Author Topic: Run Lemmings "Pixel Perfect" in DosBox?  (Read 2110 times)

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Offline TomVDJ

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Run Lemmings "Pixel Perfect" in DosBox?
« on: January 19, 2021, 01:41:04 PM »
Hey all, I'm new on the forum. I was a huge Lemmings player back in the days and recently discovered my game CD with both Lemmings and Oh No more lemmings and was able to play it in DosBox.

But I'd like to play Lemmings on my 1920 x 1080 monitor, but in "pixel perfect" mode. With this I mean that each pixel of the game is represented by a rectangular amount of monitor pixels. In my case, I'd like the width to scale by 4 and the height to scale by 5, resulting in a 1280 x 1000 screen where each "game pixel" is a razor sharp rectangle of 5 x 4 "monitor pixels". The aspect ratio will be 5:4, which is slightly of, because the correct aspect ratio will be 4:3 (this is achievable on a 1600 x 1200 monitor, where the width can be multiplied by 8 and the height can be multiplied by 6, but unfortunately, I don't have such a monitor).

In the older DosBox ECE versions there was a pixel perfect patch that did exactly what I wanted. Only problem was that it could not handle the "machine=vgaonly" parameter in DosBox, needed to get the colors correct in Lemmings.

I've tried some of the pixel perfect "shaders" that are available to use in the new DoxBox ECE, but unfortunately these shaders want to scale to a perfect 4:3 aspect ratio, so also no option for me.

I already asked my question on the Vogons website, but without any success. So I figured I might try my luck here.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 02:12:06 PM by TomVDJ »

Offline namida

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Re: Run Lemmings "Pixel Perfect" in DosBox?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2021, 07:41:29 PM »
Use Lemmix.

Lemmix - not to be confused with NeoLemmix (which originally split off from Lemmix but is now basically an entirely seperate engine) - is a Windows clone of the DOS games. What sets it apart from other clones is that whereas others are just "here, this is more or less Lemmings", Lemmix tries to replicate the DOS games exactly - including the interface, bugs, everything. It'll look and play pretty much the same, and it should scale in the way you want too. It is so accurate to DOS lemmings that it is even considered acceptable to use as a substitute for the DOS version in challenges etc.

There are some advanced features like framestepping, but if you feel those are "cheating", you can simply not use them. The only other thing to be aware of is that Lemmix has its own algorithm for determining level codes, which is different from DOS's. However, you don't need to remember codes anyway: Enter "CHEATCODES" as your password first, then you can enter codes like - for example - "TRICKY21" or "0221" for Tricky 21.

I'll note that Lemmix, these days, basically serves one purpose - authentically replicating the original games. If you're looking to get into custom content, at that point it's time to move onto NeoLemmix or Lix.
My Lemmings projects
2D Lemmings: NeoLemmix (engine) | Lemmings Plus Series (level packs) | Doomsday Lemmings (level pack)
3D Lemmings: Loap (engine) | L3DEdit (level / graphics editor) | L3DUtils (replay / etc utility) | Lemmings Plus 3D (level pack)

Offline Simon

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Re: Run Lemmings "Pixel Perfect" in DosBox?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2021, 11:35:47 PM »
The closest I can find in vanilla Dosbox is windowed mode windowresolution=1234x567 and set scaler=normal2x or normal3x. Likely, you've already tried these and aren't satisfied with its non-square pixels on your monitor. Also even at 3x this window can't fit your screen completely, unless you accept blur.

Interesting and surprising that this is so hard in Dosbox, I would have assumed this is straightforward. Apparently it's not. I play old games in small windows, not fullsceren, and have never investigated beyond scaler2x.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: January 19, 2021, 11:48:34 PM by Simon »

Offline TomVDJ

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Re: Run Lemmings "Pixel Perfect" in DosBox?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2021, 07:32:34 AM »
Yeah, if you are happy with a small screen, scaler=normal2x will do the trick, I guess. The real problem is not to get "a game" scale pixel perfect with rectangular pixels, because the pixel perfect patch does this perfectly, but the biggest problem is that this patch (and another version I found), do not cope well with the machine=vgaonly parameter. Apparently even some of the shaders for the latest DosBox ECE also have trouble with this setting.

Also the PPP (Pixel Perfect Patch) is not supported anymore in the latest DosBox ECE versions, which is a pitty, because it works great for other games that don't need the machine=vgaonly option.

I'll try out Lemmix, thanks for the tip, but I'd really like to get my old CD (with CD audio ;-) ) running too. I'm a bit frustrated that something seemingly so simple, is so hard to do in DosBox. At this moment I think a custom shader for dosbox to mimic the behaviour of the pixel perfect patch, is my best option, but I didn't come across a shader that does exactly that. The "pixel perfect" ones out there, require an exact 4:3 aspect ratio and can't handle a 5:4 one... :-(

Online kaywhyn

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Re: Run Lemmings "Pixel Perfect" in DosBox?
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2021, 07:56:19 AM »
O.o you have the CD version of the game? I first started with the floppy disk version for Dos, and then I later had the CD version of both Lemmings and ONML. I wonder if ours have the same image on the CD, being gray in color with the Lemmings logo. While the levels pretty much played out the same, some do end up being easier than intended. For example, in the CD version, you don't have to do anything on the 4 WAFD levels due to the increased splat height. I didn't know about it until I one day decided to let a lemming drop off the platform, only to find to my surprise that they do survive instead of splat. Similarly, there's no need to build a splatform for the entrance for Mayhem 1. The fall is fatal by a single pixel, but with the increased splat height on the CD version they don't splat.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPMqwuqZ206rBWJrUC6wkrA - My YouTube channel and you can also find my playlists of Lemmings level packs that I have LPed
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Offline TomVDJ

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Re: Run Lemmings "Pixel Perfect" in DosBox?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2021, 08:07:06 AM »
My CD has green lettering and the image of a Lemming (also in green). It's indeed the Lemmings + Oh No More Lemmings CD and it also has the increased spat heigth. Since it only affects very few levels, I don't mind a lot.

In the meanwhile I tried out Lemmix, but there are quite some issues with it. Maybe you can configure it, I don't know, but "out of the box", the aspect ratio is way off, and also the colors are not OK. In attachment a screenshot of the original Lemmings (not pixel perfect, but with the correct aspect ratio and the correct colors), and a screenshot of how Lemmix looks like on my PC (notice the wrong aspect ratio and wrong colors on the buttons). I know a lot of people think that the grey-yellowish buttons are the correct ones, but this is not the case. The buttons should be dirt-colored. This was how I played it back in the days on my 486 PC.

Offline Dullstar

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Re: Run Lemmings "Pixel Perfect" in DosBox?
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2021, 10:14:44 AM »
Both skill panels are correct. When you launch the DOS version, one of the screens you'll see is the "PC Lemmings Machine Type Selection Screen." The first option is "For PC compatibles." The second is "For High Performance PCs". Lemmix uses the skill panel graphics from "For PC compatibles." The panel you're showing is from the "For High Performance PCs." There's also options for IBM PS2 machines (appears to use the same graphics as high performance) and AMSTRAD PC1640 or PC1512 Machines (appears to use the same graphics has PC compatibles).

Aspect ratio on CRT monitors isn't quite straightforward. There aren't any physical pixels like there are on modern screens, and the display can often be stretched/squished both horizontally and vertically until it's fit to the screen, or the desired aspect ratio, or whatever. They also tend not to render pixels quite perfectly - some fuzziness can be common. I suspect square pixels were likely intended for the game based on the shape of objects that appear intended-to-be-square (If they were intended to have taller-than-they-are-wide pixels, I suspect the graphics would have been a little squished to compensate). But if I fit the image exactly to what my screen can fit it'd be stretched a bit, so I can't really be sure.


Figure 1: Lemmings run on a 486 in "For PC compatibles" mode, displayed on a CRT monitor.

Incidentally, I hate the CRT filters that some games that are trying to look retro have as an option, as well as many emulators. Scanlines weren't even close to that noticeable on any CRT I've ever seen! The curvature of the monitor often also seems pretty exaggerated.


----

As for what you're trying to do: The machine=vgaonly parameter is probably unneeded. Make sure you select "For High Performance PCs" when prompted, and the colors should be correct... mostly. DOSBox seems to have some emulation issues with the palettes (I believe related to the palette getting swapped mid-frame, but I'm not entirely certain if that's actually what's going on), but there's also a bunch of forks of it out there, so hopefully the one you're using has fixed it?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 10:33:08 AM by Dullstar »

Offline TomVDJ

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Re: Run Lemmings "Pixel Perfect" in DosBox?
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2021, 10:42:55 AM »
Mmm, makes sense about the button colors. Alwyas played this "for high performance PCs". I really don't like the look of thse "grey-yellow" buttons... I guess this is not configurable in Lemmix?

As for the aspect ratio: indeed it's not straight forward for CRT's, but commonly they are considered to have a 4:3 aspect ration, right? That's not quite the case for Lemminx. The menu for instance is almost filling my 1920 x 1080 screen, being more towards 16:9 then 4:3. Also actual game screen is 1600 x 1000 pixels, which is by far not a 4:3 aspect ratio?

Anyway, I'd like to stick with the original Lemmings, to be honest. I like the CD audio too of the version I have.