The whole NBA season so far has been a bit of a downgrade, hasn’t it? Let’s do something different today.
Last week, The Internet Archive surprised the online community by uploading a treasure trove of 2,500 MS-DOS games, many assumed lost. MS-DOS, the precursor to Microsoft Windows, was the dominant PC operating system through the ‘80s and featured lots of gaming development. You can read the history behind the project, and browse the full list (Warning: It’s an open archive. Not all games are safe for work). No download needed, they’ll play right in your browser for free, using your keyboard, the proper way to play a video game.
Why am I posting this in a Blazers article?
For most older Portland fans, the height of the Blazers’ video game representation happened in 1992: Bulls vs. Blazers and the NBA Playoffs was a top seller, and featured no shrugging at all. As the first game that licensed the rights to every NBA player, it was a must-buy for gamers of the era.
But as The Internet Archive showed us, it was not the Blazers’ first appearance on the gaming world. Two games were actually named after future Blazers, and they are officially unearthed.
Drazen Petrovic Basket
Yes, Drazen had his own video game! In 1989, just as he was preparing for his NBA career, “Drazen Petrovic Basket” was released for MS-DOS and the legendary Commodore 64. It’s bad. Really bad. Eye-glaringly bad.
Good luck trying to play it. Try it out right here in your browser.
Fernando Martin Basket Master
Blazer fans hear about Fernando Martin being a legend overseas, but rarely do we see it manifest itself in this way. As he was suiting up in Portland, his fan base had a chance to pretend they were Fernando. Sort of. You’d really need to squint. It’s the late ‘80s, after all.
Honestly, this game is far more playable. But good luck figuring out the key combinations to move your player. Try it out right here in your browser.
Dr. J vs. Larry Bird: One on One
On the other hand, this game is a bona fide classic. Dr. J vs Larry Bird was immediately considered the gold standard of sports games, and influenced every game created since. It’s still fun, too. When Dr. J dunks with authority, the backboard shatters and the custodian chews them out for the mess. Unfortunately there is no GIF of that, but here’s one of the gameplay.
To play a small slice of computer history, click here.
Have some fun!
For you geezers who remember that era, or anyone else who wants to experience what it was like, here are some other classics to check out:
Lakers vs. Celtics and the NBA Playoffs. The Blazers aren’t an option but the West All-Stars are; I can’t figure out how to select that team, though.
Jordan vs. Bird One on One. The sequel! But nobody remembers it as fondly.
See every basketball game available via this link. Be ready, it’s an adventure
The Secret of Monkey Island. Widely considered one of the great games of the DOS era.
Star Wars Dark Forces. On the heels of Doom, this was the first game where you felt like you were truly entering the Star Wars universe in a first-person role.
The Incredible Machine. One of the early classic puzzle games. The sequel is there too.
Go surf the archive for yourself, and party like it’s 1987.