You know how these days you just download your PC games, maybe tweak a few settings? As Redditor FhjullForkedTongue points out, back in 1991 PC game installation was a bit more intense. DIRE WARNINGS FOLLOW.
Back then buying a PC game was the beginning of an adventure fraught with danger. How many disks would have to be swapped? How much hard drive space would we need? Would HIMEM.SYS come into play, because I don’t know if I can handle that.
According to the full install guide for Wing Commander II, the answers are seven plus three if you want voice instead of subtitles, at least 1MB of space for minimal installation, and not only HIMEM.SYS but EMM386.EXE as well. And be sure to do all of those things properly, or the planet—nay, the very universe could be doomed.
Intense, right? And that “several hours of your time” doesn’t mean running off to do something else while your data downloads. That’s sitting in front of the computer, typing in commands, modifying configuration files and swapping discs. Back then we worked to enjoy “one of the most powerful entertainment products available,” and we loved it.
Now get off my lawn or I’ll be VERY ANGRY.