Starflight on PCjr?

Software related questions

Starflight on PCjr?

Postby Jiidari » Tue Mar 02, 2021 2:36 pm


I recently picked up a copy of Starflight, with the hopes that it would run on my 640k PCjr. I haven't had any luck getting it to load past the 'select graphics mode' screen, having tried all the options. Since then I've read some conflicting reports on whether the game works at all on a PCjr.

On the PCjr page, it says that Starflight works on the PCjr with the composite video option:

Starflight originally only supported 16-color graphics on composite CGA and the PCjr/Tandy. (A later version supported EGA, but this version was released after the game lost popularity and is very hard to find.)

I took that to mean it should function on the PCjr out of the box, but perhaps I was mistaken. I later found this comment on the forums discussing the Starflight 3 project, where someone details how they had to write a patch to the game to get it to work:

Old story, but when I bought Starflight, I was disappointed to discover it didn’t run on my PCjr. (Yeah, yeah… I got it cheap. I couldn’t afford real computers then.) Anyway, I spent several nights digging through the code with DEBUG. I’d had some previous experience playing with Fig-Forth, so I recognized the threaded code pretty quickly. Eventually I found the video init code, which was dropping values directly into the I/O ports. Problem was, the PCjr doesn’t use the same video hardware as a stock CGA adaptor. So I patched Starflight to use the BIOS init instead. Problem solved!

I'm not as savvy as the person quoted above, so I don't currently have the know-how to recreate that patch. Meanwhile, I'm also looking into getting a TandyMod, and was curious if that might fix the problem.

Thanks for any advice!

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