3D Realms Beta Trailer


3D Realms, both under this name and our former name “Apogee Software”, has put out a lot of games. As with any game, they go through development cycles with early versions, betas, and the like. Recently, we had been going through our archive of old beta games, and thought the fans might like to see a quick video showing some of these.

So that’s what we have for you today. A short Youtube video showing pre-release beta title screens and snippets from several games from our past. Rise of the Triad, Major Stryker, Blake Stone, Realms of Chaos, Crystal Caves, Shadow Warrior, and several others.

As an added bonus, the song that plays during this video is a previously unreleased Lee Jackson song.

Enjoy this look back and some of our earlier titles. Here are a few words from 3D Realms historian, Joe Siegler…

"As I’ve been involved with the company in some capacity since late 1992, I have quite the collection of old beta games. Some of you from the old 3D Realms forums might remember that famous “Beta CD” I posted pictures and screen grabs from. The problem with them is that as time went on, the older betas became less useful. Why? Well, we were pretty good in keeping them from leaking out due to various security measures. These ranged from physical dongles you had to put into your parallel port, to more fiddly things. Such as making a specific DOS environment variable need to be set, plus date ranges, and simple passwords. The problem is now in 2017 that the majority of these old conditions were forgotten due to time. Then there were some whose zip files were password protected and the passwords lost. So again, another roadblock.

Jump forward to now, and we managed to find a way around all this. Don’t want to say what that was specifically, but we at 3D Realms were able to access old betas and old games that we haven’t seen in this state since before they were originally released. Was quite a refreshing look into the past, and that’s why this video is here. We thought you’d like a quick peek into these legendary games from the past, and what they looked like back in the day.

This is also a fun video for me today as it comes out on the actual 3 year anniversary of me being involved with the new 3D Realms, so it’s kind of a cool thing to put out there today of all days.

– Joe Siegler
3D Realms Historian"


great video! I love those insights into the gaming past, makes me feel nostalgic.
I would not mind a longer video of that Duke Nukem Beta which was shown (or maybe various stages of 'em).
Thanks for sharing this with us!


Missing those games - no one is making games like those these days. Some developers try, but the games are just not the same and not as much fun. :anguished:

Got a glimpse of “Alabama Smith and the Blood Pendant.” Would have been nice to try, but evidently never released. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


Bloodfire Pendant came out as “Realms of Chaos”.


Oh - didn’t make the connection. I have “Realms of Chaos.” Thanks for letting me know. :slight_smile:


With the executable size of most of those games I imagine using a hex editor/disassembler would let you bypass a lot of those checks in the same way you’d go about cracking old copy protection. As for ZIP passwords they’re probably easily crackable unless you guys went crazy with the password complexity back then.

Do you think the community will ever see a release of beta material just for posterity/preservation/curiosity?


It’s not as easy as “release it”. There’s legal considerations to factor in. Who owns the IP rights to the game? Not always us. There’s some times the original author/IP holder doesn’t want the material out there.


Oh I know - I didn’t mean a blanket statement of why not “release it all”. I figured at least some of it might have minimal or no other parties in the way, etc… I wouldn’t know, so I was wondering.