Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Getting old DOS games working on modern hardware. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby Galerysoro » 2019-5-24 @ 16:20

Hey guys, have any of you seen this error before?

I am running this on a windows 98 thinkpad a31. When I run these older games from Sierra, i think agi version) the title bar text and dialog text is all garbled, as if the font is corrupted. The text where you can type is clean tho and shows no issues.
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby DaveJustDave » 2019-5-24 @ 16:52

is it just space quest? have you tried any other AGI titles? how about SCI games?
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby Galerysoro » 2019-5-24 @ 17:02

Kq1 kq2 kq3 sq1 sq2

It happens in all of the agi games that I have tried so far

Sq3 and up, kq 4 and up all work fine

This also happens if I restart in msdos mode
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby NewRisingSun » 2019-5-24 @ 18:58

That happens when your ROM BIOS does not have the standard 8x8 font stored at F000:FA6E.
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby Galerysoro » 2019-5-24 @ 19:52

Attempted a bios update, no change. I’m guessing the bios is not compatible with these games. No fun.
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby root42 » 2019-5-24 @ 20:00

But why does the inverted font work…?
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby Galerysoro » 2019-5-24 @ 20:03

That’s a good question. Lol is the inverted font coded into the game but basic font is from bios to save space in the game? Or be faster to render?
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby VileRancour » 2019-5-25 @ 08:19

By the looks of it, the inverted text could be from the video ROM, which has its own complete 8x8 font. (At F000:FA6E, the system ROM only provides the first 128 characters.)

So it all depends on which methods/calls AGI uses to print text. I guess in theory it could be patched to always use the video ROM font on EGA/VGA.
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby collector » 2019-5-25 @ 08:24

Wrong forum. As per the description of this forum: "Getting old DOS games working on modern hardware. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here)." Ask old hardware and driver/configuration questions in Marvin. viewforum.php?f=60
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby NewRisingSun » 2019-5-25 @ 13:12

collector wrote:Wrong forum blah blah
Shup the f up. I am sick and tired of your worthless backseat moderating. :angry:
root42 wrote:But why does the inverted font work…?
Because AGI games use the BIOS to display white-on-black text, which will always use the correct font data. But for black-on-white text, AGI writes the font pattern data to video memory by itself, because some BIOSes don't to that properly. And in doing so, AGI assumes that the font data exists at the same location where it existed in the original 1981 PC BIOS, which is F000:FA6E.

If your AGI version is 2.912 or higher, try running the game with the command-line option "-s -v", as in e.g. "sq2 -s -v". That will run the game in IBM PS/2 mode, where the game (I think) will use a different routine to print text.
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby Galerysoro » 2019-5-25 @ 14:39

Awesome! The -s -v worked and corrected the issue.

As for wrong forum, this is newer hardware than the games were written for, and not using DOSBox to rub the games. This newer hardware has windows 98 installed and boots directly to it.
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Re: Old Sierra games, text corruption.

Postby Galerysoro » 2019-5-25 @ 16:01

Update and resolution:

The above resolution did not fix all games, but did most of them.

I have been able to resolve this issue 100% by using scumming as a windows based interpreter for it. I did have to grab version 1.8.1 for windows 9x compatibility.
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