Half-remembered DOS game from the early '90s
January 6, 2008 7:00 PM   Subscribe

Can you help my sister & me identify this half-remembered DOS game?

While my sister & I were chatting the other day, we got on the subject of the Marines. I started humming the Marines' Hymn ("From the Halls of Montezuma"), and this twinged a memory in my sis of an old DOS computer game. Here's what we can remember about it:
  • The theme music was the Marines' Hymn. This much we are certain of.
  • The name of the game may have been Captain something or Commander something.
  • There was no save feature, so you had to play through the entire thing in one sitting if you wanted to beat the game.
  • The game was quite possibly a side-scroller or a top-scroller. We seem to recall that some of the enemies looked like beach balls.
  • We were playing this game on a DOS machine in the early '90s. It was almost certainly shareware.
Not much to go on, I know, but if any site can recall this bit of computer nerd ephemera, it's Ask MetaFilter. Any thoughts, folks?
posted by Johnny Assay to Technology (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not Montezuma's Revenge?
posted by roue at 7:07 PM on January 6, 2008

Commander Keen?
posted by gursky at 7:07 PM on January 6, 2008

Commander Keen, from ID software? Maybe? I can't remember if it had a save feature or not.
posted by EatTheWeek at 7:07 PM on January 6, 2008

But it did switch between top and side scrolling - top, to choose levels, side, to play levels. (damn your swift posting, gursky!)
posted by EatTheWeek at 7:08 PM on January 6, 2008

captain?? or Commander??
posted by zouhair at 7:11 PM on January 6, 2008

Best answer: This page seems to think the game is "[The Adventures of] Captain Comic.
posted by blueberry at 7:50 PM on January 6, 2008

This video of the first level in Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy has beach balls and Marines Hymn-like music.
posted by naju at 7:58 PM on January 6, 2008

Best answer: And here's the video for Captain Comic.
posted by naju at 8:01 PM on January 6, 2008

Definitely Captain Comic. Just loaded it up and I'm listening to the Halls of Montezuma right now. The Beach Ball is listed as an enemy right there on the title screen...
posted by aparrish at 8:30 PM on January 6, 2008

For what it's worth, the sequel was pretty awesome, and seems to be all over the abandonware sites.
posted by headlessagnew at 8:38 PM on January 6, 2008

As a Canadian who started playing computer games in the mid-90s, I will forever think of the marines' hymn as "the Captain Comic song".
posted by goingonit at 9:26 PM on January 6, 2008

Response by poster: I watched naju's video and all the memories came flooding back. Thanks for the nostalgia trip, everyone!

Special thanks to those who keep the spirit of Commander Keen alive, even if it wasn't the right answer here. Those games were ten different kinds of awesome.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:36 AM on January 7, 2008

Commander Keen! Oh gosh, the mention of that brought back all sorts of memories. I'm glad it was mentioned even though it wasn't the answer to your question.
posted by collocation at 7:35 AM on January 7, 2008

Ah, Captain Comic. The teleporter wand kicked ass.
posted by anthill at 9:35 AM on January 7, 2008

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