We’re excited to let you know that MegaAGS 2022.02.22 is now available!
If you don’t know what MegaAGS is, it’s a carefully curated and tuned Amiga games and demo scene collection for the Amiga core on MiSTer. It takes advantage of many of MiSTer’s quality-of-life capabilities around shared drives, high-resolution RTG support, and integer zoom/scale options, in addition to also working on the original Amiga hardware.
It aims to be the de-facto Amiga setup for the MiSTer, and lets you explore the massive Amiga game and demo scene library with a user friendly launcher and lots of different categories to help you navigate the vast game library of the Amiga, as well as providing an introduction to the Amiga demo scene for people unfamiliar with it—which, interestingly, is nominated as a UNESCO cultural heritage.
What’s new in this version?
500+ additional per-game 5×PAL scale settings
This brings the total to over 1200 hand-tuned scaling settings for games and demos in MegaAGS. Every single game in any of the top lists or curated lists has now received a dedicated, hand-tuned per-game scale/crop/offset to maximize screen usage while still keeping integer scaling and correct aspect ratio.
If you want to read more about what the per-game 5×PAL setting does, check out the original announcement when we introduced the feature. The launcher will show you whether it’s using 4×, 5× or 6× scaling. You can always disable this in the Options section in the MegaAGS launcher if you prefer that. This setting will persist across reboots. Note that 1080p resolution in MiSTer’s settings is required for proper scaling in 5× and 6× modes.
New 6× scaling mode
What’s cooler than 5×PAL scaling? Of course, the obvious next step is… 6×PAL scaling!
What does 6× scale do? The Amiga demo scene has increasingly seen new demos (and even old ones) that use a 16:9 aspect ratio, and there are also older demos that used a “cinematic” frame that work great with modern 16:9 displays. We added a new Widescreen category under the demo scene that fills the screen edge-to-edge. There are 44 demos that are capable of that currently.
An example of how it looks:
You do need to set the OSD settings to Audio/Video → Aspect Ratio → Full Screen, and then you can watch these demos in their full screen 16:9 glory.
Note that this is not stretching! It’s using a 6× scale to make the 16:9 aspect ratio cover the full display. The original pixel aspect ratio is preserved.
MT-32 MIDI game support
You can now play the small selection of games with MIDI support, these are located under the Special Hardware category. Since Amiga had hardware that can play sampled audio, it didn’t have a lot of MIDI games—but PC ports like the Sierra and LucasArts games do support it. Thanks to LamerDeluxe for this contribution!
New custom aspect ratio
This is a work-in-progress, and while there is no one “true aspect ratio” on Amiga CRT monitors —since they had adjustments for vertical and horizontal stretching—we have compared the MiSTer HDMI output to Commodore 1942 and 1084 CRT monitors, and have arrived at a 40:27 aspect ratio for all games that are not NTSC. The launcher will tell you what aspect ratio to use, but the majority use this new 40:27 setting. This is also the default if you follow the installation instructions in the ReadMe file and copy the config settings to your MiSTer. You can of course also add it manually.
- Added and updated several games to their latest versions, and additional games released in 2021 and 2022, e.g. Metal Gear Solid. Check out the Games by Year category to try these.
- Several more games have been adjusted to use 5×PAL instead of erroneously using NTSC, which sometimes would speed up the music. You can override these in the Options section, as always—some people are used to playing e.g. Giana Sisters in NTSC, at 120% speed and frame rate. We always aim to use the settings that the original developers were most likely using. But do let us know if you find any games that seem to use the wrong configuration.
- The AGS launcher has received several improvements, special thanks to StatMat (of OneLoad64 fame) for adding several quality-of-life improvements!
- New curated/top lists have been added, e.g. “45 Games That Defined the Amiga 500” from the YouTube channel “It’s a P/XEL thing”
…and many, many small improvements that we won’t cover here.
Grab your favorite beverage, turn down the lights, turn up the volume, and watch these classic widescreen 16:9 Amiga demos in 6× scale full screen on your HDTV! Looks especially mesmerizing on OLED with the fast pixel responsiveness and true blacks.
- If you are unfamiliar with the Amiga demo scene, and want some suggestions for Widescreen 16:9 demos with incredible soundtracks to try in 6×, here are some personal favorites: Rule 30, Fisherhawk, Hologon, Blast From the Past, My Lucky Number, Emperor of the North Pole. Don’t forget to set Aspect Ratio in the MiSTer OSD to Full Screen before launching!
- A few of the demos have static/interstitial screens that will be slightly cropped, but we haven’t done this to demos that have major parts missing. If you want 4×/5× scale instead, they are available in the listings outside the Widescreen category.
- Do note that some of the Amiga demos access the hardware directly, which means they can corrupt the memory after they are run. This means that you may have to reboot the core every once in a while when checking out demo scene releases. This is true to real hardware behavior, FWIW.