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Ram Raid CD-i: Online, but out of time

>> Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Welcome to "RAM Raid": The best game on the internet, only available to CD-Online subscribers. Your mission is to defeat the others subscribers and become CD-Online best Ram Raider and earn the right to challenge RAM, the CD-Online main computer. Fight off RAM's mercenaries, and defeat your fellow subscribers; "RAM Raid" is a heart-stopping journey through "hyper-reality". That's how Philips announced RAM RAID to us: The one and only on-line multiplayer game on CD-i. A major experiment carried out by Philips Research Redhill, the same team who brought us Atlantis: The Last Resort.

The second edition of the CD-Online Disc (by Lost Boys, the team who brought us The Lost Ride) included a revolutionary game on CD-i: RAM RAID was an original first person shooter which could be played over the Internet, which was hot in 1996. Simply called "The Game" you could enter the demo room from the main menu. Unfortunately the CD-Online server is dormant these days so you are limited in playing the Practice levels of RAM RAID, which give you an idea how this was the top of CD-i gaming.

Yes, you could connect the CD-i player to a modem (a derival of the announced CD-i Interlink, a device that never was produced), clocked at 14k4 (can you imagine!). The modem made a connection to the internet and the CD-Online discs contained a browser to browse online. That was a great alternative to the PC which was at that time sometimes hard to follow. The modem was packaged in a so-called "CD-i Internet Kit", holding the modem (capable of 14.400 bps) and the disc itself. In Europe the service was called CD-Online, the USA had Web-i for this subscription. As Web-i never got off the ground in the USA, RAM RAID was only available in Europe from 1996 up to 2000, the year CD-Online closed down.

After RAM RAID, Philips went for more and created the at-that-time highly anticipated Atlantis: The Last Resort, the offline version of RAM RAID. Atlantis was built in a different setting and new enemies, but the engine was completely the same. The online part was just left out. Now that CD-Online is dormant, you can only play the practice levels accessing "Practice Arena" and "More Practice".

As in Atlantis you have the possibility in RAM RAID to listen to your favourite music while playing online. The game contains a total of 9 levels but only accessible through internet because some data files were stored at the CD-Online server. Just the two practice levels are on the disc itself.

The RAM RAID game was promoted with an official T-Shirt which you can see on the picture here. We spoke to an old RAM RAID veteran who shared some nice memories of RAM RAID: "You couldn't play directly against others, as how it worked was you picked someone on the scoreboard (with a higher score than you) and then picked which level you played so if you won then you would get a score increase based on the difference on yours and the other persons score, and so would work up your score rating, i'm also positive that the larger the score difference added to the difficulty of the level, because i remember on the first comp that there was just a few of us overtaking each other as there was a MASSIVE difference between the top 6 and the others,and only a few managed to catch up.

On youtube I found a video of RAM RAID, which originally was taken by Le Monde du CD-i:

Also i think it was only the first competition that acknowledged runners up as well (I think the top five in the first competition all won t-shirts and further competitions after that only gave one to the winner) but the winner of the first competition also got his name in cd-i magazine (i think i could have won the first competition but my machine crashed downloading my final score seconds before the end AAaaaaaargh!).

The subscription cost £12 a month plus you also payed for your phone calls as well but at a local rate as once you setup the machine it asked you to pick a local number from a list of 20 or so, and from that it was diverted to cd-online. I still have my modem sitting on top of my machine. It brought back memories,i even tried to log on, later on they put another page into the ram raid part of the web in that you could look at the roll of honour-winners of each round.

also some pages didn't work as the cd-i couldn't handle the graphics, so either refused to load or the page was full of icons where graphics should have been. shame I just threw out some letters I received from philips, such as the newsletters that came with each upgrade. Finally, has anyone else seen these other two bits of merchandise i have as well and they are the 'space ace' pin badge that came with the CDI magazine and the 'chaos control' pin badge that i got from buying the game at dixons and received a free badge.

Firstly,i found my chaos control badge and also came across a few extra discs that used the CD-Online service, mostly the cd online discs itself that came also in the magazine (cd-online issue 1/cd-online issue 2/cdi games-highlights-previews-gameclips/total euro 96/disc 97-10(cdonline by lost boys)/the net on your set 96-10/video cd music sampler/usa'94 world cup/micro machines demo/99-1 'doing the business'(tv episode starring leslie granthem(can't remember how to spell his name-lol).

My cdonline user manual issue 1(all the others have been thrown out). but the last two items are a bit more interesting- a cd from philips cd-online titled 'cynet plus' which is just an internet access disc for the PC with a shareware game called 'clockwerx', but the disc also includes 8 cd quality music tracks by 'Chris Thorne' and 'Honeynut' one of which is the 'Ramraid' music track(nice), it was sent to me by philips since i was a cd onliner. Hereby the connection between Honeynut and Atlantis: The Last resort is also solved!

The fact you needed a seperate subscription for the cd-i connection kept me from signing up. Moreover, even at the time the modem included was slow, only 14K4. It was just not very attractive compared to the PC internet style. You couldn't browse through every page, only a list of sites which were supported by CD-online. Ofcourse, the fact you could use it on your television even today would be a true improvement, but the price tage didn't weigh against the pros of the CD-i internet kit. Not like Wii does nowadays, for example.

Thanks to William.

4 reacties:

maxx,  June 1, 2007 at 11:26 AM  

too bad we can't use the internet on CD-i anymore!!! Why can't we use a different modem with CD-i, may be it does work??

Anonymous,  June 4, 2007 at 7:14 PM  

Better than Doom on the Super Nintendo, anyway, it was pretty blurry...

colin day June 6, 2016 at 10:40 AM  

i was the first winner of ram raid. aka Exterminator 1.

colin day June 6, 2016 at 10:41 AM  

i was the first winner of ram raid. aka Exterminator 1.

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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