VOGONS


First post, by GrafWasili

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Hi!

Did anybody get this to work on real hardware?

I tried everything I could think of to get it working on my 440BX Pentium III, with a CT2230 Soundblaster16 + X2GS or WP32 McCake in any MIDI-mode but no luck.

When starting the game, the sound card get's initialized with an audible noise but then the screen just stays black.

Soundblaster only and MIDI only both work fine.

For reference here's the other thread on sound for this game I could find on vogons: Dark Sun music

Additional note: Tried German CD and floppy versions as well as the gog.com version. Alltough the 1.1 patch notes seem to mention fixing some dual soundcard issues this did nothing for me

Reply 1 of 20, by AppleSauce

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Yeah I got the English version 1.1 working with CM32L + Sound Blaster 16 CT1740 on a 430TX Pentium 1

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Reply 2 of 20, by Shponglefan

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Just tested it using SB Pro 2 mode on a GUS Extreme (ESS1688F chip) and Roland SCC-1. Both MIDI options (SCC-1 or MT-32) work just fine with the SB audio.

I realize that's not an SB16, but at least an SB Pro compatible chip seems to work with dual sound card setup.

Tandy 1000 TL build
286 Epson build
Ultimate Windows XP build

Reply 4 of 20, by GrafWasili

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Thanks for testing this out everybody!
I just got running, too. Guess what was the culprit? The ASP drivers (csp.sys)!

EDIT: it wasn't...

I commented out the config.sys line for loading it et voilá...

Never bothered with (existing or missing) ASP features before. In fact I only researched this because for single card settings, the Dark Sun audio setup detects and recommends a "SB PRO 16 ASP" 🙃

Last edited by GrafWasili on 2023-03-19, 18:35. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 6 of 20, by GrafWasili

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ok this is a bit crazy I can get it running by booting to win95, setting it up as SB/MT-32 in Dark Sun sound setup (where my sb compatible pci soundcard is detected as SB PRO II) and reboot into DOS. 🤯

Reply 8 of 20, by GrafWasili

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Shagittarius wrote on 2023-03-19, 17:38:

PCI soundcard, Im running with ISA gear.

it's a different sound card, but I can use it to produce a working sound.cfg file to use with the isa sound blaster,
I'm about to inspect the file with a hex editor to see what's the difference...

Reply 9 of 20, by GrafWasili

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OK the files are identical that's not what was happening.

In fact it's as follows: The game only start's if I change the cards IRQ with diagnose.exe and use the new IRQ for playing (tested 5 to 7 and 7 to 5).
It must be different from the IRQ set via autoexec.bat or it won't work.

SET SOUND=C:\SB16
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 P330 H5
c:\SB16\DIAGNOSE /S

Still puzzled and trying to find out what's happening here...

EDIT:

It does work with the following autoexec.bat

SET SOUND=C:\SB16
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 P330 H5
C:\SB16\DIAGNOSE /S
SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 P330 H5
c:\SB16\DIAGNOSE /S
C:\SB16\MIXERSET /P /Q

🤔

Reply 11 of 20, by GrafWasili

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Shagittarius wrote on 2023-03-19, 19:35:

This may be of some help, depending on which SB you are using:

https://retronn.de/imports/soundblaster_config_guide.html

Ah yes I know this site. Unfortunately skimming through it again didn't reveal anything clearing up this mistery...

Did you have something specific in mind or just as a general recommendation? My soundcard setup generally works fine and I didn't encounter any such issues with other games before...

Reply 12 of 20, by Shagittarius

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Well I was wondering if you were loading the right drivers depending on the PNP status of your particular SB card. I have a CT 2260 which is semi-pnp, and as such that site is useful for pointing out the programs to run in your autoexec to support it. But this doesn't sound like your issue.

One thing I am thinking of, I notice you have the midi of your SB set to 330, how are you running the MT-32 , is it through the Soundblaster or MPU-401? Make sure there is no clash there. A freeze is usually an IRQ based problem though not always...but the fact that they both work separately makes me think a conflict of some sort is to blame...

Don't know if this helps at all

Reply 13 of 20, by eddman

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Are SET SOUND and DIAGNOSE even necessary for a non-PnP SB16 (isn't CT2230 semi-PnP)? I've never used them.

I don't know if it matters, but the SET BLASTER command is missing T6.

It's possible the game forgets which IRQ to use. Run the SETUP again and choose the IRQ value you've set in AUTOEXEC.

EDIT: Since the IRQ of semi-PnP blasters is controlled by windows, maybe it's constantly changing it? Although you're apparently running the game in DOS.

Reply 14 of 20, by GrafWasili

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Yes the CT2230 should be what's called semi-PnP and setting the IRQ via Diagnose.exe ist what always worked before and seems to be recommended in most vogons threads on the topic... And yes I'm running in DOS only the WIN95 thing was a red herring. I removed the T6 part of the blaster variable as a possible source of problems - didn't make any difference in this case.

I know for a fact the game doesn't forget the IRQ-Settings - they are encoded in the sound.cfg file and the game throws a very specific error if the IRQ doesn't match.

It's only that I have to switch it once (or initialize it twice to different IRQs, to phrase it another way) before it starts working. It's like following some kind of retro cargo cult tech support: »Have you tried switching IRQs?«

Reply 15 of 20, by GrafWasili

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Shagittarius wrote on 2023-03-19, 21:06:

One thing I am thinking of, I notice you have the midi of your SB set to 330, how are you running the MT-32 , is it through the Soundblaster or MPU-401?

Through the Soundblaster, I use midi daughter boards from Serdaco for the waveblaster header (XGS2 and McCake), they are both affected by the issue.

Reply 17 of 20, by GrafWasili

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eddman wrote on 2023-03-19, 23:31:

I don't think DIAGNOSE is needed at all.

Oh really? yout hink setting the BLASTER env var alone is enough? I'll give it a try...

eddman wrote on 2023-03-19, 23:31:

What IRQ is the LPT set to in the BIOS? Better set it to 5, or disable it if you don't use it.

LPT is disabled

Reply 19 of 20, by GrafWasili

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GrafWasili wrote on 2023-03-20, 12:27:
Oh really? yout hink setting the BLASTER env var alone is enough? I'll give it a try... […]
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eddman wrote on 2023-03-19, 23:31:

I don't think DIAGNOSE is needed at all.

Oh really? yout hink setting the BLASTER env var alone is enough? I'll give it a try...

eddman wrote on 2023-03-19, 23:31:

What IRQ is the LPT set to in the BIOS? Better set it to 5, or disable it if you don't use it.

LPT is disabled

Well, I cannot just omit the diagnose.exe command. Some games and applications will work anyway (I assume because they read the BLASTER variable) but others fail with IRQ-related error messages or even "Sound Blaster not initialized".

AppleSauce wrote on 2023-03-22, 14:21:

Btw I've gotta say the game is really good , I've been enjoying the heck out of it.

I heard so before 😀 I'm just kind of a perfectionist when it comes to setting this stuff up, some people would even say that I spend more time configuring stuff than playing games 🙈