The Internet Vagabond

Farewell to Windows Tour 2015

It has come time to bid Windows farewell. Once upon a time Windows was the only digital world I knew. It began when I was young, during the venerable 3.1 era. I remember booting up our family computer into DOS, and before starting Windows I could start Doom 2 or Keen's Dream, or any number of other games. That was my first interaction with a command line. My, my, how times have changed.

From Doom 2 and Keen I went on to Baldur's Gate and Battlezone. I dabbled here and there in NES/Sega/SNES/Genesis stuff, but PC gaming always held my attention. The only exception to this was my Gameboy with Pokemon, because that game is literal crack to a 12 year old. Baldur's Gate held my attention like only a classic RPG can, and I remember pouring over the manual and this guidebook I had to learn as much as I could about the world the game created. Around this time I was also getting into Dungeons and Dragons (Satan's game!), so there was a definite mixture of digital and tabletop gaming. Battlezone, on the other hand, was introduced to me by my good friend Rob, and became a classic among my group of friends. Then, of course, Smash Bros became a thing and that was our game of choice. That and Soul Calibur; ah memories.

It wasn't until relatively recently that I ever even tried gaming on Linux. My senior year of high school I was introduced to Linux by my friend Ben. That spawned the interest, but it was always secondary to my true love of computers, gaming. Throughout college I had an Asus netbook, which was always my Linux machine, but I still had my Windows desktop, which was my gaming machine. Windows was essential for gaming: Steam; Final Fantasy 11 (yes, I know.); triple-A titles. These were "Windows Exclusives," unless I wanted to venture into console territory. Thus it remained, throughout college and my early-mid 20's. Then something magical happened: Steam came to Linux. That was the deathblow to Windows in my book, at least for my needs. I had long ago dropped my interest in many games, leaving a small but well-loved list of games that I do still care about. The majority of these are now supported on Linux, but there are a few which remain Windows only. That is what this "tour" is for; the last few games I want to play on Windows, before I go Linux only.


The list isn't huge, but there are some definite strong players:

  • Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2
  • Dishonored
  • Duke Nuken Forever
  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
  • Spec Ops: The Line

Mostly "newer" games, mostly graphics-intensive games. I know these run fine on Windows, and they may work in Wine but I don't feel like either figuring out if they do, or trying to make them play nice.

Special Guest Appearances By

There are a few games that I will fiddle with to get working in Wine though, and these are games I don't quite want to let go, but still are Windows only: Skyrim and Guild Wars 2. I love Guild Wars 2, I think it's the best MMO on the market, with the most supportive and friendly community and one of the best developers. Skyrim is, well, Skyrim; I like hitting things. Chivalry would be a close third on this list, but Chivalry is on Linux now, so I can scream my lungs out and stab people whenever I want. Regardless, I imagine I'll be playing plenty of each of these while finishing up the main list.

Tickets on Sale Now!

Well, not exactly. But this would be a fantastic way to get into streaming, and maybe I'll transition from Windows to Linux with that as well. Streaming has always been something I've wanted to do, but never had the time nor effort to pursue. So, either tradition will hold strong, or a new challenger will appear. Until then.

Bill Niblock 2015-04-28
[ gaming ]