Sunday, 29 November 2015

Another X1000 and 1541 Ultimate II

Recently I was given the opportunity to purchase another X1000 in Australia second hand for a good price. With what happened to me earlier this year, I decided it was a good idea to have a backup X1000 system, especially now they are sold out. I bought it and it arrived here last week!

What surprised me when it arrived is the much larger (wider) size of the R4 case, compared to the R3 case of my original X1000.

Closeup view of the back of the "new" X1000:

The next shot shows inside my "new" X1000 - unlike my original X1000, this system has 2GB of memory instead of 4GB, and the standard Radeon HD card (non-Warp3D capable).

I needed to check all the cables and cards where pushed in correctly - some had moved a bit in transport like the network card, and needed a push in to be firmly seated before powering on for the first time.

This system has a 1TB SATA hard disk in it, installed with AmigaOS 4.1.6 and almost stock condition - very clean inside and out. Here it is below, once powered on to check it is working ok after transport - All good!

I quickly set to work to upgrade this system to AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition. The previous owner had purchased Final Edition for the X1000, but never installed it. I quickly set about that task:

I have covered in a lot of detail previously how to prepare and install AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition on the X1000 - to save covering old ground again, if you are interested in how I did this then please check the two part blog posts where I cover it step by step - Part 1 and Part 2.

Once the installation of Final Edition was completed, I then set about getting it configured to my liking and transferring my X1000 data across so I have a full backup X1000 system:

Have to admit that fitting the X1000 into the location where the Sam460 was before is quite a squeeze and doesn't really work well with the C64 blocking the front door. Not sure if it will stay here permanently, but for now this is where it lives! I put the Sam 460 away in storage for now.

I might have a go at putting Linux onto this X1000 in the future, but for now I am glad to have the backup X1000 system running AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition!

On the subject of the C64 in the photo above (a bit off topic but still Commodore related!), this week I received my 1541 Ultimate II, which is a C64 cartridge that allows me to run tape and disk games as image files from MicroSD card, in a similar way that the sd2iec and Chameleon64 add-on's I covered in my earlier blog post here do. You can order it from this website, but I believe the next batch of units might be a while.

The 1541 Ultimate II seems to provide better compatibility to C64 software in the testing I have done so far than the Chameleon64. I include some photos here of the 1541 Ultimate II for those curious...

The guide was very useful to get up and running with the 1541 Ultimate II and is a definite read first!

For the unit I bought, I opted to have the optional tape connector fitted, which allows the 1541 Ultimate II to feed tape image files through the tape interface, just like a real tape drive would do:

The tape connector had a pass through connector as well, in case you still want to connect a real tape drive unit to it:

The USB to network connection option I also purchased, although at the time of writing this functionality is not enabled yet.

Once the 1541 Ultimate II is plugged into to the C64 cartridge port, the 1541 disk cable (included) connected to the disk drive port, and tape adapter into the tape port we are ready to power on.

On power on I got the Retro Replay boot screen, which allows you to preload a cartridge image containing the Fastload cartridge functionality before loading any disk or tape images:

By pressing the middle button on the 1541 Ultimate II, I get to see the SD Card, which I have already put all my disk images on, ready to try out:

Apparently you can connect usb sticks to the usb port on the 1541 Ultimate II to load image files from too, although I didn't try this yet.

It is simple to select the disk image (or tape image) on the SD card using the menus via keyboard on the C64, and then mount the disk image, ready to load a program from it:

A slight complication for my C64 setup though is the need to set up the 1541 Ultimate II to use device #9 rather than the usual #8. This is because the sd2iec is installed internally and already has that drive designation. Fortunately changing this configuration is easy enough in the settings:

Once mounted, from the standard C64 prompt I type in LOAD "*",9,1 and then RUN to run the disk I have mounted.

Here is Wizball, running as a d64 image file on the 1541 Ultimate II:

Impossible Mission II as well:

I know this is a bit off topic (sorry!), but I wanted to show the 1541 Ultimate II device on the Commodore 64 as it is a neat device! I purposely do not have a disk drive or tape drive with my C64, and I rely on the image loading functionality of these modern add-ons to provide the ability to load games and demos on the real C64! The retro fun without the large disk & tape collection and associated long disk/tape loading times from real drive hardware! :-)

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Lariad on X1000

Today I wanted to take a look at the recently released game called Lariade (Lariad), ported by HunoPPC to run under AmigaOS 4.1 Final edition, demonstrated on my AmigaOne X1000.

Lariad is a platform/adventure game with multiple environments to explore using a spaceship to go between them, with tasks and clues dotted throughout the game to move forward and unlock more environments and challenges.

I should mentioned that I am not sure if this game works on non-Warp3D hardware, as I have Warp3D Southern Islands drivers and compatible card on my X1000. A lot of HunoPPC games need it. You can also try Wazp3D from if you don't have Warp3D on your X1000.

If you don't have Warp3D Southern Islands and suitable graphics card yet, I strongly recommend it! You can get Warp3D Southern Islands from AMIStore, and the compatible Radeon HD graphics cards are listed on the product page. The card that came with your X1000 is not compatible with Warp3D Southern Islands. You can also buy a compatible card direct from AmigaKit here (once they are back in stock again) or source one locally from Ebay...

It is free to download Lariad and it is available on here. Once extracted to a drawer you get the following:

The OS4 ready doesn't contain much information other than version changes, but it included here anyway:

Below is the Lariad title screen - still not sure if this game is called Lariade or Lariad. I'll go with Lariad as that is what the game icon says!

Controls are listed under the Config option:

When you select Start, you are prompted to select the difficulty level:

As the game opens you are in a hut in a swamp area:

As you move around the hut you can interact with some objects and go through doors of course.

Control is via joystick or keyboard. I am using the keyboard:

Heading outside the hut we see the rather pretty swamp environment, ready to explore:

Instructions are given out to explain what things do, what can kill you and so on:

You start with 3 health bars on the top left, and once they are exhausted it is game over.

Exploring the level I quickly found the ladder leading to the medial power up that gives your player once more additional health bar. There is one of these on each level:

Heading back down again...

I have to say, this game is very pretty and very engaging. The story and music are good and sucked me into the game:

Look out for the spiders you can jump up and down platforms to avoid walking in front of them.

I then find the witches hut that allows me to save my progress - I can continue from this point if I am killed - without saving I have to start from the beginning, so make sure you do save when you reach one of these points!

Soon after I reached my spaceship, which means I have reached the end of the swamp environment.

Once inside the spaceship I can save the game and also recharge my health fully:

Moving into the heart of the ship I can see the following screen, which allows me to launch the spaceship to the next environment. I can only go to environments that are unlocked. You can use the computer keyboard to switch which environment you want to travel to next.

The screen on the left confirms the current environment the ship is at right now.  Pushing the red launch button takes us to the next environment select with the keyboard on the right side of the screen.

On arrival we wake up from bed on the spaceship, ready to explore:

We can see the view of the Waterfall environment outside:

Once exiting the Spaceship we are into the Waterfall environment:

There are plenty of warnings about falling objects and bamboo to avoid walking on:

There is a side cave after the bridge which I explore:

In the side cave is a guy called Gisaku who explains the birds are all gone, and another guy went looking for them and lost his gun in here somewhere...

So somewhere in the environment is a gun we need to find! Working through the level I avoid the various traps and falling objects:

I reached the next save point:

I then found the gun in an adjacent room, and the next environment is also unlocked:

Definitely we need the gun to fight our way through many enemies to get back to the spaceship!

Eventually I made it back to the spaceship, to then launch for the next environment - cliffs:

The Cliff environment is harder than the previous one, and I guess it only gets harder still as you progress through the game!

Ready to catch a lift to the higher platforms:

We apparently need to find some tools:

Unfortunately shortly after this I was killed by some aggressive enemies!

Lariad is a great game and a lot of fun to play on the X1000. The sound, music and graphics are great and the adventure is quite interesting! Recommended.