How To Play Classic Games Using DOSBox


I’m not really a gamer but I enjoy playing a few classic games now and then, but many of the older DOS-based games don’t work on modern-day systems. That’s where DOSBox comes in.

I’m going to attempt to play the first game I ever owned, Duke Nukum. I’m talking about the original first one that came on a floppy disk. I still think I have the floppy somewhere. I have the files for the game in a folder with the path C:\Games.

The program file that starts the game is called DN1.exe.

I tried following the instructions on the website but couldn’t make heads nor tails of it so I took the easy route and made a shortcut to the game.

Create A Shortcut

Right-click on your desktop and choose New, then Shortcut.

Type the path to the DOSBox program or use the browse button to find it. Then, add the path to the game. With the current version of DOSBox installed on my system it looks like “C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74-3\DOSBox.exe” -userconf

When you install DOSBox, right-click on its icon on your desktop and go to properties and that will show you the correct path.

What you need to do now is click after “f” in userconf and then put a space and then in quotation marks put the path of your game. As I pointed out, my game is on drive C: in a folder called Games. I just decompressed the files into this folder so there is no sub-folder. The file that starts the game is called DN1.exe so my path is “c:\games\dn1.exe” and that’s what I put on the end.

My shortcut looks like this:

C:\Program Files (x86)\DOSBox-0.74-3\DOSBox.exe” -userconf “c:\games\dn1.exe

Click on Next and type in a name and then click on Finish. Now you have a shortcut that will start your game up automatically.

Repeat for each DOS game you want to play.

One thing I noticed when I started this game and that was how small the screen area is, but there is a solution for that. I can confirm it works with this game. Go to this file:

Download it or copy and paste its contents to a new text file and rename it dosbox-0.74-3.conf

Then in your User Folder, go to C:\Users\(your account)\AppData\Local\DOSBox and copy this new file to that location. You might want to rename the old one first to keep as a backup.

Now when I start the game, it runs in full screen.

Duke Nukum Hack

The version I set up here is what I downloaded from the Internet. I do have a copy laying around somewhere –too lazy to dig it out– but my original version only came with five levels. But there is a sixth, hidden one.

If you go to the game folder, the levels in this game are labelled WORLDAL1.DN1, WORLDAL2.DN1, and so on. There is also a USERDEMO.DN1. You can play the demo level if you rename it to a world file and replace one of the worlds like renaming USERDEMO.DN1 to WORLDAL1.DN1.

How Do I Get The Games?

A little search online and you’ll have more than you can handle:

You can skip DOSBox and play them online at a site like

2 thoughts on “How To Play Classic Games Using DOSBox”

  1. Pretty weird, as I thought the name of that original game was called Duke Nukem and I am confused as to how you were able to get an image of that old game which spells out “duke nucUm”.
    Once upon a time, some gent named Neves had ported the original Pacman game into a flash package, so that visitors to his site can play online. Namco (Pacman owner) had later put a cease-and-desist order to get it removed from his site. This is some 20 years ago, and I was lucky to have pilfered his flash Pacman, which I had turned it into a Win95 executable. To this date, this flash Pacman is the BEST version of the game I have ever played, and still works flawless in Win10. Yes I am addicted and play it often and the ONLY game that I play on a PC. Available upon request for non-commercial use (but an *.exe).

    1. Terry Hollett

      This game come from this site:

      I found this info on Wikipedia: “After the game’s release, Apogee Software became aware that the Captain Planet and the Planeteers animated series featured a character with the same name (Duke Nukem) and therefore to avoid a lawsuit, the software house renamed the 2.0 version of its game Duke Nukum. It later turned out that Duke Nukem was not a registered name, so Apogee registered it and used the original Duke Nukem name in the sequels.” ~

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