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DOSBox ReelMagic Fork

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Reply 160 of 171, by Uka

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OK, I have tested there now - it seems that the error that prevented DOSBox Staging from working on my Windows 7 has been fixed in recent builds 😀

Everything is fine with "Dragon's Lair", you can pass the bridge scene, the second scene etc.

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Reply 162 of 171, by Uka

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exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-13, 04:19:

I won't if I have my cycles set too high

To pass the bridge scene

Make sure your NumLock is ON, and that you press "Space" to draw sword when the tentacles start to move - and then press "8" on numeric keypad just halfway through the swing.

Reply 165 of 171, by exofreeze

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The game is still not acting properly. I was able to get 5 screens in. Every time it transitions to a new screen, it shows the animation of him coming back to life from bones again. This should not be playing between every transition.

Reply 166 of 171, by Uka

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No - as I said, everything seems to be fine with "Dragon's Lair".
Of course, I would never be able to play it till the end - at least without the memory save states in DOSBox 😀

exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-13, 16:07:

Every time it transitions to a new screen, it shows the animation of him coming back to life from bones again.

Even if it is a bug - it is the original one then. That's how the game behaves itself on the original hardware - it can't be different in DOSBox.

Reply 167 of 171, by exofreeze

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Space Ace jumps scenes and uses the exact same engine. Why would you think one game is affected by it and one isn't?

You've confirmed that dragons lair shows this scene in between transitions on original hardware?

Reply 168 of 171, by Uka

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exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-14, 16:09:

Space Ace jumps scenes and uses the exact same engine. Why would you think one game is affected by it and one isn't?

Affected by what?

exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-14, 16:09:

You've confirmed that dragons lair shows this scene in between transitions on original hardware?

Sure, that's what I said.

Reply 169 of 171, by exofreeze

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Space Ace is affected by an issue in which the game goes to the wrong sequence when you play it. So clearly the emulator is picking the wrong mpegs to play in the wrong order. If it happens with that game, it seems likely it would be happening in this game.

The video you posted on YouTube never even gets off the bridge. Plus I am not sure if it is real hardware or the emulator. So I'm having to assume we were talking about the same issue here. It doesn't make sense that the real magic release was bugged. It's a very simple engine and it has been released on dozens of platforms. For them to get this release wrong is not the most logical conclusion to the game not performing correctly.

I'll order a card and test them myself. You can't assume the emulator is perfect just because you can get through a few scenes.

The original MS-DOS version would get halfway through the game before it started skipping scenes. But once I bought a clean copy of the game and set everything up from scratch, it ran perfect.

Would you mind telling me which realmagic card works best? I know you have tried many, and found issues with several of them. Thank you

Reply 170 of 171, by Uka

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exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-15, 14:26:

Space Ace is affected by an issue in which the game goes to the wrong sequence when you play it.

You mean in DOSBox?
But it is not supported yet there. If it is similar to "Dragon's Lair", that does not mean they are identical in emulation. jrdennisoss used to explain things like DMA streaming etc.

exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-15, 14:26:

The video you posted on YouTube never even gets off the bridge.

No, I have just shown the intro there, not actually playing the game.

exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-15, 14:26:

Would you mind telling me which realmagic card works best? I know you have tried many, and found issues with several of them. Thank you

In short, the best for DOS games is the original card - ReelMagic / ReelMagic Lite from 1993/1994. The one that uses the feature connector.
However, later cards that use video pass-through cables instead of the feature connector (like REALmagic Maxima that is much cheaper and much more common) have problems with things like "Return to Zork" - "Dragon's Lair" seems to work fine there. Everything is even worse with REALmagic Ultra.
Of course you only want ISA cards - PCI won't work with DOS games at all.

Reply 171 of 171, by jrdennisoss

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exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-13, 16:07:

The game is still not acting properly. I was able to get 5 screens in. Every time it transitions to a new screen, it shows the animation of him coming back to life from bones again. This should not be playing between every transition.

If I recall correctly when testing this last year, I only made it 3, maybe 4 scenes in before calling it "good". This game was ridiculously hard.

exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-14, 16:09:

You've confirmed that dragons lair shows this scene in between transitions on original hardware?

When I was testing last year, comparing the emulator to the Maxima HW setup I have I was seeing the same behavior. I'll retest again one of these days with staging because from what I recall, this game was SUPER sensitive to timing (CPU cycles as well as MPEG decode stuff).

exofreeze wrote on 2023-01-15, 14:26:

So clearly the emulator is picking the wrong mpegs to play in the wrong order.

Uka wrote on 2023-01-15, 14:44:

jrdennisoss used to explain things like DMA streaming etc.

Yeah that's precisely the problem. The emulator shouldn't be picking up MPEG asset files at all unless asked to so do ("file mode"; driver opens/reads asset files), but instead be filling buffers with the MPEG asset contents to be streamed to the output ("DMA streaming mode"; application opens/reads asset files). The modes are selected in the driver's "Command/Function 01h - Open Media Handle" function documented here: https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/blob/ … in/RMDOS_API.md
The first game I used to learn how this HW worked was Return to Zork. While wading through the routines in Ghidra and the DOSBox debugger, I made a mistake to where the actual demarcation point between the application and driver is. Some of the Return to Zork's game engine logic ended up in the emulator. (especially the part where I screwed up assuming a "user data pointer" value will contain a string to the MPEG asset filename 🙁 ) Surprisingly, this works well for most games using streaming, however the emulator needs to be fixed to do this correctly, hence why Space Ace don't work correctly.

Disclaimer: I have not yet had the opportunity to test any of this with DOSBox staging. Hopefully one of these days soon I will have time to work on these kind of hobby projects again. 😀