Misplaced Pyramid, misplaced period, misplaced video games
Fact is, I scarcely bear in mind Scarab of Ra in any nice element. I haven’t performed it for, ooh, not less than fifteen years. It’s a recreation I first encountered on a childhood good friend’s previous black-and-white Macintosh. I couldn’t let you know which mannequin. I solely recall the gorgeous, intricate and clear monochrome artwork of video games just like the good Glider and Darkish Citadel.
What actually caught with me, although, was Semicolon Software program’s Scarab of Ra, an especially simplistic roguelike that sees the participant, as an archaeology pupil, enterprise into the Nice Pyramid of Ra armed solely with a lantern and a few scran. Probably sandwiches, it’s unclear. In any case, it isn’t actually something to jot down dwelling about; it’s a basically primary maze recreation with some rudimentary encounters – use bullwhips and nets to non-violently restrain hostile creatures! – and useful resource administration – shifting slowly consumes extra of your rations and lantern oil, however shifting too quick places you liable to waking sleeping animals and blundering into traps! Harmful Mummies additionally stalk the pyramid, inflicting dying and decay on contact. The intention of the sport is to find the titular Scarab, in addition to Ra’s Employees and Crown, earlier than reaching the exit and making your escape.
There’s next-to-nothing to it, however I didn’t care. Scarab of Ra infected my burgeoning creativeness. I designed sequel after sequel to the sport, drawn with a Paper Mate biro on A4 printing paper, taking inspiration from the opposite formative video games of my youth; later Scarab of Ra sequels I contrived borrowed parts of Kemco’s Garfield Recreation Boy recreation*, Ocean’s Addams Household SNES recreation and ultimately Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. It didn’t matter that the sport was primary as they arrive – it acquired me by the cerebral brief n’ curlies and stoked the hearth of creativity.
These previous Macintosh video games are a little bit of a misplaced world, for me. I by no means owned a Mac laptop, however just a few of my pals did and it’s by way of them I used to be capable of uncover now-seemingly-unplayable shareware obscurities like Glad Weed (a drug-themed Pac-Man clone) Barney Carnage (slaughter droves of Barney the Dinosaur clones), Snavely! (a two-player Snake-esque recreation during which you and a good friend repeatedly make love to 1 one other to provide eggs), Mortal Pongbat (a ludicrously enjoyable Pong recreation in which you’ll fireplace lasers on the opponent’s bat to make holes in it) and Quest of Yipe! (a primitive Ultima-like that nonetheless consumed hours of our collective lives). Definitely a few of the classics from this period had been additionally accessible on PC – Abuse, Monkey Island, Lemmings and so forth – however by and enormous, this seemingly hobbyist collection of video games has been misplaced to me.
These previous MacWorld journal demo discs had been just like the Wild West; acres of weird shareware, a lot of which consisted of clones like Bub & Bob (Bubble Bobble, clearly) and the great Mario Bros rip-off Bonkheads (which is out there on PC), however had been additionally populated with miscellaneous, one-off brilliance like Spin Physician and Snood. The actual kicker, although, was recognizing Scarab of Ra within the line-up years later and enthusiastically encouraging my good friend in addition it up, a lot to his bemusement. However there I used to be, within the late 90s, delighted to be enjoying a monochromatic dungeon crawler once more. As a result of generally it would not matter how good or dangerous a recreation is, solely that you just performed it on the proper time.
I attempted to get a Mac emulator going just lately so I may play Scarab of Ra and the others once more, however had no luck. Close to as I may inform, there’s no DosBox equal for previous Macintosh software program. You’ll be able to play it in your browser, but it surely’s not the identical.
*Which, for god’s sake, is now near-impossible to Google due to a HI-LARIOUS new “Garfield Gameboy’d” challenge which – in a match of spontaneous and unimaginable originality – depicts Garfield as an eldritch monstrosity! I do know! How intelligent and artistic, eh? (Homer Simpson voice) Oh, by the best way, I used to be being sarcastic.