Having grown up in a poor family in Eastern Europe, for a very long time an own PC was my wildest dream. But when I got one, these were the ones I installed first. Well when I had driver space…
Yes, we were very poor and for a very long time my only way to play these games was to hang out with more fortunate friends. They were simpler times in the late 90s, early 00s. Two or three of us were sitting at the same PC and either played games with hotseat option, or we simply took turns. It was inconvenient, but at that time I felt I’m living my best life.
Then one fateful day, thanks to my uncle, I got my first own PC. Well I had to share it with my brother, but it was still a step forward.
It was a terrible, terrible machine. It was a Pentium 133 MHz setup, which was dated even by those days’ standards, but for the first time, I could finally play at home, or even have my friends over so I could be the host for a change.
I will present you a list of the 5 games that my first PC could more or less run, and which really made me feel like the king of the world at the age of 13.
Starting strong I know.
Remember those times when Blizzard was cool? Well this guy does, because Diablo was the very first game I ever installed on that horrible machine. I don’t want to lie, but I think it needed a whopping 8 MB of HDD space.
I don’t think I really need to introduce Diablo. But what I remember the most, that for a kid at that time it was straight up scary.
The first time I met the Butcher, who resided in a room with pixelated impaled corpses, I lost my mind.
Since Internet was not so common at that time, I would have to wait until next day so I can discuss it with my classmates. But since I was way too excited, I remember explaining it to my Mom, who was less than uninterested.
Also, at that time I did not speak English well. I was still in elementary school. So I remember having a huge dictionary next to me, to look up words that I did not understand. Video games, including Diablo were one of the main contributors to my vocabulary.
Of course since then I have played far better games, but nothing will replace that feeling of booting up Diablo on that old PC.
But for example its soundtrack is something I really enjoy to this day.
In case you missed Diablo as a kid, you can buy it on GOG.
I have no idea how much time I spent with this game, even later in life. I was almost 30 when I still played it with my brother.
To this day it is my favourite Worms game, although I admit probably nostalgia has a lot to do with it.
The reason why it was special, that it had a hotseat feature, so instead of taking turns in “who can use the PC” with my brother, we could play together. Well actually against each other.
I will never forget how mad he was when I convinced him that the white flag (surrender) is in fact a super powerful weapon.
Carmageddon was pretty wild. I played it recently, you can actually play it on mobile as well. And it has that good old late 90s edginess which I miss so much.
I probably spent hundreds of hours grinding every insane vehicle, doing challenges, reaching high scores.
About two years ago I stumbled upon a video, where they show us how the facecam was recorded, it is freakin gold. It really took me back, you should watch it.
Fallout is memorable because despite the fact that I was horrible in it due to my poor English, it really determined my taste in gaming for the next decades.
I was exposed to games but not in a deep way. I played shooters, platformers, puzzle games.
But a game where your choices matter? Where the story is formed depending on your dialogue answers?
My mind was blown. Again, my poor mother had to suffer as she had to listen to my ramblings about it for hours. Actually she was also kind of amused by the concept.
But Fallout didn’t only determine my taste in games, it also made me a roleplaying nerd for the rest of my life.
Again, I don’t really think I need to introduce Fallout, as it is one of the most iconic games of gaming history.
I left the best for the last.
Oh boy where do I even start with this. Baldur’s Gate was my life at that age. I wish I would be able to feel that kind of involvement for anything as I felt back then for that game.
It was my true way of escapism, a world where I felt I belong. It made me love fantasy, tabletop RPGs, classical music, architecture, reading and I could go on.
Funnily enough, that piece of junk PC could barely run it.
For starters, the entire HDD was 1GB, of which Windows 95 took up a lot of space.
Now Baldur’s Gate was a huge game at that time, spread on 5 CDs. Obviously I couldn’t do a full install, I had to swap CDs constantly. Sometimes area after area.
But even for the smallest install, I had to delete BMPs, documents, etc. so it fits on the PC.
And even then, it ran horribly, with around 5 FPS. I used teleportation cheat on already explored areas, because walking was simply too slow, especially because the AI pathfinding was poor.
But I clenched my teeth and went with it. That game was too amazing to give up on it. It was really like a portal to another life for me, a life that I wished I had at that time.
Ever since then, I have so many copies of that game on so many platforms. Recently I even bought it on PlayStation just to never play with it, because obviously the controls are abysmal.
But again, that feeling of belonging to a world where I have never set foot is something that I could only feel as a kid. If I could feel it again the same way, I would be a best selling author now I am sure.
Well, these were my 5 games that I could run on my first PC. Just rambling about them brought back so many sweet memories. They are not even great games by today’s standards. But the emotions they made me feel as a child are irreplaceable.
What about you? What were the games that you are the most emotionally attached to?