25-year-old game thought lost until creator sees someone stream it

Rick Brewster is the creator of freeware graphics editor Paint.NET, but back in the early 1990s he was a precocious young developer of videogames. One of those games, made when he was only 12, was The Golden Flute 4: The Flute of Immortality. Until recently Brewster thought his game was gone forever, the only copy given away to a cousin and then lost.

But earlier this month he saw Macaw, a streamer who specializes in retro games, playing it in during a dive into obscure DOS game hosted on the Internet Archive. Though Macaw wasn't super impressed by a low-fi Quest For Glory made by a 12-year-old, Brewster was thrilled to see his work had somehow survived and been uploaded onto the internet. He's since explained a bit of the history behind the project in a tweet thread.

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As Brewster explains, it was part of a series of fan sequels he made to a text adventure called The Golden Flute, which was published in a book teaching basic programming skills so readers could make their own games. The young developer obviously went beyond the adventure game flowcharts in that book, creating his own homages to the Sierra games of the era.

Firing up a Twitch stream and seeing someone play something you made 25 years ago and thought was lost must be a hell of a feeling. You can play The Golden Flute 4: The Flute of Immortality in a browser or download it to play with DOSBox.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.