My time travel adventure, and how I broke the universe 15 replies

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Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#1 8 months ago

I've been in full nostalgia mode for the last few months. It's come to a head today as I've apparently broken the timeline, so I'm going to regale you with my time-travelling adventures. If you're not a fan of misty-eyed twats waxing historical, fuck off elsewhere. I don't care.

So then. Given that I have an abundance of time and not a lot of imagination, I've been delving into the ancient archives of bullshit that constitute all of my worldly possessions.

It started out innocently enough. On another website I browse frequently, one of the affiliate links led me to an article announcing that they were re-mastering the original Age of Empires. People in the comments section mostly criticised it, unsurprisingly, for not being Age of Empires II. Well, duh. There's a reason we stopped playing the first one.

The walls didn't even have fucking gates on them, for crying out loud. There was literally no point building them!

While I dismissed the article as being stupid pointless nonsense, it did remind me of one thing.

Mr. Matt does not ever throw anything away. Ever. Even when he perhaps should do.

He also talks about himself in the third person a bit too often, too.

To my surprise, they still worked. That familiar old InstallShield window popped up, mystifyingly retaining its blocky Windows 98 interface despite being on a new operating system, and everything loaded up just as it should. The only problem I noticed was that the installer was a teeny bit confused by the size of my laptop's hard-drive, but then, that's what she said.

At this point you may be thinking, "oi, shitlord, they've made an HD version that's objectively better you numpty!" To you, I say this: "you're fucking doing nostalgia wrong, you cockwomble". If you load it up via Steam, or some other convenience that didn't exist in the way-back when, then you aren't doing nostalgia properly! Pull your head out of your arse!

I immediately loaded up a custom match between myself, using the Britons, and the computer, lumbered with the Franks. Besides the sea being purple (which was fixed with a restart), everything went fine, and 60 Elite Longbowmen with trebuchet support made short work of the smarmy French bots. Just as it should be. The crappy synthesised music, the villagers proclaiming "builden?!" in total surprise whenever I asked them to just do their fucking jobs already, that horrible rattlesnake noise whenever your farms all run out of food at the same fucking time, the pathlosing... it was all just as it was. I was happy. The French were dead at the hands of English longbowmen. All was right with the world. 

Except that there were no tanks. Tanks make all games better, right? Right! I remember holding this opinion back then, too, and that I later found a solution. Sure enough, I hadn't thrown out that solution either.

Fuckin' yeah. Tanks. Look, there's one right there on the cover! Fuck off Age of Empires.

I had a bit more trouble with this one, surprisingly. Couldn't make it work on Windows 10, no matter what I tried. And as we all know, the cool thing about modern versions of Windows is how much they've simplified everything. To the point that it will categorically refuse to tell you what the fuck the problem is. "We've identified a problem". Great. Thanks for the information. Now I know exactly how to fix it.

Anyway, Windows Vista to the rescue! Bet you never expected anybody to say that, huh? But yeah, I had an older laptop with Windows Vista on it, and it booted up like a charm on there after I'd thrown the newer one out of the window. Fuck you, Windows 10. Windows 9 was better anyway. 

I even got my nephew in on this one. He loved it. It's several years older than he is, and it's not fucking Minecraft or whatever the hell 'Roadblocks' is, but he loved it. I even set it up so that we could play online together, and I finally got to nuke the little shit. Just like I've always wanted to do. 

It probably would have ended right there, if my sister hadn't come over and asked if she could borrow my Mega Drive. In pub language, this is commonly known as "opening the floodgates".

No, bitch, you can fuck off. Now that you've reminded me that it's a thing, I need to play it now.

So it was that I jumped further back in time. This was where things first went wrong, I feel. 

After a few days of the Sonics, Alien Storm, Toejam & Earl, Earthworm Jim,Talmit's motherfucking Adventure, and Virtua Racing, I had broken the timeline. Things went from bad to worse. 

I jumped ahead in time and played Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. I jumped back again when I realised that I missed shooty bang-bangs, and dug these out:

Remember those? Yeah. They're still awesome. No Steam bullshit there, either, just InstallShield and weird Sierra logos everywhere. Just pure, unadulterated G-man. I still had the old PC Gamer magazine discs that included the Darkstar and They Hunger mods on them, and gave them a whirl too.

From there I jumped forward in time again, to Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Then back again, this time to the Dreamcast and Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. Then forward again, to Star Wars: Jedi Knight 2. I even started to remember a couple of the online games I used to play, once I'd discovered broadband had been invented. Star Wars: Galaxies has somehow been saved by amateurs and is still going, but it seemed like a lot of effort to get working, just for the sake of nostalgia. Guild Wars 1 wasn't, though - it's still there. And did you know that even fucking Everquest II is still going?!

That's my original character, from 2005... only it's 2018 in that picture! He's still fucking alive! The game itself is an abandoned mess of pay-to-win marketplace prompts and little else, nowadays, but all my old shit was still there. I had well and truly gone down the rabbit hole.

By this point in my journey, I hadn't spared a thought for the damage I could be doing to the space-time continuum. I hadn't considered how I was going to get back to my own time, or if that timeline even existed anymore after my gallivanting through the fourth dimension.

It wasn't until I saw this that I knew I'd done fucked up:

Shit. I broke the fucking universe.

GamingForums? Check. Prodding FT? Yeah, that works too. Mods? Back, somehow. Even my shitty old Armada II mods are on there. I downloaded it, although I don't know why - by now you should probably already have guessed that I still have them all on an old external hard drive. But hey, it bumped up my download stat by one. I'll get into the "top downloaded file" section even if I have to wait until all the other mod authors are dead to do it, god damn it. 

I can't believe this place is back for reals. What's it been now, 20 years? And you're all still here! Well, some of you! The main ones! You even dug Jeff's body up and set him up as some kind of morbid zombie puppet thing! What a way to cap off a nostalgia trip than to come back to this place where I wasted countless years of my life, and find that it's back from the dead. I'm now genuinely concerned that I've fallen into a black hole or something. 

Good work, guys.

What's next? Well, I already know what I'm doing next.

Fuck you, FT. This is your fault.




Last edited by Mr. Matt 8 months ago

FileTrekker Über Admin

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#2 8 months ago

Hell yes!

Haha, that's perfect. I need to get Armada II, Elite Force and some other old Trek games back up and running too, just so I can download shit again. Spending months restoring all this stuff isn't nearly as satisfying as downloading it and playing!

And yes, you did break the universe.

For shame.

Also, when I need to play old games that my PC won't play anymore, I do this, because I'm a nutcase;



Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com



Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#3 8 months ago
Hell yes!    Haha, that's perfect. I need to get Armada II, Elite Force and some other old Trek games back up and running too, just so I can download shit again. Spending months restoring all this stuff isn't nearly as satisfying as downloading it and playing!  And yes, you did break the universe.

y u gotta be like this ft

posted by FileTrekker

For shame.

Also, when I need to play old games that my PC won't play anymore, I do this, because I'm a nutcase;



Holy shit, that POST screen...




FileTrekker Über Admin

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#4 8 months ago

Why, what was wrong with Elite Force?!?


And yes, I don't knob about with DOSBOX, I keep it legit.


Danny King | Community Manager | GameFront.com



Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#5 8 months ago
Posted by FileTrekker

Why, what was wrong with Elite Force?!?


And yes, I don't knob about with DOSBOX, I keep it legit.

Nothing. It's just that I have it sitting on my shelf, and now I have to play that as well. And it's right next to Bridge Commander, so we all know what's happening next.

And yeah, I can't be bothered with that either. Unfortunately, my old Windows 98 machine is stuck in my mother's loft somewhere, and I can't be arsed to retrieve it. Which does mean that things like Starlancer and some of the older games have to be left alone for the time being.

I've even got Commander Keen on... shudder... Steam.




Mikey Über Admin

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#6 8 months ago

FWIW, I can play Bridge Commander on Windows 10. works like a charm. Locked to 1024x768 resolution but it's ace all the same.


PS, welcome back Mr. Matt.


Mikey - GameFront.com - Lead Developer



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#7 8 months ago

Fine! I'll play Bridge Commander, if that's what you want! 




Mikey Über Admin

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#8 8 months ago
Posted by Mr. Matt Fine! I'll play Bridge Commander, if that's what you want! 

Well, uh. I mean. I was just saying it works!




Mikey - GameFront.com - Lead Developer



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#9 8 months ago

Jesus, fine! I'll play it before Elite Force! I'll install it now! Happy?!

I can't get Armada 2 working anyway.  




Last edited by Mr. Matt 8 months ago

Mikey Über Admin

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#10 8 months ago
Posted by Mr. Matt

Jesus, fine! I'll play it before Elite Force! I'll install it now! Happy?!

I can't get Armada 2 working anyway.  

FWIW I had to do BC in XP compatibility mode.


Mikey - GameFront.com - Lead Developer



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