Thursday, February 21, 2008


While I was sitting in my office trying to calibrate the sights on my Nerf dart-pen, I was reminded of an old computer game I used to play on my family’s first computer, the IBM PS/2. Now this was back in the day when phones still had cords, kids could still play outside, and we used Prodigy to get on to this thing called the internet. Real primitive shit.

Anyway, shooting my office window with Nerfdarts reminded me of calibrating the sights on a police issue firearm in Police Quest 2. I freakin loved this game. Now this was the height of home video games at the time, (I don’t think I had discovered NES yet) and Police Quest 2 was all I played. The game pits you as Homicide Detective Sonny Bonds (No doubt an amalgam of 007 and the popular Miami Vice character) of the Lytton Police. You and your girlfriend, “Sweet Cheeks” Marie, are very happy since you put the evil drug lord and killer Jesse Bains in jail in the aptly named Police Quest 1. Well Bains escapes and all hell breaks loose, sending you on scuba missions, preventing a hijacking, and running through sewers. You get to collect evidence, call for backup, search warrants, and all that cool police stuff. Keep in mind that the interface was primative too, so every command had to be typed in. You had to type "open door" or "duck" or "crap your pants." If you didn't type the command correctly or spelled something wrong, you'd get some stupid response like, "You're spinning your wheels looking at that" or "I don't know what you mean." Much time was spent slamming on the keyboard and yelling at the monitor. Despite all that, the game inspired me to open my own neighborhood detective agency, much like my other obsession at the time.

Police Quest 2 was developed by Sierra Online who did other great games like the SpaceQuest series and KingsQuest series (Keen observers and fellow geeks might remember that Tom Hanks’ character in Big is seen playing KingsQuest.) I also really remember enjoying GoldRush! (much like Oregon Trail, put you on a search for gold in 1842 or so) and Manhunter: San Francisco (it’s about aliens, not about alternative lifestyles). I discovered today that all these games are available for free on-line now. Of course, you can download them directly instead of having to put all the data on seven floppy disks. I swear I spent a good chunk of my childhood switching out disks. I may end up playing this tonight instead of Wii. Much like cocaine, Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.

No comments: