Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

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leonk
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2024 3:04 am

Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by leonk »

For the past 2 decades, I've been a retro hardware collector. I have pretty much every console released in North America, and good chunk of retro PCs from the far east. I have an op to trade one of my X68000 computers for an Atari Falcon and wanted some advise from existing Falcon owners.

I already own an Atari Mega ST4 with an UltraSatan as well as the original 520ST CIB (more of a museum piece than daily driver) I mostly collect these retro computers for their unique games (I don't go on the Internet or try to run modern software on old Atari or Amiga hardware like some do) I've been reading about the neat stuff the community has done around FreeMINT over the years for the Falcon and whilst it would be interesting to play around with it, I do wonder about compatibility.

Do ST games, ported to run on the HDD, play under FreeMINT? Or is it a hit/miss with a lot of misses because most of them were designed for TOS 1.x and compatibility has just been down hill ever since? Is Falcon more of an exercise of "what could have been" or for ST/Linux ported application users and less so of a gaming machine?

Trying to understand what I would gain from adding a Falcon to my collection vs just sticking with my Atari Mega ST 4 + UltraSatan.
CiH
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2023 7:10 pm

Re: Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by CiH »

There is some potential. Either ported ST games or original games using Falcon 030 more directly.

I'll try to add some links.

http://christophe.bray.free.fr/informat ... n_jeux.htm
Not up to date, but a good selection of original material.

https://atari.8bitchip.info/fromhd.php
Petr Putnik ST adaptations page.

https://orionsoft.itch.io/alice-sisters
Some people are still making stuff today.

https://www.leonik.net/dml/sec_bm.py
It's Doom, for the Falcon!

There's enough for a quick search, have fun looking 😉
CiH
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2023 7:10 pm

Re: Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by CiH »

One more.

https://demozoo.org/productions/316231/

I hope it gets finished.
coonsgm
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:30 am

Re: Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by coonsgm »

The Atari Falcon has few system specific games. Few of those fully use the Falcon's capabilities.

Many Atari ST games have been adapted/patched to run on the Falcon from hard drive, but in general, I wouldn't run those from Freemint but boot to TOS 4.04.

There are some games that have been ported to run on the Falcon, especially an accelerated Falcon.

Doom
Quake
Descent
Dune II (I believe, I haven't run it myself)

SCUMMVM is working I believe also on the Falcon adding other games to the libary.

Lastly, something I've been playing around with my Falcon is running MacOS emulated through Basilisk to take advantage of the increased game library of the last 68k Macs
Civilization 2
Warcraft / Warcraft 2
I'm testing out others as well....

My opinion is that the Falcon is a tinker/collector project without a large base of game software. You won't get much more of a gaming library from a Falcon than your Mega ST...in reality it will likely be somewhat smaller based on compatibility (although most popular titles work fine). You get more from the tinkering and adapted games. Lastly, what appealed to me more than anything else is simply that it is the LAST real Atari computer.

I love my Falcon and it's my Atari daily driver...but I realize I might just be an odd duck.

My 2-cents
leonk
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2024 3:04 am

Re: Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by leonk »

I paid for Petr Putnik's Improved TOS (what's running on my Mega ST 4) as well as more recently donated for the 1GB image of all the games he ported, and what's on my Ultra Satan. While I had the Falcon here for playing around, I was surprised how many games just didn't work from booting them from a Gotek and TOS 4.04. I'll need to figure out how to get a HDD working on it (either use internal IDE or external connected SCSI-1 drive) because I suspect Petr probably did a lot of fixes that the floppy images I was trying didn't have.

Does it really matter if one uses an IDE internal HDD or a SCSI-1 connected external drive (like BlueSCSI)? Are both bootable and equal in terms of usability?
smoore100
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2024 5:45 pm

Re: Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by smoore100 »

coonsgm wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 2:49 pm The Atari Falcon has few system specific games. Few of those fully use the Falcon's capabilities.

Many Atari ST games have been adapted/patched to run on the Falcon from hard drive, but in general, I wouldn't run those from Freemint but boot to TOS 4.04.

There are some games that have been ported to run on the Falcon, especially an accelerated Falcon.

Doom
Quake
Descent
Dune II (I believe, I haven't run it myself)

SCUMMVM is working I believe also on the Falcon adding other games to the libary.

Lastly, something I've been playing around with my Falcon is running MacOS emulated through Basilisk to take advantage of the increased game library of the last 68k Macs
Civilization 2
Warcraft / Warcraft 2
I'm testing out others as well....

My opinion is that the Falcon is a tinker/collector project without a large base of game software. You won't get much more of a gaming library from a Falcon than your Mega ST...in reality it will likely be somewhat smaller based on compatibility (although most popular titles work fine). You get more from the tinkering and adapted games. Lastly, what appealed to me more than anything else is simply that it is the LAST real Atari computer.

I love my Falcon and it's my Atari daily driver...but I realize I might just be an odd duck.

My 2-cents
Then I am an odd duck too.

I spent a while and some money putting together the STe with 4meg, new TOS, Gotek, UltraSatan etc. but since getting the Falxon sorted out I’ve not turned on my STe and am thinking of selling it as a package.

There are quite a few games that I can play on the Falcon and for anything else Hatari will do, but tinkering is what I enjoy on the Falcon.

If I was purely in to gaming the STe would be perfect.

Simon
coonsgm
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:30 am

Re: Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by coonsgm »

leonk wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 3:01 pm I paid for Petr Putnik's Improved TOS (what's running on my Mega ST 4) as well as more recently donated for the 1GB image of all the games he ported, and what's on my Ultra Satan. While I had the Falcon here for playing around, I was surprised how many games just didn't work from booting them from a Gotek and TOS 4.04. I'll need to figure out how to get a HDD working on it (either use internal IDE or external connected SCSI-1 drive) because I suspect Petr probably did a lot of fixes that the floppy images I was trying didn't have.

Does it really matter if one uses an IDE internal HDD or a SCSI-1 connected external drive (like BlueSCSI)? Are both bootable and equal in terms of usability?
I'm not surprised at all with the issues trying to boot from floppy disks / images (gotek) on the Falcon as many need patching in some way for them to run. As far as the hard drive, I'd personally recommend just getting a SD to IDE adapter or CF to IDE adapter and going that route before going the BlueSCSI on the Falcon. The SCSI works fine (I run either a ZIP drive or CD Rom through my SCSI) but has adapter compatibility issues and costs....which is fine for me, because I like the tinkering aspect.

Just to get something that works, the IDE route is simpler, and costs less. Since you've been rocking the Mega ST4, you probably already know that with a hard drive you need drivers to get it working. Two options are commercial and are paid. If you want to use SCSI or add an accelerator, you'll probably want to go with HDDriver. Simple IDE PPera's falcon driver is awesome as well.

To answer your question - No it doesn't matter except for the implementation costs and complexity. Running software is fine either way from my experience.
mikro
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Location: Kosice, Slovakia
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Re: Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by mikro »

leonk wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 1:53 pmDo ST games, ported to run on the HDD, play under FreeMINT?
Everyone's is ignoring your main concern it seems. ;) The short answer is: no they don't. A few modern Falcon games might (because the coders have learned how to safely switch off the system) but the ST games and *especially* the adapted ST games... nope, no way.
coonsgm
Posts: 194
Joined: Sat Jan 30, 2021 1:30 am

Re: Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by coonsgm »

mikro wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 8:02 pm
leonk wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 1:53 pmDo ST games, ported to run on the HDD, play under FreeMINT?
Everyone's is ignoring your main concern it seems. ;) The short answer is: no they don't. A few modern Falcon games might (because the coders have learned how to safely switch off the system) but the ST games and *especially* the adapted ST games... nope, no way.
They don't play under freemint, but it's an easy workaround by using Xboot with one boot config as freemint and a second "Gaming" boot config to TOS 4.04
smoore100
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2024 5:45 pm

Re: Atari Falcon: As a gaming machine?

Post by smoore100 »

That sounds like an excellent idea and something to try when I’ve got a couple of hours to spare.

Been reading watching stuff about Freemint and must give it a try.
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