VOGONS


First post, by butterfly

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Found this ancient program I used to take advantege of for playing a CGA Centipede port on my dad's ancient 8088.

As you can understand from the subject, this program called UniCGA makes possible to emulate a CGA card on a Hercules card. That not without problems: You may have to type "in the pitch black" (without seeing what you are typing) after you started the emulator; that can be easily resolved with a batch file though.

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  • dosbox_000.png
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    dosbox_000.png
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    UniCGA help screen
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    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • rastan_004.png
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    rastan_004.png
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    4301 views
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    Making sure (on a VGA DOSBox) that Rastan has no Hercules support
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    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • rastan_000.png
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    rastan_000.png
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    Playing Rastan on a Hercules DOSBox using UniCGA
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    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • rastan_001.png
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    rastan_001.png
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    Still playing Rastan on a Hercules DOSBox using UniCGA
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    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 1 of 11, by Neville

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Amazing. This must be one of the first, if not the first emulator ever for PC.

But, is it of any use with VGA or SVGA cards? I've always thought they were backwards compatible with older standards, although the oldest games I ever tried under DOS were at least in EGA.

Reply 3 of 11, by dh4rm4

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From memory Hercules had pretty broad support for many years. It was the defacto standard in publishing and corporate circles.

"The Hercules Graphics Card (HGC) was a computer graphics controller which, through its popularity, became a widely-supported display standard. It was common on IBM PC compatibles connected to a monochrome (green, amber or, less often, black-white) phosphor monitor. It supported one high resolution text mode and a single graphics mode."

from : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hercules_Graphics_Card

Reply 4 of 11, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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dh4rm4 wrote:

From memory Hercules had pretty broad support for many years. It was the defacto standard in publishing and corporate circles.

Yes, but not in the context of backward compatibility leileilol was talking about. VGA (and SVGA) is only backward compatible with EGA and CGA, but not with Hercules. IIRC, not even CGA is "backward compatible" with Hercules --try playing a game with 'Hercules' option on CGA card, and you know what I mean.

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 5 of 11, by `Moe`

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C/E/VGA were not supposed to be Hercules-compatible (or vice versa), because the monochrome video adapters (MDA, HGC) had a separate video memory location at segment 0xb000, which enabled old systems to have one colour and one monochrome video adapter in a single system, early multi-head. I actually used that with an MDA+SVGA combination back in the 90s (under OS/2 even!). Few programs took advantage of it, but it was cool if you had some programming skills 😉

Reply 6 of 11, by dh4rm4

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Exactly what I was trying to get across. The Wikipedia link explains that in some detail. Thanks for explaining that in your own context Moe. I used such a combination at UNI in AutoCad and PCB CAD/Simulators. Speaking of which, SPICE anyone?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPICE - SPICE was a circuit 'emulator' (simulator, really) that was developed as far back as 1972. Some of it's users eventually took it's ideas into MAME and other low level hardware emulation systems.

Reply 7 of 11, by butterfly

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Neville wrote

But, is it of any use with VGA or SVGA cards? I've always thought they were backwards compatible with older standards, although the oldest games I ever tried under DOS were at least in EGA.

No. It is of no use with VGA/SVGA cards.
Yet, it can give you an idea of the feel of "those times", or even make you experience CGA-capable games "filtered" through a Hercules card with somewhat of a different taste.

You can find UniCGA at this page:
garbo.uwasa.fi/pc/screen.html

If you're gonna try it, it would be useful making a batch file to run games/apps 'cos you won't be able, in most cases, to see what you are typing or the video option you're about to chose.
Furthermore, your ancient computer or your DOSBox won't "believe" you've actually a CGA card installed, so you'll have to force the CGA option

Reply 8 of 11, by dr.zeissler

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Why are the CGA-Emulators for Hercules so different? Is it because of the programming of the "emulated" game?
Did someone get really into this. Someone who knows how they are done?

My experiences are. Some so called "native Hercules" Titles listed at mobygames do not support native hercules
but they use a "cga-emulation" to display the game. (e.g. TestDrive 1+2). Lot's of Borderbound Titels use
native Hires of Hercules like PrinceOfPersia.

The main problems of emulating CGA is, that using no scanlines causes a real good image but
ghosting at every moving objekt. For me, ghosting is a nogo., therefore I use scanline-emulation.

I have a starfiled.asm that works with CGA. Using a cga-emulation with scanlines causes the upper
screenside to display a pattern that should not be there. Using hgcibm whitch normally makes
a good image without scanlines but ghosting on all moving object does the job right.

My goals in this XT-Hercules Project is:
- Finding good Textmode-Stuff for XT/Hercules (I found a dancer/rapper) 😀
- Finding good Demoscene-Stuff for XT/Hercules (mainly one one real HGC-Demo available, native CGA-Demos do not work in emulation)
- Finding ways to make CGA-Only Titles work on native Hercules with CGA-Emulation. (Some titels refuse to work, I don't know why. Wintergames,Summergames,Worldgames, Brucelee, Worldkarate..)
- Finding the best CGA-Emulator for the Game. As I told you sometimes changing the cga-emulator makes the emulation better.

Doc

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 9 of 11, by dr.zeissler

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Some of my attempts:
https://youtu.be/Vix4DRCoNHM

Last edited by dr.zeissler on 2020-09-29, 07:04. Edited 1 time in total.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 10 of 11, by dr.zeissler

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If someone gets better results...please let me know.

Thx!

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 11 of 11, by matze79

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ftp://ftp.dosreloaded.de/Grafikkarten/Hercules%20Monochrom/

I have also some CGA Emulators, if you want you can try them out.
Some HGC Cards do HW Emulation also

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer