April 11, 2012

Heroes of Might and Magic II -- full screen

HOMM2 runs on this machine. But it's a DOS game, and it runs in full screen mode. Problem there is that this is a 1920*1080 display (i.e. 16:9) and they're using a 4:3 display mode (probably 800*600), so all the graphics are massively distorted.

The first one almost certainly is the same. So it looks like I'm going to have to dive into the series with version 3.

UPDATE: 3 is not a DOS game, but it too runs full screen, in a 4:3 mode. Looks like I'm going to have to check into the HD patch.

UPDATE: OK, that works.

But the tutorial is less than totally helpful. I guess I need to read the manual to learn how you end a turn. I can't find any button to do it, and since I assume the game is expected to be more than one turn, there must be a magic keystroke that does it.

UPDATE: Aha! There is a button! (but I had to reach page 20 of the manual to find that out.)

UPDATE: OK, and I have completed the tutorial game, which of course is ridiculously simple. I didn't bother with the tutorial manual, so it probably took me a lot longer than it should have. But it was fun, and I did enjoy it.

I won't be ready to advance beyond "Simple" for quite a while, though. And I didn't take advantage of everything I had. For instance, at one point I learned a spell, "Magic Arrow", but I didn't end up using it in the final battle.

Still, not at all bad. But the patch is pretty much essential, if you're running it on a modern computer with a display that isn't 4:3. (Does anyone make 4:3 displays any longer? Not if they're LCDs, they don't. My iPaq's display is 480*640, but it isn't a PC, and every other display around here is wider per height.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 06:17 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 330 words, total size 2 kb.

1 You make me nostalgic for the days when manuals actually would *have* a 20th page. . .

Posted by: metaphysician at April 11, 2012 07:10 PM (3GCAl)

2 You make me nostalgic for the days when manuals actually would *have* a 20th page. . .

He makes me nostalgic for the days when manuals would actually be included in the box...

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 11, 2012 08:57 PM (PVVuW)

3 Generally speaking, your video card driver should have the option to "stretch", "retain ratio" or "center" when the resolution is lower than standard. Your monitor often has these options too.

The DOS games on GOG.com are all played through DOSBox, which means they can be windowed by alt-entering, or configured to run at double size (in case the details are too tiny on 1920x1080).

Posted by: cuc at April 11, 2012 10:31 PM (ly+de)


I'm using a high-power notebook computer. Strictly speaking, there is no "card".

I've heard about those settings in the past, and I've hunted carefully and found no such choices on this computer.

In any case, HOMM3 with the patch works fine, so I don't need any other solution.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 11, 2012 11:04 PM (+rSRq)


He makes me nostalgic for the days when manuals would actually be included in the box...

Not this time. The manuals are all PDF files. It was an electronic delivery. No box, no disks, nothing but bits coming down my pipe.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 11, 2012 11:05 PM (+rSRq)

6 The most likely place for the "don't stretch video" is in the bios.
Or if you were using an external LCD, it's menu might have such an option.

If you turn it on, of course, you'll get a tiny area in the center of the laptop's actual display, which is a different kind of just as bad.

Posted by: RickC at April 12, 2012 05:40 AM (Tn7Hp)

7 Why are you guys trying to solve a problem which has already been solved? Please stop.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 12, 2012 06:01 AM (+rSRq)

8 I threw extra money at the Wasteland 2 project on Kickstarter to get the "big box" edition with a printed manual.  I miss the days when you could weigh the quality of the game by, um, weighing the quality of the game.

You can still get 4:3 / 5:4 monitors if you hunt around (e.g. this Dell) but they tend to be expensive.  The iPad is 4:3, and the latest version is 2048x1536; I wish someone would make that panel into an external display.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at April 12, 2012 07:30 AM (PiXy!)

9 Magic Arrow is one of those spells that I find to only be useful in the very beginning of a map, when stacks are small and low-tier.

Lightning is better, but you have to get all the way to Chain lighting (Tier-4?  I can't remember) to get a go-to spell.

Posted by: BigD at April 12, 2012 07:57 AM (qLkdZ)

10 I find Magic Arrow least useful at the beginning of a map, because your heroes are also very weak at that stage. (Unless you have heroes carried over from a previous step of a campaign, which is a whole different ball of wax.) If you can develop a hero with a decent Power stat, or supplement it with a nice artifact, then you can do quite useful damage for very small mana cost with Magic Arrow.

Chain Lightning can be tremendous fun. Although you have to be careful with it.... Solmyr is one of my favorite heroes, because he starts with Chain Lightning as his special skill. It is completely unbalanced, and tremendously fun.

When my heroes are still weak and can't do much damage with direct spells, I usually stick to buffs/debuffs and try to get the most I can out of my troops. An occasional Haste or Slow on the right target can make a big difference tactically. Using Bless on a low-level unit that has highly variable damage is also one of my favorites ways to get value from heroes with minimal magic skills.

Posted by: haphazard1 at April 12, 2012 07:16 PM (9yBYR)

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