Simple DOS monochrome games or programs that will run right off the floppy

  • Can anyone refer me to some simple Monochrome DOS games or programs that will run right off the floppy on a simple PC XT with DOS 3.3 installed? There is a Hercules graphic card Taiwanese copy installed.

    My PC XT has a Hercules Mono graphics card Clone (made in Taiwan, the only identifier on it is a printed "MG 132". Most games I have downloaded on it will not load properly, because I think there is a driver that lets CGA games run on mono (shades of Gray) that is missing.

    The BLOCKOUT game runs properly, because I received it on a floppy, and there is a CGA file of some sort among the program files.

    30 years ago many games would run on here, in mono mode, with shades of gray. So, I know this graphics card will do it, but there were probably settings and other programs installed to let it do this that I no longer remember.

    Until I get a Solid State drive installed, this hard drive will not boot, so adding a config sys file and other stuff is going to be a problem.

  • Not really this kickstarter page .... it's not for the Hercules Graphics Card.

    Try to find (on some Abandonware pages) the following games, which have native support for the HGC and are running on an IBM XT:

    Castle Master (Domark)

    Crazy Cars (Titus)

    Prehistorik (Titus)

    Total Eclipse (Titus)

    Ultima VI (Origin)

    Xenon 2 (Image Works)

    Test Drive (Accolade)

    Kings Quest I (Sierra Online)

    Blockout (Rainbow Arts)

    Chessmaster 3000 (Software Toolworks)

    Arkanoid II - Revenge of Doh (Taito)

    Some of them may be a bit slow, but should still run. There are way more games supporting the HGC, but I am lazy at the moment to search them all ;-)

    Also, you can try to use a CGA "Emulator" for the HGC (which works quite well, too).

    "Ich habe keine Zeit mich zu beeilen." (Igor Strawinsky)

    ... und schaut auch mal bei meinem Blog vorbei ...

    Edited once, last by Peter ().

  • I will check those recommended games out for the HGC. Thanks. This actual card in this PC used to run all games 30 years ago (I remember). But now when I try to run them off a floppy, the game starts to execute, but all I get is a blinking cursor or blank screen. Only one game I have actually runs - "Blockout".

  • But now when I try to run them off a floppy, the game starts to execute, but all I get is a blinking cursor or blank screen. Only one game I have actually runs - "Blockout".

    That's an issue which has nothing to do with the type of graphic card. On the one hand there are Floppy-a:-Boot-games (copy protected/non-copy protected) and on the other hand old IBM XT games which might be be copied (or patched) for HDD. That is a quite complex matter, which cannot be answered easily.

  • Here's a list of Hercules compatible games that should keep you going for a while... remember this is just a list and doesn't contain download links to the games... you could also apply another filter for RAM requirements depending on how much RAM you have installed, I think there's a filter for booter games too... can't seem to find it right now though...,2/ti,4/

    Happy days:)

  • Does anyone have the commands or instructions to be used for the MSHERC program that I think is supposed to let the Hercules graphics card run in CGA or EGA mode? I have this MSHERC program, and when I run it on the XT, it executes, but there is no change at all in the graphics that appear.

    I also have downloaded and run several programs from the internet, but none of them actually work with my existing Taiwanese Hercules graphics card to let any games run in grayscale, or fool the programs into thinking this card is a CGA or EGA card. I have tried SIMCGA from this site:

    and also some emulators from this site:

    but nothing actually works. The emulators above do make some change when I run them, but not a good one. They just appear to change the spacing between line on the monitor, games will not run. I hear the program running in the background (music plays) but no video appears, the graphics card is just locked up.

    This is my computer that I have had for 30 years, and 30 years ago, it did play lots of games in grayscale on the same original amber monochrome monitor as I have now, but when the hard drive malfunctioned, the PC would not boot from it, and no games will run now because whatever drivers existed for this video card are now lost. These games will no longer run. The only game that runs is BLOCKOUT which appear to have all it's own drivers built in and has no shades of gray, so it needs nothing special to run on this video card.

  • Due to the fact that this is a TWINHEAD INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION graphics card CT-6040T / MG-132 (monochrome graphics) ... and still unidentified (as far as I googled it) ... I am fairly convinced that this card isn't able to display CGA/EGA at all.

    What makes you sure about it? Any additional pieces of information for us ... or any documentation along with this card?

  • Thanks for finding out that information about the card! I saw the name TWINHEAD on some of the ROMS, but I could not find any more model numbers, and I never heard of this manufacturer. I have no documentation about anything on this PC. I do remember playing games on it 30 years ago, like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, and some other games that were still on this PC's hard drive, but would not run anymore. One head of the 4 on this hard drive completely failed, so no programs would run anymore and it would not boot. However, all the files were still there, so I did see these and other games on there. There had to be some program that let these games think this was indeed some sort of EGA or CGA card, because I do remember seeing diffrernet gray levels (amber levels) when these games ran. This is a very frustrating problem. I plan to buy a modern replacement hard disk controller with a solid state drive replacement made for XT's soon, so I will at least have my hard drive back, but I need to solve this video problem. Nothing will run except text programs and one game - BLOCKOUT.

  • Blockout is quite nice ... in order to get your problem solved, I recommend to hunt for an ISA 8-Bit friendly card:…it-Friendly-ISA-VGA-cards

    These are really great:

    Oak Technology

    • OTI067 (autosense)
    • OTI077

    I stuffed all my XT's with OTI067 (autosense) ... an awesome card for XT's!

  • Thanks for this information! Will that card (OTI067) also have a socket to plug in the monochrome monitor I have? That obviously does not have a VGA pinout out. If so, does it automatically produce a monochrome gray scale image instead of the color image? I saw a photo on the internet just now and it looks like it has 2 output D shells on the edge.

  • Generally speaking, a VGA display unit needs a VGA card ... an EGA display unit needs an EGA card ... a CGA display unit needs a CGA card ... please be careful with not mixing them up ... otherwise you'll destroy the display unit and or computer parts. That's why the DIP-switches upon the motherboard are for. So ... please be careful!

    There are some monitors which are able to display different graphic standards, e. g. the noted NEC Multisync.

    Why don't you try to get hold of a vintage VGA monitor in combination with such an ISA 8-Bit friendly card ... then you are off the hook.

  • Thanks for all the help. I'll see if I can find a VGA board and although I may not be able to find a Vintage VGA monitor (I had many and got rid of them years ago because they were so big!!!) I think I can plug a new flatscreen VGA monitor in. It' still a mystery how this old monochrome card worked!! There must have been a special driver for it, now long gone!!!

  • If your broken harddisk still responds to a "dir" command, try "dir /s" and send the output to printer or serial port because the output will not fit on the screen. When you have the names of the content of your disk, look for the name of the driver (maybe you remember when you see it). Once you have the name, it's much easier to search for...

    Greetings, Jochen

  • My drive (with 3 of 4 heads working) had lots of files (probably a thousand) all over the place (I was able to use the DIR command. Unfortunately, the drive is now formatted again (wiped clean) and unfortunately won't boot, so these old files are now gone. I will buy a solid state drive replacement board for this XT. So, the mystery continues about the original driver......But thank's for the good tip!!!

  • I have this MSHERC program, and when I run it on the XT, it executes, but there is no change at all in the graphics that appear.

    MSHERC is Microsoft's driver to make the Hercules Graphics usable in QuickBasic. It is not a CGA emulator, it's just a runtime needed for QuickBasic programs.