Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SimCity for DOS - The Swiss Army Knife of Video Mode Support

The original version of SimCity for DOS, 1.02, supported a variety of video modes.  Here is a screenshot of the title screen and an in-game screenshot of the Detroit scenario with a maxed out main window for each mode:

CGA Graphics Mode 06H 640x200 Monochrome :




Hercules Graphics Mode 720x348 Monochrome :




Tandy Graphics Adapter Graphics Mode 09H 320x200x16 / EGA Graphics Mode 0DH 320x200x16 :
(note : screenshots are 200% of original)



EGA Graphics Mode 0FH 640x350 Monochrome :




EGA Graphics Mode 10H 640x350x16 :




Version 1.07 of SimCity added the following :

MCGA/VGA Graphics Mode 11H 640x480 Monochrome :




SimCity Classic for DOS dropped the CGA and Tandy/EGA 320x200 support, but added the following :

MCGA/VGA Graphics Mode 12H 640x480x16 :



MCGA/VGA Graphics Mode 13H 320x200x256 :
(note : screenshots are 200% of original)



The modes common to SimCity and SimCity Classic look virtually identical in-game, but the title screens are different.  Here they are :

Hercules Graphics Mode 720x348 Monochrome
EGA Mode 0FH 640x350 Monochrome
EGA Mode 10H 640x350x16
MCGA/VGA Mode 11H 640x480 Monochrome :


Finally SimCity Enhanced CD-ROM for DOS only supported the following :

SVGA/VESA Graphics Mode 101H 640x480x256 :

Note : Title Screen uses MCGA/VGA Graphics Mode 13H 320x200x256 (screenshot is 200% of original size)

Between the various incarnations of the same basic SimCity game for DOS, the game supported every major DOS video standard and an unusually wide variety of Graphics Modes.  Sound support was also very broad.  The original SimCity only supported sound effects, and supported the only available digitized sound hardware available in 1989 that would output digital samples without seriously compromising performance, the Tandy DAC and the Covox Sound Master.  Unfortunately, not until SimCity Classic did the game support Sound Blaster cards.

2 comments:

Raifield said...

The SimCity Enhanced CD-ROM version does have the worst voice overs in any game I've played.

It has been a while since I've excavated my old CD, but I remember a woman's voice would encourage me to build waterfront residential zones...every four seconds. It got old really quick.

The SNES version of Simcity is my personal favorite.

Trixter said...

Nice post. I used to think Moebius: The Orb of Celestial Harmony had the most support, but I think SimCity beats it.