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DOSBox - Play old DOS games via an emulator Pick of the Week
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[Score: 9 out of 10]
This is the Pick of the Week for the week of August 28th

If you grew up in the early days of IBM-compatible personal computing, the odds are good there was a DOS-powered PC in your home. And if you liked games, that means you were playing games that ran on top of DOS. Classics such as Prince of Persia, Duke Nukem 3D, and numerous others. Who can forget the days of limited sound, low-res graphics, and stilted gameplay? Still, if you long for those days, long no more -- now you can run the oldest graphical games on the latest and best operating system.

DOSBox is a DOS emulator that runs on OS X (as well as other platforms). Installation is simple; it's just an application, so drag it wherever you want it. Launch the program, and you'll be staring at the familiar white-on-black DOS interface. So what next? Well, you probably don't want to just sit in DOS all day, so go grab some games. There are many sites out there that have collected fully legal shareware, freeware, and demo versions of many DOS games. and DOS Games Archive are two such sites. (There are probably also sites where you can find games that have less apparent legal status -- full versions of old DOS games whose ownership and copyright may not be completely clear. Using such sites, of course, is at your own risk.)

So what do you do after you download an old DOS game? Expand the archive, and then place the folder somewhere easy to get to. Launch DOSBox and then mount the folder as a virtual C drive: mount c: ~/DOSgames/whatever. Then just type C:, find the .EXE files, and run them. The small shot above left, for instance, is from Epic Baseball (click the image for the larger version). I managed to get most everything I tried running, though Duke Nukem 3D was giving me some user interface issues (as in I couldn't select any items on the menu!).

DOSBox isn't rich on user interface features, but it works quite well. There's even SoundBlaster support, so you get in-game sound. I'm sure DOSBox could be used for more productive tasks as well, but it's great as a flashback gaming machine!
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DOSBox - Play old DOS games via an emulator | 11 comments | Create New Account
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Radnor: GUI for DOSBox
Authored by: lightbulb on Sep 08, '06 01:19:40PM
from the site:
Radnor is a Graphical User Interface (GUI) frontend for the open-source DOSBox Disk Operating System emulator.
This makes it much easier to run the games. You don't have to type a single word for mounting drives, etc.

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Universal Binary
Authored by: poenn on Sep 09, '06 01:14:55AM
There's no official UB (yet) but you can get one over here:

Still there seem to be bugs in the OS X port (ppc and intel), the win version is much faster... :-(

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RockNES for OS X, RIP
Authored by: lullabud on Sep 08, '06 01:40:19PM

Lame. I was going to post about how RockNES was another good NES emulator, but the OS X version has been discontinued as of March 2006.

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RockNES for OS X, RIP
Authored by: mabino on Sep 08, '06 04:48:15PM

Look into Nestopia.

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mac noobs
Authored by: Lectrick on Sep 10, '06 06:53:10AM

I was playing Prince of Persia AND Duke Nukem 3D on a top of the line Mac IIci back in the day ;) (circa 1992)

In /dev/null, no one can hear you scream

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Authored by: Grommet on Sep 10, '06 03:14:39PM
Thexder is an old favorite.

Runs great through the Universal version of DOSBox.

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Authored by: n8gray on Sep 20, '07 10:17:27AM

Sweet! I'd forgotten about Thexder...

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DOSBox - Play old DOS games via an emulator
Authored by: Cybrex on Sep 13, '06 06:25:06PM

I'm absolutely loving this, but has anyone else noticed that certain keys (specifically the 'a' key), don't seem to respond within games, even though they work just fine on the command line itself? It responds very poorly within Populous, and not at all within Ancient Art of War. I'm still looking for other apps to test it with.

It also seems that they function keys to turn on keyboard mapping, adjust emulator speed, etc. don't respond either.

Regardless, getting to play Populous and Thexder is pure gold. :-)

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DOSBox - Play old DOS games via an emulator
Authored by: benlolson on Jan 26, '07 11:27:46AM

This may be a totally asinine question, but you said, "put the game folder where it's easily found" and I'm just not sure how to do that... how do I mount the drive to find my game folder? Right now I have a folder inside my applications called "Games" and the game folder for this old DOS game (Gold Rush) is inside that one. This is totally a Mac lamer question, because I used to be into DOS stuff back in the day, but I have no idea where to look. It's not like Windows, where you would just do c:\windows\games or whatever... any suggestions or ideas?

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DOSBox - Play old DOS games via an emulator
Authored by: waky on Mar 15, '07 07:41:31PM

I'll see your IIci and trump it with my II+...

Is there any command more powerful than Goto? I think not!

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DOSBox - Play old DOS games via an emulator
Authored by: kramulous on Sep 20, '07 05:10:14AM

I'm almost in heaven, getting into the Apogee games again. But I am unable to shoot anything since the 'alt' is the 'option' key on osx. I've disabling the modifier keys in 'system preferences' but still no luck. Any clues.

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