How to Beginner

All about ST/STE games

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roboticmehdi
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How to Beginner

Postby roboticmehdi » Tue Aug 13, 2019 10:09 pm

Hi community,

I have had 1040STfm for some time now and never had the chance to use it yet. I can now spend some time on it. First thing that hit me was getting the games on it. The more I tried to sort things out, the more confusing it got. Can you please help me to get started. I must say, retro pc is my main interest, so I know a thing or two about something, floppies, etc...

1) What are some common floppy image formats and how to "burn" them on to my 720k floppies ? :shrug:

So far If I learned correctly, .st and .stx are common?
.st is burned using "floppy imaging and file transfer" ?
.stx is burned using "pasti", no?
why not just have files on floppy, without having to use images, since floppies have same format as dos pc.
why not have .img image as normal pc floppy ?

2) what would be the best way for me to transfer games to floppies, I only have retro pc systems that use ms-dos, no windows. 386, 486, pentium, running dos. only on these I have floppy drives. :shrug:

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Re: How to Beginner

Postby Mug UK » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:42 am

.ST are uncompressed disk images, whereas .MSA are the compressed variants.

.STX are PASTI image files which, from memory, can't be written back to a floppy disk as they are used for preserving extra information about a disk, such as certain types of protected tracks.

.IMG format is the same "thing" as the .ST on the Atari in that they are an uncompressed copy of the disk. FastCopy Pro used to store disks in .IMG files as it's just a different extension for the same kind of thing, albeit with a different geometry (sides, sectors, HD or not).


There is a DOS disk writer suite (SamDisk) which will allow you to write .ST files back to a floppy disk using a Windows 95/98 PC as it installs a background floppy disk driver. There are also Windows-based tools that will also write these disk images back. Scan through this forum and you'll find the correct method for whatever kind of PC you're using.
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

roboticmehdi
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Re: How to Beginner

Postby roboticmehdi » Thu Aug 15, 2019 11:15 am

where can I download atari st games?

I knew atarimania, it's good, provides info about game, screenshots, rich library, but provides .stx only, which sucks.

planetemu lacks some games (monkey island, pac-land, etc...) and mostly has no screenshots

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Re: How to Beginner

Postby DoG » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:07 pm


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Re: How to Beginner

Postby dma » Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Hello, i hope you'll have some fun time with games on the Atari ST. :)

About searching and downloading interesting titles:

I'd say you should look for titles which seem interesting to you on Atarimania (like browsing by games category) or Atari Legend ( https://www.atarilegend.com/ ).
You can also try the "favorites" lists here, plenty of good recommendations: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=611
And then websites like Ataricrypt: http://ataricrypt.blogspot.com/ Or The Joy of Sticks: http://thejoyofsticks.com/
Or videos by "Gears of Games" and other ST retro-reviewers on Youtube.
Also a great top 50 here: https://thejoyofsticks.wordpress.com/th ... rvey-2008/

Then for downloading a game based on his name, with the objective of putting it on a real floppy, you could check the TOSEC collections.
You'll mostly find games as .MSA or .ST in there.
This engine searches on various sources (including TOSEC archive hosted on archive.org) : http://www.oldgamesfinder.com/?m=-15

Also some people have repackaged games recently. And those are mostly available as files (as the main goal of these repackages was to run those from hard drives).
http://atari.8bitchip.info/aon1.php
http://d-bug.mooo.com/
http://www.klapauzius.net/Old_Games.html
If the repackaged game fits 720ko, you can format a standard PC 720ko disk and copy the game files on it. It will work on the ST (and with 1mo of RAM, as you got a 1040, there should be no memory problem for running it from the ST desktop, for most titles).

For putting other games on disks, it's quite tricky these days.
Most regular ST users have a "virtual disk" hardware solution, either replacing the floppy drive, or the hard drive with SDcard based adapters.
But if you want to go the real floppy way, i'd say it's better to find games in .ST or .MSA format.
Ppera got a PC software which works with real internal floppy drive, but it requires windows: http://atari.8bitchip.info/floimgd.php
There are also some DOS software for this listed here (but i remember having hard time to wirte back to ST floppies with those, back on DOS PC times): http://www.atari-wiki.com/?title=Disk-Imagers
Also an interesting tutorial here: http://www.tehkella.net/retro/?p=361 It describes the other disk image split solution at the end, writing actual images to disk with the real ST drive.

Most games that can be copied are cracked games. So it's not the exact original game disks. Most of the time you'll have an additional cracker intro screen, sometimes an optional trainer mode as well.
And many games have been packaged in compilations (several games on a floppy), then also repacked for this, sometimes with some original game data removed (like a large intro animation).
Sometimes (rare cases i'd say) the crack is bad, so the game won't be finish-able.

(maybe you have figured most of what i wrote by yourself, but as i typed, i tried to be comprehensible by any newcomer, not sure it is though :lol:)

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Re: How to Beginner

Postby roboticmehdi » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:51 am

My and my son's first gameplay on it, and perhaps first ever in at least 20 years. :) I want to understand and know this system better. I like it for some reason, and I want to love it. I never had interest in amiga computer, but I think I like atari st computer.
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dma
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Re: How to Beginner

Postby dma » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:37 pm

Ah Buggy Boy, nice choice, a pretty fun game!
If you have more questions, just ask. :)

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Re: How to Beginner

Postby dhedberg » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:17 pm

roboticmehdi wrote:My and my son's first gameplay on it, and perhaps first ever in at least 20 years. :) I want to understand and know this system better. I like it for some reason, and I want to love it. I never had interest in amiga computer, but I think I like atari st computer.

That's the spirit! I've spent some great times with my son as well playing old Atari ST games. I don't know the age of your child, but for some reason they don't seem to pay attention to the lousy screen resolution and the limited colors. My son actually prefers the Atari ST games we've played over the PC and Nintendo Wii U games. I find that interesting. Probably has something to do with the ago of course but still!
Daniel, New Beat - http://newbeat.atari.org. Like demos? Have a look at our new Falcon030 demo and feel the JOY.

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Re: How to Beginner

Postby AtariCrypt » Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:44 pm

Thanks dma/Mathieu!! :cheers:


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