Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

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Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Tempest » Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:59 pm

I'm in the middle of making my menu driven game selector for my PCjr (actually I'm modifying a very nice existing one), but I've run into a problem. There are several older games that only seem to exist as .img files and not as .COM or .EXE files. The odd thing is that some old games have been converted and some haven't. I can't seem to find a pattern to other than someone simply took the time to do it (maybe it was their favorite game, or it was easy to do?). What I want to know is do .COM or .EXE files exist for these games:

Ghostbusters
Kings Quest I (preferably the PCjr version)
3-K Trivia
Trivia 101: The Introductory Course
Trivia 101: Trivia from Talkies to Trekkies
All the Scott Adams Adventure Games
Microsoft Adventure
Touchdown Football
Microsurgeon

Also, has anyone eves archived the CGA version of Bionic Commando? Mobygames has pictures of it so I know it exists, but all the existing downloads only seem to have the EGA files. The CGA version was on a separate disk.
Last edited by Tempest on Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Hargle » Wed Apr 27, 2016 8:38 am

Those do not exist as .exe/.com files (yet). If there were versions of those games, they would most certainly be rolled into TDC by now.
Converting a game from a booter to an .exe depends on how big and complex the game is.
You are correct that it basically comes down to someone with the particular motivation and skillset to the do the job, so there is not really a pattern to what is or is not converted.

KQ1 is probably the biggest and most complex of the ones you listed, so it is likely to be one of the last one that someone tackles. The trivia games might be convertible someday. The core game is probably pretty small, but the tricky part is making sure that EVERY last data element gets converted from raw disk data to a file that can be loaded by a modified version of the core game. Because the game randomly selects trivia questions, the testing of the conversion to make sure it works 100% like the booter could be ugly.

One conversion that really surprised me that was uncovered in our TDC work was this:
Microsoft Flight Simulator v2.1 [DC] (1984)(Microsoft) [Simulation].zip

I've converted a handful of games in my spare time- if I had more time, I would love to do more games, but my time is extremely limited at this stage in my life.

I have a placeholder in TDC for Bionic Commando CGA, but so far it has not materialized

As fellow game players (that's about all my PCjr is used for) we would be interested in seeing this menu system you're coming up with. Please share it when you're finished!
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Re: Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Tempest » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:38 am

I added Touchdown Football to the list as well.

The menu system is something Trixter prepared for Mike Lee to display games at the MGC. It's basically a batchfile menu system. Low tech, but it works nicely and is obviously pretty easy to modify. I saw it running and thought it was just the thing I needed to keep my games organized. Unfortunately there's not much you can do if the game only exists on disk (well I suppose it could prompt you to insert the disk and reboot, but that sort of defeats the whole point of the system).
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Re: Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Trixter » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:07 am

Believe me, a better system is coming. But that's OT for this forum. I'll make an announcement when things are ready to test though.

The launcher's second set of features will include writing unprotected booter diskette images back to diskette as a convenience.
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Re: Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Tempest » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:35 am

Trixter wrote:Believe me, a better system is coming. But that's OT for this forum. I'll make an announcement when things are ready to test though.

The launcher's second set of features will include writing unprotected booter diskette images back to diskette as a convenience.


Sounds great, I can't wait. The simple system will do in the meantime however.
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Re: Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Tempest » Wed Apr 27, 2016 12:50 pm

Has Microsurgeon been converted to a .com or .exe file? I thought all the cartridge games had been at this point.
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Re: Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Hargle » Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:23 am

Microsurgeon, nope. Actually, there are very few carts for the PCjr that have been converted over to DOS so far.
Here's a list:
Crossfire, Demon Attack, Fraction Fever, Microsurgeon, Mouser, Pitfall II- Lost Caverns, River Raid, ScubaVenture

Anything in TDC that exists as *.jrc.zip (the double extension is on purpose for this exact quick identification reason) has not been converted to a DOS executable. Likewise with *.img.zip

Don't be confused by the crossfire.com that exists for DOS- it's not the PCjr version!

The bootable disk that I made with all of the above carts on it is a first step toward converting them to DOS. To get them to be loadable from a floppy disk I had to remove some copy protection and any hard coded segments the game required. One ugly part of converting them is that lots of games on cart/booter floppy loaded very low in memory which would effectively trash DOS (since the game isn't expecting DOS to be there). Any interrupt that DOS had hooked when it loaded is then overwritten by game data, so the machine will crash as soon as the game is loaded and that interrupt is called.
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Re: Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Trixter » Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:44 am

Hargle wrote:Don't be confused by the crossfire.com that exists for DOS- it's not the PCjr version!


Actually, a new TDC update will have that -- I will send details offline.

I had to remove some copy protection


Whoa, the PCjr ROM cart code had copy protection?? What did it look like?
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Re: Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Tempest » Thu Apr 28, 2016 10:21 am

I think I have a file for Mineshaft somewhere. No idea where it came from.

EDIT: Ok the file says it was converted by DemonLord and that it has issues with the sound.
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Re: Do .COM or .EXE Files Exist For These Games?

Postby Hargle » Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:34 pm

Whoa, the PCjr ROM cart code had copy protection?? What did it look like?


It's tough to remember that long ago, but I seem to recall at least one game that wrote a byte of data over its own code. Since it is running in ROM, it was harmless, but once running from RAM, then it crashed!
Somewhere in my rats nest of files I have the modified versions that I wrote to the floppy disk to make the bootable disk- I will dif them against the original .jrc file and let you know.
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