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Classic BBS 'Door Games' Reborn

simoniker posted more than 11 years ago | from the 300-baud-is-fast dept.

Classic Games (Games) 51

digirave writes "Most multiplayer strategy/RPG 'door games' didn't survive the change from the BBS scene to the Internet. The few that did mostly stayed dialup and telnet only. Here are three BBS door games that were quite popular at the time, remade as open-source games for the Web using PHP and MySQL. First of all, there's the Tradewars 2002-inspired game Blacknova, and secondly the LORD (Legend Of The Red Dragon) remake, Legend Of The Green Dragon. Finally, there's a game similar to Solar Realms Elite, QM Promisance, which itself is a modified version of the original Promisance source."

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FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5820407)

Damn, this is too easy.


Legend of the Green Dragon (1)

tomphaedrus (661561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5831286)

anyone who wants to take on my level 2 LOGD theif in a duel TO THE DEATH is welcome to try

You mean Legend of Red Dragon (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5833236)

I think you're thinking of LORD -- Legend of Red Dragon (replace 'the Green' with 'red') Written (in turbo pascal no less) by Seth Able Robinson. This was one of the most popular games of the era, with many-many add-ons produced by various people (the game was designed to be expandable by third parties, and even came w/ instructions to do so). All the bbs's in my area had this game --
I'm amazed that you don't remember it.

Here's a link to some guys sites:

LORD on gamefaqs []

Some guys website []

Some guy who met him (tradewars) []

Search on google (try the terms "Seth Able Robinson" [where I got the above links] or "Legend of Red Dragon") for tons of info on one of the best games ever written.


Wow, linux is cool. []

Re:You mean Legend of Red Dragon (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5833396)

HOly shit, read the f'ing article.

Re:You mean Legend of Red Dragon (1)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834172)

A post is all the more entertaining when someone goes out of their way to explain, and link intricate details about it, and they are catastrophicly out of touch.

I would mod up funny if I had such an ability.

(Which is probably why I do not.)


peaceful_bill (661382) | more than 11 years ago | (#5832889)

Maybe a MUSH isn't exactly a "door" game, but it is a multiplayer text game, and I can vouch that the community is alive and well. just a brief perusal through the lists at this great site [] shows hundreds of high quality, well-attended games.

I think that you guys should have a topic FOR text games cause, well, err, they are our HISTORY, man!! where would slashdot be without zork, trinity, tradewars, and the rest of them that we all *cough over 30* cut our teeth on??


einer (459199) | more than 11 years ago | (#5835814)

*cough* I'm 24. *cough* I fondly remember tradewares (Prime Evil baby, and with 1024 shield points per planet...), the pit, LOTR, BRE, SRE, and their ilk. I also remember the great local multi-line chat bbs's.

I paid $200.00 in hard earned newspaper route money for my shiny 14.4 internal modem. I could page bomb 2400 baud modem users off chat boards in under 10 seconds. (please note, I never did, I just ran my little script against a friend to test it)...

The community was so much tighter knit (due to the small number of folks savvy enough to master those dark incantations known as 'modem init strings') and friendly than the internet.

Sure do miss those days, but not as much as I'd miss my cable modem. :)

yes.. but they'll never bring this one back (1)

Unominous Coward (651680) | more than 11 years ago | (#5832901)

Who remembers timebank?

Way back when BBSs were popular, when you registered , you were given a limited number of minutes and downloads per day. I think it was in the order of 30 minutes and I can't remember how much data you could download. (200KB?)

After you exceeded either your download quota or your time quota, you could not log back onto the BBS.

And that's where timebank comes into the picture. On top of all the other text games available, there was a game, called timebank, that let you gamble part (or all) of your download/time quota, with the chance of winning more of either.

Needless to say, I was naive for thinking I could win anything on a computerised gambling game, but it was fun nonetheless!

Re:yes.. but they'll never bring this one back (1)

don_carnage (145494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833040)

Ahh...but what about Leach Z-modem?

For those of you that don't remember, most BBS's would only charge you a "credit" if your download completed successfully. With Leach Z-modem, it would grab the very last packet and then claim that the download failed. You get the file and get to keep your credit!

Re:yes.. but they'll never bring this one back (1)

Unominous Coward (651680) | more than 11 years ago | (#5925176)

Aah, yes. I remember having something called Ice-Zmodem that did the same thing.

The only problem with this was that you still could not start downloading a big file unless it could fit in your daily download quota. And there was no way to roll over credit so you could download big files (without paying)

Re:yes.. but they'll never bring this one back (1)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833780)

I remember very well. Betting all of my credits away before taking my turns in lord was a bad move, but I wanted more Tradewars time.

What are you gonna do?

Woohoo (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 11 years ago | (#5832908)

Looks like my game made it on Slashdot. Not exactly front page, but I'm not gonna complain :-)

I strongly urge everyone to head on over to and play on your lunch break, this is a well done game even if I do say so myself ;-)

Me too... (1)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833175)

...and I didn't even submit the story...

Re:Me too... (1)

nahdude812 (88157) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833643)

I submitted mine about 2 months ago but got the big "Rejected" stamp across my forehead :-). I guess someone liked what they saw though!

Re:Woohoo (1)

dalamcd (573483) | more than 11 years ago | (#5839115)

I tried, but it didn't work in Safari and I really don't feel like switching to something else.
There was a huge jumble of text in the upper left corner of the page, so it looks like the menu is all being collapsed into one line. It changed into "Forgotten password" on mouse-over, and the other stuff disappeared.


Trade Wars (1)

don_carnage (145494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833020)

Wow. I can remember logging in to no less than 3 BBS's to play all of my Trade Wars turns every day. It always sucked to find your fighters destroyed, your planetary defenses overrun, and someone squatting on your planet.

Perhaps one day a gaming company will get multiplayer space battle right. (And I don't mean like Earth and Beyond.)

Re:Trade Wars (1)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833806)

1 node bbs' were horrid for tradewars!

I would dial 200+ times to get in. Auto dialer screaming away trying to slide in before the bbs turned over.

and place 1000's of toll fighters to frustrate the newbs.

Re:Trade Wars (2, Funny)

YetAnotherAnonymousC (594097) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834312)

It always sucked to find your fighters destroyed, your planetary defenses overrun, and someone squatting on your planet.

...especially when that someone was supposed to be an ally. Not that I didn't do the same thing. Always fun to build up positive karma and then burn it on betraying everyone. Maybe slashdot should base their karma on the tradewars system. Keep trolling and end up with interesting ranks like "master troll" or something like that... =)

Re:Trade Wars (1)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834566)

Yes, but they you wouldn't be able to buy that nice Imperial Starship.


Yeah, But... (1)

asdfasdfasdfasdf (211581) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833106)

Where the hell is PIMP WARS?

Re:Yeah, But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5834443)


That door rawked.

Re:Yeah, But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5835572) the game is down currently but you can signup to be notified when it gets back online... this game roxs! had over 6000 pimps last round :)

Whoa (1)

Ih8sG8s (4112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833176)

Total flashback for me there. Ahh, I remember running Maximus in 4 shells under OS/2. My phone bills soared. Fidonet stuff.

What I want to know is, where is Bordello? Managing a bordello was pretty fun as I remember it.

Re:Whoa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5835550)

BlackNova Traders Shameless Plug (1)

Valur (87561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833227) [] If you'd like a place to play that's started up in the last month or so.

Or you could just... (1)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834243) it at BlackNova.Net [] ;)

Planets: The Exploration of Space, anyone? (2)

slux (632202) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833321)

Could anyone give a comparison between Tradewars 2002 and Seth Able's less known great door game Planets: The Exploration of Space (or TEOS). I've never played Tradewars and Blacknova traders seemed a little... complicated last time I tried it. I'd really like to relive some of those memories but Blacknova just didn't seem as good for me with a brief attempt at playing it.

I'd like to see something else than web-based, maybe something like freeciv with separate server and client so we could get cool graphical clients and ones that would look like the old text-based door games. One of the coolest things was the real-time interaction with players simultaneously online and that doesn't work well in a web-based version. Even just a remake that'd work like a mud on the net would be great.

Oh well, maybe I'll just need to use lynx to play. ;)

Re:Planets: The Exploration of Space, anyone? (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834811)

I think I still have a disk (3.5", no less) somewhere of the original door versions of LORD and Planets signed by Seth Able (Thanks, Seth Able) from back when I ran a BBS. In fact I should go digging for that box of disks with all my old registered doors on it and set a BBS back up in my area. Not like I use the voice line anyway.

Anyway, the games I'd like to see in one place are: LOD (Lands of Devastation), OOII (operation overkill II), BRE (Baron Realms Elite!), LORD, Tradewars, and Planets. BRE + Tradewars = Excellent.....

The Clans (1)

tigertigr (610853) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833416)

It was never as popular as any of the doors that have been mentioned already, but the game I wrote has been released under the GPL and is available at here: []

Lords of Cyberspace (2)

vadius (669387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833595)

Anyone here ever play Lords of Cyberspace? If I recall correctly, it was only available for MajorBBS/WorldNet systems, and so I have found very few BBSs that still carry it (one, in fact, but it is extremely lagged).

It was a simple door game, with a small 30x10 text window in the upper left that you navigated around, and some stats on the right. Your mission was to hack as many systems as possible, get your level up to 30, and find the ?three? keys to let you try to get into Valhalla and destroy the Divine Document. You get money and experience through hacking into systems, destroying programs, selling/destroying sensitive documents, and going on special hacking missions. It was kind of a Gibson novel meets a text MUD.

I would love to see this game revived, and I have even managed to find a demo copy floating around the internet, but I have never been able to find the company or the author of it. It was distributed by Adept Communications, and made by Muinet. I believe they also created a game called Sword of Chaos, but I never played it.

Re:Lords of Cyberspace (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5835188)

i LOVED this game! it was totally addicting... i'd love to give it a run again.

Man, I miss the BBS days (1)

LearningHard (612455) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833648)

Even in my smallish town of 25000 we had two dialup bbs. I remember going home every day and setting my modem to auto-redial each one until I got on so I could use my turns in TradeWars, LORD, and Exitilus. For some reason I absolutely loved Exitilus and wish there was a free open source version now. I guess I could get off my butt and code one.

Cool oldschool (0)

www!!!1 (662326) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833842)

I used to run a BBS, the best were interbbs games of Falcon's Eye, though I think some of our enemies used to cheat something fierce. Tons of fun nonetheless. Was always thinking about writing something similar that runs off a central server so that no one could easily cheat :)

Question regarding door games (1)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833856)

My favourite door game was a rip off of Risk. What was it called?

Re:Question regarding door games (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 11 years ago | (#5833952)

It was called Global Wars, and it was popular where I used to call up BBSes - I was usually involved in a couple games at any point in time.

I was never into the 'big' ones mentioned here - SRE, LORD, TW2002, none of them just ever really clicked for me. I spent a lot of time on Land of the Barons, Phantasia, Power Struggle, and Trade Wars 1000. TW1000 I enjoyed so much more than 2002, as there wasn't all that overly complicated multiple-ship stuff going on. And I so loved the versions that had sales that went up to 99% - nothing like getting fighters for 1 credit each (load up time!!), and even more fun was making as many planets as you could during a sale, scattering them all around the galaxy, and ones in out-of-the-way sectors months later having nearly maxxed themselves out.

I also remember Arena, though I never got very far in it - seemed quite tough.

Re:Question regarding door games (1)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834136)

Global wars was amazing. I was into the obvious choices, but I remember Global wars as being perfect. I was never particularly good at it, but I would play multiple games every day.

A few years ago, I conjured up that I would log on to a few telnet bbs' and play games.

Not as much fun.

I think there is something to the automatic call back, with your modem on recieve to verify you, that makes door games seem all the more fun.

OO!!!!!! (1)

stalbott972 (569919) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834039)

Oh come on guys!!! None of you remember Operation Overkill!!!!?!?!?!?

One of the best sci-fi based doorgames (next to TradeWars that is)

Re:OO!!!!!! (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834842)

Yes, I remember it, I liked Lands of Devastation better, myself though.

Legend of the Green Dragon (1)

digirave (569748) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834144)

heh.. i setup Legend of the Green Dragon game at []

try it out if you liked L.O.R.D. since it's almost a new game you should have a fair start

What ever happened to Usurper? (1)

elluzion (537796) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834209)

Am I the only person who preferred Usurper to LORD? I just found LORD to be boring for some reason.

Re:What ever happened to Usurper? (1)

LynchMan (76200) | more than 11 years ago | (#5836259)

Usurper was a great game also. Played that and LORD religiously on any local BBS.

I was also a HUGE fan of Mutants!, but that was only on MajorBBS.

Re:What ever happened to Usurper? (-1)

canadian troll (527342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5846643)

it's so totally awesome, i remember that from back in the day... being able to smash somebody in the head with a rock, is just so totally fun in a text based game.

Slinging MUD around (1)

Kelz (611260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834302)

Anyone ever played Medievia [] ?

Its probably the most played MUD today, and I'm still an avid player. Telnet to it here [] or download a MUD client [] .

Awesome, (1)

Evoluder (669436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834371)

I played those games like mad back in my BBS days. I hosted all of those on my own BBS (as well as Operation Overkill ][ and many others). I made several of the ANSI drawings for LORD, maybe I can contribute something to LOGD as well. I have been waiting for someone to do this, I will be setting these up on my webserver ASAP! Ah, the good 'ole days of ANSI gaming.

Re:Awesome, (1)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834610)

Yes.. my 2400 baud modem and the glory that was deciphering ansi.

It's a.... fish.... flying..... no... a guy... with a sword?.... no.... Oh... It says Lord. Neat.

MajorBBS and Crosswordz.... (1)

wwwssabbsdotcom (604349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5834690)

...I ran The Laser Connection in Clifton, NJ years ago on MajorBBS and loved having people logged in for hours playing CrossWORDS, a real-time chat and Scrabble game. Tradewars 2002, and a few others, all were very popular. I have to get back into more workon the telnet version we have running at, get TW2002 back up and running. Ah, the past, great bbsing before the internet.

BBS Software? (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 11 years ago | (#5840536)

Hey, can anyone reccomend a good BBS software package?

I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this page, but..

I'm looking for Linux x86, preferably reasonably mature, and supporting telephone and telnet. I'd like to hook it up with some of the BBS games.


Re:BBS Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5842393)

There are only 3 that are still being worked on.

Sbbs Ele and Mystic. Google will take you to them.


Re:BBS Software? (1)

mink (266117) | more than 11 years ago | (#5864293)

AFAIK WWIV is still active.

Re:BBS Software? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5855022)

I used Wildcat BBS which roxored, but it was DOS based.

didnt survive? (1)

mink (266117) | more than 11 years ago | (#5864314)

Most BBS door games that were popular seem to have survived and made the jump.
Maybe the submitter just never paid mutch attention to telnet BBSing.
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