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Thread: Any USA Amiga owners here?

  1. #1
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    Any USA Amiga owners here?

    I've been wanting to get into Commodore Amiga for many years now. The thing that has always stopped me is that it seems mostly a PAL hobby, and finding a monitor would be an issue.

    What options do I have if I get a USA Amiga 500, in regards to getting video output? I have an XRGB if that helps.

    If I get a Gotek floppy drive emulator will playing euro exclusives be an issue? I heard there is a PAL/NTSC toggle switch. I also read that the games run better in 60hrtz anyway, as that is the way they were developed.

    What are some other mods worth getting?

    Will PAL floppy games even run on an NTSC Amiga? I see lots of games on ebay. Never says what region they are though.

    Finally, best games on system? I want to play Ruff n Tumble, Black Crypt, Another World, Turrican, the Elvira games, and many others.
    Last edited by greedostick; 12-08-2017 at 05:28 PM.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
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    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
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  2. #2
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    I picked up a PAL Amiga A1200 three months ago and have been doing the "deep dive" on getting it setup the way I want and exploring the huge games library for the first time. I'm happy to answer any questions.

    First off, I recommend going with an A1200 over an A500. You'll pay more up front, but save a lot of money and trouble in terms of having to upgrade the computer later. For example, the A1200 has internal IDE, so you can inexpensively add a Compact Flash reader to fit the entire games library on one single card.

    Also many of the later games were either A1200 exclusive or at least made use of the A1200's more advanced graphics capabilities.

    > The thing that has always stopped me is that it seems mostly a PAL hobby, and finding a monitor would be an issue.

    With an A1200, you can purchase a device called the Indivision FlickerFixer that makes the Amiga work perfectly on modern DVI monitors.
    Link: http://amigakit.amiga.store/catalog/...oducts_id=1148

    With any Amiga, you can use a upscaler like the OSSC or Framemeister with either a SCART or VGA connection. Either upscaler accepts the PAL resolutions just fine. Sounds like you have an XRGB so you're all set.

    Pay attention to power though - the power supplies aren't switched, so a UK supply won't work in the US with a cheap adapter. You can use a US A500 power supply with an A1200, or you can pick up a power transformer off of Amazon for $15 - which is what I did:
    https://www.amazon.com/Power-Bright-...+bright+vc100w

    > If I get a Gotek floppy drive emulator will playing euro exclusives be an issue?

    Honestly, another reason I suggest going with the A1200 over the A500 is so you can skip the floppy emulation stuff in favor of storing and loading all of the games off the hard drive via WHDLoad. WHDLoad is faster and much more convenient to deal with than the Gotek. That said, Euro vs US compatibility isn't really an issue since you can switch the machine between NTSC and PAL mode.

    > I also read that the games run better in 60hrtz anyway, as that is the way they were developed.

    Actually, the opposite is true - most games were developed in Euro 50hz for the PAL standard since the computer was far more popular in that region than in the US. Many games either crash, cut off the bottom of the screen, or run unplayably if you set the machine to run in NTSC 60hz mode. That said, the games that were developed with compatibility for both in mind do run faster and smoother in 60hz mode. Unfortunately, there isn't a "master list" out there on 50hz vs 60hz compatible games that I've been able to find, so you have to figure out which mode a game runs best in through trial and error in most cases.

    > What are some other mods worth getting?

    I can speak best to the A1200 since that's the model I researched and finally landed on. The A1200 shipped stock with 2 megs of internal memory, which will run all of the commercially released games off of floppies, but struggle if you use WHDLoad to run them off of the internal hard drive. As such, I strongly recommend an 8 meg memory upgrade. Indivision sells a nice accelerator board that plugs into the bottom of the A1200 that gives you a faster CPU, 8 megs of memory, and also does some remapping of system data to RAM disk for performance improvements - all for $112. I strongly recommend it:
    http://amigakit.amiga.store/catalog/...oducts_id=1296

    Swapping the internal IDE hard drive on the A1200 with a Compact Flash is a must - it's more reliable and MUCH faster. The kit for that is $13 here:
    http://amigakit.amiga.store/catalog/...oducts_id=1216

    Other upgrades? Like NEC hardware, Commodore went cheap on the capacitors, so any Amiga you buy should have the capacitors replaced ASAP if it hasn't already been done.

    Also, the controller port looks like a standard DB9 port that you can plug a Genesis pad into, but it isn't electrically compatible. A Genesis pad can cause damage over time if it's plugged in directly. Either pick up a dedicated Amiga controller, or pick up a pad convertor like the 64JPX:
    https://www.64hdd.com/64jpx/64jpx.html

    The 64JPX only gives you one action button (Amiga standard), but some later CD32 games would use extra buttons. There's an open source project where you can cobble together your own device for around $10 in parts if you can solder. I'll post the link later when I can find it.

    > Will PAL floppy games even run on an NTSC Amiga? I see lots of games on ebay. Never says what region they are though.

    Yes - I mentioned the behavior with running PAL games on an NTSC Amiga above. It's not really an issue though because it's easy to kick the Amiga back and forth between NTSC and PAL modes. On the A1200 at least, you can hold down both mouse buttons when turning the computer on and then select the boot up mode. There's also a command line tool you can run before launching a game to swap the mode on the fly.

    That said, I don't trust magnetic media - any game discs are over 20 years old. Go for floppies off Ebay if you want slow loading and possible bad sector errors, or go the Compact Flash WHDLoad route if you want your Amiga gaming time to be frustration free.

    > Best games on system?

    I still have a lot of the library to explore myself, but here's a few titles that are definitely worth your time:
    Turrican series.
    BC Kid (excellent port of Bonk's Adventure on PCE)
    Fury of the Furries
    Super Frog
    Lionheart
    Apidya
    Gods
    Cannon Fodder
    Leander
    Skeleton Crew
    Last edited by ShootTheCore; 12-08-2017 at 08:58 PM.

  3. #3
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    Here's that open source project I mentioned for making an adapter that will get four Genesis buttons working on the Amiga. I've bought the parts to make one myself - just haven't had to time to put them together yet.

    https://github.com/robinsonb5/SegaToCD32

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFt-Odc3YYE

    And here's a few pictures of my Amiga to whet your appetite. Game pics are on a 4K TV through OSSC using a SCART connection to the Amiga.

    IMG_4259.JPGIMG_4305 (1).jpgIMG_1626 (1).jpgIMG_4325 (1).jpgIMG_4326 (1).jpgIMG_4327 (1).jpg

  4. #4
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    WOW! Thanks for all the info! I researched the 1200 a long time ago and read it was the De-Facto Amiga revision, but it's so hard to find one, and looking on eBay now people are trying to push them for a grand.... I don't think I can justify anywhere near that much. Then having to get it recapped, and all the accessories I would need. Probably talking close to $1500.00

    Do I absolutely need the European version to get the best enjoyment out of Amiga gaming?

    Can the a1200 play CD 32 games? I would really like to get The Misadventures of Flink.

    Is there some secret place to buy these things already capped for a fair value? Basically ready to do everything I want regarding storage, RAM and such?

    Dropping a grand seems like a huge investment. I just can't see that being what these things are really selling for.


    Edit: Those pictures really make me want one even more...

    I keep saying that I should just give up, and go with a commodore 64, or other vintage PC, but the Amiga seems to be leaps and bounds above those consoles.
    Last edited by greedostick; 12-08-2017 at 09:25 PM.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


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  5. #5
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    I don't know why Ebay inflation is so high with the A1200, but prices are much more reasonable on Facebook groups and forums. Expect around $250-275 for an A1200 original, and $325 - 350 for one that's been recapped. The guy I bought mine from set me up with a recapped PAL A1200, 8 meg memory upgrade, Compact Flash IDE, SCART cable, PAL power supply, mouse and crappy joystick for $500 shipped.

    > Do I absolutely need the European version to get the best enjoyment out of Amiga gaming?

    No, not at all. But the region differences in the hardware are minimal (a connected trace on the CPU is the only region difference with the A1200 triggering the default bootup mode). And many of the best Amiga games (Superfrog off the top of my head) don't run right in NTSC mode.

    > Can the a1200 play CD 32 games? I would really like to get The Misadventures of Flink.

    Yes it can. The CD32 is actually just an A1200 with the keyboard and hard drive removed and a CDROM added. There's $125 adapters that plug into the back of a CD32 to add back in ports for the A1200 hardware (like the hard drive).

    The WHDLoad library already has nearly all the CD32 games in it - they run fine on the A1200, but without Redbook audio if the original game used it. There's adapters that will let you add an CDROM drive to the A1200's internal IDE chain. A common mod is to cut a slot in the back of the A1200 for a laptop tray DVD drive.

    That said, the CD32 also has a special "Akikko" chip used for streaming FMV off the disc. The A1200 doesn't have it, so games that use the Akikko won't run on it. Only one commercial game - Microcosm - used it though.

    > Is there some secret place to buy these things already capped for a fair value? Basically ready to do everything I want regarding storage, RAM and such?

    If you like, shoot me a PM and I'll tell you who my hookup is - I think he has more A1200s available. Otherwise, join the Commodore Amiga FB group and the Amiga.org forums. Used, recapped A1200s are actually very easy to come by in Europe - they sold well over there.

    IMG_1637_zps9e3ebb20.jpg
    Last edited by ShootTheCore; 12-08-2017 at 10:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShootTheCore View Post
    I don't know why Ebay inflation is so high with the A1200, but prices are much more reasonable on Facebook groups and forums. Expect around $250-275 for an A1200 original, and $325 - 350 for one that's been recapped. The guy I bought mine from set me up with a recapped PAL A1200, 8 meg memory upgrade, Compact Flash IDE, SCART cable, PAL power supply, mouse and crappy joystick for $500 shipped.

    > Do I absolutely need the European version to get the best enjoyment out of Amiga gaming?

    No, not at all. But the region differences in the hardware are minimal (a connected trace on the CPU is the only region difference with the A1200 triggering the default bootup mode). And many of the best Amiga games (Superfrog off the top of my head) don't run right in NTSC mode.

    > Can the a1200 play CD 32 games? I would really like to get The Misadventures of Flink.

    Yes it can. The CD32 is actually just an A1200 with the keyboard and hard drive removed and a CDROM added. There's $125 adapters that plug into the back of a CD32 to add back in ports for the A1200 hardware (like the hard drive).

    The WHDLoad library already has nearly all the CD32 games in it - they run fine on the A1200, but without Redbook audio if the original game used it. There's adapters that will let you add an CDROM drive to the A1200's internal IDE chain. A common mod is to cut a slot in the back of the A1200 for a laptop tray DVD drive.

    That said, the CD32 also has a special "Akikko" chip used for streaming FMV off the disc. The A1200 doesn't have it, so games that use the Akikko won't run on it. Only one commercial game - Microcosm - used it though.

    > Is there some secret place to buy these things already capped for a fair value? Basically ready to do everything I want regarding storage, RAM and such?

    If you like, shoot me a PM and I'll tell you who my hookup is - I think he has more A1200s available. Otherwise, join the Commodore Amiga FB group and the Amiga.org forums. Used, recapped A1200s are actually very easy to come by in Europe - they sold well over there.

    IMG_1637_zps9e3ebb20.jpg
    I actually joined an Amiga FB group earlier today. What is the name of the good one? I joined "Commodore Amiga Sales" and am waiting acceptance to just plain old "Commodore Amiga" group.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


    [B]

  7. #7
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    Those are the two Amiga FB groups I’m a member of.

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    Do you really need an amiga? Not trying to be a dick here but after that RoTD thread it seems you might be going back down the collecting rabbit hole.

    Quote Originally Posted by greedo
    I have a serious problem/addiction with buying shit I don't need.

    I have decided I am done with the collecting scene, not just games, everything. I've been in it way too long, and I think it's finally time to get out and pursue other interests that don't involve buying house fulls of space wasting garbage. I'll still be gaming for sure, but I won't be buying.
    Quote Originally Posted by garoudensetsu View Post
    Yes it take some time for it but now out of closet and open for sex from men. I homosexual proudly declare it to all to see. None of that weight can be over shoulders anymore. Regards

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    APIDYA Forever!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by gum_drops View Post
    Do you really need an amiga? Not trying to be a dick here but after that RoTD thread it seems you might be going back down the collecting rabbit hole.
    I hear ya. And I appreciate the concern. I've always wanted an Amiga. I'm getting out of software collecting, but I do still want a few consoles, as I stil plan to play them. Namely an Amiga, and a NGPC. Then I will have every console I want.

    Since I'm selling off my pc engine stuff, I was thinking about it. People are talking $800.00 for an Amiga in the FB groups. Seems kinda insane for one of the most popular computers in Europe. So I don't think I will be getting one. If I could get one for $300 or $400 I would. But $800.00 is just nuts.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


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  11. #11
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    Why don't you buy it from Europe? Prices are around 300€ for an A1200 on ebay here.

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    Rise of the Dragon is on the Amiga as well. So you can play it there if you don't want to mess with a Sega CD. :-)

    I'm honestly surprised that you're hearing $800 even on the FB groups. As I said, I got a fully loaded A1200 for $500 after shipping just two months ago. A stock one shouldn't run you more than $250 - $300.

    I'll also say that if you haven't played an Amiga before, you may want to emulate it first before buying one. Most of the games are slower paced than what you may be used to with consoles. Also, the single action button 98% of the games use frankly sucks and causes the games to have goofy controls to work around the limitation.
    Last edited by ShootTheCore; 12-12-2017 at 02:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShootTheCore View Post
    Rise of the Dragon is on the Amiga as well. So you can play it there if you don't want to mess with a Sega CD. :-)

    I'm honestly surprised that you're hearing $800 even on the FB groups. As I said, I got a fully loaded A1200 for $500 after shipping just two months ago. A stock one shouldn't run you more than $250 - $300.

    I'll also say that if you haven't played an Amiga before, you may want to emulate it first before buying one. Most of the games are slower paced than what you may be used to with consoles. Also, the single action button 98% of the games use frankly sucks and causes the games to have goofy controls to work around the limitation.
    I have Amiga Forever software. That's part of the reason I've wanted an Amiga for so long. Played some really fun games on there and just wanted to play them on real hardware.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


    [B]

  14. #14
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    One more thing Greedostick, I ended up with a spare 8 meg memory expansion, so if you do pick up a stock A1200, let me know and I'll sell you my spare 8 meg expansion for cheap.

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    I'm definitely interested in Amiga, but I'm kind of cheap and kind of low on space.

    I'm making do with a combination of Amiga Forever (licensed emulation) and farting around with MorphOS on a G4 Mac Mini.

    MorphOS seems really nice, especially considering the age of the hardware. They're supposed to be putting out the first major update in a couple of years in the near future. I've been too busy with work to really see how good the 68k software support on it is.

    Edit:

    Since the topic of accelerators has come up, there are some really insane ones coming out of: http://www.apollo-accelerators.com/ right now.

    With such heavy modification, using the original hardware seems mostly like a formality.
    Last edited by SML; 12-12-2017 at 03:33 PM.

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    That's true - once the Apollo Vampire V4 standalone comes out then that may be the way to go if you want to run the Amiga games quickly and easily on an FPGA without messing around with recapping and upgrading old hardware. Faster than original hardware, but still more accurate than emulation.

    I'm an "original hardware" snob myself - even over FPGAs - so I went the A1200 route, but I totally understand the appeal of the Vampire.
    Last edited by ShootTheCore; 12-12-2017 at 05:48 PM.

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    Oh man. Amiga guy here.

    I have an A500, A600 (with Vampire v2 in it), A1200 and CD32. Stack of A2000's as well.

    Several Amiga hardware videos on my YT channel.

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    Please don't forget about James Pond.

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    Spoiler:
    Quote Originally Posted by ShootTheCore View Post
    I picked up a PAL Amiga A1200 three months ago and have been doing the "deep dive" on getting it setup the way I want and exploring the huge games library for the first time. I'm happy to answer any questions.

    First off, I recommend going with an A1200 over an A500. You'll pay more up front, but save a lot of money and trouble in terms of having to upgrade the computer later. For example, the A1200 has internal IDE, so you can inexpensively add a Compact Flash reader to fit the entire games library on one single card.

    Also many of the later games were either A1200 exclusive or at least made use of the A1200's more advanced graphics capabilities.

    > The thing that has always stopped me is that it seems mostly a PAL hobby, and finding a monitor would be an issue.

    With an A1200, you can purchase a device called the Indivision FlickerFixer that makes the Amiga work perfectly on modern DVI monitors.
    Link: http://amigakit.amiga.store/catalog/...oducts_id=1148

    With any Amiga, you can use a upscaler like the OSSC or Framemeister with either a SCART or VGA connection. Either upscaler accepts the PAL resolutions just fine. Sounds like you have an XRGB so you're all set.

    Pay attention to power though - the power supplies aren't switched, so a UK supply won't work in the US with a cheap adapter. You can use a US A500 power supply with an A1200, or you can pick up a power transformer off of Amazon for $15 - which is what I did:
    https://www.amazon.com/Power-Bright-...+bright+vc100w

    > If I get a Gotek floppy drive emulator will playing euro exclusives be an issue?

    Honestly, another reason I suggest going with the A1200 over the A500 is so you can skip the floppy emulation stuff in favor of storing and loading all of the games off the hard drive via WHDLoad. WHDLoad is faster and much more convenient to deal with than the Gotek. That said, Euro vs US compatibility isn't really an issue since you can switch the machine between NTSC and PAL mode.

    > I also read that the games run better in 60hrtz anyway, as that is the way they were developed.

    Actually, the opposite is true - most games were developed in Euro 50hz for the PAL standard since the computer was far more popular in that region than in the US. Many games either crash, cut off the bottom of the screen, or run unplayably if you set the machine to run in NTSC 60hz mode. That said, the games that were developed with compatibility for both in mind do run faster and smoother in 60hz mode. Unfortunately, there isn't a "master list" out there on 50hz vs 60hz compatible games that I've been able to find, so you have to figure out which mode a game runs best in through trial and error in most cases.

    > What are some other mods worth getting?

    I can speak best to the A1200 since that's the model I researched and finally landed on. The A1200 shipped stock with 2 megs of internal memory, which will run all of the commercially released games off of floppies, but struggle if you use WHDLoad to run them off of the internal hard drive. As such, I strongly recommend an 8 meg memory upgrade. Indivision sells a nice accelerator board that plugs into the bottom of the A1200 that gives you a faster CPU, 8 megs of memory, and also does some remapping of system data to RAM disk for performance improvements - all for $112. I strongly recommend it:
    http://amigakit.amiga.store/catalog/...oducts_id=1296

    Swapping the internal IDE hard drive on the A1200 with a Compact Flash is a must - it's more reliable and MUCH faster. The kit for that is $13 here:
    http://amigakit.amiga.store/catalog/...oducts_id=1216

    Other upgrades? Like NEC hardware, Commodore went cheap on the capacitors, so any Amiga you buy should have the capacitors replaced ASAP if it hasn't already been done.

    Also, the controller port looks like a standard DB9 port that you can plug a Genesis pad into, but it isn't electrically compatible. A Genesis pad can cause damage over time if it's plugged in directly. Either pick up a dedicated Amiga controller, or pick up a pad convertor like the 64JPX:
    https://www.64hdd.com/64jpx/64jpx.html

    The 64JPX only gives you one action button (Amiga standard), but some later CD32 games would use extra buttons. There's an open source project where you can cobble together your own device for around $10 in parts if you can solder. I'll post the link later when I can find it.

    > Will PAL floppy games even run on an NTSC Amiga? I see lots of games on ebay. Never says what region they are though.

    Yes - I mentioned the behavior with running PAL games on an NTSC Amiga above. It's not really an issue though because it's easy to kick the Amiga back and forth between NTSC and PAL modes. On the A1200 at least, you can hold down both mouse buttons when turning the computer on and then select the boot up mode. There's also a command line tool you can run before launching a game to swap the mode on the fly.

    That said, I don't trust magnetic media - any game discs are over 20 years old. Go for floppies off Ebay if you want slow loading and possible bad sector errors, or go the Compact Flash WHDLoad route if you want your Amiga gaming time to be frustration free.

    > Best games on system?

    I still have a lot of the library to explore myself, but here's a few titles that are definitely worth your time:
    Turrican series.
    BC Kid (excellent port of Bonk's Adventure on PCE)
    Fury of the Furries
    Super Frog
    Lionheart
    Apidya
    Gods
    Cannon Fodder
    Leander
    Skeleton Crew


    Some excellent info here! You've answered a lot of questions for me I've had for awhile. Greatly appreciated!!
    Last edited by 3rdStrikeMike; 12-19-2017 at 11:34 AM. Reason: added spolier to not waste space

  20. #20
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    Glad to be of service! Here are a few more recent tips I've discovered:

    1) When using WHDLoad to run games (not a Gotek or floppies), you can set a property on the game file to force it to launch in NSTC or PAL mode. Just right-click on the games icon file and choose Info from the popup menu. In the window that appears, click on the Tooltips tab. Click Add to add a new entry to the property list. Type in either "NTSC" or "PAL" for the new property, hit Enter to commit it, and click Save to close the window. This makes it super convenient to run each game in its optimal mode without having to reboot the entire Amiga into the other mode.

    2) More awesome Amiga games to check out:
    Disposable Hero
    Future Wars
    Agony
    Cadaver
    The Chaos Engine

  21. #21
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    I already have a significant list of game I want to try, but I will check some of these suggestions out.

    So far I have my eye on...

    Black Crypt
    AmberStar
    AmberMoon
    Eye of The Beholder 1 and 2
    Misadventures of Flink
    Turrican 1 & 2
    Dungeon Master
    Knightmare
    Ruff n Tumble
    Super Frog
    Chaos Engine
    Defender of the Crown (Use to love the shitty nes version, and thus version looks like it kills it)
    Another World
    Flashback
    Ishar 1, 2 and 3

    So I think there's more than enough to keep me busy for a very long time. Those are just the ones I want to try badly. There are many more.

    I think the console is so appealing to me simply for the abundance of dungeon crawlers and RPG's.

    Beaten in 2017: Not a Damn thing! But the Year is Still Young.

    Close to Completion:
    Bravely Default - Skyrim (pc) - Dragon Quest IX -

    Games I can't beat that make me violent:
    Solomon's Key (nes) (fuck Solomon and his damn key) - Festers Quest - R-Type - Ghost Pilots


    [B]

  22. #22
    OldSkool4Life
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    All this Amiga love is making me ponder if I want one again. This time though an A1200.

  23. #23
    Lucky Glauber's #1 Fan
    wyo's Avatar
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    Pinball Dreams is still my favorite pinball game.

  24. #24
    Super Spy Agent
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gamefan View Post
    All this Amiga love is making me ponder if I want one again. This time though an A1200.
    An A1200 with 8 meg RAM upgrade and a Compact Flash drive is really the way to go. You can run the entire games library directly from the Workbench desktop icons that way. Super convenient.

  25. #25
    OldSkool4Life
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    STC - What is the easiest way to get an A1200 to connect to a VGA monitor? I have a Dell 4:3 VGA/DVI monitor I would like to use on an A1200.

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