The ruling class.
Learning how to use a Hex editor to hack save game files.
Learning the distinction between big-endian and little-endian (by trial and error) when evaluating the field used to store experience.
I came here to remark that I never owned an Amiga, nor a Neo Geo.
The himem and config.sys setting and trying to squeeze another few kb from somewhere to get some Ultima game to run.
Wait... what is the FIRST most-elite caste of the gaming master race? Did I miss something?
Well, doi... I'm still playing Nethack and seem to re-install DosBox every few years.
Gaming pushes tech (and tech skills) and the DOS-era was no exception.
Bruce "Extended Memory" Young
I remember the night I downloaded the Doom shareware from a local BBS and got it running for the first time, sitting in my parents' den, absolutely unable to believe that a game could be THAT scary.
DOS gaming...and you have a pic of AMIGA work bench disk? huh
Take out the mouse driver to squeeze even more mem to run whatever game I had fancy.
Push the "turbo" button to cheat at shooter type games.
Scream at IRQ or plug and play settings when they conflict with the COMs which you also need for other devices you had running at the time.
Pong modders, obviously.
Pre-DOS: Anyone up for a few hours of M.U.L.E?
Bard's Tale, Might and Magic, Ultima and the D&D games (Pools of Radiance, etc.) all used up huge hours of my life. I didn't do much with hardware, but I did teach myself to code in GW-BASIC to try to make games of my own. Unfortunately for a while I thought I could only have a single variable named Counter. Wow did that make coding hard on my 10-year-old mind.
That article's a nice little mix of memories. Two of them combined for me - being rubbish at keyboard dexterity so being happy just to watch the neighbor play instead. He would spend the agonizing hours on each screen, then the next day I got a quick and fun walk-thru. Made the Last Crusade seem so simple, just breezing through the catacombs.
This reminded me of a time once in my teens going back to a shop after buying a game (mid nineties I guess) and a guy in the busy weekend shop taking time to not only explain but to write down various things I could do to the autoexec.bat and creating boot disks, etc. to solve the problem. Is there a modern comparison?
DOS? Really? In my day, real hackers were fluent in machine code.
I once used a hex editor to recreate, as best I could, the map from ULTIMA 3, my copy of which got scraggled.
Half of the map was messed up. I used the editor to create giant grasslands in roughly the shape of Sosaria, or whatever the place was called.
I had a list of town locations, so I was able to navigate to them. I remember having to re-edit the map to move the southern shoreline of my map down a bit, because Skara Brea (?), the magicians' town that only appeared during certain phases of the moons, was blinking into existence in the ocean.
I never could get past the Big Nazi at the castle... Sigh.
1994-95 were the golden years of gaming.
Jazz Jackrabbit, One Must Fall: 2097, Warcraft, Under A Killing Moon, x-com, Descent, Terminal Velocity, Full Throttle, Command and Conquer, Black Thorne, Cannon Fodder, Cool Spot, Heretic, Doom 2, King's Quest VII, Master of Magic, Mortal Kombat II, Raptor, Sam & Max Hit the Road, Sim City 2000, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Master of Orion, Rise of the Triad and Jagged Alliance.
If you knew how to edit a .bat file you had every game worth playing back then.
I'd say us TRS-80 gamers were more 'leet than those DOS gamers.
Still, by the time some of those XVGA PC games came around, even Temple of Apshai, Apple Panic, Voyage of the Valkyrie, Sea Dragon, Empire, Cosmic Fighter, Attack Force, Deathmaze 5000, and Armageddon 1998 started looking a bit long in the tooth.
Thanks. Just one casual mention and now I'm going to have that midi M.U.L.E. song running through my head for the next few hours.