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.pcplaygro.../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.ne...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".
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.
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!
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, 02 August 2006 - 14:35.