Internet Archive Makes Available 2,300 MS-DOS Games
January 7, 2015
The Internet Archive has added 2,334 MS-DOS titles to its Software Collection. Some of the games made available include Bust A Move, Liero, Jazz Jackrabbit and Oregon Trail, as well as commercially available games including Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. All these titles are playable in-browser via Em-DOSBOX.
A random sample of games indicates that performance is fine, albeit with some audio issues. Other outlets have reported satisfactory experiences with the emulator.
“I really worked hard to have only fully-functioning programs up, or at least, programs that gave viable, useful feedback,” said Internet Archive curator Jason Scott in a blog post, “Some of them will still fall over and die, and many of them might be weird to play in a browser window, and of course you can’t really save things off for later, and that will limit things too. But on the whole, you will experience some analogue of the MS-DOS program, in your browser, instantly.”
Regarding the legality of this collection, Giant Bomb is reporting that the Internet Archive has a DCMA exception, which allows the site to archive “Computer programs protected by dongles that prevent access due to malfunction or damage and which are obsolete [and] Computer programs and video games distributed in formats that have become obsolete and which require the original media or hardware as a condition of access.”