Crossing the Chasm

There’s a game that has haunted me for decades. It started with a PC Gamer demo disc. I loved these things, because they were usually packed with good game demos. One of those demos was Chasm: The Rift. I don’t remember the demo much except that it was like Quake and I liked it.

Since I was pretty young, or at least pretty dependent on my parents to buy things, I never got Chasm: The Rift. It wasn’t exactly the kind of game you could pick up out of our local Babbage’s. For the years afterward, every now and then, I’d think about Chasm. Was it actually good? Can I pirate it somewhere? Will it comes to GOG?

Recently, I learned about a project called exoDOS. Google it. There’s no listing for what games are in exoDOS so I took a risk and blindly downloaded and ran it. It’s got a ton of games, but does it have Chasm? I wouldn’t be writing this if it didn’t.

But Chasm is old. It’s a DOS game with basically no following or source port. It’s more or less lost to time. Surely it won’t run, or if it does, it won’t be particularly playable. But I wouldn’t be writing this if that were true.

It run great in exoDOS. It’s perfectly playable. WASD + mouselook and everything. And it’s not perfect, because it’s basically Wolfenstein with 3D enemies and weapons but flat levels, but it’s pretty fun! Sort of impressive in how they do mission briefings with high detail textured polygonal models. That seems a bit ahead of its time for Quake era.