Ancient DOS Games – Star Wars: X-Wing

I think this game is the reason I bought a joystick for my PC. I still have that joystick (or maybe it’s the second one I bought) up in the attic but I haven’t used it this century yet and I don’t have a PC with a joystick port/parallel port any more! Remember the joys of calibrating your device so your game was simply playable? You young ‘uns with your Xbox 360 controllers have it easy these days! I never understood why joysticks had to be so fiddly on PC when they just worked on the 8 and 16 bit machines.

This game ran in 320×200 pixels and 256 colours. I do remember when that was and impressive screen resolution. (via)


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Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

4 thoughts on “Ancient DOS Games – Star Wars: X-Wing”


  1. The guy in the video sounds like a bit of a whinge-bag: “No lead indicator… no speed matching, like in modern games… how am I mean’t to shoot these things!” I don’t know, practice maybe? More proof that games are too easy these days (says the man who plays every game in God Mode).

    Joysticks on 8/16bit consoles were digital, whereas the joystick you owned sounds like it was analogue, needing regular calibration of the analogue-to-digital converter. I have a Microsoft SideWinder 3DPro from 1994. A great joystick, which came with an analogue/digital switch, but I have no use for it now, especially since the midi interface isn’t used all that much these days :)


  2. Oh yeah, I remember trying desperately getting that to work on my father’s 8088 … I didn’t hat the slightest chance since that shitty thing didn’t have a hard disk which was mandatory.


  3. Thanks for blogging about this particular episode of my web show! : D

    Gammagoblin is spot on about the analog/digital difference. One thing I can add is that modern analog joysticks auto-calibrate by detecting the neutral stick position as well as where the stick has been, though you can still manually calibrate them at the software level on PCs in case the joystick is too cheap to do that. : P

    And yeah, I know with a ton of practice it’s possible to master X-Wing and shoot down enemies effortlessly, but that seriously takes several weeks of practice, all the while constantly failing missions since clearing them is less about skill and more about memorizing the order you have to do things in and doing them fast enough.

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