Magic Engine
David Michel
"Before we see what's new in this version, I have an important thing to tell you. MagicEngine now emulates CD-ROM games, but to do that the emulator needs an image of a System Card. Initialy I had planned to include an internal emulation of the System Card in MagicEngine, but I didn't have enough time to finish it - Actually only 50% of the System Card is emulated, so I have recently changed the emulator to work with an image of a true System Card. I'm sorry for this little inconvenient - I will change that in the next version...

"Please note also that MagicEngine works only with true CD-ROMs, it doesn't support ROM image of CD-ROMs...

"First hi to everyone! And a big thank you to everyone who wrote to me in the past few months, I have certainly received too much e-mails, but it was really nice! Thanks for all the compliments I have received, and for all those registrations too! :) I hope you will enjoy this new version as much as the preceding one, I have put a lot of work in it, especially in the CD-ROM emulation... Ok enough blahblah, let's see what's new.

"The big enhancement is the CD emulation of course! It's not yet complete, but it will let you play perfectly a good number of games. I haven't been able to test all the existing CDs, but compatibility should be about 80% I think. Normally you shouldn't have problems in running your CDs on the PC, I used only MSCDEX functions to access the CD so it should be compatible with all the CD-ROM drives. The only known problem is with Windows 95, for an unknown reason Windows doesn't want to recognize all the tracks of certain CDs - It recognizes only the first audio track. I can't do anything about that, it's a Windows internal problem, and all the other programs have the same problem too, if you try to start a CD audio player, it will see only the first track. Just to say that it's not a bug in MagicEngine. :) On the other hand this doesn't happen at all under DOS... But I repeat it happens only with some CDs, it's possible the CDs you have work equally well under DOS and Windows...

"Except that the other big change is the HuCard emulation, nearly all the games that were not working, like the so much wanted Nectaris (Military Madness), work perfectly now. In fact I know only three games that still have big problems : Burning Angels, Fighting Run and TV Sport Hockey. I don't remember all the games that were not working but here's a short list:

  • College Pro Baseball '89 & '90
  • Darius Plus
  • Davis Cup Tennis
  • Gunboat
  • Jack Niclaus Golf
  • Legendary Axe 1 & 2
  • Metal Stoker
  • Naxat Open Golf
  • Nectaris
  • Populous
  • Power Drift
  • Super Volleyball
  • TV Sports Football
  • USA Pro Basketball
  • Valkyrie
  • Volfiev

"Otherwise a few bugs have been corrected too, and some games are nicer now, like Afterburner, Bomberman, Power Tennis, Alice Dream, Baribari, P-47 and a few other. I have tried to not alterate too much the compatibility and normally all the games that were working before, work in this version too; the only problem I have noticed is with Break In. There's a very small error with the cursor sprite. Perhaps one or two other games have similar problems too, but I'm sure you will report me all the faults!

"Also the sound is a lot nicer in this version, I would be tempted to say it's nearly perfect, but I won't say it, I will let you judge by yourself. The stereo is now perfectly emulated, and really gives another dimension to the games. Sound card that can handle 16bit audio are also supported, it doesn't make a big difference but it's noticeable.

"A lot of people have asked me to implement a multi-player mode where each player could be configured independently: on the keyboard, on a joypad or on a GrIP pad. Ok, now this is implemented!! I hope you will like the nice menu we have designed for you... So now everything is configurable, you can setup up to five players, and three different configurations can be defined, this will allows you to define a configuration with your favourite settings when you play alone, and one or two more for when you invit some friend for a Bomberman tournament! :)

"That is for the emulation side, there's also some improvements on the PC side. The two big new things are the VESA 2.0 support and the support for two new sound cards : the UltraSound and the SoundScape."

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