While checking out the PCem source repository, I noticed this little addition:
Innovation SSI-2001 emulation. Using ReSID-FP.
Well, now that is pretty interesting!
The SSI-2001 card dates back from when people were starting to try to make the PC into a gaming platform. Â While some people were adding chips not used in other platforms, Innovation went the direction of adding a Commodore SID onto an ISA card, giving the PC the sound capabilities of a Commodore 64. Â Sadly the card failed to catch on (The Commodore curse?) and it only saw a hand full of games that supported it.
- Bad Blood
- Battle Chess II
- BattleTech: The Crescent Hawks’ Revenge
- F-19 Stealth Fighter
- Falcon A.T.
- Joe Montana Football
- Lord of the Rings Volume 1
- Red Storm Rising
- Super Jeopardy
- Ultima VI
From googling around this is the only games I’m aware of.
I recompiled PCem, and enabled the SS1-2001, and loaded up Ultima VI. Â It works perfectly well. Â And to be honest I like it more than the Adlib! emulation.
In a way I’m glad such hardware didn’t succeed. The SID was already quite old by 1989, and I think had it caught on things may have been held back unnecessarily.
As a C64 fan, it’s sad it didn’t succeed – we might have had cheap, plentiful SID devices and clones everywhere!
the only thing better would have been a Paula on a card. But then we’d probably want the entire Amiga chipset on an ISA card. x86 Amiga now that would have been weird.
Indeed, an Amiga chipset board would have been quite a sight to see.
That said its crazy to think how quickly things progressed on the hardware front from ’89. It feels like we went from VGA to Super VGA / VESA to 3D boards almost overnight. No one company could compete against an entire industry moving at that speed.
especially with the demise of SGi, and the rise of nVidia. It’s been amazing.
It’s funny to look back at old magazines from 1990-1993, It’s such a short span in years, but things changed so much.
And I must be getting old, my favorite programs just let me keep running old crap.
Do you have any idea why the Innovation SSI-2001 card failed to catch on? And did the card even supported Windows 3.0/3.1?
Also, do you have the compiled version of PCem with the Innovation SSI-2001 card emulation? If so, I would like to see it.
My guess is that the Ablib card was already out and had better software support (King Quest!). I remember there being lots of Ablib clones which I’m sure helped it’s availability in the market, which again likely spurred more developers to support it.
Agh what’s Ablid? I of course meant Adlib!
Then again look at the timeline, Commodore was in decline, and Yamaha was well.. ok. And there were YM3812 clones, I don’t think anyone cloned the SID in the 80’s or 90’s.
It looks like Microprose supported this in F-19 in 1988, but dropped support for it in F-15 Strike Eagle II in ’89, even though they otherwise seem to share a lot of code!
I imagine the musicians / sound fx would have had to make / code separate versions for say the adlib and Sid versions. If the install base was much lower on the latter I guess it must have made Sense to drop it.
F-15 Strike Eagle II I see did samples on the adlib card too which is pretty neat. I hadn’t seen that trick before…
I would imagine there would be separate scores, as the SID doesn’t have the instrument reach of the Yamaha chip.