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DOSBox ReelMagic Fork

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Reply 80 of 150, by Uka

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jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-14, 05:07:

If you mean the small green flashes and the odd "wrong color blocks" that happen here and there then this should be able to be fixed! I haven't yet taken the time to look into this specific issue though because this will likely take a large amount of time to debug as I will have to go very deep into the MPEG decoder to see what is causing this. If you are talking about the general "rough edges" of the blocks, then yes something can be done about this too such as an OpenGL shader to help smooth this out. The latter being what a CRT naturally corrects. For either of these fixes, they will likely come after a code rebase on to the SVN trunk as that has features that would help out for this.

Yes, I meant both those issues (the first one being more evident - see the screen). It is so nice that they are indeed solvable - but of course that's in no way a top priority.

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-14, 05:07:

Definitely give the modified version a try as there is a chance that could help improve things, but I am not yet 100% sure of that as I could not get the unmodified one to work at all on the Maxima here.

I have recorded and tried the modified ISO of "Entity" - this problem is gone, thanks! Just like the need to launch the driver manually, of course.

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-14, 05:07:

Interesting... Possibly the 'Video Messages' are intended to be MPEG and somehow its not turning on. I set the game up in French, but looking at the MPEG file, the language is English so possibly that may have something to do with it?

The language of all videos is English, but the game also supports French, German, Italian and Spanish - hence the presence of the subtitles (in difference from almost all other ReelMagic games, unfortunately). But I do not see how that could relate to the sound problems?
Indeed, it could well be that the messages are intended to be MPEG in the MPEG version, but how to be sure? Maybe you can check if the EXE has any calls to MPG/MESS_1.MPG...MESS_15.MPG files on the disk?
Sadly the modified ISO does not help me with this problem - sometimes a video message hangs, and sometimes it does not (I tried both of my machines, ReelMagic Lite and Maxima), and sometimes the sound becomes too slow or garbled etc. Running SBLASTER.COM seems to have no impact on that...

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-14, 05:07:

Thanks for the heads up on this! I am currently working on an issue that is likely the cause. Having a known point in the game (e.g. Alexis) certainly helps as I can use that while I am testing with this. 😀 Another scene that does something similar that I think may also be related is the Ferry ride on the lake.

If it could help, I have a couple of saves in places where the videos do not show up 😀
The one is Alexis in "Return to Zork" and the other is Gym in "Man Enough" (clicking with the eyes-open cursor on any of the girls, like on the screen attached, snould start the video, but it does not work in the emulator).

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Reply 81 of 150, by uematsufreak

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I just got done streaming RTZ-RM and I noticed a few things. Here are issues I confirmed to be inaccurate:
* Sprite overlays don't always disappear in moments where they should. Confirmed examples include zooming in on the cash register in the gift shop and clicking "Look at Duck" on Canuk in duck form.
* When the Guardian appears, the "The path to Victory is now blocked." text does not appear as it should.
* The Cliffs of Depression video just outside the comedy club with the sign that says "PROOF OF BONDING PLANT REQUIRED" has glitched playback. (At least it did on my one playthrough I actually went to the comedy club instead of duplicating disc pieces during the stream.)
* The MPEG video playback seems to maybe be missing scanlines? Unsure what exactly is going on, but it's most obvious on the Trembyle videos after you put the battery in the orb (the ones with the gradient backgrounds.) This may have something to do with the next issue:
* Overlays aren't lined up properly to MPEG backgrounds. This is very apparent all over the game, but mostly at the incinerator when you lift a lever or if you put either mice or rats in the boat. I compared this to my RM Lite footage and that didn't seem to happen there.

I noticed these things that I thought at first were issues with the fork, but are 100% accurate:
* The lack of the flashing effect when taking a photo is accurate. The game behaves this way on hardware, as well.
* The awful borders around the crank and box overlays in the hardware store are also accurate.
* When the Guardian disappears, the background appears far before the overlays fade in. This is also accurate.

I'm still feeling like I'm dreaming that this is even a thing. I can't express how ecstatic I am about this project and how happy I am to see the ReelMagic stuff getting the care it deserves lately. It's scary how easily this all could've been lost to time.

Reply 82 of 150, by Bobbytoz

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Uka wrote on 2022-03-12, 06:31:

I only have "The Horde" in jewel case (the MPEG version) and the regular (non-MPEG) CD manual - still searching for the MPEG manual as well.

After studying this question, I realized that it does not exist in reality (The Horde MPEG manual ).
The circulation is very limited and a special document has not been published.

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Reply 83 of 150, by Uka

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Bobbytoz wrote on 2022-03-15, 18:19:

After studying this question, I realized that it does not exist in reality (The Horde MPEG manual ).
The circulation is very limited and a special document has not been published.

Of course it exists!
No game has been released without a manual 😀

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Reply 84 of 150, by uematsufreak

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I have the Horde MPEG manual, but it's in rough shape. Maybe I can get it flattened out a bit and scan it? (I have very little experience scanning this sort of thing, but I can perhaps do my best when I find time.)

Reply 85 of 150, by Uka

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uematsufreak wrote on 2022-03-15, 19:10:

I have the Horde MPEG manual, but it's in rough shape. Maybe I can get it flattened out a bit and scan it? (I have very little experience scanning this sort of thing, but I can perhaps do my best when I find time.)

Great, thanks!
In fact, I think that only the covers and maybe one or two pages of the ReelMagic manual are different from the regular CD manual, so maybe you can compare it and scan just the missing pages.

Reply 86 of 150, by Bobbytoz

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🤣

Live forever, learn forever...

My error in reasoning!

I think the difference is a couple of lines of text...

But it's still valuable material.

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Reply 87 of 150, by jrdennisoss

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New Release Update: https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/relea … /tag/2022-03-16

Changes:

Known issues:

  • Motion/f_code stuff is still a hack
  • DMA streaming is not implemented
    • This is a serious core functionality of the ReelMagic system that is MISSING from the current version of the emulator.
    • Part of RTZ game engine (and possibly others) logic is in the emulator to workaround this!!
    • I am REALLY surprised games which use this feature (so far I have only seen RTZ) work as well as they do as the emulator is bypassing a LOT of code execution that normally is supposed to happen within the game engine during normal play.
    • https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/issues/53
  • Horde Intro Video crash (in any player; not just in the game)
  • Horde videos do not auto-progress as they do on the real setup; one has to click through to force the game engine to go on to the next part.
    • This is a real head scratcher. This being a DOS4GW game also does not make debugging any easier as the game directs ReelMagic while in protected mode, but the interaction with the driver and hardware is all in real mode so tracing things through is quite miserable to say the least 🙁
    • I have recorded the interaction from the game and the driver on the real setup and from what I can tell, the emulator is doing EXACLTY the same thing as the real deal! (yet the real deal advances the scene no problem)
    • One thing this game does differently than the others is that it's not polling the function A / subfunction 204h status call like all other ReelMagic games do.
    • It's possible that there is something somewhere else DOSBox that is missing or not quite emulating. Perhaps giving this a shot on the SVN trunk may be worthwhile?
    • https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/issues/56
  • Small MPEG artifacts appear sometimes like green blocks or sometimes a weird color flash. These do NOT appear on the same assets when using "unlock_the_magic" with VLC and need to be fixed in the MPEG decoder.
  • MPEG macroblock/block edge smoothing is a "nice-to-have" too which naturally occurred on the old CRT monitors, as well as some modern MPEG players do this too.

This turned out to be a monster of a code change: https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/pull/68/files

Most of these changes made were rework on the emulator to be more generic to ReelMagic and less specific to the "Return to Zork" game engine which I used as one of the original reference user applications for figuring out how this thing actually works. Now that we have a real working hardware setup (and also thanks to Uka's logs from the 386SX setup), I have discovered a lot of discrepancies in the way the emulator vs how the real deal behaves and this release addresses some of those discrepancies.

Uka wrote on 2022-03-13, 08:34:

B) "Flash Traffic" now has sounds! Although there are still no visuals seen at all. So maybe that also has something to do with that 'A/V streams declaring' thing?

I haven't yet had the opportunity to test this, but the Z-ordering patch I just made may impact this.

Bobbytoz wrote on 2022-03-13, 18:36:

THE HORDE HD REMASTERED

I FINALLY had a chance to take a look at this... Holy crap... Were those videos really taken from the ReelMagic MPEG assets of the game!? If so, that "neural network" stuff yer using is truly amazing! Like, WOW! 😀 I'm wondering if something like this could be done on-the-fly through a software library... Like ya know, possibly as a configuration option to enable in a certain emulator? 😉

Uka wrote on 2022-03-14, 05:00:

That's the same thing as with "Man Enough", where most videos are playing fine (including all the large intros), but some smaller videos (in the Gym) are not shown for some reason.

I haven't yet had the opportunity to test this either, but the Z-ordering patch I just made may also impact this too.

Also Uka, I want to update that "Man Enough" is still on the list to test too soon, but I have a VERY full plate at the moment with my real job and this hobby-project turned out to be a bit bigger than I anticipated... I just don't want you to think I am ignoring you or have forgotten about this, especially as you have mentioned this game in particular a lot. 😀

Uka wrote on 2022-03-14, 08:57:

The language of all videos is English, but the game also supports French, German, Italian and Spanish - hence the presence of the subtitles (in difference from almost all other ReelMagic games, unfortunately). But I do not see how that could relate to the sound problems?

I'm just speculating, but let's suppose that the MPEG files provided are all in English and due to whatever constraints, they use alternate audio files for the multilingual version. When in English, the full-MPEG version is played as that only has an English language soundtrack, but for the French language, since there is no full-MPEG version of this, just a PCM/WAV file is used and the crappy mouth-flapping animations are used for the video. A standard MPEG-1 muxed file is capable of carrying up to 32 different audio streams, so the "right way" to do something like this would be to have all the language audio tracks muxed in each asset. However, I have a feeling there may be limitations with ReelMagic or the software development of this game... Again, just speculating though. 😀

Uka wrote on 2022-03-14, 08:57:

Indeed, it could well be that the messages are intended to be MPEG in the MPEG version, but how to be sure? Maybe you can check if the EXE has any calls to MPG/MESS_1.MPG...MESS_15.MPG files on the disk?
Sadly the modified ISO does not help me with this problem - sometimes a video message hangs, and sometimes it does not (I tried both of my machines, ReelMagic Lite and Maxima), and sometimes the sound becomes too slow or garbled etc. Running SBLASTER.COM seems to have no impact on that...

Sure thing! Once I get some of major emulator issues fixes, I can take a look at the EXE in Ghidra or the DOSBox debugger (or probably both 😀 ) to see if I can get a sense what is going on.

Uka wrote on 2022-03-14, 08:57:

If it could help, I have a couple of saves in places where the videos do not show up

I have pretty much all the RTZ save games I need, and I also pretty much know that game like the back of my hand 😀 However, I could use some "Man Enough" save game states are I have never tried that one.

uematsufreak wrote on 2022-03-15, 03:29:

I just got done streaming RTZ-RM and I noticed a few things. Here are issues I confirmed to be inaccurate:
* Sprite overlays don't always disappear in moments where they should. Confirmed examples include zooming in on the cash register in the gift shop and clicking "Look at Duck" on Canuk in duck form.

The Z-ordering patch in this release should fix, but please to let me know if some still show up somewhere. 😀

uematsufreak wrote on 2022-03-15, 03:29:

* The Cliffs of Depression video just outside the comedy club with the sign that says "PROOF OF BONDING PLANT REQUIRED" has glitched playback. (At least it did on my one playthrough I actually went to the comedy club instead of duplicating disc pieces during the stream.)

Noted: https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/issues/67

uematsufreak wrote on 2022-03-15, 03:29:

* When the Guardian appears, the "The path to Victory is now blocked." text does not appear as it should.
* The MPEG video playback seems to maybe be missing scanlines? Unsure what exactly is going on, but it's most obvious on the Trembyle videos after you put the battery in the orb (the ones with the gradient backgrounds.) This may have something to do with the next issue:
* Overlays aren't lined up properly to MPEG backgrounds. This is very apparent all over the game, but mostly at the incinerator when you lift a lever or if you put either mice or rats in the boat. I compared this to my RM Lite footage and that didn't seem to happen there.

I don't think I see any of these issues. 🙁 I attached a couple screenshots running the latest exe with the provided example "dosbox.conf" file on my win10 machine showing exactly what I see on the incinerator screen. Mouse hotspots, and MPEG/VGA overlay seems to lineup perfectly. The path to victory is blocked message shows as well. Comparing the emulator with the Maxima hardware setup, I don't see any differences in the way these scenes behave. I tried both windowed and fullscreen mode just in case its something like that. Am I just missing something stupid-obvious here? ...or are these issues not happening on my setup?

In my tests, I enabled the "VGA Dup5 Hack" ([reelmagic]vgadup5hack=true) to ensure that the MPEG quality is all there, however, I don't see these issues when it is turned off either (aside from degraded MPEG quality).

uematsufreak wrote on 2022-03-15, 03:29:
I noticed these things that I thought at first were issues with the fork, but are 100% accurate: * The lack of the flashing effe […]
Show full quote

I noticed these things that I thought at first were issues with the fork, but are 100% accurate:
* The lack of the flashing effect when taking a photo is accurate. The game behaves this way on hardware, as well.
* The awful borders around the crank and box overlays in the hardware store are also accurate.
* When the Guardian disappears, the background appears far before the overlays fade in. This is also accurate.

Thank you this is very helpful! 😀 I added these to the known game issues list I started: https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/blob/ … WN_GAME_BUGS.md

uematsufreak wrote on 2022-03-15, 03:29:

I'm still feeling like I'm dreaming that this is even a thing. I can't express how ecstatic I am about this project and how happy I am to see the ReelMagic stuff getting the care it deserves lately. It's scary how easily this all could've been lost to time.

That was one of my motivating reasons for starting this project. It would indeed be really sad especially if something like this was lost to time. Plus being able to see Return to Zork and the corny actors in "standard definition" for that time was a pretty big motivator too. 😀 I can't imagine what it would have been like to experience this back in the day.

Thank you all for the feedback as this is very helpful in getting this thing solid and compatible with most games working. Please keep the flow of issues coming! Much appreciated! 😀

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Reply 88 of 150, by Uka

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jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-17, 03:01:

That's a lot of changes - great work, thanks!!!

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-17, 03:01:

[*] Added a "heavy debugging" Windows exe to the build as well. (Attached Screenshot)

Somehow that EXE does not work for me - at least in some games, like "Man Enough". MPEG videos are playing incredibly slow, one frame per second - in contrast to the lawful good 30FPS with the regular dosbox.exe.

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-17, 03:01:

Also Uka, I want to update that "Man Enough" is still on the list to test too soon, but I have a VERY full plate at the moment with my real job and this hobby-project turned out to be a bit bigger than I anticipated... I just don't want you to think I am ignoring you or have forgotten about this, especially as you have mentioned this game in particular a lot. 😀

Oh, do not worry - I never thought that. You are already doing a lot of great work 😀
And I am interested in testing all ReelMagic games. Even that I am not such an expert in specific games as uematsufreak is with "Return to Zork" and Bobbytoz is with "The Horde"!

Here is a short report for the new version of the emulator:

1. "Crime Patrol" - no changes: the game still does not launch complaining that the driver is not found, fatal error etc.

2. "Dragon's Lair" - all the videos are now shown! Still, the game does not react to pressing any keys - it just plays as a non-interactive demo with all levels and "getting back from the dead" video intermissions between the scenes. Until the elevator level where the hero does not jump at any exit and starts dying. Weird.

3. "Drug Wars" - no changes, the game still does not launch (probably not recognizing the driver).

4. "Entity" - everything is fine here! Except the missing subtitles in MPEG videos.

5. "Flash Traffic" - everything is completely different now! In the previous version of the emulator there was text on screen, but no video - and now there is video, but no text at all 😀 I mean not just subtitles, but also the lines you have to choose from or the menu, so it is still unplayable.

6. "Man Enough" - the missing gym videos are now shown! But in other videos some artifacts still remain (and not just minor green blocks - see the screen).

7. "Space Ace" - no changes: the videos are shown, and without artifacts, but the game still does not react to any keys pressing, playing like a non-interactive demo.

8. "The Horde" - everything seems to be fine! Well, besides the new-game-video that can't be skipped and does not automatically progress to the new game. And of course, I test just the beginning, not all the gameplay (which is also true for "Entity" and for "The Lord of the Rings").

9. "The Lord of the Rings" - everything seems to be fine!

10. "Return to Zork" - everything seems to be fine! Of course, I did not play the whole game, just checked it in some places.

Uka wrote on 2022-03-14, 08:57:

I'm just speculating, but let's suppose that the MPEG files provided are all in English and due to whatever constraints, they use alternate audio files for the multilingual version. When in English, the full-MPEG version is played as that only has an English language soundtrack, but for the French language, since there is no full-MPEG version of this, just a PCM/WAV file is used and the crappy mouth-flapping animations are used for the video. A standard MPEG-1 muxed file is capable of carrying up to 32 different audio streams, so the "right way" to do something like this would be to have all the language audio tracks muxed in each asset. However, I have a feeling there may be limitations with ReelMagic or the software development of this game... Again, just speculating though. 😀

But there is only English language soundtrack playing, even in French version of the game? That's why they have kindly provided the subtitles.

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Reply 89 of 150, by Bobbytoz

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jrdennisoss

I FINALLY had a chance to take a look at this... Holy crap... Were those videos really taken from the ReelMagic MPEG assets of the game!? If so, that "neural network" stuff yer using is truly amazing! Like, WOW! 😀 I'm wondering if something like this could be done on-the-fly through a software library... Like ya know, possibly as a configuration option to enable in a certain emulator? 😉

Yes, the original videos from the RM MPEG CD + your utility = ) [Thank you!!!]

Processing of one frame takes 1 second.
The total processing took more than 6 hours.
This technology is not suitable for on-the-fly operation...

I think to get real-time HD remastering of games you need to use AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution. (In my opinion it is open source).
It will be cool if it can be used with DOSBox.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Games used to be better!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Reply 90 of 150, by Bobbytoz

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THE HORDE

I have all the same mistakes that I had earlier.
No one notices the artifacts of sound?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Games used to be better!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Reply 91 of 150, by jrdennisoss

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New Release Update: https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/relea … /tag/2022-03-17

Changes:

Known Issues:

  • Motion/f_code stuff is still a hack
  • DMA streaming is not implemented
    • This is a serious core functionality of the ReelMagic system that is MISSING from the current version of the emulator.
    • Part of RTZ game engine (and possibly others) logic is in the emulator to workaround this!!
    • I am REALLY surprised games which use this feature (so far I have only seen RTZ) work as well as they do as the emulator is bypassing a LOT of code execution that normally is supposed to happen within the game engine during normal play.
    • https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/issues/53
  • Horde videos do not auto-progress as they do on the real setup; one has to click through to force the game engine to go on to the next part.
    • This is a real head scratcher. This being a DOS4GW game also does not make debugging any easier as the game directs ReelMagic while in protected mode, but the interaction with the driver and hardware is all in real mode so tracing things through is quite miserable to say the least 🙁
    • I have recorded the interaction from the game and the driver on the real setup and from what I can tell, the emulator is doing EXACLTY the same thing as the real deal! (yet the real deal advances the scene no problem)
    • One thing this game does differently than the others is that it's not polling the function A / subfunction 204h status call like all other ReelMagic games do.
    • It's possible that there is something somewhere else DOSBox that is missing or not quite emulating. Perhaps giving this a shot on the SVN trunk may be worthwhile?
    • https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/issues/56
  • Small MPEG artifacts appear sometimes like green blocks or sometimes a weird color flash. These do NOT appear on the same assets when using "unlock_the_magic" with VLC and need to be fixed in the MPEG decoder.
  • MPEG macroblock/block edge smoothing is a "nice-to-have" too which naturally occurred on the old CRT monitors, as well as some modern MPEG players do this too.
  • Return to Zork Cliffs of Depression Scene is Glitchy

Here is the changed code: https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/pull/73/files

Uka wrote on 2022-03-17, 05:34:

Somehow that EXE does not work for me - at least in some games, like "Man Enough". MPEG videos are playing incredibly slow, one frame per second - in contrast to the lawful good 30FPS with the regular dosbox.exe.

Yeah that is to be expected. The debug compile of DOSBox is super verbose (pay attention to the size of "dosbox.log" as it may grow big! 😀 ) and unoptimized. It is intended to give insight as to what is going on, but not for actual gameplay. That being said, if I set "[reelmagic]a204debug=false" in the config, it runs "good enough" on my 8 year old budget i5 desktop that I have been primarily developing and testing this project on.

Uka wrote on 2022-03-17, 05:34:

Here is a short report for the new version of the emulator:

Thanks again for another VERY helpful summary Uka! 😀

Uka wrote on 2022-03-17, 05:34:

5. "Flash Traffic" - everything is completely different now! In the previous version of the emulator there was text on screen, but no video - and now there is video, but no text at all 😀 I mean not just subtitles, but also the lines you have to choose from or the menu, so it is still unplayable.

6. "Man Enough" - the missing gym videos are now shown! But in other videos some artifacts still remain (and not just minor green blocks - see the screen).

This current release may have an impact on these issues.

Actually, now that the DOSBox debug exe is there, mind giving these two games a quick run in the debug version (with "[reelmagic]a204debug=false") up to the point in the game where theses specific issues happens? The output "dosbox.log" files (if they are not excessively large that is 😀 ) should have information on the Z-ordering calls to give me an idea what is going on between the VGA and MPEG surface rendering.

Bobbytoz wrote on 2022-03-17, 14:33:

THE HORDE

I have all the same mistakes that I had earlier.
No one notices the artifacts of sound?

This release should fix at least one of the issues 😀

Sorry I have not actually paid attention to the sound details up until now. I don't notice anything really stand out though. Are you referring to a couple clicks at the beginning of The Horde intro video or something else?

Reply 92 of 150, by Uka

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Bobbytoz wrote on 2022-03-17, 14:33:

No one notices the artifacts of sound?

No! Can you please tell what are these artifacts?

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-18, 01:53:

Yeah that is to be expected. The debug compile of DOSBox is super verbose (pay attention to the size of "dosbox.log" as it may grow big! 😀 ) and unoptimized. It is intended to give insight as to what is going on, but not for actual gameplay. That being said, if I set "[reelmagic]a204debug=false" in the config, it runs "good enough" on my 8 year old budget i5 desktop that I have been primarily developing and testing this project on.

Even with "a204debug=false" it is all 1 FPS and no sound - but only in "Dragon's Lair" now.
Well, lowering cycles from 15000 to 1000 makes it like 18 FPS, which is already playable, but still with the garbled sound.
Maybe it does not even have anything to do with the DOSBox settings and the hardware, as only one game is being seriously affected?

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-18, 01:53:

Actually, now that the DOSBox debug exe is there, mind giving these two games a quick run in the debug version (with "[reelmagic]a204debug=false") up to the point in the game where theses specific issues happens? The output "dosbox.log" files (if they are not excessively large that is 😀 ) should have information on the Z-ordering calls to give me an idea what is going on between the VGA and MPEG surface rendering.

I have re-tried all the 10 games, noticing only the differences from the last version:

5. "Flash Traffic" - now it is back to the earlier "text with no video" mode... Although in the still scenes the text is visible against a part of the background (see the screenshots).

6. "Man Enough" - no changes with the large artifacts in some scenes. Although I see that the tiny green blocks are mostly gone - and with the "HeavyDebug" EXE the videos are now fine 30 FPS, but the first Logo video is like 3 FPS. Weird.

7. "Space Ace" - now pressing any key freezes the game...

I attach all the 10 log reports! Maybe they will tell you something 😀
But there is a lot of swearing there, you know.

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Reply 93 of 150, by Bobbytoz

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Good job!

Build 2022-03-17
The Horde RM MPEG CD:
- Sound artifacts appeared (Crackling, clicking (At the beginning of the videos 20-30 seconds))
- After the video is black screen, you need to press the actions button to continue (Not as original)

If all files from the game СD are copied to the games folder on HDD.
Then the game first reads them and if it does not find them, it turns to the CD.
Thus, you can check all the videos for workability by renaming them to intro.mpg
The longest video is "Victory", played without problems by sound = )

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Games used to be better!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Reply 94 of 150, by uematsufreak

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I figured out that the lines in the MPEGs as well as the incorrect overlay positioning is happening for me if I have vgadup5hack turned off. If I turn it on, those are both fixed, but the scaling ends up awful. I tend to like to use square pixels for my gameplay and have OBS do aspect correction so it looks as clean as possible, but if I have vgadup5hack turned on, I can't have this and I end up with scaling that looks like the attached image on non-MPEG resources.

EDIT: I plan to stream the newest build soon again for some more testing and will report back with any findings.

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Reply 95 of 150, by jrdennisoss

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New Release Update: https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/relea … /tag/2022-03-28

Crap... Sorry I accidentally deleted the contents of this post while attempting to create a new post.

Last edited by jrdennisoss on 2022-04-08, 02:49. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 96 of 150, by uematsufreak

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I just finished a stream testing things out and have nothing new to report. Things seem to work really well. I encountered a couple glitches, but I was doing glitchy stuff anyway during those playthroughs and I'm certain I triggered them all. 😜

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-29, 03:42:

Yeah I gotta find a better way of doing this. Likely when I rebase off of the DOSBox SVN trunk I will address this. The hack was put in there to make this reasonably playable for now. What makes this problem particularly awful is that the MPEG assets Return To Zork uses are a different size and PAR than the VGA signal. The VGA signal (mouse, inventory, menu, and some small overlays) is 320x200 @ 8 bit color and all the MPEG assets (videos and scene backgrounds) are all 320x240 @ ~24-bit color which turns out to be a nightmare to mix correctly on a digital output. 🙁

I've gotten intimate with RTZ resources a bit over the years (using tools built elsewhere to extract PRJ contents including images and PCM audio) and have been messing with the MPEG videos for fun. The resolution discrepancy between what the RM card and the normal graphics card render is something we've been talking about during my streams a bit. I'm not sure how the card actually overlays the image (that's above my pay grade) but we've nerded out a bit at what we've been seeing. Dealing with either missing scanlines on the video or the doubled ones on the overlaid graphics sucks, but I have NO idea how to go about that with my ignorance past maybe scaling both vertically to 1200 then scaling them both back down with an algorithm to 240. I know just about things to be dangerous but not enough to be helpful. 🤣

I have faith a solution will come and I look forward to seeing the future progress, including migrating over to an SVN base. This is seriously AMAZING. I can't state that enough.

(Also, regarding the Horde manual, I have it sitting here and honestly have been catching up on so much other stuff and have forgotten. I need to get on that soon.)

Reply 97 of 150, by Uka

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jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-29, 03:42:

Awesome, thanks!
That's a lot of progress 😀

I have checked all the games again:

1. "Crime Patrol" - no changes: the game still does not launch complaining that the driver is not found, fatal error etc.

2. "Dragon's Lair" - well, the videos are fine, but it still seems that the game does not react to pressing any keys. However it is all different now! With the previous version of the emulator, it was like a non-interactive demo with hero successully passing all scenes automatically - and now he dies at the very first scene. There are some more comments below!

3. "Drug Wars" - no changes: the game still does not launch for some reason.

4. "Entity" - now I have found something! The subtitles are fine (at least the English ones in the intro), but - I now see where those video messages should be displayed. Sadly the DOSBox crashes there... And it is because of the MPEG videos, as everything is fine in the non-MPEG version. Just near the start of the first level there is a scroll on the ground: you can pick it up by pressing 'down' arrow. Maybe the LOG files would tell what is wrong there in the MPEG version?

5. "Flash Traffic" - no changes: there is no video and no pictures, just the subtitles (and other text messages).

6. "Man Enough" - the minor green blocks are now gone! Other things are the same as before - almost everything is fine except a very few garbled videos.

7. "Space Ace" - no changes: the videos are fine, but pressing any key freezes the game.

8. "The Horde" - everything is fine except the well-known bug with the new-game video. But now it is possible to skip it!

9. "The Lord of the Rings" - everything seems to be fine, except that pressing Space + Esc in the intro still freezes the game.

10. "Return to Zork" - everything seems to be fine! Except in some places the framerate with HeavyDebug drops to like 5 FPS.

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-29, 03:42:

Comparing the emulator to the Maxima here, it seems to be about the same with the exception of "lives X" screen completely fading to black on the real setup. (I think I know why this is: https://github.com/jrdennisoss/dosboxrm/issues/78) However, I see the same behavior on both setups where it plays as a non-interactive demo. The keyboard don't seem to do anything aside from the start screen. Does this game work differently on your 386SX vs. your Maxima vs. the emulator? If this only works on the 386SX with the older ReelMagic card (w/VGA feature cable), then it may be worthwhile seeing if the data recorder / spy tool will run on that PC and capture what is happening differently. Also, do you know what keys are supposed to do what?

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-29, 03:42:

In the latest version, there is now yet another debugging
Maybe... It would be interesting to see if "Dragon's Lair" does the same thing on your 386SX setup.

Well, I can confirm that "Dragon's Lair" DOES work and reacts to keys pressing on my 386SX with ReelMagic Lite. It is just very difficuly to play! You have to press keys with precisely exact timings - but both joystick and keyboard work fine if you know what and when to press. Still I was never able to pass far enough - that's why the best choice here would be SVN-Daum as it has save states for DOS games 😉

In fact, it is probably the very first RealMagic game created - my disk is dated 22 November 1993 - and maybe it is just too raw or maybe CPU speed is relevant? I have this game in jewel case with the manual, but no system requirements are listed. And I have heard that there was an updated version of "Dragon's Lair MPEG" released in 1994, but I do not have it.

I attach some hints from the manual about using the control keys and passing the first scene - can you please try it with both your Maxima and DOSBox-RM? I tried emulating joystick in DOSBox-RM, but I am not sure I did it correctly as the game still does not react to pressing Space or "FIRE/SWORD" button.

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-29, 03:42:

Should be all good now 😀 I haven't watched the placement of the many subtitles though, just a handful of the French ones (as that's really the only other language I understand) and they seemed to be correct. The emulator uses much bigger decoder buffers than the original chip does and while it's unlikely, the reported stream advancements may be a tad on the far side for the game's liking. Please let me know if you find anywhere where the subtitles appear in the wrong place or too early.

I have checked only the English subtitles - everything is fine there, exactly like on the real machine!
But that's only for the intro, of course - I am now more concerned about video messages not appearing. Yes, the game does freeze when picking scrolls on 386SX with ReelMagic Lite as well. As if it tries to play some files from the disk and cannot do that. Maybe some more ISO modification is needed?..

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-29, 03:42:

Further analysis shows that this game uses the same streaming DMA mechanism that Return to Zork uses. I am shocked that it works as well as it does. It also looks like the "magic key" used for picture correction is also the same one Return to Zork uses. I'm unsure where the video artifacts are originating, but I am investigating. This could be something related to the DMA stuff, but more likely to be something else I have missed on the "magical" MPEG side of things. The DMA stuff likely impacts the subtitles not showing.

There are still artifacts in a few videos, but I am quite sure that the subtitles not showing is the original feature. It is the same on the real hardware - there are no subtitles in video scenes (like the intro and the Jerry first part) - only in later parts where there are just pictures (and sound), not videos.

jrdennisoss wrote on 2022-03-29, 03:42:

In the latest version, there is now yet another debugging parameter "a206debug=false" which can be disabled to accelerate things running in the debugger. "Dragon's Lair" hammers this call for some reason so shutting it up in the debug logs helps keep the emulator running on time. 😀

Thanks, "Dragon's Lair" runs fine with HeavyDebug and "a206debug=false" 😀
Only the first logo intro of "Man Enough" and some small scenes in "Return to Zork" have FPS dropping, but that's a minor issue, of course.

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Reply 98 of 150, by Dominus

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Daum would NOT be a good basis as it is old and broken due to incomplete patches added to it. There are other forks with save states but you would need to add stuff for this to work with this reelmagic magic.

Windows 3.1x guide for DOSBox
60 seconds guide to DOSBox
DOSBox SVN snapshot for macOS (10.4-11.x ppc/intel 32/64bit) notarized for gatekeeper

Reply 99 of 150, by llm

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the dosbox staging project forsters a dosbox SVN git: https://github.com/dosbox-staging/dosbox-stag … /tree/svn/trunk
this branch is the staging base line and always up to date with dosbox SVN -> its the merge base for staging

even if Staging is not a thing to discuss here loudly, the Staging-SVN-git is an up-to-date and clean Dosbox Svn conversion to github - still better then having x other unmaintained svn-git forks around on github/gitlab

so im not talking about using Staging as a base - only the svn/trunk tag as a base