Pharaoh and the Pirate

I’ve been having a delightful time playing old PC video games on my Windows 98 laptop.  As described below, it’s a fairly new cheap laptop that runs Lubuntu as its OS and runs Windows 98 in Virtualbox.

So I decided to fill up the massive 10GB hard drive I gave it in VB by installing some of Sierra‘s city-building games on it.  I already had Caesar II installed, so I busted out my game CDs that I bought more than 10 years ago and installed Caesar 3, Pharaoh and Cleopatra, Zeus and Poseidon, and Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.

I never really learned how to play these games properly, but I’m playing through the beginner/tutorial missions in Pharaoh right now.  Here’s what the third round looks like.

I can’t seem to get enough figs.  Before I started this mission, I was told that farms don’t need road access.  Then when I started, I found out that farms need road access.  I was lied to!

Here’s a pic from later in the game I snagged from the interwebs.

Very cool looking game, and as with a lot of Sierra’s games, the music is phenomenal too.  I have actually taken music from this game and Emperor and listened to them as albums on my mp3 player a few times before, it’s that good.

But back to the installations.  All but the last of these city-building games installed for me without a hitch, and I’m able to run them in my virtual Windows 98 in glorious 1024 x 768 screen resolution.  Emperor however, is a problem.

No, not that Emperor.

Close, but not quite.

Emperor-Rise of the Middle Kingdom 4
That’s the one.

After I installed it, I couldn’t get it to run.  I got an error message stating “wrong disc” or some such.  This is “bollocks” (to borrow a proper English term) as I bought the original actual fucking game disc.  I can’t get it to run even on my XP computer.  This really fucking pisses me off because the reason I can’t get it to run is likely some fucking DRM bullshit that got included in it.

So I pirated the fuck out of it.  Yep, I downloaded a working version of the game I already bought just so I could actually play it.  Pretty sad.

Also pretty sad to think what happened to the once mighty Sierra publishing house.  They used to make great games.  Now, they don’t really exist.  Guess DRM doesn’t save businesses as much as putting out quality products.