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Author Topic: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2  (Read 4582 times)

bamdad

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Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« on: December 12, 2020, 03:03:58 PM »

Hello,

Don't know if this is the right place to ask, but is there anyone around who knows a lot about ResEdit and what changed between Mac OS 9.0(.4) and 9.2.2? I'm asking because I'm trying to run said game on 9.2.2 where instead of the lovely unshaded polygon scenery there is only blackness. This is apparently a known incompatibility, which started in 9.1 where ground objects started to jump around constantly, then in 9.2 there's only blackness.

I'm pretty sure this is fixable with some hacking: my guess is that either some Colour QuickDraw backwards compatibility layer was removed, or maybe part of the 68k dynamic recompilation done in the Mac OS ROM (nanokernel) was crippled in favour of producing cleaner code on PowerPC.. but I really don't know where to start so some help would be appreciated - or just tell me (preferably in a detailed response) why I'm wasting my time and there's an OS 9 native build of SheepShaver somewhere that would happily run on my Hack Mini G4.. :)

Thanks in advance.
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Hopfenholz

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2020, 05:20:34 AM »

Hope you get an answer on this as I am having the same problem and used to love this game!
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bamdad

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2024, 01:33:42 PM »

so after a few years and getting better acquainted with mac os 9 i'm pretty certain this is because of some backwards compatibility in the ROM was removed after 9.1 where hellcats atill works perfectly.
if only someone could help me in getting a 9.1 ROM working on my mac mini to test the theory..
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Bolkonskij

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2024, 11:45:47 PM »

Being an avid Hellcats fan since the 90's (perhaps THE essential 90's Mac game for me personally :-) ) I've been following your thread, hoping you could find a solution. (note to myself: My Pismo runs 9.0.4 so I need to check if it runs on there.)

Have the sources for Hellcats ever been showing up somewhere? Has anyone tried to contact Eric Parker about it? Taking the sources and recompiling the game might be the easier way than getting a 9.1 ROM working on the Mini? (though that would be an interesting project and one I'd love to see!)
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Jubadub

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2024, 12:26:43 AM »

The issue probably has to do with resource (fork?) compression/decompression. This feature was (for no good reason?) removed in 9.1. There's quite a list of software that got affected by this, such as After Dark, and possibly also Power MachTen, although the former got a patch fix for it, and the latter even an official patch fix.

If you can bring this ability back to 9.1, and thus also 9.2, 9.2.1, and 9.2.2, it might fix the problem entirely, and also fix a bunch of other software.

I don't think it has anything to do with the "ROM" file: if you install Mac OS 9.2.2 on an Old World ROM machine (using i.e. OS9Helper), you will most likely encounter the exact same issues.

Also, when you ask for "version 9.1 of the ROM", do you mean a ROM file included with some release of Mac OS 9.1, or a ROM file whose version is "9.1"?
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bamdad

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2024, 02:16:14 AM »

Being an avid Hellcats fan since the 90's (perhaps THE essential 90's Mac game for me personally :-) ) I've been following your thread, hoping you could find a solution. (note to myself: My Pismo runs 9.0.4 so I need to check if it runs on there.)

Have the sources for Hellcats ever been showing up somewhere? Has anyone tried to contact Eric Parker about it? Taking the sources and recompiling the game might be the easier way than getting a 9.1 ROM working on the Mini? (though that would be an interesting project and one I'd love to see!)


i distinctly remember trying to contact the original author a few years ago but i only got undeliverable mail messages so i gave up. also i'm really not a developer, i can only use MPW with tutorials and examples (i'm a UNIX sysadmin by trade), so i thought it would be easier to replicate the environment where hellcats runs properly. i even thought of compiling mini vmac's macII version for OS 9 so i can run it in a VM and be done with it, but i had to abandon that because the mini vmac author said OS 9 as a host is no longer supported in the build system..
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GuiBer

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2024, 02:17:13 AM »

Hoping to help bamdad, I have posted two files that maybe of his interest :

https://www.mediafire.com/file/3gv482z8zqyn7d3/Apple+ROMs+Matrix.pdf.zip
a PDF document with many infos about all Mac ROMs

https://www.mediafire.com/file/7q2qr22s94vyu97/New_World_ROMs.zip/file
an archive of New World Mac ROMs

A full set of Mac ROMs is available here :

https://archive.org/details/Macintosh_ROMs_Collection_1990s
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bamdad

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2024, 02:19:13 AM »

The issue probably has to do with resource (fork?) compression/decompression. This feature was (for no good reason?) removed in 9.1. There's quite a list of software that got affected by this, such as After Dark, and possibly also Power MachTen, although the former got a patch fix for it, and the latter even an official patch fix.

If you can bring this ability back to 9.1, and thus also 9.2, 9.2.1, and 9.2.2, it might fix the problem entirely, and also fix a bunch of other software.

I don't think it has anything to do with the "ROM" file: if you install Mac OS 9.2.2 on an Old World ROM machine (using i.e. OS9Helper), you will most likely encounter the exact same issues.

Also, when you ask for "version 9.1 of the ROM", do you mean a ROM file included with some release of Mac OS 9.1, or a ROM file whose version is "9.1"?


i don't think it's about resource (fork) compression, because i have 9.1 running on my pismo and hellcats runs just fine after removing some unneeded monitors extension or something (i can't recall but i can dig it up).


by '9.1 ROM' i meant the ROM file included with mac OS 9.1, not a spoofed version. i tried copying my 'Mac OS ROM' over from my Pismo and my ver 1 power mac G4 but it resulted in an error after the happy mac.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2024, 08:23:03 AM by bamdad »
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bamdad

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2024, 02:26:16 AM »

Hoping to help bamdad, I have posted two files that maybe of his interest :

https://www.mediafire.com/file/3gv482z8zqyn7d3/Apple+ROMs+Matrix.pdf.zip
a PDF document with many infos about all Mac ROMs

https://www.mediafire.com/file/7q2qr22s94vyu97/New_World_ROMs.zip/file
an archive of New World Mac ROMs

A full set of Mac ROMs is available here :

https://archive.org/details/Macintosh_ROMs_Collection_1990s


thank you, however these are not in the format that is readily usable in the system folder, rather .rom files that can be added to e.g. sheepshaver. i'll have to look into a method of converting them so i can test them on my mini.


i'll have a look through the documentation though, thank you.
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Jubadub

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2024, 03:18:15 AM »

i don't think it's about resource (fork) compression, because i have 9.1 running on my pismo and hellcats runs just fine after removing some unneeded monitors extension or something (i can't recall but i can dig it up).

I see. In that case, did you try all 3 color depths (256, thousands and millions), as well as all possible resolution settings? I assume you already did, but I'm asking just in case.
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bamdad

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2024, 03:27:54 AM »

i don't think it's about resource (fork) compression, because i have 9.1 running on my pismo and hellcats runs just fine after removing some unneeded monitors extension or something (i can't recall but i can dig it up).

I see. In that case, did you try all 3 color depths (256, thousands and millions), as well as all possible resolution settings? I assume you already did, but I'm asking just in case.


of course :) hellcats errors out if you try to run it on any depth above 256 colours, and it adapts pretty well to resolutions. if i plug in my pismo to the same monitor my mac mini is using it happily runs at 1920x1080 by scaling its interface to a 4:3 aspect ratio leaving the desktop visible beneath.


somehow i need to identify what causes the dynamically rendered part of the screen (above the cockpit) to be completely blank on 9.2.2. i'm pretty sure it's not an extension like quickdraw or quicktime because the same thing happens when booting with extensions off. next i'm going to try (on my pismo as it's not as hacky as the mac mini)
- older versions like mac OS 9.2 and 9.2.1
- mixing and matching ROM files in the system folder
- looking through hellcats's resources in resedit (at least the ones i can understand)
and see if i can come up with something.


if someone who's a pro in any of the above could join me in my efforts it would be really appreciated.
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bamdad

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2024, 04:39:20 PM »

first one can be crossed out, as hellcats produces the same black screen on every flavour of 9.2.x i tried. in other good news my pismo started randomly freezing, i'm guessing caps or memory (ordered a fresh set of 2x512M sticks) we'll see..

i've seen the 68kmla topic about 8.6 booting on a pismo with a modified ROM, might try that later on the mini
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goodoldmacs

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Re: Hellcats Over the pacific - on Mac OS 9.2.2
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2024, 10:59:23 AM »

if it is part of the resource fork compression/decompression then either who would know about how to fix that or what would be involved in fixing it?

hellcats would be the most important victim of that but after dark is awesome also

this is the main reason i would go all through the trouble of the 8.6 firmware trick but on a fw400 mdd that might not even work :(

actually the main reason i got a g4 is i wanted to run hellcats at the highest possible resolutions  8) ...
so i was pretty disappointed to find out about this bug  :'(

hellcats was programmed so great to even have those resolutions available, if only more classic flight sims had that options, for most games it doesnt matter but flight sims definitely benefit.

did the same dev make another mac flight sim with an improved engine?  i remember another flight sim that came out a few years later that looked very similar tho it had modern jets.  maybe if theres no way to fix OS9 there could be a way to port the hellcats missions to that other engine
« Last Edit: May 18, 2024, 11:23:54 AM by goodoldmacs »
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