Unreal Championship

A remake/port of Unreal Tournament 2003 for the original Xbox, and one of the first games to use Xbox Live.

A remake of Unreal Tournament 2003 for the original Xbox, and one of the first games to use Xbox Live. It can be considered a console adaption of Unreal Tournament, which it shares a lot of maps with.

Sadly this is one of the games that is trapped on the original Xbox, it was not made backward compatible with the Xbox 360 or the Xbox One, despite its sequel being supported. Perhaps this is deliberate since Unreal Tournament 2003 isn’t available on Steam, but the original and 2004 are, are Epic ashamed of these games?

Game Modes

Deathmatch: Standard deathwatch action, either team-based gameplay (two teams fighting each other, Red Vs Blue) or a free for all
Capture the Flag: Very similar to the PC original, you have to capture the opposing team’s flag three times (more or less, depending on the game settings) and return it back to base. If both teams have the opposing team’s flag, then no teams can score until the opposing team’s flag has been returned, which can be done by killing the flag carrier and picking up the flag.
Double Domination: Similar to capturing the flag, here you and your team have to capture two points for 10 seconds in order to score a point for your team. Kind of like a king-of-the-hill mode. Once either team reaches a predetermined score, the game is over. This is one of the games does that is better played online rather than offline since the bots suck at defending the captured base.
Bombing Run: Basically a reverse capture the flag, but kind of like football. Here you have to take control of the ball (Spawns in the middle of the map) and then fire it into the opponent’s goal. When you take control of the ball, expect to be target #1 by the opponent team. A nice side effect is the ball will replenish your health, slowly.
Survival: 1 vs 1, whoever gets the most kills wins, really deathmatch but with only two players.

Characters

There is a distinct story between the different characters, but this is only referenced in the characters biography’s, there is very few cut scenes in the game involving characters, aside from the opening with Brock and Lauren. Characters here have their own statistics, although many share the same voice lines, i.e human males use the same voice as each other, but the Aliens have their own, each with male/female versions. It’s not like fighting games like Tekken where each character has their own fighting style, more so they have unique statistics for their team.

  • Gen Mo’Kai: Alien looking species who take part in the tournaments, seem to be very agile but have weak strength
  • Automatons: A bunch of robots built by the Liandri corporation
  • Mercenaries: Regular humans, fairly typical stats for each character, ideal for newcomers to the game
  • Juggernauts: Big muvvafuckers, the strongest race that can take the most damage but are slow and the least agile characters in the game
  • Anubans: Look like humans but dress like they’re from Egypt, bit more agile than humans but are very high jumpers and acquire adrenaline more quickly
  • Nightmare: A bunch of weird and scary looking but have generally good stats. Supposedly their appearance is a result of the different experiments that have been done to them

Many characters would appear in Unreal Tournament 2003 and 2004.

Multiplayer – Online Play

As one of the first Xbox Live titles, Unreal Championship was a popular title that was played online and the game made full use of the Xbox Live features. Until Microsoft shut down the original Xbox Live in mid 2010.
On the flip side you can sill play the game online using the system link features, which was Microsoft terms for LAN play where multiple Xbox’s are connected to the same network. This can be done either by connecting a crossover ethernet cable from one Xbox to another or by connecting both Xbox’s to a router using a standard ethernet cable
xLink Kai can be used to play online by using the system link features to play games over the internet, this requires the xbox to be connected to a PC which will emulate an Xbox LAN network

Left: Score display screen, Right: Hidden third person view, avaliable by using a custom save file

DLC

Additional maps were released on Xbox Live that could be purchased and downloaded from around May 2003. These maps could then be played online or in instant action mode. These maps include:

  • AquaMortis: This area features a open ocean area that contains a shark, who will kill once a player falls in
  • Inferno: Hell themed map
  • Leviathan B: SciFi arena themed map
  • Otaros Run: Capture the Flag map, A large-ish map set in the forest, similar to Tokara forest in UT2003
Installed DLC, which uses a different format

These maps are installed in the TDATA directory and can be used for all profiles on the Xbox. I’m not sure if custom maps can be installed and played this way since they are in a different format, would be good if custom maps could be played like the PC version. As far as I know, you cannot use UT2003 maps on Unreal Championship.

More information on Xbox DLC

Weapons

Left: View from the translocator camera, and your typical Xbox Live Gamertag, Right: The lightning gun

  • Shield Gun: The weapon you will only use when you are out of ammo and have no pickups in sight, alt-fire fires a shield that can protect you from limited damage but can only take so much damage.
  • Assault Rifle: One of the weapons you start with, does basic damage and is really the gun you only use until you can pick up another. Alt-fire shoots out a grenade that explodes shortly after being shit.
  • Mini-gun: A chain gun or sorts, ideal for spraying bullets at multiple enemies. Has a slight charge time of around a second.
  • Flak Cannon: The GOAT, fires a bunch of small projectiles which disperse quickly. Best used in close combat as it almost functions as a shotgun
  • Lighting Gun: A sniper rifle of sorts, shoots out a lightning bolt. Alt fire can be used to zoom into an opponent.
  • Rocket Launcher: Fires a rocket, alt-fire will lock onto a target
  • Translocator: Not really a weapon but more of a utility, allows you to fire a beacon which you can use to teleport to where the beacon had landed, useful for teleporting to hard to reach areas but you cannot translocate when carrying a flog. Attempting to do so will cause the flag to be dropped, but it can still be picked up by a teammate or returned back to base.

Adrenaline

Throughout playing the game and killing opponents or by picking up adrenaline pills, you will acquire adrenaline which can be used to apply power ups by quickly entering a button combination whilst playing:

Regeneration – Press down four times quickly – Regenerates health to twice the staring health, and gives up to 150 shield points
Berserk: Press up three times quickly – Increases damage inflicted to opponents, and reduced the damage taken by the player
Invisibility: Press Right twice, then Left twice – Makes your character invisible to other players, not much use on instant action / campaign as bots have been reported to still attack the player
Agility: Press Down twice, then Up – Increases your characters running and jumping ability

Early Alpha

A build of Unreal Championship was leaked in 2011 which was an early alpha version but was compiled and running on PC (Windows). There are quite a few changes compared to the actual release, with many maps being completely different.

The menu interface is different, with it using a planet-like interface for the character selection screen, here you can see the actual3D models, complete with animations compared to the 2D portraits in the final release.

Some geometry errors when playing on more modern systems, this game would have been developed and tested on DirectX 8 compatible hardware, and would have used Nvidia based hardware like the original Xbox used.

In the menu, Up/Down is used to select the map, whilst left/right is used to select the game mode.

There is no settings section to customize the game, but the ini file can be edited to change the game rules, such as the amount of kills needed to win (1000 by default)

Some sound effects come from the original Unreal Tournament, notably the respawn sound.

To exit the game, bring up the console by pressing tab and then type ‘exit’
There is no pause menu, but pressing F1 will bring up the score/players.

The game can be played using a keyboard, but the controls are centered around a console control. Weapons can be selected using the number keys (1-9), the mouse wheel can’t be used to select a weapon
F9 – Take a bitmap screenshot
F10 – Adjust Gamma
F11 – Adjust Brightness
F12 – Adjust Contrast
The Numpad number keys will spawn a weapon, and the regular number keys can be used to directly select a weapon.

A vehicle can be spawned by pressing H, which can be used to travel through the map quickly, very similar to the hoverboard in Unreal Tournament 3.

A third-person view mode can be activated by pressing F4, however it’s very buggy, and the weapon aiming is buggy.

The Sims House Party

The second expansion pack for The Sims that allows them to party (or Partay)

Objects

Some of the objects that come with House party, there are other items like chairs and tables that are not listed here since they have a similar function to the base game objects.
Granny Raymond’s Holiday Cookies: A plate of cookies you can buy direct from buy mode. If you leave them on a table next to the fireplace, along with a Christmas tree from livin It Up, Santa will appear.
Birthday Cake: Another buyable food item, kids can choose to blow out the candles, although this does not age them up however (You need a charm in makin magic for that)
SimFarm Turkey Dinner: A piece of turkey sims can buy and carve up
Punchucopia Extraordinaria Punchbowl: sims or their cater can refill to keep guests satisfied at parties
The Elegant Chef Buffet Table: Used to serve a starter, main meal and desert from one table, excellent for parties or for large gatherings.
Fancy Feet Cake Treat: Spawns a male or female dancer (Stripper), or if it’s a kids party, a giant bear. Give a boost to the fun motive.
KampRite Instant Campfire: Sims can sit round the camp fire and sing songs, tell stories or roast marshmallow
Spazmatronic Plasmatronic Go-Go Cage: A Dancing cage, boosts fun. Best place with the dance floor and the DJ booth
Turntablitz DJ Booth: Used for the dance floor but can also function as a radio, has access to all radio stations in the game.
Jukebox: Two versions of this seem to exist, the first is just labelled as the Jukebox and has access to only the fault radio stations in the game. An updated version comes with Hot Date that can select all music tracks House party has to offer.
Bounce My Booty Dance Floor: The dance floor where sims can get their groove on. It’s a 2×2 tile than can be combined together in various patterns. When sims are dancing, the floor will light up in various different patters and colours.
Porta-Parody Costume Trunk: A costume trunk that can be used to give your party a fancy dress theme. When one sim changes their costume, all sims will change to that costume theme.

Screenshots

Sims carving some turkey, which is buyable from buymode. When carving, sims will stand round and clap until its served.

The dance floor, in the front of someone’s living room. Puts Dance Central to shame

The costume trunk, ideal for themes parties. Available themes are Western, Disco, Toga

Here sims are rocking the disco theme

The buffet tables and the hireable caterer, sims can restock the table themselves at a cost of §20. A punchbowl can also be restocked.

The campfire, sims can tell a ghost story, roast marshmallows or sing a folk song.

Neighborhoods

The expansion pack adds support for multiple neighbourhoods if you’ve not installed Livin It Up, Neighbourhoods 6-8 are added, since the game assumes Livin it Up has been installed and takes the place of 2-5. Its easy to add custom hoods. More hoods an be added by going into the games directory in the Program Files folder, and adding a new UsedataX folder, where X will be the new number (since the game creates 8 hoods, you would start at 9) and can support up to 99 unique hoods.

NPCs

The Mime: Appears when you are throwing a shit party, sometimes tries to steal your items. Leaves automatically once your party score has increased
Party Crashers: Appear when you are throwing a good party, these two (Pete and Pauline Dropinsky) will arrive and will try to wreck anything in the party, including breaking objects as they use them. Best to get rid of them as soon as possible.
The Caterer: Can be hired through the phone, main purpose is to restock the buffet table and the punch bowel. He will also socialize with the guests if he has nothing to do. You must have a buffet table or a punch bowel or he will leave.
Drew Carey: Some American celebrity who appears when you have thrown a great party, arrives in a limo of which sims will rush to it upon arrival. For those who don’t know who Drew carey, he was a popular late night show host, like Jimmy Kimmel back when late night talk shows weren’t biased towards a specific political party.

Some new NPCs have additional roles:
Police Officer: If you throw a party after 8pm, Officer meddling will appear regarding about a complaint by one of your neighbours regarding the noise. You are supposed to disband and end the party by asking the guests to leave. Should you fail to do so she will reappear after 2 hours (10pm) and will fine you.

Install

The games installer will pick up from the previous install, and will automatically install the game patch.

Disc read error upon install, caused by a scratched CD.

HTML view of the The Sims House Party, listing sims that are currently moved into the neighbourhood. Sims could be viewed here before they were uploaded onto the Sims exchange, which was a place where families and houses could be downloaded.

A look at the Pace DTR730 (ONdigital)

Pace was one of the main suppliers of ONdigital receivers, having supplied boxes since the official launch on the 15th November 1998.

There are a few differences in contrast with the Nokia 9850T that I looked at previously, the bootup process behaves differently with the Pace flashing its front panel display for a few seconds before displaying the time (12:00, until it loads the time from the DVB-SI).
Another observation is the middle colon (:) on the display will flash when a button is pressed on the remote. This didn’t happen on the Nokia 9850T, even though it is documented in the instruction book.

The front LED display also flashes when coming out of standby, and like the Nokia it takes a few seconds to come out of standby.

Onwards there isn’t much difference, the software is mostly the same as the Nokia, its had the OnMail, and ONrequest update which enabled the guide menu to be accessed.

In terms of performance, it seems to be a bit more responsive compared to the Nokia

Hidden menu & Software Information

Like on the Nokia, a hidden menu exists that shows additional software information about the box.

To access, Press menu
Select option 7 (technical information)
Then select option 2 (manufacturer data)
Press text-guide-text-guide

ONMail remote

The box didn’t come with a remote, thankfully I had the ONmail remote which has the ability to control the box but requires to be programmed at first. This is because each manufacturer used their own remote control design and IR codes.
To set the remote code:
Hold the Red and Select button for around four seconds, then type in the code
Pace – 905
Nokia – 901

Inside the box

Lets see what powers the DTR730…

At the heart we have the ST20-TP4 processor, this seems to be a variation of the ST20-TP3 used in the digibox’s of the time and appears to be clocked at 50Mhz. This contrasts to the ARM Texas Instruments chip found in the Mediamaster 9850T, which was an ARM clocked at 40Mhz. It is unfair to compare both on the clock speeds alone, as they are of different instruction set with the Nokia being of the ARM family and the Pace belonging to the ST20 family of processors. Still the Pace feels a lot more responsive compared to the Nokia, although both are sluggish navigating the menus compared to more modern boxes.

STi3520LCV

An MPEG2 decoder is provided off-chip, very similar to what Pace used in their digibox’s of the time. At this point many of the components were not as integrated, so the Cpu and decoder were still separate chips. I’d say this is the same decoder they used on their Digibox’s, and the IPTV receivers (the DSL4000).

Like the Nokia, the tuner seems to be on its own board and is connected in a similar fashion. Here you have the tuner, RF modulator and the DVB-T demodulator. Here is provided by LSI Logic, whilst the Nokia used a Motorola processor. These would have belonged to the same generation and would have lacked 8K modulation support, meaning these boxes cannot receive modern Freeview broadcasts.
As both the Nokia and pace follow this modular-like design for the tuner, I’d guess this was a design consideration, and the mainboards were intended to be adapted easily for satellite or cable use, by separating the tuner module from the mainboard. I also wonder if this is similar to the hardware Canal+ had used for their equipment, just fitted with satellite tuners instead. Pace, Philips, and Nokia did make boxes for Canal+, who also designed the Mediahighway and Mediaguard components that ONdigital used, so it may be the case they just adapted the box design for ONdigital.

Underneath is the common interface slot, which is a PCMCIA slot for additional addon board like a conditional access interface, or to add an additional decoder.

Back in the day there were rumors of a satellite tuner being added as a sidecar to allow for them to receive ONdigital broadcasts, this never materialized and as such the slot remained redundant. Compared to the common interface on the Digibox, it’s a lot smaller but uses the same PCMCIA interface suggesting this was for conditional access use only.

The modem is integrated onto the mainboard unlike the Nokia which was a separate module, it looks to be the same hardware as the Nokia however. Its certainly a lot quieter as it does not make a click when the modem is accessed like the Nokia does (You can hear it when you try to dial into the ONmail service.

The back panel is fairly typical of ONdigital boxes, with dual scarts, audio out (No digital audio like the Sony or Nokia) and a serial port for the ONmail remote.

Memory/Flash

Fujitsu 29LV160B

Flash memory chips, each chip has 2MB of capacity for a total of 6MB. Rumor is there are two partitions, 2MB solely for Canal+ (Possibly the operating system itself?) and 4Mb for ONdigital’s resident applications.

NEC D4218165LG5

The main DRAM, I’d say there’s around 2 or 4MB of system RAM, assuming there aren’t additional chips on the underside of the board. Not much information on these can be found online.

LGS GM72V161621CT10K

Some sort of SDRAM for the MPEG2 decoder, appears to be 1MB in size for each chip for a total of 2MB, according to this site (assuming I’ve read this correctly)

Misc Screenshots

A look at the channel list, seems the box was able to retain some of its original channel list, but was rescanned at some point

Libdebug

Using the DigDebug and loading the appropriate configuration file, we are able to see the test process for the DTR730. Here there are options to:

  • Test and clear the flash memory did not want to do this since this will erase the current channel list
  • Enable/disable the test patterns (A color bar is displayed on screen)
  • Test the Mediaguard smartcard (If it’s inserted and detectable)
  • Turn on/off different SCART signals
  • Test the modem and have it dial out (Didn’t seem to work on my box)
  • Test the front LED display, you can either set it to be blank or light up all segments on the display
test pattern

GSP Instant Typing Tutor

Typing Tutor was software that assisted on how to type effectively on a modern keyboard via touch typing, similar to Mavis Beacon. This is a 16bit Windows application and was intended to be run on both Windows 3.11 and 95, but will work on 98 up to the 32bit versions of Windows Vista. It was commonly bunded with OEM systems as part of other software. For me this came preinstalled on a Time Desktop PC (UK based OEM that sold cheaply built PCs) along with HomeWise and MoneyMatters.

Install

The start screen, each user can have their own profile where they can enter their name and specify their own password. The program can then keep the users score and keeps track of their lessons independently without affecting the other users grade.

User Interface

You are introduced to the keyboard layout and the primary keys (ASDF and JKL;) and are then asked to type a few simple works to get you started. Gradually as you move onto a higher level, the words to type become more longer and complex. At first you are prompted to enter a single letter, which will then move onto three letter words.

Whilst you are typing, the software calculates the WPM (Words per minute) and your accuracy (dependant on any mistyped keys). If you frequently mistype or make mistakes, the program will inform you and will give you simple words or letters to help you refocus. The application can be configured to beep to give the user audio feedback as to their progress, and will sound a tone if they make a mistake or when they start a new chapter. This uses the PC beeper rather than the soundcard.

There are different exercises that get progressively difficult as you complete them. When you have completed all the courses, you are offered the option to complete an exam, of which you are awarded with a certificate that you can then print out.

Games

There are two games that are centred around typing

The first game require you to unblock water pipes by typing in words to help the frog escape, that has fallen down the well. Several different levels are available with more longer words being provided on the harder difficulty.

Second one is a bit more mundane, you have to type out the aliens details into the system, completing as many records as you can before time runs out.

Packard Bell Platinum (86Box)

A mid-range OEM system released in 1996, when Windows 95 was beginning to hit its stride, and another system we can (mostly) recreate in 86Box

Full Specifications here

The S3 ViRGE is supported on 86Box, albeit a slightly different variant that the Packard bell had used, possibly an OEM exclusive model. The SoundCard differs, using the Aztech 2316R, whilst 86Box is able to emulate the Aztech SoundGalaxy Washington instead, being the closest match.

Install

A floppy disk was required to initiate the installation, since the CD was not bootable, despite the motherboard BIOS supporting CD-ROM booting. Once started, a recovery version of Windows 95 started up, and we were presented with the Packard Bell recovery screen where we were given a list of a few options:
Restore the original boot files
Re-Install the Packard bell software
Re-Install the Windows 95 operating system

The only option that worked was the Windows 95 recovery since our virtual machine had currently lacked a formatted drive.
When starting the OS recovery process, we were prompted to enter the system serial number to identify the system that we were running on. Since we did not have this to hand, we were able to bypass this by entering a series of random numbers. A warning message popped up regarding the number not being recognized but offered to install anyway.
The recovery process then started, with a Windows 3.11 looking dialog box appearing to transfer various files to the hard drive.

Setup

After the file had finished copying over, the computer rebooted and started the Windows 95 setup utility, which looked the same as a generic install. You will be prompted to enter an OEM serial key, so be sure to have one when installing.
Once again the system reboots and performs the device detection process.

USB Support?
The motherboard BIOS has references to USB support, but this seems to randomly appear and disappear when entering setup, possibly an issue with the emulation?
I’m not sure if the actual system even had onboard USB ports or if they were even functional, this was early 1996 when the motherboard was designed.

Additional drivers
S3 Drivers

Packard Bell Navigator

This serves as a replacement shell for Windows and as a way for novice users to navigate their system. From here you can open various applications that were bundled with the system itself, and add future applications that have yet to be installed.
Some of these programs require their own CD-ROM to be inserted, as only the minimal install files have been installed, and many were intended to be run off the CD-ROM to conserve disk space.


Navigator (Packard Bell, Not Netscape) uses a house metaphor to present the interface to the user, which was intended for novice users and was exclusive to Packard Bell computers of the era. Some other OEMs also provided their own interface such as Sony with the VAIO Space, which offered a 3D-like user navigation interface for advanced users.

You can see there are a few custom icons for launching the applications, with the facility to install more. Packard Bell presumably sold additional software packages that were navigator friendly and included icon art that suited the navigator interface, and would automatically add themselves to the software room

Also to note was Navigator only runs in 640×480 resolution, when running the desktop at 800×600, Navigator retains its default resolution, personally I prefer it like that since it lets you quickly jump back to the desktop, although it does break the immersion of the Navigator interface.

Bundled Software

The example start menu items, organized by Packard Bell

Microsoft Works & Money

These two were very commonly bundled with OEM system bundles and serves as basic productivity suites for Office and accounting respectively.

Quicken

Some sort of finance application that helps you keep control of your accounts. Bills and monthly payments, it’s a bit redundant considering Microsoft Money is installed, based on what I’ve seen so far.

Macromedia Action!

It’s like Microsoft PowerPoint where you can create and showcase sideshows, although it has no compatibility with PPT files. There are a few premade templates available to choose from. Files are saved in either the Act format or (Player) ACP or (Stationery) STA.
There is an option to export the presentation to an external VCR, this would involve connecting the VGA output, or composite if the graphics card supported it to the VCR to record from. This is known as Print To Video.

Microsoft Word Viewer

For viewing Microsoft Word DOC document format, you would think Microsoft Works would be able to handle this format (It does, but I’m not sure if its fully compatible with certain features/formatting)

Microsoft Entertainment Pack

A few selections of games are included from the Best Of Entertainment pack, this is fairly common to be included in Packard Bell’s prebuilt systems. Skifree, Rodent Revenge and JigSawed are common games included here.

Call Center

Looks to be some sort of modem/phone line dialer to make phone calls through your PC. Could also be used to contact Packard Bell support.

Stick Ups Lite

Stick ups

It’s the MacOS sticky notes but for Windows, you can create various sticky notes to help remind you of upcoming tasks and reminders. You can customize the colour of the note itself and the font/style of writing. This is kind of a good addition as its rather useful, and Microsoft wouldn’t bundle something like this in Windows until Windows Vista as one of the widgets gadgets, although a few third-party applications included similar functionality

Conclusion

Packard Bell was one of the few hardware OEM systems builders to make their systems unique from both a hardware and software perspective, despite the restrictions Microsoft had enforced following the use of alternative shells post Windows 95, however, Packard Bells’ bundled applications help give off a certain personality with the system being aimed for family and novice users.

Cyber Cycles

Lets take Ridge Racer, but with bikes instead of cars

There are two main opponents and a couple of AI drone racers that done affect your rank. It’s best to stay away and avoid these since should you collide, you risk crashing and falling off your bike which will waste time and allow the over racers to overtake. As with all Namco AI it will cheat and rubberband to ensure they are right behind you.

The viewpoints in the game can be changed with the dedicated view change button, which also function as the select button in many of the games menus. There are three views in total, one close to the bike, one far from the bike and a first person view. Some players may control the game better with a certain viewpoint.

As with all Namco game, the game has a pretty good soundtrack and makes use of the Namco C352 sound chip

Machines

Anthias – Novice, easy to handle and maneuver but falls short in the top speed. I would use this bike for the first few game of a track to get a handle of the basics of the game.
NVR 750R – Intermediate, a good machine to master since is has a balance of handling and speed, turning gan be an issue due to the weight of the motor itself
Wild Hog – Advanced, a pain to handle but has quick acceleration. The name might be a pun on Wild Dog from Time Crisis, which was released in the same year
NVR 750RSP – Hidden
Black Anthias – Hidden
Peggy – A pengium who rides on a scooter, currently only playable via a MAME cheat

Handling in the game is determined by the size and weight of the machine you choose. This will affect the drifts which are required to get a good score in the game.

Courses

Green Hill – The beginner course and very reminiscent of the courses from Ace Driver or Ridge Racer. There’s plenty of scenery within the environment that gives an impressive amount of detail
Neo Yokohama – The more advanced course, set in a city an night with plenty of tall skyscrapers. This one has a few difficult turns to learning and mastering drifts is a must.

Other Info

Clips of the game were included in the music video for Republica – Ready To Go (Original, not the rock version), Virtua Fighter 2 is also shown

Cyber Cycles was not released for home consoles, and remained an arcade only title.

Namco offical page- Archived

Motor Raid

Road Rash meets Wipeout in a futuristic bike racing game, And another game Sega forgot to port to home consoles

Two game modes are on offer, championship and practice. Championship is the main game mode and sets the player accords different tracks. The first track is always Yendas, depending on what position the player can then will dictate which plant race track will be played next.
Other players can be attacked by pressing the punch and kick buttons. Holding down the punch button will charge the attack which will deal further damage and will knock off the rider. You can also lock an attack on another player with your weapon,
Weapons can be lost if you are attacked, or if you throw and attack it with another player.

Turbo mode can be activated by pressing the accelerate button repeatedly. This is hard to pull of when your playing on a keyboard since the game was designed for analogue controls, which makes it hard when you are playing with digital controls. If can take a couple of attempts for the game to register.
The Turbo meter in the bottom left screen will recharge after a few seconds, and the payer can activate it immediately or wait a few moments for it to charge fully, where it will have the best effect.
As with all futuristic racing gasme, techno music dominates the soundtrack and is drivern by the Sega SCSP spund trip.

The game runs on the Sega Model 2A arcade board, the same that Manx TT Superbike ran on. The games test mode allows several settings to be amended that affect the difficulty of the game, the amount of laps the player needs to race and the engine sound level. Like other Model 2 racing games, cabinets can be linked together to allow multiplayer games with other players.

Characters:

There are four characters to choose from, each with different stats which affect the gameplay.
Robin: Best grip
IO: Best attack
Gunz: Best speed
Gelia: Best acceleration
Each character has their own voice which can be heard when attacking and activating turbo mode. There is a back story for each character.

Tracks

Yendas: The first and easiest track to race on, and is basically a loop track. Placing first in championship will progress onto Junos, otherwise Ido will be the next track if 2nd or lower.
Ido: Set on a planet with a load of flying bugs (These dont affect the gameplay)
Junos: A snow/arctic planet with some tough corners
Reef 8: Lots of water in this one and has a few tight bends
Bowel: Sent on a volcanic planet, thunder can be heard in the background
Segal: A bonus track that appears when you get a good score in Champtionship mode, but can also be accessed by pressing a cheat code on the track selection screen. Rumored to be named after Stephen Segal

A lot of the environments of the track reminds me of that Sonic Saturday AM cartoon with how dystopian some of them look. If you’ve played Wipeout XL/2097 it has a very similar astethic.

Emulators

Nebula Model 2: Capable of running the game fully but is dated and has a few inaccuracies

MAME: Latest revision is capable of playing the game somewhat but has a multitide of issues, some of the texture mapping is incorrect.

SimCity 3000

The next installment of the popular SimCity series of games, where the goal is to build and maintain your own city. All aspects of city-building have to be managed, from the power stations to building roads and zoning for different houses/buildings, all whilst being prepared for any disaster that might strike.

Playing SimCity

Residential:
Where sims will live, the density relates to how large the buildings are, with low density being used for small houses, and higher density for apartments.

Commercial:
Shops and businesses, where sims go to work and spend their money

Industrial:
Another place where sims can work, but also where materials are manufactured and produced, and also helps with jobs for your sims.
Farms are one of the types of industry available, but they are difficult to actually have them be built. Every time I zone for farmland, it does start to build a farm but eventually, it will lose out to dirty industry with farm lots being replaced with a bunch of smog-o-matics. I cant see why they would not just give farms their own industry zone?
Supposedly the key is to not give them any water, just power and roads. But then the news ticker will keep bugging about sims being too far from any water.

Have no idea why the text is missing…

Versions / Ports

SimCity was ported to most of the popular PC platforms, even a port for Linux operating systems. Sadly a port for OS/2 was not released, as IBM had phased the operating system out by then.

SimCity 3000 was not released on any consoles of the era.

Windows (Original Release)

The Windows release only supports Windows 95 or 98 onwards, it does not support NT 4 unless service pack 3 or higher is installed. DirectX does not seem to be used, running solely through the Win32 API.

Windows (Unlimited/Edition)

Released a year later and features a few changes compared to the original release.

  • The user interface was changed slightly, with the query button being moved to a more prominent place on the UI
  • The music was changed with some tracks being added and others being removed
  • This version of the game is available on gog.com and will run effortlessly on modern Windows versions.
  • New city templates have been added which are based off real world locations, like Liverpool, London, Berlin, Madrid, etc
  • Some existing cities have been renamed, Metropolis has become Europolis but remains the same
  • Some exisiting cities have been removed in favour of the new cities: Littleburg, Big Mountain City, Sim Isle
  • New scenarios mode has been added, which are small ccities that have objectives to complete
  • Outside of the game, new tools have been made like the scenario creator tool whic uses the Microsoft Access engien to create and customize customs senarios

MacOS

Simcity 3000 was released for the PowerPC Mac OS platform and was targeted for the classic Mac OS. The Mac platform only had a port of the original Windows version, it did not receive the updated unlimited edition that was released for Windows and Linux.

Compared to the Windows version, there are a few differences, the opening FMV seems to have less compression compared to the Windows version and appears to be of higher quality, the animations on the menu buttons are much more fluid on the mac (Is this due to the graphics card?), lastly the close button on the menu box is on the left side for the mac, and on the right side for the PC.

Playing this on modern Macs is a challenge as modern MacOS does not have native support for PowerPC or applications using the older mac libraries. You must use emulation software like QEMU (screenshots above) or Sheepsaver. The last version of OS X to support PowerPC applications was OS X Leopard (10.5)

Linux

Corel Linux

The installer worked, but the game would not run.

Ubuntu

A Linux port of the game was released by Loki games in 2000, and is a port of the Windows PC version. It’s mostly accurate to the Windows version but is more difficult to install and get working, depending on the distro and the libraries/packages installed. I’ve tested it on a few distros of the era, and some more modern distros.

Installing and running the game on Ubuntu

  1. Install the game as normal, remember to note the install directory – you will need it later
  2. Download the official Loki Simcity 3000 patch
  3. Run the patch installer, preferably as root. Easy way is to open a root terminal session (Should be an option in your Linux application launcher) Easy way is to copy the patch file to your home directory/folder, open the terminal and run the command: sudo sh sc3u-2.0a-x86.run -keep (Why you cant just double-click to run the installer in Linux I do not know)
  4. Once this finished, you should see a success message
  5. Now you need to run the game in a specific way, in the terminal you have to run the below command: LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.26 /usr/local/bin/sc3u

Hopefully, it should now start the game and you should see the intro movie play. This worked well on Ubuntu 4.04 running inside a VirtualBox VM, although there were a few issues. The sound was rather high-pitched and played too fast, and would stutter at high resolutions or when having a busy/large city map. Also running in a windowed mode wasn’t perfect, since it would display in the upper left part of the screen whilst the Ubuntu desktop remained in the background. The fullscreen mode works fine though. This could be due to the lack of drivers in my Ubuntu VM, it’s likely using stock/fail-safe drivers which provide little to no acceleration.

You could just use the Windows version running through Wine, although where is the fun in that? Plus it’s nice to play a native Linux game and in early 2000 there was a push for certain developers to embrace Linux as an alternative to Windows, That said, I can see why this didn’t take off…

Mandrake 7

Worked but had issues but these could be due to the emulation in 86box. The game installs and runs mostly Ok but some of the colors are messed up, the game also runs very slowly. Interestingly this uses a graphical installer which is missing when running in either Ubuntu or Corel Linux.

Tekken 2

The sequel to the first Tekken game, released for arcades and was ported to the Sony PlayStation and eventually the Zeebo console

A lot of improvements have been made, with the graphics for the character models being improved and refinements to the character move-sets. The stage background have also been redesigned, featuring more detailed backdrops. Unlike the first Tekken, the stages don’t seem to be based off a specific location and the stage name no longer appears in the bottom right corner, rather they are inspired by a series of locations, e.g Jun’s stage is inspired by a European countryside, Lei is based off being at the top of a city skyscraper (Similar to Joe’s stage in Last Bronx) and King’s stage being set in a Church.

A removed feature is the view change option, In the first Tekken game you could change the viewing angle in the first 10 seconds of the match, now only one view is available in Tekken 2.

Characters

  • Lei: Jackie-Chan inspired cop, Namco forgot to give him a Time Crisis game
  • Jun: Greenpeace activist, and the only mainstream game she appears in (Also appears in the Tag Tournament spin offs)
  • Jack-2: Jack with with a upgraded processor
  • Baek: Tae Kwon Do fighter, similar to Hworang
  • Bruce: Muay Thai kickboxer
  • Roger: / Alex: Genetically altered animals who are capable of fighting
  • Angel: A literal Angel sent to save Kazuya’s soul

Most of the previous characters return from the previous game, except for the mysterious WildCard

Heiachi finding out he’s no longer the final boss

Arcade Version

Released in 1995 for the arcade and running on the same System 11 arcade platform as the previous game which allowed for operators to upgrade their machines by swapping out the ROM board.

There are a few versions of the arcade version, the original released and a Ver.B update that has a few game-play changes in regards to the AI behaviour. The title screen has also been amended indicating the new release.

MAME is able to run both versions of the game without any issues, although it has the imperfect graphics flag set. Zinc, a high level System 11 emulator is also capable of emulating Tekken 2, but was last updated in 2005 and its plugins are very outdated but they do enable bilinear filtering and upscaling.

Namco would later port this version to the PS2 with the release of Tekken 5, along with Tekken 1 & 3. This is not a direct port as some changes have been made. The audio from the PSone versions have been used since Namco System 11 uses its own custom sound hardware that the PS2 does not emulate. I’m also not sure if these games run on the PS2 I/O CPU, tapping into its native backwards compatibility or if Namco ported these games onto the PS2 Emotion Engine.

Zinc emulator

The Zinc emulator can be configured to apply texture filtering to reduce the blocky artifacts and enhance the overall image quality, resolution can also be increased too.

Unfortunatly where the Zinc emulator falls short is the emulation itself, suffering from various sound issues due to lack of mature Namco sound emulation. As such the music sounds out of tune and many sound elements are missing.

PlayStation

The game was ported to the PlayStation with some additional features added. The soundtrack was also revised with an arranged remix making used of the PlayStations CD audio, the arcade original music also exists and can be selected by the user.

Like the first Tekken home port, FMV endings have been added for each characters that details their backstory. Namco expanded these to have their own soundtrack, compared tot he first game where every characters would have the same music playing over the FMV.

Additional game modes have been added such as survival, training and team battle mode. Also, when pausing the game you can view the character move and command sets. These would also be carried over to future home releases of Tekken games.

Most emulators wont encounter any issues playing Tekken 2, but there are a few issues with PXGP being added. Polygons have a tendency to warp with this enabled, and the character portraits can go off model.

Zeebo

The game was ported to the Zeebo console in 2008 and was similar to the PlayStation version but with slightly improved graphics. The textures appear to be cleaned up from the PlayStation version with some filtering enabled. The music however was butchered beyond repair due to the limited ROM sizes of the game. Zeebo games were distributed over the mobile network using UMTS, which meant games had to be of a certain size in order for them to be downloaded quickly which limited the music of these game to polyphonic like sounds.

I’m also not aware of any emulators or known dumps of this version, so the only footage exists that was uploaded on Youtube.

.

Corel Linux

An early Linux distro, this time by Corel who also developed Corel Draw and is known for PaintShop Pro and WordPerfect office suite

Install

The installer has a very Windows-like look to it, at least going by the window styles.

Originally I tried using the Cirrus Logic GD5440, but the X Window system would not start up with that card. Instead, I tried S3 Vision968 instead, which actually worked fine. I guess certain cards have issues running under Linux

Boot

The logon screen on the left, and the default desktop after a fresh install. It seems that most drivers for the hardware were detected and installed, all except for the sound.

Sound

This was an issue trying to get the sound to work with this distro, at first I tried using the SoundBlaster AWE32 (both normal and PnP versions) and using the sndconfig command in the terminal to configure it but I had no luck. The PnP version said it was detected and set up but after rebooting there still wasn’t sound. Using the regular AW32 resulted in no devices being detected, even after using the –noprobe switch to force it into selecting the soundcard values.

Lastly, I tried using the Ensoniq that 86Box emulates and although this is automatically detected by the OS, I still had no luck getting the sound to work.

Meanwhile, everything else seemed to work, the network card & the SCSI adaptor.

Applications

There are a few applications bundled with the OS, some will also appear in other distro’s

Games

kblackBox (0.3.0) No idea how this game works…

Konquest (0.99.1) Not much luck with this one either

Mahjong (0.4.1) Typical Mahjong clone

Minesweeper (kmines 1.0.1a): Standard Windows minesweeper clone

Patience (0.7.3) Looks like another solitaire clone

Poker (kpoker 0.5)

Reversi (kreversi 1.0.1)

SameGame (0.4) Objective is to clear the board by clicking on groups of colours

Shisen-Sho (kshisen 1.1): Looks like Mahjong, objective is to move pairs of matching pattens/tiles that are on the same line, within 3 spaces of each other

Smiletris (Ksmiletris 1.1) Sort of like Tetris, but blocks drop in pieces of three. According to the help documentation, at least two blocks vertically have to have matching patterns to be removed.

Snake Race (0.2.1): A bizarre take on the snake game formula, you have to control your snake and eat as many apples as possible, whilst avoiding the computer-controlled snake. There is a ball flying about, but I have no clue as to what that does? Annoying it you open the menu to change difficulty, the game does not pause and will continue playing in the background.
You can also customize the game itself, like changing the background image. Or set the amount of computer-controlled snakes.

Sokiban (ksokoban 0.2.2) A game where you have to push the diamonds into the correct holes in order to progress to the next level. Same as what was included in Mandrake 7.

Graphics

the GIMP (1.0.2) Image and photo editing application

PS Viewer (kghostview 0.7) Simple image viewer

Multimedia

CD Player: Standard CD Player, I couldn’t get this to recognize any mounted CD audio formations (They were mounted as BIN/CUE)

Media Player (kmedia 1.0) plays back WAV format files

MIDI/Karaoke Player: Starts up fine, but unable to test any MIDI files due to the lack of working sound

XMMS (0.9.5.1): X Multimedia system, sort of acts like WINAMP. Has support for MP2 and MP3 files.

Network

KVIRC (1.1): An IRC client that asks a lot of questions on startup, like where you want the config files to be saved, and if you want an icon placed on desktop.

KRN (0.6.0) : Newsgroup client

Samba Server Wizard: Sets up your computer to share files within a workgroup, and to share printers if needed, Samba is the protocol that Windows uses to share files within a local network.

System

Corel Update: Searches for updated packages and new components to be installed. No longer functional since the update servers are now offline.

Event Viewer: Similar to the Windows event viewer, shows any issues or events logged with the system. Very useful for troubleshooting, here it found that the AWE32 soundcard was not being detected properly.

Font Manager: Shows X11 and KDE fonts currently installed on the system

MIME Editor: Change application file type defaults, i.e which program to open DOC files in

Process manager: Like the task manager, shows running processes and how much resources they are consuming

User manager: Add and manage user accounts, and any background users for specific processes.

Utilities

Archive Administrator (0.5): Create and open tgz files

Calculator (kCalc 1.2.7): Functions as a regular or a scientific calculator, looks very similar to the one found in versions of Microsoft Windows

Console: Enter bash terminal commands here

Format Floppy (kFloppy 1.1.2) : Formats a floppy disk, supports both 3.5 and 5.25 inch drives

Hex Editor: View hex value for certain files

Note (knote): Similar to sticky notes, you can add different post it notes to the desktop

Text Editor (kwrite 0.98): Text editor, like Windows notepad

Online Services

Corel also bundled a few links and utilities to online services, these were typically links to products Corel had developed or had sponsored.

Other Applications

Netscape Navigator (4.7): The default web browser for the system.

Most of the built-in links have expired and do not return any proper webpages, some even throw up a phishing warning by my ISP (CorelCity).

Still, I was able to load Richard Stallman’s own website, although the archive version works better

Acrobat Reader: I’m surprised that this was here, I didn’t think Adobe developed Acrobat for Linux, unless this is a Wine port. Sadly it refused to work, with only an error message appearing.

Control Center

Various elements of the Corel Linux operating system can be configured here, and details of the system will be shown here. In essence, it’s the systems Control Panel.

There’s a variety of themes to choose from they add style to the windows, taskbar and background image. You can also stick with the default theme, and just use a different preset colour scheme, or you can modify the individual colours themselves.
There are also system sounds, but I could not get the soundcard to function in this operating system.

Sample Themes


Screensavers are also offered here and there is a good selection compared to a typical Windows install.

Window minimizing effect

86Box Configuration

  • 86Box Version 3.3
  • Motherboard: Intel Advanced/ZP
  • CPU: IDT WinChip 2 – 240Mhz
  • 128MB RAM
  • Video: S3 Vision968 (SPEA Mercury P64V) 4MB VRAM
  • Sound: None (Tried Ensoniq AudioPCI ES1371 and SoundBlaster AWE32)
  • Network: Realtel RTL8029AS
  • SCSI: NCR 53c860
It’s now safe to turn off your computer