List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

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List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby janskjaer » 2012-3-10 @ 23:04

I'm one for self-punishment and for one reason or another (don't judge me :wink: ) I want to make a list of games that utilise 3D accelerators (3Dfx, PowerVR, Rendition etc...) ... but not the normal games that you may know of.

The conventional way for a game to communicate with a 3D accelerator is for the game to access the hardware via a 3D API (Glide for 3Dfx, Speedy3D[DOS] and RRedline[WIN] for Rendition, SGL for PowerVR etc....).

However, there is a small bunch of games that don't do this in the conventional way.
The games access the hardware directly via static links and/or direct calls to memory addresses.

The reason game developers did this is unknown. It's possible that at the time, the game developers wanted to be the early adopters of the new 3D hardware (a good selling point for their game) but because it was early days, the 3D APIs had probably not been completed for use within SDKs.

Anyway, onto the games.
I'm looking for games that adopt this approach, from the 3D Big Boys at the time: 3Dfx, PowerVR and Rendition.
Rather than use Glide, Speedy3D/RRedline or SGL, these games were specifically programmed to directly connect to:

3Dfx Voodoo Graphics 1/2/Rush
NEC PowerVR PCX 1/2
Rendition Verite 1000/2100/2200

Here's what I have so far:

Actua Soccer / VR Soccer '96 - OEM - [3Dfx(?), Rendition] (via patch)
Battle Arena Toshinden [3Dfx]
EF 2000 + TACTCOM [3Dfx, Rendition] (via patch)
Fatal Racing - OEM - [3Dfx]
Starfighter 3000 [3Dfx]
Tomb Raider [3Dfx, PowerVR, Rendition] (via patch)
X-Car [3Dfx]

Can anyone else add more to this list?
Last edited by janskjaer on 2012-3-11 @ 19:05, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby leileilol » 2012-3-10 @ 23:55

For PowerVR I do have a post with a confirmed PowerVR SGL list. It's small and it grows when I find native SGL games to run (and i'm on my own discovering this as I have doubt in the "ITS POWERVR!" games that just are Direct3D...)
Voodoo2s aren't 100mhz stock
Geforce256 isn't released as a beta on New Years '99 under the Quadro brand
DOS gaming isn't a bilinear 320x200 16:10
DOS PCs aren't better than the Macintosh
DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x
SGL != Glide
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby Gamecollector » 2012-3-11 @ 11:16

Please edit your list a little:
Actua Soссer -> Actua Soccer / VR Soccer '96. 3dfx version is OEM only (I have the retail EU version, no glide support at all) and packed with Orchid Righteous 3d.
Fatal Racing -> Fatal Racing / Whiplash. The US version (Whiplash) can be patched to 3dfx. The UK/EU release (Fatal Racing) for the 3dfx is OEM only. Again bundled with Orchid Righteous 3d, IIRC.
EF 2000 -> EF 2000: Tactcom. Only the Tactcom version can be patched for 3dfx/Rendition. And the Tactcom wasn't freeware expansion.

Another game to check is UEFA Champions League '97.
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby janskjaer » 2012-3-11 @ 18:51

Guys,

I think there is some confusion here. It's not about Glide or SGL at all. That's the point of the topic. It's about games that use the 3D hardware, but DON'T use any 3D APIs to communicate with them.

Nor is it about the games either being retail, OEM or requiring a patch to make them use the hardware, although I will specify this as it could be useful to others.

@leileilol - Have you tried this site to help you with your list?
http://web.archive.org/web/19980705030210/http://www.powervr.com/html/software.htm

I don't believe either Actua Soccer or Fatal Racing were supplied with the Orchid Righteous 3D. I know this because I have every boxed version that Orchid released:

Orchid Righteous 3D
Orchid Righteous 3D Bonus Pack
Orchid Righteous 3D Bonus Pack - Brand New & Sealed
Orchid Righteous 3D II 12MB SLI
DELL Dimension XPS M200s
:Intel Pentium MMX 200MHz
:64MB RAM
:3D Blaster PCI (Rendition Verite 1000-E)
:Matrox m3D (PowerVR PCX2)
::Orchid Righteous 3D (Voodoo Graphics)
:Creative SoundBlaster AWE64 Value
:MS-DOS 6.22 / Microsoft Windows 95b (dual-boot)
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby Gamecollector » 2012-3-11 @ 19:23

Well, the "UEFA Champions League '97" 3dfx patch is 100% using direct voodoo1 calls. Tested with Ykhwong's Dosbox build.
Sorry, but I don't have the game itself.

The source for "Actua Soccer + Orchid Righteous 3d" info was the press release in the link.
There are homemade 3dfx patches for "Fatal Racing" and "VR Soccer '96", ripped from the oem versions. So, these two versions had been created and bundled.

Cd scan.
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby janskjaer » 2012-3-11 @ 21:25

I think I once had a demo of the Champions League game but I'll see if I can get hold of the full version also.

Yeah, I read the press release, but somewhere along the way, I think the deal broke down.
Instead, Orchid partnered up with Activision and LucasArts to distribute Mechwarrior 2 and Jedi Knight respectively, with their Righteous 3D card.
I know for sure that Actua Soccer / VR Soccer 96 was distributed with the Creative Labs 3D Blaster PCI (Rendition Verite V1000).

Thanks for the info.
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:Matrox m3D (PowerVR PCX2)
::Orchid Righteous 3D (Voodoo Graphics)
:Creative SoundBlaster AWE64 Value
:MS-DOS 6.22 / Microsoft Windows 95b (dual-boot)
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby gulikoza » 2012-3-12 @ 11:22

I've been thinking a bit about this thread and wonder what you'd really like to know. I doubt very much that any of the game developers wrote code to directly access the hardware. Even very early 3dfx games (to my knowledge) used glide, the only difference was that it was embedded (statically linked) directly in the executable. So the game developers used glide as a library and only the linker put all that together in the end. This was maybe also because they_didn't_know_how/was_not_possible_to create the ovl file as later versions did (the glide ovl is actually an OS/2 dll which dos4gw is able to load). But it is true that these games (at least the early 3dfx) are different from later software that used external libraries in the sense of functionality (require voodoo1) and the emulation/wrapper requirements :)
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby swaaye » 2012-3-12 @ 17:32

Shouldn't it be possible to examine the executable for Glide.ovl/dll contents?
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby Stiletto » 2012-7-25 @ 01:48

Yes, and here you are. I've been sitting on this for a while. Might need some adjusting. All you have to do is open the "3dfx version" in a hex-editor.

Statically Linked Glide Games with Versions
-------------------------------------------------
Actua Soccer (OEM) *Static Link - Glide Version 2.03h2
Battle Arena Toshinden *Static Link - Glide version 2.03h2 (from patch)
Descent 2 "D2VOODOO" (officially supported 3DFX patch for Descent 2) - Glide(tm) Version 2.2 (from patch)**
- Descent II: Destination Quartzon (OEM) *Static Link - shipped w/ D2VOODOO
- Descent II: The Infinite Abyss *Static Link - shipped w/ D2VOODOO
EuroFighter 2000 [EF 2000] + TACTCOM + GFX+ *Static Link - Glide(tm) Version 2.2? (based on internet research)
EuroFighter 2000 v2.0 [EF 2000 v2.0] *Static Link - Glide(tm) Version 2.1 (from retail)
Fatal Racing (OEM) *Static Link - Glide Version 2.03h2 (from patch)
Starfighter 3000 (OEM) *Static Link - Glide Version 2.03h3 (from patch)
Tomb Raider *Static Link - Glide(tm) Version 2.1.1 (from patch)**
UEFA Champions League 97 *Static Link - Glide Version 2.03h3 (from retail)
X-CAR: Experimental Racing *Static Link - Glide(tm) Version 2.1.1 (from demo)**
VR Soccer '96 *Static Link - Glide Version 2.03h2 (from patch)
Whiplash *Static Link - Glide Version 2.03h2 (from patch)
**Dynamic Linked version also exists

All these need verified with the retail version 3dfx executable (if it didn't _only_ have a patch) to ensure it's the same version.

Of course, a few of these have patches to be dynamic linked (Descent 2, Tomb Raider, X-CAR, think that's it)

So: Original poster should change his post: the 3dfx games didn't directly access the hardware, they had statically linked glide dlls linked into their executables.

Dunno about the other Rendition/PowerVR but I expect it's the same.

The only 3dfx game/demo I know that accessed the card directly was this:
these supposedly access the Voodoo3 directly, bypassing Glide and video drivers. http://www.homepage.swissonline.ch/tinyasm/v3.htm
(There might be a demoscene thing too but I doubt it.)

In theory statically-linked binaries could be "shimmed" and have the DLL hacked out and replaced with calls to an external DLL. In practice... well, it might not be possible.
Last edited by Stiletto on 2012-7-29 @ 17:49, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby Jorpho » 2012-7-25 @ 15:38

How about the unpatched Final Fantasy VII?
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby Stiletto » 2012-7-25 @ 16:01

Jorpho wrote:How about the unpatched Final Fantasy VII?


One of the early demos used Glide IIRC, don't think anything final did. But time has passed since last I looked into it.

Was any of the demos or the final release of Final Fantasy 7 (unpatched) both Glide AND DOS? Anyone?
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby vetz » 2012-7-25 @ 16:16

Final Fantasy VII was always a Windows game and there were never any static linked Windows games. There were a demo that was Glide only, but on release it had changed to Direct3D.
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby Stiletto » 2012-7-25 @ 16:18

That's what I thought! :)
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby Jorpho » 2012-7-25 @ 16:52

vetz wrote:Final Fantasy VII was always a Windows game and there were never any static linked Windows games. There were a demo that was Glide only, but on release it had changed to Direct3D.
I thought the Direct3D support was only added by a patch ostensibly for Riva TNT cards. The original release had a very short list of cards that were supposedly officially supported (ref. http://support.na.square-enix.com/faqar ... &sc=0&so=0 ).
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby Qbix » 2012-7-25 @ 16:58

wasn't there something with 8 or 16 bit textures going on ? I bought the game at release and had to wait till the patch for it to work properly
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby vetz » 2012-7-25 @ 17:07

All those cards listed can't run on any other API than Direct3D (except OpenGL, but that is highly unlikely). My guess to why some cards were left out was because they lack hardware features which the game required.
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby swaaye » 2012-7-25 @ 17:28

8-bit paletted texture support was the problem I think. D3D cards didn't always support it. Voodoo cards do.
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby Qbix » 2012-7-25 @ 20:17

I think so as well. Might even be on the box or one of the papers inside box or patch notes.
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby laxin84 » 2013-1-20 @ 18:01

Registered /posted just for this topic b/c I'd LOVE to see something come out of this (hell, I'm even maybe willing to learn the process for helping contribute to this community if someone could point me to some initial tutorials for the language and everything... I do a lot of Java dev now, but I learned initially on C/C++).

Games that came with my 3D Blaster PCI/Rendition Verite V1000 card (that I'd LOVE to be able to play):
- Rebel Moon
- Flight Unlimited
- Battle Arena Toshinden

All of these were DOS-based games meant to show off the V1000 when it first came out in 96. Flight Unlimited was my fave of the 3. I'm pretty sure at least Flight Unlimited and BAT were direct-access games.

Is there any way to emulate the V1000/V2200 in DOSBox/anything at all (lol) to get these running again? It's fully possible I actually have one of these cards lying around the house somewhere and may be able to recreate a Win9x system, but I'd much rather just run a VM or DosBox style program instead on my main rig...
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Re: List of 3D accelerated games that make direct hardware calls

Postby sheath » 2013-1-20 @ 19:51

What does Glide do for Star Fighter 3000? The basic game doesn't have the quality of backgrounds or textures that the 3DO version has, but is roughly the same as the PS1 port (Saturn port too but it wasn't completed before release). Does Glide just filter the textures or what?
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