Posted on October 15, 2017
Retro PC Gaming – Warcraft II: More War – the Return of the Horde – X:treme Entertainment International (1996)
There is not a lot of information that I can find about this map pack for Warcraft 2. I see some references to it on the normal retro games websites, but nothing with any more detail than any other. Probably the most helpful description is from Adventure Legends:
This unofficial expansion pack contains 100 new scenarios for Warcraft II. Incredible new challenging levels for one of the best selling strategy games. The humans and orcs return once again to battle each other in all new scenarios designed by one of the leading level editors – Cobra. Be prepared of the ultimate battle as you match your skills with other players or alone in fierce sea battles, icy tundras, desolate deserts and challenging dragon slaying conquests. Gamers of all ages will be captivated with over 400 hours of gameplay. Includes modem and network multi-player levels, official cheats, and helpful hints. More war will satisfy the appetite of even the most die hard Warcraft II fans.
Not much about Xtreme Entertainment Intl either. But I do remember playing the add on maps from this cd over LAN deathmatches with my brother. After beating Warcraft 2, it was awesome to get new battlegrounds to fight it out on!
Posted on October 14, 2017
Retro PC Gaming – Unearthed Arsenal: Fantastic Characters and Utilities for Diablo by Micro Star Software (1997)
Today I’m bringing you another hot utilities compilation, this time for Diablo. Unearthed Arsenal was another disk full of trainers, utilities, characters, and cheats for the original Windows 95 Diablo game. I used the shit out of this one as I was obsessed with playing Diablo both single player and via dial up battle.net!
Unearthed Arsenal features new weapons, classes, and utilities to augment a registered copy of Diablo. The main feature is a character hack utility that allows the editing of stats and abilities. This along with a few new magic items and some “new” (edited) character classes tried to fill a need for amateur quality user mods before the internet was widely available to everyone.
I also found an interesting original press release for this addon pack:
THE FIRST DIABLO EXPANSION PACK
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MICRO STAR SOFTWARE RELEASES UNEARTHED ARSENAL
EXCITING ADD-ON COMPANION TO DIABLO™
• Enhanced Elements Created by Diablo™ Enthusiasts
• Internet Access Not Necessary
• New Characters for Single-Player Mode
• Easy Access to Freebie Utilities
(Carlsbad, CA) — Micro Star Software announces the release of Unearthed Arsenal, an add-on that enhances elements of the popular Diablo™ game. Developed by die-hard Diablo™ enthusiasts, the add-on allows the creation of new mythological God-like characters with omnipotent power for gamers in single-player mode without Internet access. However, the “freebie” utilities included in Unearthed Arsenal can be used for multi-player gaming and are available on the Internet. Micro Star’s Unearthed Arsenal and other add-on titles provide a timesaving and game play extending service to the many gamers who do not have access to the Internet.
Unearthed Arsenal contains an arsenal of powerful characters and utilities, including great heroes and gods from mythology, secret powers and weapons to help Diablo™ players stop the forces of evil. Users can descend deep into the lower levels and wreak havoc on the beast. As masters of the Diablo™ universe, players have hours of eternal life–and so do their games.
Because some players with Battle.net (Blizzard Entertainment’s online gaming service) access may choose to use Unearthed Arsenal’s extra characters for nefarious purposes, they have been restricted to single-player mode use only. When using the editor, a disclaimer appears and gamers are asked to agree to restrict usage of the new characters in Unearthed Arsenal to single-player mode only. This disclaimer appears on the main screen of the free character editor every time the editor is accessed. The agreement is required for the editor to actually function. The license agreement specifically states that the editor not be used with Battle.net. Micro Star provides this editor for your own multi-player or local network game play.
However, located in the “Freebies Directory” of Unearthed Arsenal are utilities gleaned from the Internet that were developed by other Diablo™ enthusiasts wanting to maximize their powers in the multi-player mode. Utilities included in Unearthed Arsenal are readily available to anyone on the Internet. Micro Star’s packaging states that the freebie utilities in Unearthed Arsenal are incorporated “as is” and the company is unable to provide technical support for this directory only.
The developers of Unearthed Arsenal are great fans of Diablo™ and Battle.net. They wish to maintain an amicable relationship with Blizzard Entertainment (creators of Diablo™ ) and want to preserve the integrity of the game. Therefore, Micro Star restricts multi-player usage of its new enhanced characters. The company recognizes the fact that Blizzard is not in a position to endorse any add-on titles.
According to Chris Canton, Director of Technology and Business Affairs and Producer of Unearthed Arsenal, “We provide the Diablo™ player with greater game life so that they can explore beyond anything they have ever experienced.” Canton emphasizes that, “Elements of Unearthed Arsenal are intended to enhance the gaming experience for players who don’t have Internet access for local network, multi-player game interaction. It’s intended for gamers who want to take on God-like powers from ancient mythology and play Diablo™ in single-player mode on a console. It’s fun, it’s exciting, and it provides players with access to powers, weapons and levels they can’t experience otherwise. But, I want to reiterate, the new characters included in Unearthed Arsenal are not authorized for multi-player gaming, especially on Battle.net, and are provided as an expansion of game play for the individual user experience.”
Unearthed Arsenal is currently available on CD-ROM exclusively for Windows® 95 at retailers nationwide or directly from Micro Star at (800) 777-4228 for $19.99 (MSRP). A complete registered version of Diablo™ is required. For free technical support for installation and all directories excluding the “Freebies Directory,” call Micro Star at (619) 931-4955 or receive online technical support at www.microstar-usa.com.
Micro Star Software marks a decade of consistent growth in the dynamic software industry. As part of its CrystalVision® Brand Software line, Micro Star offers products in the gaming, lifestyle and productivity markets. Micro Star’s internal product development team is creating exciting new products and is working with outside developers to bring the best entertainment titles to the marketplace at affordable prices. The company has incorporated a quality assurance program to meet the high expectations consumers have come to demand for software titles. Micro Star’s “commitment to quality” policy helps to ensure the best experience for the software gamer, helping to make game playing worry-free. Products are thoroughly tested and approved by Micro Star and an independent testing laboratory, and every effort is made to provide entertainment software that is superior in quality.
For more information, contact:
Micro Star Software
2245 Camino Vida Roble
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Tel: 619-931-4949, ext. 1204
1645 S. Rancho Santa Fe Rd., Ste. 201
San Marcos, CA 92069
All trademarks are the property of their respective companies.
Check out the manual for this one. It’s pretty sparse, but I still find it interesting that these cheap comp packs even came with documentation to begin with. Read more to see the entire manual!
Posted on October 13, 2017
To wrap up this amazingly cheap trilogy of DOOM add ons, here is one so successful that it is actually a sequel! The original D!ZONE must have done amazingly well for Wizard Works to put together this followup pack! Wizard Works was actually a fairly well known company in the shareware-modding/compilation arena. They put out series like this for quite a few other games including Quake, Heretic, Hexen, Duke Nukem 3D, and at some point were purchase by Atari before being dissolved.
These D!ZONE compilations actually did pretty well. They were popular enough that there is a detailed page on the DOOM Wiki with lots of additional info about this series of DOOM mod compilations. The one cool thing about D!ZONE was that it had a management front end built in for you to browse and select the .WADs, editors, etc. To quote the article:
All of the D!ZONE series discs included the newest version of the D! frontend, which was developed by Simply Silly Software and sold to WizardWorks for inclusion on the discs. The D! frontend was highly polished and functional: it could randomize levels, recombine and resolve conflicting resources from any number of WAD files to create one new WAD, connect and manage network games, convert levels between Doom, Doom II, and, in later versions, Heretic, Hexen, and other games.
The D! frontend is a Borland Turbo Pascal 7.0 program, and thus it suffers from a well-known problem on machines with CPUs faster than 233 MHz. An error in a delay timer initialization routine causes the message “Runtime Error 200” to appear and aborts the program, though this can be repaired with a widely available patch. Another solution was to slow down the CPU by using special software. Running it in DOSBox can also ease the issue.
There is also some interesting information on the controversies associated with this series. Of course copyright infringement had to be an issue with all of these comp packs, and apparently Wizard Works got hit for this. According to the wiki, there were quite a few different issues:
Posted on October 12, 2017
- Maps of every level!
- Game recordings!
- Level editors!
- Hints & cheat codes!
- Sound editors!
- Plus TONS MORE!!!
- Plus: Episode 1: KNEE DEEP IN THE DEAD!
Another pack of DOOM add on crap. I do remember actually using this one and trying to figure out some of the level and sound editors. It was much more complex than they made it sound. I think we picked this up at the
Pomona computer fair as well sometime in the mid-late 90’s. I have also scanned the manual that came in the jewel case:
Read more to see the rest of the manual! Read More