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(Off-topic, sort of) Load * 8, 1
03/20/2021, 22:26:47

    The Elf writes:

    Trying to remember, but can't. I remember using that DOS command to access all the really, really old CRPGs, but I don't remember the first Might and Magic games as being that early. (I just checked out the instructions for running the original King's Bounty, which I believe came before the first Might and Magic. While you still had to have separate disks for characters and game play if you were using 5-1/4" disks, but not if you you were using 3-1/2".) The box doesn't say what hardware or what flavor of DOS was required, but it did mention that the illustrations were from an Apple computer, which we never had. (Our first computer was a Commodore D-128. Since we both were working and had little time to take turns, we quickly bought an extra Commodore C-64 so that Papa Elf could use it for keeping all his financial records, while I got to play games on the D. I'll always be grateful for that.)

    I remember playing Phantasie, and then Wizardry, in the old DOS format. You really had to love PC games to play anything back then! For those of you who aren't old enough to remember, here's how you played a typical game, after opening the box it came in:
    1. Make copies of all disks in the box;
    2. Label the copies;
    3. Put original disks away in a safe place, away from excess heat or anything magnetic;
    4. Check manual for instructions for how to set up DIPP switches, if necessary;
    5. Check manual for instructions for editing access commands, if necessary;
    6. Insert first disk copy into disk drive;
    7. Type in "Load * 8, 1 (DOS/machine language instructing computer to read device in 8 [disk drive] and load those into in device 1 (memory set aside for your program
    8. Create characters for your game (most RPGs then had 6 or 8 characters in the party
    9. Insert blank, formatted disk into drive to receive character stats;
    10. Remove character disk;
    11. Re-install first program disk;
    12. Play game for about 10 minutes, before game comes to a sudden halt;
    13. To play further, follow proof-of-purchase instructions typically worded (for example) as:
    "Type in word 19 in paragraph 5 of page 28 in game manual included with your game" (Apparently game pirates were considered to be too dumb to make Xerox copies of game manuals);
    14. Re-type the word, because you typed in the wrong word or misspelled it;
    15. Continue playing game;
    16. Decide to stop because it's now midnight and your alarm will go off in precisely 6 hours;
    17. Remove current disk from drive;
    18. Insert "Save Game" disk;
    19. Save game;
    20. Insert character disk;
    21. Save characters;
    22. Remove disk from drive;
    23. Turn off computer;
    24. Turn off monitor;
    25. Put dust cover over keyboard;
    26. Brush your teeth and go to bed.

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