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Running old Mac games on a PC

 
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:05 pm     Post subject: Running old Mac games on a PC Reply with quote

In the DOS era, when many games used the standard VGA 320x200 mode by default, the higher 640x480 resolution was the norm for Macintosh computers. Many games ported to Mac from DOS, Amiga or other computers or consoles would thus get (sometimes considerably) improved, high resolution graphics. As such these versions are at least of purely historical interest.

But for whatever reason, even finding screenshots of Mac games on the Internet is sometimes pretty hard. Many titles have demo or shareware versions available, but trying them out while not owning an actual Mac is rather problematic.

There's a number of completely free, open source Mac emulators with support of the different CPU architecture and MacOS versions, but almost all of them require that you either use a ROM image obtained from an actual Mac that you own, or buy an emulation card to be plugged into the PC which will work in lieu of such a ROM (detailed information about the various emulators can be found at the E-Maculation Wiki).

After some searching I found information about an emulator (or rather, a compatibility layer) which requires neither a Mac ROM nor a copy of MacOS, but is capable of running software for 68k processors on DOS, Windows and Linux. The programme is called Executor. Originally a commercial product, it apparently enjoyed some popularity back in the 90s and up to mid-2000s, but later the development halted, and eventually the authors released both the latest stable version and its source code into the public domain.

While modern emulators can boast much better compatibility with actual Mac software, Executor is pretty much the only option for running Macintosh programmes if you don't own an old Mac that is emulated.

Windows download and setup instructions can be found here:
http://emaculation.com/doku.php/executor_setup

The Executor developers' official site, ardi.com, maintained a compatibility database, but it is not easily accessible via the Wayback Machine. You can view individual entries if you list the entire website contents, but they use database ID numbers instead of names, so quickly listing supported software is not possible.

Currently available versions include v2.1pr16 for Windows, the source and (I think) the latest stable Linux version as well. Earlier DOS versions are perhaps only available as demos now (here's a YouTube video of the DOS demo running Lemmings).

UPD: The E-Maculation Wiki has its own compatibility list (of sorts) which also covers other emulators as well:
MECS: The Mac Emulation Compatibility Sheet
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:13 am     Post subject: Re: Running old Mac games on a PC Reply with quote

MrFlibble wrote:
Earlier DOS versions are perhaps only available as demos now (here's a YouTube video of the DOS demo running Lemmings).

It turns out that ARDI's system of programme updates for registered users allowed to download the latest full version, which requires a registration key to run. The DOS version also had such updates, which is mentioned on the official support page (Wayback Machine copy).

While the official ARDI FTP is no longer active, archive.org has a copy of it from 2008, which is found here. The FTP's contents are bundled along with a lot of other stuff, but using the built-in content viewer it is possible to separately download ARDI FTP contents alone.

Also, some demo versions of the DOS release are available:
o v1.2: EXCTR12A.ZIP EXCTR12B.ZIP EXCTR12C.ZIP
o v1.99q: exec199q.exe
o v2.1pr11: e21pr11_demo.exe (includes DOS and Windows versions)

The demo versions don't seem to include a manual, but there's a copy found at the official website:
Out of Date Executor 2 Manual

It gives an explanation of some configuration options etc. which are otherwise not very self-explanatory in some cases.

UPD: I just downloaded the ARDI FTP contents, here's a plain files version of the DOS release: execdos.zip

The registration code provided by Clifford Matthews works with the DOS version.
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Chilly Willy
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 12:31 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. I'll have to look into that. Just in case you didn't know, http://www.virtualapple.org/ is a pretty cool site to try out old Apple games. Wink
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:21 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, thanks for the link! I didn't know about that website Happy
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:31 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another demo (v2.0): execdem2.exe
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2016 5:29 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just discovered that the Mac version of Wolfenstein 3-D (which has higher-resolution graphics and other goodies) runs quite well under Executor:


You can download the Mac shareware version here. The file is called wolfenstein-threed-101.hqx. You might need to right-click on it and then select Save File As... to download it.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:17 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Recently I discovered LairWare's shareware Macintosh port of Ultima III, and it runs fine in Executor, even in DOSBox:

I've tested this with v1.3 available from the archived copy of Lairware's website. The port features high-resolution graphics, animation and sound effects, also optional music. The unregistered shareware version allows to play freely except you can't enter the land of Ambrosia.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:28 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

I finaly setup Executor on a Win7 x64 machine, runs great. The hfs(?) tool to create the optional 20mb mac hard drive didn't work on 64 bit, but the "famous and readily available" HfsExplorer did the trick.

And Rogue ran just fine with minor Executor "not sure this will work" warning. I'll try to get some screenshots later.

Thanks again for bumping this thread. I'm looking forward to trying UIII, to, in particular. And digging up some old favorites; maybe Lode Runner, Paraball(?), and the spaceship one that looks like Omega Race but better, whats'its'name...
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:58 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quadko wrote:
I finaly setup Executor on a Win7 x64 machine, runs great. The hfs(?) tool to create the optional 20mb mac hard drive didn't work on 64 bit

IIRC it's a DOS command-line app, works fine in DOSBox Happy

I've checked the shareware version of Exile: Escape from the Pit (shareware is still available from Spiderweb's site although the full version is free now), it runs fine in Windows Executor but crashes in the DOS version as soon as I start a new game. Executor seems to be a better option than Wine for the Win16 port, as some graphics and fonts did not display for me in Wine (maybe I haven't installed some font pack though, as the WineApps database claims Exile runs fine).
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:28 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

I just discovered that MicroProse actually released a playable Mac demo of the first Civilization: civmac.sit

It works quite fine with Executor although the Diplomacy screen seems to be corrupted in some ways.


It is unclear how many turns you can play, but the demo seems to follow a pre-defined script of events anyway.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 9:42 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

I've found a Mac demo of Warlords II (not Deluxe Edition): w2demo.hqx. SO far it has refused to run in the latest DOS Executor build citing a lack of hardware or software resources without specifying it any further. Changing available RAM and system version did not help. Not sure what it could be though as the readme only states it needs system 7 or greater and 4 MiB RAM to run.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:22 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Does Executor have a debug or console mode?

My next guess is the game is trying to hit some OS API/Library that Executor doesn't support; that's something that a dev might trace.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 1:46 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Quadko wrote:
Does Executor have a debug or console mode?

I think it should, but I didn't have time to investigate this further.

Considering that the source code of Executor is available, I think it would be awesome if someone picked it up and continued development, since this is the only Mac "emulator" that does not require any original Mac stuff like boot ROMs or MacOS.
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