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Best CGA & Hercules monochrome games

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Reply 140 of 218, by VileR

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OldCat wrote on 2020-10-27, 08:34:

In other news, here is interesting case of a CGA game totally relevant to this thread - Rockford. Its creators didn't care about the colour mode, but focused on "how is it going to look on a monochrome monitor?"
ROCKFORD.jpg

That comparison shot looks familiar. 😉

Rockford had at least two releases, with a few differences in the graphics department (one of them supported 256-color MCGA/VGA, the other didn't).
I can't recall which one had that screwy CGA title screen, but it makes more sense in the other version:

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Looks like an actual rework/re-conversion, not just a simple palette change.
CGA-on-monochrome was never a real standard, in terms of mapping colors to intensities... so that other version wouldn't even look good on *all* mono monitors. 😀

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Reply 141 of 218, by radiance32

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dickkickem wrote on 2018-07-08, 20:40:
F-19 Stealth Fighter by MicroProse was a really good one, and the game advanced was very advanced at the time too. […]
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F-19 Stealth Fighter by MicroProse was a really good one, and the game advanced was very advanced at the time too.

C4OY3ysWEAAiwHc.jpg

Hey,

Seeing your beautifull screenshot of F19 Stealth fighter in CGA 4 colors,
trying to get F19 Stealth Fighter to run in CGA mode but can't figure it out.
No documentation in the zip file I found on an abandonware site, nor anything on google..
I think there is some command line switch that enables CGA, do you know ?
Or maybe my download lacks the required CGA files... Can i have your copy ?

Thanks,
Terrence

Reply 142 of 218, by Akuma

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This is a good thread to collect everything hercules 😁

I wrote a loader that fixes the hercules option in OUTRUN here

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Reply 143 of 218, by dr.zeissler

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Great! Thx!

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Reply 144 of 218, by dr.zeissler

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We should split this thread into:

CGA Standard 320x200
CGA Hires 640x200
CGA Composit
CGA plantronics mode

Hercules via CGA emulation lowers
Hercules real hires.

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 145 of 218, by OldCat

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Akuma wrote on 2021-08-15, 17:34:

I wrote a loader that fixes the hercules option in OUTRUN here

Brilliant, thank you very much! You're awesome. I will give this version a test ride on real Hercules hardware when I have a moment (might be until weekend) and post photos here.

Akuma wrote on 2021-08-15, 17:34:

This is a good thread to collect everything hercules 😁

Thank you! Funnily enough, whenever I google something niche and Hercules-related, this thread comes up.

dr.zeissler wrote on 2021-08-15, 18:25:
We should split this thread into: CGA Standard 320x200 CGA Hires 640x200 CGA Composit CGA plantronics mode Hercules via CGA emul […]
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We should split this thread into:
CGA Standard 320x200
CGA Hires 640x200
CGA Composit
CGA plantronics mode
Hercules via CGA emulation lowers
Hercules real hires.

No, dr Zeissler, we shouldn't. You have already mentioned it in this thread before, but I don't want to and I hope mods won't override. The thread's main theme is sharing enjoyable PC games for Hercules and CGA that look good on monochrome screens. Hence the title "Best CGA & Hercules monochrome games".

I would, however, encourage you to start a thread on CGA emulation on Hercules or share the info / files / setups you have for CGA games in here. You have shown the movie linked earlier in this thread ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vix4DRCoNHM ) where we could see you have excellent results in this area. I kindly asked you to share the details, but you never did. You could share them to contribute to this community and help fellow Hercules fans, which I personally and likely many others would be very grateful for.

Reply 146 of 218, by BitWrangler

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Getting some great ideas for stuff to try on my PC-4600, though that suffers from massive blur issues. It does have CGA, but appears to support Herc as well. I wonder actually if CGA simulation in Herc mode would give better displays in some instances, since default it doesn't seem to greyscale or crosshatch for 4 colors and just get black and grey on the LCD.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 147 of 218, by OldCat

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BitWrangler wrote on 2021-08-16, 13:57:

Getting some great ideas for stuff to try on my PC-4600, though that suffers from massive blur issues. It does have CGA, but appears to support Herc as well. I wonder actually if CGA simulation in Herc mode would give better displays in some instances, since default it doesn't seem to greyscale or crosshatch for 4 colors and just get black and grey on the LCD.

I don't think it can support Hercules graphics. First of all, the LCD screen has fixed resolution of 640x400, which would not fit. It's clearly for CGA, both low- and hi-res. Secondly, the offical booklet http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/sharp/brochures/SharpPC4600.pdf mentions CGA, MDA and AT&T graphic emulation. With that screen I think I would recommend fairly static CGA games (RPGs, perhaps?) where blur won't get too much in the way.

Reply 148 of 218, by BitWrangler

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Thanks. Hmmm I need to try some other stuff, since it claims greyscale use in CGA, either I ran things that didn't use many colors or had a CGA mode like Windows, or it needs sensitive tuning of darkth and contrast to see the difference. I hadn't heard of AT&T graphics before guess these are it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivetti_M24#CG … ible_video_card Olivetti/AT&T/Xerox graphics really I guess.
I know it doesn't work for the 160x120 "hack" mode, tried paku-paku and it gave strange scrambled display. Don't know if that's just an LCD limitation though, the monitor output was optional and mine doesn't have it.

2017: Basement full of ancient PC stuff, starting to go through it. 2021: Still starting, heh, many setbacks. So what's this BitWrangler guy's deal ??? >>> Taming the pile, specs to target?

Reply 149 of 218, by Jo22

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Hello friends, I'm really glad that this thread continues. ^^
Greetings to all of you!

Personally, I like to think that both CGA and Hercules are like slightly unequal siblings,
both from hardware (CRTC) and software perspective (memory locations) .

In what they differ the most in is the use case.
While CGA has its focus on colours, Hercules focuses on resolution.

Personally, I think that Hercules* never got the love that it deserved.
It was great for all kinds of simulation software, like flight sims.
Let's imagine someone brought Hercules to the C64
or released a Macintosh emulator for PC.
"System" running in 720x348 pels! 😍

This would have made PC compatibles the most sophisticated workstations for Mac software in the 80s.

Also, it would have looked much cooler in neon green and amber!

Okay, back to topic..

I know a few more games that might be worth trying on Hercules :

- The Colony
EGA footage, I'm sorry. Anyway, vertical resolution (640x350) is same as Hercules.
So Hercules would be no worse than EGA.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQTjRpqG8RA

Originall Macintosh footage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1XENlUUOhA

- SimAnt
Looks very good in Hercules, as far as I can say.
Here's a capture of mine with a real CRT.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBrYNfFUPz0

- Games made for 1980s Windows
During the 80s, Windows shipped as a runtime alongbwith applications.
And since EGA was the reference video standard for Windows 1+2,
games were drawn with 640x350 pels view port in mind.
Hence, they are good viewable on Hercules, too.
Ie. they are resizeable often, use little amounts of colour, rarely diagonal lines (req. anti-aliasing).
Games that come to mind: Balance of Power, PD games
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1Vhow8kne4

- Wonderland/Magnetic Scrolls collection (Magnetic Scrolls)
- Starflight
- Super Tetris
- Frederick Pohl's Gateway series (Legend Entertainment)
- Sim Earth
- Space Station Oblivion
- Sierra's 3-D Helicopter Simulator

Some more CGA/HGC games, maybe not so great (haven't played them much yet):
- Passengers of the Wind series
- Moonbase
- Lunar Explorer: A Space Flight Simulator
- RAPCON: Military Air Traffic Control Simulator
- Xenon 2
- Bob Morane : Jungle

Again, not so great list, I'm sorry. I mainly used Mobygames for this quick 'n' dirty research.
https://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/att … et,0/p,2/so,0a/

(*Also was known as MGA, Monochrome Graphics Adapter. Generic term used by HGC clone card makers.)

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 150 of 218, by dr.zeissler

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I kindly asked you to share the details, but you never did. You could share them to contribute to this community and help fellow Hercules fans, which I personally and likely many others would be very grateful for.

here you are

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Last edited by Qbix on 2021-08-19, 08:06. Edited 2 times in total.

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Reply 151 of 218, by dr.zeissler

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Look how beautiful hires monochrome on Mac looks: https://youtu.be/YicfqCx5m-k
Beside that Atari-ST monochrome is also great too if it's really hires like ZAK MC KRACKEN.

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 152 of 218, by OldCat

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2021-08-16, 15:35:

here you are

Thank you kindly! This is going to be very useful for anyone intending to emulate CGA on their Hercules cards. I appreciate it a lot!

dr.zeissler wrote on 2021-08-16, 15:42:

Look how beautiful hires monochrome on Mac looks: https://youtu.be/YicfqCx5m-k
Beside that Atari-ST monochrome is also great too if it's really hires like ZAK MC KRACKEN.

It's really pretty. I think some modern indie games purposefully mimic that aestethic: Return of the Obra Dinn, World of Horror or The Shrouded Isle.

Last edited by OldCat on 2021-08-16, 20:20. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 153 of 218, by dr.zeissler

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you're welcome 😀

The "script" directory needs to be in "path" of course.

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Reply 154 of 218, by OldCat

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Jo22 wrote on 2021-08-16, 15:30:

Hello friends, I'm really glad that this thread continues. ^^

Hey Jo22, good to see you around still!

Thanks for all the titles, I'll try to check at least some of them. Recently I have less time for my retro hobby, but Hercules has a special place in my heart and I really like this thread and follow new updates.

Reply 155 of 218, by matze79

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Eye of Beholder 1 runs on CGA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVEeZK2AfnQ

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Reply 156 of 218, by OldCat

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matze79 wrote on 2021-08-17, 09:23:

Eye of Beholder 1 runs on CGA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVEeZK2AfnQ

It certainly does, but sadly I was not able to emulate its CGA version on Hercules. Perhaps someone with more patience and skills will be able to make it work one day.

Reply 157 of 218, by Akuma

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I had nothing better to do today, so I was looking at all different CGA emulators/simulators.

 1601 jan 11  1988 ACGA.COM     2.1
1247 jun 25 2016 BBSIMCGA.COM (no version)
2877 okt 27 1986 CGA.COM (no version)
8784 jan 3 1980 CGA.EXE (no version)
6710 sep 30 1987 HGCIBM.COM 2.02
618 sep 11 1986 SIMCGA.COM 1.0
7040 aug 26 1987 SIMCGA.COM 4.0
10144 jan 7 1988 SIMCGA.COM 4.2
9086 dec 31 1990 UCGA.EXE 1.0

These are faulty or hacked:

 618 dec 15  1989 E1.COM   <- hacked version of SIMCGA 1.0
279 dec 15 1989 E2.COM <- faulty
7 dec 15 1989 E3.COM <- faulty
618 okt 31 1987 HERC.COM <- hacked version of SIMCGA 1.0
7040 aug 26 1987 SIMCGA41.COM <- this is actually 4.0

SIMCGA.COM 4.2 had encryption, and a trailng MsDos tag, which does not need to be there.
So I removed the encryption and MsDos tag and cleaned it up as best I could.
Its nice and clean now, faster too (although you will never notice).

If you find others, please let me know.
We might as well plaster them here too 😁

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-09-02, 22:03. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 158 of 218, by Akuma

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OldCat wrote on 2021-08-17, 09:31:
matze79 wrote on 2021-08-17, 09:23:

Eye of Beholder 1 runs on CGA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVEeZK2AfnQ

It certainly does, but sadly I was not able to emulate its CGA version on Hercules. Perhaps someone with more patience and skills will be able to make it work one day.

Seems to work just fine in DOSBox with SIMCGA 4.2
(just a quick test, might be different on hardware)

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Reply 159 of 218, by OldCat

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Akuma wrote on 2021-08-17, 21:11:

I had nothing better to do today, so I was looking at all different CGA emulators/simulators.

Akuma wrote on 2021-08-17, 21:11:

If you find others, please let me know.
We might as well plaster them here too 😁

You're a magician, really! Thank you very much for your effort, it's incredible. I will check if I have anything else when it comes to CGA sims.

Akuma wrote on 2021-08-17, 21:36:

Seems to work just fine in DOSBox with SIMCGA 4.2

Thank you! I will give it a try together with Outrun and what dr Zeissler provided. I need to put aside an hour or two this weekend. 😀