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The glorious Amiga retro-gaming thread (Boing! Boing!)

TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
edited September 2011 in Games and Technology
So since I created this topic, I've imported an Amiga CD32 from europe, purchased an Analogic floppy disc add-on, bought a step-up inverter so it'll run in the US 110V outlet, purchased a pal->NTSC video converter, modified a Sega Master System controller so that button 2 maps to up (aka jump), and I've bought a ton of games. This thread was originally about me asking where I could buy all this stuff, so in that sense the topic was successful, but now it'd be better served as a general Amiga thread, so feel free to post your Amiga memories while I post my impressions as I experience the platform.

Old OP:
I have an Amiga 500, but I've been dying to get my hands on an Amiga CD32, either PAL or NTSC (but NTSC preferred). I've been watching on ebay but they're uncommon in auction.

Thus, I'm willing to buy from an online retailer. I don't really know where to go to buy obscure, retro systems outside of high-dollar auctions. Anyone know of a good retro gaming retail site, specifically one that might carry the CD32?

TheSonicRetard on
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Posts

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    Not that it's much use, but I have a Pal one (that I'm not willing to sell!) and the SX1 expansion they created which fits in the back, sort of making it an A1200. Hilariously they messed up the manufacturing and made the expansion units depth too shallow, so when you plug it in the back you have to prop it up with beer mats or it shorts out.

    Sadly the keyboard I use has shorted and none I can find seem to work. It's still got a 250mb hard-drive in though, filled with games and I've got one original pad and one third party from the era, along with 20-ish games and 2 floppy drives.

    Keep an eye on ebay.co.uk, rather than .com. You're much more likely to get one from England. That said it was a pretty unpopular console, not that many were made.

    There's this one on at the moment:
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Commodore-Amiga-CD-32-Console-Excellent-Condition-/320730595759?pt=UK_VideoGames_VideoGameConsoles_VideoGameConsoles&hash=item4aad0881af#ht_500wt_1057

    and

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Commodore-Amiga-CD32-Games-Console-/290590431301?pt=UK_VideoGames_VideoGameConsoles_VideoGameConsoles&hash=item43a88a1845#ht_500wt_1035

    and

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Commodore-Amiga-CD32-Console-5-games-/120751097840?pt=UK_VideoGames_VideoGameConsoles_VideoGameConsoles&hash=item1c1d5387f0#ht_500wt_1035

    in fact just click here:

    http://video-games.shop.ebay.co.uk/Consoles-/139971/i.html?_nkw=cd32&_catref=1&_fln=1&_trksid=p3286.c0.m282

    If they don't deliver to the states you could purchase and ship to someone on here and get them to send it to you (I'd be more than happy to, providing you covered shipping of course!)

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Also iirc you can hold down both mouse buttons when booting the cd32 and switch between PAL and NTSC screen modes, not sure if it works for everything. It took you to this screen:

    ripper003.jpg

    You could fiddle around with some options to make the console more like an A500 (and run older games, I remember having to do it to get Another World to run) and in Display Modes there was a Pal/NTSC toggle. This could just have been when you have the SX1 plugged in though.

    (Sorry if I'm teaching you to suck eggs here, you're normally pretty up on this and likely know more than me!)

    Mr_Grinch on
    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    No, I actually didn't know that. What has spurred my interest in the CD32 so suddenly is that I got a guy willing to sell me a floppy drive expansion for the CD32 which will essentially turn it into an A1200 with built-in AGS, which is incredible.

    I've actually never purchased a PAL console before - all my shit is NTSC, either US or JPN or Pal 60 (which I guess is technically pal). If I buy a PAL CD32, and do that NTSC mode switch, will it work on a US TV?

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Thanks a ton on those UK ebay links, btw. I never thought to look on the uk ebay. There is exactly 1 CD32 on the US ebay site, and it's already going for $64 with 4 days left, and it comes with 8 games (pretty much the more popular ones, like Chaos Engine and Superfrog).

    Assuming someone can come in here and help me with my TV question, I'll buy one of those CD32s in the auctions above today.

    Really appreciate the help, Grinch.

    EDIT: Oh wow, I just looked up that SX1 unit, grinch, and the one the dude is selling me looks way different. It looks actually a lot like a homebrew unit, or something that was a dev kit or something. It plugs into the back like that SX1, but instead of just jutting out backwards Turbo Grafx CD style, it instead curves upward and rests on top of the console, Jaguar CD style.

    Let me grab the picture in a sec.

    EDIT AGAIN: Linked for the sake of h-scroll

    thats the floppy unit

    EDIT AGAIN: Actually, I just found a hardware converter for PAL->NTSC that the people at lemon amiga recommend. It'll actually convert a SCART signal to RGB and it's like $50, and it'll work on modern HDTVs, so I'm gonna pick up all this stuff.

    Thanks a ton grinch, I thought it was a longshot asking on PA for help with this but I'm glad I did. And I'll be sitting pretty with a PAL console which can play everything, unlike my NTSC Amiga 500.

    TheSonicRetard on
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    I don't mean to triple post, but I get the feeling if just keep adding to the edit, no one will come and check this topic again and see my new question.

    So I'm looking to get a keyboard for the CD32 as well, but from what I hear it requires a specific kind of keyboard. Some people have said the A4000 keyboard will work, others have said the A4000T keyboard will work, but both are radically different. Anyone with experience with the CD32 got a keyboard recommendation?

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    Sadly, as I mentioned with mine, I've had difficulty getting one that works. I pinched a load of keyboards from work when I was an IT guy once and despite them fitting in the port, they never actually did the trick. The only one I had that worked was the one my Dad got with my SX1 (which is possibly what the guy is selling you, it's a box with ports for a hard-drive, floppy drivers and serial/parallel and keyboard slots) I'll post up some pictures of mine after.

    Looking on the websites though you could PROBABLY re-wire one to work fairly easy, I never tried (though I might now) or even thought to do it. There are people saying they're using adapters on pc keyboards so I guess you could wire one of those up too.

    As for the TV, if I plugged an NTSC device in to a PAL tv it'd be black and white (or at least older pal tv, nearly all recent tvs can take an NTSC signal) not sure what happens on the reverse.

    Have you got your TV model? The ntsc/pal switch on boot up would PROBABLY work but it' doesn't save, you need to do it every time. I haven't got an NTSC tv so I can't even test for you I'm afraid. If Pal 60 works though, then Pal may do, it still uses more lines but according to some wiki I just looked up:

    "A "PAL 60" signal is similar to an NTSC (525/30) signal but with the usual PAL chrominance subcarrier at 4.43 MHz (instead of 3.58 as with NTSC and South American PAL variants) and with the PAL-specific phase alternation of the red colour difference signal between the lines."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAL#Multisystem_PAL_support_and_.22PAL_60.22

    If you go for it then send me a pm and I'll help you out with postage and what-not, I can't begrudge anyone a CD32, I was the only kid I know that had one.

    Incidentally grab Liberation if you get the chance, that was the one game I was massively impressed with. Also if you can see them the demo discs were actually pretty good for the CD32, they went pretty overboard with the multimedia and had a load of adverts and videos.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Here's the advert! It's fantastic!



    ::edit:: Regarding keyboards, I just read on a forum someone got a usb one to work by using two adapters:

    usb->ps2->at

    I've tried a couple of ps2 through an adapter with little luck though, would be worth doing a little research first.

    ::edit 2:: Old faithful in my spare room

    5968945907_e98a3164dc.jpg
    IMG_3097 by kieranpictures, on Flickr

    (She needs a dust)

    Mr_Grinch on
    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    lol that advert reminds me of a similar sega saturn advert, which freaks me out:



    ::shudder::

    anyways I sent you a PM, I might be using your help to get this stuff shipped to me. One way or another, by the end of the next few days, I'll have myself a CD32.

    On the subject of games, I was cross posting on a few forums and someone told me the CD32 port of Super Street Fighter 2 turbo was garbage. I've taken to collecting Street Fighter II lately, and I have almost all the ports, including the incredible MSDOS and 3DO ports. Any experience with the cd32 port that you can weigh in on? The person who was telling me about the CD32 port actually had only played the Amiga 1200 AGA port, but he was "fairly sure" that the CD32 port was, like most CD32 games, just an a1200 game on a CD.

    Also, as I'll now have access to AGA gaming (which I didn't have with my plain jane Amiga 500) what are some good games to take advantage of the extra power? I'm getting Super Stardust without a doubt. I saw video of this game called Fightin' Spirits which looked awesome, like a freaking Neo Geo game, any experience with it? I love platformers, recommend me a good one and I'll buy it based on genre alone.

    haha all this talk about AGA upgrades and shit has me feeling like I felt when I got the 32X all over again. Hopefully it won't be a letdown like my 32X was.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    OH SHIT. I just realized, I bought an RGB->VGA converter for my supergun, and that it actually has a spot for scart input. Fucking awesome, I don't even need to buy that $50 converter to get the CD32 to work on my tv.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Alright, I guess, for the sake of anybody else who is ever attempting to venture into PAL land for their first time, especially with the Amiga CD32, I figure I should detail the steps I'm taking to get it working. That way, if anybody ever stumbles onto this thread via a google search or something, they'll be able to duplicate what I'm doing.

    So first let me explain the problem at hand - PAL (that's european) consoles output in a different video frequency than NTSC (that's US and japan) consoles. The frequency is the number of times the image "rolls" on the screen, essentially the refresh rate. The reason they output in different frequencies, is because classic TVs (read: CRTs) had different frequencies in europe and the US/JPN. In Europe, TVs operate at 50 hz, or essentially 50 fps. In the US and Japan, our TVs work in 60 hz. If you plug a pal console into an NTSC tv or vice versa, you'll get a variety of image problems, from exceptionally fuzzy picture, complete loss of color, a rolling picture (like a film reel running at the wrong speed, so you can see the cell divsions), extreme overscan (i.e. large portions of the picture being past the edge of the TV), to, depending on the set up, no picture at all. Needless to say, making sure your TV and your console are speaking the right language is a big, big deal.

    In the past, going from PAL to NTSC was a headache, mainly because most converters introduced lag. however, today, the process is much simpler. What you'll need, essentially, is a converter from one kind of signal to another. You have two options today - a PAL to NTSC converter, which, from what I've read will induce lag, and, a much more popular choice today, a pal to VGA converter. What I'm doing is essentially converting a SCART signal - a european RGB signal, to VGA using a device which was intended to be used for outputting arcade boards onto an LCD monitor instead of CRT RGB monitor. That, unfortunately, isn't a common option.

    Instead, the better option seems to be to grab one of these babies right here:

    Pal->VGA converter

    according to the people at Lemon Amiga (the source for all things Amiga today), this specific box won't induce any lag, and it has the major added benefit of deinterlacing the picture in hardware, and upscaling, so your amiga games will not only display correctly on your HDTV, but they'll look pretty while doing so.

    Beyond that, you're going to need a converter from the european power standards to the US power standards. When you're going from US to Euro, you need a step down converter, which reduces the output. When you're going from Euro to US, you need a step up converter. Any place like Radio shack or fry's should have a variety of options on doing this, as it's common when people travel abroad. Solving this problem should be a snap, just match the input, match the output, and it'll work a-ok.

    Now, a bit of research has also revealed that several CD32 games support 60 hz NTSC output natively. The pal->ntsc mode switch that grinch was talking about above seems to only work if the software supports ntsc on its own. Now, to be certain, when you're talking about AMIGA gaming, you're talking a list of games whose range is in the thousands, not hundreds. Amiga gaming has a long, expansive library to choose from. With that in mind, only a handful of games support the NTSC mode, which is a huge let down, but the bright side is that they seem to be among the most popular games for the series of computers. If you're like me, having access to only a fraction of the library won't cut it, so a pal->VGA converter is a necessity, but if you can stomach not being able to access the full library that your console has to offer, the following is a list of games which supports NTSC mode:
    Akira
    Alfred Chicken
    Alien Breed SE
    Alien Breed - Tower Assault
    All Terrain Racing
    Arabian Nights
    Banshee
    Battletoads
    Beavers
    Beneath a Steel Sky
    Black Viper
    Bubba 'n' Stix
    Bubble & Squeak
    Cannon Fodder
    Cedric (German)
    Chambers of Shaolin
    Chuck Rock
    D-generation
    Darkseed
    Deep Core
    Dragonstone
    Exile
    Fields of Glory
    Fire Force
    Flink
    Fly Harder
    Frontier Elite II
    Global Effect
    Gloom
    Gulp!
    International Karate
    James Pond III
    Jungle Strike
    Kid Chaos
    The Last Ninja III
    The Lost Vikings
    Lotus Trilogy
    Max Rally
    Mean Arenas
    Morph
    Naughty Ones
    Out to Lunch
    Overkill
    Pinball Fantasies
    Premiere
    Prey
    Project-X SE
    Quik the Thunder Rabbit
    Rise of The Robots
    Roadkill
    Sabre Team
    Seven Gates of Jambala
    Skeleton Krew
    Subwar 2050
    Super Frog
    Super Putty
    Syndicate
    Total Carnage
    Turbo Trax
    UFO Enemy Unknown
    Ultimate Super Skidmarks
    Vital Light
    Wendetta (edit - Wendetta runs out of memory after loading first 2 intro screens)
    Wrath of The Demon
    Xenon II (CDTV)
    

    Hopefully this thread has spurred some interest in the Amiga, as I've been discovering that it's a wonderful world of gaming on said line of computers. I adore retro gaming, and the Amiga has been the most logical step for me to continue my exploration of the golden era of gaming, aka the 16-bit years. As someone who has already explored the depths of the likes of the Sega Genesis, Super NES, and Turbo Duo, the Amiga has felt like truly the final frontier.

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    I had Street Fighter 2 (in fact still have, in it's big box on floppies in the loft), that was AWFUL. One button combat, about 3fps, terrible loading times. I still played it to death. I didn't play Super Street Fighter 2 beyond a demo but, iirc, it only supported one button even on the CD32. An awful lot of games did that too, it was very frustrating.

    Definitely would recommend Super Stardust, it's absolutely fantastic. Another platform game (though I don't THINK there's an AGA version, but it's still worth it) is Sleepwalker. Don't quite remember if they upped the graphics for the CD32 aga version or just ported the standard but it was very funny. You play as an invincible cartoon dog and have to help your boy-owner out as he sleep walks through town, stopping cars, bridging gaps, bouncing on telephone wires to make him jump. Sort of like a platform version of lemmings...with just one lemming. It also had an awesome intro:



    Aladdin AGA was great, very different to the megadrive and SNES versions (from memory).

    Bubble and Squeek was another fantastic game but I think that came out on the megadrive so you're likely already familiar with it!

    As for Fighting Spirit, was never a massive fan, I did really like Shadow Fighter on CD32 but again it suffered from the one button curse.

    There was an AGA version of James Pond 2: Robocod, which is worth picking up.

    And if you haven't got it on your A500 yet I always remember Premiere being a fun platform game where you played through various movie sets.

    Oh and of course the somewhat unofficial Amiga Sonic rip-off, Zool the ant who isn't an ant. I tried playing them recently and found them far too light and floaty, the second better than the first but not by much.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Grinch, I bought the CD32. I'm having it sent to your address, and I'm sending you a PM with my information as well. Thanks a ton!

  • Zilla360Zilla360 21st Century. |She/Her| Surreal. Immersive. Earth.Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Hah, you never mentioned you were such a Amiga buff, Grinch. Awesome thread. :D

    Zilla360 on
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Zilla360 wrote:
    Hah, you never mentioned you were such a Amiga buff, Grinch. Awesome thread. :D
    TheAmigaRetard

    Dude was a giant help. I really owe him.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    So in preparation for my entry into the final venture for Commodore, I've been reading this excellent series on the history of Amiga from Arstechnica. Everyone should check it out, regardless of if you've got interest in the Amiga or not, because it's a fascinating look into the birth of video games, personal computing, and the amiga itself.

    http://arstechnica.com/articles/culture/a-history-of-the-amiga-part-1.ars

    I have an amiga 500, but it's more of an object I view like an museum display - connecting it to my TV is cumbersome (since the thing is fucking huge by today's standards) and it feels far more like a computer than a console. I can see myself using my CD32 way more frequently.

    The world of Amiga is fascinating. I feel like I felt when I discovered the world of NEC and their fantastic PC Engine console, like it's a hidden world of gaming that everyone simply passed up.

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    Zilla360 wrote:
    Hah, you never mentioned you were such a Amiga buff, Grinch. Awesome thread. :D

    You never asked :) I'm not actually a 'buff', more a fan.

    When I was a kid my Dad would never get me a console, I wasn't allowed a NES, SNES, Master System or Genesis because they weren't 'educational'. Instead I got a C64, A600 and later a CD32 (and the way I managed to swing that was by explaining they'd released an expansion called the SX1 which made it an A1200). Because they were all computers they were deemed much more 'educational', I could do school work on them and program. That's not to say I didn't spend 90% of my time playing games on them though.

    Incidentally I also used to 'video edit' on my CD32 using this little beauty:

    vidi12_set_sm.jpg

    As http://www.amiga-hardware.com/ describe it:
    The Vidi-Amiga 12 is a video digitizer which connects to the parallel port of the Amiga. It is capable of capturing realtime video in up to 16 grey-scales, or colour stills at up to 4096 colours (HAM-6) or 262,144 colours (HAM-8) from either a PAL or an NTSC source including SVHS. Sizes can be captured at up to 640x512 for PAL and 640 x 400 for NTSC. An absolutely still image is required for colour grabs, because the red, green and blue components are captured independantly then overlaid within the software. Fast processors not only improve the speed of the capture but increase the tolerance of a bad quality video source. Early models were supplied with a separate power supply, however the later models also connected to the floppy drive port for their power source.

    By video edit I mean capture stills from people's wedding videos, put them together in an Amiga-ish version of powerpoint, mix in some music (so video composite cable from Amiga to VHS, and the phono cables hooked up to the hifi!) and record out to VHS, then charge £30. Not a bad money earner for a (what must have been) 12 year old. I also captured friends for sprites in video games, though capture was limited to grey and a fairly feeble frame rate.

    Still got the hardware too, goodness knows if it still works.

    Also I don't know if you can see on the picture of my CD32 but it's damaged. I had one of those scart changer boxes and it was positioned on the underside of our tv cabinet and stuck up with sticky tape. I'd switch to "B" for VHS and "A" for CD32. One day I came home and my Mam took me in to the living room and asked me to sit down, she said something bad had happened. I thought someone I knew had snuffed it. She broke the news gently that the switcher had fallen off and cracked the case.

    To be honest, as a kid, I wouldn't have noticed, it worked and played games. Now as an adult I have a less than pristine CD32 but it at least has a story to it :)

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Hey Grinchy, have you tried that usb->ps/2 keyboard trick you were telling me about? Because I can get a lybra keyboard adapter, which will let you use any keyboard with a CD32, for about 30 euros right now. If a USB->Ps/2 adapter works, it'll be cheaper, and I'll go that route instead.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    also, I got some more information about my floppy drive for the cd32 if you're interested. Seems it was produced by a company called Index for a company (school?) called the Wallstreet institute (which I also see referred to as the School of English?). Apparently the kind I have was supposed to be hyper rare, with Index supposedly only producing a couple hundred units before they folded, but I think they might have found a warehouse full of prototype units or something because they've flooded ebay within the last year.

    It's basically a poor man's SX1, without the ram expansion, BUT it seems you can jerry-rig up a fast ram expansion to the thing extremely easily without any soldering and turn the cd32 in a full fledged baseline A1200, which is incredible to me.

    Only downside, it seems, is that it has a bug in it which causes the CD32's native controller to not work correctly when connected. Only the 2 normal buttons will work (red and blue) but considering most CD32 games seem to use 1 button (since they're ports of 1200 games) it's not a big deal. My (ugly) floppy expansion won't be plugged in all the time anyways so no worries on my end.

    I've also read that you can do an extremely simple mod to get a sega 6-button controller to work as a full fledged CD32 controller. Seeing as I use this baby right here to play my amiga 500 games:

    sega_genesis_joysticks_6_button_arcade_stick.jpg

    I'm looking into creating an adapter which will make it work. Apparently it's as simple as swapping the 5th and 7th pin or something like that.

    Beyond that, got any recommendations for AGA-compatible floppy games which DON'T require a keyboard to work? I'd like to pick up one game just so I can take advantage of it. I know several games on the Amiga 500 have keyboard input, but don't really require it to play (Like turrican, for example, which can be played up until you die and have to enter your name in the highscore). Know of any AGA games like that?

    EDIT: Also, grinch, I read that less than 100,000 CD32s were made world wide. Looks like we belong to a pretty exclusive club haha.

    TheSonicRetard on
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    Haven't had chance to try the usb keyboard trick, the only usb keyboard I have is wireless and connected to my media pc (and I don't have a usb to ps2 adapter). Worth a shot though!

    Forgot the SX1 had a ram expansion in it, my CD32 has a MASSIVE 6mb ram. Impressive stuff.

    Regarding keyboard-less games, most of them! Providing you have a mouse you can usually get by, I haven't had a working keyboard for over 5 years and I still use it as an A1200 over and over. I found a solution in workbench whereby I could rig it up to my pc via the serial port and send commands over, those commands worked as key presses. No use in games but meant I could mess around in the OS.

    I've dug out some of my demo cds, if I find any interesting ones I'll sling a copy in the box for you.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Money has been sent, Grinch! I sent it to the paypal address you PMed me. I also sent you a PM, but just in case it doesn't go through or whatever, I'm also posting in this topic. Please let me know when you receive it, I'm pretty sure it should be instant, but I've had paypal take 3 days to transfer money before so it's anybody's guess.

    I've also emailed the ebay auctioneer and let him know that you should be paying for the items soon. Again, please let me know when this is completed.

    Thanks a ton for your help again!

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    Sorry for the delay, been out of electronic contact at work and then I have a 10mile cycle home so can't check anything on that. Anyway, cash was there in the paypal account so it made the transfer nice and quick, as I mentioned ebay refused to let me add anything on for delivery.

    I'll keep an eye on the post now. We don't have anyone in during the day other than weekends so it'll end up going to the depot when it gets here, but that's only 5 minutes down the road so I'll go and pick it up after work and whilst I'm there send it straight on to you :)

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • The Reverend Dr GalactusThe Reverend Dr Galactus Registered User regular
    This thread suddenly has me thinking of the A1200 sitting in a storage locker in my home town. Maybe I'll have to go on an Amiga expedition next time I'm there...

    I recalled it having some kind of semi-proprietary video connector that interfaced with the old Commodore 1084S monitor, which Wikipedia calls a DB-23M, but apparently it also has a standard composite RCA. Assuming such a converter existed, would there be any advantage to finding a something to use the DB-23M instead of composite?

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  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    I just picked up a competition Pro CD32 controller along with Banshee (disk), Stardust (disk), Turrican 3 (disk), and fightin' spirit (cd).

    I'm gonna do my CD32 big!

  • The Burnin8orThe Burnin8or Registered User regular
    I still have my A500 with various games packed away in a cabinet somewhere. So much fun was had on that thing.

    Those Ars articles are great but sadly, even though they mentioned a continuation of the series in the last one, they never have continued it. . .

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    I just picked up a competition Pro CD32 controller along with Banshee (disk), Stardust (disk), Turrican 3 (disk), and fightin' spirit (cd).

    I'm gonna do my CD32 big!

    IIRC enter your name on the highscore table as "MARYWHITEHOUSE" (maybe there was a space) and it turned on the uncensored version of Banshee where you can shoot old women and polar bears.

    I've just booted mine up after talking about it for so long and it fused the entire house, lights went out and everything. Opened the plug up and someone had swapped the live and earth wire round in the plug, I assume this was someone I lent it to not long ago, no idea WHY they would do that. Anyway, a new plug later and i'm back up and running. Booted Workbench up from the 256mb hd (with 14mb free!) and had a play around with all the apps and games I had on there. Deluxe Paint, some morphing program, loadsa games.

    Awesome.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • harvestharvest By birthright, a stupendous badass.Registered User regular
    TSR's threads about esoteric digital archaeology are always fun to read.

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  • ben0207ben0207 Registered User regular
    I think the thing I'm most looking forward to this year is having a proper living room again so I can have my Amiga out and functional. Only got an A500, but debating moving up to an A1200. Beast*, Lemmings, Speedball II, Giana Sisters... sigh.



    *which has always been rubbish, remember. But still beautiful.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    ben0207 wrote:
    I think the thing I'm most looking forward to this year is having a proper living room again so I can have my Amiga out and functional. Only got an A500, but debating moving up to an A1200. Beast*, Lemmings, Speedball II, Giana Sisters... sigh.



    *which has always been rubbish, remember. But still beautiful.

    As I mentioned earlier, I have an Amiga 500, an NTSC one, but it's more of a curiosity for me. It's really ugly, it's got the typical smoker-stained yellow finish that all beige computer shit from the 80's seems to have. it's HUGE by console standards, it's slow, it's clunky, it's heavy, and, when connected to my LCD TV in my living room, it won't deinterlace so you get some nasty effects when playing it. That said, I've still enjoyed it, but I rarely take it out because it's such a hassle. I'm looking much forward to getting this CD32 if only because I feel like I'll explore what the Amiga has to offer much easier with it.

    On the subject of (shadow of the) Beast - I rented that game way back in the day on the Sega Master System, and played it a few times on Sega Channel for the Genesis. Perhaps those ports aren't as pretty as the supposedly drop-dead gorgeous Amiga version, or maybe I was jaded by the time I played it, having been spoiled by the likes of Mode 7 and Virtua Fighter, but I found the game to be complete garbage. I know it's a well known criticism of the game, but i have to agree that it's all style, no substance. Except, by the time I'd played it, the style was gone. It's a brutally hard game, and for the wrong reasons. It, at times, feels like a metroid game because you can go anywhere, but where metroid and castlevania have conventions in place to guide your experience, SotB is just wide open to the point of fault. The first time you play the game, it's impossible to know what to do. There are few people who you can run into in the game, and they don't really point you in the right direction. To make matters worse, you begin on the left side of a screen as soon as you start the game, and defying every video game convention up to that point, going the right is the wrong way. You're supposed to go left to find the first... level? I don't even know what to call those. Without a guide, you'd pretty much have to spend hundreds of hours pouring over every detail in the game before you figured out how to play it, let alone beat it. As I said, the monsterous difficulty means that, even if you know what you're supposed to do, you still might not beat the game because it'll knock your ass down.

    I hear SotB2 was just as bad as SotB1, but SotB3 is supposed to be good. An example of how broken these games are - in SotB2, when you begin the game, you walk to the left (again, defying known video game conventions) and as soon as you make it to the next screen, you see a demon approach and try to kill an NPC. You have mere seconds to save that NPC, and if you don't, the game is impossible to beat. But when the NPC is killed, the game doesn't end, rather you keep playing until you realize, much later in the game, that you cannot proceed because this guy who was killed in the first screen died. Even if you save this dude, the very next screen has a similar challenge, where a demon tries to cut a rope. If he cuts that rope, then you cannot pass a segment near the very end of the game. And this sort of "do this or else it'll be impossible to beat later" shit is repeated all game long.

    I might have the hindsight of 20 years of gaming refinement to alter my opinion of the games, but I see no redeeming value in the SotB series.

    A side note, though - why do all the publications, manuals, boxes, cartridges, etc for the games say "Shadow of the Beast" but the title screen, for all 3 games, simply says "Beast"?

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    Give Shadow of the Beast 3 a go, I really enjoyed it. Never did finish it though.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Mr_Grinch wrote:
    Give Shadow of the Beast 3 a go, I really enjoyed it. Never did finish it though.

    That's what I've heard, that 'third times the charm'

    Funnily enough, though, I also like Turrican 3 the best. I could never get into turrican 1 and 2. I recognize that they're technically great games, but the lack of hit invincibility kills it for me. When a single enemy can drain ALL your life in a second, I just can't cope. The hit invincibility was enough for me to play the shit out of Turrican 3 on the genesis (called Mega Turrican).

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    According to DHL, my CD32 is en-route in houston right now. It should be waiting for me when I get home. I'll snap some pics when I get home.

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    Good news, glad it made it out of the country in one piece!
    Delivered - Signed for by : S Retard - 12:05.

    Not bad considering it left the UK on Tuesday.

    Mr_Grinch on
    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    I wish it really said s retard haha. Thanks for the help grinch!

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    So yesterday was a day full of ups and downs. I got a call from my girlfriend midway through the day telling me that not just one, but two packages had arrived. I knew the CD32 was supposed to arrive yesterday, but I'm still waiting on several items, namely the pal->ntsc converter, the CD32 competition gamepad, 4 games, and some other, non-amiga related stuff. I really needed that pal->ntsc video converter and I hoped it would be it.

    however, when I arrived home, I saw two large packages and my heart kinda sank, because I knew the video converter wouldn't arrive in a large box. I tore it open and slumped down, disappointed, as I stared face to face with my Marvel vs Capcom CPS2 board -- probably the only time in history that someone has been disappointed by receiving MvC. Regardless, I opened up the other box and marveled at my CD32 - its condition is pretty great. The floppy drive, however, looks miserable - I may be painting it black later on to match the console.

    So I just kinda sat, looking at my console, when I realize no mail was on the desk, meaning the daily mail was still in the mailbox. I walked down to the mailbox and low and behold, a third package was waiting for me. I tore into it and to my delight it was the pal->ntsc converter.

    Now, before I go on, i should talk a bit about pal->ntsc conversion. Namely, the price. Everywhere I'd researched on the internet had told me the same thing, that converting from pal to ntsc was pricey, and it was actually more worth it just to pick up a pal TV. That, unfortunately, was not an option for me. So, a few weeks ago, I was looking for the cheapest converter I could find, and found one from Hong Kong for $30. Now, the prices I'd been seeing were between $100 to $170, so I figured I'd test this one out before.

    I don't know if any of you have experience with chinese electronics, but they're notoriously terrible. I was worried about the quality, but as I took the converter out of the box, my fears were temporarily relieved as the unit seemed to have more features than advertised. It could also output VGA and S-video, which pleased me.

    The video conversion was only half of the problem - european plugs look straight out of looney tunes, so I needed to buy a power transformer. See, the power that comes out of a US outlet comes out at 110A, while those in europe come out at 220A. The CD32 is expecting 220A, so you need a transformer to correct this. A trip to fry's electronics netted me the ugliest, brown transformer I've ever seen for the low price of $2.

    I raced home and connected the amiga. The CD32 is sort of like the Amiga 500 in that it has this huge, HUGE power brick which connects to the machine (think the Xbox 360's power brick) with the only main difference being the connector and that the power switch is on the console instead of the power brick. I threw the transformer on the brick, then connected the video converter, and turned it on... and nothing. Black screen. The CD32 clearly worked - I could see the power lights on, the CD was spinning. I looked at the video converter, which was making popping noises at this point, and picked it up - it was burning hot to the touch. I unplugged it (it has its own power supply) and read the manual carefully. not a single caution warning. I decided to give it another go, only this time the video converter wouldn't even turn on. A plasticy smell permeated the room I was in. The converter had burned up.

    pissed doesn't even begin to describe how mad I was. I was so upset that my dog actually hid under my bed, haha. Beers were drank, bowls were smoked, and after I calmed down, I went to amazon.com to find the most expensive video converter I could find - no more fucking around. I found the Atlona AT-LINE-EX, normally priced at $450, but on sale for $299. I purchased it, along with 1 day shipping, which actually means tomorrow since I ordered it past midnight. I saw this specific video converter mentioned by name on an english amiga board, so I'm hoping for the best.

    In the mean time, I had learned that, if you connect a pal console to an ntsc tv without any sort of converter, it'll still work, but you'll get a stretched black and white picture with about 40 lines of resolution missing from the bottom. So I plugged my CD32 in this way and tried out a few of the games Grinch sent me. He sent me 3 games - Skeleton Krew, Super Putty, and Brutal Football - which is super cool. I have all those games for other systems, so it'll be fun to note the differences between them. Unfortunately, I don't have a CD32 controller yet, so I'm using my Sega Genesis controller, but only 2 buttons will work that way, instead of the 6 on the CD32. Skeleton Krew had an option specifically for Sega Genesis controllers (it even shows the genesis pad with 3 buttons) which is awesome, so I played a bit of that. The soundtrack for that game is awesome, way better than the genesis version, due mainly to the CD soundtrack. Super putty takes an ungodly amount of time to load, and then I can't get past the title screen, likely because I don't have the right button on the controller. Same with brutal football.

    I refused to try super stardust as I want to wait until i can play it in full color (i.e. tomorrow) so that's all the impressions I have for now. I'll post later with real screens and go into detail on my thoughts of the console's build itself. For those who can't wait, I'll just say it looks and feels very, very european.

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    I'm glad it's there and actually works. I didn't dare unwrap it, the company you got it from had done such a bang-up job and, of course, it was yours to unwrap ;) Sorry the shipping from the UK to you was pretty pricey, clearly we're an expensive country to ship from (but not as much as the initial options!).

    Have you got a mouse for your Amiga 500? If so, plug it in to port 1 (or port 2) of the CD32, hold down both buttons and turn it on. You should get to the 'hidden menu' where there's a switch to flick between PAL and NTSC. Don't know if any of those games will work in NTSC mode but it's worth a go just out of curiosity to see if it works, also you can see the pretty boot up menu in colour.

    And seeing as though you haven't got much to play about with at the moment, try putting an audio CD in and check out the 'awesome' cd player. That was my first and only cd player for a number of years!

    Mr_Grinch on
    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Oculus Rift: Sir_Grinch
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Unfortunately, I do not have a mouse. Would a standard serial mouse work? Because I have tons of those.

    Everything works fine except, of course, the video, which was always going to be the trickiest part. The reason I'm so gung-ho about getting a PAL CD32 working all of the sudden, instead of sticking to my guns and looking for an NTSC CD32, is because a side-benefit of this whole process is that, when it's all said and done, i'll be able to import anything from europe without fear. And that is very attractive to me.

    I looked at the sram on the system - either it was never used or all saves have been deleted, there's not a single one. I did actually pop in a music CD, and it's player is about on par with the Sega CD's player, which was my CD player for a good 4-ish years.

    I can't wait for my competition pro joystick to arrive. I haven't held an original model 1 sega genesis controller in decades at this point - when the 6 button controller came out I made a hard switch and, in my childhood stupidity, I threw out my old model 1 genesis controllers. The Competition pro gamepad is clearly modeled after the genesis controller, using the same shell even. I'm gonna try and go the opposite way too, when it arrives, and play some Sonic 1 with the thing.

    I bought Zool 2 last night, which is kinda dumb, because immediately after placing the order, I realized I have a boxed, unwrapped copy of Zool 2 for the Atari Jaguar which I've never, ever played. Reading online, it's an untouched port, they even mapped up to jump, which will be aggravating. None the less, Zool, along with Shadow of the Beast and Turrican, is one of the game series which seems to define the amiga platform in general.

    Speaking of up to jump, I've also begun construction on a small adapter which will plug in between the CD32 and a genesis/cd32 controller, which will reroute the second button to the up button, and at the same time, disable the up button all together. Doing so will give normal control back to the CD32. I'll report more on that as I work on it.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    So I got the converter. The splash screen for the CD32 displays in full color, at the correct resolution. However, anything else - the cd player, the memory management screen, any game - all cause the converter to freeze up and not respond. Turning on and off the converter while a game is running results in a still screen of the video running underneath, sometimes in color, most of the time not.

    I've now blown $350 trying to convert pal to ntsc, plus shipping. I'm beyond pissed. I'm gonna go for a walk.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    Well a bit of a walk and some more experimentation and I'm stumped. My wii is modded, so I can force it's output in 50 hz mode, and when I do that, and use the converter, it works flawlessly. The 50 hz output from my Wii is converted normally and I get full color display. Additionally the splash screen for the CD32 is in color as well. That's telling me there is something different about the way the CD32 displays when in a game. Either the splash screen is meant to work in both NTSC and PAL, and the color information is all that's changed and games aren't, or something else.

    Grinch keeps mentioning an NTSC switch when you boot the system with a mouse. I'm thinking that's my last real hope. I don't have an amiga mouse to test this with, but I'm thinking that maybe if I boot the system in NTSC mode, it'll work. I need to buy an amiga mouse now, and unfortunately there are none on ebay right now.

    Damn.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    k, I found an Amiga mouse. $22. I'm having it shipped here ASAP.

    Cross your fingers, toes, eyes, etc. that this works.

  • MoioinkMoioink Registered User regular
    A side note, though - why do all the publications, manuals, boxes, cartridges, etc for the games say "Shadow of the Beast" but the title screen, for all 3 games, simply says "Beast"?

    Beast was going to be the name of the game but it had to be changed because there was already a game out with that name. Nobody cared enough to ask the artists to change the title screen so it stayed like that.

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