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Last month brought news that 3D Realms, the company behind legendary 1990s games Duke Nukem 3D and Shadow Warrior, had released a new title that features the same 22-year-old Build Engine as those classics from yesteryear. But if using a first-person shooter engine from two decades ago wasn’t retro enough for you, the company has now announced that the game will also be available on floppy disk, albeit a very special one.
With its pixelated graphics and retro animations, Ion Maiden is the latest in a long line of games that go after the nostalgia market, though its use of the Build Engine does mean it's arguably more authentic than most. To give it an even more 90s vibe, 3D Realms recently tweeted that the shooter is also being released on a floppy disk “with a twist.”
As you can see in the video, the disk is labeled 1/1. While Ion Maiden’s system requirements ask for just 100MB of space—a fraction of what most modern titles require—it’s still a whole lot more than what a single floppy with its 1.44MB capacity can handle.
We’re releasing Ion Maiden on floppies with a twist! :) pic.twitter.com/CxRpNYzDLB— 3D Realms (@3DRealms) April 13, 2018
As the clip progresses, we find out just how the company achieved this feat. When the disk’s shutter is opened, out pops a hidden flash drive, which presumably comes with plenty of space for storing the game.
Ion Maiden is still in Early Access on Steam—where it’s got an overwhelmingly positive rating—so there’s no word on when this special version might arrive, how much it will cost, or if it's all just a clever marketing ploy. But judging by the response on Twitter, people are excited by the prospect of once again owning a game on floppy, even though it's actually just a USB flash drive in disguise. If only 3D Realms would add a requirement for people to edit their config.sys and autoexec.bat files before the game works—that would make for a truly authentic 90s PC gaming experience.