First post, by MrFlibble

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Rank Oldbie

I apologize in advance for this somewhat unusual question. I am trying to determine if the screen capture feature that is built into Descent and Descent II is broken, or DOSBox somehow interferes with it. I am not asking advice on how to take screenshots in these games - the internal DOSBox screen capture function works fine.

According to the manual, reference card and in-game help of Descent and Descent II, pressing the Print Screen key during play should save a screen capture in PCX format in the respective games' installation directories. However, it does not to work, at least when running these games in DOSBoc. I have tried this with Descent shareware v1.1 and v1.4, as well as with the Descent II demo, running in DOSBox EMUCr build r3919 and in DOSBox SVN Daum build 20131117.

Remapping the Print Screen key to another key on the actual keyboard did not have any effect. Mapping another key that has a function in Descent (F5) to the actual Print Screen key resulted in the respective function being activated by the press of the Print Screen key.

I was unable to get Descent running under FreeDOS in a VM, so I cannot verify if this issue is caused by DOSBox or is a broken feature in the game itself. However, Googling yielded this topic where a user reports a similar issue with the registered version of Descent. Again, this problem is observed while running the game in DOSBox (the GOG.com version in this case), which makes me suspect if it is not something in DOSBox that interferes with this function.

I'm assuming from this that the game executable can be hacked to activate the screen capture function (if it is not broken, that is) by pressing a different key. However, I am not sure how exactly to do that.

I would be very thankful for any information or clarification of this matter. In every other respect, Descent and Descent II work fine in DOSBox.

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Reply 2 of 4, by PhilsComputerLab

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Rank l33t++

Yup, confirmed working. When you press the PrtScr key there is a message on the screen telling you what filename it is.

The version I'm using is the one that GOG sells 😀

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Reply 3 of 4, by ripsaw8080

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DOSBox Author

The PrintScreen key from the host is not passed into the emulation, but can be used for other events in the mapper. I presume it's like this because the key usually relates to some printing feature, and official DOSBox does not support printing.

Although perhaps not entirely correct, this patch to keyboard.cpp is enough to make the screenshot feature of Descent functional:

-    case KBD_printscreen:
- /* Not handled yet. But usuable in mapper for special events */
- return;
+ case KBD_printscreen:extend=true;ret=55;break;

However, even this use of the key is only enabling a feature that DOSBox already has built in.