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Best emulator for playing Archimedes games?

Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:57 pm
by jregel
So I fancy having a go at Karma: The Flight Trainer, but not found a decent way to play it.

I have access to PC, Mac, Linux, and RISC OS (on Pi), so possibly have lots(?) of options in terms of emulation. I have Karma in an ISO file, so assume I either need to copy the files off (while preserving the file types), or find a way to mount a virtual CD-ROM inside the emulator.

And the final challenge, is that some of the emulators are possibly running way too quickly, so Karma is unplayable (looks fine until you press a key to apply thrust at which point the ship becomes uncontrollable).

So, any suggestions? Is there a recommended emulator (on any of the above platforms) that are good for playing games?

Thanks

Re: Best emulator for playing Archimedes games?

Posted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:02 pm
by hubersn
jregel wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 1:57 pm
I have access to PC, Mac, Linux, and RISC OS (on Pi), so possibly have lots(?) of options in terms of emulation.
RISC OS: ADFFS and ArchiEmu. PC: Arculator. Mac, Linux: port Arculator yourself :-)
I have Karma in an ISO file, so assume I either need to copy the files off (while preserving the file types), or find a way to mount a virtual CD-ROM inside the emulator.
You can use CDFaker to mount an ISO under RISC OS. Some emulators can also mount CDs for CDFS usage.
And the final challenge, is that some of the emulators are possibly running way too quickly, so Karma is unplayable (looks fine until you press a key to apply thrust at which point the ship becomes uncontrollable).
All suggested emus are quite good at giving you a "should be the right speed of the original" experience. With RISC OS, cycle exact emulators are not really needed, because the base hardware always had different speeds - ARM2, ARM250, ARM3 with varied clock speeds...

Have fun
hubersn

Re: Best emulator for playing Archimedes games?

Posted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 12:27 am
by davidb
hubersn wrote:
Fri Nov 01, 2019 4:02 pm
RISC OS: ADFFS and ArchiEmu. PC: Arculator. Mac, Linux: port Arculator yourself :-)
Arculator works on Linux already - even the variant that lets you run RISC iX.

Re: Best emulator for playing Archimedes games?

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:00 am
by sirbod
For Karma, use Arculator set to an 8Mhz ARM2. As alluded to above, you will need to compile it yourself if you want to run it in Linux. The available Windows 0.99 binary is fine to run Karma, or compile the latest.

There is no one perfect emulator for running games, they all have slight issues emulating VIDC perfectly. This is evident in games such as James Pond 2 and GBH, which rely on perfect VIDC emulation for scrolling to work correctly.

I spent a lot of time getting the VIDC emulation in ADFFS to exactly mirror VIDC behaviour on the Pi, but it's not ideally suited for Karma being a Wimp based application. It should work and run at the correct speed, but you'll need to replace !Run with the correct boot script and modify for a HD install and might see random hangs if any Wimp apps are running at the same time.

Re: Best emulator for playing Archimedes games?

Posted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 5:03 pm
by jregel
Thanks everyone.

I followed Sirbod's notes and have now gotten Karma working in Arculator.

Rather strangely, I was unable to copy eight files in the !Karma.Q directory, when using the ArculFS interface. When I renamed the files in Windows to not have the ",ffd" filename extension, they copied fine, and Karma then ran.

Having played it briefly many years ago, I'm reminded how slow it is to play. It's very realistic, and while certainly technically very impressive, I don't think it would have had the same mindshare as Elite, simply because it's so complex to play and not particularly intuitive. Perhaps I just need to spend a bit more time with it.