Getting DOS Games to Run

For several reasons, running DOS games was often frought with difficulty unless you had an up-to-date computer - the main cause was that during these times technology and innovation were progressing at a great pace. Ever faster clock speeds, new buses, minimum main memory, minimum video memory, 3D accelerators required, etc. Most games would have a sticker on the box that gave you an indication of what specifications your computer needed to meet in order to play the game. Sometimes these 'minimum system requirements' were coupled with 'recommended' system specs, so as long as your computer would sit somewhere between the two you could usually install and play the game.

On these pages, I hope to document in more detail how to get certain games running on original equipment, as much of these details are difficult to find today. For many titles, you can run it in DOSBox successfully and this does take the pain out of setting everything up if you simply want to play the game and then switch it off. I personally enjoy the challenges of working with the original hardware and overcoming the odds to get things working on a 'real' retro PC all these years later.

If you have knowledge of a specific game and how to get it running, you too can feed into these pages - do let me know and I'll add it in here.

Oh, and I have included a bunch of early Windows games too. These are suffixed with an asterisk (*).

Click a game from the list below, or click here to view a list of games by release year:-

4D Sports Boxing (Mindscape, 1991)
Age of Empires (Microsoft, 1997)*
Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings (Microsoft, 1999)*
Alone in the Dark (Infogrames, 1992)
Alone in the Dark 2 (Infogrames, 1993)
Alpha Centauri (Electronic Arts, 1999)*
Another World (Interplay, 1991)
AV-8B Harrier Assault (Domark, 1993)
Baldur's Gate (Interplay, 1998)*
Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (2000)*
Blade Runner (Westwood Studios, 1997)*
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (1996)
Cannon Fodder (Virgin Interactive, 1994)
Carmageddon (Interplay, 1997)*
Centurion: Defender of Rome (Electronic Arts, 1990)
Civilization (MicroProse, 1991)
Comanche: Maximum Overkill (Novalogic, 1992)
Comanche 2 (Novalogic, 1995)
Command & Conquer (Westwood Studios, 1995)
Command & Conquer: Red Alert (Westwood Studios, 1996)
Day of the Tentacle: Maniac Mansion 2 (LucasArts, 1990)
Descent (Interplay, 1994)
Dig, The (LucasArts, 1995)
Doom (id Software, 1993)
Doom II (id Software, 1994)
Duke Nukem 3D (3D Realms, (1996)
Falcon 3.0 (Spectrum Holobyte, 1991)
F-117A Nighthawk: Stealth Fighter 2.0 (MicroProse, 1991)
F-15 Strike Eagle II (MicroProse, 1989)
F-15 Strike Eagle III (MicroProse, 1992)
F-19 Stealth Fighter (MicroProse, 1988)
Formula One Grand Prix (MicroProse, 1992)
Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist (Sierra On-Line, 1993)
Full Throttle (Lucas Arts, 1995)
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (Sierra On-Line, 1993)
Gabriel Knight II: The Beast Within (Sierra On-Line, 1995)
Gabriel Knight III: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned (Sierra On-Line, 1999)*
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure (LucasArts, 1989)
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (LucasArts, 1992)
IndyCar Racing (Papyrus Design, 1993)
IndyCar Racing II (Papyrus Design, 1995)
Jones in the Fast Lane (Sierra On-Line, 1991)
King's Quest 1 (Sierra On-Line, 1985)
King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne (Sierra On-Line, 1985)
King's Quest III: To Heir is Human (Sierra On-Line, 1986)
King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella - AGI version (Sierra On-Line, 1988)
King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella - SCI version (Sierra On-Line, 1988)
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! (Sierra On-Line, 1990)
King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow (Sierra On-Line, 1992)
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride (Sierra On-Line, 1994)
Legend of Kyrandia: Book One/Fables & Fiends (Westwood Studios, 1992)
Legend of Kyrandia: Book Two/Hand of Fate (Westwood Studios, 1993)
Legend of Kyrandia: Book Three/Malcolm's Revenge (Westwood Studios, 1994)
Leisure Suit Larry 1 - VGA (Sierra On-Line, 1989)
Leisure Suit Larry 2 (Sierra On-Line, 1988)
Leisure Suit Larry 3 (Sierra On-Line, 1989)
Leisure Suit Larry 5 (Sierra On-Line, 1991)
Leisure Suit Larry 6 (Sierra On-Line, 1993)
Links: The Challenge of Golf (Access Software, 1990)
Links 386 Pro (Access Software, 1992)
Monkey Island 2: Lechuck's Revenge (Lucasfilm Games, 1991)
NASCAR Racing (Papyrus Design, 1994)
PGA Tour Golf (Electronic Arts, 1990)
Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel (Sierra On-Line, 1987)
Police Quest 2: The Vengeance (Sierra On-Line, 1988)
Police Quest 3: The Kindred (Sierra On-Line, 1991)
Quake (id Software, 1996)
Railroad Tycoon, Sid Meier's (MicroProse, 1990)
Rollercoaster Tycoon (MicroProse, 1999)*
Sam & Max: Hit the Road (LucasArts, 1993)
Screamer (Virgin Interactive Entertainment, 1995)
Screamer 2 (Virgin Interactive Entertainment, 1996)
Secret of Monkey Island, The (Lucasfilm Games, 1990)
Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe (LucasFilm Games, 1991)
Simon the Sorcerer (Adventure Soft, 1993)
Sims, The (Maxis/Electronic Arts, 2000)*
Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter (Sierra On-Line, 1986)
Space Quest I: Roger Wilco in the Sarien Encounter (Sierra On-Line, 1991)
Space Quest II: Vohaul's Revenge (Sierra On-Line, 1987)
Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon (Sierra On-Line, 1989)
Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers (Sierra On-Line, 1991)
Space Quest V: The Next Mutation (Sierra On-Line, 1993)
Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier (Sierra On-Line, 1995)*
Star Wars: TIE Fighter (LucasArts, 1994)
Star Wars: X-Wing (LucasArts, 1993)
Syndicate (Bullfrog, 1993)
Theme Park (Bullfrog, 1994)
Wing Commander (Origin Systems, 1990)
Wing Commander II: Vengeance of the Kilrathi (Origin Systems, 1991)
Wing Commander III: Heart of the Tiger (Origin Systems, 1993)
Wing Commander: Privateer (Origin Systems, 1993)
[Wing Commander: Privateer 2: The Darkening (Origin Systems, 1996)