Tuesday, 14 April 2015

THE RESIDENTS: FREAK SHOW


The Residents are one of the most fascinating bands ever to appear. Formed in 1969 with eye-ball masks, their anonymity allowed them to cultivate a unique brand of experimental music freaky art aesthetic in their videos. With the boom in multimedia technology in the early nineties, they even turned their hand at interactive entertainment with two adventure games; Freak Show and Bad Day on the Midway...

It was 1992 when the band began to think of the emerging CD-Rom technology. They had created a comic book entitle Freak Show that was published by Dark Horse comics on April Fool's Day of that year. They decided to employ the talents of Jim Ludtke, who had worked with them on a few shorts, to design the game. Two years later, it was released to the world with the help of The Voyage Company who published it.

The game is essentially a a virtual tour of a freak show, where you can visit various attractions. There's not that much to do but things get interesting when you deliberately ignore the owner and head off backstage. Here you can meet each of the freaks up close and personal and learn of their often sad histories. They are accompanied by short plot-based song from the band and act like little music videos.

Calling it a 'game' is perhaps a bit of a misnomer. There are no puzzles or strategy or threat of death; only a story, music and archive material. This is by no means a bad thing as the strange personality of The Residents are etched into every pixel.

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To download the games, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox running Microsoft Windows 3.1 to get the game working on modern systems. Tested on Windows 7 and Windows 8.
  03.05.2016 - Version 2 - Seperated the two games into their oen installer
                                         Autoclose Windows 3.1 when exiting the game
                                         Fixed crash when entering back stage


The Residents: Freak Show is © Cryptic Corporation / Voyager Company
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me


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9 comments:

  1. This is very nice! I bought both on CDROM ages ago and they are indeed every bit as bizarre as you say. I do greatly appreciate the installers that you provide, as I can use them to continue to enjoy these and others here that I own and haven't been able to use lately.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words. Old games can be a bit of a pain to get working which is why I've tried to make the installers as easy to use as possible. They're fun to make almost as much as their fun to play.

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    2. Hi, how did you get the video work? I tried to install the french version of 'Bad Day' in Dosbox + Windows3.11, but only get black zone where the game is supposed to play quicktime files (Quicktime 2.1.2 is installed). Sounds and background works well...

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    3. I believe I installed everything from the CD, including Quicktime which came on the disc. I tend to do this with each game as I know that's the program that the developers know will work with it. In this instance it's Quicktime 2.0.3. Try using my package as a baseline for your French version to see if it works any better.

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  2. I have no problems downloading the game contents and the installer. The trouble starts with the installation. It goes to 97% and then produces this message:

    The Residents has not been totally installed because of the following reason:

    File corrupt or unreadable
    CD\RBD.iso

    You will have to run this utility again to completely install The Residents.

    Tried running the utility again and it made no difference. Same message. I'm on a 64-bit Win 7 laptop. And would really like to get this to work. Any help would be appreciated.

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  3. Nice package and artwork! Are you willing to share some more details on how exactly you got these running? Being a huge Rez-addict I've been trying to get these back on running for years now, from hicky XP results, virtualbox etc. to mostly DosBox + W3.1 lately. My versions turned out incomplete however (e.g. no intro plus walking in BD, or no announcer in FS) However i can watch the performances (but no songs) and go backstage in my FS, which I cannot do in your version.
    I am using original DosBox & W3.1 plus S3/SB16-drivers plus WinG on a x86-W7. And I also have the original Gingerbread Man cd-rom from The Residents which is the hardest one to get running.
    So any help there would be very welcome.
    Btw your BDM runs perfect, maybe because FS comes with an earlier version of QT (2.01) on the disc?

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    Replies
    1. Mostly it's trial and error to get these gaes to run. The more I do, the more I learn about the finer points. I first downloaded a pre-installed Windows 3.1 package (from DJOldgames I believe) and went from there. Installations were simply run from the (now virtual) CD similar to how it would've been done originally.

      Playing the games again for this review, I originally had them separated and both worked. I think you may be right about the FS crashes. I'll separate them/improve them when I have time (been a bit absent of late so want to add some new content first).

      If you want to try it yourself, you can use this install as a basis, or download the pack from DJOldgames.

      http://www.oldgames.sk/en/game/windows-31/

      p.s. have you seen the recent feature documentary, Theory of Obscurity? It's very enlightening for such an enigmatic band.

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  4. Do you have a donation thing anywhere? You're a saint, dude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't at the moment but you can always help by spreading the word :)

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