Blood: Revenge against the Dark God

by George 4. April 2016 07:55

The First Person shooter game has a fascinating plot and a dark but compelling story line. You are Caleb, a merciless gun fighter who has to pave his way in a cruel world, at the age of 17. One among the top old DOS PC games this is divided into several ‘episodes’ based on the story and your purpose as Caleb is to navigate through multiple levels in order to take revenge against the dark lord. Large rewards await you if you come across those hidden secret areas in the game. The game features a large collection of weapons ranging from ordinary guns to bizarre objects like voodoo dolls. 
In course of the game, Caleb meets Ophelia, a victim of assault by the dreadful Cult of Tchernobog. Her husband and child were killed and house burned. He was not moved so much by her rugged beauty as her story that she conveyed during her incoherent mumbling. Eventually, he falls in love with the girl and takes her in.


The game begins with Caleb rising from a tomb, and declaring ‘I..live..again’. He boards a train, Phantom Express, from the “Miskatonic Station”, and later ends up blowing the train as he fights his way forward. The game is filled with horror and cruelty filled themes. While on the path back to the Hall of the Epiphany, which is fraught with peril, Caleb faces numerous puzzles, foes and challenges. Caleb can’t accomplish his mission alone, of defeating Tchernobog. The combined power of the Chosen, a cult, will drive their fate to victory. The protagonist awakens and finds himself cold and damp. He is a complete stranger to himself; his master didn’t let him die. Filled with rage his scream resonates with that of his master; WHYYY!!?


Gameplay
The game permits both single player and multiplayer gaming with the help of LAN, modem or serial cable connection. Blood is one of the most addictive old DOS PC games. The player passes through a range of explosive barrels, puzzles, combination lock doors, dodging lava pits and crushing blocks to venture ahead towards the next level.
It is one of the earliest games to facilitate secondary attack modes. The ‘super secret’ areas in the game are difficult to find but possess great reward for the player.
The game incorporates 4 episodes each one made of 9 levels, 7 normal levels while the other two as a secret and a boss level. Most part of the game scenario resembles the 20th century cities, like pubs, museums, civil buildings, mall, mills and hospitals. Some levels consist of Victorian or Edwardian architecture. You may find yourself on board a train on a certain level while in a haunted house in another. The last episode of the game occurs in a setting surrounded by evil temples also featuring ceiling and floor made of blood and flesh. During many scenes in the game, enemies are blown into pieces and rains down on you. Heads are chopped off and kicked around showering blood. The game ensured a violent atmosphere in every theme. The fantasy element found in most old DOS PC games is not missing at all in the ‘Blood’.


The last episode
The player finds himself in a strange land with a laboratory which supposedly is owned by a mad-scientist. Diving into an aquatic lab he ends up in a charnel house. Reaching the final showdown, Tchernobog’s voice could be heard saying “I have awaited you” and asking to kneel before him. Caleb throbbing with rage battles the dark god and finishes him.
If you are a lover of old DOS PC games, you definitely cannot miss this one.

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How to play old games.

by George 22. January 2011 12:11

With modern operation systems(OS) based on Windows, Linux or MAC OS, you mostly cannot play old games designed for MS-DOS or old Windows distributions like Windows 3.1 or 95. This article shows your the possibilities of how to play those games.

If you have an old game and an OS that cannot play it properly, you have following options:

Emulator

This option is mostly reasonable for DOS games even when there are some Windows emulators for Linux or MAC. Emulator is a program, that can run a different  program in an environment typical for this program. For example MS-DOS emulator for Windows can run MS-DOS programs in Windows environment.

The best DOS emulator you can find is definitely DOSBOX. About 70% games run in default configuration and you can customize settings for almost every old DOS game. There are several PC emulators like BOCHS but they mostly have poor performance and you will probably not be able to play more complex games. PC emulator is a program emulating a complete PC, with a DOS image, you can boot up a whole new virtual computer. Those emulators are quite ineffective in compare with virtualization mentioned later. You can google some more stuff if interested, just look for "DOS emulator" or "PC emulator" for your system.

Something a little else is VDMSound Project. It emulates old sound card and other hardware to allow playing old DOS games directly under Windows. Unfortunately, this emulator is currently not working with Windows Vista and 7. But if you have NT/2000/XP system it's definitely worth a try,

DOSBOX

I will focus on DOSBOX DOS emulator because it is a top of all possible emulators. DOSBOX is available for a wide range of OS including Windows, Linux, MAC and even Solaris is supported. There are also a lot of different frontends available to download at dosbox page. Complete documentation is available here. We will focus here only at some specific options.

When you install DOSBOX, you can play your old games pretty easy. In Windows, you can drag&drop game executable file at the desktop icon and the game will start instantly, detailed description is located here, with workaround for other OS. DOSBOX has some shortcuts to enter/leave fullscreen, change graphics, etc. those shortcuts are available here. Take your time to browse the documentation a bit, it cannot hurt you. Those basic information will be enough to play a wide area of games. Some games however require some special settings to work. every DOSBOX installation contains a configuration file. Name and location can differ based on OS but when you find some game not working with default settings, you will have to change it. Please note, that you will need a specific configuration file for every game that don't work with default settings. You can use program parameter -userconf to load a specific configuration file. Please keep in mind that there can be multiple .EXE files located in your game directory. Refer to the game manual about the meaning of every file if not sure. When you start a DOSBOX without a parameter, you will get a DOS shell. All commands you can use are listed here. You can also use some utilities, take a closer look at MOUNT (for mounting disk devices including CD-ROM), CONFIG (For managing configuration files) and KEYB or IMGMOUNT can be pretty usefull.

Virtualization

In computing, virtualization is the facility that allows multiple operating systems to simultaneously share processor resources in a safe and efficient manner, a facility generically known as hardware virtualization. In the late 1990s x86 virtualization was achieved by complex software techniques which overcame the processor's lack of virtualization support and attained reasonable performance. In the mid 2000s, both Intel and AMD added hardware support to their processors making virtualization software simpler, and later hardware changes provided substantial speed improvements. Source: wikipedia.org

Virtualization is a good option to run both Windows or DOS games. You just have to setup a virtual machine and install an old Windows distribution or a simple DOS. Ideally install Windows 95/98 if you have some and you will get a DOS boot capability for free. If you wish to install a DOS only I recommend FreeDOS. It's free and has a lot of modern useful tools included. You can get a nice full distribution packed to an ISO image.This method is unfortunately much more complex and requires some basic skills with OS installation and with DOS OS. Anyway there is a project called RetroUSB that can be very helpful since you can boot an image directly to you virtual machine without a further configuration.

There are several virtualization tools that you can get. Windows users will probably choose a VirtualPC because it can do the job fine and is available for free. A simple guide is already available at our Blog here. There are several other tools like Xen or Qemu but they require advanced computer skills to get them to work. See more information at their web pages. The most suitable solution for all OS is definitely VMware. It is basically not for free, but they offer a VMware player for free that is sufficient for our purpose.

Compatibility mode

This option is for old Windows games that cannot be run normally. This can be done under Windows only. Modern Windows OS have a mode called "Compatibility mode". In this mode, you can simulate an environment of older Windows systems like Win95. Some old Windows games for Win95/98 or even earlier will work in this mode. You may be even lucky with some newer DOS games.

You can set a compatibility mode for an old executable you wish to run that was designed for Windows 95 or even older. Some DOS games can run too but don't count on it too much. To initiate this dialog simply select preferences of the executable you wish to run. Selecting all checkboxes is usually a best choice but you can experiment with it.

Further discussion

You can discuss your related questions in this forum thread. I will eventually expand this article.

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