2013
08.30

On my quest for emulation on the Pi I stumbled across a very interesting piece of software rpix86. rpix86 is a PC emulator for the Pi based off DSx86 a dos emulator for the Nintendo DS. The main website rates this sytem as a 20mhz 80486 with 4MB RAM this was more than enough to try out a few games from the Wing Commander series!

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I followed a simple guide for setting rpix86 up and downloaded the software onto my MAME Pi along with the 4DOS.com it recommends for a command interpreter. I also uploaded Wing Commander 1,2 and Privateer to a “dos” folder I had created to see what this emulator was capable of.

Getting the emulator started was exceptionally easy and it found the 4DOS.com file I had placed in the dos folder with no issue. Using my ancient DOS skills buried deep within my mind I CD WC’d then I CD WC1’d and then I wc.exe’d and voila, I was presented with the Origin FX screen! Unfortunatley WC 1 did not self regulate its speed and it actually ran far too quickly, an issue I had not run into in many years. rpix86 does not seem to have a built in cycle regulator like DosBox so I will probably need to use some kind of cpu limiting program just like the olden days…

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Regardless of WC1’s built in fault the emulator clearly worked, I had sound, video and keyboard control so I tried my luck with WC2. The first time through it hung as soon as speech happened so I had to rerun the install.exe and after that all audio and speech worked. This game behaved just as I expected it to, the talking heads were silly fast but game flight was normal speed.¬†The keyboard seems to have an issue with multiple keys being¬†held at once, not sure if this is an emulator or Pi problem.

Now onto Privateer, there is no way to mount the iso image from this emulator so I mounted it from linux and copied the tre files directly into its folder and edited priv.cfg to reflect this location. Install.exe worked as expected to update the sound after my lessons learned from WC2 however the game seemed to have an issue with the extended memory manager saying it wasn’t getting proper responses. So out of the box Privateer does not seem to work but I’ll investigate further later on.

While WC1 was too fast and Privateer was too broken, WC2 seemed just right and playing it on my 40 inch LCD was a treat so I look forward to the continued development of this emulator which hopefully one day will also work with Privateer.

 

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