VOGONS


First post, by billoute

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hi, first big thx to dosbox team, keep up the good workd, you'r our only hope for preserving all theses dos games.

now, about Realms Of Arkania : Star Trail, it seems ther's still the same graphic glitch during combat phase, when magic is used (ex, lightning strike) the screens flashes and shoud return to normal palette...but it didn't do it with dosbox, and we'r locked into a bad color palette for the rest of the fight. It's annoying since we can't really see lots of vital info, we need to use the auto computer fight mode to finish the combat phase.

colors return to normal when the fight is over, so the game is still playable..sort of.

this glitchs exists since a long time in dosbox, hoping that with time dosbox will finally get it ok...so i speak about it here and now, hoping the team will take a look at this problem.

have a nice day
(sorry for my poor english, not my native tongue)

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    glitches also appears during dialog
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Reply 1 of 22, by mirekluza

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I think I experienced this problem long time ago... I think the problem was then with the wrong sound card configuration (the sound effect when using spell lead to the problem you describe)...
Try to change sound configuration in game/in DOSBOX (at first I would try if it happens when in no sound mode, if not, I would try to configure sound).

I have not tested this for a long time, so I maybe wrong. But I think it is worth trying.

Mirek

Reply 3 of 22, by mirekluza

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No problems at all in DOSBOX 0.62 (using MPU 401 and Soudblaster Pro for music / sound). I repeatadly used magic in combat and everything was ok.
Can somebody else test this game?

Mirek

Reply 4 of 22, by billoute

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glad to see someone be able to play this game without a prob.
tried with the exact same sound config as you, but still the same fgx glitch.

i'm playing the CD verson of Star Trail, maybe the floppy would play ok.
Unless is a compatibility problem between dosbox and my nvidia drivers, i rely don't know what i'm doing wrong..

anyway, could you send me your dosbox.conf ? maybe ther's something else i could check.

Reply 5 of 22, by mirekluza

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I tried installing CD version. After starting it for the first time I had the above mentioned problem when casting spells in combat. I did this from the command line:

sound (deleting sound configuration)
star (starting the game and configuring it again)

After that it worked ok. As I said 😀 It seems there was something wrong with the sound cfg. created immediately after the installation.

I was using normal default DOSBOX.CONF from 0.62. I mounted hd. as C:, CD as D:.

Mirek

Reply 6 of 22, by billoute

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i must have bad luck, can't be anything else.

tried all theses things : deleted cfg file, launching again the setup, even played with absolutely no sound, even tried the floppy version Vs CD version : i'v always have the gfx garbled as soon as i'm using the lightning spell, among others graphics glitches likes when you talk to ppl.

even tried older ver of dosbox, switching to cpu simple, normal dynamic etc..

the funny thing is, most of all spells works without problem...except the lightning spell, and that's bad since it's a very useful one. Could you try this one especially ? i suspect the game using a tricky way to flashing the screen wich dosbox don't like...

since i'v never successfully launched this game directly from windows (even with vdmsound) i can't even check if it's a game or my system's problem....time to boot up my old 486 and see by myself.

anyway thks for listening to my problems, and have a nice day.

Reply 7 of 22, by mirekluza

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I have tried it almost exclusively using "lightning" spell (the one among combat spells, it does not do damage, but it blinds the target).
I usually started the game, left the city, got to the first fight (orcs attacking priestess and used "lightning" spell there a few times. I did not play the game for longer time, but I think it should not matter...
I have two versions: one cracked abandonware and one original CD version and both works for me as described above...
Maybe try to change output method in DOSBOX.CONF or the number of cycles ...

I would be interested in knowing what kind of experience other people than two of us have with the game.

Mirek

Reply 8 of 22, by mirekluza

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It seems I was wrong in my assumption about it being caused by sound settings (sorry...). So far I was able to reproduce this bug in only one situation (using CD version of the game): when START save game was used during the current game session ...

When I had another (later) save game and started game from it (without using START in that session), it was ok, no graphic bug (even though that save game originated from a game started by START save - but I ended and restarted the game between saving and loading!).

Frankly, it does not make much sense - what is the thing the game does not like about the START save? Does something get corrupted in introduction? Or is the save itself bad? Or does it depend on the time spent in game?
The described pattern was quite reliable...

Sequence with bug:
1. starting the game
2. loading the START save
3. going outside of city into combat (lighting corrupts colors)

Sequence without bug:
1. starting the game
2. loading the START save
3. Saving the game after intro
4. exiting game
5. restarting game
6. loading the save
4. going outside of city into combat (lighting works ok)

Mirek

Reply 10 of 22, by mirekluza

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What has ems to do with it?
I had it disabled (I did it before for Ultima 7), now I enabled it and in both cases it behaved the same.

I think something gets wrong during intro (when there is that elf ambassador and another guy who both want salamander stone). Saves before that behave as START save (graphic glitch), saves after that are ok. It seems that something gets corrupted there and it makes itself visible later when using magic in the next fight.
It looks like it is really a DOSBOX bug (it was ok when run natively).
Solution seems to be to save after receiving those tasks, exit game, start it again and load the save. I do not know whether this is the only instance of the problem or there are other things like that in the game.

Mirek

Reply 11 of 22, by Qbix

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well ems is used for data mapping usually.

anyway. memory dumps comparing isn't fun.

Water flows down the stream
How to ask questions the smart way!

Reply 12 of 22, by billoute

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yes it's a very strange bug, and ther's definitely something wrong in the intro (when the ambassadors are speaking) : look carefully at the bitmap around the main picture, at the first display it fades into black when it shouldn't...when screens change it is redrawn properly.

too bad, since the glitches appears right at the start of the game, i'v never tried to play and save further into the game under dosbox. Since i'v still my old 486 i 'v always played this game on.... and i can confirm, starting the game, saving after the intro, quitting dosbox and restarting, loading my save : et voila, no more glitches, all is perfect...

this confirm that's something wrong with this game and dosbox, ocurring during the intro and corrupting some data....restarting the game without quitting dosbox don't help for the glitches, dosbox must be shutdown before going further.

anyway, big thks for your help, i can now play Star Trail under dosbox. Nice enough, the third game in the series (Shadow Over Riva) works perfectly....

Reply 13 of 22, by Qbix

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this confirm that's something wrong with this game and dosbox, ocurring during the intro and corrupting some data....restarting the game without quitting dosbox don't help for the glitches, dosbox must be shutdown before going further.

that's interresting. Comparing should be what simpler if you compare essential parts after the game and before the game.

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Reply 14 of 22, by billoute

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i'v just checked another thing, in fact the game becomes corrupt again later..when you spend your first night at some inn, theres a cutscene similar to those seen at the very start of the game, where you see a thief sneaking into your room etc. just after this cutscene, glitches are back. same causes, same effects. saving, quitting dosbox, reloading..all's fine.

i'v no skill as a developper/debugger but if you want to search for this bug, look at something happening during cutscenes (speech of the two amabassadors, then the thief speech), without any doubt, ther's something fishy here corrupting the memory...

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    notice how the bitmap around the main picture is missing (black)
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    and the second after, it's back again but after that you know for sure you'll have gfx glitches all the way
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Reply 15 of 22, by mirekluza

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billoute wrote:

restarting the game without quitting dosbox don't help for the glitches, dosbox must be shutdown before going further.

This is a very interesting piece of information... It looks to me like some problem in VGA registers or a place like that (looks like Harekiet has a bug in VGA emulation somewhere ... ). I think it more probable than memory corruption - the game seems to be stable otherwise and also there is this fact you mentioned (I did not test it myself yet), that it is not enough to exit and restart, but the whole DOSBOX must be restarted ...
The good thing here is that if I am right, then it very probably leads just to visual problems and it does not corrupt anything else in the game (just guessing!). It should be also possible to track it down more easily than a general memory corruption (as QBIX said: comparing memory dumps is not fun - but comparing some VGA settings could be much easier)..

Mirek

Reply 16 of 22, by jal

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mirekluza wrote:

This is a very interesting piece of information... It looks to me like some problem in VGA registers or a place like that (looks like Harekiet has a bug in VGA emulation somewhere ... ).
Mirek

Another possibility is that Harekiet doesn't have a bug, but the VGA-emulation isn't resistant enough to bad programming, like writing a word value to a byte register, etc. It's pure speculation, but given the fact that this is the only game displaying this particular behaviour, I wouldn't be surprised the emulation should be more lenient to programming errors.

JAL

Reply 17 of 22, by eL_PuSHeR

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Sorry for resurrecting an old post but I have tried it today under 0.63 and a later CVS and it's still displaying the same graphical glitches (randomly). I haven't been unable to reproduce them at a regular basis. 😒

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Reply 18 of 22, by billoute

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i'm upping this post, since i'v tried the game with the latest binaries i got..
and to my great pleasure, GFX glitches seems to be history now..
(cf my first post with some screenshots of the problems)

i'v tested with a build from Daum Café : DOSBox CVS Jan 07 2006, and the game succesfully passed all the tests.
- cutscenes now don't have the black border glitches
- dialog are now the using the righ color palette
- using certain spells during combat no more cause any color palette problems.
NB:as said in earlier posts, gfx glitches appears only AFTER cutscenes and/or using the spell lightning in combat. Saving the game and reloading it cured the problem...until one of these two conditions are met again.

don't know when the problem got fixed, since i didn't tested each build..but the glitches were still there with a build from 2005/10/09. So someone finally find the "magic feature" 😁

a big thks for all ppl making dosbox better and better...keep the fight ! 😁