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First post, by carlostex

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Hi everyone!

As its probably well known, Beneath a Steel Sky is a freeware game. It is available not only on GoG.com but you can also download it freely on RGB Classics at www.classicdosgames.com.

This game although supports Roland and SB speech does not support a way to select an individual sound device for music and other for playback, so unfortunately is either Roland music with no speech or Sound Blaster speech with Adlib music.

This game however has had its source code released. I took a peek into the music routines and it seems they are tied to each specific sound device. I tried forcing a few values by hex patching directly with the help of the source code, but i could not get it to have Roland music and SB speech.

Any assembler coders out there that might want to take a peek into the code? As i am very unexperienced, there might be something there that i'm not seeing properly. It might be a simple patch.

I think its a worthy endeavour, considering Beneath a Steel Sky is a good game, and the Roland music sounds better (specially with LAPC-i or CM-32L because of special FX)than FM.

Here's the source, which is public domain:
download/file.php?mode=view&id=91858

As bright and experienced as he was NewRisingSun could probably pull this off in 10 minutes. Too bad he isn't around any more.

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  • Filename
    sky-source.zip
    File size
    405.49 KiB
    Downloads
    48 downloads
    File license
    Public domain

Reply 1 of 13, by appiah4

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As I own the disk version of this game, I never heard the speech pack.. Is it decent?

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 3 of 13, by carlostex

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-09-09, 12:16:

As I own the disk version of this game, I never heard the speech pack.. Is it decent?

For a "talkie" is really one of the good ones. But it does not allow to select separate Music and Digital devices, hence the thread.

Reply 5 of 13, by Dimitris1980

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It's true. Recently i ran the game to test it with my Roland CM64 and unfortunately there is only one option for sound card. If i find free time to play the game, i will prefer the Roland.

Reply 7 of 13, by Dimitris1980

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robertmo wrote on 2020-09-10, 18:08:

you gain concentration when playing without music.
also playing without voice speeds up clicking through bubbles of text.

Correct 😀 . In 90s i loved the cd versions because they had speech. Today, i prefer some versions of adventure games without speech because i want to speed up the dialogues with clicking.

Reply 9 of 13, by Marek

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appiah4 wrote on 2020-12-23, 06:18:

Also, those 8-bit speech audio tracks have aged terribly..

8 bit isn't that bad for speech. Infact, someone misstook the quality of the Monkey Island Ultimate Talkie Edition for too good to be Soundblaster compatible, except it was. Games using only 11025 Hz or less are the worst part in making it sound low quality.
And I once mistakenly assumed Star Trek Judgement Rites to be 11025 Hz as it sounded that bad. It turned out, it is infact 22050 Hz, but unlike the first game, the audio is just processed in a horrible way.

DOS-PC: DFI k6bv3+, Pentium 200mmx, 64 MB RAM, Terratec Maestro 32 sound card, Roland MT-32 + SC-155, Winner 2000 AVI 2MB, Voodoo 1, Win98SE
Windows PC: GigaByte GA-MA790GPT, Phenom II X4 905e, 12 GB RAM, M-Audio Delta 44, NVidia 1060 6 GB, Win7 pro x64

Reply 11 of 13, by carlostex

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robertmo wrote on 2020-12-29, 16:14:
carlostex wrote on 2020-09-09, 11:26:

Roland music sounds better (specially with LAPC-i or CM-32L because of special FX)than FM.

Have you tried voice with cd music?

Not really. And i'm not too fond of CD audio.

This might be something i might look in the future, maybe a patch for it, although i've never done something this complicated.

Reply 12 of 13, by Daemonrunner

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What do you mean you can't get Roland Music and speech?

Are you trying to run the game in DOSBox or something?

Running the game via SCUMMVM (which the GOG version defaults to using) with the system setup to use an MT-32 device (well, for this game, CM-32L and above) does both Roland and voice - in my case I am using a loopMidi option to connect to Falcosoft Midi Player with Munt VSTI using CM-32L ROMS.

Reply 13 of 13, by carlostex

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Daemonrunner wrote on 2021-01-04, 16:24:

Running the game via SCUMMVM (which the GOG version defaults to using) with the system setup to use an MT-32 device (well, for this game, CM-32L and above) does both Roland and voice - in my case I am using a loopMidi option to connect to Falcosoft Midi Player with Munt VSTI using CM-32L ROMS.

I should have not posted this topic here.

I don't really care about emulators so SCUMMVM is really not an option for me. In fact, i loathe some SCUMMVM GOG releases which do not include certain files, making them Impossible to run on period correct hardware.

But if SCUMMVM can do it, the game most certainly can be patched to the same effect.