VOGONS


First post, by Agathosdaimon

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Hi!
I recently got a new (old) box for Falcon from spectrum holobyte as my other had a faulty disk in it - and yes it was a risk to get another box as it also might be a faulty disk.

This second box seems to be from 1990 whereas my original is from 1987. This 1990 version disk looks different and so i was curious to see if this version of falcon was in any way slightly improved (there are a few small bugs in the original)

All the files copied over to my hard drive, but when i try to run the Falcon.exe file it just hangs. While teh original falcon disk had no copy protection on it, this 1990 version has the company name Sphere inc on the disk,

i am hoping that perhaps someone with some knowledge on old files can tell me if the files for the 1990 disk version are ok or not, and or whether there is copy protection on them

Reply 1 of 6, by ripsaw8080

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Does it seem to be from 1990 because of dates printed on the box or disk, or date stamps on files? File date stamps are, of course, subject to modification... maybe scan Falcon.exe for viruses. However, someone compressing the executable with PKLITE or LZEXE would be an innocuous reason for a 1990 stamp.

You can try running the game in a debug build of DOSBox to see if there are any interesting log messages: DOSBox debugger
For example, the log message "illegal/unhandled interrupt E" suggests some form of disk-based protection is involved; although there shouldn't be any protection for this particular game because the developer/publisher made a particular point of there being none.

Last edited by ripsaw8080 on 2021-04-16, 06:41. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 6, by Agathosdaimon

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thanks for your reply - yes the files on the disk have a 1990 date on them, while the floppy disk itself says 1987 and the box says 1988. i will try that debug mode of dosbox - how does that work, is it just a dosbox exe i put in the dosbox folder?

Reply 3 of 6, by ripsaw8080

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A debug build needs the same DLL files, so putting the executable in the folder of a non-debug build of DOSBox is an easy way to arrange things, but if you do it that way then be careful with saving key mapper settings as the debug build has an additional key.

Reply 4 of 6, by Agathosdaimon

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okay i did the debug dosbox and attached is the readout i get - illegal unhandled exception errors just scrolling very fast - what does this mean?

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Reply 5 of 6, by Rwolf

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That looks wierd...it's been long since I looked at assembler code now, but you have a stack overflow, and there are no segments setup yet, all are zero.
This game was for 8086 I read, the next version FalconAT for 80286, but lowest DOSbox machine type is 386 I think? Maybe some quirky 8086 init code failed?

Reply 6 of 6, by Agathosdaimon

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thanks for the reply - yes i pmed with another user who looked at it and it seems that my falcon disk is just garbage, a shame - now i have two boxes of Falcon both of which have non-working disks, i have just come to accept that its best just to put the game on a cdr and stcik that in the box as the floppies just arent reliable and too costly to keep buying old boxes of the game as much as i love it