Full series play - best version?

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rakenan
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Full series play - best version?

Post by rakenan » March 2nd, 2017, 9:28 am

I've been feeling the urge to play the entire Bard's Tale trilogy through recently, and I'm wondering which system should I go with? I intend to transfer characters, which limits my options. The Apple IIgs is great, but doesn't have BT3. DOS has all 3, but the music at least in BT1 is unbelievably sub-terrible. Amiga also has all 3, but I'm having fits getting WinUAE to work properly, and I hear that the Amiga BT3 version is... kind of shaky. For that matter, I hear the same about the DOS version.

That leaves C64 and Apple IIe. I suppose the real question is, are there serious problems with either one, either in terms of the versions of the games available on them, or the quality and reliability of the emulators? Or am I being led astray by rumors about bugs in the DOS and Amiga versions?
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Re: Full series play - best version?

Post by thebruce » March 2nd, 2017, 1:45 pm

I'm playing with the A2GS version, but will move to a different one for BT3. Likely DOS.
I just used tries the links I provided on BTO to test BT2 with WinUAE for the Amiga version, and I got it to work using the latest WinUAE 64bit on Windows 7 with the 1.3 Kickstart roms for Amiga 500 emulation. Other settings can be tweaked as long as the game boots. What issue were you having with WinUAE?
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rakenan
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Re: Full series play - best version?

Post by rakenan » March 2nd, 2017, 2:24 pm

My experience with WinUAE is that I cannot get an acceptable balance between performance and compatibility. At 100% speed, the game seems to work properly, but is horribly slow. At 200%, the performance is adequate - at least I can easily move the mouse pointer without lag and typing does not skip keystrokes - but the game regularly crashes. This is drive speed, 250% CPU speed works fine, but accelerating the drive just crashes. And without drive acceleration, given how often the system accesses the drive, it's horribly slow.
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Re: Full series play - best version?

Post by rakenan » March 2nd, 2017, 5:51 pm

I have discovered a bugfix patch for the DOS version of BT3 which may make the game playable. It seems to have fixed both game breaking bugs (like monsters not using their special attacks) and some UI problems (like the lack of a combat speed option and needing to select spells from a scrolling list).

https://github.com/ChrisAubuchon/BT3-DO ... thiefp.exe

Install at your own risk, and just replace THIEF.EXE in your BT3 directory with thiefp.exe from the github.

Since BT1 seems entirely playable in DOS, and BT2 is borderline unplayable in every version, it's really BT3 that has been causing my hesitation. I'll give this patched version a shot for my series playthrough, which may or may not include BT2. Probably will, I guess. BT2 was never the unplayable mess that DOS BT3 was, and it's a project for me, after all.
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Re: Full series play - best version?

Post by Drool » March 2nd, 2017, 10:51 pm

Personally, I'm partial to C64, but that's the system I grew up with.
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Re: Full series play - best version?

Post by thebruce » March 3rd, 2017, 6:34 am

I've tried to list on BTO verified steps to play each game emulated. At some point I should provide detailed steps for different operating systems and emulation tools, but gah that's a lot of work and Windows ;) I think for the most part, especially with 21st century Windows' and compatible emu packages, most setups should work if confirmed at least once.

You know this is why having a good official release of all the games in their best original mode that works out of the box like any modern full video game (knock on wood) would be super great - it's definitely an inaccessible task to the vast majority of the public to have to deal with emulator tweaks and setups just to get a classic game to work. We BT classic fans are a niche crowd :)
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rakenan
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Re: Full series play - best version?

Post by rakenan » March 3rd, 2017, 6:37 pm

Drool wrote:Personally, I'm partial to C64, but that's the system I grew up with.
I played all 3 games on C64 back in the day myself. Although I don't think I got terribly far in BT2. I know I did at least one of the snares, but I also know I never actually got to fight Lagoth Zanta. BT1 and BT3 I beat, though.
This year, I resolve to work harder. . . because it's obvious the world is not going to end itself.

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