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Three Moves Ahead Episode 154 – Unfrozen Caveman Gamers

February 4th, 2012 by Rob Zacny · 21 Comments · Podcast, Three Moves Ahead


Recent Good Old Games releases have gotten Rob thinking about what he wants to rescue from the past (besides Troy, that is). Julian doesn’t think the distant past is the big problem, it’s the games of the late 90s and early 2000s. Everyone agrees the LucasArts situation is a disgrace. Troy says Alpha Centauri doesn’t hold up all that well, and is swiftly nerve-stapled and loaded into the Punishment Sphere.

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21 Comments so far ↓

  • Roke

    Again a good show. It’s relaxing to go back to a regular show panel every once in a while. Rise of Nations is one of those games I haven’t played even though a friend recommend I play it about a year ago. Time, inconvenience, laziness and worries about running into the problems Troy had with multiplayer means I haven’t tried to go out and buy it.

    It’s not strategy game related but I did jump through the hoops to play my copy Tie Fighter in the fall.

    It took 3 attempts, downloading a couple packages from Microsoft, downloading a fan-created patch (thank God for the guy who put it together), creating an image of my CD and putting the fan patch files on it, and closing the Windows Explorer executable every time I booted up the game so the colours would not be messed up.

    It was worth every step. What a great game that is.

  • Adam D

    The one series I want to see return more than any other, though it was more tactical than strategy, would be Mechcommander. I’d be happy with just another linear campaign of well done missions, but if it was possible to get an actual strategic campaign as well that’d be awesome. They even had the current trend of RPG like levelling up for your pilots before it became the new hotness that every game seems to need nowadays.

    Best thing about them is that the availablity problem some old games have isn’t an issue as FASA and Microsoft released them both online for free a few years ago, though there might be some problems with backwards compatability:

    Mechcommander Gold

    Mechcommander 2

    They even released the source code for MC2
    Link 1: http://www.shacknews.com/file/8404/mechcommander-2-source-release
    Link 2: http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?DisplayLang=en&id=11457

  • CaptainCat

    It pains me that Imperialism I/II are not available anywhere. Brilliant strategy games that I know have a special place in 3MA’s hearts. I fear they will never see the light of day on GOG. They don’t rank very high on the game request list and I am not sure any of the major publishers hold the rights. Anyone know who owns this property? It seems like it might be this little team: http://www.sidecarstudios.com/index.html. Are they defunct?

  • CaptainCat

    Hmm…looks like Ubi holds Imperialism I/II:


    And Ubi is on GOG so I guess it might not be impossible to see it on there someday.

  • Republic

    I was glad when Starflight I and II popped on GOG, but it is a shame that no one has tried to re-create that style of play. Space Rangers is the closest we have now, but it just isn’t the same. Starflight was a unique ship based rpg/adventure with even some strategic resource management threads.

  • Clay

    CaptainCat, you can download both games from this page: http://thedailyimperialist.net/downloads .

  • ShadowTiger

    There is a recent thread at the Fallen Enchantress forums about the beta and how it compares to Master of Magic and do the rose tinted glasses fog our perception.


    I am glad that GoG is resurrecting games. Planescape torment used to sell for $100 on amazon, there was this phenomenon of prices skyrocketing as the last few physical copies were sold out.

    I am thinking about picking up an RTS called Rising Kingdoms from this company http://www.haemimontgames.com/games/index.html and I noticed that their older titles are only available on amazon as boxed copies… that seems weird to me, especially since Tropico 3&4 are on steam.

    The main games I am waiting for are Grim Fandango and Day of the Tentacle.

  • phunkee

    You may complain about LucasArts, but they did an amazing job with the remastered version of Monkey Island. And that’s something I’d like to see done to more classics. Revisiting old games usually ends up with “Did it really look that bad?” and “The UI/controls sucks!” LucasArts really managed to keep the sacred stuff while also making it fun to play for both new and old gamers.

  • Cautiously Pessimistic

    Another game I’d like to see dug up is Sundog: Frozen Legacy. Since I didn’t have a PC at the time, I couldn’t play Starflight. Though Sundog didn’t have the crew aspect, and was far more limited in scope, it still provided an amazing amount of verisimilitude at being a space trucker hauling cargo and keeping your ship patched up and running.

  • Skyrider68

    First, an admonishment to one Rob Zacny. I can only hope the open disrespect to your gaming elders was complete jape. As a fellow “gaming geriatric” and patron of the program, I can assure you there is a rocker waiting for your gaming salad days to conclude, Mr. Z. One day, young, virile teenage males will chortle when you fondly reminisce over that dusty, cobweb covered game in your bookcase that actually was sold in stores on physical media way-back-when. They will have a good laugh, and you will have an epiphany that you too have gotten “old” like the rest of us. Enjoy the short ride. :-)

    Next, I thought it was an interesting observation by Julian that the inventory of *quality* titles in GOG’s strategy section is disappointingly low. Yes, there are some good ones there, and admittedly, negotiating the rights to resurrect all of it is not a given. But in a genre such as strategy/war where many of its finest titles have gotten by on the merit of truly good gameplay, and not so much on audio-visual flash, it seems like a bit of a paradox that we don’t have more on the menu at a place that claims to celebrate “good old games.” I would think there still has to be more strategy classics from the old DOS era lying fallow, there to be recovered, retooled, and re-released, and it would not be as labor intensive getting it to run on modern hardware as some of the more flashy games of the time.

    A few more suggestions from the “old-timers” out there? What other top-notch strategy would you like to see for sale on GOG? Or is just too old and crusty to bring more of it back? Panzer General 2 forever?

  • Wes

    Republic: Have you not played Star Control 2? Classic game, and very much like Starflight, though much better in most people’s opinions I should think. Much closer to Starflight than Space Rangers is.


    (Star Control 1 is less RPG-ey)

    Not sure if it still holds up, mind you.

  • Chris Floyd

    Does Star Control 2 HOLD UP!? Heck yes, it does! Better than anything out there.

    However, don’t buy it from GOG. Google “Ur-Quan Masters” and get the community-managed updated version with voice overs and bug fixes. Yes, it’s legal.

  • Danjuro

    I am too old a timer to play stuff on processor chewing more than 8-bits. I wonder – rhetorically – if there is a market for GoG to wander into an Atari 800 M.U.L.E. or Seven Cities of Gold offering, or an Apple II Pirates! (!) one (the Gold version remake being horrible and all that – here, have some meta fog of perception!).
    All those games, which I have the fondest memories of and kept playing them through over the years when I got the mean to, have in common the crucial point – to me at least – Julian made : to be able to build up one’s own narrative in a game.
    I was amazed by Alpha Centauri for that exact same reason when I played it : no big drama or 300 pages in-game litterature. Only little citations put there to help you make up your own fantasy world.

    Anyway, I am really looking forward to an hypothetical Myth show.

    I remember so fondly the Myth”s” multiplayer. I seem to recall there was a lovely multiplayer network, or maybe it was only the second game. The series left a big print on me because the multiplayer wasn’t mere 1 on 1 games, but FPS flavored deathmatch affairs with multiple opponents, which is something I never had experienced, nor have had the joy to experience since then.

  • Ginger Yellow

    Myth is definitely one I’d like to see rereleased, mainly because the series somehow completely passed me by at the time and I keep hearing on podcasts like this how amazing it was.

  • Jon

    Believe it or not Starcraft 1 is still pretty strong in Korea. It’s still on TV and all the best Pro players are still playing it.

    Partly this is because SC1 is generally considered a better and deeper competitive game. Partly this is inertia. And partly it’s Blizzard vastly overplaying their hand and trying to get a cut of every tournament and broadcast. They’ve since loosened up somewhat and it’s looking like SC2 may eventually pick up in Korea. People expect the current pros to slowly filter over, probably within the next two or three years.

  • Vince

    Anyone else miss Warlords II Deluxe?

  • CaptainCat

    By the way, I believe that Julian mentioned Fallout not being on GOG.com. Both Fallout I and II are on there.

  • Grobstein

    Danjuro, are you aware of the M.U.L.E. remake at http://www.planetmule.com/ ? It has updated graphics but seems to retain all of the gameplay of the original, and has online multiplay.

  • Peter S

    No love for Emperor of the Fading Suns? That is possibly the most unique 4X strategy game ever made — certainly the most unique space strategy game before Distant Worlds.

    Interesting discussion on the future availability of the current generation of games. I don’t think they’ll completely disappear; at worst, they’ll end up on abandonware sites like so many classics did in the pre-GOG days.

  • Bruce

    Emperor of the Fading Suns is one of the very few games for which I saved the box, manual, and CD together, because it seemed so unique that I just wanted to preserve it somehow. The AI was completely unable to play the game (much like Master of Magic, or Civilization V) but as a multiplayer game it was amazing. Some wacko named Tom Chick wrote this FAQ for the game back in 1997 on an IBM Selectric Internet typewriter. http://www.the-spoiler.com/STRATEGY/Holistic.design/emperor.of.the.fading.suns.1.html

  • Grendarl

    @Vince. If you miss warlords, you can go to warbarons dot com

    Two swedes remaking the game in webbrowser. Its in beta, but fully playable (has been for two years). I love it