/Russian/German hybrid language it's apparently in provides a lofty linguistic barrier to get over though.

Stalin Scandal
Last Modified: ‎15 ‎August ‎1999, ‏‎16:25:28

You know what's funnier than dictators in space? Implied bestiality.

I remember throwing this together one Saturday afternoon, showing off to a mate I had over. Man, erasing backgrounds, pixel-by-pixel in Paint - He must have been bored out of his fucking mind. Mind you, this was the same mate I made sit through the whole Ocarina of Time ending. He was probably used to it at that point.

Eiffel Tower
‎Last Modified: 01 ‎January ‎2000, ‏‎15:42:38

Sorry, France. I was just kind of pissed off at being forced to learn French at school at the time. Wrecking your national monument with some crude airbrushing certainly showed those teachers a thing or two though.

If you press your face right up against your monitor, you might be able to see that I copied and pasted several of the people in front of the tower multiple times. I'm not really sure why. I guess I was drunk on photo manipulating power at the time. And why wouldn't I be with a cover-mounted version of Ulead Photo Express now at my disposal?
And just like that, we're done. Not too long after I made this, my whole focus shifted over to birthing my atrocious web site on some newly acquired web space and churning out dodgy content for said site. My Protoshopping days were over.

I do remember two more of these that existed at one point though. One was a statement proclaiming the shitiness of the school I was going to back then, with all the teachers signatures 'shopped in from a sick note I had at the time. The other, which I'm not sure if I actually ever saved, was the Mona Lisa with a Hitler moustache and Nazi armband. Yep, real highbrow stuff. The world will never know what it missed out on.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great (Cheesy) Moments in Marketing

So, every now and then the dairy companies here put out an ad to remind people that cheese still exists. Last year they did just that and came out with this...thing:

Now, I wouldn't say I hate children, but the combination of these four photos of this gurning little bastard angel never fail to send me into a page-eviscerating rage.You know what would be a more effective ad for cheese than pictures of a mugging, little cretin's "cheesy moments"? Anything!

That's not even my only problem with the ad. "Packed in my lunchbox, in a tasty sandwich, or just as a snack - it tastes great any time of the day!" This kid really spun that obvious line of marketing spiel when they asked him about cheese? What does that mean anyway? "It tastes great any time of the day" - His favourite thing about cheese is that its flavour isn't time-dependant? That it doesn't taste like poop between six o'clock and seven thirty and scorched pubes after eight?

Looking at just the ad, the "what's yours?" also seems to stick out as a bit of weird grammar, given the fact that the kid has multiple cheesy, irritating moments shown here and not just one. What's actually happening here is that the ad is doing an really poor job of asking people to submit their own photos, to a contest running on the website at the very bottom. They really expected people to decipher this on their own?

I guess a few people must have though; It's still up at the moment, with a page of genuine-looking, winning pictures on it. I would have entered myself too, but it's actually damn hard to hold a camera steady with a brie wedge squelching around in your ass crack. (Now that's a cheesy moment.)

Oh, and also,

enjoy never sleeping again.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hey, How About Some Random DKC 2 Screens?

Being a bit short on space, I've had my SNES hooked up to my PC via a TV card and an RF cable for a few years now. I was never really happy with the picture quality though, so I decided to get a composite cable to hook it up instead back in August. I managed to find a cheap, knock-off version of the original cable on eBay for a few Euros and while I was testing it out, I took a few snaps of Donkey Kong Country 2 running through it. To be honest, I don't think the cable made huge improvement, but it did eliminate the need to fine tune the SNES channel's frequency to fix the picture all the time -  a huge improvement in itself.

So anyway, let's check out those screenshots:

(Sigh) Never forget.

It was 1998 by the time I got around to playing this, but I still thought it looked incredible at the time. These beehive levels were easily amoung the prettiest.

Ferrying the Kongs around as Squaks was a pretty cool mechanic, but man,...

Fuck those zingers!

And finally, here's Dixie bolting towards the roller coaster in Target Terror. Is it just me or does Dixie not get nearly the recognition she deserves? That helicopter ponytail was pretty much the best thing in the game, and DKC 2 was a freaking awesome game. (Screw the haters.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dos Title Screens: The Final Chapter

Besides the freeware games I had in 2008, I also screencapped the title screens from the handful of retail and demo DOS games I had at the time to use as folder pictures. What can I say? I didn't have a whole lot going on at the time. :D I present these images to you now, with links to the game's demo underneath if there is one:

Command & Conquer

While you can hit up the link above for the DOS demo, I should probably mention here that EA have actually released the Windows versions of the first three Command & Conquer games as freeware in the last few years. You can get those from the following links:

Command & Conquer
Command & Conquer: Red Alert (Soviet Disc | Allied Disc)
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun

Cannon Fodder

Cannon Fodder 2

Championship Manager 2: 97/98

Commander Keen: Invasion of the Vorticons

Doom II

Hit the jump for more.

Video: Outback Boogie in Malebrawonga

Over the past few weeks I've been on a crazy campaign of sorting out and tidying up all my old stuff. During the course of that, I decided to dig out try my hand at digitizing a cassette copy of Outback Boogie in Malebrawonga, a long out of print Zig and Zag single, released in Ireland in 1992. After two nights of fiddling around with a hi-fi, an extra long audio cable and Audacity, this is what I came up with.Yeah, not great and I don't have the artwork either, sadly.

Man, are RTÉ ever going to re-issue this stuff? If they put out a collector's edition of Never Mind the Zogabongs for Christmas, with the non-album singles included, I don't see any way it wouldn't do well for them. If they actually put in a bit of effort, maybe added a DVD with the music videos and a bit of a making of documentary or better yet, the also long out of print Nothing to Do with Toast video, they could have a Christmas No. 1 on their hands.

Hell, if the released that version of Never Mind The Zogabongs digitally, we could make The Christmas No. 1 live up to it's name once again, wiping the smiles off the faces of thousands of X Factor-loving children (and idiots) the country over, and in the end, isn't that what Christmas is all about?

Retromags Non-Release: Total Game Boy Color Issue 2

Damn it! That'll teach me to have a look through the Retromags downloads section before embarking on a new mag. Assuming it was too obscure for anyone to have, I ploughed into the process of scanning in this old Game Boy Color-focused magazine from 1999, digitizing about twenty pages and cleaning up two, before I discovered that wonderman had beaten me to the punch by a few months back in June. Not that I'm mad or anything; I just wish I'd checked first so I'd be further along with my next scan now. Well, seeing as I put a bit of work into it I thought I'd share the two almost-finished pages here for your viewing pleasure.

The magazine itself, I don't remember being particularly good. I didn't get that far into it scanning-wise, but the first few pages feature a entirely fabricated story on the nature of the Super Game Boy 2, as well as the repeated use of a promo shot featuring the most 1999-looking kid of indeterminable gender you're likely to see today. So, basically a mixed bag then.

Like most gaming magazines I ended up picking up in the late 90's, this randomly appeared in my local supermarket for a few issues and with no internet access or a decent newsagent anywhere around, I eagerly snapped them up and spent weeks pouring over them. The result of which, in this case, was me coming to the conclusion that I absolutley needed to get a Game Boy Colour. Looking back, I'm damn glad I held off until the Game Boy Advance rolled around. The GBC didn't really last candlelight and I'm struggling to come up with even ten games worth owning on it. I've got to admit it: did look pretty cool though.

(That lime green one was pure sex.)

deviantArt Updates 20/10/11

Man, has it really been almost a month since I posted anything on deviantArt? Well, never mind, today I'm making up for it with probably the most deviations I've put up in one day since I joined. On the older side of things today we have Flowers, a wallpaper I made in 2000 of some of my (bad) secondary school art work; Doodles 3, a set of doodles from about 2008 that I recently scanned in from a few old sketch book pages; and Core, one final image I made with Peter Blaškovič's Flame program in 2010. Based on a crappy photo I took in September, Roller Tray brings things a little more up to date in a nice, trippy fashion. While Negadoodles comes from a sheet of doodles I drew only last Wednesday to test out some old biros and highlighter pens. The original version I quite liked, but turning it negative gave it a really cool look, I think. Also: Westlife breaking up; The Stone Roses getting back together. Final proof that there is some justice in the world after all. :D

Monday, September 26, 2011

Video: Wossie Pimps Office XP

It occurred to me, as I was watching Microsoft's terrible gaming promos on the Microsoft Football disc a few weeks ago, that there was another Microsoft promo in my possession that needed to find it's way to YouTube. On a U2 sampler given away with the Sunday Times in 2001 was an extensive, multimedia extravaganza touting the merits of the upcoming, at the time, Office XP. The big draws of this presentation were undoubtedly the two videos featuring British TV's Jonathan Ross.

The first one serves as the intro to the whole thing, as Wossie tells us why he needs the miracle that is Office XP to organise his busy showbiz life. In the second, he poses questions about the new wonder software to the disembodied voice of Tom Baker, before signing off with the most cringe-worthy, self-congratulatory (on Microsoft's part) line imaginable.

I'll take that bet, Jonathan. Believe me, I will. :D

Screamer (PC) Save File

I think I may have hit a brick wall with my conquest of World Rally Fever at this stage. Literally, there's a series of fucking walls in the middle of one of the Pro Cup tracks that I can't for the life of me avoid. :D I did, however, beat another hard, old-ass PC racing game called Screamer the other week, unlocking the rocket car and the Afterburner difficulty in the process.

If you want to check out this game-breaking ride, or indeed the everyone-has-a-rocket-car mode without the soul-crushing difficulty that would otherwise entail, I've put up a copy of my save file (with instructions on how to use it) here. Enjoy!

Free Stuff: Freeware DOS Games Part 3


A neat little game where you pilot a spacecaft on a series of gap-filled, obstacle-ridden space roads by moving from left to right, jumping and adjusting your acceleration as necessary. This is one of the few games here that I actually put some decent time into and I'd definitely recommend it. Not a huge fan of the music though - sounds like they re-purposed some tunes from a scrapped adventure game or something.

SkyRoads Xmas Special

A holiday-themed version of SkyRoads. The levels seem to be completely different here and you get an added dose of festive cheer.


The original SkyRoads game. It's looks quite a bit more dated than the others, having been released in 1990, but it plays identically and it's just as fun.


This is sort of like Pac-Man, if Pac-Man could shoot at ghosts and had about thirty hits before he bit it. You'd think that'd make this way easier, but the plentiful, aggressive enemies, clunky controls and the pitiful rate at which you haul your ass across the maze make this pretty frustrating to play (at least from the little I've played of it anyway).

Squarez Deluxe!

A sort-of upside down Tetris where you move shapes from a box at the bottom of the screen and try to from 3x3 squares with them. Playing it now, I screwed myself within minutes, blocking the box off and preventing myself from moving any shapes onto the play area. Seems alright though.


A horizontal shooter that straight-up starts up with a Star Wars opening crawl. It looks like you might need to tinker with the DosBox configuration file to get this one running properly as everything's running way too fast under my usual settings. From what I played though, this seems hard as balls.


A puzzle game quite similar to Heartlight PC from Part 2 of this feature, except that you now play as a red Pac-Man, chewing through circuit boards. This seems quite a bit more polished than Heartlight, with a more manageable difficulty level too.


An Apogee text adventure set on a mining colony on a planet called Barre-An, where you mine barre-an. I guess the message they're trying to get across is that the planet you're on is a lush, green paradise or something.

Taking Care of Business

A puzzle-platformer that seems to mainly revolve around moving boxes (Soul Reaver fans should love it then). The controls seem a bit wonky and even from the first level, I can tell that this'll get insanely difficult later on. Thankfully you can choose to play any level you want right from the start.

Troll's Tale

A text adventure for kids by Al Lowe. It's very similar to several Leisuresoft games they had at my primary school in the mid 90's. I actually started to do a Let's Play of this a few years ago. It's embarrassingly bad, but knowing me I'm sure it'll find it's way on here eventually. :D (Edit: And it has)

Xenophage: Alien Bloodsport

A 2D fighter from Apogee. Graphics look great, but not sure there's a whole lot of depth to the fighting.

And with that, I can finally put my free-game-downloading, title-screen-capturing follies to rest and if it steered some of you guys in the direction of some neat DOS games in the process, all the better. :D

If you've missed out on the first two parts from back in August, you can check them out here and here.

Retromags Release: When I'm Sixty-Four Issue 1

Having been a registered member of the Retromags forum for almost four years without either downloading or uploading a single magazine or indeed, posting on said forum, I thought it was about time I changed that a few days ago and started unleashing a few of the old magazines I have in my small collection for the benefit of all. :D

I'm starting off with a pretty obscure one: the first issue of When I'm Sixty-Four, an Irish N64 fanzine made by a chap called Gearoid Reidy from Co. Offaly. I sent away for a copy of it in the Summer of 1998 after hearing about it on RTÉ's teletext service. I wasn't too thrilled by the bundle of photocopied A4 sheets I got in the post at the time, but looking at it now, I'm really impressed by the amount of work that must have gone into writing, laying out and illustrating this thing. This issue issue alone features lengthy reviews of Banjo-Kazooie, Quake, Snowboard Kids and Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon; retro reviews of Secret of Mana and Donkey Kong Country and even finishes up with first part of an original Legend of Zelda comic drawn by the author.

Sadly I don't know what became of the fanzine after this; maybe this was the only issue. Who knows? After thirteen years, this may well be the only copy of the fanzine in existence. :D Whatever the case may be, you can check out the first issue now over at Retromags. EDIT 23/07/17: Nope, apparently not any more. :D But never fear, I just put a fresh, new copy up on MediaFire:

Download (CBR, 73 MB)

deviantArt Updates 26/09/11

A bumper crop of deviations this week. First up is Doodles 2, a collage of some more college-drawn doodles from 2006/2007 that I came across recently, some of which I forgot I even did. RoboGuy is a slightly more recent drawing from 2009, featuring robot that looks like it may have well been drawn by a ten year old, indulging their fantasies of arm-based mass destruction. :D Finally this week we have Vanishing Point and Highway, two more huge, kaleidoscope images I made while fiddling around with Spooky Guy a few months ago. (Ew!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Microsoft Trailer Dump

Tuesday last week I got an odd urge to get the copy of Microsoft Football that came with our first PC and give it a go with a 360 controller. Despite it being one of the only two PC games we had in 1998, I never played it much because I could never get the hang of the keyboard controls. Thanks to that, I never really figured out if it was any good or not. I guess I haven't put in the time yet to access it's quality, but I can definitely say that the dozen or so terrace chants that loop endlessly throughout the game make playing with the sound on bloody unbearable. :D

Picking the MS Football disc up again reminded me that there were several awesome, and by that I mean really cheesy and terrible, trailers on there for various games and accessories that Microsoft were producing or publishing at the time. Several of them were on YouTube already, but I though the world needed to experience the magic of the others, so I spent the rest of the night capturing and uploading these masterpieces of mid 90s video game advertising. Uh, enjoy?

First up, this woman tells us about her husband's fantasies.

Check out this rotating handle!

Like no other b-ball game!

(That's what the kids call it, right?)

"Video Game Character of the Year"

deviantArt Updates 16/09/11

More wallpaper this week, I'm afraid. :D Fuzzy and Tubes are both bits of abstract wallpaper, both originating from a Paint Shop Pro doodling session back in January and both given a bit of a touch-up last month. Meanwhile over in scrap land, I've uploaded the original, unmodified version of Link's Serenade. Fans of bad Zelda fan art rejoice! :D

Friday, September 2, 2011

deviantArt Updates 02/09/11

For this week's new stuff, I'm taking a trip back to my trusty old sketch pad. To kick things off I've got a double helping of Zelda fan art. Link is a cartoon I drew around Spring 2009 of a slightly cheesed-off Link from the Zelda series. Stretching way further back in time is Link's Serenade, a spruced-up version of a rough drawing I did in 1999 or 2000 of Link trying to win over Princess Ruto's heart with song. (Why Ruto, I don't know; I'd have taken Malon over her or Zelda any day of the week. :D). Lastly is Nerd Rage, another cartoon from 2009, this time of a nerd seething with fury, probably about that Ruto diss.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Backlog Assault: 'Splosion Man

In the last few years I've built up a pretty crazy gaming backlog. This year, I've decided it's high time I do something about it. Join me as I begin to regret more than ever all those impulse Steam buys and 99 cent PS2 bargains:

Title: 'Splosion Man
Platform: XBLA

Bought: 26 November 2010
From: Xbox Live Arcade
Price: 160 points
Beaten: 14 July 2010

Backloggery Dump:
  • 20/06/11 - I'm up to level 3-10 now. Really enjoying it so far.
  • 21/06/11 - Beat the last nine levels tonight. Cool game, bosses were a bit annoying though.

A really solid, lengthy platformer, so much so that I feel slightly guilty for having paid so little for it. :D In it, you play as the titular 'Splosion Man, a mass of burning embers, whose only ability is to explode, which allows him to jump, bounce off walls and kill enemies. You can only explode three times in a row before needing to recharge though.This limitation, along with the rather excellent level design calls for some satisfyingly high-level platforming skill and ingenuity  to get through the game's fifty or so levels. The game does get quite difficult as you get further into it, but the levels are pretty well-checkpointed and deaths rarely feel unfair, which both help to keep frustration to a minimum.

On the other end of the rage-o-meter though are the handful of boss battles you run into at the end of each set of levels. The zoomed-out camera and the dark surroundings during these stages make it pretty hard to keep track of where you are, making it harder to avoid getting hit boss patterns you've yet to learn.Get hit once and you die, forcing you to replay the boss fight from the start - not fun, especially when you're doing it for the tenth or twelfth time.

Boss battles aside, the only other thing that really didn't do it for me here, despite how much it's been talked up, was the game's humour. Maybe I didn't give it a fair chance, but the bibble coming from both Splosion Man and the bosses immediately turned me off and It wasn't long until I headed to the options menu and issued gagging orders all round. The ending FMV and the credits songs are the parts that seem to draw the most praise though and frankly, all that stuff had me staring blankly at the screen and thinking "that's it?"; Tastes differ I guess. None of that stopped me from enjoying the game itself though, which I did quite a lot.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Site Updates

deviantArt isn't the only thing I've been beavering away at for the last couple of months; I've also found the time to add a few new bits and pieces to my web site, and by "new" I mean old crap I dug out of a zip file somewhere. (I do spoil you people.)

Mario 64 Wallpaper

First up is a revamped version of a Mario 64 WP I first put together in the Summer of 2000. Working only with images scanned in from the game's box and manual, the original ended up a bit on the rough side, despite the hours I must have poured into cleaning up that fucking logo. :D

I always liked the basic design though and a few weeks ago, thanks to Paint Shop Pro and two official renders I uh, borrowed from Boo Mansion and Super Mario Wiki, I was finally able to make the wallpaper I wanted to eleven years ago. Go, me!

Video Game History Slides

In 2003, I had to do a presentation for a communications class in college. Being a bit hazy on the pre-NES era of gaming, I decided to take that as my subject in an effort to broaden my gaming knowledge. I don't think the class were exactly enthralled by tales of the Odyssey and the awfulness of E.T., but I still managed to pass and I did actually learn a bit of video game history in the process.

The script I used on the day has been up on the archives page of the site for a few years, but I only got around to putting the slides up (in PDF form) a few days ago. They're nothing too extravagant (I wasn't exactly taking the class I made them for too seriously :D), but they do feature a damn sexy picture of Nolan Bushnell; surely worth a passing grade all on its own.

Pick-Ups 2008

Finally, I've bulked out the rather barebones features page with links to several amazing pieces of blog content from the last couple of years, as well as links to a trio of long, rambling Listal lists detailing my music, DVD and game purchases from 2008 - Lists that were meant to be a quick look back at the year in December, but ended up stretching out all the way until February....2011.:D

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

deviantArt Updates 23/08/11

Things have taken a decidedly strange turn this week with two trippy, holiday-themed deviations dropping into my gallery before we've even hit September. Trippin' on the Moon is a modified, negative version of Santa, a photo of a window-mounted Christmas decoration I took in 2008; After reducing it down into a wallpaper-sized image for my own use, I started screwing around with it and this is what I ended up with. Slightly more timely is Jack-o'-lantern Funtime, a set of four images derived from the same crappy jack-'o-lantern snaps as Evil Glow, available in both single and collage form.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

deviantArt Updates 19/08/11

I'm a few days late posting about these, but better late than never I guess. First up this week we have Softly, another wallpaper, this time featuring some airbrush experimentation I did earlier in the year. There isn't much to it really, but I quite like the colours. Bloom is one of several cool images I made with the kaleidoscope effect in Paint Shop Pro in a continuing effort to find something to do with one of this week's scraps: Spooky Guy. Much like Spray Guy a few years ago, I finally conceded defeat in this endeavour and uploaded this little doodle as as it was on Friday. The second scrap I put up this week is 8-bit, an early version of the right side of Retro, which I uploaded a few weeks ago. While it didn't have the 8-bit computer game look I was going for at the time, I really liked the character I'd drawn for it and later incorporated it into Paint Doodles 2.

World Rally Fever Save File - Pro Cup Unlocked

Given that it's ten years since I bought it, I decided to dig out World Rally Fever again a few weeks ago and have a go at finally beating it. I managed to clear the rookie cup back in 2001, but never got any further. Playing it now, I can see that that's mainly because it's bloody hard.

I've got a bunch of videos recorded and a little bit of a write-up planned for later, but  having finally unlocked the pro cup within the last hour, I thought I'd upload a copy of my save file so anyone who wants to check out the final cup can do so without enduring the keyboard-flinging frustration this would otherwise involve.

Get your copy here, you filthy cheater (full instructions included).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Free Stuff: Freeware DOS Games Part 2

We covered ten of the freeware DOS games languishing on my hard drive last week, how about we cover another ten now?

The Adventures of Maddog Williams in the Dungeons of Duridian

A text adventure with graphics and a movable character on screen. Seems pretty promising from what I've played and it's definitely got a decent sense of humour. I guess sticky keys weren't around when they decided to map attack to the shift key though. :D

Electro Man

Another platformer starring a guy with a gun, a gun you can only fire while it has enough juice from the batteries you pick up. The graphics look really nice, but this doesn't look like the easiest of games to get through.

God of Thunder

A really enjoyable action/puzzle game from what I've played of it. As you might have guessed from the title, you play as Thor as he attempts to thwart Loki's naughty schemes by er, collecting gems and tossing hammers at small animals. Seems to be influenced quite a bit by the overhead Zelda games.

Heartlight PC

A puzzle platformer with some similarities to Dig Dug. Here you need to burrow through levels, collecting all the hearts while clearing spaces in such a way that you don't get crushed by falling rocks or block your own path with them. I love the sort of dark electronic soundtrack, even though it seems completely out of place here. :D

Heros I: The Sanguine Seven

A pretty rough-looking platformer with quite a grating soundtrack. The ability to choose from a set of seven different playable characters seems kind of neat, though I've never spent any serious time playing this and I don't think I really want to either.


A fun single-screen platformer that has you navigating ladders and flying around with a jetpack as you attempt to collect every gem in each level while avoiding being eviscerated by nasty robots.

Major Stryker

A vertically scrolling shooter from Apogee. Some pretty nice graphics, especially in the intro and I quite like the framing device they have going, even though it seems to be disguising the game's inability to run in fullscreen. I'm not terribly good at shooters, but the short distance you can see ahead of you here makes this extra hard, despite the fairly slow pace.

One Must Fall 2097

The game that alerted me to the existence of freeware DOS games in the first place. I've hardly even played this, but it seems like a fairly decent fighter. The music's certainly good though and I really like the anime-influenced presentation.


Another vertically scrolling shooter, this time from Epic. Looks promising and it's certainly more playable than Major Stryker thanks to it's longer play field.

And that wraps it up for this instalment. More to come soon.