Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

How to enable Gravis UltraSound in DOSBox for enhanced music experience in DOS programs and Games

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

DOSBox

Gravis UltraSound Classic

 

Gravis UltraSound

Gravis UltraSound or GUS is a sound card for the IBM PC compatible systems.
It was lunched in 1992 and is notable for it's ability to use real-world sound recordings (wavetable) of a musical instruments rather than artificial computer-generated waveforms.
As one of my friends used to say back then: "it sounds like a CD".

To enable GUS in DOSBox all you need to do is:

1. Download the archive with the GUS files from https://alex.pc-freak.net/files/GUS/ULTRASND.zip. Extract the archive (there is already a directory in it so you don't have to create one) preferably where you keep your DOSBox stuff (like Games).

2. Find your DOSBox config file. Depending on the version or host OS, the dosbox conf file is located either inside the user profile folder or inside the same folder as dosbox.exe. In Windows 7 the config file is located at

"C:\Users\Fred\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\dosbox.conf"

where "Fred" is your username.

In GNU/Linux it's in "/home/Fred/.dosbox/dosbox.conf" where "Fred" is your username.

The name of the conf file may also have dosbox version (for example –

"dosbox-0.74.conf").

Open it with a text editor like notepad (Windows) or equvalent for GNU/Linux (vi, Kate, gedit…). Locate "[gus]" section (without the quotes) and edit it so it looks like this:

[gus]
#      gus: Enable the Gravis Ultrasound emulation.
#  gusrate: Sample rate of Ultrasound emulation.
#           Possible values: 44100, 48000, 32000, 22050, 16000, 11025, 8000, 49716.
#  gusbase: The IO base address of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 240, 220, 260, 280, 2a0, 2c0, 2e0, 300.
#   gusirq: The IRQ number of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 5, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12.
#   gusdma: The DMA channel of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 3, 0, 1, 5, 6, 7.
# ultradir: Path to Ultrasound directory. In this directory
#           there should be a MIDI directory that contains
#           the patch files for GUS playback. Patch sets used
#           with Timidity should work fine.

gus=true
gusrate=44100
gusbase=240
gusirq=5
gusdma=3
ultradir=C:\ULTRASND

Then save the dosbox conf file.

3. Start DOSBox and mount "ULTRASND" directory to "C:".

You can do that with

mount c (directory to ULTRASND)

For example if you have extracted the archive in "C:\Games" it has created "C:\Games\ULTRASND" and the command you will have to write in DOSBox is

mount c c:\Games

(example: if your game is in "C:\Games\Heroes2" and your GUS directory is "C:\Games\ULTRSND" (if you have extracted the archive "C:\Games\") then you "mount c c:\Games" and you are set)

or for GNU/Linux if you have extracted the archive in "/home/Fred/Games" it has created "/home/Fred/Games/ULTRASND" and the command you will have to write in DOSBox is

mount c /home/Fred/Games (where "Fred" is your user name).

(example: if your game is in "/home/Fred/Games/Heroes2" and your GUS directory is "/home/Fred/Games/ULTRSND" (if you have extracted the archive" /home/Fred/Games/") in  then you "mount c /home/Fred/Games" and you are set)

You can make this automatic so you don't have to write it everytime by adding this command in the end (bottom) part of your dosbox conf file and save it.

You're practicly ready. All you need to do now is set Gravis UltraSound in your game or application setup (for example with the file "setup.exe") with IO: 240, IRQ 5 and DMA 3. If you prefer you previous sound card you can do that by selecting it again from the setup without disabling GUS from the dosbox conf file.

Happy listening!

Gravis Ultrasound

 

Article written by Alex

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How to install “Beneath a Steel Sky” (Freeware) PC game and add enhanced music

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Beneath a Steel Sky

Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 1Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 2

 

 

 

 

 

Beneath a Steel Sky (BASS) is a 1994 PC point-and-click adventure game developed by Revolution Software that has been made available as freeware for PC platforms in 2003. I really like those type of games and the sense of humour in this one is top notch. So you want to try it for yourself?

All you need to download is:

1. ScummVM

ScummVM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion Virtual Machine) is a software that allows you to play games (mainly point-and-click adventures) by interpreting the scripting languages that games use to describe the game world. You can download a version for your system from https://www.scummvm.org/downloads/.

2. Beneath a Steel Sky (BASS) for ScummVM

This is a version of the game that is made to work with ScummVM and it's a freeware. Download it from https://www.scummvm.org/games/#sky. You can choose between CD or Floppy version. The Floppy version is smaller but it does not have speech (subtitles only).

3. Enchanced music (optional)

Back in the days the game was created there were a lot of sound card options and there was midi music. Some sound cards were more advanced in the midi music instruments compartment. Maybe you want that kind of enchanced sound but you don't have the hardware for it? Fortunately a guy called James Woodcock has recorded the midi tracks with powerful MIDI equipment and made them avaylable with ScummVM (thanks to the ScummVM guys too). You can download them from http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk/content/scummvm-music-enhancement-project/beneath-a-steel-sky-enhanced-soundtrack-for-scummvm/ (Beneath A Steel Sky Enhanced Soundtrack for ScummVM) (mirror).

There are different quality versions (lossless or lossy) and different ScummVM versions. If you have downloaded the latest version of ScummVM from the link I gave you in the 1 then I recommend you to download "OGG Vorbis – Lossy (53MB) Beneath A Steel Sky – Full Soundtrack Version 1.2 (13th May, 2013)". If you are a audiophile and want only the best possible audio experience and you don't care about the bigger file size you should download the "Flac – Lossless (212MB) Beneath A Steel Sky – Full Soundtrack Version 1.2.1 (2nd Feb, 2014)" version.

How to install and start playing?

First install ScummVM. Then extract the archive with the game "Beneath a Steel Sky" in a directory of your choosing.

Then start ScummVM and choose
"Add game…".

Go to and highlight the directory you have extracted "Beneath a Steel Sky" in and click

"Choose".

Click "OK". The next step is optional if you want and downloaded the enchanced music.
Extract the archive with the music in the "Beneath a Steel Sky"'s directory.
Start the ScummVM program and select "Beneath a Steel Sky".

Now select [Edit Game], switch to Audio tab, tick the

"Overide Global Audio Settings" and set Sample Rate to 44kHz.

All you need now is to select the game from ScummVM and click "Start". That's it! If you want to return previous way of sound of the music just move or delete the music files from the game directory.

Happy playing!

Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 3

Article written by Alex

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