Play really old games on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 with DOSBox

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DOSBox, play old games
How to play old games like The Blues Brothers

We all love old games. It’s a nostalgia thing from when we played those really old games on our 286 (or older, like an MSX) computer, either using floppy disks or cassettes/cartridges. There is nothing much sysadmin about this, it’s all about FUN! You all remember Airborne Ranger, Operation Wolf, Blues Brothers, Gunboat and The Lost Vikings, right? …

PC retrogaming how-to for 64-bit Windows – and Linux!

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Play Old PC Games #

Recently I discovered myabandonware.com. My Abandonware is a website hosting thousands of old video games from 1980 to 2010. I found computers games I played years, years and years, ago…

However, old games on a modern computer can be a “bit” of a problem. Some of you might remember running Airborne Ranger on a 486 or Pentium computer, and the game played waaay too fast… Not to mention 16 bit back then, versus 64 bit Windows or Linux nowadays. And that’s were DOSBox comes in. DOSBox is an open source DOS emulator for BeOS, Linux, Mac OS X, OS/2, and Windows. Primarily focuses on running DOS Games.

All you need to run these old games on your modern day x64 Windows 7, 8.0, 8.1 computer is:

  • DOSBox
  • some old games, download from My Abandonware, or buy from GOG.com
  • time (probably a day or two, let’s say the whole weekend, because it’s fun!)

I’m not providing a full installation guide here, it’s too straightforward for that. Install and run DOSBox is all you have to do, along with setting up a proper directory structure in your C: root of course. I chose c:\oldgames\.

One thing I’d like to mention is: DOSBox 0.74 gave me some headaches at first. It just sat there without producing any screen output. I changed the shortcut properties to run it under Windows XP Service Pack 3 Compatibility mode.

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Want a full screen DOSBox? Just press ALT+ENTER.

Play the Blues Brothers with DOSBox on Windows 8.1 x64 #

or any other old computer game!

Here are the screenshots of running Blues Brothers:

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Mount your old games directory: mount c c:\oldgames

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Enter the mounted oldgames directory (c:) and list its contents: dir
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Enter the Blues Brothers directory and list its contents: cd blues, list all executable files: dir *.exe (run 1.exe to start the game).

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DOSBox, play old games
How to play old games like The Blues Brothers

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Command & Conquer on Linux with DOSBox #

Here is how to play Command & Conquer on Ubuntu 16.4 LTS, or any other Linux flavor. First you need to install DOSBox:

apt-get install dosbox

Hereinafter, you obviously need the CD-ROM. No worries, you download these from The Internet Archive for free! Here you find the original Command & Conquer by Virgin ISO’s:
https://archive.org/details/Command_And_Conquer_1995_Virgin

Create a folder for your games, for instance:

mkdir -p ~/dos/c

I have my game ISO’s somewhere else:

mkdir -p ~/iso/games

Start DOSBox Emulator, mount your games folder as c:

mount c /home/jan/dos/c

Mount your downloaded C&C ISO (either one):

imgmount d /home/jan/iso/games/cenc1.iso -t iso

Run the C&C installer:

d:
setup.exe

Change dir to where you’ve installed Command & Conquer, and start the game:

c:
cd c&c
c&c.exe

Play DOSBox in full screen
To play in full screen mode in DOSBox you have to press ctrl + F10 (lock mouse to DOSBox) and then alt + Enter.

Please note: DOSBox developers spend a lot of time creating this x86 emulator. For free. If you play old games using this emulator, be so kind to make a small donation to them.

Javascript DOSBox implementation #

The Internet Archive put 2386 MS-DOS games online, which you can play… in your browser! Yes, that’s right, they’ve created a javascript implementation of DOSBox, to let you play old games in your browser. Cool he! Classics like Doom, Budokan, Prince of Persia, Lemmings, Wolfenstein and Leisure Suit Larry are in the archive available.

In total, over 2300 games are in the MS-DOS archive. Go check it out!


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