Hey All,

Do you all love Age of Empires (AoE)? I love it. Rather, I loved it.

Those were the times of PII systems. For those who were born after 2000, the P is actually Pentium. We had Pentium processors first, then came Pentium II and then Pentium III and so on. My association with the computer game started during the times of Celeron processors which were inferior to the Pentium ones.

The year was 1997. I was in tenth standard. The exams were over and we did not have anything to do in the vacation. Beer and stuff were out of reach. Computer’s were the next big thing in life. People were speaking about jobs in computer companies that were paying huge amounts of money as salary. So computers were inviting and I joined a computer class around 2-3 kilometres from my house.

The fee was around 200 bucks. They taught me MS-DOS. Yes. Fricking MS-DOS. Everyday, I used to go there at around 09:30 am and sit and get the instructions done by 11:00am. Once the instruction session was over, we used to have the practical. Practical was interesting because it allowed us to handle the computer. The MS-DOS was not interesting. Ten days into the class, I had made friends there. A good friends taught me well and he taught me some tricks too.

The trick included accessing a folder called games and play a F1 game in a system with MS-DOS. With nothing else to do, that was the only option. Still, the game was very addictive and it just took me a day or two, to get addicted to it. I played the game until the summer holiday was over. Once the summer holidays were over, I did not get a chance to play a computer game until I met few more friends with computers at home.

Ashes 97 had been released. A friend of mine had the CD and we went in everyday to play the game at his house. He had a computer with Pentium processor. Super fast. However, he could not allow us to play the game in his computer for long because of some family issues. His family had issues with us sitting inside the house and playing. Ashes 97 CD was borrowed. We made new friends in tuitions. I used to go for a physics tuition and I was friends with the physics sir’s son. His brother had a computer. When his brother was not around, we went in and used the CD and played the game. We had cheat codes. 131 used to make the batsmen hit a lot of sixes and 321 made the players drop catches. What nice times those were.

But this honeymoon phase with the computer was short-lived because the system conked one day. My tryst with computers were over for good.

It was not until the April of 2000 that I touched the computer again. Dad bought us a computer – A Compaq Presario PII with 128 MB RAM. That was like rocket speed when compared to my friends systems. The system also came bundled with some CDs and games. I got an encyclopaedia and a tank game called Recoil. Recoil was my favourite game until Microsoft released AoE. That was a stunner!

I was madly in love with AoE until 2004. I used to create a huge map and do all sorts of nonsense customizing and create a lot of resources with cheat codes. I made many forts and lot of cavalry. Making the cavalry march towards the enemy fort with battering rams, Gatling guns, Catapults etc. was a beautiful sight. Achieving the victory was sweet. I had played many more strategy and simulation games after that, but nothing beats AoE. It was right royally a game for the kings! My exploration led me to a variety of games. You all must have forgotten those. I will take you back in a trip to the past.

Will continue! Got to clean the house as wifey’s seemantham/valaikappu is tomorrow. Entire house is being cleaned and I am being frowned upon.

Before I go, I am going to write about AoE in detail, in the next post. More games will come with subsequent posts.

Got to go. Bye.