Palace loader, an odd one for sure

I’ve already briefly discussed the fact that the “Palace” tape loader does not use timers for discriminating bit 0 and bit 1 pulses. What I wanted to do was adding some more information around the tape for “Barbarian II”.

Side A loads fine as it was encoded using John Twiddy’s “Cyberload”, but side B has been quite problematic in my experience. One can certainly improve things by expanding silence gaps between files, making pilot trains longer, etc., but this odd bugger seems to be still quite temperamental, which adds to the frustration due to the game being quite difficult to play.

Having improved TAPClean to cope with extracting details from “Palace” loader files, I decided to put together a disk version of it. No trainers/cheats or the alike: I just wanted a truthful port of the original game from tape to disk that would load without being temperamental.

As you might have noticed I’ve been quite quiet recently and the reason is that I was putting together an IFFL system based on Covert-Bitops’s rant on the subject.
Lasse left it to users to add support for packed files, as an exercise, so that’s what I did. Not just that. I’ve also added a 1-bit transfer alternative and a few extra goodies that allowed me to come up with a surprisingly low memory footprint IFFL disk loader.

I am therefore happy to share my IFFL version of “Barbarian II” for the 1541 family of drives. Grab a copy here and enjoy the game without trainers!

Barbarian II IFFL version by Luigi Di Fraia

Barbarian II IFFL version by Luigi Di Fraia

As part of the work to assemble this version I also passed the loading picture through my conversion tool that rearranges bitmap, video and color RAM so that the output file compresses better (and therefore loads faster, yay!). Other than that, I’ve been careful not to change anything that did not require changing 🙂

About Luigi Di Fraia

I am a Senior DevOps Engineer so I get to work with the latest technologies and open-source software. However, in my private time I enjoy retro-computing.
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