Fate of 28-year-old unreleased DOS game uncovered by Twitter bot

StarTribes, a precursor to CD-i game Laser Lords, resurfaces almost three decades on.

Video game archival is a messy process, but sometimes curators like Frank Cifaldi are given a lucky break like when a Twitter bot posts a screenshot of an unreleased game more than 28 years later.

Cifaldi's written up a full acount of this weird coincidence of conservationism on his Video Game History Foundation Patreon blog, after a fan of sprawling Phillips CD-i adventure title Laser Lords recognised a screenshot from a Twitter bot that posts ancient gifs.

As Cifaldi discovered from some internet archive digging, StarTribes: Myth of the Dragon Lord was originally planned to release in the early '90s for MS-DOS. But the turbulence of the consumer software market around then forced developer Spinnaker Software to make some cost-saving cuts, which likely resulted in the game being shelved.

However, a few years down the line Laser Lords eventually made it onto the ambitious CD-i, the first home console to use then cutting edge compact disc technology to store relatively massive games.

Thanks to its cult following (it is a remarkably weird game) and a bot posting gifs from an old shareware CD-ROM, the humble beginnings of this title have been rescued from the jaws of history. Bizarre, beautiful life.


Chris is the captain of the good ship AllGamers, which would explain everything you're seeing here. Get in touch to talk about work or the $6 million Echo Slam by emailing chris.higgins@allgamers.com or finding him on Twitter. 


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