Here's How You Can Play Roger Ebert's Favorite Video Game

Illustration for article titled Here's How You Can Play Roger Ebert's Favorite Video Game

A few days back, I posted a video essay asserting the merits of an obscure adventure game called Cosmology of Kyoto, a game that film critic Roger Ebert reviewed for Wired in 1994.

See, the old Mac version is busted, and even the Windows version can be a pain to get to run, mainly because it exists in that fickle space between DOS and Windows 98. If you have a Mac your only recourses are either to emulate Windows, or to partition your hard drive, which would sure spell major hassle for someone who doesn't even play videogames (like Ebert).


Luckily, the ever-helpful Jenn Frank of Infinite Lives had already made me a a no-nonsense, pre-packaged Mac version of the game awhile back, by wrapping it in a copy of Windows 3.1 (she refers to this as a "nested emulation").

All you Mac users need to run Kyoto is a copy of Boxer (a simple-to-use DOSBox frontend) and Jenn's file, and you're good to go!

I know a lot of people indicated they were trying to track down the game, so if you want to play along at home - and especially if you're on a MacBook - here are Jenn's instructions for getting Cosmology of Kyoto to run:

Hi. Since Cosmology of Kyoto is a Windows game, PC users can nab the original CD-ROM files from a website like Home of the Underdogs. Just download the file, unzip the folder, launch the application in Compatibility Mode, and God willing, everything should work. Good luck!

I think I've simplified the process for Mac users, though. First, download Boxer for your Mac. Next, download this file. (It's exactly the same version of the game as Underdogs', but this time it's mounted as a CD-ROM drive inside of Windows 3.1. You're welcome!)

Unzip the file. You should end up with a "game container" - it's a little square with its own icon and everything. Launch the latest version of Boxer, choose "Browse Games," and drop the "container" therein.

Now the game should be automagically ready to play on any modern Mac! If you like, you can even right-click on the container to make an "alias," which you can then drag-and-drop anyplace you like. That way Cosmology of Kyoto is always ready to launch, without your ever having to open Boxer first.


Now everyone should be able to run Cosmology of Kyoto on his or her Mac without a hitch. Give it a shot! We tweeted Ebert the instructions, and now even he's playing!

Illustration for article titled Here's How You Can Play Roger Ebert's Favorite Video Game

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Unfortunately for us Windows users with 64bit systems, the only possible way to run this game is within a virtualized copy of Windows 3.1 or Windows 95. This program is a 16 bit executable, which 64 bit Windows 7 will outright refuse to run, regardless of any compatibility modes you use. Users of a 32 bit version of Windows should fare better.