VOGONS


First post, by Simoneer

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So, when I try to get the game to run, all I get is this black screen with an underline flashing in the upper left corner.

What I do is run the WIBARM.BAT file inside the wibarm folder. The wibarm folder is inside a "dosgames" folder, located on the root of C:\

I have mounted "dosgames" as C:\, and used the CD ("cd wibarm" in this case) command to enter the folder. Then I proceed with starting it using "WIBARM.BAT" And then nothing more happens.

My config is attached below, if it's needed.

Any settings in it that needs to be changed?

Attachments

  • Filename
    dosbox.conf
    File size
    9.94 KiB
    Downloads
    280 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 5 of 17, by ripsaw8080

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This game is a bit of pain to set up. Here's how I did it: make 2 folders under your WIBARM folder called DISKA and DISKC. Put the game in a WIBARM folder under DISKC, and run these commands:

mount c c:\dosgames\wibarm\diskc
mount a c:\dosgames\wibarm\diska -t floppy
c:
cd wibarm
wibarm

It will ask to make a game disk, tell it to use the A: drive, and it will copy some files there. You'll need to use the above commands every time you want to play the game.

The step of making the WIBARM folder all by itself in the root of the emulated C drive is important, because the game is buggy and will mess up if there are extra files and folders in the root.

Reply 6 of 17, by Simoneer

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Yes! There we go. Thanks a ton, man! I would never be able to figure that out. Speaking of which, how the hell did you...?

...Thanks again! I'd give you a (non-gay) hug if I could.

EDIT: Time to create a custom game shortcut with a config using autoexec! 😀

Reply 7 of 17, by ripsaw8080

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If you haven't already done so, try machine=tandy with the game; much nicer music than the PC speaker... Something about it reminds me of the NES more than other game music I've heard for the Tandy.

Reply 8 of 17, by Simoneer

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I have already done so indeed, but I can always run it manually and try that out (or just edit the custom .conf.)

Either way, I will HAVE to try it out. I love the NES! Love it! As a matter of fact, it's still my favorite console - even now when Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Playstation 3 exists. I have this to say about that...: Better graphics today, sure. But less originality. (I can't complain about the gameplay of today's games, though, like people mostly do on the subject. I think games today play very well.)

Reply 9 of 17, by HunterZ

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Tried this game last night using ripsaw8080's instructions. The version I got gives an "insufficient memory error" with machine=tandy. It ran the title screen fine with machine=pcjr (and with the noticeably better music) but then gave some kind of "invalid graphics mode" error when I tried to go to the actual game. The version I had came with a readme that said that the game erroneously detects EGA support on PCjr machines, and had a utility to hack it to force CGA mode, but I thought that was a retarded solution.

On a hunch, I renamed the .EGA file to something else (I think there was only 1 .EGA file even though there were 2 each of .CGA and .JR files for some reason) and then copied the .JR files to .EGA and then it ran fine.

I then got my ass kicked because I didn't really know what I was doing. I seem to run out of energy trying to kill any enemies 😜

Edit: I may have gotten tandy and PCjr backwards in this post.

Last edited by HunterZ on 2009-10-07, 17:57. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 10 of 17, by ripsaw8080

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You need to remake the game disk (just delete the WIBARM.DAT folder and run the game again) when you change the machine type in DOSBox, because the copied files are system-specific, and you will get various problems like HunterZ ran into if you don't.

I get the insufficient memory error with machine=pcjr, which is caused by DOSBox reserving a chunk of memory for the PCjr's video emulation; but even after working around that, there are other problems.... machine=tandy works without problems, though.

I also figured out a way to use only the C: drive to hold everything the game needs, but the process is more complicated than the C: and A: method.

Reply 11 of 17, by HunterZ

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I'm pretty sure I had already thought to delete the WIBARM.DAT folder from the user disk.

I may have gotten tandy and pcjr backwards in my post; I was trying to remember off the top of my head what I did last night without being able to double check 😀

Reply 12 of 17, by wd

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I get the insufficient memory error with machine=pcjr, which is caused by DOSBox reserving a chunk of memory for the PCjr's video emulation

Are you sure this is a bug? As the PCjr is pretty low on conventional memory
per se so the game may not have worked there, only on tandys.

Reply 13 of 17, by HunterZ

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What's interesting is that is has .CGA files for CGA, .EGA for EGA, something I can't remember for hercules (maybe .HGC?) and .JR for...Tandy? Seems like .JR should mean PCjr, but looking at the box shots on mobygames I don't see any mention of PCjr (although Tandy is mentioned).

Reply 14 of 17, by ripsaw8080

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Are you sure this is a bug?

Don't know if it's a bug; the PCjr might not be directly supported, although some of the game's file extensions seem to suggest that it is. Mobygames says Tandy/PCjr in the specs, but could be inaccurate.

The problem with memory is not the amount, but whether or not it is contiguous.

Reply 16 of 17, by ripsaw8080

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There is some evidence in the game code that PCjr is directly supported. The BIOS signatures of F000:C000=0x21 (Tandy) or F000:FFFE=0xFD (PCjr) will cause the WIBARM.JR program overlay to be loaded, however the machine ID of 0xFD will cause the game to use different keyboard scancodes than the Tandy.

The memory issue comes from how the allocation of memory to a .COM program is handled. All available conventional memory is normally allocated, however DOSBox is doing something different for machine=pcjr, perhaps because of the non-contiguous nature of the "protected" block at segment 0x1800. Instead of changing the memory layout, perhaps the way memory is allocated to programs could be made more compatible.

I worked around the memory issue by padding the size of the .COM file to 12KB, thereby forcing DOSBox to allocate more memory to it because of the larger program image. The game then starts up, however the keyboard does not respond normally, instead acting like the keys are mapped differently. I used the debugger to force the game to think it should use the same keyboard scancodes as the Tandy, and the game then appears to work OK. Note that the joystick can be used to get around the keyboard issue, although activating the joystick initially requires the keyboard.

Because the game reacts differently to the Tandy and PCjr BIOS signatures, I suspect the PCjr should work with the game, but is broken in DOSBox due to the memory allocation and scancodes issues. The memory issue seems straightforward to me, but the keyboard stuff could use further analysis. At any rate, PCjr support for the game is not that big of a deal, because AFAICT it looks and sounds identical to Tandy.

Reply 17 of 17, by wd

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Instead of changing the memory layout, perhaps the way memory is allocated to programs could be made more compatible.

The loading is surely different from real dos+pcjr because there are some
games that don't work on the one or other pcjr configuration (conventional
memory size, whereas dos may skip the video memory block or start the
allocatable memory past the video memory block).