19 years after my game was published, I decided to revisit the past and setup my old Color computer. I was shocked to find that it still works and my old game still runs on the old 5.25 floppy disks. Just for fun I searched the internet for any information on my game and was just as shocked to find a vibrant community of people still using, developing, sharing, selling and enjoying the Color Computer. I even found one or two references to my game in forum posts from people looking for a copy to play.
With the very kind help of several members of this community, I discovered the new world of emulation on PC. Now you can play Paladin’s Legacy in Windows XP or Vista using the VCC emulator. You can find VCC at this link: The VCC Color Computer Emulator
Or you can download it along with the game files from my SkyDrive HERE.
You will need to download and install VCC and download the PaladinsLegacy_PlayerDisk and PaladinsLegacy_CityDisk.
To Play the Game in Windows:
- Download to your computer the files in the Folder “The Game – What you need to play”.
- Install the VCC Emulator. File named “SetupVcc1.40″
- Run VCC. You should now see the green Color Computer screen in a window with a flashing cursor.
- Choose Configuration, Config in the menu at the top of the window. Click the Display Tab and choose Composite. (This will simulate screens from the old days.) Also check mark Allow Resize. (This will allow you to resize the window)
- Now you are ready to play but you need to insert the Player Disk. Just click Cartridge on the menu and select Drive 0, Insert. This will bring up your windows file selection screen. Choose the PaladinsLegacy_Playerdisk.dsk that you previously downloaded. (Just like putting in the old floppy)
- At the cursor prompt in the Color Computer window type: loadm”boot”
- The game should start. The game will load with a title screen and then ask you if you have an RGB monitor. Choose N. Press Space Bar at the next title screen and the game will start.
- At this point, you can restore an old game or create a new character. Choose an option and follow the prompts. And then select play.
- Now every time you enter a city in the game, the game will prompt you to enter the City Disk. You will need to click Cartridge, Drive 0, Insert and choose PaladinsLegacy_citydisk.dsk. Then press Enter in the game. You swap disks back to the Player Disk every time you leave a city. (It’s kind of a pain but then it wouldn’t be retro if there wasn’t some pain and it sure beats cassettes.)
- Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about the game.
The game also works on the MESS emulator but I found MESS confusing because it doesn’t come with the ROMs you need for your old system and I could not figure out how to “virtually swap disks” which my game needs in order to run.
There is also Mocha, a java based Color Computer emulator but my game would not run on it at all. (Still it’s pretty cool to play with)Check out Mocha here: Mocha, a Java based Color Computer Emulator
I am extremely thankful for the Members of the Maltedmedia Color Computer community who, in addition to showing more enthusiasm for this game now than was ever shown 19 years ago, have graciously provided me with PC based disk images of my game that enable it to be played in Windows and a copy of the only known game review in the June 1990 issue of Rainbow magazine. I had no idea the game was ever reviewed. Reading the review was a real treat……mostly. On the other hand, a 19 year pause helped take some of the sting out of the minor criticisms. You can find the review in the files section.
If you are a history junky, you might enjoy the content in the Archive Files Folder in the Files section. I’ve scanned numerous documents from the time of development of the game including the original License Agreement from the Publisher, a list of bug and design fixits, a letter from the publisher with change requests, a memory map of the game, an example of assembly code with my hand scratched notes and some misc. notes.
I started programming Paladin’s Legacy in High School shortly after receiving a Tandy Color Computer for Christmas from my father. I was a big fan of games for the Apple computer specifically Ultima by Richard Garriott the founder of Origin Systems. To this day, I can remember the first time I played Ultima at a friend’s house. We stayed up all night adventuring and killing orcs. Ultima and Wizardy were some of the very first computer games to represent D&D on computer and I was hooked at first sight. I was horrified to find that there were no games like Ultima for the Tandy Color Computer and even at the time I was fairly certain the Color Computer market was too small for Origin Systems to port the game to Color Computer. Had that happened, I’m sure I would have never made my game. I started learning programming on my own and slowly started making a game. I wrote just about the entire game in Basic and quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work. It was just too slow. At the time, I called the game "Quest for the King of Zandor" Ouch! I still have the 5.25 floppy disk with that title on the label.
I started learning 6809 assembly and it was a slow process. Books were very hard to come by on 6809 assembly. The turning point was when I showed my game to Charles "Chuck" Jones, one of my swimmer teammates at the University of Kansas. He was enthralled with the game and he was a computer science major. Compared to me, he spoke in computer language. He took my assembly book and in about 4 sessions of study hall, (where he should have been studying because his grades were ….not good…) he wrote in free hand with pencil and paper a movement routine in assembly. We met at my college house after study hall and typed into Edtasm+, the editor assembler/compiler everyone at the time used for the Color Computer, his code. Unbelievably the code compiled on the first attempt and a few hours later we had a character flying across a graphical map with such speed it was almost impossible to control. A few delay loops later and we had a working game engine purely in assembly.
I was re-motivated, and when not in class or swimming, I was programming. When I went home that summer all I did was swim and program. I had a friend named Morgan Reed who did all of the play-testing, noting bugs and game quirks. I rewrote just about every basic routine in assembly, looping everything into that main movement game engine. It took me about 6 months before I really figured out how the movement engine worked. I have no idea what happened to Chuck Jones after college but he was a prodigy coder.
I sent what I thought was the final game to three different game publishers whose addresses I found in Rainbow Magazine. Sundog Systems called back in late 1988 indicating that they wanted to publish the game but that I needed to get it working on the Color Computer III since that was the most current platform. However in order to ensure the largest market, I needed to make sure it still ran on the older Color Computers I and II. Luckily my brother had a Coco 3 that he was willing to part with. I spent the next year, my junior year in college, converting the game for Coco 3 and fixing bugs and design issues for Sundog. Glen Dalgren owner of Sundog Systems also rewrote the Disk Drive access routine converting it from basic into assembly. That was the final code I still had in basic because I was never able to learn Disk I/O in assembly. Again I couldn’t find a book on the subject at the time.
The final game with Sundog Copy Protection was published just before Christmas in 1989 and was advertised in Rainbow magazine on the inside front cover. Sales continued for about 4 months and then the Color Computer market collapsed and sales stopped.