Favorite Video Games from Childhood

Favorite Video Games from Childhood

I’ve been on a bit of an older game kick lately, playing some of my favorites that I had when I was growing. At least the ones that I can get to work on a Windows 7 machine. Some of these games hold a lot of memories for me, and so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites.

Star Wars: X Wing / Tie Fighter

Star Wars: Tie FighterBoth X-Wing and Tie Fighter were, honestly, the best Star Wars games to come out in pretty much ever. And I don’t think they’ve really been topped. Seriously everyone reading this had to have played these games, and if you haven’t I feel sorry for you. They did a really great job of putting you in the cockpit of the Rebels and the Empire.

I’m not sure how hard it would be to get these games to work on modern systems, though I suspect it might not be possible. Also there were DOS and Windows versions, so it may depend on which one you have.

Star Trek: Elite Force

Star Trek Voyager: Elite ForceRight around the end of the 90’s is when we got a bunch of really good Star Trek games. This was a great FPS, the single player played like an episode of Star Trek. I’m not the biggest fan of Voyager, but it was still fun running around the corridors of the ship, it really felt like you were there. The combat was pretty much your standard Quake 3 Arena type, with a Star Trek skin over it. Lots of memories of hanging out with my gaming clan in this game, ‘photon jumping’ (rocket jump) over walls, lots of CTF matches. Man those were fun times.

Getting this game working was a piece of cake, it was mostly just setting compatability mode and running the game as administrator. Full instructions here:

Star Trek: Starfleet Command 1 / 2

Starfleet Command box art

Based on the Starfleet Battles board game, these games were freaking amazing. Interplay really had it going with quite a few great Star Trek games. The style was more of a naval combat space simulator, with very slow, lumbering large starships fighting for positioning, while weakening enemy shield arcs.

Because the game was based on Starfleet Battles, there were factions like the Lyrans, Hydrans, Mirak and Interstellar Concordium, in addition to the Klingons, Romulans and Federation. There were also many different weapons than what we’re used to in Star Trek proper, such as missiles and mines, that play a huge role in ship combat.

I played these games so much, and multiplayer was crazy fun. Part of the reason I bought Star Trek: Online was because it looked like they were taking some cues from Starfleet Command for the ship combat. But it’s just not the same really.

I can get SFC2 installed and running easily enough, just set the compatibility mode and run the program as administrator. I haven’t tried SFC1 though, can’t seem to find the disc.

Star Trek: Klingon Academy

Star Trek: Klingon AcademyKlingon Academy is pretty much a prequel to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The story covers the events leading up to Gorkon becoming Chancellor of the Klingon High Council. You take the role of a cadet named Torlek, and are taught starship command by General Chang himself.

Getting to see David Warner and Christopher Plumber reprise their roles in this game is just awesome in itself. Michael Dorn also plays a role, though only as a voice. Besides the story and video sequences, the gameplay itself is awesome. When you first start out in the smaller, more agile ships, it feels more like a space fighter sim. As you progress into larger ships, the feel of flying becomes more sluggish, as it should with such large, bulky ships.

This was after the Starfleet Command games came out, and many of the ship designs from that game, show up again here, which I just love. Blowing chunks out of your enemies is so very satisfying. I wish more games like this had this level of destruction. And you’re not just flying in empty space either. Battlefields contain asteroids, planetary rings, even black holes.

I’ve found that it is actually possible to get Klingon Academy working on modern (at least Windows 7) machines, some patches are required. All the instructions can be found in the link below if you’re interested.

Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

Star Wars Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast JK2As far as I’m concerned, this is as close as we’ve come to having a game that really makes us feel like Jedi. The lightsaber combat was superb, force powers were awesome, and the community, well that’s what really made the game for me.

The game starts as just a Star Wars skinned Quake 3 Arena engined FPS. A sequel to the game Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, you take the role of Kyle Katarn, as he regains his connection to the Force, grows his powers, and his lightsaber skills.

I still remember the first time I came across a lightsaber wielding bad guy, and the chill that went up my spine as our blades clashed for the first time. That was some amazing gameplay. Also, if you ever switched back to a gun after getting the lightsaber, well you’re just doing it wrong then.

Because of this game, I made a group of friends for life. I happened to be one of the members of They Might Be Jedi, and we were not just some ordinary gaming clan. Our server was a place to hang out, chat, duel, play around. One of our biggest rules was, if there’s no saber up, you don’t attack. It would always be fun punishing rule breakers, hehe.

I don’t think there’s any issue getting this game running on modern systems. You may have to change the compatibility mode and set the game to run as administrator, similar to Elite Force.

So what were some of your favorite games from long ago? Did you happen to play any of the games above?


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