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The Internet Archive website has added another 2,500 MS-DOS games

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Another point scored for game preservation. The Internet Archive have added another 2,500 MS-DOS games you can play right in your browser.

In their official announcement, they said that while they've added a few more to their collection here and there this is the biggest yet and it ranges from "tiny recent independent productions to long-forgotten big-name releases from decades ago".

Weren't aware of it? A lot of it is powered by Em-DOSBox, a port of DOSBox to Emscripten which then allows it to be run in a browser window. Not just that, the Internet Archive is also making use of the eXoDOS project which is attempting to catalogue and obtain practically every DOS game ever made.

It's an impressive feat though, considering the amount of tweaks and testing needed to actually get them all working. Jason Scott from the Internet Archive said they're doing it for "research, entertainment and quick online access to the programs".

You can see their archive of games sorted by the newest right here.

Hat tip to dpanter.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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17 comments
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WorMzy 15 October 2019 at 11:30 am UTC
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Nice!

I wonder if I can find the exact same DOS chess game I used to play on my primary school's PCs ~20 years ago and get a nostalgia hit from it.
linuxcity 15 October 2019 at 12:28 pm UTC
this is awesome,i always use them to get some old magazines i used to read,like compute magazine,the old pc gamers,etc.great place to just get a ton of stuff and store it locally.im really thinking of getting one of my older pc's and just use it as a server to store all those things on.
Nezchan 15 October 2019 at 2:08 pm UTC
Hm. Tried a couple of games, and results were....bad.

Princess Maker 2 gave me badly stuttering sound with SoundBlaster mode, and no sound at all with the other two modes.

Wizardry VII had great sound, but I had zero control over the cursor with keyboard or mouse, so couldn't get past the first menu.

Robotron 2084 is apparently just a demo version (it gives an address in Canada for the full version) and has the same stuttering sound as Princess Maker 2. Also, I figured out how to shoot but not move. Arrows and WASD both non-fuctional so I died fast anyway.

The Hidden Below gave me the usual menu to choose SoundBlaster or other sound options, then led me through a series of menus in German which I think was for more sound-related stuff. It's hard to tell. In any case, this time the sound had an echo. More of a crackle than a stutter as well. Still pretty awful. Game actually worked at least, if a bit slow.

Might and Magic 4 - Clouds of Xeen - Sound is great! Animations run smoothly! An absolute joy for the eyes and ears after all those others. Same problem as Wizardry though, as I can't interact with the menus at all. Pity.

So yeah, not exactly a good experience thus far.
cprn 15 October 2019 at 2:47 pm UTC
Yup, there are minor sound issues... but I played the good old Prince of Persia for a bit and I loved it! Cheats don't work, though...


Last edited by cprn on 15 October 2019 at 2:47 pm UTC
mah 15 October 2019 at 3:24 pm UTC
This project really legal?
I seems, they can't clear copyright problems.
Salvatos 15 October 2019 at 4:49 pm UTC
Every game I’ve tried there has been unplayably laggy, so I’m guessing it doesn’t play nice with Firefox.
Kimyrielle 15 October 2019 at 4:52 pm UTC
mahThis project really legal?
I seems, they can't clear copyright problems.

They didn't say in their announcement, but I can't imagine that it's technically legal, at least I can't remotely begin to imagine the manpower and time needed to track down and contact hundreds of copyright holders to get the necessary permission. And even if it's abadonware, you still cannot make it available in such way without permission. Copyright law is really clear about that you cannot do ANYHING with a protected work, unless with explicit permission or when the law explicitly allows it.

OTOH, I can't see anybody suing them over it, either. These games have no commercial value anymore.
Klaus 15 October 2019 at 7:31 pm UTC
[quote=Kimyrielle]
mah[...] These games have no commercial value anymore.
Not entirely true. Some of them are being sold by GoG still. (Though in the case of Ultima VII, I think I got that on GoG for free at some point.)
Nezchan 15 October 2019 at 7:48 pm UTC
cprnYup, there are minor sound issues... but I played the good old Prince of Persia for a bit and I loved it! Cheats don't work, though...

Minor sound issues, actively painful to listen to...it's a fine line.
Nezchan 15 October 2019 at 7:49 pm UTC
Kimyrielle
mahThis project really legal?
I seems, they can't clear copyright problems.

They didn't say in their announcement, but I can't imagine that it's technically legal, at least I can't remotely begin to imagine the manpower and time needed to track down and contact hundreds of copyright holders to get the necessary permission. And even if it's abadonware, you still cannot make it available in such way without permission. Copyright law is really clear about that you cannot do ANYHING with a protected work, unless with explicit permission or when the law explicitly allows it.

OTOH, I can't see anybody suing them over it, either. These games have no commercial value anymore.

There are a couple of Elder Scrolls games in there (I saw Daggerfall and Redguard at least), and I dunno if Bethesda are the sort to just look the other way even if they're not still selling the games.
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