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phillyman's picture
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Joined: 2020 Jun 2
What old mac to get to play these games? What do you use?

HI All,

Well let us start dating me Wink ! First mac was a Mac SE, I know there was a Mac II around, I then upgraded through LC, Performa, G3 tower, G4 tower (windtunnel) and after that it gets blurry Smile I know there was also some laptops like the white G3 ibook...

All of course while growing up. Sadly I tried to keep the software from floppies, to CDs to DVDs but along the way they got lost... With all the craziness that is going on, I want to relive some of my childhood... Even the sad little mac when my system crashed. I adore my modern devices but NO one can match old time "classic" graphics.

Soooo what system/mac to get if I'd like to play Castles II, Prince of Persia (I and II), the carmen Sandiegos, hell just cruising through titles, crystal ball, Playmaker Football, PT-109 I could go on and on and on, Police Quest SWAT maybe even try my hand at the original monkey islands.....

A newer title, I think already OS X version was ambrosia Escape Velocity.

I guess early nineties titles... to right before the changeover. Maybe run them in classic? Hell I'm fine with running them just in os 9.0 but I think wifi to get stuff on (or just usb stick?)

What kind of setups do you use and what would be your recommendation for me?

Do early nineties games run though 9.0? I have a VERY vague recollection that after 7.5 and eight some stuff started to break but I saw some emulators might run the older versions... Just seeing a post that I needed to reset to 256 colors... I just burst out laughing... We are talking 25+ year memories.. Thank you for any and all help.

Philly

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Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Hey and welcome to the Garden, Philly!

if you're into early to late 90s Mac stuff and looking for some nostalgia, I'd go with one of the beige 90s Power Macintoshes or one of the later Performas (they usually go for less money, but not all are necessarily inferior despite the reputation)

I have a Power Macintosh 8600 / 200 that I use whenever life gets stressful and I just wanna relax and go back to the nineties for an hour or two Smile

I'd advise to run Mac OS 7.6 on the machine for compatibility and performance sake but depending on the machine you could always make it a dual-boot one too (like 7.6 and 8.6).

phillyman's picture
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Joined: 2020 Jun 2

Hi Bolkonskij,

Thank you for welcoming me to the community Smile I looked at your macs... My ow my... Trip down memory lane.. More or less my history as I wrote.... OK, I'll shoot for OS 7.6... Does your MDD g4 still have that running as well? I like the idea of dual booting with an os X partition maybe even being able to run some games in classic but having the option to directly booting into 9.x or is it possible to even run a 7.6 on the MDD?

Otherwise I'll check our a peforma... I'd have to check what networking those had, because I remember a LOT of screeching.... I have some ethernet cables and I might even be able to find an old USB stick... I had a nifty LaCie one on my keychain that looked like a key...
Just writing and thinking about those days (and simpler times) puts a smile on my face and is relaxing... No, I appreciate what we have now but from your post I can tell you get me Smile

Any laptops anyone can recommend?

Thanks again I'm sure in a couple of weeks when I'm up and running I'll have more newbie questions... WOW, been while since I've referred to myself as a newbie when it comes to macs Wink

Philly

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

I think hands-down the BEST OVERALL Mac for the majority of PPC Gaming is the Dual 1GHz G4 Quicksilver 2002. The MDDs are a bit faster, but have REALLY LOUD fans when running in OS9.
The Graphics Card possibilities really come down to 2 choices: Stock Radeon 9000 Pro and Nvidia Geforce 4 TI (4600). Both support both OSX and OS9 with full Graphics Accelerations. BUT there is a lot of difference in how well each works with various games. Some games like "Shogo Mobile Armour Division" that only run with acceleration on Nvidia Cards on the other side games like "Giants - Citizen Kabuto" that are unplayable in Nvidia, but run at MAX SETTINGS on AMD like the Radeon. And there's a big price difference. The Radeon is like $20, and the Geforce (if you can find it) often goes for HUNDREDS of DOLLARS, and sadly often has bad Video RAM. On games that run comparable on both, the Nvidia has about a 30% speed advantage, and the Radeon has a great FSAA advantage on supporting titles (like Monolith games).

The next level are the G5 era games like "Prey" and the Lego games, but those are much easier/better on a PS3 or XBox 360 and for much less money.

HughMungus's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 12

I'm currently playing older games on an iBook g3 600 mhz that boots into into 0s 9. It's connected through a vga adaptor to an external display. Living in a tiny apartment, it's nice to be able to pack it all up whenever needed. Although tbh I've never done that...much to the annoyance of my wife (heh heh).

phillyman's picture
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Joined: 2020 Jun 2

I'll keep an eye on both.. I also wanted a clamshell g3 but really loved my white ibook which came later... The two I also lusted after were the 12inch G4 powerbook or the black G3... I might have to find one of those... As for the MDD ... LOUD was not the start... They even FINALLY had to offer some kind of repair kit which was UNHEARD of since Apple NEVER admits a mistake (still rings true).. I took one look at the job and NOPE... The tech that did it, said it was a cinch.. I took the system hope and it was FRIED... Fought Apple for a month for a free motherboard.... Yes, the good old days... But thank you for the recommendations. I'll start looking at ebay for the models you all suggested. Any price range ideas?

I look forward to gaming... Everyone stay safe and sane but since you are gaming the old timer games I guess I can throw out the sane part Wink

Philly

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

I love Clamshell G3s! They are made like a Swiss Watch.

As for the MDD, the kit helps, but even with the fix, the fans rev-ferociously. It is seriously annoying. Quicksilvers are very comparable in power and just don't have the same problems. Also, a TERRIFIC value is if you can find a Digital Audio 733MHz. It is unique because it can take the same Dual 1GHz CPU that goes in the Quicksilver and also has a 4X AGP slot. It can effectively be identical to the Quicksilver for less money.

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Phillyman, if you want to go for a later model (like G3 or G4) you may wanna check the game pages for compatibility with the respective OS version first. You mentioned several early 90s games in your initial post, some of the games from this era may not work on OS9. Or at least not properly. Your best bet is to make a list of games / apps you definitely want and then settle on the OS that most of them support.

Also it all depends on what kind of nostalgia you're looking for. To me, the original hardware is part of the experience Smile

phillyman's picture
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Joined: 2020 Jun 2

Hi OpenSource

Yes, I would not go back to that system, maybe the quicksilver but boy that thing was LOUD!

And Bolkonskij,

BUT THERE ARE SOOOO MANY I WANT TO PLAY Wink Almost every page I'm like OHHHHH... Kid in a candystore does not even begin to show me... I'll have a sugar rush for months!. My guess is I'll end up with two machines but THANK you for the important tip before I go overboard. Starting slow would serve me well but usually I can't control myself.

On a more serious note. As I said I'm quite rusty. I guess getting a quicksilver partitioning it with multiple Os's isn't as simple as I think? Ideally having 7.0 /9.0 and an OS X partition on the same machine probably won't work. How long can one run an OS 7 for example? I think I'll start with a G3 something as a middle ground but will try to check some of my more "important titles" before I buy...

But yes the hardware is some of the nostalgia as well. My LC had some fault, it would crash on startup 10 - 15 times (bomb and all, I guess that would be a serious no go nowadays) and like magic suddenly it would work again Wink

How do you all get the games on the machines? USB if possible, networking or???

Thanks,
Philly

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

The Quicksilver or Digital Audio will both do the job and the fans are very easy to live with. Partitioning works great, but often so does Classic and you can still boot directly off OS9. Just find the "OS 9 General" setup and drag its files right beside those in Panther or Tiger and then boot from Startup Disk in OSX Prefs. Whenever possible/workable Classic has definite memory advantages over OS9 itself since it kinda piggy-backs off of OSX's pretected memory.

Those mentioning emulation aren't wrong, but that is a completely new can of worms and a lot of the aids for shadow-mounting disk images and such are harder to do with all the DRM-UP-THE-BUTT that Apple is in love with now. Tiger is truly the golden-age.

I personally feel the "No Brainer" graphics card is the Radeon 9000 Pro. They are cheap, reliable and work very similar or better than the much more expensive Geforce Ti in about 80% of the cases. I just setup a Retro-Mac gaming rig (with 300 games!!) for a local games-store to give away with a 23" Cinema ADC and Harmon Kardon Mac Pro Speakers and it's shocking how well most of the games ran with that Radeon card.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Hey guys, if you're playing games, can you add them to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wg45xflCn8MAPvE0H4un7OmbavRNW5ql... please? I'm trying to build a data set of what games require what configurations.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

Welcome.

To have everything, just one word, Emulation.

mini vMac for Mac OS6,
BasiliskII for Mac OS7-8.1
SheepShaver for OS8.6 to early OS9

And a real G4 tower or G5 if you can get one, but stay away from the water-cooled G5s now.
The era of a glut of the G4 and G5 towers on the eBay-type sites is well and truly over, I was lucky and got two G5s (to replace my leaky water-cooled dual 2.5) many, many years ago.
G5 iMacs are still around and go for cents, like G3 iMacs, but they tend not to be well looked after. G4 iMacs are available also, but they ain't cheap, especially if they work.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

That sounds good, but still won't allow you to play all the games. I say this as someone who has every OS from the original Twiggy concept build through the latest Catalina imaged and running under either emulation or virtualization bar 3 (7.1P1, 7.1P3 and 7.5.3r2.2) -- some games require a graphics card, and no emulators or virtualizers emulate the appropriate card or provide passthrough. This space has been shrunk by QEMU-PPC forcing some titles to play in software acceleration mode, and work is ongoing to fully emulate the ATi Rage 128... but that's not done yet. And on the earlier side, some games still have timing issues in Mini vMac and won't play -- but most of those seem to work in PCE/Macplus or SoftMac XP.

For more information, see https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1us6SCBgVs8NqbxofJXTmHDeK3nKQJpcg...

What I've found covers the most ground is a G4 Mini dual booting into 9.2.2 and 10.4.11 -- this combination can handle almost all non-x86 Mac games. The ones it can't handle well are usually Universal, meaning they can be played under x86 OS X (but are usually 32-bit, so won't run under Catalina; running under Snow Leopard on hardware that supports it works well for 32-bit x86 games).

phillyman's picture
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Joined: 2020 Jun 2

Hi all, sorry it took a bit to get back to you. Thank you for all the insight. I will certainly get an older mac of some version. I tried the emulation route and have not gotten very far. I stumble on basic issues like not finding the "disk application" to install some of the software. For castles II I installed the files but it still wanted the CD in the slot. I'm sure there are ways around it (I tried to create a disk/cd image) and I'm equally sure that people have made it work and it is "user error" but in the end like someone wrote, part of the fun is the old hardware... I'll see about a g3/g4 laptop and maybe a quicksilver to run multiple systems.

I appreciate the insight and will be back to pester you about certain issues I'll have...

Have a great Sunday,

Philly

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

You're definitely on the right track there, Philly! Smile

Generally speaking, the further back the better the games will perform (just not too far back), as long as you pay attention (mainly) to the graphics requirements. These would be the simpler games, of course; otherwise all of the applicable graphics cards and actual optical media issues will make them unplayable on an emulator.

OpenSourceMac's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jan 21

Here is an AWESOME fixer-upper. Upgradable to Dual 1GHz processors and 2GB or RAM.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-PowerPC-G4-QuickSilver-CPU-867mhz-1-25gb-... Not sure what Graphics card it has - worth a check, and even it it is the old Geforce 2 MX, will get you buy until you find a Radeon 9000 Pro. For this kind of money - can justify a fair bit of fixing up.

Just note: most of these top-out at 128GB for hard-drives without a PCI/SATA adapter. Considering it holds 4 drives that might do ya', but if you want more, might be worth waiting for a Quicksilver 2002. You can find out for sure by asking the seller to check the part number of the logic board -> 820-1276-A is the older one that tops out at 128GB, but if it has a 820-1342-B logic board, then you are good up to 2TB (with say the use of an IDE to SATA inline adapter - about $5).