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'Brrrrt': Avenging with A10 Attack!


A-10 at an airbase
A-10 at an airbase

This is my setup guide for getting the Mac classic A-10 Attack! running under emulation. I'll discuss my 'subjective' preferred methods for running in a single and emulated multiple monitor setup.


If you've already seen some of my other guides they'll be a lot of the same information as the steps for setting up SheepShaver and MAME will be the same (so you'll be able to skip some sections). If you're here to try out A-10 Attack! and haven't emulated any other sim before then the information you need should be in this guide, it will refer to other more detailed guides where necessary.


Version

A-10 Attack! v1.5
A-10 Attack! v1.5

The preferred version of A-10 Attack! is v1.5. It can be obtained as a single .sit compressed


file so no further updates are needed. This will be the assumed distribution of A-10 Attack!


SheepShaver


SheepShaver is the preferred emulator to use when running A-10 Attack! in a single monitor setup. SheepShaver is a good solution, easy to setup and run. In order to use a modern joystick effectively, you will need to use your joysticks profile software to map your joystick x/y-axes to the mouse x/y-axes. It doesn't have support for multiple virtual monitors at present.


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 I use is:

  • An old world 4mb rom file

  • 128mb ram

  • Mac OS 7.6.1

  • 1152x870 resolution

In addition the SheepShaver_prefs file was edited and the following preference was added to reduce the cpu clock to 33Mhz, the default being 100Mhz.

cpuclock 33 

SheepShaver keycodes
SheepShaver keycodes

The key bindings are not optimal. To fix this you'll want to set the 'Use raw keycodes' option and specify the keycodes files in the SheepShaver folder as shown.


When installing software, use the SheepShaverGUI application. Check the 'Enable "My Computer" icon on your Mac desktop (external file system)' option to transfer files to/from the hard disk image.


Installing Stuffit Expander


Once you have an emulated Mac running Mac OS 7.6.1, you will want to install software. We'll need a copy of Stuffit Expander which we can use to expand .sit archives and mount .img disk images. I've found Stuffit Expander v5.5 to work well. 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, restart SheepShaver to make sure Stuffit Expander is installed and working.


Installing A-10 Attack!


Installing is remarkably straight-forward, simply perform the following steps:


  • Use the SheepShaverGUI application and enable the My Computer icon to give SheepShaver access to the host hard disk with the compressed .sit archive.

  • Copy (or move) the compressed .sit archive to your Mac hard disk.

  • Open the compressed .sit archive, it will expand the archive and you should be left with the A-10 Attack! folder on your Mac hard disk.

  • Shutdown SheepShaver and use the SheepShaverGUI application to disable the My Computer icon, you don't need to access your host hard disk anymore.

  • Start SheepShaver again and give A-10 Attack a try!




MAME


MAME provides very accurate emulation at the cost of performance. SheepShaver 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.


I don't suggest Qemu as they is a weird bug where turning on the HUD and accelerating will either cause a crash to the Mac desktop or freeze the sim. Here's a video showing off the problem.


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 v0.261 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 A-10 Attack!


Installing is quite straight-forward, there are a couple more steps as you need an .iso cd image to mount in MAME. Here are the steps:


  • Create a .iso cd image containing the A-10 Attack! .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 A-10 Attack! .sit file to the Mac Hard disk.

  • Open the compressed .sit archive, it will expand the archive and you should be left with the A-10 Attack! folder on your Mac hard disk.


Joystick setup


A-10 Attack! 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.






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