Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Lost PC Game Versions

Updated 06/20/2022

Originally this blog entry was titled "The Lost PCjr. and Tandy 1000 Game Versions".  However, several years later there are very few games known to have any special support for PCjr./Tandy graphics or sound remaining unavailable.  So I have decided to expand this list with other notable games.  You won't find these games in any DOS or ROM collection, on any abandonware site, from any torrent site, or to buy from any legitimate retro PC game selling site like Good Old Games.  Where I know of corroboration for these games, I will give it.

Congo Bongo - IBM PC CGA Composite Version
This game, like Tapper, came as a "flippy" disk.  This is a disk where both sides are independent of each other and can be used in single or double sided drives.  Flippy disks were rare on the IBM PC, and flippy disks for the IBM PC have two index holes, so each side can be detected by the index sensor.  One side had graphics suitable for RGBI monitors, the other side was meant for composite color monitors.  The composite color version has yet to be preserved and distributed.

Digger - IBM JX
Windmill Software's Digger for the IBM PC does not run on the PCjr., but it is believed there was a version of the game released for the IBM JX, the PCjr.'s Australian/Japanese cousin, which does and should have enhanced sound and music.  

Dragon's Keep - PCjr.
Based on installation instructions in the manual, which give instructions for the PCjr. and magazine articles from the time period, this game may have been ported to the PCjr.  The installation manual for  King's Quest V had installation instructions for the Atari ST version of that game, which was never released.

EcoQuest 1 - EGA 16-Color
EcoQuest uses the Sierra SCI1 engine, and like other SCI1 games, it had separate 16-color and 256-color versions.  Other SCI1 games like King's Quest V and Conquests of the Longbow have their 16-color versions available, this is the only one which is not available.  For these games, Sierra would convert and some cases redraw 256-color 320x200 VGA graphics into 16-color 320x200 EGA graphics and release the EGA versions separately.  Later EcoQuest 1 was converted to the SCI1.1 engine prior to its CD-ROM release.  This SCI1.1 version had a driver (EGA640.DRV) to convert 256-color 320x200 VGA graphics into 16-color 640x200 EGA graphics at runtime via dithering.  Only the EGA 320x200 16-color version is unavailable, but due to the release dates between December 1991 and June 1992 for the SCI1 and SCI1.1 versions, respectively, Sierra may have decided to wait and let the newer engine do the work which would otherwise have had to have been done by hand.

FaceMaker - IBM PCjr. Cartridge
There does not seem to be a dump of the IBM PCjr. Cartridge version of FaceMaker.  There are disk versions of this edutainment game which support the PCjr sound chip like the cartridge version should support.

Gauntlet II - Tandy DAC Disk
Gauntlet II had a bonus disk, which you had to send away for to Mindscape, that added digitized sound support for owners of a Tandy 1000 with a DAC, such as the TL, SL and their successors.

Mouskattack - IBM PC
A 2019 discovery of this Sierra port from the Apple II and Atari 8-bit computers : https://www.mobygames.com/game/mouskattack/cover-art

Oil's Well - IBM PCjr. Support
Although there is a hack which gets Oil's Well working on a PCjr./Tandy 1000, the original disk still needs to be redumped because the disk was damaged where the PCjr. code was. The disk's sector for the PCjr.'s graphics are damaged, but there is no code or data for 3-voice music or sound effects.

Trivia 102 - IBM PC
Digital Learning Systems released four trivia games as published by IBM: Trivia 101, TV and Cinema 101, Music 101 and Trivia 102.  All but Trivia 102 has been dumped, and Trivia 102 has been confirmed to exist.  All Trivia games should have some PCjr sound support.

Zuran Defender - IBM JX
This was originally an early (1983) IBM PC game, and in this form it has been dumped.  Later it was released for the IBM JX with (according to its creator) enhanced PCjr sound support, and that is not dumped.

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