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|Last updated: March 14th, 2006|
|RE: Additional notes from Mic on Stunt Island|
|Table of Contents:|
|Stunt Island Upgrades or Patches:|
There are several series of patches to SI, culminating in the five primary files set
making up the "P3 Patch". This is an extensive and final patch to SI
before it was given the "kiss off" by its developers.
Among other issues, the P3 Patch Set fixes problems with SI sounds when used with sound cards other than the original Sound Baster on IRQ 7 interrupt. Indeed, the patch totally eliminated a problem I had with SI when using it on a system equipped with a SB16 ASP ISA card running on the default for this new card: IRQ5. Without the patch, sound files played scratchy. After the patch was applied - the sound was clear as a bell (as it sounds on the original Sound Blaster).
The P3 Patch Set also eliminates the look up copyright protection that made users get out the manual to search for specific data regarding one of the aircraft in the simulation. It also added the Easy / Hard flight option to the Preferences Dialog box as well as the ability to select either independent Rudder or Aileron control. Checking of the Preferences screen via ALT+P and looking for the Easy / Hard flight model option is a
good way to see if your copy of SI is up to P3. The complete P3 Patch Set is now available for download here (4175k). The five files are
contained within a single zip. To install. Unzip to a temporary directory and follows the directions in the provided text file...
The P3 patch set is also still available at the site hosting the Disney Software archives (if it is still up). You can go there via the SI Links page.
Besides the comprehensive P3 patch, there is also a replacement for the original stand alone film player called PLAYONE.EXE. This update is called SIPLAY.EXE an contains a couple of fixes regarding how this player works and sets up on different systems. However, in testing - I have improved on this version slightly - as thus have my own newer player version... which I believe is superior. You can get a copy of this new revised player (as well as my notations on it) currently on my Frontier Films webpage. This file: ffplayr.zip has everything a user needs to watch an SI film (SI is of course not needed).
|Learning Stunt Island: The Manual|
More than perhaps any other program, one who is attempting to get into
SI needs to "RTFM"- Read The frak'in Manual! The SI manual is a great
technical work, nicely illustrated with screen shots and laid out in
an easy to learn manner. Much like a textbook, the 180 page
spiral bound manual is quality printed on very high quality, almost
laminated index card weight paper. Its impressive and nice to curl
up with at bedtime.
A while back, someone took the time to totally scan the entire Stunt Island Manual into PDF format. Its actually a very nice scan to PDF job.
Even individuals lucky enough to have the actual manual can make use of
the PDF. (Perhaps, quick review at work ? Or just to search
for some tid-bit of info.)
|Problems with Running Stunt Island on Newer Systems:|
One of the most consistent problems over the years, with running Stunt Island on newer systems, has been in trying to get the correct compatibility to achieve sound: both music (midi tunes) as well as digital sounds...
For a long time, this was a pretty big issue for using SI with newer systems - And, SI really needs sound to be properly enjoyed (as most sims do).
The easiest way to get SI running with sound was to have a specific type of Sound Blaster card in your system (SB1024 LIVE) which was fully capable of a "SB16 Emulation mode" when at the DOS prompt from within WINDOWS 98 (known as SB16 Emulation Mode by Creative). Many cards (even later Soundblasters) - which stated they were 100% SoundBlaster compatible - but which lacked this DOS SB16 Emulation, didn't work.
With the advent of XP systems, the situation seemed even more bleak as XP has no real DOS mode. All seemed loss until the rise of DOSBox.
With the latest issue of DOSBox (ver 0.63), running Stunt Island on newer XP systems and even other platforms (like OS/2)... is a "breeze". DOSBox 0.63 now brings tons of
older (but never championed) DOS games and applications roaring back to life!
If you are unfamiliar with DOSBox, or would like to download it (it's FREE), just click on the DOSBox Icon below. Also, Find out more concerning running Stunt Island under DOSBox in this article:
Big Changes for Stunt Island.
Of course, you can (for little money) always pick up or assemble an older PC system. (eBay is an excellent source.) Get say a 486 DX2-66. Next, find a copy of good old MS DOS 5.0 or higher (if it does not already come on it), and then track down a true SoundBlaster card (either original or SB16). This rig will supply you with years of fun running older PC software on your nifty retro system. And, yes - it will run even better than DOSBox! Perfect, in fact.
However, If you are unfamiliar with MS-DOS and not willing to learn just a little about setting up an AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS files, the above option may not be the best avenue to pursue... (Do I hear the DOSBox program calling you?)
Regarding real MS-DOS memory issues: SI likes "Extended" and with EMM386.EXE loaded into your CONFIG.SYS file. It can be set up to provide a place for SI to happily cache most all of itself. You do not need have "Expanded" available, but if it is present - I've not found that it won't hurt (unlike some other programs that really hate it).
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