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svga/vesa emulator for dos?

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First post, by mhdbox385

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Hi. I am trying to make need for speed run on vga-only modes, on my vga-only card.

It won't run because the game menu uses SVGA mode, but the race itself can run on 320x200x256 VGA mode.

When I try to run game it quits saying that I don't have sSVGA modes available.

So I was wondering, is there somekind of SVGA emulator for DOS running on system with a VGA card?

Perhaps it could display only quarter of pixels (320x200 or 320x240 instead of 640x480) or reduced color as 640x480x16?

Performance doesn't matter, it's for menu only, once in game enjoy 320x200x256 need for speed race.

Or maybe is there some other workaround?

Last edited by mhdbox385 on 2020-02-13, 10:32. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 1 of 34, by derSammler

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First, Need for Speed runs in 640x480 in-game if you select that resolution. See here for example: https://www.mobygames.com/game/dos/need-for-s … eShotId,193589/

Second, no, that's not possible. There's nothing you can emulate here. The game's code would have to be changed.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 2 of 34, by mhdbox385

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I know, but I wouldn't set 640x480 for race, because I have a VGA card. The race can be selected to run on VGA 320x200, but menu can't, menu requires SVGA/VESA. So I can't play damn game just because menu requires SVGA/VESA.

No, there is nothing you can do for sure, but maybe someone knows what can be done, if something can be done.

Reply 3 of 34, by derSammler

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I see what you mean. But what VGA card do you have at all? I can't recall ever coming across a 16-bit VGA card that can not do basic SVGA (640x480 at 256 colors and 800x600 at 16 colors). Only cards with 256 KB would be that limited and those won't ever be able to run a game like Need for Speed anyway.

Did you try loading UNIVBE?

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 4 of 34, by Jo22

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I second that. VGA clone cards were almost all SVGA cards from the start, since even after the VGA release in '87,
when many EGA clones started to feature 800x600 pels resolution as an optional feature.
To give an example, the Paradise Professional VGA (PVGA1A) and Video 7 VEGA.

On the otherhand, some low-cost VGA chipsets had buggy or incomplete SVGA.
These were often limited to 256KiB anyway and were one-chip solutions. too.
The best they could *technically* do was 640x400 in 256c, if games or its shipped VBE driver supported it.
Like for example, the OTI-037c, which could do 800x600 according to its datasheet, but in practice, often couldn't.
Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?

If you need some VESA VBE drivers, please have a look at one of my older threads:
Re: OAK OTI-037c - 800x600 mode ?
It mentions some older VBE 1.x drivers from the VGA cards' manufacturers thmeselves.
Although they don't support VESA 2.x yet, they may come in handy if UniVBE fails. 😉

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Reply 5 of 34, by BinaryDemon

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That’s just poor planning by developers requiring a higher resolution menu than needed for gameplay. I would search and see if there isn’t a command line option for bypassing menu and setting resolution and jumping straight into the game.

Check out DOSBox Distro:

https://sites.google.com/site/dosboxdistro/ [*]

a lightweight Linux distro (tinycore) which boots off a usb flash drive and goes straight to DOSBox.

Make your dos retrogaming experience portable!

Reply 7 of 34, by derSammler

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Poor planning? NFS1 is from late 1995. As stated above, SVGA was long standard back then and if you had a non-SVGA-capable card, it would be too slow to handle the game anyway. Man, even SimCity 2000 *required* SVGA in 1993.

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 8 of 34, by mhdbox385

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My card is pure VGA. But it isn't slow either. Quake runs pretty well on my pentium-100 using VGA 320x200.

I am looking for ways to make need for speed run as well. But via some tricks or hacks, not by upgrading my card. That is very obvious solution and wouldn't come asking here then.

I also looked for command line parameters for the game, but could not find any.

Last edited by mhdbox385 on 2020-02-12, 13:58. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 11 of 34, by mhdbox385

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Well, it seems I will not be getting any solution here.
I just omit stupid games that require stupid svga/vesa, and enjoy proper games that work on vga.
So good that Carmack did not make same mistake with quake.
nfs is on my list of worst games ever from now on. (nfs- need for svga)

Reply 12 of 34, by fitzpatr

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mhdbox385 wrote on 2020-02-13, 05:37:
Well, it seems I will not be getting any solution here. I just omit stupid games that require stupid svga/vesa, and enjoy proper […]
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Well, it seems I will not be getting any solution here.
I just omit stupid games that require stupid svga/vesa, and enjoy proper games that work on vga.
So good that Carmack did not make same mistake with quake.
nfs is on my list of worst games ever from now on. (nfs- need for svga)

No. If you don't provide the information that we ask for, you won't be getting any solutions.

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Reply 13 of 34, by mhdbox385

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fitzpatr wrote on 2020-02-13, 06:04:

No. If you don't provide the information that we ask for, you won't be getting any solutions.

It's a vga only card, that's it. You don't need to know what card.

What else do you want to know?

What I asked was very clear, how to make nfs work on vga card, race can be set to run on vga 320x200x256 mode, but menu requires above vga specs, that why I can't run the game. It quits saying that no svga mode available. If you know please help me.

Topic changes to what card, what card? a V. G. A. card

Reply 14 of 34, by cyclone3d

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Wow.. you won't even provide any real information.

There might be a utility made specifically for the chipset on your card that would help. But no, you refuse to provide any information that would allow somebody to actually help you.

Me thinks you must be trolling.

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Reply 15 of 34, by leileilol

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The Tseng ET3000-4000 is probably likely the alleged "pure VGA" card in use if it's fast enough for Quake. Running INSTVESA insted of INSTALL would get NFS going in that case (as it loads UNIVBE).

EDIT: A thread that's now deleted implies ET4000 is indeed the "pure VGA" card with the imaginary problem.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2020-02-14, 07:22. Edited 3 times in total.

by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x

Reply 16 of 34, by mhdbox385

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Forget about the card, please.

My only question is how to run nfs on vga only modes.

Perhaps some emulation that would allow, for example, to fake svga 640x480x256 on vga 640x480x16 mode, or something.

Reduced color isn't a problem, it's for menu only.

Reply 17 of 34, by kixs

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For 1995 game in 1995 any VGA card would support SVGA. I used to play NFS on my ISA only 486DX2-80 with ET4000 ISA card and my monitor at the time was true VGA with 640x480 only. Of course I played in VGA mode.

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Reply 18 of 34, by derSammler

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mhdbox385 wrote on 2020-02-13, 06:27:

It's a vga only card, that's it. You don't need to know what card.

No info, no help. You probably know by now that it's not a VGA-only card and you only don't want to tell in order not to admit your mistake. That's just lame.

Anyway, good luck getting your problem solved. You could have probably long solved it if you would just try UNIVBE...

http://retro-net.de/blog.html

Reply 19 of 34, by mhdbox385

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pff. I don't even defend my cards vga-only nature anymore. You want to believe it is svga? Fine. Be happy, ok it is. Happy now?

You just keep going back to my card, over and over again, now that's lame. That's not what I want to know.

Now, back to my help request:

How can I run nfs on vga-only modes?