LGR – “Doom” on a Calculator! [Ti-83 Plus Games Tutorial]


LGR: Just call me a cold, calculated killer. [typing] [DOOM theme plays] Greetings and welcome to an LGR thing, and, yes, we’re gonna be playing Doom on one of these! One of these! This is a Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus graphing calculator. Released… way too long ago and still costs too freakin’ much! Unless you’re like me and recently found one for $5 at a Goodwill. And, uh… [sliding plastic sound] That is still such a satisfying feeling. [case clasps shut] Hahhh… You know, I’ve talked crap about Texas Instruments before, and sort of analyzed their business practices, and why these things still cost so much and are enforced in so many schools. But today, I just wanna talk about them in a rather happy sense because these– they’re really cool, as far as the hardware. If you can get one for cheap. Yeah, back in the day when I put software on here, we called it “hacking.” It wasn’t– [laughs] ’cause we were stupid kids and hacking sounded cool because “The Matrix.” This is actually a thing that Texas Instruments wants you to do.

Not just math. They built in the functionality to install your own programs using a cable that *they* provide. Let’s just go ahead and take a look at this because I think this is super fascinating, and DOOM! So pretty much the only thing you’re going to need, other than the calculator and a “computor,” is one of these Texas Instruments Graph Link cables. This is the USB edition. The one I had back in the day I think was serial. But yeah, they make them in USB now, and they work, like, the same. And they’re just obviously easier too, uh, get working on modern hardware. So it has this little, uh, analog-looking jack, I guess. And you plug that right here into the bottom of the calculator. And then just turn it on. Plug this into your computer and…

go into the software which is at this point called TI Connect. That is the version for modern operating systems. There’s some older ones as well. Like, if you really wanna do this on a Windows 95 computer, you could. So, yeah, you just start it up, it will detect your calculator. Who knows? Just browse around. If you’ve got a used calculator, you might have some stuff already pre-installed on there. Could be interesting. But anyway, All you gotta do is go over to a website like ticalc. There’s links to all this stuff in the video description, by the way, but yeah.

And just find a game that is compatible with your calculator. In this case, we’re looking for the TI-83 Plus. Download what you want, extract it, and you’re gonna be looking for one of these either .8xg files or .8xp files in the case of the 83 Plus here. And you can pretty much just drag them onto this window. Or with the .8xp files, you can right-click them, at least in Windows, and have it send it directly over there. Really, just check the instructions for whatever you’re downloading. It’s probably in a .zip archive and it’ll tell you how to do it. Some things are gonna be different. Yeah, for the most part, it’s just drag-and-drop, and that’s… pretty much it. The only other thing to really worry about is sometimes you’re gonna need a kind of loader program. The two that are gonna be the most poplar are Ion and MirageOS.

These are programs that you’re gonna run before running, like, the other programs that you wanna run. Considering a lot of games require these, they’re good to have both installed on your Texas Instruments device. It’s also worth noting you probably wanna upgrade your operating system. I have version on my TI-83 Plus, which I think is the most recent version. And it’s free. All this stuff is just still on the Texas Instruments site. They support this crap because, I mean, they friggin’ still sell them.

Okay, now that I’ve got some software on there, I’m gonna go ahead and turn it on, which just brings us to the normal cursor there, which, uh, you know, let’s just do calculator-y things and whatnot. But who really cares? What we really wanna do here is check out what’s installed. And, you know, make sure everything’s good. So, press the 2nd button here and then MEM right down there, which brings us to this menu. And this’ll let us check what is actually in the storage here. Its… massive 160K of flash ROM, and 27K of RAM. You can see we have some RAM in the archive free there. The archive is the flash ROM. And, um, if we go and check here… You see those little things with the asterisks to the left of them? That means that those are archived. Those are programs and apps and, you know, whatever. So… if it’s archived, that means we’re not gonna be able to open it directly.

And in fact, a lot of these aren’t gonna be opened directly anyway because they’re you know, coded in one way or another. So that’s what those external programs that I installed on here was for. Such as MirageOS, and I just press the APPS key to open that up. And this right here gives us a nice, little graphical interface that shows the things that it thinks that it can open. [chuckles] Some of them it can, some of them it can’t. And for those that it can’t, then that is actually going to be…

uh, opened by pressing “Program” here. And that “A” at the very top, that is Ion. You see these other Ions? You open this one first, once you transfer them over. It’ll install this “A,” and that’s when you open this. You just put in the “prgmA” command. And this gives you another little menu. It’s just all text. And these are the things that it can open from here. So, let me just go ahead and open Tetris first because you know, it’s a very simple thing that you’d probably expect, maybe, that this could do, but even still, I think it’s, um, pretty, pretty fascinating. You just use the arrows and it’s, it’s friggin’ Tetris. And it works, man. Obviously, there’s no sound on this because it’s… it’s a calculator. But… If it had sound, I imagine it would sound, uh, very calculating, perhaps mathematical. Alright, so I did something wrong there. Sometimes you’ll get some weird errors like that, but just clear out of there, and, um, [chuckles] hopefully we’ll be okay. Uh, let’s open JezzBall. You do have to be kind of careful with this because, um, just the memory of this system is…

You know, I mean, it’s insanely lacking. The fact that it’s pulling off this stuff at all is just kind of amazing to me. But, yeah, this is a version of JezzBall. And as you can see here, it’s kinda like the arcade game Qix. And if you played, uh, you know, any of the good Microsoft Entertainment Packs for Windows 3 back in the day, yeah, pretty much…

Probably recognize this. Just try to… Oh! That didn’t take long at all. You try to trap the balls. Dang it! Let’s try Super Mario here. This I’ve always found impressive. This is another one that I had back in the day, and holy crap. I don’t think it was maybe 1.2, maybe it was an earlier one, but… This is just darned impressive to me. It’s, um, again, also really tough. [chuckles] Because of, you know, I mean, it’s just… this little screen. But it’s a fully featured Mario game. Holy crap. It’s just–it’s not only really fast… Like, impressively fast. I don’t know if they were just trying to show off or what, because it makes it really hard to play, but, uh, yeah. I mean, it’s pretty awesome, actually. Yeah, time for the main event here. And that is… zDoom.

There’s actually another version of Doom on here, believe it or not. There’s two of them. But this is the one that I find to be, well, just the better one. And it is actually based on this other one that a lot of people call it “French Doom.” This is the other version of Doom I was talking about, “French Doom,” that is was based on, like Doom 83.

It was just made for the plain old TI-83. And, honestly, while this is impressive in its own right, it actually shares more in common with Wolfenstein 3D. I mean, you can see I’ve got like you know, the gun from Wolfenstein right there and… It’s pretty fast is the thing. Like, it– It’s a more than playable thing. But, uh, it’s… whoop! “Perdu!” I died! Yup, that’s it! It just kicked me out. So you can kinda see what that was. It was just pretty much Wolfenstein 3D, but they called it Doom. I dunno. But this one, on the other hand… So you can actually go over here into the options, check the difficulty, which is– I’m gonna put it all the way down because this is a really tough game. And we’re gonna start a new game here of zDoom 0.12. Level 1. And, yeah, you can see here, this, I think… screams Doom. Even though it’s still, you know, the same kind of… there’s no, like… height difference in the levels, it’s just very Wolfenstein-like. And as you’ll see, it’s a lot slower And that’s probably due to, like, the animations here. I mean, look how slow I’m shooting! Holy nuts! Yeah, there you go.

Die! At the same time, I’m playing Doom on a calculator. [chuckles] And that right there is just, uh… I mean it doesn’t matter how slow it runs, to me. Considering how old this hardware is in here. I mean, we’re talking insanely limited z80 CPU kind of stuff. 6 MHz, I believe. The fact that this is even doing anything at all remotely looking like Doom is just fantastic. It’s just, uh, almost unplayable. You–this is all it is, by the way– You get some weapons later on, if you can survive, but I mean it’s just so slow that it’s unbearable, really, which is a shame.

Uh, so that’s, that’s Doom. [laughs] That’s all I gotta say! Um, pretty much if you wanna mess around with one of these calculators, then why don’t you do that? I mean, pick one up. It’s super limited, but I mean there are a ton of games. And as you saw, I mean, it’s pretty simple to get them on here. Not a big deal whatsoever. Oh, sweet! Got to Level 2. Nice! But, yeah, once you figure out these thing’s quirks, it’s awesome. And I am dead. [laughs] Well, that’s pretty much it for me messing around with some gaming on the Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus. I mean, holy crap. What a cool little thing. And it was like never meant to be able to do stuff like that. Um…

That’s just… that’s what it is. Bloody fantastic, as far as I’m concerned. And if you enjoyed this little look at some weird stuff on a calculator, then perhaps you’d like to see some of my other videos on calculators and other nonsense. I’ve got new videos every Monday and Friday here on LGR. So, check ’em out if you’d like. And as always, thank you very much for watching..