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A game gem: Eye of the beholder (1991), with really beautiful EGA graphics 
Saturday, August 29, 2020, 02:00 AM
Posted by Administrator
Westwood Associates created this real gem in 1991,based on "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" game series.
This game does not only offer beautiful VGA but also EGA graphics, I would say it is one of the best games for EGA PCs.
I was looking for more games for my Siemens PG750, which can display EGA graphics, and beside Star Trek 25th anniversary, it is my favorite in terms of graphics quality.
The story of the game isn't too complex, most of the time you're wandering through a dungeon with dwarfs and monsters, defeating them, looking for the Xanathar, the eponymous beholder.

Look at this master piece of game trailer:


For beginners, it could be tricky to get out the starting area, because almost every dwarf will block your way:

Just a small hint, spells will help to go on...

You can buy the game (as part of a trylogy) still at gog.com !
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A modern "BASIC Home Computer", "Colour maximite 2", with an ARM7-CPU 
Monday, June 29, 2020, 08:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
That's not vintage, but still interesting.
If you visit Geoff's site (see related link below), you will find infos about the ARM7-based Home Computer from Geoff Graham. It uses an SD-Card as a storage, and it needs a PC USB-keyboard and a VGA monitor. A nice case seems to be also existing:


A detailed description of the hardware features can be found at http://geoffg.net/CMM2_Description.html. At least it will run with a 480MHz CPU, that should be fast enough.

It uses MMBASIC, which is a modern BASIC interpreter also with some structured computer language elements (no need for line numbers).

Just take a look at it and judge for yourself if it's worth to be used.

P.S.: There are 2 articles existing in a Magazine named "Silicon Chip", see http://www.siliconchip.com.au/Issue/202 ... s=nonflash ...

P.P.S.: You can buy also kits >here<.
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Text Adventure Kit written in pure GWBASIC, a map editor and generator for Text Adventures 
Thursday, May 21, 2020, 07:29 PM
Posted by Administrator
This is a demo of a Text Adventure Kit, a Map Editor and Generator for a Text Adventure, totally written in GWBASIC, running with DOS.
But the generated Text Adventure BASIC source code will also run with CP/M and MBASIC, with DOS and GWBASIC, QBASIC or any QB compiler, with Linux and FreeBASIC, or with any newer WINDOWS and PC-BASIC 2.02 or QB64.

This looks very basic, but look at the generated adventure code !

I started with a simple map, drawn by hand.


Then I converted it to the 11x11 map, result see here:


It shows even with ancient computer software, something creative can be done. Download it at my page http://www.z80.eu/basic2.html or here (related link below).

The video at >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpRq4IFYQTg << shows the Editor and Generator in action, and shows afterwards the gameplay to the created map.

A few pictures of the gameplay (from the generated text adventure):


Just started...


Got gold.


Killed the monster (with the sword, found before)

It was quite a pain to program it just in GWBASIC, not in a more modern version of BASIC (like QBASIC or Visual BASIC), but I wanted to show what still can be done with ancient software.

For those who creates a more sophisticated generated text adventure with it (remember you can edit the generated source code and so the text which is shown during the text adventure game play !), I will send also the source code of the editor (standard download is a compiled version).
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Wolfenstein 3D Alpha, Tests with DOSBOX, still looking for EGA Alpha Version 
Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 02:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
We all know Wolfenstein 3D, the first VGA 3D shooter game for the PC from Apogee. The predecessor, Catacomb 3D. was created only a few month before, but still running with EGA video cards.
Wolfenstein 3D was originally also developed to run with EGA, but they changed their mind and dropped support for EGA also a few month before the final version 1.0 was published.
For example it is possible to find EGA graphics sets in the game itself.

What is really interesting - an Alpha EGA version was also made !
I was looking for the Alpha version, but I was only able to find the VGA version of it.
This Alpha version has some visual differences in menus and starting screen, but only the demo mode and the episode selection was missing, in the level selection of the Alpha the easiest mode was not implemented, too.

Start screen of the Alpha version:


Start screen of the final version.


Difficulty selection Alpha version:


Difficulty selection final version:


Also, I recognized the Alpha version and the final version 1.0 of Wolfenstein 3D will not run without a major display error with DOSBox SVN-Daum (the version with Glide support a.s.o.). This does not happen with the latest DOSBOX 0.74.3 ...

This happens with Alpha and 1.0, if started with DOSBox SVN-Daum:

(the vertical resolution seems to be doubled ?)

Version 1.1, 1.2 and 1.4 gameplay will be displayed without any glitch/error, if started with both DOSBOX variants. Btw. "Rated PC-13" is only displayed with a final version, too.

If you want to find these versions, take a look at the "related link" first.
You can search for wlf3dv10.zip, 1wolf3d.zip, W3D1-ASP.EXE, 1wolf11.zip, 1wolf12.zip 1wolf14.zip if you're looking for the several final versions 1.0 to 1.4.
If you look for the VGA Alpha, try to search for WOLF1V.ZIP.

I am desperately looking for the EGA Alpha version of Wolfenstein 3D, still...
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Siemens PG750 - a portable 386 PC with a CRT color display ... 
Saturday, February 29, 2020, 01:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
Recently I purchased a portable PC, a Siemens PG750, which was in fact used as a S5 PLC programmer. But regardless of it, it can be used also to play DOS games, at least EGA graphics compatible ones.
This portable device has a Texas Instruments Graphics Adapter (TIGA) named Higraph I, based on a TMS34010 chip. It is very hard to find TIGA compatible software, mostly only ACAD 9 and 10 drivers. But the TIGA card offers higher resolutions similar to a VGA card. So I am still looking for TIGA GEM 3.0 and Windows 3.11 drivers.
The original hard disk drive contained MS-DOS 3.30 and Personal CP/M 2.0 (S5-DOS) - these two OS can be selected after booting of the PC is done:


You can't access the CP/M filesystem (2nd partition) with MS-DOS, but with Concurrent DOS 3.2, I was able to access both partitions at the same time:


The PG750 has originally a combo floppy drive with a 3.5" and a 5.25" floppy. Unfortunately this Canon MD5511 drive was faulty (the 5.25" part). So I replaced it with a modded Gotek drive:


There is no left space for additional drives, because only one 5.25 drive bay can be used:


I didn't find so much additional information about the device itself, it seems to be a bit rare, even the original manual of the PG750-386 can't be downloaded anymore (but still for the 486 CPU version).

Related link points to the manual for the PG750-486.
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