ApathyWorks

ScummVM

Posted by Alex Jordan on

Even though I'm still slowly working my way through its predecessor, merely posting about The Curse of Monkey Island put me in the mood to take it for another spin down memory lane.

I reinstalled the game on my development laptop and, for kicks, I just started the game normally, without any emulation. Vista booted the game without a fuss and I began playing. However, it crashed the moment I tried talking to Wally. Well, what did I expect? The game was made for Windows 95, after all.

But I already knew the solution. I quickly scampered over to the website of ScummVM, a charming little emulator and GUI that supports a ton of old LucasArts games. I've known about ScummVM for quite some time, but this was the first time I peaked under its hood while trying to get COMI to work.

Amongst the issues that ScummVM handles and the features it advertises are some graphical upgrades. COMI has gorgeous hand-drawn-and-painted art, but it was originally created to run at 640x480. Turns out that ScummVM has plenty of anti-aliasing and upscaling options to help that out. I've only begun to fiddle with the settings, but I've already discovered that once AA and upscaling is enabled, the backgrounds look flat out amazing at modern screen resolutions. The characters themselves (which are drawn with hard lines to contrast against the backgrounds) look a little "meh", but it's a worthwhile tradeoff. There's no real solution for running an old 4:3 game in 16:9 widescreen, but that's to be expected.

So, for those of you who wish to revisit these old classics and pump up the graphical fidelity, please check out ScummVM.