comp.sys.amiga.games Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents
0: General Pre-FAQ Gubbins
0.1: The Bit That Goes Right At The Top Because It's Incredibly Important
We are NOT, have never been, and never will be an emulation group! We have absolutely no interest in anything to do with emulating Amigas on other systems, including getting UAE up and running, and going ADF-hunting. But that's not to say that if you use an emulator, you aren't welcome here - we're a group that discusses the games themselves, regardless of whether you play them on a real Amiga, play them on an emulated Amiga, or don't play them at all any more and just want a trip down memory lane. But seriously, if you do have an emulation question, please see section 3.

0.2: The Bit That Goes Underneath The Bit That Goes Right At The Top Because It's Fairly Important But Not As Important As The Bit That Goes Right At The Top
This document hopes to answer the most frequently asked questions on the newsgroup comp.sys.amiga.games, so that we can stop answering the same boring old questions day in and day out, and concentrate on chatting about the games, rather than frequently answering the frequently asked questions. Notice that most of these questions are NOT related to the games in any way at all, that's why they're answered here. If your question is about UAE, then the answer is here! And if you think it's ok to post binaries in this group, you're dead wrong! We're a discussion group, not a binary group.

0.3: Version information, update information and credits
This is version 4.01 of the FAQ, dated 9 June 2003: if you don't think you have the latest version, you can see the latest HTML version at http://ballz.ababa.net/csag/, and the text-only version at http://ballz.ababa.net/csag/csag_faq.txt. It has been maintained by Col Seddon since version 4.0 - prior to that, it was maintained by Joachim Froholt; and before him, Ken Powell.

New in version 4.01:

0.4: Contributors
There now follows a list of contributors to this document, in three lists. I just want to take this opportunity to thank them all for making my life a LOT easier: we'd have been here all year if I'd had to go get all this information myself!

Version 4
* Col Seddon
* Ahab
* Joachim Froholt

Version 3
* Joachim Froholt
* Andreas Eibach
* Angus Manwaring
* Col Seddon
* Eric Haines
* Heikki Orsila
* Jean-François Fabre
* Jeremy Silver
* Kieron Wilkinson
* kK
* Matt Helgesen
* Matthias Puch
* Nathan Wain
* Olivier Fabre
* Peter Kunath
* Peter Olafson
* Steffen Haeuser

Pre-version 3
* Ken Powell
* ML Hewitt
* Rowan Crawford
* Mikali
* Geoffrey Newman
* Nicholas Fisher
* Elliott Mitchell
* Bill Bennett
* dEN
* Nigel Hughes
* Jan Ellgring
* Peter Olafson
* Jason Murray
* Alex Amsel
* David Kinder
* Markus Castren
* Mark Knibbs
* Paul Doherty
* Nicholas Stallard

0.5: Purpose of the Newsgroup
"... discussions of game play, game availability, and game quality for the Commodore Amiga computer family." (comp.sys.amiga games charter, ftp://ftp.uu.net/usenet/control/comp/comp.sys.amiga.games.Z)


1: Amiga
1.1: What is an Amiga?
Amigas are personal computers that pre-date IBM compatibles, and are misunderstood by the vast majority of people. By today's standards, out-of-the-box Amigas are awful machines; that's why most of the Amigas people have today have been souped up in one way or another, by the addition of graphics cards, better processors, more memory, hard drives, CD-Rom drives... pretty much all the kinds of things you can do to upgrade IBM compatibles, you can do to Amigas.

1.2: But aren't Amigas dead?!
Depends who you ask, and what sort of Amiga you're thinking of. The Classic Amiga is just that, a classic machine: as such, most of the regulars think that it will never die. And as for the modern Amiga, well... just take a look at the list of great games at
http://www.amiga.com/games/083000-hyperion.shtml and decide for yourself.

1.3: What about upgrades? What's on offer?

1.4: Do Amigas have a future?
Yup, it's called the Amiga One. The details of this computer are changing all the time, far quicker than this document can update, so I'll just point you at
http://www.amiga.com/products/one/ and leave it at that.

1.5: Are there any Amiga gaming news sites?
But of course! Take a look at Amiga Flame,
http://www.amigaflame.demon.co.uk/, that's about the best around. There are also a few print-based magazines around...

Thanks to Matthias Puch, Joachim Froholt and miscellaneous regulars for this info. If you know of any other magazines, please e-mail me and let me know!

1.x: You haven't answered my "Amiga" question.
Try the Amiga History Guide at
http://amiga.emugaming.com/. If you need to talk to anyone, please try comp.sys.amiga.introduction on Usenet.


2: Amiga Games
2.1: Are any new Amiga games being made?
You betcha. And I'm not just talking about the cool, fun little freeware/shareware games the Amiga community has a reputation for producing regularly, I'm also talking about some of the biggest and best games. They're being ported to the Amiga on a regular basis. Here's a list of some Amiga developers, roughly in order of how active they are:
ClickBOOM:
http://www.clickboom.com/
Hyperion: http://www.hyperion-entertainment.com/
Apex Designs: http://www.apex-designs.net/
Pagan Software: http://www.pagan-games.com/
Epic Interactive: http://www.epic-interactive.com/
Digital Dreams: http://www.dd-ent.com/
Eternity: http://www.eternity.de/
Digital Images: http://www.di-games.co.uk/

2.2: Where can I get them from?
There really are a lot of places still selling Amiga stuff, old and new. The list of businesses is so large it'd be ridiculous to list it here, so instead I'm just going to point you to
http://www.amihoo.u-net.com/business/dealers.html. And of course, there's always eBay.

2.3: What about game reviews?
There's really only one site for Amiga game reviews, old and new... the Amiga Games Database at
http://www.angusm.demon.co.uk/AGDB/AGDB.html.

2.4: I'm stuck in a game! Any chance of some cheats?
There are a lot of sites out there which cover cheats and stuff. But the best one doesn't exist any more unfortunately... however, thanks to The Internet Archive, it is still available! Simply visit
http://web.archive.org/web/20010802025730/www.netrover.com/~timt/amicheats.html and you will see what this site used to be like before it died. I can't guarantee all the links will be working, but I've never had any problems. If you do have problems, you might try this link to an LHAd version of the site... if the link still works.

2.5: I don't cheat. Where's a walkthrough?
Unfortunately, all the best walkthrough sites no longer exist either. However, the Aminet has a directory game/hint, in which you'll find quite a lot of hints and walkthroughs. Go to
http://main.aminet.net/ and browse from there. If you can't find one, post your question to comp.sys.amiga.games and we'll try to help you :)

2.6: How do I get (insert old, but not necessarily obscure, game title) to run on my new Amiga?
This is a hardware problem, but in true hackish style there are really talented coders out there who can (for the most part) fix it with software. There are the "big three" degraders on Aminet, all to be found in util/misc - try Degrader.lha, killaga2.lha, or TUDE.lha. If they don't work, and you have a really powerful computer, you might try the Amiga version of UAE, to be found at
http://www.freiburg.linux.de/~uae/... sounds stupid doesn't it, using your Amiga to emulate an Amiga. But you'd be surprised at how well it can work.
WHDload and JOTD are two programs that allow you to install quite a surprisingly large number of games to a hard drive. They can frequently make old games work on new computers, too.

2.7: Where can I get freeware/shareware games from on the web?
In a word, Aminet! There is a huge collection of games available there, there's a whole top-level directory devoted to them (called 'game'). Go to
http://main.aminet.net/ and look around, you really will be blown away if you've never seen it before, it's that big.

2.8: Can I play text adventures ('interactive fiction') on an Amiga?
Quite a few games of interactive fiction were specifically written for the Amiga, however virtually all interactive fiction is machine-independant, which means you can play a game on any system that has the right software to run it. For AGT games, get
AGiliTy. Infocom games are all playable too, along with any Inform game: get Frotz. As for TADS, there's a TADS interpreter available too. If you're looking for games, take a look at http://dmoz.org/Games/Video_Games/Adventure/Text_Adventures/Downloads/ which contains links to a few sites: the most interesting site is the IF Archive at http://www.ifarchive.org/. And if you need any more help on interactive fiction, there's a pretty comprehensive FAQ document on interactive fiction, available at http://www.faqs.org/faqs/games/interactive-fiction/part1/.

2.9: MUDs, MUSHes, MOOs, MUCKs etc... can I play them with an Amiga? These types of games are nothing more than simple Telnet servers, which means absolutely any platform can play them. All you need is some form of telnet client and you're all set. There's also a dedicated client available for MUDding, called Amigamud. Search for it on Aminet if you want it.

2.10: Where can I find the music for the game X?
http://exotica.fix.no/ is your best bet, it's the biggest archive of Amiga game music around. To play them, you need the right software. On an Amiga, you should get Hippoplayer from http://www.s2.org/~k-p/, which can handle practically every format under the sun. On a PC, get Winamp and the Oldskool plugins. On a Mac, Modplayer is probably the best. For more information, see the ModPlug FAQ at http://www.modplug.com/modfaq/index.html.

2.x: You haven't answered my "Amiga Games" question.
Congratulations, you've just found something that's considered highly on-topic! We'd love to hear your question on comp.sys.amiga.games, so please do pop along and ask some of the locals :)


3: Amiga Emulation
First and foremost, we are NOT an emulation group. What we are is an Amiga games group... so although we won't help you with your emulation, we do hope that once you do have everything running smoothly, you'll come back and discuss the games with us. It's always nice to have a new name on the message list :)

3.1: I have a question about emulating an Amiga on another system!
Emulation of this nature is not only considered off-topic in this group, but if you bring it up, you are likely to be soundly flamed, and probably labelled as a pirate too. There is a little information here, but you would be better off asking your question in another newsgroup like alt.emulators.amiga or alt.emulators.uae.

3.2: Can I emulate an Amiga?
More or less. Amiga Forever is a commercial package from Cloanto, which will provide you with everything you need... legally. See
http://cloanto.com/amiga/forever/ for more information. There's another emulator kicking around too: see http://www.winuae.net/.

3.3: Why won't you tell me much?
Because we're not an emulation group. Emulators are not games. We won't help you get your emulator up and running, and we CERTAINLY won't help you find copies of commercial games. This is piracy, which is not tolerated and will get you seriously flamed, and probably reported to your ISP too. We also have no interest in finding Public Domain ADFs: we're interested in the games themselves... but don't request PD ADFs either cos you'll still get labelled as a pirate. ADF-hunting is a sore spot in this group.

3.4: But surely someone here can help me!
Very probably. But we have different newsgroups for different things: we subscribe to comp.sys.amiga.games because we want to talk about the games! If you're going to take that attitude, I might as well start banging on about what happened in Dragon Ball GT yesterday. Well y'see, they landed on this planet where there was supposed to be a Dragon Ball, but it's ruled by this evil fascist dictator, so Goku went along and beat him up till he changed his wicked ways. But I don't subscribe to comp.sys.amiga.games to talk about that!

3.5: What about legally-downloadable ADFs?
Some emulation sites have approached various software companies, asking them if they can publish older Amiga games as ADF's on their site. A surprising lot of software companies have agreed to this, which is good news for all you ADF-hunters out there. The most popular legal sites are...

3.6: The game I want isn't legally available!
Buy it. Take a look at
http://www.amihoo.u-net.com/business/dealers.html for a list of Amiga dealers.

3.7: Where can I get a Kickstart ROM from?
Your Amiga, silly. See
http://fly.to/jetjockey for more details. If you don't have an Amiga, buy the Amiga Forever package which includes some: see http://cloanto.com/amiga/forever/. DO NOT REQUEST ROM FILES IN THE GROUP.

3.8: What about using an Amiga to emulate other systems?
There are plenty of emulators available for the Amiga. In fact, a lot of people use Mac emulators to get newer games for their Amigas, as Macs and Amigas have a lot in common, and so the Amiga does an extremely good job of emulating a Mac. You can also, of course, find various C64 emulators, Spectrum emulators and so on. There is a newsgroup for people emulating other systems on their Amigas, comp.sys.amiga.emulations.
Macintosh emulation is especially interesting for Amiga gamers, as it provides them with a lot of popular games which never made it to the Amiga, such as Civilization II and Settlers II.
A lot of people also use MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator), an emulator for a lot different arcade games. It's a big project with a lot of contributers. The official homepage for the project is at
http://mame.retrogames.com, and the Amiga version is at http://www.triumph.no/productions/software/mame/mame.html.

3.9: How do you get a file using a floppy from an Amiga to a PC, or vice versa?
You have to use the lowest common denominator, which is rather predictably the PC. You need to do most of the work on the Amiga side, by mounting a new device (PC0). Then you can insert a disk into your internal floppy drive (DF0) and work with that new PC0 device. Joachim Froholt wrote this "how to" guide a couple of years back... and as stated in the third rule of creative research... never type out what you can copy and paste.

Crossdos:
Crossdos is a program that allows you to mount drives which can read and write to MS-Dos formatted disks. After you have mounted a drive, you can use this just like any other drive on your Amiga. For instance, you can mount a drive called PC0. Then every time you insert a MS-Dos formatted disk into DF0 (the internal disk drive of your Amiga), it will be shown as a disk in PC0. Crossdos is available for Amigas with Kickstart 2.x and 3.x.
Crossdos is an integral part of WB 3.x, here's how to use it: Boot Workbench. Insert the Storage disk. Click on the Storage icon, then on the Dosdrivers Icon. You'll see several dos drivers. The neccesary ones are PC0 and PC1. PC0 is the driver you want if want to use DF0, PC1 is for DF1. You can use both if you require. If you want to use DF2 or something, you can easily modify the files to match your needs. See the manual.
If you've got a hd and want to ensure that the PC devices are mounted every time you boot your hd, you need to make sure the file PC0 or PC1 (or whatever) can be found in the Devs/Dosdrivers directory on your SYS: partition (the partition you boot from). Just copy it from your Storage: disk or the Storage/Dosdrivers directory on your Hard Drive (if this dir exists).
Crossdos was bundled with WB 3.x, but it'll also work on Amigas equipped with Kickstart 2.x (i.e. if you buy the A1200 WB disks, you'll also get Crossdos, and it'll work on your A600). It won't work on WB 1.x

Messydos:
Messydos is a freeware alternative to Crossdos which works on all versions of the Amiga OS, so if you've only got an A500, this is what you'll have to use. You can get Messydos from the Aminet.

How to transfer files using Crossdos/Messydos:
If you've only got a standard DD disk drive, you'll need a 720 kb MS-Dos disk. You can use a standard 1.44 Mb disk, but you'll have to format it as a 720 kb disk. I've never had any problems with this, but apparently you should put a piece of tape over the left hole on the disk (not the write- protect hole), in order to make the PC see it as a DD disk. If you have any problems, try using an original DD (like a standard Amiga uses) disk.
Obviously, if you own a HD disk drive for your Amiga, you can use 1.4 MB MS-Dos disks.
When you insert the disk on your Amiga, make sure you've selected "show all files" from the disk menu (in WB), otherwise, you'll just get an empty window when you select the MS-Dos disk.

How to format a 720 kb disk on the PC:
In Win 95: Double-click on My Computer Right-click on A: Choose the Format command Under the word Capacity, you'll see a menu gadget. Click on the down-arrow, and select 720 kb 3,5 inches Select "Full". You cannot quick-format a disk if you want to change it's capacity. Press Start. In Dos, just type: "format a: /f:720". You can format a PC disk with your Amiga as well, but apparently this option is a bit unreliable. This is done the regular way, but you must select the disk in the mounted PC drive. Unfortunately, some newer PC drives does not support 720 kb disks. I don't think there's any way around it, except perhaps to install a new drive. Sorry.

A quick notice about Filenames:
If you're using an older (pre v.7) version of Crossdos, you'll get truncated filenames when you try to read the files on your Amiga. Before Windows 95, PC's didn't use filenames with more than 8+3 letters. If your file is called Verylongfilename.dms, it will be renamed to VERYLO~1.DMS As long as you're dealing with archives, this should not be more than a minor hassle, as you're the only one who need to know the filenames. You either choose to accept the new filenames, or you can rename the files on your PC before copying them. If you're copying a program with loads of files, and you haven't archived it first, then you must take care, however. If the program needs the file called Verylongfilename.dms, it won't understand that VERYLO~1.DMS is the same file, so you must make sure that you rename the files again. Also, there will be problems if there's a file called, say, Verylongfile.dms, as this file will also be called VERYLO~1.DMS. In this case, you should rename the files before copying them from the PC.

3.x: You haven't answered my "Amiga Emulation" question.
We're not an emulation group - try alt.emulators.amiga.


4: Miscellaneous Gubbins
4.1: What are the five commandments on this group?
  1. Don't ask for help getting an Amiga emulator up and running.
  2. Don't request ADFs.
  3. Don't post binaries.
  4. Use proper quoting techniques: reply BELOW the text you're replying to, and if messages higher up no longer apply, remove them from your reply.
  5. Spam sucks, so please don't reply to it unless necessary, or humourous.
This seems, also, to be the right place to mention Trolls. No, not the trolls who live deep within Norwegian mountains, far worse! These trolls are individuals who travel around usenet in search of opportunities to create flame wars. Oh.. what's a flame war, you ask, well, it's basically what happens when people get angry with each other and begin insulting each other in a newsgroup. Sometimes they can be fun, too, but the problem is that just because one of the involved parties have a great time coming up with all kind of weird insults, others might not. In general, it's a good idea to avoid flaming in newsgroups, if only for the simple reasons that a) it's common courtesy not to insult people, and b) it's usually off-topic. Anyway, trolls. Trolls thrive on flame wars. I don't know, it might be an ego problem or something ("hey, look, I can make these people notice me!"). What they do is usually to find some sort of controversial argument and shout it out, often pretending to dumber than they are. Copyright is an excellent subject to start a flame war about, and so is, for instance, the quality of the Amiga. Chances are, if you see a post insulting people because they use such a crappy machine as the Amiga (without really giving any reasons as to why the Amiga is crap), it's probably written by a troll. People will swallow the bait and shout back (I know, I've done it many times myself). If it looks like fun, then by all means go on and post. Just remember that the original poster is doing this for his own amusement (and this amusement involves seeing how angry he can make you), and don't get upset because of him being seemingly unable to understand even the simplest messages. I guess the keyword is: don't get angry :)

4.2: Spoilers
A spoiler is information about a game which can spoil the game for others. For instance, instructions on how to solve a puzzle. If you are going to post information like this, make sure that you mark it properly, so that noone accidentally stumbles across the information. There are several ways to do this, and the more of them you use, the better. First off, you can place the word SPOILER in the subject line. Secondly, you can include a written warning, such as "This post includes spoilers for the game X" before the other text in the e-mail. Lastly, you can use spoiler space. Spoiler space is a bunch of empty lines above the spoiling content. With these in place, people have to manually scroll down to where the spoilers are, something which greatly reduces the chances of them reading spoilers by accident.

4.3: Is Putty Squad out yet?
Is it heck. If you want to make it happen, please contact System 3 via
http://www.studio3.co.uk/html/mail.htm - seriously, please do! If they realise there's still a market for it, they might just do something with it...

4.4: Other Amiga newsgroups
The busiest Amiga groups are below comp.sys.amiga - here's a brief list of some of the more active ones we've observed:

4.5: I can't get at comp.sys.amiga.games!
Since you're here, I'll assume this is just a temporary setback and you know how to access Usenet. Until you can either secure a new news feed or until your old one is fixed, you can use a web-based Usenet archive such as
Google Groups which is far from ideal, but at least you're not totally away from Usenet.


X: You haven't answered my question!
See section 4.4 for a list of other newsgroups you can try. Failing that... have you actually tried a search engine? You'd be surprised how many people forget to do a quick web search. Google is about the best out there, start there. dmoz.org is also a darn good web directory, just key in "Amiga" and you'll get hundreds if not thousands of matching categories and sites.
Document updated 09/06/2003 by Col Seddon