How to play old games on your computer #1: Magnavox Odyssey

I wanted to start this series off from the beginning. While I could have attempted to go all the way back to the first video games ever created… at all… I thought that maybe the very first console gaming system would be a more convenient starting place. Usually, I find that emulators have dodgy documentation. I’m hoping to make the process easier for people who aren’t already familiar with the whole process.

So, let me show you how to play Magnavox Odyssey games on your computer!The Magnavox Odyssey came out in 1972, 3 years before pong (my first console).


There aren’t a lot of options available here. There’s really only one emulator available and that one only has a few playable games. This is partially due to the accessories required to play many of them.

 

The best option I found was to use Odyemu, a project made by Paul Robinson and David Winter. While it is capable of emulating the available cartridges, many are basically un-playable due to the fact that the Odyssey used custom controllers for some of the games. There are also some graphical issues  you may encounter as they don’t quite have everything worked out.  I wouldn’t hold your breath on updates either, I don’t think these wonderful gentlemen are actively working on this emulator any more.

First, you need to install DosBox if you haven’t previously done so.  This emulator was originally written for Dos.  I have instructions available for that right here. It is super easy.

installation and running are fairly simple for this one. The people at Odyemu have packaged everything together, including the games.

  1. download Odyemu and unzip it.
  2.  move the odyemu directory to your Dosbox emulation folder. (wait, where is this?)

It is now installed and ready to use.  Unfortunately there’s no fancy interface for Odyemu. You have to load it up and load games through DosBox. Lets start by loading up “table tennis”.

  1.  Open DosBox and type “cd c:\odyemu ”
    you’ll see your prompt change to include odyemu>
  2. type ” odyemu cart1.mo1″

 

A new screen will appear with the game loading in it. The default key configuration to play is located here.

 

If you decide to play a different game, you can simply hit the escape key on your keyboard. This will bring you back to the odyemu prompt where you can load another game.

 

Playing the games is a bit weird with the keyboard, but it will surely bring a smile to anyone’s face who spent any time staring at those blocky graphics.

 

In the next “How to play old games on your computer”, I’ll cover pong, my very first console game.

1 Response

  1. James10898 says:

    I tried to do it with dosbox (windows 7)
    but it says “illegal command: tennis.mo1”

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