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A1-X1000
Toronto, Canada
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Posted Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:17 am

I had no idea that Ultima VI couldn't be played on NTSC Amigas back in the day! I played it on my C64 here in Canada as I recall I couldn't find a version for my A1000 at the time of its release

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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
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Posted Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:45 am

So I've been fiddling around with Pinball Dreams, trying to find this so called NTSC version of the game. Nobody seems to have it online, or has labeled it as such, though it indeed saw release in America. Here are my insights thus far;

I don't think there is an "NTSC" version as such, there is simply a different revision of the original PAL game. Using the very adf files featured on this site, and a few others I found, I found that on my Amiga there was a version of Pinball Dreams that played and looked exactly the same in either PAL or NTSC. But through my recording process, I noticed a refresh issue in NTSC where there shouldn't have been one normally. This tells me that the "NTSC" version of Pinball Dreams is not truly in NTSC mode, it switches your Amiga into PAL! The reason it looks and plays the same in PAL or NTSC is because your Amiga is in PAL! In NTSC mode it's still running at 50hz, not 60hz.

Now, I also found a version of Pinball Dreams that played correctly in PAL, but on NTSC it stretched the graphics, it sped up the gameplay and music, and cut off the flippers. My theory is this was the original Pinball Dreams release (in a magazine I found an early preview of the game noting the flippers issues in America), and a later revision "fixed" the problem by forcing Amiga's that were capable of switching modes to switch before the game started. But what about an Amiga that couldn't switch modes? Any ECS compatible Amiga could switch, but I'm doubting an OCS one could. Therefore I think on a true OCS machine even this later release of the game would have the flippers cut off and such, because it would now be forced to actually use NTSC.

I bet this confused a lot of people back in the day... I don't have a true OCS working machine to confirm this though. Would anyone be willing to lift the adfs from this site and test them on both and ECS and OCS machine in NTSC?

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mscdex

Posted Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:49 am

Shot97 wrote:
Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:45 am
Would anyone be willing to lift the adfs from this site and test them on both and ECS and OCS machine in NTSC?
I just tried it on my (accelerated -- still OCS though) A1000 and it looks cut off at the bottom? I've never played this game before so I wasn't sure what to expect. Sound seems ok though I think (although I was listening through my 1080's mono speaker).
A1000-PinballDreams1.jpg
A1000-PinballDreams2.jpg

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Shot97
Detroit, MI, USA
Website

Posted Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:30 pm

Thank you! Yes, that's exactly what the one version looked like on mine in NTSC, but NOT what this sites version looked like. But that was what I was expecting an actual OCS machine to output. Yeah, it's actually running faster, gameplay and sound, and your flippers are cut off.

But running this sites adfs on my Amiga in NTSC mode is actually throwing it into PAL! It's actually kind of a clever way to get people looking at stuff the way they should! Knights of the Sky, which is an NTSC game, has a similar feature for PAL users, only it's optional. There's an icon in Workbench that will throw it into NTSC so it looks and plays correctly on a PAL machine.

So, I was kind of hoping that this might have been a rare example of an Amiga game actually redrawing the graphics for PAL or NTSC so they'd both look right in either mode. That does not appear to be the case here, nevertheless, it's cool they tried to do something to get NTSC Amiga's to look at it right if their Amiga supported it, because of course most people aren't going to manually change modes unfortunately.

Here's the video I took of the game, it was in NTSC, but the game switched it to PAL I'm pretty sure.

https://twitter.com/Shot97Retro/status/ ... 9962475524

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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA
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Posted Mon Aug 31, 2020 12:42 pm

That's a really interesting discovery you made there, Shot. The screenshots on this site of that game were lifted from an emulator of mine, which is how I did things before I went "All In" on game reviews and actually photographed my CRTs/LCDs.

I bet Amiga Forever was switching modes in the background and I didn't even realize it. Or, it simply loaded up in PAL from the get go and I had no idea since I would have likely just double-clicked the ADF back then and not thought about the system's needs unless something broke.

Pretty wild what you found there.





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