• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here
  • Exhibitor application for VCF West 2022 is now open! If you are interested in exhibiting, please fill out the form here.
  • Here are the results of the VCF East 2022 Post Event Survey: Survey Results

Best Hercules games for a 5150?

austinramsay

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2020
Messages
13
Location
Yuma, AZ
Hey guys,

Awaiting delivery of my Hercules card for my 5150 and would like to find some of the best/most popular games that will be playable on the not so powerful beast. I have 256K of RAM as of right now but plan on finding an expansion card for it so minimum RAM can be 512K. I found a list of Hercules supported games but really would like to know from others with experience if anything plays well on the 4.77mhz 8088.

Thanks!
Austin
 

GiGaBiTe

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
2,718
Location
Austin, Texas
HGC cards can emulate CGA, just without color obviously. Any CGA game designed for an 8088 will probably run fine.
 

Trixter

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
7,195
Location
Chicagoland, Illinois, USA
Awaiting delivery of my Hercules card for my 5150 and would like to find some of the best/most popular games that will be playable on the not so powerful beast.

The best games for Hercules take advantage of its entire 720x350 resolution, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator 3. But that's going to be sluggish on a 4.77 MHz 8088. A few others take partial advantage of that resolution to render fonts nicer; all of the DOS-based AGI games (Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, etc.) will do that.

Past that, here are a few lists you can look at to see if anything is appealing:

https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/pc-booter/tic,2/ti,4/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1985/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1986/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1987/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1988/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1989/

And maybe https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1990/ but you should check the Tech Specs of the game to ensure it doesn't require a 286 or higher.

Finally, you can run SIMCGA to simulate CGA on your Hercules, and thereby run any CGA graphics software -- however, there is a big speed penalty in doing this, so it would only be fun for non-action games like Adventures or Strategy. It's always faster to run games that have native Hercules support. EDIT: You can run UniCGA with the "-f" option for full speed, but there will be blank lines on the display.
 
Last edited:

thierry

Member
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
19
Guerrilla War ! , Victory Road , Ikary Warriors , Narco Police , Game Over I and II , Livingstone Supongo 2, i play it all , all Booter Games.
 

jafir

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
898
Location
Arkansas
There is a Hercules version of spacewar that I played a lot. I also played chess but I don’t recall what exactly it was, and I wasn’t very good so it might not have been either. I also think I had family feud, jeopardy, and wheel of fortune, but some of those might have been after I got a 10mhz 8088 clone with a hard drive not the original 4.77mhz with just floppies.
 

dr.zeissler

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Messages
374
Location
Germany
The best games for Hercules take advantage of its entire 720x350 resolution, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator 3. But that's going to be sluggish on a 4.77 MHz 8088. A few others take partial advantage of that resolution to render fonts nicer; all of the DOS-based AGI games (Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, etc.) will do that.

Past that, here are a few lists you can look at to see if anything is appealing:

https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/pc-booter/tic,2/ti,4/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1985/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1986/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1987/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1988/
https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1989/

And maybe https://www.mobygames.com/browse/games/dos/tic,2/ti,4/1990/ but you should check the Tech Specs of the game to ensure it doesn't require a 286 or higher.

Finally, you can run SIMCGA to simulate CGA on your Hercules, and thereby run any CGA graphics software -- however, there is a big speed penalty in doing this, so it would only be fun for non-action games like Adventures or Strategy. It's always faster to run games that have native Hercules support. EDIT: You can run UniCGA with the "-f" option for full speed, but there will be blank lines on the display.

Some CGA-Only titles do not work, like EPYX stuff (SummerGames, WinterGames, WorldGames) I can't fugure out why they do not work.
 

dr.zeissler

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Messages
374
Location
Germany
...Finally, you can run SIMCGA to simulate CGA on your Hercules, and thereby run any CGA graphics software...
 

krebizfan

Veteran Member
Joined
May 23, 2009
Messages
5,334
Location
Connecticut
...Finally, you can run SIMCGA to simulate CGA on your Hercules, and thereby run any CGA graphics software...

The SIMCGA documentation isn't quite so promising. Note the number of specific patches included to get some CGA programs to work and there are likely to be other CGA programs that would need patching as well.

WHAT WILL AND WON'T WORK?-

Because SIMCGA is a software product, there are certain hardware
limitations on its use. Programs which access the Color Graphics
Adapter hardware registers directly generally will not operate in
a satisfactory manner - the hardware just isn't there to interact
with! In general, try running the program - you won't clobber your
disks if it doesn't work.
 

SomeGuy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
4,141
Location
Marietta, GA
...Finally, you can run SIMCGA to simulate CGA on your Hercules, and thereby run any CGA graphics software...
I don't know where you read that, but unfortunately that statement is incorrect. Not everything works or works properly with SIMCGA.

It is actually quite impressive that it runs as much stuff as it does.
 

dr.zeissler

Experienced Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2014
Messages
374
Location
Germany
a) I don't know where you read that, but unfortunately that statement is incorrect. Not everything works or works properly with SIMCGA.
b) It is actually quite impressive that it runs as much stuff as it does.

a) post 8
b) yes it is.
 

Trixter

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
7,195
Location
Chicagoland, Illinois, USA
As the author of post #5, I'll clarify that that SimCGA works with just about every program you *need* it to work with. If you're playing some game that has incredibly fast action that SimCGA can't keep up with, you're likely running said game on a system too slow to properly support that game natively anyway. And if you're running a game that has CGA-only hardware tweaking, that game won't work properly even on VGA so you'd be limited to CGA anyway.

With utmost respect to Chuck, if you want an alternate way to try simulating CGA that doesn't require any copying -- and thus no speed loss -- try UniCGA by Tommy Frandsen. It has a mode that changes the 6845 registers to get a 640-wide mode and locates it in b800 so that no copying is required. Every other line is blank, due to the nature of how this works, but there's no copying involved. I've made a copy of it available here: ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/Software/Utils/UNICGA.LZH
 

Chuck(G)

25k Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Messages
38,870
Location
Pacific Northwest, USA
@T, that was my first approach about 35 years ago, but the display, quite honestly, with alternate blank lines is terrible to view. I wanted something that would display a fullly-filled out screen. It's not rocket science.
 

Trixter

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
7,195
Location
Chicagoland, Illinois, USA
UniCGA also has a mode where it uses the 640-wide display but then also fills in the lines via REP MOVSW on a user-defined schedule. The filled-in display only covers roughly 75% of the screen though. The only way to fill the screen out completely is a full 1.5x copy as you implemented.
 

tpgb12

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2014
Messages
65
Location
United States
I'd recommend checking out an obscure game called Korean Dungeon Boy. It has very nice Hercules full-res graphics, and the CGA mode looks so much worse. The game is also fairly good and I'm pretty sure would be playable on a 5150 despite it being a game from 1991.
 

Exceter

Experienced Member
Joined
May 17, 2019
Messages
286
Location
Vermont
Prince of persia natively supports Hercules cards without CGA emulation. It's a little slow but it is playable.
 
Top