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Hero Quest PC: rule differences

Discuss the Rules of HeroQuest as set out by Milton Bradley Game Systems and Quest Packs.

Re: Hero Quest PC: rule differences

Postby iKarith » Sunday April 18th, 2021 3:16am

Wait, so the CD-ROM literally contains like 3MB of data? :lol:

I don't know if the "abandonware" version out there is the same one that is in eXoDOS. If it is, eXo would like a version that isn't glitched I'm sure. I'm tapped for April so I won't be picking up the PC game this month. I think I'd actually prefer to play the Amiga version, I've heard it's the best of the bunch, but I haven't tried it. I know where to get it in WHDLoad format which is just about as close to the perfect format for anyone with an Amiga today, a modern "Amiga", or an emulator running on PC, Raspberry Pi, whatever. I know only a little about that and a bit less about DOSbox honestly … I just haven't put much into playing old DOS and Amiga games yet.
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Re: Hero Quest PC: rule differences

Postby Kurgan » Sunday April 18th, 2021 9:49am

Yeah http://www.emucr.com has more up to date versions of Dosbox than on the official site.

Updated videos link. The Amiga intro is the same as the DOS VGA version (other than the music).
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Re: Hero Quest PC: rule differences

Postby iKarith » Sunday April 18th, 2021 2:48pm

Kurgan wrote:Yeah http://www.emucr.com has more up to date versions of Dosbox than on the official site.


Define "up to date" is the problem. There are FOUR(!) major forks of DOSbox in addition to the official one, whose development has stopped/paused/halted and is not likely to continue.

In true DOS fashion, some of these games only work with a specific DOSbox. Others work with a couple. One or two games work ONLY with a specific binary version of DOSbox that is sometimes quite old and source code for that version does not exist anymore that we know of. Someone could try to compile the same version without those patches using the same toolchain and compare binary x86 code to suss out what was changed … but these few games are obscure and nobody's done that yet.

For eXoDOS, what works has been kept, and nobody's bothered to check if patches for "better" versions of DOSbox now supports those games properly. It's a little hard to do when you have FIVE HUNDRED SIXTY GIGABYTES of games, most of which came on a couple floppies. :D (Not to mention 346GB more of Windows 3.1 games!)

(There's a reason why I have 18.28 terabytes USED on my drives.)

[quote=Kurgan]Updated videos link. The Amiga intro is the same as the DOS VGA version (other than the music).[/quote]

Watched those last night on my own after we talked about the PC game … There's a video of MT-32 music out there for the PC game with three tracks, would have been sweet. I'm a fan of vintage computer music done well and I have to say that it's a shame HeroQuest is not a shining example of this. The game was ported to EVERYTHING, and when a studio took a scattershot approach to games like this, it often worked out that way. Even the Amiga sound, which in my opinion is the best (the MT-32 version sounds good too) under-utilizes the Amiga's sound hardware.

I'm well familiar with the limitations of the Atari ST's AY-3-8910 (under Yamaha's branding in the Atari), but I know it can do better than this. Consequently, the Spectrum version could sound like the Atari, same sound chip. MSX could too, although I don't think Gremlin ported this to the MSX. The PC soundtrack sounds a little poppy to my ear. Maybe that's just the limitations of DOSbox.

Illustration of the difference (courtesy Larry Bundy Jr.)

This monstrosity (warning: if not deaf, you will wish you were)
This is what it's SUPPOSED to sound like

The people behind videos like the second one are QUITE incensed that Larry made fun of the game being improperly emulated as if that's what it was actually intended to sound like. I think he still gets hate mail about it years later. I suspects he forwards all such correspondence to Peter Mollyneaux just because.

Still, the PC version is very poppy-sounding in the videos I saw. I tend to like the Amiga version best of all for sound. Video? Tossup. VGA looks great.


I was a little disappointed by the Atari's music. I know the AY-3-8910 and its limitations, but the chip was under-utilized. Frankly so was the SID in the Commodore 64—but Gremlin ported this game to absolutely everything, and whenever that was done
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Re: Hero Quest PC: rule differences

Postby Kurgan » Sunday April 18th, 2021 5:03pm

You do make some good points. It's also important to notice the difference between people who never played a game back in the day and bash it based solely on the experience of the emulated version.

I'm running a legit purchased original CD-Rom, but I'm running it through a dosbox fork on windows 10. But you don't see me bashing it, only wishing it had done more to take advantage of the format.

Part of me wishes I had spent my money on the Legacy of Sorasil game instead of this one... and run it on an Amiga emulator. It's more unique but the trouble is its much more rare and expensive, and at least I did have a fond memory of "discovering" the dos game many years back and testing it out (though I'd much rather be playing the real board game with friends). Its a curiosity and a collector's item. The best thing is that it gave me an idea of how to manage the "switch two and one handed weapons" thing. It also reminded me the variety of rules among the EU editions. The musical intro was kind of neat too, in a way. Back in the day I'm sure it was a real novelty to see a fully functional board game conversion apart from the regulars like chess, poker, solitaire, checkers and monopoly.
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Re: Hero Quest PC: rule differences

Postby lestodante » Monday April 19th, 2021 3:25pm

iKarith wrote:This monstrosity (warning: if not deaf, you will wish you were)


I guess the sound is pitched and time stretched (also the title image is) to avoid youtube to remove the video because of copyrighted content.


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Re: Hero Quest PC: rule differences

Postby iKarith » Monday April 19th, 2021 8:09pm

lestodante wrote:
iKarith wrote:This monstrosity (warning: if not deaf, you will wish you were)


I guess the sound is pitched and time stretched (also the title image is) to avoid youtube to remove the video because of copyrighted content.


Oh no, that was NOT intentional. :lol: It's just that the game does a few things that dosbox doesn't emulate properly without a couple of tweaks. It's fairly infamous after Larry Bundy did his video on Top 5 Hidden Pi**ed Off Programmer Rants (UK Edition) (language warning) which featured the PC game. He used the music from the Amiga game because, as he put it, the PC version sounded like someone trying to strangle an ice cream van. He then takes a jab at the PC Master Race, on behalf of all Amiga fans, and moves on.

PCMR folks did not take this slight lying down and made much hay over the fact that if he knew how to set up dosbox to get his gameplay footage, he'd have found the music quite a bit better than the Amiga version. (It isn't … but it's not as bad as that first video…)

The first time I heard Larry describe that as trying to strangle an ice cream van and started playing it, I was mid-sip. Carbonated beverages in your nose is something best avoided.
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