It was late 1995 when it happened. My childhood friend (Charles), his wife (Tammy), myself and my wife (Amiee) had just completed Sierra Online’s game, Phantasmagoria. We had huddled together and enjoyed the immensely fun (and, for back in it’s time, intense!) game. I had told Charles about a game I had played only a year or two before called Colonel’s Bequest, another Sierra Online game. Truth be told, I had been an avid, die hard fan of Sierra Online since Leisure Suit Larry 1. I had even played, from what I remember, was a horrid 4 color version of King’s Quest 1. I don’t recall if this was a limit of the monitor to only kick out 4 colors, but I could swear it was the same system I played LSL1 and KQ2 on (and it had 16 colors!) Regardless, Sierra Online games were something I had always wanted to work on.
Well, with no AGI/SCI tools (and definitely a lack in talent in being able to create some of those games!), I went with what I knew. Text adventure games! I had programmed several (quite silly) text adventure games, as well as wrote up some character generators for things like Dungeons & Dragons. So using BASIC and then compiling it with PowerBasic was something I could do! So, while living with Charles and Tammy, I began creating “Final Soul.” The game would be much like Sierra games, where you would have these limited areas you could explore and find various things; that would be used elsewhere (usually not in the most logical manner!) to solve riddles and unlock areas or clues! Having played Phantasmagoria and Colonel’s Bequest – I knew Final Soul would be something about being stuck in a house. I began writing the code and incorporating real life friends of mine into the game. It wasn’t long until I was done; the general format followed a previous text adventure game I had played – A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I ran it through Charles, Tammy and my wife – and after four revisions, finally had a final, bug free version. However, when it came to compiling all this code; the compiler was limited, so I had to essentially make the command to “POKE” the CAPS LOCK to be on, and remove lower case options. Then I had to trunk down some of the text (and puzzles) and was finally able to compile the game. I had hopes of adding onto it (using the SAVE/LOAD feature to bypass the compiler’s limits, but never got around to it). I even had plans for a sequel to the game, which I never got around to programming (but had the majority of puzzles all written down).
The game, back in 1995, had no problems running on machines. DOS was something that was still a part of Windows 95 and Windows 98. However, fast forward to the future, and Windows 7 and what not – and suddenly there’s a “DOS” in the system, but it’s not real DOS. Suddenly the game could no longer function on modern machines. Well, that was until now. Collector, from SierraHelp.com created an installer that installed the game and made it run effortlessly with DOSBOX. There’s literally nothing to do but install the game, then double click the Final Soul icon on your desktop! And it launches! Granted, it’s an ancient text adventure game, and who wants to play THOSE anymore? Well, in the event YOU do – now you can. You can download the very small file for Final Soul – HERE! The ReadMe file within the installer package explains how the game works, and where to even go if you need the walk thru!