Author Topic: How did you find FS2?  (Read 470 times)

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Offline Rhys

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How did you find FS2?
About 20 years ago I was with my dad at this local computer store (those used to exist) looking for some stupid early 2000s PC hardware when eight year old me finds this logitech force feedback joystick on the bottom shelf in one of the aisles:



The joystick itself was a piece of junk and I didn't use it much but it did however come with FreeSpace 2: Colossus. Woah. I played that 10-mission demo over and over during third grade I mean I freaking loved that game. I eventually scrounged up enough allowance to buy the real deal; a used three disc copy of FS2. I actually paid something like $40 for it. In 2003. My parents might have helped out. Anyway, that's how I found what is to this day my favorite game. A couple years later I discovered the SCP and all of the fantastic visual upgrades you could download in 2005. Back then when I played Inferno R1 I was amazed at the detail on this model:

 

I pick up this game again every couple years and I'm always amazed at how the modding community has continued to exist after so long. It used to be you wouldn't run into voice acting in user-made stuff but some mods have totally blown me away with what they've been able to do with a 20th century game engine.

 

Offline Goober5000

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Re: How did you find FS2?
It was a similar story with me.  My dad bought a DVD drive and it came with five sample games, one of which was the DVD edition of Descent: FreeSpace.  FreeSpace led to VolitionWatch which led to HLP.

About a year later, I decided to put my FS1 campaign, Fortunes of War, on hold to purchase and play FS2... and so far, I haven't gotten around to finishing it yet. :P

 

Offline Trivial Psychic

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Re: How did you find FS2?
I was first introduced via a friend of mine who had the games, but it wasn't until I too bought a Logitech flightstick and also a copy of FS2: Colossus that I began playing it.  The stick was fun to use, but the force-feedback kept overheating and failing.  I had to replace the stick three times (under warranty) until I eventually gave up and got something else.  After playing the demo to death, I finally found and bought a copy of Descent: Freespace, which was bundled with Silent Threat.  I made several attempts to find a copy of FS2, including downloading a couple of stripped-down versions, until my friend let me copy his FS2 discs.  The rest is history.

Stickwise, I eventually bought an X52 (which I still have) until it wouldn't aim properly.  I used a few sticks here and there until I came across a Cyborg EVO at a Value Village and used that for a time.  Eventually, the trigger died, so I tried something else for a time, until I found another Cyborg EVO at Value Village.  I still have it, and it still works, but I use a Thrustmaster T16000M now.
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Offline deathspeed

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Re: How did you find FS2?
I saw Descent: FreeSpace at Electronics Boutique when i was 30, and I knew I had to play that game.  I bought my first PC literally to play it, but by the time I got the PC, FS2 had been released and I may have actually picked it up first.   I still have my original 3-CD set, which I used to install the game after a clean install of Windows 10 a while back.  I think a search for info about FS3 led me to HLP, where I have been a long-time lurker.
Maybe someday God will give you a little pink toaster of your own.

 
Re: How did you find FS2?
I got a 10 mission demo of FS2 back in 2003 with my Wingman joystick I still use (though the vibration feature no longer works) , but never got around to getting the full thing, and eventually the Cd would no longer work on my system.  I found it and the prequel on GOG in early 2015 and tried the whole thing then, and I was impressed by both.  I discovered Knossos and the Mods in 2020 during the Covid pandemic

 

Offline herkie423

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Re: How did you find FS2?
As for me, in 1997, I was playing Colony Wars 1, 2, and 3, Darklight Conflict, Xenocracy, all PS one. I am really a fan of space games. Then I stopped because of a low-point period in life. Then in 2010, I bought a PC, I started downloading space simulation games, "Independence Wars" "Freelancer" and the Colony Wars series Playstation bin files using an emulator to play them. I realized there's not much space simulation games out there. Then I found HLP and got my Freespace 2, FSO 3.6.12, MediaAVP 3612, and the first version of Blue Planet (thru the FSO installer at that time). I still have them now. And I thought Blue Planet was an actual retail game. Found out later that it was fan-made mod. Wow. And thus gave the inspiration to make the original "The Aftermath" then years later its Reboot and "The Blue Guardian." HLP rocks!

PS: I never use a joystick. I prefer the full freedom of a mouse and keyboard.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2022, 10:28:09 am by herkie423 »

 

Offline Kie99

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Re: How did you find FS2?
FreeSpace 1 came free with my first PC.  I was about 8 so I had no idea what I was doing, couldn't understand the training so I skipped it.  I was just randomly pushing buttons until something happened after that.  When I pressed "del" I had no idea that this was the ship that I was supposed to be flying, but I did notice that pressing spacebar fired these red rockets.

I think I completed my first playthrough of FS1 without ever using the thrusters, only the afterburners, and without ever knowing the difference between fighters and bombers.  Clash of the Titans took me what felt like a year to complete, not least because I'd usually order everyone to attack the Tantalus because it seemed like the biggest threat, but I eventually completed it.

Found FS2 in Electronics Boutique, a now defunct UK electronics chain, shortly after, and worked out what I was actually doing in that, thanks in no small part to that training mission with the Deimos in FS2.

Discovered mods about 2003ish, I knew about FRED and I loved that there were so many alternate stories.  Derelict and Homesick were among the first I played and I was blown away, but at this point I had absolutely no idea that you could add entirely new ships to the game.  I played Warzone which had some kind of explorer ship called the GTE Vidal or something like that.  I was convinced it was something I'd missed in the game files, I FREDed a mission just so I could look at it.

You can imagine how stoked I was for Inferno.
"You shot me in the bollocks, Tim"
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Re: How did you find FS2?
About 15 years ago, members of the Star Wars gaming club Emperor's Hammer developed a freeware game called "Imperial Alliance".
It was based on the FreeSpace Open engine and that's how I became aware of FS2 and the many mods and standalone games based on it.

"Imperial Alliance" had a multiplayer-only demo which has become lost.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C91d2WakzxI
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Offline Rhys

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Re: How did you find FS2?

PS: I never use a joystick. I prefer the full freedom of a mouse and keyboard.

Same. I think when the joystick broke shortly after I got the game I switched to M+K and found it a lot easier to play. It's funny because in all other space/flight sims I only use a HOTAS or controller. It just seems to work really well in FS, or that could just be the fact that I have played it that way for nearly two decades lol.

 
Re: How did you find FS2?
Back in the mid-nineties, my and a group of other like-minded nerds basically took over the highschool science office, and its attendant 486 PC.  For the 2nd half of our lunch period, we'd hang out in there and try out whatever cool game one of us had come across.  There was an awful lot of "Scorched Earth" played (https://www.dosgames.com/game/scorched-earth), and Wolfenstein, bit of Doom and Heretic thrown in for good measure.  Then one of us happens across Descent.  All of us are instantly hooked.  This Parallax Software company was hitting absolutely all of the right buttons with us.  It was set in space.  You got to blow up robots.  Zero G and complete 3-degrees of freedom.  Lava, cloaking devices, sick weapons.

I was already hopelessly hooked on videogames in general, but that was the first time the PC-gaming bug really bit me, hard.  I had to have my own PC.  It took until my last year of highschool before I was finally able to talk my parents into it, but once I got Descent there was no going back.  I followed everything that came out of Parallax from then on.  When the company split into Outrage and Volition after Descent 2, I was crestfallen.  I took note of Decent: Freespace several years later from Volition (by then I was an undergrad) but what I really wanted was Decent 3 (which, when it finally came out, was somehow a bit disappointing even though it looked much better than its predecessors).  I just wasn't that interested at the time.

Eventually, somewhere in the early-to-mid 2000's, I had my degrees and got married and had a job, and I found myself with some free time again, had re-played all the X-Wing and Tie Fighter games past the point of fun, but I was still craving something along those lines, and remembered Freespace had come out of one of the companies that came out of Parallax.  Dug around a bit on the internet and lo, I found HLP!  At that point, I finally realized that not only had FS1 and FS2 been good, they had a cult following!  Not only that, but there were no new copies of either game to be found ANYWHERE!  I created my eBay account strictly for the purpose of getting copies of FS1 and FS2, at a significantly higher price original retail price.

Easily the best purchase I ever made.  Bar none. 
"Wouldn't it be so wonderful if everything were meaningless?
But everything is so meaningful, and most everything turns to ****.
Rejoice."
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Offline 5thAce

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Around 2007, my dad got a computer from a friend and brought it home. I checked to see if there were any games on it and came across the demo of FS2, the one that lets you play the first 10 missions. Was absolutely hooked and then spent the next month trying to get the full game off of ebay auctions. I still have the 3 discs to this day.

 

Offline Dilmah G

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I'm not entirely sure how I got a copy of Freespace 2: Colossus (I suspect it came bundled with a new IBM PC that my family bought in 2000/01), but installed it thereabouts and finished it about a thousand times with my old Sidewinder Precision Pro. I got most of my friend group hooked on it as well, and we probably played through it at least once a year until my family finally decided to give me unfettered access to the interwebs so that I could "complete my homework" when I was 12, and a year or so after that, it occurred to me that I could use the power of Google to work out how the Freespace story ended up panning out. That took me here, where I spent an ungodly amount of time during high school, but I ended up falling out of PC gaming during undergrad and only got back into it about 6-7 years later during the pandemic. It's awesome to see the community still going strong, and threads like these remind me of the good 'ol days.

Stickwise, I eventually bought an X52 (which I still have) until it wouldn't aim properly.  I used a few sticks here and there until I came across a Cyborg EVO at a Value Village and used that for a time.  Eventually, the trigger died, so I tried something else for a time, until I found another Cyborg EVO at Value Village.  I still have it, and it still works, but I use a Thrustmaster T16000M now.
I had this exact dilemma with both my X52 and Cyborg EVO. At one point in high school after my Cyborg's trigger died (literally fell off), I remember playing with my left hand using the keyboard to mash wingman commands and use LCTRL to fire primaries, with my right hand on the stick to do everything else.

 

Offline starlord

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I never previously heard of the game in France.
Back in 2002, purely by chance I happened to stroll in a virgin megastore back when they existed.

Remember purchasing 2 cardboard cover PC games purely on hunch. One was galaga: destination earth for €14 and the other a white label edition containing freespace, silent threat and freespace 2 for €9.

Best investment I ever made.

I discovered hlp comparatively late, around 2008-2009. I was convinced there was no such thing as an FS community and was frustrated by FS2’s ending. I think I remember finding hlp throughout hades combine.

 

Offline Trivial Psychic

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I had this exact dilemma with both my X52 and Cyborg EVO. At one point in high school after my Cyborg's trigger died (literally fell off), I remember playing with my left hand using the keyboard to mash wingman commands and use LCTRL to fire primaries, with my right hand on the stick to do everything else.

I can do you one better with the trigger falling off.  Some time time ago I used to be really obsessed with the Rogue Squadron games.  I wasn't able to play the Game Cube versions, not having either that or a Wii at the time (in fact, I think the Wii didn't exist at the time), so I searched out and found a downloadable and free install of the earlier PC game (since the Game Cube games are RS 2 & 3) and played that to death.  At one point I was using some cheap stick and I was in the middle of making a violent turn and the stick snapped off the base.  The two were still connected, so all of the buttons still worked, but I had to use my thumb on my left hand that was grabbing onto the base, so moved the stub left behind to make turns.  It got me through the rest of the mission, though poorly, after-which time I had to abandon playing until I got another stick.
The Trivial Psychic Strikes Again!

 

Offline CP5670

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I had played and modded FS1 a lot and was on the old VBB forum leading up to FS2's release. I got FS2 right away when it came out. I recall both FS1 and FS2 cost $55 on release instead of the usual $50, but I didn't care. :D As a big Descent fan, I got FS1 only because of the Descent in the name, and didn't know anything else about it at the time. I originally learned about Descent from some elementary school friends and got the shareware version on one of those mail-order games CDs in the early-mid 90s.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2022, 12:18:13 pm by CP5670 »

 

Offline Firesteel

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I think I had a friend introduce FS1 to me around 2003 and i learned how to play it on an IBM thinkpad and the keyboard nub. Pretty much since then i've been playing the series at least once a year and it took shockingly long for me to find the SCP or start talking on here.

Like herkie I just use a mouse and keyboard and, apparently to a friend's horror, default controls.
Current Projects:

- Video Critiques of Freespace
- Re-learning FRED

 

Offline Mongoose

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Most of the specifics of how I first came across FS have been lost to the mists of time. What I do remember is that my neighbor across the street had a crazy LAN setup in his basement (his dad did some sort of IT work), and he introduced me to Descent 2 and then 3. On the one shelf in their basement there was a game called Descent: FreeSpace, and I remember being incredibly confused. "Wait...is that another Descent game? Or an expansion pack? Or what?" For whatever reason I don't think I ever asked my friend about it, so it remained a mystery. Fast-forward a bit, and I stumbled across a trailer for FS2 on...I think it was Descent 3's disks. I didn't have any context for it but it looked really cool. At some point I guess I figured out enough about it to pick up a copy of FS1 in a store, and obviously I fell in love with it and played the hell out of it. I even bought a second copy because it came with Silent Threat...not the wisest investment in retrospect, but on the plus side it introduced me to The Destiny of Peace, which was great.

As for FS2, that was a tricky prospect back then. As we all know its sales didn't exactly set the world on fire, and it was largely unavailable outside of overpriced eBay listings (I didn't even have home Internet access when I started playing FS1). Eventually I heard about the Home of the Underdogs cracked version, but it seemed like a daunting prospect to an online n00blet, so I never followed it up. All I could do is play and replay the demo, and marvel at the fantastic graphics and the spectacular nebula. Then one day my lucky break came, as Interplay announced a special re-release of the game for their 20th anniversary. I remember getting my mom to mail in a check to pay for it, as this was when online shopping was relatively new, and I certainly didn't have my own card at the time. When I finally held the full version of the game in my hands, it was a dream come true, and it more than lived up to every bit of the hype I'd poured into it. Fast-forward almost two decades, and even though I don't play nearly as much as I used to, every so often the bug bites me once again. It's well past time, come to think of it...

(Oh man, I had that same Wingman Force 3D that Rhys linked in the OP, and yes, it was absolutely a piece of junk. The twist sensors were completely borked within a year or two.)