Rick Brewster is probably best known for creating Paint.NET, the popular free alternative to Microsoft Paint, but in 1994 he was a 12-year-old kid taking his first steps into coding. Like many budding programmers of the era, Brewster learned his trade by dabbling in videogame creation via instructions in a book. One such creation was The Golden Flute IV: The Flute of Immortality. Thinking it good enough for a relative to enjoy, young master Brewster put his DOS adventure game on a disc and mailed it off to a cousin, never to be seen again.
Imagine Rick Brewster’s surprise when Macaw, a retro streamer, fired up The Golden Flute IV just before Christmas. Here was Brewster’s long-lost game, a game he only ever sent to one person, being played live on Twitch! All its primitive preteen glorious CGA graphics and simple audio back from the past like a “lost, drunken cat” finding its way home.
How did this happen? According to Brewster’s Twitter thread, his cousin cannot remember the details, but he was likely trying to do his cuz a solid and submitted the game to to a BBS where it was later collected by a publisher in the 1994 Cream of the Crop 5 compilation disc. From there, it wound up on FidoNet, and into the Internet Archive, where you can play it too.