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Classics for free

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Posted (edited)

NOTE: I'm not very actively updating the top post anymore. Please follow the development of this thread by checking the latest new posts instead. But feel free to browse through this post first to find many goodies to get you started!

Last update: 22-May-2006 (see below for details)

Please PM me if you find a broken link!

25-Mar-2004: Linkstealers have been discovered! Someone who is not me posted the early beginnings of this thread on Jun 19, 2003 at http://www.pcplayground.com/ftopic625.html.

Additionally, some poor sod cut'n'pasted parts of this post to this location, without even bothering to preserve the links! How SAD is that?!

The ONLY and REAL URL of this thread is http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=65246 and the real thread starting date is 10 Mar 2003.

ACCEPT NO IMITATIONS! :)

My aim with this thread is to gather a lot of confirmed freeware releases of old commercial or unreleased games by their developers/publishers. As there have been many interesting developments on this front recently, I found it appropriate to start a thread about it.

Ever since this thread was started, and even long before that, I have been actively seeking out old developers whose games I think are especially well worth preserving. The response has been very encouraging, and some companies have promised to look into releasing their oldies for free. Others already have. This thread proves that contacting your favourite developers and asking politely does make a difference! So to all of you out there on the forum who haven't yet joined this effort - do so now!

Some games listed are really old and requires quite a bit of tech knowhow and additional software to get working on today's hardware. So perhaps I'd better label this thread "some assembly (pun intended) may be required". :geek:

If you're having any trouble with a game, post your questions in this thread and I or someone else will try our best to answer them. Also review the thread so the questions haven't been asked and answered already. Happy gaming!

NOTE: Post only confirmed and verifiable legal links in this thread. We don't want it locked because of some clueless poster.

REVISION HISTORY

02-Aug-2006: Woe is me... looks like this post has been cut short, either unnoticed during an edit or during some server maintenance. Most of the games that were listed here are also listed at LiberatedGames.org, so please go there for the time being, and read the rest of this thread for a lot more goodies. I'll take some time to update this post with the rest of the games soon enough, but as it'll take a while and I don't have a backup of the original post, don't hold your breath. :(

22-May-2006: Just some spring cleaning. I also want to thank everyone who continues to contribute to this thread. You know who you are!

21-Sep-2005: Added Battlecruiser Millennium. Did some cleanup of semi-unconfirmed entries.

15-Apr-2005: More spring cleaning. Nothing big. Added note about Shadow Warrior source code to 3DRealms entry.

14-Mar-2005: Just did some spring cleaning... removed unconfirmed games and links to unofficial sites that were not confirmed.

21-Jan-2005: Added "Treasure Island Dizzy" to Codemasters section! Yay!

17-Jan-2005: Corrected some links - thanks to gorron of oldgamesitalia.com!

12-Jan-2005: Bungie (of Halo fame) released the entire Marathon series as free downloads on the 10th of January. Thanks to jvm of Liberatedgames.org and to putzboy for the notice.

10-Jan-2005: Fixed borken links to Rockstar's games, and added GTA2 to Rockstar section. Thanks to madd_matt for pointing out that the URLs had changed!

News from previous years have been deleted to save some thread space...

-------------------------------------------------

With the current trend of old developers releasing their old classics for free, I thought it'd be nice to make a thread where we can share with eachother our knowledge of companies offering old commercial games as officially approved freeware.

Of course, that goes for both PC games and other games playable via an emulator.

PLEASE NOTE: Some emulators require firmware images that are not in the public domain. In order to use those emulators, you need to A) acquire a legally licensed firmware image from the hardware manufacturer OR B) own a real hardware unit from which you can extract the firmware image, and suitable dumping tools (sometimes hardware-based) to do so. Even if you do own the real unit, you can not download a firmware off of the 'net - you must dump it from your own unit.

Also, do read the rest of the thread for a lot of nice releases, including unofficial remakes of classic games!

GAMES

Here's a few companies that have gone beyond the call of duty and given something back to their fans:

Bungie: Released the entire Marathon series as freeware on 2005-01-10. The Marathon series was the Mac's answer to Doom and its spinoffs. The original Marathon engine source was released under the GPL in 2000, and a multiplatform engine (Aleph One) has been developed to allow Marathon to take advantage of modern graphics cards through OpenGL.

Get "The Marathon Trilogy" @ bungie.org

Get the "Aleph One" engine and source code for your platform @ bungie.org

Note: The "Marathon Trilogy" is available in two flavours: the original Mac versions (which are not usable on a Windows PC) and a set of extracted data files for Windows that can be used with the open-source engine "Aleph One". If you want to play both the original versions on your Mac, and the Aleph One versions on Windows, you can save some download time and unpack the Mac .sits on Windows using StuffIt Expander.

Note though that the original Marathon is not compatible with Aleph One, only Marathon 2 and Infinity are supported. There is however a ported version of the Marathon scenario that can be used with Aleph One. The links are on the Marathon Trilogy download page.

Codemasters: Celebrating their 18th anniversary, Codemasters graciously released an up-to-date remake of their hit Commodore 64 game "BMX Simulator". In addition, as a gift to the community they released "Treasure Island Dizzy" in December 2004. Relive the 80s! These are the actual games from the C64, wrapped in a CCS64 executable.

Note: Before you can download anything, you need to register a free account with Codemasters!

Get "BMX Simulator" and "Treasure Island Dizzy" @ Codemaster's site (free registration required)

Altar Interactive: A developer house from the Czech Republic. You may not know them by name but they are actually the team behind "UFO: Aftermath" (the latest game in the X-COM series). Fish Fillets is a puzzle game similar to Humans or The Lost Vikings, or even the classic Lolo series from the NES. You control two fish (whose faces resemble those of Mulder & Scully of "X-Files") with different characteristics, they need to cooperate to solve puzzles. The big fish can move heavy objects, the small fish can get through tiny passages etc., and together they must solve puzzles to get to the exit. The gameplay is non-linear and branches into several paths. If you get stuck on one puzzle you can go back to a branching-point and try another path. With 70 brainbending puzzles and a story parodying X-Files, you'll have plenty of laughs with this one. It runs under Windows (98, 2000, XP) and Linux.

The game has been released as freeware and open-source under the GPL.

Get "Fish Fillets" (a 275 MB download) @ FilePlanet

Get the original source code and a Linux version @ Fish Fillets NG at SourceForge.net

See other players' comments and compare your highscores @ Altar Interactive

Funhouse / Cliff Johnson: Famed puzzle developer most well-known for his storydriven puzzle game "The Fool's Errand". He offers three of his classic puzzlers (The Fool's Errand, 3 in Three, The Puzzle Gallery) for DOS, Mac and Amiga (in ADF of the new IPF format) for download on his website, and optionally you can buy all of the Funhouse games (for Windows, but not runnable under XP without a hosted 9x environment such as Virtual PC or VMware) on one autographed CD via PayPal (also includes Hanna Barbera Cartoon Carnival, Merlin's Apprentice and Labyrinth of Crete).

Get the downloadables, manuals and all that @ Cliff Johnson's official website.

Bethesda Softworks: Most recently famous for the sequel "Morrowind" and their game adaption of the license for "Pirates of the Carribean". Their current free offering is the original "The Elder Scrolls" game, "Arena".

Get The Elder Scrolls: Arena @ the official The Elder Scrolls website!

Or get it @ SUNET's FTP archive here.

Edited by cappuchok

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Posted

An old classic, StarControl II had its source code (from the 3DO version) released under the GPL.

People have since revamped the code for the PC (as The Ur-Quan Masters).

http://sc2.sourceforge.net/

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Posted

These aren't original games released for free, but shouldn't be missed anyway :)

Warblade Great PC sequel to the Amiga classic Deluxe Galaga.

Giant Sisters PC version of Great Giana Sisters. One of my favourites :)

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Posted

nice bit of spyware that site likes to add to let you download

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Posted

badall: Which one of the sites are you talking about? Underdogs certainly doesn't require a special software to download stuff. If it's one of the other sites, please issue a specific warning about it.

ss1: already mentioned Underdogs. FS2 is a great game, though.

I'd like to once more encourage all forum readers to contact as many of your favourite game developers as possible, asking them to release out-of-print titles for free download on their homepage. For one thing, it will look much better on the company than if some 'abandonware' site carries it on its own server, and secondly, it will effectively stop the notorious IDSA from harassing honest sites like back2roots who even have official licences from the publishers.

Some good companies to target:

Revolution (Lure of the Temptress, Beneath a Steel Sky)

Team 17 (Just look through their softography: lots of great out-of-print titles to convince them to release!)

Digital Illusions (Pinball Dreams/Fantasies/Illusions, Benefactor...)

UDS (Liquid Dezigns) (Slam Tilt, Obsession, Absolute Pinball...)

Housemarque (Bloodhouse+Terramarque) (Elfmania, Stardust, Super Stardust)

Keep up the good work everyone! :D

'Nostalgia! ... Nostalgia! ... Nostalgia rule the world!'

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Posted

Hi cappuchok,

I would like to see some of the Team 17 Alien Breed titles available, Now that would be cool, I used to play them all the time on my old Amiga 1200. :laugh:

Also I used to think Superfrog from Team 17 was great also. :yes:

Kind regards

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Posted (edited)

If anyone feels like dropping Team17 a line, I personally think it would be best to mail Martyn Brown. Granted, he's not the Managing Director, but of the Directors, I think he's the only one who was active in the Amiga days (at least the only one I ever heard of back then), and so he may be more receptive to our ideas.

Mail form to Martyn Brown

Remember: Be polite and honest or you won't be helpful in reaching the desired goals. :happy:

I'll post more useful email adresses as this little community 'project' progesses. :D

Edit: I just remembered that Team17 released many of their games for the CD32 platform, which is now being emulated in WinUAE given the correct ROM files. And they have also left out one good title in their softography: Arcade Snooker, which was only released on a CU Amiga coverdisk, but was just as good as Arcade Pool (and suspiciously similar-looking).

Edited by cappuchok

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Posted

cappuchok,

I have emailed Martyn Brown about the old Team 17 games, this is what I sent :

Hi Martyn,

I'm emailing about the old Amiga Team 17 Days, you know the classics like Alien Breed, Superfrog, etc.

We have forum thread on Neowin.net regarding publishers releasing their old games for free, ie: the ones that don't sell any more but are still classics like Alien Breed.

You can find the thread here :

http://www.neowin.net/forum/index.php?act=...=0entry671778

The original version of GTA was released as a free game on the publishers site recently and we as a community were wondering if Team 17 would release any of the old Amiga classics of yesteryear for us gamers who like these classics.

Please let me know your thoughts on this subject so that I can pass them on too the others taking part in this thread at Neowin.net.

Kind Regards

Andy

as soon as I get a response I will post it here. :rolleyes:

Kind Regards

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Posted

anyone know where else i can download free space 2 ? underdog.com is a bit slow

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Posted

Man, i can't make heads or tails out of this Amiga Emulation business. Ugh! I give up. lol

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Large:

I've also sent Martyn Brown a similar (though somewhat longer) mail today, and he responded promptly:

Cheers for your interest & enthusiasm. Its something we've looked at but

simply not got around to doing. We're aware that images of all our games

are doing the rounds on emulator sites and as such had left it at that

for the time being, knowing that people were playing our games anyway.

Of course this falls short of officially saying it's ok and carrying

images ourselves and we would look to do that when we get the chance.

Three cheers for Team 17 and Martyn Brown, everyone! Let's hope they make good this 'almost-promise'.

Keldyn:

If you don't own an Amiga yourself, you have three options as I see it: 1) Forget it. 2) Get an Amiga and learn how to transfer BIOS and disk images to your PC; or 3) Buy Amiga Forever from Cloanto, that way you won't have to worry about configs, BIOS or anything (unless you want to). And their 'plus' pack also includes everything needed for CD32 emulation and a very nice software to mount an Amiga as a network device in Windows. Yay!

davemania24:

Have patience, get a good download manager (Leechget is great for Underdogs once you turn off the multipart download stuff), and use the force. :laugh: You might want to take a look at http://www.firstones.com for a very promising Freespace 2 mod set in the Babylon 5 universe.

On the main topic, I've also sent mails to UDS and Digital Illusions asking their position on releasing old games. I'll post their replies as they arrive.

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Posted

Lets hope Martyn and Team 17 will do it ! :yes:

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If anyone got a PSU for Amiga500, send it my way... cat chew of the cable and it blew a year ago :)

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Hi cappuchok,

I would like to see some of the Team 17 Alien Breed titles available, Now that would be cool, I used to play them all the time on my old Amiga 1200. :laugh:

Also I used to think Superfrog from Team 17 was great also. :yes:

Kind regards

They are available on BH Legend well Alien Breeds are at least ...

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Posted

I think it's appropriate at this time to clarify the goals and means of this little 'project'. I hope this will help you all to aid the community more efficiently in achieving the goal of this campaign. So bear with me.

I recently read a very disturbing article in the biggest Swedish gaming mag. It was titled "Cultural dusk", and mentioned over several pages how the great games of yesteryear are disapperaing at an increasing rate without even the publishers keeping copies around. They compared this with the fact that at least in Sweden, and most likely in any other country, all published magazines, books and movies must be sent in at least one copy to a central library for safe keeping and future reference. There is no similar repository for games. Nor are the original consoles or computers that the games ran on preserved. At the same time, the article mentioned, the traditional resistance against emulation and retrogaming is waning even among the previously toughest opposers. They in fact cited an interview with the CEO of Nintendo, where he said concerning emulation: "We think it's great that people are still playing our very oldest games". (I wouldn't take this as an OK to download NES roms, but at least they're not going all-out to stop the emulation phenomenon anymore). But still, even with this signalled change of attitude, the publishers are still reluctant to provide the game media images themselves.

The authors of the magazine suggested that we the gamers must act now to force the industry into accepting and embracing the fact that out-of-print games must be released for free on the web and out-of-print computers and consoles must be preserved somewhere easily accessible in each country, for the public to enjoy, and to thus create a means for future generations to follow the global history of the computer gaming industry from its cradle.

Based on the above, I think it's time to revive the basic spirit of my university project: to make the publishers and developers act to preserve their own games. With Rockstar releasing GTA Classic ( :woot: ), we've seen at least one company do all of what I just mentioned. If one can do it, the others can too, even if those with larger numbers of old games might take more time to prepare their releases.

If the companies really think it's OK to spread their old games, they should make images from original media and post them on their own site for other sites to just catalogue and link to. That way the companies can keep track of the popularity of their old games, and the users won't have to wade through tons of intros, cracktros, trainers and other unofficial stuff to get the games going, and the IDSA won't have anything to complain about and can concentrate on fighting real piracy.

Keep mailing your favourite developers. Don't be abusive. Tell them politely what we want, and leave it up to them to act on the feelings of their fans.

Whew, that was a long post, but I just had to say it. I'll shut up now. ;)

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Posted

Moved

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Another developer/publisher has stepped forward in the fight to keep out-of-print and commercially unviable games alive by releasing them in their full form for free.

CORE Design, a developer & publisher responsible for some of the greatest hits in computer gaming history, has agreed to release all of their games for the Amiga CD32 platform on this site:

http://www.isoclassics.com

For now you can download Chuck Rock 2, but all of the CORE CD32 games will be downloadable from there shortly. Certainly great news for the Amiga emulation community and all the people out there with real CD32's or A1200/4000's with IDEfix installed!

So go ahead, download, and stay tuned for more CORE goodness! :cool:

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Posted (edited)

I've sent a mail to Codemasters (and by extension Sensible Software) asking them basically the same question as I asked Martyn Brown.

I'll post the reply if/when I get one. :)

I've been searching for ways to contact Activision (by extension Raven, Infocom and a few others), Accolade (part of Infogrames) and Westwood, but found none. If anyone can find me the email adress of anyone in charge of any of those companies I'd appreciate if you post them here or PM me. Or, if you feel like it, contact them yourself, but remember: be polite or we won't get positive response.

Keep up the good work, everyone.

Edit: I've also mailed the excellent folks over at CORE to ask for more information on their decision to release their CD32 line of games. I'll post their reply if/when it arrives in my inbox. ;)

Edited by cappuchok

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Moved

lol sorry...this has nothing to do with topic...just made me think of SNL and Nick Burns...the company computer guy

"MOOOOOOOOVE!"

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Posted (edited)

Chaos Engine (1 & 2) by the BitMap Brothers (whatever happened to them btw?). These games ROCKED! I can still hear "NODE ACTIVATED" rumaging in my head. Anyone knwo if there is a STAND ALONE version of this game out there anywhere? I am sure there are some ROMS, but what emulator for what system?

Here's one of my old favs.

Abuse - Great game! (they were also working on a game called Golgatha I think? never played it...). Anyways, one of the BEST side scrollers I ever played. Actually used mouselook in it!

Abuse - http://abuse2.com/downloads.php3 WOOT! WOOT! GIVE THIS GAME A TRY!!

sshot1.jpgsshot2.jpgsshot5.jpgsshot4.jpg

Edited by Wolvereen

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Posted

An old classic, StarControl II had its source code (from the 3DO version) released under the GPL.

People have since revamped the code for the PC (as The Ur-Quan Masters).

http://sc2.sourceforge.net/

OMG You're god! I was going to ask something about Star Control, and low and behold, here it is :) You rock!

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Posted

well i think all companies should send a copy of every game they publish to me. i will then start the Gaming Hall of Fame along w/ the Gaming Library. :yes: thats a very good idea :)

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