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billybob476

Fun with the MT-32

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It's funny, I'm covering Command & Conquer for my next podcast and I actually had to use my "DOS gaming box" (P-II 450Mhz, Voodoo2, 128MB SDRAM, SBAWE32, Win98SE) to run C&C Win95 edition. My i7 running Win7 64 couldn't deal with it even under compatibility mode.

 

"Command and Conquer: The First Decade" contains a version of C&C:RA that runs on modern WIndowses without much messing around.

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"Command and Conquer: The First Decade" contains a version of C&C:RA that runs on modern WIndowses without much messing around.

 

Yeah, that's the version I ended up using. no matter which patches I applied, the color palette always got messed on load on Win7 64. I got it and the followup games running on my older XP laptop. No issues there.

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Command and Conquer the First Decade is one of the best things EA ever put out. Best purchase I ever made XD

 

 

EDIT: Just an update if anyone else was wondering - don't know if he posted elsewhere but Mark Crowe posted on the KS comments section saying that there's a new backer-only website that they've been working on. So that will have been taking up some time I'm sure..

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Yeah, that's the version I ended up using. no matter which patches I applied, the color palette always got messed on load on Win7 64. I got it and the followup games running on my older XP laptop. No issues there.

 

That's a bug with pretty much any 90s game that uses DirectDraw.

 

The solution is to terminate the "explorer.exe" process, then run the game from Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Escape).

 

I have NFI why, but that works for me for Starcraft, Diablo, and a handful of other DDraw games.

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Never had any issues with older games like that. But DirectDraw is deprecated and might futz with Aero Glass. Windows should probably switch into Aero Basic mode for such games. You could try doing that manually to see if that helps.

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Age of Empires I and II also fall victim to this palette corruption. Killing the explorer task works for them as well. I've gone the route of having to create special BAT file shortcuts that kill explorer, launch the games, and then relaunches explorer.

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That's a bug with pretty much any 90s game that uses DirectDraw.

 

The solution is to terminate the "explorer.exe" process, then run the game from Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Escape).

 

I have NFI why, but that works for me for Starcraft, Diablo, and a handful of other DDraw games.

 

Gonna give this a try, thanks for the info.

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Well, what do you know. The performance of the MT-32 emulator is completely flawless for me in the latest stable release of ScummVM. No lag whatsoever, and it sounds fantastic. I urge anyone interested to go download it.

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Well, what do you know. The performance of the MT-32 emulator is completely flawless for me in the latest stable release of ScummVM. No lag whatsoever, and it sounds fantastic. I urge anyone interested to go download it.

 

I must say as well, getting my real MT-32 to run using ScummVM is about a million times easier then on DOSBox. Gonna be playing Loom next week for my podcast so I think I'll be using it!

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I must say as well, getting my real MT-32 to run using ScummVM is about a million times easier then on DOSBox. Gonna be playing Loom next week for my podcast so I think I'll be using it!

 

Actually, DOSBox is even easier to setup. You don't even have to change any settings for DOSBox. If your MT-32 is already correctly connected to your PC, all that is required is to set your system's MIDI device to your equivalent MPU-401 and set the game's config to MT-32 (soundDrv=MT32.DRV in the RESOURCE.CFG). I don't know what to say if you find this too difficult.

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Actually, DOSBox is even easier to setup. You don't even have to change any settings for DOSBox. If your MT-32 is already correctly connected to your PC, all that is required is to set your system's MIDI device to your equivalent MPU-401 and set the game's config to MT-32 (soundDrv=MT32.DRV in the RESOURCE.CFG). I don't know what to say if you find this too difficult.

 

Figuring that out took a bit more effort then checking a box in ScummVM options.

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Yeah, the installer was the tougher part. I was running off the GoG version, they remove the installer exe. I had to manually change the resource.cfg. That's what took a bit of digging. Wing Commander was worse since they don't reference files in their config file, they use a cryptic code.

 

I got it running and now that I know, it's dead easy, just saying ScummVM is a bit more straightforward in that regard.

 

Well, this thread sure works well as a distraction, don't it? :)

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Yeah, the installer was the tougher part. I was running off the GoG version, they remove the installer exe. I had to manually change the resource.cfg.

 

Some of the Steam and GOG Sierra games originate from the awful 2006 VU Quest series releases. The idiot Russian company that prepared them didn't really understand SCI and not only misconfigured t he games, but also ripped out a bunch of files. The removed files did not save then much space and ended up limiting options. The worst of it was the the launcher didn't allow for upgrading the ancient version of DOSBox. My patches fix all of the issues with these releases. I have been told that they work with the Steam versions, but I am unsure about GOG's. GOG breaks up the collections into smaller packages and includes the AGI versions of the first games in the various series. I would need copies of the GOG collections to adapt the patches, but I am through with fixing GOG's mistakes with no credit.

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Yeah, the installer was the tougher part. I was running off the GoG version, they remove the installer exe. I had to manually change the resource.cfg. That's what took a bit of digging. Wing Commander was worse since they don't reference files in their config file, they use a cryptic code.

Ah yes. I see.

 

I got it running and now that I know, it's dead easy, just saying ScummVM is a bit more straightforward in that regard.

 

True. It's also not exactly the same experience, though, being a different (but close) interpretation of the game code. It'll never be exactly the same as the original DOS interpreter. But the differences are nigh indistinguishible. I know SCI1.1 games still run too fast, for instance.

 

But ScummVM is fantastic. Myst and Riven support is still not complete, but using the daily builds I've completed the first two games without too much worry. The only problem is one of the areas in Myst isn't workable and the audio cuts out of a couple videos in Riven. ScummVM is indeed a godsend. There's also already a working prototype of engine code for Myst 3 working in ResidualVM now. People are just amazing with what they can accomplish.

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Some of the Steam and GOG Sierra games originate from the awful 2006 VU Quest series releases. The idiot Russian company that prepared them didn't really understand SCI and not only misconfigured t he games, but also ripped out a bunch of files. The removed files did not save then much space and ended up limiting options. The worst of it was the the launcher didn't allow for upgrading the ancient version of DOSBox. My patches fix all of the issues with these releases. I have been told that they work with the Steam versions, but I am unsure about GOG's. GOG breaks up the collections into smaller packages and includes the AGI versions of the first games in the various series. I would need copies of the GOG collections to adapt the patches, but I am through with fixing GOG's mistakes with no credit.

 

Yeah, I tried those installers but alas they don't work with the GoG versions. Once I figured it out it was a simple as changing the entry in the resource.cfg to MT32.DRV. I am quite confused as to why they'd bother removing the install.exe, I can't imagine it was more then a couple of K.

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I am quite confused as to why they'd bother removing the install.exe, I can't imagine it was more then a couple of K.

 

Of course that was the Russian company that developed the 2006 VU releases that removed them, not GOG. Both GOG and Steam (mostly) used the 2006 collections. GOG is oblivious on some things, not not as bad as that company.

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Got Loom up and running last night. Luckily LucasArts still has the "Roland patch" for the original EGA version available for download from their support site. I didn't like the initial error message saying it was switching me to AdLib mode!

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Brandon: Laura Bow 2 is not a great SC-55 game, it was composed for the MT-32. The SC support is not good, it's just the MT files run through a converter (as was often the case). I don't understand why games of that era that got a CD release didn't get better GM support.. or at least a retooled soundtrack.

 

Other greats I left out are KQ7, Krondor, Eco Quest 2, Larry 6, and the old Incredible Machine games. That's more of a complete list of 'excellent Sierra SC games'. Of course others exist that are still good :)

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