Mechwarrior Archives

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While I’ve got the itch to play through some old games, I decided I’d give Heavy Gear II another run through. The hardest part about the game is adjusting my mindset. I was still stuck in the walking-tank mode of Mechwarrior. After realizing that in a Gear, being stealthy is as much, if not more, important than being able to take a shot, it all clicked back in place.

Good news, for me at least, is that despite all of the trouble that I’ve heard people having trying to get the game running on XP, I just installed it and it worked. Now, I still ran into a couple of glitches and bugs, but I didn’t have to do any special patching, for whatever reason.

While Heavy Gear II is a cool game, I was never sucked into the universe the way that I was with Battletech. So, on a related note, I thought I’d start to write that Mechwarrior/Battletech timeline I’ve been talking about.

I didn’t.

Instead, I wound up writing about the history of Mechwarrior. It’s a good story, so be sure read through it all.

To this date, I’ve not played through Ghost Bear’s Legacy, so I had to change that. MW2 is still cheap on e-bay, so I picked up GBL and another copy of MW2. This’ll be my fourth. The first being the good ol’ DOS version in 96. The second was an ATI 3D Rage version that came bundled with a new computer. So, I sold the DOS version off since I only really need one copy of the game. I didn’t think about a future where I wouldn’t be using an ATI Rage compatible card, but sure enough, it happened. So, one day at a KB Toys, I picked up MW2: Titanium Edition. And now, years later, I’ve got the 1.1 Netmech/Win95/DOS on one disk, so I think I’ve got my bases covered.

The point? Expect a slew of Mechwarrior 2 and Heavy Gear related updates in the future.

Mechwarrior History – Complete

Mechwarrior 2: The Clans

So, I see that there’s been some recent interest in the older Mechwarrior games, mainly the original and Mechwarrrior 2. Whether there’s actually new interest or people have just managed to stumble upon my site is debatable. Either way, here’s the deal:

I wrote the Clans article about 2002-2004. Sorry, I don’t really have a better date, but things get a little fuzzy after several years.

The gaming mags had always talked about the Mech2 engine being held together with duct tape and bubble gum, and this piece of software had massive development work behind the scenes. Reading interviews available with the team members, I wrote what was on the page. At the time, I was just trying to put the pieces together and understand a bit more about the development of Mechwarrior 2.

Earlier in the year, Eric Peterson commented on my ramblings at his Port of Evil forums. Now, his comments weren’t too detailed, just that “No one in the gaming press had really gotten it right.” His site is unfortunately down (or moved?), as he had a ton of insight to Mechwarrior 2’s development process, which, if I can recall correctly, started when the engineering market went down. He moved from programming simulations in the aerospace industry over to Activision, where he pursued the sequel to Mechwarrior.

It sounds like between internal disputes with Activision about the release date, arguments with the games producer (downright illegal stuff), and Eric having to program the thing – it was just a mess. That being said, it was still the same game. From what I understand now, there wasn’t a changing of the old game and development of a new one, just a ton of little changes that all added up. It’s not that The Clans and 31st Century Combat were completely different games, but that one was a teen-aged version and the other an adult.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Mechwarrior 2: The Clans demo, and it still sits on my hard drive as we speak. I downloaded it off of some German ftp site years ago. Just to add fuel to the fire, I’m throwing it up here for download. It’s legit and it does run. The trick, though, is to put it on a floppy disk first, then install it in DOS. I was never able to get it to install directly off of the hard drive. This is apparently the second demo, which means there might be a first one out there. If you know anything about it, please share it with The Local Ditch. At the end of the day, we’re all just curious about the development of a classic game.

If you were involved in the development of Mechwarrior 2 and want to set the record straight, then contact me. I apologize in advance if it turns out I’m completely off-target.

Download the Mechwarrior 2: The Clans Demo.


Another set of updates has been added to the site. With the turkey-fuel provided over the weekend, I’ve been given the energy for a rather large update.

As promised, for Interstate ’76, I’ve added in a scanned version of its quick reference card. If you need it, at least there’s a place out there on the web that has it. While I was at it, I figured I’d add up the key card for Mechwarrior 2: Mercenaries as well.

The Battle Zone site gets a quick update. At the bottom of each page is a link to the other pages. In case you find your way here through a search engine, you can still navigate around without the frame on the left hand side.

One of the links in the Mech 2 FAQ was old, so it’s been pointed to the right spot.

Speaking of FAQs, the I ’76 FAQ is updated with some new and refined info. In case you’re tired of setting down the hardware acceleration on your computer just for a game of I ’76, there’s a fix for that.

The Q&A has been brought up to date, so the three e-mails I’ve received in the last two years are up.

On the Sega side, the Rez section has some more info/screenshots about its pre-release versions and I’ve got some pictures up of the real-world Shenmue locations.

Behind the scenes, I’ve installed Google Analytics. The stats about the site are fascinating – where traffic comes from, how long people browse the site, what pages are looked at, which aren’t. In case you’re wondering, this site is most popular in Germany (I have no idea why) and the least visited portions are BZII and Deus Ex. Most popular? You guessed it, Interstate ’76, Battle Zone, and Mechwarrior.

It seems like I’m leaving some things off, so look around.

Battle Zone – Navigation all around
I ’76 Downloads – Key Card
Interstate ’76 FAQ – New info
Mechwarrior 2 FAQ – Link is corrected
Mercenaries Downloads – Key Card
Q&A – Three new questions almost answered
Rez – K-Project and Vibes Info
Shenmue – Real-world Locations

Lost Touch

Ok, I know, I’ve been neglecting the site a little bit. You’ve got to admit, though, it was a good run of updates. Lately, I’ve had the itch that only Mechwarrior 2 can scratch, so I’ve been jogging down memory lane while Clan Wolf destroys Clan Falcon in the Refusal Wars.

That also means I’ve managed to update some of the site. Like I’ve been promising to do for the past several years, I’ve finally put something up for the MBPT: 3025 section. The story is pretty shallow at this point, but I’ve got game manuals and a preview movie up, which should cover just about anything you’d like to know about how the game played.

On the subject of Mechwarrior 2, I was just checking around the ‘net for a few things, and happened upon the forums of one Eric Peterson – the guy that originally programmed Mechwarrior 2. Someone had asked him if he’d ever seen my MW2: The Clans page. Even though it’s really nothing, I do get a fuzzy feeling knowing one of the developers has actually read my highly inaccurate ramblings.

In other Mech news, Microsoft no longer owns the Mechwarrior license. If you’ve been keeping track, FASA, who created Battletech licensed Mechwarrior to Activision for the Mech 2 games, but took it back and licensed it to Micropose for Mech 3. After that, they spun out FASA Interactive to do their own games, which was later purchased by Microsoft. MS disbanded FASA Interactive and canned MW5, having since been sitting on the license for the last several years. What does this mean? If someone is shelling out the bucks to get it back, they plan on using it, hopefully for a new Mechwarrior game.

IGN has shown Interstate ’76 some love, so of course, I’ve got to spread the news. Check out my site first, then go check out their article.

Last note: Deus Ex 3 is in the works. Warren Spector & co. have nothing to do with the game. Instead, it’s being developed by Eidos Montreal. Let’s hope it’s better than Invisible War.

MPBT: 3025 – Section is up with some interesting documents.
Mechwarrior Links – Updated and added.
Mechwarrior 2 FAQ – It’s actually up, though it’s pretty small.