VOGONS


First post, by dr.zeissler

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Hi there, as the title already tells you it's about getting the most out of the matrox-mystique within a K6-2/450. It's not only about the native 3D API the mystique came with, it's also about early D3D with optimized settings for matrox-mystique.

Until a week ago I did not knew that the mystique offers D3D acceleration, though some major features for D3D are not available, BUT the performance is pretty decent. So I started this project and began testing.

My main target OS is Win95b, the machine has 128MB RAM and a 40GB HDD. Beside Win95b the system has also MSDOS and OS/2 in Multiboot. Amithlon refuses to restart (instant quit and reboot) and beside that I did not have chosen what additional OS will be installed. So here we start wirth Win95B.

The latest game that offers "mystique-option" is resident evil2 and this requires DX6 to run. So DX6 is set. (normally I would not go higher than DX5). Now it was time to choose the driver. I tested 4 different win9x drivers. The earlier ones have issues on some games, but they offer D3D acceleration. The later ones broke mostly everything. It turned out the driver 4.03.00.3700 offers the best compatibility. With this driver and the correct version of DungeonKeeperD3D everything works fine, so this driver was set.

Now I am checking the games and they are a lot of great games to play on the mystique. It's a BIG difference if you chose "software-rendering" in hires and if you can switch to D3D acceleration on the mystique. To my eyes the mystique is even better and far more compatible than my PCX1.

Beside the excellent 2D acceleration it's now about checking the games. Would be nice if someone who also uses a mystique in a retro-rig can share his experiences too.

Greetings
Doc

SNI-Scovery-212 (Acer-MB VL66 Onboard-Intel-Lan, Onboard AtiRage IIc (not used))
- AMD K-2/450
- 128MB Ram (2x64MB)
- 40GB Seagate HDD
- 1,44MB 3,5"
- PCI ESS-Solo1 with MIDI-Module
- PCI Matrox-Mystique 4MB

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Last edited by dr.zeissler on 2022-01-01, 13:17. 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 1 of 29, by The Serpent Rider

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Honestly, Mystique is decent only if you can tolerate dithering on alpha channel and like unfiltered textures. Former is really horrible.

I must be some kind of standard: the anonymous gangbanger of the 21st century.

Reply 2 of 29, by dr.zeissler

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That's interesting, I always thought that there is no way around a 3dfx-card, BUT I do not like the bilinear filtering anymore, to me it looks to washed out and the colors are bad too and you got it it's about workarounds for the missing features. If I set the machine (hardware) and test software against it's about finding the best solutions.

e.G.

Doom1/2, Heretic,Hexen. I normally use DoomGL, if this does not work or is not possible I switch to Doom95. In this case Doom95 is VERY slow, don't know why but Hires 640x400 is not playable. So I checked zDoom and it seems to use the acceleration the mystique offers and it runs so smooth. One downside is that my early version of zdoom does not support hexen. But that is not a big problem, the other s work just fine.

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 3 of 29, by dr.zeissler

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Quake1:
Normally I use glquake, but that's not usable. Winquake works but does not offer 3d acceleration. D3Dquake does not work because the "matrox" version seems to require G200/400? http://dxquake.sourceforge.net http://dxquake.sourceforge.net/D3DQuake06.zip

Quake2:
Quake2 seems to run much better in software-mode. I have to check this.

WingCommander3
This game has no glitches because it deactivates the D3D features the mystique does not offer, nice! and therefore it runs pretty good and looks surprising well.

Now checking the (other) flight simulators.

MotoRacer1:
Man this runs so smooth on the mystique and looks great. Does not have the memory bug on some "bigger" level that the PCX1 had. The mystique always offers D3D acceleration an the game plays very nice 😀

MotoRacer2:
Works too (DX6 req) but the gameplay is not as good as Motoracer1.

More to come.

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 4 of 29, by dr.zeissler

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Still searching for accelerated sourceports of rott, duke3d, swarrior, hexen.

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 5 of 29, by Babasha

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Just try to run Dungeon Keeper 2 with -softwarefilter command line parameter. I think this combination is best visual quality hardware accellerated game on Matrox Mystique 😉

Need help? Begin with photo and model of your hardware 😉

Reply 6 of 29, by dr.zeissler

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You are right, it's just beautiful...but far too slow to play on my K6-2/450 😉

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 7 of 29, by leileilol

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2022-01-01, 15:41:

Still searching for accelerated sourceports of rott, duke3d, swarrior, hexen.

The world of community source ports from 99 onward never had first generation 3d accelerators in mind and were often OpenGL, so you're really going to bang your head trying to get real meaningful 3d acceleration from this one (especially from a 3d accelerator that isn't as feature parity as most later DOS 3D games' _software_ renderers!!). Forget using the Mystique on anything with a lightmap because it doesn't have any appropriate blending modes for it (and forcing lightmaps to alpha as a dither is just terrible, especially on older mystiques where alpha values didn't change dithering levels)

Probably the most modern killerspielen the Mystique can probably play are the early Lithtech games (Blood2, Shogo, that one vietnam game) as there's just alpha blended effects and the lightmap is completely optional with a vertex light fallback.

apsosig.png
long live PCem

Reply 8 of 29, by dr.zeissler

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It's about the very early D3D stuff. And Windows/MIrrors on Jediknight are well done with dithering on mystique. I really like this card. It's not a big thing if there are no accelerated versions found because there is still so much to play on that setup.

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 29, by chuky

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Crime Cities comes with the Techland MiniGL driver for the Mystique (along with S3 Virge, PowerVR, 3dfx and the D3d wrapper), so maybe there's a way to use the driver with games like Quake, Unreal or Half-Life. The game was free on Gog a few weeks ago. I haven't had time to test yet.

Back then I remember playing Overboard!/Shipwreckers! when I got a 3dfx2 and going back and forth between the Mystique and the 3dfx to see how it rendered the transparency on sprites with dots. It's Directx 6 and in the readme file they say that it was tested with the Mystique.

But I think a K6-2 450 with 128 Mbs of ram makes any card look good while at the time most cards rendered slowly on a 233 Mhz cpu or slower that people had. I read a few magazines and it's funny they talk trash of every 3d card from that era except the 3dfx. They say most 3d cards are slow, the ATI rage pro, the PowerVR, the Rendition Vérité, the S3 Virge, because on cpus of that time they were slow. If you put the Matrox Mystique or any of these cards on a more recent cpu they all look like fast cards, so you don't feel why they were said to be slow.

Reply 10 of 29, by dr.zeissler

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dr.zeissler wrote on 2022-01-01, 13:06:

... It turned out the driver 4.03.00.3700 offers the best compatibility. With this driver and the correct version of DungeonKeeperD3D everything works fine, so this driver was set.

I have to correct this!

- DirectX5 has drivers for mystique, but these drivers don't offer monitor-controlling-panels and does not work on some demoscene stuff (horzion)
- DirectX6 has no newer driver for the mystique
- Driver 4.03.00.3700 breaks directdraw (2D) regardless if I install it over DX5 DX6 or DX2 that came with Win95b.
- I currently use driver 4.11.00.3140 that offers correct directdraw-acceleration and has only glitches in DungeonKeeperD3D. (Flickering lights, DungeonHeart)

There is no way of getting DungeonKeeper D3D 100% correct on mystique regardless if it is directly supported (:
(4.03.00.3700 offers much better visuals but tends to flickering on green grounds after some time)

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 29, by trixster

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Great thread! I use a Mystique 220 in my P166 MMX / Voodoo 1 machine. I had a Mystique in my first PC back in 1997 so i wanted to utilise that card again. I've only tried it with Tomb Raider so far (as the focus of the machine is the Voodoo 1 which was my first proper 3D accelerator) but I was pleasantly suprised with it! Not nearly as bad as I feared and had read about.

I'll get back with details of what driver I'm using once i boot the machine up and check. I'll also try some other mystique-patched games

Reply 12 of 29, by dr.zeissler

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Resident Evil1 => supports Matrox Mystique (4MB) directly (First entry! before 3dfx 😉 (Press F7 to get Hires Acceleration 640x480)
Resident Evil2 => supports Matrox Mystique (4MB) directly
MortalKombat4 => works great but some "effects look strange (e.g. SubZero), performance is pretty nice.
Nice2 => offers special Matrox-Mystique Setting but looks awful and performance is bad too.
Forsaken => Light Effects look bad, forget it, no way of optimisation, so forget it.
Incoming => looks good, performance is good too. Effects are switched off directly .
DungeonKeeper1 D3D => mystique is directly supported but I can't find a driver that has no glitches on this game...meh
Jazz2 => works OK on hardware-mode in 640x400 8Bit but does not switch to 720x400 70hz for completly stutterfree scrolling. (uses 640x480 62,5hz instead)
DariusGaiden => works OK, not perfect smooth scrolling uses also 640x480 62,5hz)

Same Issue (runs too fast, no Hardware-Scrolling)
Horizon => scrolling is broken on driver 4.03.00.3700 https://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=8410
Giana => scrolling is broken on driver 4.03.00.3700 https://web.archive.org/web/20070103140025/ht … anaWorlds08.exe
dxboulder => scrolling is broken on driver 4.03.00.3700 http://www.steffest.com/dxboulder/Files/DXBou … erV043alpha.zip
These Games/Demos run perfectly smooth on my setup when not using 4.03.00.3700. I love that stutterfree scrolling stuff and it's so rare on PC.

Beside that I cannot use 512x384 an any game, because my TFT does not support the frequencies the mystique uses on that resololution. Every tweaking-tool faild on getting control over the frequency in 512x384. (powerstrip, HZ-tool etc.)

One other downside is, that some Dosgames and Demos do make use of VESA-Modes that are not supported on mystique. (I already have BiosUpdate 1.8 installed). These VESA-Drivers are pretty useless because they tell me that they offer lot's of modes and do fail exactly when starting as without them. So in my opinion useless stuff. (tested mystique and SDD-Freeware etc.) Everything that does not work out of the box is directly deleted from the harddrive.

Last edited by dr.zeissler on 2022-01-04, 11:44. 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 13 of 29, by dr.zeissler

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misterjones wrote on 2014-01-13, 18:13:
When MSI is used, just prior to the game launching you get a "Matrox" splash screen similar to the 3DFX logo when Glide is used […]
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sheath wrote:
By optimized Direct 3D do we mean optimized specifically for the Mystique in a way the regular retail version is not? I am prob […]
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Moto Racer - OEM version that was part of the bundle with the Mystique 220, but it is running on optimized Direct3D.

By optimized Direct 3D do we mean optimized specifically for the Mystique in a way the regular retail version is not? I am probably going to purchase as many Mystique editions as I can anyway, but I'd like to know whether this will look and play exactly like the normal retail game. Also, the other games that are specifically optimized for the Mystique, what do they use API wise to be so?

-edit-
Also, I just tested Quake II on the Mystique and while it runs perfectly at 640x480 in software mode I tried Open GL anyway. I can't remember why I would want to use Open GL but I remember the Mystique not having great support for it, but I also remember finding solutions to that back in the day. Can anybody jog my memory?

-edit-edit-
Okay, it looks like the Moto Racer 3.20 and 3.22 patches added support for Direct 3D and 4MB graphics cards respectively. The Mystique Edition is probably just the fully updated game, that's cool enough for me.

When MSI is used, just prior to the game launching you get a "Matrox" splash screen similar to the 3DFX logo when Glide is used and, IIRC, when RRedline is used on Rendition cards.

On the version of MotoRacer that was included with the Mystique220, that Matrox splash screen comes up, indicating that MSI is being used. I still have my Mystique220 (w/Rainbow Runner) and I've owned it since early 1998. That version of MotoRacer got me through many a night and the one thing I distinctly recall from playing it was the Matrox splash screen.

There was a patch available for MotoRacer that enabled D3D in this OEM version. I used it to continue playing the game after I had moved the Mystique from my gaming machine.

Now... Quake/Quake II on the Mystique: The publisher of the game Crime Cities, Techlandsoft, developed an OpenGL client for both the Mystique and the S3 Virge for use with the game. I did have the chance to use it with Quake and it worked fine, but didn't look much better than the regular software rendering engine because of the Mystique's lack of filtering. I'm pretty sure it could have been used for Quake2, but I can't recall ever running it.

Matrox Mystique (MSI): Released: 14th of August 1996 Reviews: [ Guru3D ] [ CGW October 1996 review ] [PC Magazine December 1996 […]
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Matrox Mystique (MSI):
Released: 14th of August 1996
Reviews: [ Guru3D ] [ CGW October 1996 review ] [PC Magazine December 1996 review ] [ PC Magazine 1997 Mystique 220 review ]
Advertisement: [ CGW December 1996 ]
Promo videos from 1996/1997: Youtube Link: [ 1 - 2 ]
Original product webpage.

Supported games:
Italic text = MSI exclusive
Actua Soccer - Patch available for retail release.
Battle Arena Toshinden - Patch available for retail release.
Youtube video: [ Comparison MSI / other APIs ]
Destruction Derby 2 - Part of the Mystique bundle.
Screenshots: [ 1 ]
Croc - Retail release (only 1.0 version)
Screenshot: [ 1 ]
Mechwarrior 2: Mystique Edition - Part of the Mystique bundle. Unofficial patch available for retail [ Patch files - guide ]
Youtube video: [ Comparison MSI/other APIs ]
Monster Trucks (Thunder Truck Rally) DEMO - OEM demo, part of the bundle.
Screenshots: [ 1 ] - [ Download ]
Scorched Planet - Part of the Mystique bundle. Support also included in retail release.
Screamer II - Patch available for retail release. [ Stand alone Patch or bundled patch (3DFX, CGL, Mystique) ]
Screamer Rally - Retail release support.
Time Warriors - Retail release support.
Screenshot: [1 ]
Tomb Raider - Patch available for retail release.
UEFA Champions League 1996/1997 - Retail release support. (mystique fix)

Debunked:
The Matrox Mystique doesn't have alot of games to debunk. The main reason behind this is that Matrox produced all the cards themselves and also that MSI was so quickly abandoned infavour of Direct3D and also the Matrox m3D card. The archived Matrox website also have good information of what API the games are running on. All games listed here are Direct3D. The ones listed in the "Energized" section are Direct3D or MSI, the ones that are not specified I've added below.

iF-22 - Not defined on the Matrox webpage, but is a Direct3D game.
Moto Racer - OEM version that was part of the bundle with the Mystique 220, but it is running on optimized Direct3D.
Tomb Raider: Unfinished Business - On the disc there is just an empty folder with a .txt file for the Mystique patch. According to several sources [ 1, 2, 3 ] found on Google Groups, the patch was never released. CD Access who sold Tomb Raider also states no support for Unfinished Business.
VR Sports: VR Baseball - Direct3D, though there is a patch for Mystique cards, which is a fix/optimization.
Winter Race 3D - Not defined on the Matrox webpage, but is a Direct3D game.
War Gods - Not defined on the Matrox webpage, but is a Direct3D game.

Techland MiniGL The unique driver that can be found in Crime Cities and its demo. Gets more of the later games to function, howe […]
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Techland MiniGL
The unique driver that can be found in Crime Cities and its demo. Gets more of the later games to function, however, unlike the PowerVR MiniGL it does not feature any blending workarounds so games will look even more glitched and opaque. Graphics will be broken to various degrees.
Quake III Arena Video (note- I modified most textures to add alpha blending, will do an engine build that fixes graphics)
Minetest
MDK2 Video
DXX-Rebirth (Descent port, looks fine except for the additive tint effects. I have reported this issue.)
Serious Sam (unfortunate skybox depth issue kills visibility) Video
Nexuiz (r_fullbright, gl_mesh_testmanualfeeding, loadsky no required) Video

I will check this!

https://web.archive.org/web/19981207072820/ht … lish/minigl.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/19981202024905/ht … glish/index.htm

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 14 of 29, by dr.zeissler

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Did some clean installs, did lot's of testing with four driver-versions and three directx-versions. D3D is Ok from DirectX3 upwards (beside that glitch in DungeonKeeper D3D). But 2D accerleration is only 100% correct on the latest driver MGA Powerdesk 4.31.041. Please do check that on your mystiques with win95b and P1/2/3 or K6.

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 17 of 29, by chuky

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I've gathered many patch versions of Tomb Raider 1 for the different graphics cards, and the Mystique patches have a different Matrox splash screen in version 1.02 and 1.03. The animation of the letters is different and slower in 1.02. Previous versions don't have a splash screen. There are other differences in the previous patches like default resolution and the 2 Mb version isn't supported in the beta patches.
1.02 https://archive.org/download/LEVELR0997/LEVEL … %2FTOMB_MYS.ZIP
1.03 https://web.archive.org/web/20121015120705/ht … /tombmatrox.zip

Reply 18 of 29, by leonardo

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While not directly about the Mystique, have you tried to speed up performance with the K6-2 and -3 write allocation and write combining tweaks for the video memory?

I found out I could squeeze even more frames out of my old setup by doing that, than by actually overclocking. I've explained the tweaks and tests in this post. Just ignore the bits where I go into overclocking my motherboard. The tweaks you can perform for the CPU and video card with just software should follow the exact same logic for you, although I'm not sure the Mystique will have more than one memory range for you to enable write combining for.

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 19 of 29, by 386SX

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I was thinking lately to test the same card to see what it could actually accelerate already remembering that beside the excellent 2D/VGA output speed/quality only the very early D3D titles might work somehow. When I tested the card years ago I remember Final Reality benchmark actually ran quite well in hardware acceleration. Anyway it remains a great 2D card and perfect for any time correct second accelerator that need a pass cable thank to its signal quality even on LCD monitors that would show more problems with any 3D add-on cards.