Macrocom: Revolutionaries of Form and Function
Conclusion and Resources
After the interview, Neal White III was kind enough to share a few more random thoughts from those times:
"7 Spirits was called "the Egypt game" throughout its design cycle; we didn’t pick the final name until the very end. 7 Spirits was also influenced by the new Transformers action figures, which were released the previous Christmas. Rand’s son John loved them. Actually both his kids would come and visit us in Rand’s upstairs office at his house. I still remember Katie as a toddler in diapers, even though she’s now in college!
Rand was attempting to quit smoking while we developed Icon. There’s nothing like spending a lot of time with an ex-smoker who is going through withdrawal at the same time he’s in a highly stressful situation! He went through a lot of those smokeless tobacco "Bandits" during this time, which was before you could get nicotine patches.
PC Magazine reviewed 7 Spirits for its After Hours games review column in August 1988. We also discovered that they were using the game to test EGA graphic cards for compatibility!"
Truth is truly stranger than fiction.
If you've managed to get this far, pat yourself on the back: You've made it to the resources section. Feel free to peruse the following list of goodies for download:
- ICON Demo: If you wanted to see what Neal and Rand pushed out before ICON's release, you can download their original demo if you want
to run it on a real CGA card so you can see what 136 simultaneous colors looks like on a 4-color CGA card. If you want to run it on your regular PC,
download Ben Wise's patch that modifies the graphics initialization code to run on a VGA card.
- ICON and Seven Spirits of RA: Possible copyright issues prevent us from offering these for direct download. However, that hasn't stopped some other PC game
affectionado websites from doing so. You can find hacked-up downloadable copies of ICON and Spirits from
Home of the Underdogs. While Neal and Rand have given permission to distribute ICON, which they hold the copyright to, the legal
rights of owning a pirated copy of Seven Spirits of Ra is still in question; you download it at your own risk. MobyGames assumes absolutely no responsibility for your actions.
- Textmode Capture Utility: Our FAQ has a specific section on how to capture screenshots, including our own utility that captures textmode screens and converts them to GIF screenshots using the original IBM PC CGA ROM font character matrix. If it looks like our screenshots of ICON and Spirits are authentic, that's because they are! :-)
Jim Leonard is the co-founder of MobyGames, an ambitious project to document, rate, and catalog all electronic games ever released.
The Fine Print: Copyright 2001 Jim Leonard and MobyGames. The use of this article in print, online, or any other media or medium is prohibited without the express written permission of the author.
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