The Might and Magic series (I’m not counting the Heroes of Might and Magic spin-offs here, which I really don’t much care for), has been around for a long time. The first game of the 9-game series was released back in 1986, making it about 23 years old now. That’s what you’d call fairly venerable in gaming terms.
The ninth (and so far the final) game in the series was released in 2002. There was also a first-person action spin-off called Dark Messiah of Might and Magic (recommended). But for the moment, it’s the first six games that concern us here today.
Though DOSBox is probably the best way to run old DOS software (particularly old DOS games) on pretty much any system or Operating System, it can be a little bit on the daunting side, being that it is all jam-packed with options. Options you don’t want to have to wade through.
It doesn’t actually have to be a big deal if you’re on Windows, because there’s a companion tool that will make things a whole lot simpler.
I leafed through my reports. Fully seven of our colonies on two planets were suffering damage and loss of life from attacks by the native animals and even plants. Originally there had been nine colonies on those worlds, but we’d had to abandon New Hope and New-New York.
While I’d been taken aback by the power requirements of the defensive shields the technical team had developed, I’d just now approved the construction of a siphoning facility that would allow us to generate vast amounts of power resources from the local gas giant, possibly even making some of our local power-stations redundant, if we could get the logistics right. A key part of the plan, however, required getting materials to the facility for maintenance. Chief Scientist Patel had proposed mass-drivers to tackle that part of the transportation chain.
What didn’t sound good was Patel and Officer Williams arguing about whether to destroy or study the series of alien towers that our exploration teams had found on the planet below us. One of them was very close to our primary colony and seemed somehow to be linked to our current problems.
Whatever I chose, I knew I wouldn’t hear the end of it in a hurry.
For the impatient, let’s start with Virtual Apple is awesome and you should run off and tinker with it right away.
For anyone who is still left, Virtual Apple is really awesome. Off you go!
Wait, what? Some of you are still here? Oh, alright then.
Virtual Apple is a Web-site with over 1300 Apple II and Apple IIgs disk images, and an embedded emulator that works on most browsers and systems. You can play a lot of old Apple II games from the 1980s right in your Web-browser, or you can download disk images from the site to work with a local emulator.
For simpler games, you can just load the page and start playing. For more complex ones (games that require custom player disks and the like) you might want to download the images and an emulator for your system… but Virtual Apple allows you to sample most of these treats before committing to the (admittedly microscopic in modern terms) download. One or two of the images online won’t work due to copy protection (Earth Orbit Stations comes to mind) but a local emulator may be able to bypass such fuss.
Yes, Apple II games were not the most sophisticated. It was an 8-bit system with limited sound and graphics capabilities, and very little memory to go on with. That said, you can find some real gameplay treasures in the archive (many of which deserve remaking).
The Web-based emulator itself has gone through numerous revisions, so if you’ve visited the site in the past but have been away for a while, it is worth checking out again.
Now, go on and get out of here and spend some quality time with Virtual Apple.