Games that show 16 colors ONLY in Tandy / PCjr mode?

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Re: Games that show 16 colors ONLY in Tandy / PCjr mode?

Postby Neville » 2018-4-17 @ 18:06

Yes, DOSBox rocks. Once Windows XP got rid of DOS I though a great deal of my childhood was gone. Glad to see there are plenty of DOS gaming enthusiasts around.

My last test has been a true relic, Julius Erwing and Larry Bird Go One-on-One (PC Booter). As of DOSBox SVN r4067, CGA Composite and PCjr support are fine, but the Tandy option shows garbled graphics and sound.

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Plain CGA (That's what you get under DOSBox v0.74 when choosing machine=pcjr)

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CGA Composite (DOSBox v0.74 with machine=cga)

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PCjr mode (as seen in SVN r4067)

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Tandy mode (as seen in v0.74 and SVN r4067)

EDIT: I'm told the Tandy issues are not an emulation issue, but a result of using a cracked disk image.
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Re: Games that show 16 colors ONLY in Tandy / PCjr mode?

Postby Neville » 2019-1-13 @ 15:59

Again with Tandy woes... "The Sentinel" won't work under Tandy mode. You get to select Tandy graphics at the beginning, but then screen goes blue while music plays, and no proper graphics are shown. Could be my copy, of course. Can anyone try their version and see if they can reach in-game?

EDIT: Tried with PCem as well... same result. Methinks I have an incomplete copy.
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Re: Games that show 16 colors ONLY in Tandy / PCjr mode?

Postby digger » 2019-1-13 @ 18:49

liqmat wrote:You can add Ghostbusters to your list. It looks like Ghostbusters 2 supported EGA mode, but the first Ghostbusters was only 16 color on the PCjr and Tandy from what I can tell. If you boot Ghostbusters on an EGA machine it displays CGA colors.


Interestingly, Ghostbusters II kind of repeated history that way. :lol: I remember starting up Ghostbusters II on one of the 8086-based IBM PS/2 Model 30 machines that we had back in high school. To my surprise and disappointment, the game would only run in CGA 4-color mode, since MCGA was a subset of VGA that lacked EGA compatibility among other things. I found it weird back then, since I had also tried Indiana Jones and the Lost Crusade on one of those machines, which did run in its full 16 color glory. That was of course because some 16-color games would support 320x200 256 color mode (a.k.a. Mode 13h), just so they could display 16 simultaneous colors on MCGA systems. Unfortunately, Ghostbusters II was not one of those games.

It makes me wonder, though: how feasible would it be to write EGA patches for games that support 16 colors only in PCJr, Tandy, and/or CGA Composite mode? Trying to write MCGA patches for both EGA-only and PCJr/Tandy-only 16-color games might also be a fun project, even though it would benefit only the few IBM PS/2 models that had MCGA graphics. Also, those systems could be upgraded with VGA cards anyway, which would allow the original MCGA monitors to also work in EGA 320x200 16-color mode. The same cannot be said for PCJr/Tandy graphics.

I know patching such games to show their 16 colors in EGA mode wouldn't be trivial, due to the considerable difference in which graphics is mapped to video memory. But hey, that makes it all the more challenging, right? ;)

Bonus points if we could combine these EGA patches to enable PCJr/Tandy sound as well, for those who have a Lo-tech Tandy Compatible Sound Adapter installed. And perhaps also a variant that reroutes the PCJr/Tandy sound to a TNDLPT device on the parallel port. That would unlock the full potential of those games on other systems and allow a lot more DOS PCs to play those games as they were originally designed. :happy:

And finally, Plantronics-patches for those few PC clones that supported 16-color 320x200 Plantronics Colorplus mode would also be an interesting project, albeit a quite obscure one. After all, no game ever supported that mode as far as I know, and it would be fun to have games finally support those systems to their full ability.
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