Running Mac games on a PC

Discuss classic PC games
User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1604
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Running Mac games on a PC

Post by MrFlibble » January 14th, 2015, 1:25 pm

Because Macintosh computers already used 640x480 resolution while DOS and other home computers and gaming consoles were at lower resolutions, many games from the early to mid 90s which were ported to Macs would get improved, higher resolution graphics.

At the same time, at least some of these games appear to be quite under-represented on the Internet today: it's pretty tough to find screenshots or gameplay videos of Mac games on authentic 90s hardware.

For a while I was trying to find a legitimate way to run demo and shareware versions of some Mac games on non-Mac hardware. There exist Mac emulators which support the different CPU architecture and MacOS versions which were in use in the 90s, but most if not all of these emulators, despite being free and open source, require that you have a ROM image obtained from an actual Macintosh, and/or a copy of MacOS in order to run.

Recently I've learned of a programme that does not have these requirements yet is capable of running Mac software for the 68k CPU architecture on Windows and Linux. It's called Executor and it was originally a commercial programme which apparently enjoyed success in the 90s and early 2000s. However, its development eventually halted, and somewhere in 2008-2009 the author released both the final stable release and its source code under the MIT license. The official website (http://www.ardi.com) is now offline, but the Windows version and setup instructions can be found at the E-Maculation Wiki

Compatibility with Mac software is somewhat limited though. The developers maintained a database of supported software at their site, but it's not easily accessible via the Wayback Machine. Individual entries can be viewed from the website contents list, but the pages use database ID numbers so there's no way to quickly get a list of supported programmes. Additionally, software that is not officially supported may be also run.

The currently available versions appear to be v2.1pr16 for Windows, the source. The latest Linux version should also be available. Earlier releases included DOS and NeXTSEP versions, with maybe only the demo versions available 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

User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1604
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by MrFlibble » January 18th, 2015, 11:16 am

MrFlibble wrote:Earlier releases included DOS and NeXTSEP versions, with maybe only the demo versions available 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.

Here's a separate copy of the plain files version of the DOS release which was available at ARDI's FTP: execdos.zip

The registration code provided by Clifford Matthews works with the DOS version.

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.

User avatar
DOSGuy
Website Administrator
Posts: 1021
Joined: September 2nd, 2005, 8:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by DOSGuy » January 20th, 2015, 9:03 am

Is the DOS version as compatible as the Windows version? If it has decent compatibility, it would be neat to put it in jDosbox and make Mac games playable online. Running an emulator in an emulator is a double performance hit, but games that old might still be playable.

I don't have a lot of time to do the research, but if the community is willing to locate old Mac games that will work in Executor running in DOSBox, the Mac Classic is an obsolete "PC" and falls into the mission statement of the site and I would be willing to add them to the site.

I've always been interested in the Macintosh version of Wolfenstein 3D, which uses 128x128 pixel sprites instead 64x64, but all of the enemies are always facing you. The music is also different. It was ported from the SNES version instead of the DOS version. I just downloaded First Encounter (the shareware version), so I'll see if I can get it working.
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.

User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1604
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by MrFlibble » January 20th, 2015, 4:41 pm

Great, I wanted to suggest the possibility of adding Mac games to the site :)

The latest DOS version is slightly older than the latest Windows one (v2.1pr11 for DOS and v2.1pr16 for Windows), but so far I haven't noticed any differences in compatibility with Mac software.

User avatar
DOSGuy
Website Administrator
Posts: 1021
Joined: September 2nd, 2005, 8:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by DOSGuy » January 20th, 2015, 7:14 pm

I didn't have time to try it out before work this morning, but I was able to play Wolfenstein 3D in the Windows port! Unfortunately, the game crashed due to an "unexpected application failure" while I was in the second level.

I also tried out the DOS version of Executor in DOSBox and was able to install and play Wolfenstein 3D. It's quite smooth at 320x240, but it starts to lag and gets really choppy at any of the larger screen sizes. 512x384 is bad, and 640x480 is downright unplayable.

Executor crashes jDosbox, so it looks like playing Mac games online isn't going to work this way.
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.

User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1604
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by MrFlibble » January 22nd, 2015, 1:09 pm

If a game runs slow you can experiment with the Refresh variable - setting it to a lower value helps increase framerate.

Also if you run Executor with the -help command line parameter you get info on additional parameters you can try. Some are related to video settings.

User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1604
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by MrFlibble » January 23rd, 2015, 3:03 pm

JIC you want to try some Mac games, here are a few places to download shareware, demo and free stuff:

Info-Mac mirror:
ftp://ftp.funet.fi/pub/mirrors/info-mac.org/_Game/

Italian VOLftp archive (copy-paste links instead of clicking, otherwise they won't work):
http://volftp.tiscali.it/pub/mac/game/adventure/
http://volftp.tiscali.it/pub/mac/game/arcade/
http://volftp.tiscali.it/pub/mac/game/demo/

http://www.umich.edu/~archive/mac/game/

User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1604
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by MrFlibble » January 28th, 2015, 12:53 pm

I have tried running Mac Warcraft Demo in Executor, and it runs fine in the latest DOS version... except nearly all screens use the Mac "system" palette instead of the appropriate game palettes.

However, thanks to Hallfiry's Warcraft Extractor (available here) I was able to get the actual game palette files and covert them into a usable format, so that screenshots can be displayed properly. You can get the palettes in JASC format attached to this post, and fix the colours of screenshots you may take with DOSBox's internal screen capture function.

A small screenshot gallery of the Mac Warcraft Demo can be found here:
http://imgur.com/a/SR4Yu#0
Attachments
JASC.zip
(5.9 KiB) Downloaded 78 times

User avatar
Hallfiry
7-bit super nerd
Posts: 210
Joined: March 20th, 2012, 10:41 am
Contact:

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by Hallfiry » January 28th, 2015, 1:15 pm

MrFlibble wrote: A small screenshot gallery of the Mac Warcraft Demo can be found here:
http://imgur.com/a/SR4Yu#0
What's the deal with the third interface? There seem to be 2 human interfaces oO
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1604
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by MrFlibble » January 28th, 2015, 1:21 pm

That's just a DOS version screenshot I included for comparison :)

User avatar
Hallfiry
7-bit super nerd
Posts: 210
Joined: March 20th, 2012, 10:41 am
Contact:

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by Hallfiry » January 28th, 2015, 1:37 pm

MrFlibble wrote:That's just a DOS version screenshot I included for comparison :)
Oh, now things make sense :D
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1604
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by MrFlibble » January 28th, 2015, 1:43 pm

BTW, for some reason, the actual screen in the Mac version is not 640x480, as there is a 5 pixel tall empty bar at the bottom. DOSBox on the other hand stretches the 320x200 VGA image to the full 640x480.

On another note, it's pretty nice how the buildings were retouched to add detail (everything else seems more or less just smoothed).

User avatar
Hallfiry
7-bit super nerd
Posts: 210
Joined: March 20th, 2012, 10:41 am
Contact:

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by Hallfiry » January 28th, 2015, 2:02 pm

MrFlibble wrote:On another note, it's pretty nice how the buildings were retouched to add detail (everything else seems more or less just smoothed).
Well, on December 28th, 1995, David Lawrence from Future Tense (later Future Point?) wrote as a response to a user asking about the graphics:
Yes, I aggree that the graphics do look a bit pixelly. Blizzard's artists
touched up most of the graphics in the game, but they were not completely
redone. The edges of most of objects in the unit and land art were
manually smoothed and sharpened up, but the centers of these pieces are
still somewhat pixelly. Redoing all the art from scratch at 640x480 would
have been very expensive (in man-hours) for Blizzard. Besides, the Mac's
touched up art is a big improvement over the PC version's art - especially
the graphics in the buttons, and the units. For example, compare the
swords and shadows on the Footman art, and all the buttons look great on
the Mac.
Magazine cover disk catalog:
http://www.kultcds.com/Catalog/

User avatar
MrFlibble
Forum Administrator
Posts: 1604
Joined: December 9th, 2010, 7:19 am

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by MrFlibble » January 28th, 2015, 2:13 pm

Great, thanks for finding this quote!

The Mac port is really a high quality job :) (yeah I know, the Orc interface has some misaligned textures, and there's the wrong offset of icons in group selection mode)

User avatar
DOSGuy
Website Administrator
Posts: 1021
Joined: September 2nd, 2005, 8:28 pm
Contact:

Re: Running Mac games on a PC

Post by DOSGuy » January 28th, 2015, 10:01 pm

MrFlibble wrote:A small screenshot gallery of the Mac Warcraft Demo can be found here:
http://imgur.com/a/SR4Yu#0
Were those all taken with DOSBox?
Today entirely the maniac there is no excuse with the article.

Post Reply