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LGR – 1998 Hardcore Gamer Resource Kit for PC

September 16, 2019


Greetings and welcome to an LGR thing!
And say, can you tell me what Quake 2 Diablo, Heroes of Might and Magic 2, and
Flight Simulator 98 have in common? Well other than all being awesome
examples of awesome games from the late 90s, the answer is: the Hardcore Gamer
Resource Kit by Sonoma Multimedia! Which is somebody I’m not really familiar with
but you know this just looks like any number of things that you might have
seen in the 90s that came from Wizard Works or GT or whoever. This one in
particular comes to me from my friend Jonathan who found this I guess while
out thrifting or something, and he just saw the cover and was just like “that is
the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen you need to have it.” *chuckles* Thank you very much
because I would agree. If only because this very much captures the hardcore
gamer aesthetic as I am familiar with it. That is the face of the hardcore PC
gamer personified. You get items for Quake 2, Diablo, Flight Simulator 98, and Heroes of Might and Magic 2. What a strange selection, I’m
not really sure why they picked those four. I mean they were popular but it’s
kind of an eclectic mix if you ask me. Just all sorts of stuff that was
probably downloaded from like, forums and boards, and you know just whatever. AOL games, I don’t know. Anywhere that you could find these kind of things that
presumably a lot of fans made and then they just packed it onto a CD or two and
shipped it out. It’s got three CDs in fact! I also like this section of 3Dfx
Mania — has utilities, accelerators, tweaks, add-ons, screen savers, and demos, and
apparently much much more, mm. Let’s just open this up and see what we
find inside! Quite a beefy box and it’s got some tape on
it. Oh! Okay well this is this is a thing. Here’s Sonoma Multimedia from
Petaluma, California. Hmm wonder what else they did I have not looked into them at
all. Ah there’s a special offer here from them “our best selling games available to
you at 14.95!” So yeah you can see some of these other sort of packs that I was
talking about that other companies were also very infamous for doing. And yeah
they just mixed in all these popular-ish games together including some shovelware
packs apparently look at that: “Universe of 3,000 Games.” It has electronic manuals
mmm how advanced. And then yeah there’s a whole bunch of legal stuff which is fine.
Cool. Apparently we get this guide here which
is the “Hottest PC Games” compiled and edited by Michael Knight. I’m quite
curious to see what that is but first let’s take a look at these. We’ve
got different CDs here. So this one is just the enhanced 3Dfx files. Yeah
we’re gonna drop this into a Voodoo system of some kind to try it out. We
have the game patches here — it’s just just patches! That’s awesome. And then we
have add-ons, levels, and scenarios for all the games. Now those aren’t quite
split up how I thought they would be but I don’t really know what I was expecting.
This is quite intriguing I must say. This is really what was adding a lot of the
heft to this box. So it looks like we have — what are the hottest PC games of
1998… Quake, Quake 2, Diablo 2, Command & Conquer: Red Alert, Flight Simulator 98 Age of Empires, Riven, Hexen, and Ultima Online. I mean
you know if these were the games that you were interested in like, all of these
in one, that’s not bad because I remember buying a lot of individual guides. Or at
least going to Barnes & Noble and looking through a lot of individual
guides. Rarely bought them unless they were like, Duke Nukem related or
something. So it really is just a few pages of tips for UO. Some easter
eggs, tips for the recently deceased, ghostly pranks, and get the latest updates
by friggin’ going online. Well that’s what that is. All right let’s
go move on over to the Windows 98 machine and boot these up and see if
they work! First up here I’m going to start with
this game patches CD which seems like it’s probably gonna be the most boring
one, so let’s just do it. And you can start out by selecting other Windows 3.1
or Windows 95 or NT. And the setup program says it’s from somewhere named
Walnut Creek. Thought it was Sonoma Multimedia just a minute ago but alright.
And yeah when you started up you get this WinView program which is really
just a browser with a little bit of extra information. And yeah it’s full of
exactly what you’d expect: a whole lot of game patches for DOS and Windows
games. I admit that I really didn’t think about patching my games in the 90s
except when something really didn’t work. And then you know I would seek it out
online or something, but even then getting them could be a pain because of
limited and slow internet access. So I could see why this had its uses. Also
neat that there’s a Gravis Ultrasound game patches mode which adds GUS
support to all sorts of things. I’ll probably be using some of these in a
later video. There’s also an MS-DOS version of this program which is the
same thing, it just lets you access and look at all the game patches. You could
do this in Explorer as well, it really doesn’t matter. Most amusing to me though on this CD is this Walnut Creek CD-ROM website backup for cdrom.com.
Apparently that was what they owned at the time. Check out this Internet Mega-Pak! 6 CD-ROMs! $70 for all sorts of world-wide-web
stuff. Mm utilities. Also listed in here is this 3Dfx Mania pack for $30 which
actually is included in this Hardcore Gamer Resource Kit. Which effectively
means this kit is a shovelware pack of shovelware packs. Speaking of the 3Dfx stuff let’s get to the 3Dfx disc which is full of all sorts of
fascinating things with 3Dfx capabilities. And I went straight for the
screen savers because I was really curious about these, especially with
names like spaghetti, butterflies, chrome, and a couple of them
that say “sorry no info.” They don’t even know what it is they just put it on the
CD! Once I got them extracted though they’re just executables and it says
that they will be converted to a real screensaver soon. So yeah these are
pretty much just demos for 3Dfx mode/OpenGL stuff, not actually
screen savers. And I don’t even know if it’s even that because this one wouldn’t
even run at all. Spaghetti just was spaghetti code apparently, and just shut
down my computer. I had to do a hard reset. Next one I tried up was flutterbys
with the possessive apostrophe there, hmm. Anyway this one started up with a 3Dfx
logo, that’s promising. But then *laughs* It just ran way too fast!
So whatever it was using to simulate this swarm of butterflies and fog, it was
just not timed correctly with this system. And this Impact screensaver which
was supposed to be a Starfox-style game… It didn’t do anything correct at all,
though I could see the Starfox type of ship thing sort of through the
corruption there. I’m guessing that these screen savers are made for Voodoo 1s,
Voodoo Rushes, and things like that. Not exactly a 2 or 3. I have a 3 in this
system, which there’s a lot of incompatibilities with certain things
like this from like 96, 97, so oh well. Went on to check out the games section
though and there’s a whole lot of freeware and shareware demo kind of games for
3Dfx stuff in here. Again I’m not entirely sure what’s going to work and
what won’t so I just booted up some of them starting with Banzai Bug. And it
didn’t actually detect 3D acceleration so again I’m guessing is made for like a
Voodoo 1 that’s just not seeing it. But anyway here we go. “There’s gotta be some
crumbs around here somewhere! Look, we’re in this together, ace. You and me!” Yeah
this is pretty much like a six degrees of freedom shooter. But you’re a bug
mosquito kind of thing just going around shooting blobs with other blobs and it’s
not great. But um you know it’s kind of appealing in that weird flat-shaded kind
of 3D way. Many of the other demos didn’t work at all, here’s one though that I
could get to work. Excalibur 2555 AD, the demo for that. It
said it was going to run in 3Dfx mode but it’s very much not, it’s running
so badly and so slowly and no 3Dfx logo at the beginning. So yeah again I’m
guessing this is made for like a Voodoo 1 so I’m just gonna skip out on the
rest of this for now and move on to the next disc. The final disc, the add-ons and levels for Quake and all the other things. Although curiously it started up and it
just called this the Q2 Tool CD-ROM and all it showed was stuff for Quake 2. No
mention of Flight Sim, Diablo, Heroes of Might and Magic 2 that it was supposed to have. Just none of that’s here. Kind of makes me think that the other stuff was
an afterthought. Anyway let’s look at the Quake stuff because: Quake stuff. And
check this out remember Plus! Themes for Windows 9x? I had to try this Quake one out
and wow does this bring back memories of themed themes. Silly fonts and weird
colors and animated cursors and sound effects everywhere. Somehow this seems like a more authentic Windows 98
experience than even just the basic Windows themes. Also decided to try out
these demos and movies, in fact this one here, BOMBER.ZIP, “the historic first ever
Quake 2 motion picture.” Yeah this is machinima before machinima was a thing.
At least in theory because when I try to install it and run it it wouldn’t do it.
I can play Quake 2 perfectly fine but any time I tried to run one of these
demos it said it was trying to look for the CD. I edited a bunch of files, I tried
some patches, I tried other mods and downloads, and things that it came with.
Not a single one of them would boot up with my version of Quake 2. I don’t know
what’s going on maybe it’s a hardware issue, so I just got really annoyed after
like an hour and moved on to the next game. Which in this case is Heroes of
Might and Magic 2. It includes some utilities, some levels for different
Magic games, and some episode sets. I was just gonna try this save game editor for
HOMM2 here and give myself a crap load of gold.
Booted up my “need money” save game here and as you can see in the bottom right: I
have a crap load of gold and was able to recruit a whole bunch of units and gave
myself a very unfair advantage at the beginning of this game. And yay, victory
by cheating! I feel successful without any moral
qualms whatsoever. Okay let’s check out the Flight Simulator folder here which
has audio, flight sim 5, and flight sim 6, and no mention of Flight Sim 98. In fact, all of these files? Most of them are just like, skins and basic scenery packs, and a
couple utilities for flight sim five and six. 98 is version 6.1 and I don’t
know man, I tried to get this stuff to work in 98. None of it would. None of it
showed up at all. I had the scenery go through and look
for stuff, I followed the instructions for the mods, none of them worked. It
never actually found anything so I don’t know why they mentioned Flight 98
being compatible with this because it doesn’t seem to be. There wasn’t much
here anyway so I don’t really care. Diablo though, well there was quite a bit
in here. I’ve never actually modded Diablo before but there’s a whole lot of
files man. I don’t know what exactly all of these do. Bunch of items, it looks like
some trainers for very specific versions of Diablo which is different than the
one I had so I couldn’t try it. But I did end up trying out these save games
because I don’t know, I was curious what kind of characters it gave me. And check
out these names: Bane Longshot, Mr. Dabbelhand, Bambi Fastab, Sizzle Finger! Man, these are wonderful names. I had to go with Mr.
Dabbelhand though, and it turns out Mr. Dabbelhand is pretty dapper. And dabbles in all sorts of magic and cool things that made him really effective. *laughs* I don’t know I just liked his name. And it’s Diablo so I ended up playing this for
like an hour. Even though I just needed like a minute of footage. Well that’s
Diablo and that is the Hardcore Gamer Resource Kit! Not really worth seeking
out to be honest. It’s kind of a stupid pack but at the same time it’s cool, I’m
glad it exists. It’s neat going through and seeing what these sort of
compilation/shovelware stuff of downloaded goodies they made available
back then. And if nothing else it has some absolutely stupid ugly hideous
artwork that is amazing! And awful at the same time. But that’s it for this video. I
hope you enjoyed this rambling look back at this weird piece of software. Thanks
again to Jonathan for picking this up. This was fun. And if you had fun with his video then awesome! Might enjoy some of my others.
There’s new ones every Monday and Friday here on LGR. And as always thank you very
much for watching.

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