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Thread: Wizardry on Extended IIe w/ 80 Column Card

  1. #1

    Default Wizardry on Extended IIe w/ 80 Column Card

    Hello. I got my first 8-bit Apple about a month ago. It's an Extended IIe, with an 80 column card. I did use Apple II+ and IIe machines a bit back in the day, but this is the first time that I have my own to play with.

    I've discovered that when I launch Wizardry I with the 80 column card installed, the displayed characters are sized for 80 column mode, but they are still displayed in 40 columns with spaces between each character. I get the normal 40 column display if I remove the 80 column card. The pseudo-80-column display is distracting and difficult to read, so I want to correct this problem.

    I'd prefer not to have to remove the 80 column card in order to play Wizardry, so I've been thinking about a hardware work-around such as cutting a trace on the 80 column card and then routing the cut signal through a toggle switch on the rear panel, mounted in one of the plastic connector cutout covers. In my brief glance at the schematics, it seems like EN80' or 80VID' might be suitable signals to interrupt, depending on exactly how Wizardry is inadvertently enabling a partial 80 column mode. I think that I should be able to nondestructively experiment with interrupting various signals by covering individual card edge fingers with Kapton tape (a very thin polyimide tape with lots of uses in electronics work) before plugging the 80 column card into its slot.

    I would be very surprised if I was the first person to ever encounter this problem. Is there a better solution than what I have in mind? Has anybody been down this trail before and figured out exactly how to disable the 80 column card in cases like this? Are there other programs that barf on the 80 column card similarly?

    In case it matters: I do have an original boxed copy of Wizardry I, but the copy I'm actually playing is the one on Apple2online.com which appears to have been cracked. I don't want to risk damaging my original disks, and I have not been able to make a working copy of them with Copy II Plus.

  2. #2
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    hw mod seem rather excessive for a piece of game software...?
    traditional approach would be to patch the software.

  3. #3
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    I think the version found on Apple2online, which presumably comes from Asimov, is a late version that adds 80-column support. Since Wizardry predates the IIe by approximately two years, earlier releases would not support 80 column cards, since there was no clear standard at the time. Try your boxed version, see if it is earlier.
    My Retro Computing and Vintage Gaming Blog : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorkbert View Post
    hw mod seem rather excessive for a piece of game software...?
    traditional approach would be to patch the software.
    True, but the hardware approach is a lot easier for me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Great Hierophant View Post
    I think the version found on Apple2online, which presumably comes from Asimov, is a late version that adds 80-column support. Since Wizardry predates the IIe by approximately two years, earlier releases would not support 80 column cards, since there was no clear standard at the time. Try your boxed version, see if it is earlier.
    Both my original and the cracked copy are Version 2.1 of 22-Jan-1982. Maybe the 80 column characters on 40 column spacing was deliberate? Maybe the whole 80 columns will be used effectively when I get deeper into the game? Here are a few screen shots:

    Cracked copy, 80 column card inserted:
    IMG_2773.jpg

    Original copy, 80 column card inserted:
    IMG_2774.jpg

    Another screen, 80 column card inserted:
    IMG_2775.jpg

    Same screen with 80 column card removed:
    IMG_2776.jpg

    Back in the day, I used to like playing Wizardry on my friend's II+. I don't recall whether he had an 80 column card. That was a long time ago!

  5. #5
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    II+ 80 column is implementated very very differently from that of IIe.
    My guess is that Wizardry had sloppy coding somewhere that touched IIe 80 column I/O register(s).

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorkbert View Post
    II+ 80 column is implementated very very differently from that of IIe.
    My guess is that Wizardry had sloppy coding somewhere that touched IIe 80 column I/O register(s).
    That was my guess, too, but I figured I should ask around before I start changing things. If it was any other random program I would probably just live with it, but since playing Wizardry again was one of my main motivations for buying the machine, I'm willing to add a disable switch to make the experience good. I would have done that without hesitation back in the 80s if I had bought the machine new then.

  7. #7
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    Ha! I have played a lot of Wizardry, long ago on an Apple IIC (now long gone), and recently on my Apple IIC+.

    That is the way the screen has always looked for me. I guess I always thought that was the way they implemented it.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    smp

  8. #8

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    You can try it under different apple and 80cols configurations with this emulator http://applewin.berlios.de/

  9. #9

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    Experimenting with the emulator sounds like a good idea.

    Wikipedia says that the Apple IIe was released in 1983, while my copy of Wizardry is dated 1982. So, that makes it seem pretty plausible that Wizardry is tripping a soft switch in my IIe that didn't exist at the time it was written.

  10. #10

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    I did end up adding a switch for "Wizardry mode" a few weeks ago, and it works. If anybody else in the world cares, I can take some pictures and share the details. I considered it to be a simple modification, but somebody who isn't used to doing cut-n-jump PCB modifications might not agree. It involves tacking on a pull up resistor, cutting one trace, and adding a switch across the cut. I installed the switch in one of the plastic rear panel hole covers.

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