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Old 17 October 2021, 15:36   #1
SquawkBox
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Police Quest II on the A500

Can anyone please confirm that this game from Sierra requires a 020, hence is not playable on a 1 MB A500 ? The sticker on the box front cover reads (scan from Lemon) :
Code:
1MEG / Amiga computers / 1MEG required / kick start 1.2 or better
Despite of this, every version I tried so far ends up its loading phase with an error message "Out of Handles" . It doesn't even gets past the intro. Could it be another case of a coy publisher reluctant to provide the actual requirements "business line among Amiga computers" ? Any thoughts ?
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Old 17 October 2021, 16:01   #2
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PQ II was released in 1990 and seeing as a mainstream 020 Amiga (A1200) wasn't released until 1992 then it could not have been made for an 020 Amiga!

You could argue the A2500 had an 020 CPU and was released in 1989, but was that the most widely used Amiga model when PQ II was released?

I've tried the official IPF's in WinUAE and they load fine, gets past the copy protection question and starts the game in your car, so no idea why it won't work for you?
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Old 17 October 2021, 17:27   #3
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The sticker says 1MEG and Kickstart 1.2. That has nothing to do with 68020.
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Old 17 October 2021, 17:37   #4
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Nothing wrong with giving it a try in WinUAE pal, but most likely, the straightforward way to reproduce the issue would consist in loading the set of HFE's (after conversion from the official IPF's) from a 1 MB (1 MB chip or 0.5 chip + 0.5 slow) Amiga 500 with Gotek. Here is an excerpt of the review of Police Quest II from the Swedish magazine Datormagazin :

Quote:
For alla teknikbogar sa kan det meddelas att spelet funkar pa en Amiga 3000 med harddisk och Workbench 2.0
meaning (roughly, let me know if I am wrong) : "For all the technology wonders, it can be announced that the game works on an Amiga 3000 with Harddisk and Workbench 2.0."
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Old 17 October 2021, 19:08   #5
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CRC32 of the HFE v1 files in use :
Code:
PoliceQuest2-TheVengeance_Disk1_ipf.hfe C4F249CD
PoliceQuest2-TheVengeance_Disk2_ipf.hfe 0B9D182F
PoliceQuest2-TheVengeance_Disk3_ipf.hfe 4E78847A
Picture I took :


"Out of handles", right after the scuba diver, see ?... If it's not down to the speed of the CPU, a case of not enough ram, presumably ?

Btw, if you wonder where has the 10'' caravan CRT TV gone : It crapped on me a couple of days ago, so back using to the Samsung 15'' TFT TV with my A500. Oh, no worries, the CRT died peacefully . No smoke, no acrid smell, just wouldn't turn itself on anymore.
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Old 17 October 2021, 19:22   #6
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PQ II even works in A500 512k with reduced sound. My guess the issue is with Gotek.
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Old 17 October 2021, 19:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquawkBox View Post
CRC32 of the HFE v1 files in use :
Code:
PoliceQuest2-TheVengeance_Disk1_ipf.hfe C4F249CD
PoliceQuest2-TheVengeance_Disk2_ipf.hfe 0B9D182F
PoliceQuest2-TheVengeance_Disk3_ipf.hfe 4E78847A
Picture I took :


"Out of handles", right after the scuba diver, see ?... If it's not down to the speed of the CPU, a case of not enough ram, presumably ?

Btw, if you wonder where has the 10'' caravan CRT TV gone : It crapped on me a couple of days ago, so back using to the Samsung 15'' TFT TV with my A500. Oh, no worries, the CRT died peacefully . No smoke, no acrid smell, just wouldn't turn itself on anymore.
ah it's possibly the capacitors inside ..... Won't be the first time
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Old 17 October 2021, 20:26   #8
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@dlfrsilver
I was talking about the camping CRT TV I had bought off "lbc" last August, not about the miggy, thank goodness! Paid 5 bucks and noticed a lot of scratches on the plastic shell, so yeah, didn't expect it to last very long. I've got another one at the repair shop, but it's been three months already so hopes are low to get it back in working order.

@Aardvark
I am sorry but it appears the behavior with Police Quest II is strictly identical between my machine and WinUAE (for once ). Here goes : With 0.5 MB chip, the game won't load at all, while with 1 MB chip, the game will halt after the scuba diver animation... Which implies : Most likely, you & BarryB didn't disable slow ram in your respective A500 config, that's why you fail to see why it wouldn't work on my machine (the latter is deprived of any slow ram). Disable slow ram completely in RAM tab, tada, no joy !

Last edited by SquawkBox; 30 October 2021 at 17:41.
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Old 17 October 2021, 21:01   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquawkBox View Post
@Aardvark
I am sorry but it appears the behavior with Police Quest II is strictly identical between my machine and WinUAE (for once ). Here goes : With 0.5 MB chip, the game won't load at all, while with 1 MB chip, the game will halt after the scuba diver animation... Which implies : Most likely, you & BarryB didn't disable slow ram in your respective A500 config, that's why you fail to see why it wouldn't work on my machine (the latter is deprived of any slow ram). Disable slow ram completely in RAM tab, tada, no joy !
Ah, I didn't play through the intro. Tests in WinUAE Quickstart A500 configs:

512k Chip -> Crash after scuba
1mb Chip -> Crash after scuba
512k Chip 512k Slow -> works normally

Something else must be using chipmem in your system if it doesn't load at all with 512k Chip only config.
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Old 17 October 2021, 21:15   #10
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I used the default A500 Quickstart in WinUAE that uses KS 1.3, 0.5mb chip + 0.5mb slow and works fine with the official IPF's.

The disks are normal AmigaDOS with no disk protection at all, so have you tried converting to ADF and see if the same thing happens in the Gotek?
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Old 17 October 2021, 21:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aardvark View Post
Ah, I didn't play through the intro. Tests in WinUAE Quickstart A500 configs:

512k Chip -> Crash after scuba
1mb Chip -> Crash after scuba
512k Chip 512k Slow -> works normally

Something else must be using chipmem in your system if it doesn't load at all with 512k Chip only config.

Further tests (emulator only): 1.5MB chip -> works, 512K chip + 512 Z2 fast -> works.


I'm guessing chip mem fragmentation is the issue. I tried adding "add36k" from aminet to startup-sequence as a fix, but that didn't help.


From a quick disassembly of parts of the code it seems to be written in C, so it probably wouldn't too bad to create patch (assuming it's only an issue in the intro).
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Old 17 October 2021, 22:44   #12
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Has anyone confirmed if Gotek uses more memory, larger track buffer size for instance might cause not enough memory.
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Old 17 October 2021, 23:21   #13
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I guess the game was converted to Amiga before any Amiga had 1mb chipmem so 512k + fastmem was assumed for future amigas. Running the Fakemem tool to split 1mb chip into 512/Othermem will sort the game out but you get the naff beep version of the music then.

http://aminet.net/package/util/misc/Fakemem

Last edited by Mad-Matt; 18 October 2021 at 12:40.
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Old 17 October 2021, 23:52   #14
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ACA 500+ should be able to take care of this issue by selecting the right settings?
i got one of these a few weeks back but have not had to mess with it too much yet.
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Old 18 October 2021, 12:33   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aardvark View Post
My guess the issue is with Gotek.
Concerning the HFE format, I tried to pickup the ball and throw it at keirf / jeff, believe me I tried . Among the dozens of games (from original images) I have loaded in Gotek, only Garrison I & II failed to load due to a weakness in Gotek default format itself, so that amounts to two games (well, one and a half since it's one game featuring two scenarii disks really) so far.

Last edited by SquawkBox; 25 October 2021 at 08:34.
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Old 18 October 2021, 16:50   #16
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The cracked version seems to load just fine on my A500 with 512k chip 512k fast via gotek.
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Old 18 October 2021, 18:28   #17
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The additional 512k on my machine is chip ram, not slow / fast ram. That additional chip ram is detected by the game, but still marked as insufficient to load all of the data. In other words, this particular game treats fast ram more efficiently than it does chip ram for some reason.

turrican9 created a thread for us to list all these games that load fine with the default config common among many, many A500 users (512k Chip + 512k Slow / Fast), but fail to load on machines bearing 1024k Chip RAM. The good news is ross fixed every game turrican9 and I had considered listing there. "He who can do more can do less", that motto applies to chip ram vs slow / fast ram. Theoretically, there's no reason a 1024k Amiga user (age of the game is not good enough reason IMHO) have access to less games compared to a 512k + 512k one, if you see my point. Of course it's too late to bug the period developers about it so it's nice to have experts in asm offering fixed versions, every now and then.

Take Mega Typhoon for example, thanks to ross latest achievement, *you* can play the game on your A500, having in mind the original had all over the place memory requirements in the first place , how nice! Maybe he will consider fixing PQ II, let's wait & see. Btw, thanks Mad-Matt for letting me know about fakemem, but I'd rather wait for a fixed version. I can play the game in ScummVM, so not in much of a hurry.

Last edited by SquawkBox; 19 October 2021 at 04:04.
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