Let’s go back. Way back. over 15 years into the past, to high school computer labs in late 2000 and early 2001. At this time, I didn’t have a computer at home (amazing, I know!) so my only real access to PC’s, or the internet, was at school. This was fine by me – I was learning various (now very dated) skills in what I can only recall was one of those basics of computing type classes. You know, the ones that teach you how to do PowerPoint presentations, basic HTML, and all that. I think the class might have been called “Applied Computing” but honestly, I can’t recall. High school is quite a hazy memory for me.
Anyway, these computers had active internet connections. What they didn’t have however was unlimited file system access. While we were able to bypass this by using internet explorer (seriously, just typing C:\ would get you to the root drive) without the ability to install new software, we couldn’t have much fun with them… save for internet games!
As you would expect, what we wanted to do on these machines more than anything was game. These fresh Windows 2000 boxes begged to be tested, and indeed, many of us, in varying classes, all found online games we wanted to play. Heck, at points during class I even worked on my own (very lame) personal webpage hosted somewhere on a long-dead Geocities server. Gaming, however, was our focus.
Me, being the Final Fantasy obsessed person I was, hunted for an RPG I could play online. I can’t recall details, but I eventually stumbled upon a website, netdragons,com, and a game on their server, Vagabond’s Quest.
This is where a friend and I wasted many end-of-class hours, slaying beasts, battling in the Arena, and adventuring through a text only world of magic and mystery.
At least, this is how I remember it. Mainly the arena, and trying to level up and get better equipment. Like I said, I can’t remember much about this time, let alone the game – we only ended up playing it that one 10th grade year, and pretty much forgot about it again.
Over the past few years, I have thought more about that old game, but for some reason, could never remember details of it. Then, last night, while watching some documentary on BBS gaming (the predecessor to internet gaming) I eventually found a mention of this game, somehow, and eventually re-discovered the now-dead pages for it. Looks like the game died in the late 2000’s.
Interestingly, it seems many people have fond memories of the game, up to and including a Facebook fanpage for memories of the game. The odd thing though is that, as loved as the game seems to have been, there isn’t even a wikipedia entry for the game itself, or for netdragons.com!
Archive.org still has decent saves of the games pages, even to the exact time frame I would have been playing it back in 2001. Of course, the game doesn’t work, but the site itself, at it’s core, is there. That, in some ways, is the important thing. At least I can look back and see what it was that enticed me to register all those years ago.
I wish I could tell stories about the game itself, but those memories are lost to time. Maybe that’s for the better. Perhaps the fact that I just remember having fun with that game is the most important part, and the details don’t matter. The game guides are still available to some degree, but without playing the game itself, who knows how it really felt. All I know is, I enjoyed it.
Yeah, that’s really the important thing, that it was a fun game when I needed a way to kill time when I should have been working on classwork.
10th grade… 2000-2001, it was a very different time. More on that in the future, maybe.