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A sting in the tail: F/A-18 Hornet 2.0



Another day at the office
Another day at the office

This is a guide to setting up F/A-18 Hornet v2.0 with Mac emulation. It'll take a look a single screen and multi-monitor options and my subjective view on which are best.










Versions


The preferred version is v2.0.1. This version is available from various sites hosting old Macintosh software. This version also works with the Korean Crisis campaign and the Strike Missions expansions under emulation.


Most copies of F/A-18 Hornet will be the v2.0.1 version although most will be described as v2.0. To confirm the version, when you open the installer, one of the items it installs should be 'F/A-18 Hornet 2.0.1' and a 'READ ME 2.0.1'.


Korean Crisis


The installation for the Korean Crisis expansion is a little more involved as all the copies I've seen are a compressed collection of floppy disk images.


Before installing you may want to take a copy of the original 'F/A-18 Data 2.0' file. This step is entirely optional as the Korean Crisis installer only adds a theater and doesn't replace the original Kuwait & Persian Gulf theater or the training missions.


To install, we need to un-compress the disk collection, mount each disk image and copy the installers to the Mac hard disk, before running the Korean Crisis installer to add the campaign to the existing Hornet installation.


Strike Missions


Before installing you may want to take a copy of the original 'F/A-18 Data 2.0' file. The Strike Missions replace the original Kuwait & Persian Gulf theater and training missions with new ones, so to retain the original campaign you need to take a copy.



Qemu m68k (with and without SheepShaver)


Mapping axes with Target
Mapping axes with Target

The preferred emulator to use to run Hornet v2.0 is Qemu, in both single and multi-monitor configurations. In order to use a modern joystick under Qemu, you will need to use your joysticks profile software to map your joystick x/y-axes to the mouse x/y-axes.


SheepShaver can run Hornet v2.0 until the flight engine is initialised but then freezes/crashes. However, due to the limited facilities for transferring files to/from the Qemu emulator, we can still use SheepShaver to make installation easier.


Each emulator should have it's own installation folder, although you can create a common folder for the roms and hard disk image. The non-volatile parameter ram (pram) files will be different for Qemu and SheepShaver and can remain in each emulator folder.


There are 2 versions available from the Emaculation website. The experimental multi-monitor version Qemu-m68k-Win64-qfb-experimental-05-10-2022 is the recommended version as it handles the windows key properly, to emulate the Mac option key. For better scaling a resolution of 1024x768 is recommended.


The Qemu-system-m68k-Win64-06-10-2023 version has better scaling at 1152x870, but isn't recommended due to an issue in full screen mode. Holding the Windows key causes a key press 'pulse' in the emulator instead of a 'held' key press. This makes it difficult to issue various keypresses when playing.


In order to create a suitable virtual Mac the Emaculation setup guide should be used.


The configuration I use is:


  • Quadra 800 rom

  • 128mb ram

  • Mac OS 7.6.1 in .img format

  • 1024x768 resolution


Note: In the configurations below, your rom file and hard disk image may have a different name and be located in a different folder. The caret ^ character continues the command onto the next line.


Single monitor configuration


qemu-system-m68k-qfb.exe ^
-M q800,fb=none ^
-m 128 ^
-bios D:\MacOS\qemu-disk-rom\Quadra800.rom ^
-display sdl ^
-device nubus-qfb,width=1024,height=768,depth=8 ^
-drive file=pram-macos-qfb.img,format=raw,if=mtd ^
-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=0,drive=hd0 ^
-drive file=D:\MacOS\qemu-disk-rom\qemu761.img,media=disk,format=raw,if=none,id=hd0 

Multi monitor configuration


This configuration will create 3 virtual displays as windows.

qemu-system-m68k-qfb.exe ^
-M q800,fb=qemu ^
-device nubus-qfb,width=1024,height=768,depth=8 ^
-device nubus-qfb,width=1024,height=768,depth=8 ^
-m 128 ^-g 1024x768x8 ^
-bios D:\MacOS\qemu-disk-rom\Quadra800.rom ^
-display sdl ^-drive file=pram-macos-qfb.img,format=raw,if=mtd ^
-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=0,drive=hd0 ^
-drive file=D:\MacOS\qemu-disk-rom\qemu761multi.img,media=disk,format=raw,if=none,id=hd0

Mount a cd image


You can add the following lines to the bottom of each command to mount a cd image, replacing <cd-image.iso> with the actual name of your cd image. The previous last line will need to end with the caret character. This may be useful if SheepShaver isn't available.


rem add the ^ to the end of the last line before adding these lines
-device scsi-cd,scsi-id=3,drive=cd0 ^
-drive file=<cd-image.iso>,format=raw,media=cdrom,if=none,id=cd0

Mount a disk image


You can also add the following lines to the bottom of each command to mount an .img image, replacing <image.img> with the actual name of your disk image.


-device scsi-hd,scsi-id=1,drive=hd1 ^
-drive file=<image.img>,media=disk,if=none,id=hd1 

SheepShaver configuration


The latest version of SheepShaver can be obtained from the Emaculation website. At time of writing the latest version is SheepShaver-Windows-27-08-2023-framebuffer. In order to create a suitable emulated PPC Mac, the SheepShaver setup guide at the Emaculation website should be followed.


The configuration we'll use is:


  • An old world 4mb rom file

  • 128mb ram

  • The Mac OS 7.6.1 hard disk image from Qemu in .img format

  • Any preferred resolution.


When configuring SheepShaver, use the SheepShaverGUI application to specify the Qemu hard disk image as a volume to mount and check the 'Enable "My Computer" icon on your Mac desktop (external file system)' option to transfer files to/from the hard disk image.


Once you have your emulated Mac up and running in both Qemu and SheepShaver it's time to install some software.


Installing Stuffit Expander


We'll need a copy of Stuffit Expander which we can use to expand .sit archives and mount .img disk images. Stuffit Expander v5.5 is a recommended version. The steps to take are:


  • Obtain a copy of Stuffit Expander v5.5 in an img or dsk disk image format.

  • Mount the disk image in SheepShaverGUI.

  • Start SheepShaver and the disk should appear on the Mac OS desktop.

  • Install Stuffit Expander v5.5 from the installer on the disk.

  • Once installed, shutdown SheepShaver and start Qemu to ensure Stuffit Expander works properly under Qemu.


Alternatively if you don't want to use SheepShaver then you would:


  • Obtain a copy of Stuffit Expander v5.5 in a .img disk image format.

  • Mount the disk image in Qemu directly using the 'Mount a disk image' command options (described above). This should cause a disk to appear on the Mac desktop.

  • Install Stuffit Expander v5.5 from the installer on the disk.

Installing F/A-18 Hornet v2.0.1


Copies maybe in a .toast cd image format or a compressed .toast_.sit cd image format. If it is in a compressed cd image format we need to take the following steps to un-compress it first:


  • Start SheepShaverGUI, make sure the 'Enable "My Computer" icon on your Mac desktop (external file system)' option is checked.

  • Start SheepShaver from the GUI.

  • Open My Computer and find the compressed .toast_.sit cd image, copy it to the Mac hard disk.

  • Un-compress the compressed .toast_.sit cd image with Stuffit Expander to get a .toast cd image.

  • Use 'My Computer' and copy the .toast cd image back to a folder on the host pc.

  • Shutdown the emulated Mac.


Once you have a .toast cd image (or you started with a .toast cd image), we can now use SheepShaver to install from the cd image with the following steps:


  • Start SheepShaverGUI, mount the .toast cd image in SheepShaver.

  • Start SheepShaver from the GUI, the cd should be mounted on the desktop.

  • Run the Hornet installer from the cd, installing to the Mac hard disk.

  • Shutdown the emulated Mac.

  • Run up the emulated Mac in Qemu, Hornet should now be available to play!


The first time you run Hornet v2.0.1 you will have to enter a suitable serial key.


Alternatively if you don't want to use SheepShaver then you need to use an additional application, Toast v4 to mount the .toast cd image. The steps to follow are:


  • Obtain a copy of the application Toast v4, as a compressed file. Create a .iso cd image of this file and mount the cd image with the 'Mount a cd image' command options. Copy the compressed file onto the Mac hard disk. Open with Stuffit Expander to un-compress the application and copy the Toast folder to the Mac hard disk.

  • Create a .iso cd image of the Hornet .toast file or the .toast_.sit file. Mount the iso with the appropriate Qemu command options. Open the cd on the Mac desktop and copy the file to the Mac Hard disk.

  • If it is a .toast_.sit file, run Stuffit Expander to get a .toast file.

  • Use Toast v4 to mount the .toast cd image.

  • Run the Hornet installer from the desktop cd, installing to the Mac hard disk.

  • Restart Qemu to unmount the cd.


Installing Korean Crisis Expansion


The installation for the Korean Crisis expansion is as follows:


  • Start SheepShaverGUI, make sure the 'Enable "My Computer" icon on your Mac desktop (external file system)' option is checked.

  • Start SheepShaver from the GUI.

  • Open My Computer and find the compressed Korean Crisis .sit file, copy it to the Mac hard disk.


Alternatively if you don't want to use SheepShaver then you would:


  • Create a .iso cd image of the Korean Crisis .sit file. Mount the iso with the appropriate Qemu command options. Open the cd on the Mac desktop and copy the file to the Mac Hard disk.


You can now continue the next steps in either SheepShaver or Qemu, the steps are the same:


  • Use Stuffit Expander to un-compress the Korean Crisis .sit file. This should create a Korean Crisis folder containing four .img disk image files.

  • Use Stuffit Expander to open the first disk image. A disk will appear on the Mac desktop.

  • Open the disk and copy the Korean Crisis Installer to a new folder on the Mac hard disk. Give this new folder a meaningful name.

  • Repeat for the second, third and fourth disk images. Open each image in Stuffit Expander, then open each disk and copy the Korean Crisis Installer file to the new folder.

  • Drag any floppy disks to the trash to unmount them from the desktop. Dragging to the trash just unmounts the disk, it does not delete them.

  • Go to the new folder you created and run the Korean Crisis Installer.

  • During the installation specify the folder where you installed Hornet v2.0.1


If you are still using SheepShaver, shutdown the Mac and start it in Qemu. When you run Hornet you should now be able to choose the new Korean Peninsula Theater.

Installing Strike Missions


To install Strike Missions:


  • Start SheepShaverGUI, make sure the 'Enable "My Computer" icon on your Mac desktop (external file system)' option is checked.

  • Start SheepShaver from the GUI.

  • Open My Computer and find the compressed Strike Missions .sit file, copy it to the Mac hard disk.


Alternatively if you don't want to use SheepShaver then you would:


  • Create a .iso cd image of the Strike Missions .sit file. Mount the iso with the appropriate Qemu command options. Open the cd on the Mac desktop and copy the file to the Mac Hard disk.


You can now continue the next steps in either SheepShaver or Qemu, the steps are the same:


  • Use Stuffit Expander to expand the Strike Missions .sit file. This creates a Hornet STRIKE Missions 2.0 folder.

  • Copy the Hornet STRIKE Missions 2.0 folder to the existing Hornet folder.

  • Replace the original F/A-18 Data 2.0 file (taking a copy first) with the Strike Missions F/A-18 Data 2.0 file.


To use the original theaters/training missions, simply replace the Strike Missions F/A-18 Data 2.0 file with the original F/A-18 Data 2.0 copy.


Carrier deck
Carrier deck
Hornet in flight
Hornet in flight












MAME


MAME provides very accurate emulation at the cost of performance. Qemu provides better performance but requires the joystick axes to be mapped to mouse axes for the mouse controls to act like a joystick. If this isn't possible then MAME may be a preferred option.


To increase performance, you can specify the -cheat option in the command used to run MAME and use the MAME slider menu to overclock the main cpu by up to 400%. This may introduce non-breaking sound issues, where fragments of sound get repeated during play, depending on how high you go and your host pc, so the optimum overclock is a personal preference.


The current version of MAME is v0.260 although there is active development with new releases coming out frequently.


Setup


To set up MAME take a look at my earlier blog post: Running the Mac version of F-117a Stealth Fighter 2.0 with MAME. You can follow the guide all the way through until it comes to installing F-117. Installing Stuffit Deluxe is optional but you may find it useful for installing other games.


You should now have:


  • An emulated Mac Quadra 800 with 128mb of memory.

  • Running Mac OS 7.6.1.

  • With Stuffit Expander v5.5 (and optionally Stuffit Deluxe) installed.


Installing Toast


This may be an optional step depending on the copy of Hornet v2.0 you have managed to obtain. If you copy is a compressed cd image with a .toast.sit extension then you'll need to install toast. If you have a .toast file on your host pc you can skip this section. To install:


  • Obtain a copy of Toast v4, this will probably be compressed with Stuffit and have a .sit extension.

  • Create a .iso cd image using your preferred software (I tend to use ImgBurn) containing your compressed copy of Toast v4.

  • Start the Mac in MAME.

  • Mount the .iso cd image using the MAME File Manager.

  • Copy the compressed copy of Toast to the Mac hard disk.

  • Use Stuffit Expander to uncompress Toast v4 and copy to the Mac hard disk (if not already).


Installing F/A-18 Hornet v2.0.1


Most copies of F/A-18 Hornet will be the v2.0.1 version although most will be described as v2.0. To confirm the version, when you open the installer, one of the items it installs should be 'F/A-18 Hornet 2.0.1' and a 'READ ME 2.0.1'.


If you have a copy in a .toast cd image format on your host pc, or you can uncompress your copy to end up with a .toast cd image format on your host pc, then all you have to do is mount the .toast file in MAME as a cd using the MAME File Manager.


If it is in a compressed cd image format we need to take the following steps to un-compress it first, making sure that Toast has already been installled:


  • Create a .iso cd image using your preferred software (I tend to use ImgBurn) containing your compressed cd image of Hornet v2.0.

  • Start the Mac in MAME.

  • Mount the .iso cd image using the MAME File Manager.

  • Copy the compressed cd image of Hornet v2.0 to the Mac hard disk.

  • Use Stuffit Expander to uncompress, to end up with a .toast file.

  • Open the .toast file, you may need to open the Toast application first and drag the .toast file onto the Toast app.


Whichever method you used, you should now have the Hornet installation cd mounted on your Mac desktop. All that remains is to Run the Hornet installer from the desktop cd, installing to the Mac hard disk.


Installing Korean Crisis Expansion


The process is very similar to installing on Qemu without using SheepShaver. The first step is to copy the Korean Crisis .sit file onto the Mac hard disk:


  • Create a .iso cd image containing the Korean Crisis .sit file.

  • Start the Mac in MAME.

  • Mount the .iso cd image using the MAME File Manager.

  • Open the cd on the Mac desktop and copy the Korean Crisis .sit file to the Mac Hard disk.


Then the process is the same as for a SheepShaver/Qemu install, following these steps.


Installing Strike Missions


The process is very similar to installing on Qemu without using SheepShaver. The first step is to copy the Strike Missions .sit file onto the Mac hard disk:


  • Create a .iso cd image containing the Strike Missions .sit file.

  • Start the Mac in MAME.

  • Mount the .iso cd image using the MAME File Manager.

  • Open the cd on the Mac desktop and copy the  Strike Missions .sit file to the Mac Hard disk.


Then the process is the same as for a SheepShaver/Qemu install, following these steps.


Joystick setup


Hornet can use keyboard controls (not great) or mouse controls (even worse)! To use a modern joystick with the emulated Mac mouse controls that acts like a joystick, you can use the MacFlight plugin. Details on how to use the MacFlight plugin are on the earlier blog post: MacFlight: A MAME plugin for retro Mac flight sims.


Multiple Monitors


To set up multiple monitors in MAME take a look at yet another earlier blog post: MacFlight: Multi-monitor support! It'll describe how to set up multiple monitors in MAME. If you use a supported memory and resolution, MacFlight will also work.



On a carrier deck, using MAME
On a carrier deck, using MAME

External view, using MAME
External view, using MAME



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