Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby bfcastello » 2019-5-13 @ 18:28

Just one curiosity: Has anyone played the MicroProse Formula One Grand Prix (F1GP) in both PC and Amiga versions? I wanted to know if there was much difference between them.

I've only played the PC version when I was a kid. I think it was around 1992, 1993 when I was given a diskette (or diskettes?) with the game from my dad... I believe our computer was a 386 at that time, and I also had a Thrustmaster T2 wheel to play with.

I asked because sometimes when I want to download some abandonware game, most links show that there is an Amiga version of these games. I never used an Amiga (but probably my dad did).
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby bfcastello » 2019-5-13 @ 18:33

appiah4 wrote:I could say that in the time I have been playing PC games (1989 till today) the only PC platformer that I actually enjoyed was Alley Cat. If you can call it that. The genre on the PC was almost universally lame.


https://www.mobygames.com/game/pc-booter/alley-cat

You mean this one? I used to play that but wasn't a huge fan. My mother played it for hours though.

Nothing was more lame than Pharaoh's Tomb for me.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-13 @ 18:37

Yep, that's the one. On our Hercules AT PC you couldn't get in through the windows; even jumping around on the alley screen was incredible fun (even though I had enjoyed many great platformers on my Atari 800XL like Pitfall 2, Bruce Lee etc.) so imagine my SHOCK when one day I was playing it on the computer's CGA AT and I accidentally hopped inside an apartment and there was this HUGE cheese inside.. My 9 year old mind was blown away.

To be fair Prince of Persia was also a great game that I actually played for endless hours on our Hercules PC (the Amiga 500 was handed down to a cousin once we got the 'serious computer') and although it was technically superior on the Amiga and Apple, the PC version was very good.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby bfcastello » 2019-5-13 @ 18:40

appiah4 wrote:Yep, that's the one. On our Hercules AT PC you couldn't get in through the windows; even jumping around on the alley screen was incredible fun (even though I had enjoyed many great platformers on my Atari 800XL like Pitfall 2, Bruce Lee etc.) so imagine my SHOCK when one day I was playing it on the computer's CGA AT and I accidentally hopped inside an apartment and there was this HUGE cheese inside.. My 9 year old mind was blown away.

To be fair Prince of Persia was also a great game that I actually played for endless hours on our Hercules PC (the Amiga 500 was handed down to a cousin once we got the 'serious computer') and although it was technically superior on the Amiga and Apple, the PC version was very good.


HAHAHA, I had pretty much the same reaction. Like "WTF how do I get out of this" or "What I have to do now". Then a dog came in and game over...

EDIT: I spent many hours playing F1GP and Carmen Sandiego.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Grzyb » 2019-5-13 @ 19:41

appiah4 wrote:On our Hercules AT PC you couldn't get in through the windows

I also experienced this problem, present on Hercules (with some CGA emulator, of course), absent on VGA.
Now I'm wondering why... Alley Cat was made for IBM, maybe IBM deliberately made it non-functional on Hercules?
Hercules was probably seen by IBM as a dangerous competitor, I think no IBM software ever supported HGC...
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-13 @ 20:19

bfcastello wrote:Just one curiosity: Has anyone played the MicroProse Formula One Grand Prix (F1GP) in both PC and Amiga versions? I wanted to know if there was much difference between them.


I have.
The PC version is better (assuming you have a fast enough PC), because it can get higher framerates, and also has extra features such as some simple texturemapping on the grass and track.
A 486DX2-66 VLB system seems to be the sweet-spot for the game, performance-wise. That's what I played it on, a lot. Very smooth experience, much better than the Amiga version.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby rasz_pl » 2019-5-13 @ 20:32

realnc wrote:PCs did actually double (or more) in speed every 18 months back then. The first Amiga (the 1000) was released in 1985. The 500 in 1987. Wolfenstein 3D came out in 1992.


and freshly introduced 1992 Amiga 600 had same Amiga 1000 "speed"

bfcastello wrote:Just one curiosity: Has anyone played the MicroProse Formula One Grand Prix (F1GP) in both PC and Amiga versions?


3-5fps on A500, ~half the resolution, 1/8 the colors
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-13 @ 20:46

rasz_pl wrote:
realnc wrote:PCs did actually double (or more) in speed every 18 months back then. The first Amiga (the 1000) was released in 1985. The 500 in 1987. Wolfenstein 3D came out in 1992.


and freshly introduced 1992 Amiga 600 had same Amiga 1000 "speed"


Yup, the Amiga 500 was just a cost-reduced version of the Amiga 1000. It used the same CPU and chipset, and the actual performance was exactly the same.
The Amiga 600 in turn was again a cost-reduced Amiga 500. Again the CPU, chipset and performance were the same, so it's all '1985 performance and features'.
Only the Amiga 1200, 3000 and 4000 were different.
The Amiga 3000 used the same chipset as the 500/1000/2000, but a faster CPU.
The Amiga 1200 and 4000 had faster CPUs, and an updated AGA chipset.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-13 @ 21:43

Scali wrote:
bfcastello wrote:Just one curiosity: Has anyone played the MicroProse Formula One Grand Prix (F1GP) in both PC and Amiga versions? I wanted to know if there was much difference between them.


I have.
The PC version is better (assuming you have a fast enough PC), because it can get higher framerates, and also has extra features such as some simple texturemapping on the grass and track.
A 486DX2-66 VLB system seems to be the sweet-spot for the game, performance-wise. That's what I played it on, a lot. Very smooth experience, much better than the Amiga version.


I also own both versions of the game and I have to concede that from a technical point of view the difference between the two is about as large as between F1GP and GP2 on the PC. That said, the Amiga version does have one thing over the PC version: Sound. Superior Amiga audio really makes a huge difference in this case.

I learned to love this game on a stock A500 and playing at 5fps did not really bother me somehow back in the days.. That said, even my 40MHz Amiga today running the inferior version barely matches a 386 running the superior one, and that's kind of sad.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby brostenen » 2019-5-13 @ 22:10

Scali wrote:
rasz_pl wrote:
realnc wrote:PCs did actually double (or more) in speed every 18 months back then. The first Amiga (the 1000) was released in 1985. The 500 in 1987. Wolfenstein 3D came out in 1992.


and freshly introduced 1992 Amiga 600 had same Amiga 1000 "speed"


Yup, the Amiga 500 was just a cost-reduced version of the Amiga 1000. It used the same CPU and chipset, and the actual performance was exactly the same.
The Amiga 600 in turn was again a cost-reduced Amiga 500. Again the CPU, chipset and performance were the same, so it's all '1985 performance and features'.
Only the Amiga 1200, 3000 and 4000 were different.
The Amiga 3000 used the same chipset as the 500/1000/2000, but a faster CPU.
The Amiga 1200 and 4000 had faster CPUs, and an updated AGA chipset.


Cost reduced in this case, did not mean less features. The 1000 came with 256k of Ram in stock configuration, and loaded the kickstart from a floppy disk. The 500 came in a different case design, came with 512k of Ram in stock configuration and had a newer kickstart in a Rom chip. All in all, the 500 were a better machine at a lower price. I tend to think of the 500 as a cost reduced version of the 2000.

The only two factor talking against the 600, were the lack of numeric keyboard, and the lack of Zorro slot. And yes. By 1992 it was too slow, yet the intend from Commodore, were actually a combined gaming console and the option of running software that you already had bought and wanted brand new hardware for. During the hyping of the 600 and launch presentation. Commodore explained the PCMCIA port as a future proofed upgrade port, combined with a modern kind of cartridge slot. They wanted game makers to release games on a PCMCIA card. Hence getting rid of floppy drive speed. And then there were the internal IDE controller. If you were out to get a writing tool and a machine for casual gaming, then the 600 were not a bad choice. Except for the price tag. That was way too high for what the hardware were in 1992.

Today, the 600 is actually a great little machine if you want to have an accelerator and VGA output. Just remove the TV-Modulator, install an Indevidual a604n, an IndivisionECS and then a VampireV2 accelerator. That will give you one heck of a power punch, in the smallest classic Amiga. You will have 128 megabyte of memory, HDMI output and a CPU that are in the class of an 060 or 080. And with the VampireV4 that will come out, you can even get the darn thing to run CD32 and Amiga1200 games. Yes, the V2 have an AGA core already, yet the V4 will deliver so much more.

For me, then I have no interest in a Vampire so far. I have gotten a 9,5mb FastMem upgrade instead. Else I have the Scandoubler and 1mb a604n ChipMem in my little machine. I have upgraded the operating system to 3.1.4 as well. My Amiga600 And then I have my heavy upgraded Amiga500 - Turbo Edition.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby bfcastello » 2019-5-13 @ 22:37

rasz_pl wrote:
bfcastello wrote:Just one curiosity: Has anyone played the MicroProse Formula One Grand Prix (F1GP) in both PC and Amiga versions?


3-5fps on A500, ~half the resolution, 1/8 the colors


Jesus! I’m so glad now my Childhood had a PC...
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby bfcastello » 2019-5-13 @ 22:41

appiah4 wrote:
Scali wrote:
bfcastello wrote:Just one curiosity: Has anyone played the MicroProse Formula One Grand Prix (F1GP) in both PC and Amiga versions? I wanted to know if there was much difference between them.


I have.
The PC version is better (assuming you have a fast enough PC), because it can get higher framerates, and also has extra features such as some simple texturemapping on the grass and track.
A 486DX2-66 VLB system seems to be the sweet-spot for the game, performance-wise. That's what I played it on, a lot. Very smooth experience, much better than the Amiga version.


I also own both versions of the game and I have to concede that from a technical point of view the difference between the two is about as large as between F1GP and GP2 on the PC. That said, the Amiga version does have one thing over the PC version: Sound. Superior Amiga audio really makes a huge difference in this case.

I learned to love this game on a stock A500 and playing at 5fps did not really bother me somehow back in the days.. That said, even my 40MHz Amiga today running the inferior version barely matches a 386 running the superior one, and that's kind of sad.


The same experience would have been different for me if I had done my cochlear implant when I was a kid. I played most games while deaf until 2007 when i got the cochlear implant. Sound was never a criteria for me to choose games until then.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2019-5-13 @ 23:05

Some people over here compare apples to pears. The Amiga 1000 came available in 1985 and is the first Amiga. The A500 followed in 1987. I think that it's unfair to compare the Amiga 1000 or 500 vs. a i8088 pc, which does not represent the cutting edge of pc technology at the time of the Amiga. It would be more fair, from a technology stand point, to compare the Amiga 1000 with the most advanced pc, the IBM PC AT, with a i80286 CPU, hard disk and with optional EGA, which came on the market in 1984. By 1987 you could already buy a i386 pc with VGA (sure it was as expensive as an entry level car but hey you could!). Furthermore almost no one owned an Amiga 1000 in 1985. The system was too expensive for most folks (just the system alone without monitor was expensive). Besides the Atari ST series (1985) was a major competitor for the Amiga series.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2019-5-13 @ 23:20

brostenen wrote:
Grzyb wrote:
brostenen wrote:Depended entirely on how well the economy in your country was doing. The same today. If you have lots of money, you buy a top of the line smartphone. Less money, you settle with a mid-range.

Sure, eg. Poland in the early 90s was poor, very slowly recovering from the communism - so Amigas lived on here for a few years more.
However, Poland was irrelevant for the overall situation - vast majority of computers was selling in the USA and western Europe, and apparently for them 486s were affordable.


Heh.... The 80's are known as the poor-80's here in Denmark. So it was not until after the mid-90's that people began to buy computers in a big way here. I think it was 97/98 in were it really took off. Before that, those that had a computer, used it till it was utterly and completely worn out. Most that had a machine, had bought it in the late-80's. Like Amiga500's or even as old as Commodore64.


It wouldn't surprise me if West-Germany, Netherlands, France and U.K. account for 3/4 of all 1980's computer sales in Europe. Computers (just like VCR's) were all over the place in the 80's in my country, including schools and homes (although I'm not that old yet, I do know this because I have seen it in many old magazines, books, newspapers, photos and videos and by looking what's for sale locally). By the year 2000 almost all adults under age 50 owned a pc privately and had internet access.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby SpectriaForce » 2019-5-13 @ 23:28

Scali wrote:
stalk3r wrote:Most people including me actually thought that Commodore was a German company.


It kind of was.
That is, Commodore had a big department in Germany, which is where the Amiga 500 and 2000 were developed. A lot of Commodores were also manufactured in Germany, I believe my C64 also came from there.
The German division was also responsible for the Commodore PC-compatibles, and the bridgeboards for Amiga.


Commodore was like car maker Ford; half American and half German :blush: (lol now the Brits come in claiming that Ford is British lol)
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby realnc » 2019-5-13 @ 23:34

We can count beans all day long here, but the fact of the matter is that there was a period of 4-5 years where the Amiga was a popular gaming platform. It's those "magic years" that make the Amiga so popular with the retro community. It was all about Amiga and Atari ST during those years, with the C64 still being somewhat relevant.

Well, in Europe at least, and especially Germany. In the US, I don't think the Amiga was ever a thing (other than for video production maybe.)
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Hamby » 2019-5-14 @ 01:06

On my to-do list is to dig my A3000 out of the closet and hopefully repair whatever battery damage it now has. And maybe give it a CF drive...
Is the Viper available for the A3000, or just the A600?
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-5-14 @ 06:34

SpectriaForce wrote:Some people over here compare apples to pears. The Amiga 1000 came available in 1985 and is the first Amiga. The A500 followed in 1987. I think that it's unfair to compare the Amiga 1000 or 500 vs. a i8088 pc, which does not represent the cutting edge of pc technology at the time of the Amiga. It would be more fair, from a technology stand point, to compare the Amiga 1000 with the most advanced pc, the IBM PC AT, with a i80286 CPU, hard disk and with optional EGA, which came on the market in 1984. By 1987 you could already buy a i386 pc with VGA (sure it was as expensive as an entry level car but hey you could!). Furthermore almost no one owned an Amiga 1000 in 1985. The system was too expensive for most folks (just the system alone without monitor was expensive). Besides the Atari ST series (1985) was a major competitor for the Amiga series.


Sure, yeah let's do that.

The fastest x86 available to PCs at the time of A1000 launch was the 286 12MHz, and the IBM PC AT had a measly 6MHz 286 whereas the A1000 launched with a 7MHz 68000. The A1000 came with a 3.5" (albeit DD) floppy drive while the AT still used archaic 5.25" floppies. Furthermore, not only was the A1000 a 16/32-bit computer whereas the AT was 16-bit but also came with a multitasking GUI OS that the PC would not catch up with for half a decade yet. The A100 also sported the original chipset companion chips, which included Paula that could do 4 channel Stereo sample based audio whereas the 286 was limited to PC Speaker with not even the Adlib being on the market yet, as well as the Denise that could push incredible 16 color sprites (out of a staggering 4096 color pallette) at a speed and resolution that the 286 EGA upgrade could not even dream to (and that upgrade alone cost about the price of an A1000) onto an RGB monitor that again the PC could only dream of. Come 1987 the situation was not any different for the A500, hence the system's incredible success in the market. The IBM PC platform would only catch up to the Amiga with the IBM PS/2 and what did that cost, 3,600 dollars for the Model 50? Come on.

Amiga absolutely decimated the PC AT, and the early ST was even more of a joke in comparison.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Scali » 2019-5-14 @ 07:23

appiah4 wrote:Amiga absolutely decimated the PC AT, and the early ST was even more of a joke in comparison.


I would disagree there.
In my experience the Atari ST was actually much closer to the Amiga than PCs were, back in those days.
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Re: Why is Amiga so popular with retro community ?

Postby Murugan » 2019-5-14 @ 07:37

No matter how hard I try, I can't get to love the Amiga. Probably also due the lack of knowledge. I always was a PC guy but I also grew up with the ST. Planning on getting an A500 again and try to embrace it for the 3rd time :p
Also the price of Amiga HW is a big turndown for me.
My retro collection: too much...
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