View Full Version : EMS Games?

February 24th, 2011, 10:10 AM
I only know one game that uses EMS - Monster Bash. It uses it to work with the SoundBlaster, and the game itself (if you don't want SB sound) doesn't actually require it. I know lots of business apps could use EMS, Win3x could as well iirc..

However, I'm not aware of a single game that uses EMS for the game itself (i.e., unlike Monster Bash) and am not aware of any games besides Monster Bash that even use it in a limited respect.

I need to know if this is just due to me not having come across such games, or if EMS basically wasn't used for games - for my current project (programming project, that is..).


Anonymous Freak
February 24th, 2011, 10:34 AM
Microsoft Space Simulator.

REQUIRES it, even with just PC Speaker sound.

February 24th, 2011, 10:54 AM
Wing Commander I and UltimaVI want up to 1 MB of EMS 4.0 though it isn't required. There were a few other games that did the same thing but most of the memory intensive games also needed a fast CPU and quickly transitioned to DOS extenders.

February 24th, 2011, 04:38 PM
Alright, I think that's all I need - thanks.

Seems it's a rarity, not commonplace at all - which is what I thought.

April 2nd, 2011, 11:30 PM
If you're referring to that awful "extended memory manager", I've encountered lots!
*Theme Park
*Ultima 8
*Lemmings 2

And many more.

Of course a simple edit of CONFIG.SYS solves that, but I am a lazy fellow.

April 3rd, 2011, 08:40 AM
If you're referring to that awful "extended memory manager", I've encountered lots!

No, Raven's referring to the "Expanded Memory Manager" which accesses additional memory through a "window" in high memory. "Extended" is the HIMEM.SYS thing for addressing memory above the 1MB boundary in pages, available only on 80286+.

October 26th, 2011, 02:09 PM
My experience was that Sierra adventures based on the SCI engine (not the older AGI engine) could also take advantage of EMS. SCI games were much more demanding to begin with, and I recall them often slowing down to a crawl on an 8086 XT machine (depending on how many moving objects there were on screen at once). I believe I noticed some improvement in that respect after the 8086 chip of the system was replaced by a NEC V30, but that might also just have been a placebo.

Anyway, the use of EMS was particularly apparent (at least as far as I recall) when playing an SCI game on floppies instead of on a hard drive. When you walked back and forth between two "rooms" or "screens", the floppy drive would spend a long time loading each area (very annoying) before the game would resume. With an EMS board installed (and the driver for it loaded), walking back to a screen where I had recently been would result in that screen being fetched from EMS instead of reloaded from disk, resulting in a much more rapid scene transition.

It might be less obvious when playing the game from a hard drive (although even then you should notice the HD LED not flashing at all when going back to a recently visited area of the game).

I also remember using a different speedup "trick" that didn't require games to support EMS at all: using all available EMS memory for a RAM disk, and then copying an entire game over to it, and then running it from the RAM disk. That way, I only had to wait one time for the floppies being copied over (which is also more rapid, since the reads are then much more sequential then when data has to be fetched in-game), and then I could start playing the game from the RAM disk. A great solution whenever the entire game fitted in the available EMS memory. :-)

October 27th, 2011, 03:14 PM
The original X-Wing requires 896KB of EMS for for music and digital audio. Without it you only get Adlib/FM sound effects.

October 27th, 2011, 03:36 PM
I seem to recall Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.0 requiring EMS in order to turn on all the surface textures and effects. At least thats what I remember, when we got our 486 we couldn't run it with everything on until QEMM was installed.

October 30th, 2011, 03:07 AM
I think Micro Machines 2 required EMS but I'm not sure, it's been a while...

December 3rd, 2011, 08:46 AM
A bunch of old flight sims used EMS. From the MS Flight Simulator 5.1 readme.txt:

Memory Configuration:
* To run Microsoft Flight Simulator 5.1, you need a computer
with at least 500 kilobytes (K) of free conventional memory. If your
computer does not have an expanded memory manager (EMM), you
need 560K of free conventional memory. Flight Simulator displays a
message if your computer has insufficient conventional memory, and
you cannot run the program. Please refer to the "Troubleshooting
Guide for Setup" in Chapter 24 of the Flight Simulator Pilot's
Handbook for tips on optimizing your system performance.

* You can significantly enhance Flight Simulator's performance
if you configure your computer for expanded memory. Please
refer to the "Troubleshooting Guide for Setup" in Chapter 24
of the Flight Simulator Pilot's Handbook or to your MS-DOS
manual for instructions on how to configure your computer for
expanded memory.

* If you have no extended or expanded memory, or encounter out
of memory errors when running Flight Simulator, you will get
better performance if you turn off the sound option. To do
this, choose Preferences from the Options menu, and then
choose the Sound button. In the Sound Preferences dialog box,
choose No Sound Device from the Sound Board list. This will
save additional conventional memory and allow more features
to run.

* If your machine has only 4 megabytes (MB) of memory,
Flight Simulator will run better if you use the RAM memory
parameter (see MS-DOS help on EMM386.EXE) with no EMS
limiter syntax used in the emm386 line in CONFIG.SYS for
MS-DOS version 6.0 or later. If you are running MS-DOS
version 5.0, you will have better memory and system
performance if you upgrade to MS-DOS version 6.0 or later.

For example, the RAM memory parameter is as follows:
Your actual line may have slightly different arguments, but
the important thing is the presence of the RAM argument.
H=255 is the number of EMS handles, and D=64 is the number
of direct memory access buffers. The values shown are best for
Flight Simulator.

And from the Falcon 3.0 readme.txt section on system requirements:

In addition, we recommend the following:

- 25MHz or faster 80386 or 80486 system
- Mouse
- Joystick
- AdLib, Sound Blaster or Roland LAPC-1 or MT-32 sound card
- 4MB or more of total RAM.
- 620K (634,880 bytes) of free RAM
- Expanded memory (EMS) manager installed in CONFIG.SYS
- 80x87 math coprocessor (required for the High Fidelity flight model)

Also, if I remember correctly, Stunt Island caches data into EMS at startup.

As for other types of games, Wolf3D and Spear of Destiny use EMS for graphics data - their startup screens display the amount of available EMS.

January 12th, 2012, 03:53 AM
I have played the Childbirth Challenge and this game is very interesting to play and it is very unique game.so guys you should be play at least once a time.

January 12th, 2012, 08:45 AM
What a sadistic sounding game. Course I guess it's not like people throwing babies out of the window for the EMS to catch (bouncing babies).

April 2nd, 2012, 04:27 AM
Wolf3d and Hugo's house of horrors can also use ems, but not required... Think Red baron can use EMS as well.