This one was a really close race for 1st, but in the end it went to Nathan Karr's A Quest.
This one goes to Fenrir-Lunaris' Puppy Adventure by a reasonable margin.
While the above two games won the main awards, I feel it's only right to give all the games some sort of title. Therefore:
The Per-Game Awards
Reversal: The Faux Plotscripting of 1998
Out of all the games here, Reversal is the one that uses the various remote door usage and tag setting functions present in even old versions of the OHR to great effect. Some elements aren't kosher to pre-millenial OHR games, but the lack of plotscripting stays true.
Puppy Adventure: The Community of 1998
I'm told that the OHR's early community was even more furry-leaning than it is now - and what better way to show that than a furry RPG? I'd hesitate to say it's even more nsfw-leaning than it is now [see: Hati's Bizarre Adventure being the top game]... but if it was, what better way to show that than a furry RPG?
Crazy Computer Competition: The Actual Usage of Hero Hiring of 1998
Despite it being an option from almost the beginning of the OHR's history, I don't think I've seen the hero hire function of shops being used ever [outside of Fenrir's The War on Christmas, and even that was a start-of-game hero selection]. Here, though? It's a central aspect of the game, and functions as a storytelling component, too!
E-D: The Reality of 1998
To be blunt, most OHR games made in this era weren't great, even discounting the ones that weren't uploaded to long-gone webpages. This game bravely follows in their footsteps, having battles that are an exercise in patience, an avoidance of the usage of tags, and a final boss that's probably impossible to beat.
Hakei: The Brevity of 1998
There's 4 screens and at best 2 dozen textboxes here. They're written in code, so deciphering them will take some time, but if there's an aspect this shares with the OHR games of the 20th century it's that both tended to be short affairs.
Bok's Expedition: The Stories of 1998
I'm very happy someone pulled out the concepts they had from back from the turn of the millennium and made a game out of it, loosely-derived or otherwise. It's one of the things I wanted to have happen in this contest, and I'm glad it did, in fact, happen.
Union Tour: The Aspiration of 1998
I think a basic assumption with the average person who picks up any game-making program for the first time is that they'll be able to pull off the game they had in mind. The 1998 OHR's restrictions makes that tricky for various reasons, so I feel happy that I was able to get a ~2 hour game out of 4 maps and probably overly fast battles.
...I also think I was the only person who submitted a game best played in DOSBox, so that's worth mentioning?
A Quest: The Experience of 1998
Nathan Karr's output feels very constant: take that as you will, but I'll take the output of someone who shirked plotscripting for years as very true-to-form for what the early OHR output.
Ultimate Fantasy I: The Secret Orb of the Power (DEMO): The Image of 1998
This game ticks off all the boxes of early OHR games [and of amateur RPGs in general], and to iterate them would be beyond the scope of this text space. It does it in a way that isn't quite Arfenhousey, too, which is appreciated.
And that's the voting concluded! For those of you who entered, thank you for submitting: there was a larger turnout than I was honestly expecting.
Until next year!