The Oregon Trail…of HORRORS!

June 29, 2006

Celinda Hines would later drown and be torn apart by Grizzlies. Simultaneously.

I love Oregon Trail.

Not just because it’s useful in airplanes (see below), but, well, it’s a good memory. Most people my age would probably admit to having at least one fond memory of traveling that pixelated trail, the only difference between them and myself being that they’re not still playing the game or writing about it in their blogs. Losers.

It was one of those rainy day games you’d play on the shitty Apple II computers supplied to your elementary school, but it was the best of those games. Screw the Moon Landing or the Multiplication Game with fuzzy monsters or whatever — there were bears and squirrels to be hunted! You’d load that wagon up with 5 of your best friends or some of your family (my dog accompanied me on quite a few trips to Oregon), and you’d do your damndest to keep them all alive. If it didn’t work out, you would mourn over their measled bodies and then continue on down that trail, knowing they were forever looking down on you and ushering you forward into that dream, that dream of OREGON!

Nowadays, I like to fill my wagon with people I hate, feed them meager rations, and then shoot across the wilderness at a grueling pace, throwing everyone into unimaginable peril at every given opportunity. Limbs are broken, snake bites are acquired, and there are drownings. Oh, there are drownings!

It’s all highly therapeutic, of course (or incredibly unhealthy, I’m not sure which). In fact, it would probably be a great game to keep around on your laptop. Load up the Apple II emulator while you’re sitting in the middle row of that cramped 747 and create your own scenario: you’re the leader, “Bastard” is the guy to your left in the window seat hording the arm rest, “Old Hag” is the sleeping grandmother in the aisle seat blocking you from taking a pee, Whore is the flight attendant who cut you off from liquor, “Bitch” is the flight attendant that agreed with her, and “Hellbeast” is the child sitting behind you that won’t stop screaming and kicking your seat.

Jacob Hofsteader would later watch helplessly as
his entire family is scalped and burned alive by indians.

Now watch them DIE. I assure you that a sudden calm and peacefulness will come over you when you learn that “Hellbeast” has drowned in a river fording accident, and that all of your worries will float away down that river with his bloated body. Never will Southwest Airlines have seemed so relaxing.

Fun, fun, fun!

The only problem is when people survive — how are you supposed to vent your frustrations on The Trail if nobody dies from typhoid fever like the stinking shits they are? I guess that’s where the ol’ “vodka in a water bottle” comes in handy. Hey, I didn’t say the game was perfect.

Relavent links:
Oregon Trail Disk Image (courtesy of my bandwidth)
AppleWin Emulator (courtesy of some dude)

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