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ruthven's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 16
Can older Mac games run in OS 7.6?

Hi all. So I've finally just signed up on this site so I could ask a question that I've been wondering for many years. Can older Mac games (pre System 7) run in OS 7.6? I'm talking about all the classic black and white stuff from the 80s and early 90s that I mostly remember playing on a Mac Classic or SE. I think most of these games I'm thinking of were designed for those style Macs--the kind with the small monitor built into the case in a compact design. I currently have two slightly more modern Macs--a Performa 450 and a Performa 630CD and they are both running OS 7.6. I've never seen one of these "classic era" black and white games running on a more modern color mac of the era I'm dealing with... So is this possible? Or is it kind of like trying to run an old MS-DOS game in Win9x or WinXP (generally impossible or maybe possible for certain specific games, but with limitations)?

Mostly I want to play the old Dark Castle games, Shadowgate and the Uninvited, Frankie's Dungeon and other similar titles. I think these are mostly System 6 era games, maybe some might be earlier. I know I could easily emulate these on my PC but I always get more enjoyment out of using real hardware. Besides I can't think of anything else to use my old
Macs for... So my next question is: if I can't get some (or any) of this stuff to work in OS 7.6, is it possible to install System 6 (probably latest version) onto something as modern as a Performa 450? I wouldn't mind having my older Performa as a dedicated old game machine...

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WhosIt.There's picture
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Joined: 2014 Aug 23

The only way to know for sure is if you try them, unless someone else already has.

It really depends on the games themselves - some will work, some won't work, and some will sort-of work. For example, Loderunner (and Lemmings I think) will run on a newer versions of the OS, but they don't have any sound.

The Performa 450 originally shipped with System 7.1, so you won't be able to install any version of the OS older than that. You may be able to get a version of the Mini vMac emulator that works on that Mac, but the games are likely to be unplayably slow.

sfp1954's picture
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I would install the 7.1 or 7.5 on the Performa for the best chance at getting older software to run.

ruthven's picture
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Thanks for the info. Yeah, that's about what I expected on having to try out the individual games to see if they work. I know I did try a few of these without success years ago when I first discovered this site. I notice that most of the old games on this site state that they are for System 1-5 (sometimes through System 6) and then some of them are also listed to be compatible in later OS's like 8.x but often do not have System 7 listed (almost as if some of them are compatible in every classic Mac System EXCEPT System 7 (go figure)). So I guess I'll just have to test and see.

Good to know I can't install anything before System 7.1 on the Performa. So that eliminates my long-standing idea of making the Performa "act" like a Classic... Emulation is an idea--I wasn't aware there was an emulator for System 6 that actually ran in OS 7.6 (and I did actually try googling that)--I thought Mini vMac was for much more modern PCs/Macs only. If I went that route I'd probably try to get it running on my Performa 630CD as that machine is a bit faster/more powerful. But honestly if it comes to emulation I probably might as well do it on my modern PC using Basilisk or something (actually I would probably just do it on my Raspberry Pi at that point). Installing OS 7.1 on the Performa 450 for maximum backwards compatibility is an interesting thought though (of course I'll have to download and figure out a way of burning a 7.1 CD).

WhosIt.There's picture
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I don't know if there actually is a Mini vMac (or the vMac original) that runs on old 680x0 Macs. It was really just an off-the-wall thought. It is a very vague possibility - after all, you did used to be able emulate* a 680x0 Mac on a 680x0 Amiga using the AMax software.

* More precisely it would be "virtualise" since it's the same chip, unlike emulating PowerPC on Intel.

24bit's picture
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There actually is a 68k MiniVMac build included here:
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mini-vmac-ready-go #6
Alas I have no matching Mac to try, but seem to recall that the app was running in SheepShaver.

My choice would be MiniVMac II with System 6 on OSX/macOS or Windows, if Intel Mac is not an option.
If you should choose to go that way, I may have some builds around you could try.
With Paul´s older build helper app, its not too hard to create your own MiniVMac II apps though.
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mac-system-608-minivmac-mac-plus #3

ruthven's picture
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Joined: 2019 Jun 16

Awesome thanks for that link! I'll definitely give it a shot. But yeah I'll probably end up emulating on something much newer. Come to think of it I recently inherited an old Mac laptop from my Aunt (they know me as the guy who collects old computers). I actually had forgotten about it til now--it's probably about 10 years old I'm guessing, I have no idea what OS it is running. I really had no idea what I was going to do with it since I'm really not a Mac guy (I just have an interest in the vintage stuff mostly). But I'll have to fire that up and see if I have an emulation option there. That would at least seem legit, to be playing Mac games on a Mac, and also it would give me a good use for the laptop. Also I am really tempted to try emulation on the Raspberry Pi.

24bit's picture
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There were some beautiful Mac mockups running on a Raspi.
https://www.engadget.com/2013/08/28/mini-classic-macintosh-made-with-ras...
If you like that kind of tinkering. Wink

For your aunt´s MacBook maybe start here to have a look whether you can spot something similar.
https://everymac.com/systems/by_year/index-macs-mac-clones-by-year.html

As for MiniVMac 3.4.1, I could not get the m68k build running in a Mac emulator.
Maybe somebody with real hardware can confirm that this oldie is still working?

Franky233's picture
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I can confirm v3.4.1 runs inside SheepShaver just like... Russian dolls Smile (or like a charm if you prefer). So it would not be a problem to use it with for example a Performa 630 (I owned one back in the days) or any 68k Mac (only the "m68k" version will work). The requested ROM is a Mac Plus ROM & v3.4.1 is the last to support Classic OS.

24bit's picture
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Thanks, the PPC app does indeed work fine in SheepShaver.
Do you have any chance to try the 68k version?
It won´t work on my side, neither with Basilisk II, SheepShaver, nor Qemu.

Franky233's picture
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Joined: 2019 Apr 6

Yep, just like you, it looks like the 68k refuses to work with emulators. I suppose it's not intented to work with. It seems to run very very really slowly. Or may be the ROM is not adapted ?

Franky

IIGS_User's picture
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I can't remember when I started to run IIe made by Vincent and Victor Tan on my Mac computer, but I hope it was an 68k machine at its time.

Dog Cow's picture
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Old games that do not run full-screen are more likely to work on newer hardware than games that are full-screen.

ruthven's picture
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Thanks again for all your comments. I'd love to report in on whether that 68k MiniVMac works on my Quadra... unfortunately I'm having trouble extracting it on the Mac. I'm using Stuffit Expander v5.5 (maybe this is my problem). Also I notice that 68k version download is a ZIP file. Though I have had some success extracting ZIP files on the Mac end, this particular ZIP file is giving me an error message of "unknown header" or something along those lines. Any suggestions as to a program to use to extract it? Or should I extract first on the PC end (I always assumed this was a no-no as Macintosh file attributes/resource fork can be lost)...

Actually I'm kind of having random trouble across the board when it comes to extracting software that I've downloaded. Several of the .SIT archives (sometimes other types as well)--I try to expand them in Stuffit Expander and there is a progress bar and apparent hard drive activity, but then it just ends abruptly without any sort of error message, a folder is usually created in the extraction process but doesn't contain any files (or like 1 file that isn't executable that is always exactly 32K in size). And this sometimes happens when extracting large archives sometimes up to 20+ MB so clearly it is hitting a snag and just stopping after 32K. But then other archives (.SIT, .HQX, .ZIP whatever) extract just fine--I was able to extract Wolfenstein 3D and Quest For Glory to a playable state for instance. And my method for transfer never varies--I just burn all those archive files directly to a CD-R (PC format) and the Mac can read it.

So does anyone know why I'm having issues with certain archive files and not others? Should I just get a newer version of Stuffit or some other program?

MikeTomTom's picture
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Also I notice that 68k version download is a ZIP file. Though I have had some success extracting ZIP files on the Mac end, this particular ZIP file is giving me an error message of "unknown header" or something along those lines.

It appears that that particular zip file is Mac OS X zip compressed (has classic Mac resources stored in an OS X proprietary format), meaning, it requires unzipping on OS X using the built-in OS X zip utility.

I'll repackage it to be classic Mac friendly and put it up on that page shortly.

ruthven's picture
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Thank you, I definitely appreciate that!

MikeTomTom's picture
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YW, its there now (DL #8 in page)

ruthven's picture
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OK, great that worked! I was able to expand that archive. It expanded into two folders actually, the first of which only contained the file .DS_Store (this is the same name as some of the single files that extract out of my other non-working archives actually). But the second folder contained all the various versions. The 68k version did indeed fire up though apparently I need the vMac.rom to be able to use it (I saw a note about that on the download page so I guess I'll need to find it). But it does appear to be working. For the heck of it I tried loading Oregon Trail--it didn't give me any error messages but nothing appeared to load, no doubt because the ROM file is missing.

Still wondering about those other archive files though... I'm guessing they were created with a newer (non Expander 5.5 compatible) version... I was looking at versions of Stuffit available here and I notice you can't really go beyond 5.5 in OS 7.6... do you guys think I might have better luck with Stuffit Deluxe 5.x than with Stuffit Expander?

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

If you haven't installed it, you really need the additional "DropStuff with Expander Enhancer v5.5" - DropStuff allows the creation of archives, but the main ingredient which StuffIt Expander takes full advantage of is the "StuffIt Engine" which installs only with the DropStuff package, or a full Deluxe install. So, you only need the StuffIt Engine, if all you want to do is extract various archive types with the Expander.

The additional DropStuff install package in a .sit archive is the 3rd DL on that page.

You don't need to use DropStuff for StuffIt Expander to take advantage of the StuffIt Engine and the StuffIt Engine gives the Expander access to a lot more archive types - tho' you will still encounter archives that will not be accessible (such as those non standard zip files, or .rar, .7z, .sitx, etc).

Also: If extracting standard zip files when using a classic Mac OS, it's better/safer to use MacZip.

WhosIt.There's picture
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The .DS_Store files and folder can be deleted. They contain information used by macOS X's Finder and aren't needed at all for "Classic" versions of MacOS or Windows.

ruthven's picture
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Great info thanks!

Franky233's picture
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The vMac.ROM is included inside the 7th DL (v2) from the "Mini vMac (Ready to Go)" page. You can get from there or click the link here to DL it directly. Other archives could include that Mac Plus ROM, but this is the only one compressed in a ".sit" archive. Smile

ruthven's picture
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Thanks for the link to that archive with vMac.ROM and sorry for the late reply here--it was late last night before I could test any of this out. Thank you MikeTomTom for bringing me up to speed with the whole Stuffit Engine business! Turns out that was the key to all my problems. Now everything is extracting well. Most stuff anyway, I still run into the occasional "unknown header" which I take it means that it was archived under OS X. On that note I did pull out that old laptop to find that it is a MacBook running OS X(!) So of course my first thought was to try expanding some of these archives on it. But I ran into an issue--it gave me a message saying I need something called Rosetta (I believe that's what it was). So I tried looking it up on the net but I can't seem to find it to download (on it's own at least). I think it is part of a larger package called Snow Leopard(?) and I'm not sure where to find that at the moment... but anyway I'm sure I'll be tackling that down the road. Seems like this laptop running OS X could make a nice emulation option!

Back to my vintage Mac (which I mistakenly referred to as a Quadra in an earlier post--it's actually a Performa though I guess they're pretty much the same)--I'm still learning the ropes when it comes to image formats and how to mount them. I've had a good amount of luck so far but one format I can't figure out yet are the files with the .DSK extension. Can anyone tell me what program opens those?

Also I'm wondering how MiniVMac works exactly. Does it load a particular kind of image file, an archive file or are you supposed to just load a game executable directly? I think I tried loading a couple of old games that were in various image formats but it crashed the computer each time. I'm starting to think maybe I should have copied the contents of those images to my hard drive and attempted loading the game executable directly...?

24bit's picture
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As for your MacBook (nice finding!) I would make a clean fresh install of OSX unless there are rare apps and games on it, which should be rescued first.

Depending on the MacBooks´s hardware, 10.4 Tiger, 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard or newer are in scope.
You may likely choose Snow Leopard, a it was the last OS to support usage of non Intel coded software by using Apple´s PowerPC emulation Rosetta. If your 10.6 installation DVD was lost, you may look here:
https://archive.org/details/cd-roms?and%5B%5D=snow+leopard&sin=
The white DVD with the Snow Leopard on it should install on most compatible MacBooks.
Rosetta is an additional installation package, which you may select at setup or install it later.

.DSK is usually pointing to a disk image file, created by DiskCopy 4.2.
DiskCopy 6 does not open the file by double click, but you may drag the .DSK onto the little DiskCopy 6 window, once the utility is running.

MiniVMac is an application emulating the hardware of a Mac Plus, Mac II and others.
Each version tries to emulate the given Mac´s hardware as far as possible.
To do that MiniVMac relies on the original Mac ROM of the Mac in question.
If you want to emulate a Macintosh II with colour monitor and sound, you want the Mac II ROM for example.
Luckily all those ROMs were collected over time:
http://macintoshgarden.org/forum/project-looking-mac-roms
Last not least you need a bootable system image for MiniVMac.
Many old games had a customized Mac System included on floppy and may thus run in MiniVMac stand alone.
More often, you will need a bootable image to start up MiniVMac and than add the game disk image.
Bootable images are collected here, for example:
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mini-vmac-ready-go
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/mac-system-608-minivmac-mac-plus
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/macos-753-emulators #5
Disk images for MiniVMac are mounted by the emulator by dragging/dropping them onto the MiniVMac screen.

ruthven's picture
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Thanks for the link to OS X / Snow Leopard DVD! That's great, now I can fresh install and solve my Rosetta problem together. I did wish to do a fresh install from the beginning but was unsure where to find OS X (cause I never had the original DVD--I only just received the laptop recently and it came with nothing). I'm still left with the hurdle of burning a Mac format DVD on my PC but this is something I've successfully done before, only it was many years ago so I'm going to have to research that again.

Thank you for the tip about DiskCopy for .DSK files--I did try using DiskCopy previously but I was just trying to open the file from the "Mount" menu and it wasn't populating the .DSK files in the browser window so I thought it was an extension that it didn't recognize. But sure enough when I manually drag the file over there it works. So that's a couple more games I've gotten to work now! Smile

Seems like MiniVMac is like other computer emulators I've used where it emulates a whole bunch of systems depending on ROM file used (I originally thought the vMac.ROM was all inclusive). My problem is I don't know enough about the various models and their eras to really know which ones might be best suited for the games I'm looking to play. I remember playing some of these classic old games on something that looked like a Mac Classic but it might have been a Plus or an SE etc. I suppose a Mac SE ROM would probably due to play most of the System 6 era games I'm thinking of.

24bit's picture
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I would always recommend the MiniVMac II build, but as a former Mac II addict, such advice may be not good for everyone. Wink
Anyway, MiniVMac II has 8GB RAM and supports Mac System 2 to 7.5.
From 6.0.7 on, the Mac II emulation supports colour, but will run monochrome games just the same.
When your MacBook runs on Snow Leopard, you may try a MiniVMac II build for OSX to see how you fare.

Of course Basilisk II is a very good m68k emulator too, if your games run with System 7 or better.

For burning Mac disk images to CD/DVD many people use IMGBurn for Windows with great success.
http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/imgburn-250
IMGBurn accepts ISO or BIN/CUE files as input, .toast may be renamed to .iso without damaging the disk image.
For burning 10.6.3 to DVD, a DL-DVD with a capacity of 8,5GB is needed, obviously.

Best identify the exact type of MacBook you got plus your current OS before taking action.
Although your MacBook has a legal copy of OSX from factory, it may be best to buy the SnowLeopard DVD from Apple again if a new installation is desirable.
If your MacBook already is on 10.6.x, it may be enough to install the Rosetta package.
Snow Leopard is not free from Apple as the later versions of OSX 10.9 or higher.
Alas, I´m sure your aunt has all needed DVDs including 10.6 and merely forgot to hand them over to you.
Luckily you may still buy Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion from Apple:
https://www.apple.com/uk/shop/product/MC573Z/A/mac-os-x-106-snow-leopard...

Franky233's picture
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Just a very little clarification. Mini vMac is not working like others emulators like Basilisk II or SheepShaver. Beside that you can use images by dragging them directly to the window, only one ROM can be used with only one version of Mini vMac. With other emulators, you can change the ROM file to be used...

For your MacBook, you can identify it if the battery is removable or not. If it is, there is some informations under it. Also, I can identify the machine with the serial number in the same location. I'm using myself a MacBook for writing posts here & upload & more since a very long time, so I know all about this kind of machine. Smile

Temporary Joe's picture
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As to what games run in modern systems like 7.6 or even up to OS 9 really depends on the game. Some don't or don't properly because of old system calls that changed in System 7 (including no sound in newer systems). Others won't work because they weren't designed for MultiFinder or higher resolutions, and will appear in the upper left hand side of the screen without a way to quit out of it safely. Some will run, but will go too fast. Some will crash. You can try to make the screen black and white and change the system font to Chicago for compatibility reasons, or there might even be obscure extensions to help with that, but it's a mixed bag.