freesci - free interpreter for SCI bytecode
FreeSCI is a portable interpreter for SCI games, such as the Space
Quest series (starting with SQ3) or Leisure Suit Larry (2 and sequels);
see below for a complete listing.
freesci is the main executable which loads, links and runs SCI
freesci [options] [game [savegame]]
game An identifier describing the game to start. This identifier
(GAME_ID) must be declared in the configuration file. If
omitted, the interpreter will attempt to read resource files
from the current working directory (or the directory specified
by the --gamedir option). If that fails, it will present a
graphical game selection screen for the games listed in the
config file and the games located under ~/.freesci/games (or the
directory specified by the --menudir option).
If this option is specified after the game name, the interpreter
will attempt to quickload the savegame with the specified ID
(see the --list-savegames option). This is technically different
from restoring a savegame from within the game (as it does not
re-start the game script state afterwards), but it should work
just as well.
Display version number and exit. Also the supported graphics
drivers, sound servers, midi and midiout drivers are reported.
Display a short help text and exit.
Do not start the debugger; only run the game. This is the
Start up in debug mode.
This option instructs the interpreter not to run the game, but
rather to list all savegames stored for it, including their
in-game descriptions where available. This is relevant to
figure out savegame names for quickloads. The usual in-game
savegames are labelled “save_0” through “save_j”.
--gamedir dir, -ddir
With this option, games resources will be read from the
directory dir. Default is the current directory, unless a
directory has been specified in the config file (see below).
--menudir dir, -Gdir
This option sets the directory that the graphical game selection
menu recurses to look for SCI games. Default is
~/.freesci/games, unless the menu_dir option is set in the
config file (see below).
--sci-version version, -Vversion
This option sets the SCI version for freesci to emulate.
Acceptable version numbers are of the form x.yyy.zzz, where x is
the major number, yyy is the minor number and zzz the patch
Note that currectly only SCI0 and SCI01 (major/minor=0/000)
games are supported.
Normally, the version will be autodetected from the game
Many SCI games handle the mouse pointer differently if no mouse
is present in the system. This option instructs the interpreter
to tell the games that no mouse is present whenever they ask for
one; the actual effect depends on the individual game.
--scale-x xfact, -xxfact
--scale-y yfact, -yyfact These options allow to explicitly
specify the horizontal and vertical scaling factors. The
resulting size of the game window will be 320*xfact x 200*yfact,
plus any window decorations.
--color-depth bpp, -cbpp
This sets the number of bits to use per pixel. Some
visuals/graphics drivers support several color depths, so that
auto-detection may not yield the desired effects.
--graphics gfx, -ggfx
With this option, you can specify which graphics driver is to be
In this release, sdl, ggi and plain xlib are supported.
--midiout driver, -Odriver
This is the output driver or interface to use. Currently,
unixraw, alsaraw, null, ossopl3, and ossseq (an OSS sequencer
driver) may be available on your system, ossseq being the
--mididevice driver, -Mdriver
SCI was designed to support a variety of physical output
devices. FreeSCI currently supports the Rolant MT-32 (mt32, the
default), an Adlib device (adlib) and it also offers an MT-32 to
General MIDI translation layer (mt32gm).
--sound-server server, -Sserver
This option may be used to explicitly specify a sound server to
use. The sound server is an asynchronous process or thread that
issues sound output events and reports sound cues back to the
interpreter; if you have both possibilities (unix and sdl) for
your system, you may have to experiment to find out which works
best for you.
When run, FreeSCI will create a directory called .freesci in your home
directory (unless this directory already exists). If you run an SCI
game, this game will create another directory inside the .freesci
directory, to store its save games in.
Also, if a file called config exists in this directory, it will be read
and parsed by the interpreter after the game has been loaded. This
configuration file can be divided into a global section and various
game-specific sections. Within the config file, comments must be
preceeded by a hash “#” sign. Empty lines are ignored.
Game-specific sections are marked by a text string like [GAME_ID],
where GAME_ID is an ID to use for the game. If the section also
contains a resource_dir entry, the ID may be passed to freesci as a
parameter to start the game by its name.
The config file section before the first game-specific section is the
global configuration section; anything specified here will be used as
the setting for any game that does not explicitly request different
It is possible to include other files with the %include<#> directive.
FreeSCI will automatically detect and warn about circular inclusions.
Here is a complete listing of all options supported:
Read the game’s resource data from the specified location. Must
not be used in the generic part of the config file.
menu_dir = dir
Specifies the directory that is recursively searched for SCI
games when the game selection screen is invoked. Should only be
used in the generic part of the config file. Defaults to
version = x.yyy.zzz
Emulate SCI version x.yyy.zzz. The version number is sometimes
printed on game discs, or can be found out by grepping your main
executable for "0.000." (for SCI0 games). It is also displayed
if the built-in debugger is activated in the Sierra SCI engine.
See also the --sci-version command line option.
Sets a logging file for FreeSCI’s console output (by default,
this is disabled).
mouse = yes | no
Specifies whether the interpreter should report to the game that
it has a mouse.
pic0_dither_mode = dither | flat | dither256
dither: draw in 16 colors, same as Sierra SCI; flat: interpolate
colors (256 colors); this improves some graphics; dither256:
dither in 256 colors; a compromise between dither and flat.
pic0_dither_pattern = scaled | unscaled
scaled: perform picture dithering to blocks with a width of the
horizontal and a height of the vertical scaling factor;
unscaled: dither single pixels (same as scaled if the game is
being run unscaled).
pic0_brush_mode = scaled | ellipses | random-ellipses | more-random
Affects how semi-random brushes (used mostly for dirt and
foilage) are drawn in SCI0 background pictures. scaled: scale
every semi-random pixel to a rectangular block; ellipses: scale
every semi-random pixel to a filled ellipse; random-ellipses: as
ellipses, but slightly shift ellipse offset and size;
more-random: add more random pixels to the whole area.
pic0_line_mode = correct | fine | half
Specify how lines are drawn when background pictures are
rendered in SCI0. correct: draw lines appropriately scaled;
fine: don’t scale lines (thin lines, may cause problems); half:
draw lines at half width (may cause problems).
dirty_strategy = 1 | clusters
The “dirty strategy” is the strategy used to collect
modifications to the screen content. Modifying this may affect
performance on slow or networked systems. 1: collect everything
in one dirty region; clusters: cluster non-overlapping modified
regions into a set of regions.
pic0_scaled = yes | no
Whether SCI0 background pics should be scaled (may look better)
or not (faster, looks more like the original games). By default,
it is disabled.
pic_buffer_size = #
Number of background pics to store in an LRU buffer. Increasing
this value will increase the amount of memory used, but may
considerably speed up changing back to rooms you visited not too
view_filter = none | linear | trilinear
Specifies the way views (non-background images) are scaled (this
obviously does not affect unscaled images): none: no filtering
is performed (default); linear: a simple linear filter is
applied; trilinear: views are passed through a trilinear filter.
pic_filter = none | linear | trilinear
Specifies scaling for background images; see view_filter for a
description of the options.
cursor_filter = none | linear | trilinear
Specifies scaling for mouse pointers; see view_filter for a
description of the options. This option does not apply to
graphics drivers which handle the mouse pointer explicitly
(currently, only the GGI driver is affected).
text_filter = none | linear | trilinear
Specifies scaling for text; see view_filter for a description of
pic_antialiasing = none | simple
If activated, this option will do an extra pass over background
images to anti-aliase them, usually improving the overall
picture quality. This is set to none by default.
animation_delay = #
This chooses the amount of microseconds to wait between each
sub-element of a transition animation (also see
animation_granularity). Setting this to zero will disable
transition animations completely. The default is 5.
animation_granularity = #
This sets the amount of steps to execute simultaneously for each
transition animation. If transition animations seem too slow on
your system but you don’t want to disable them completely, you
might want to try increasing this value. The default is 4.
alpha_threshold = #
When using filtered images (specifically views, text, and
cursors where used by the graphics driver), this value is used
to determine when a part of the image should be drawn and when
it should be omitted. The definition space of this value is 0 to
255, where larger values cause more to be drawn. This value
does not affect unfiltered images or images drawn with alpha
blending. Default is 129.
midi_device = driver
Chooses the default MIDI device; this can be mt32 for plain
MT-32 output, or mt32gm to use FreeSCI’s MT32 -> General MIDI
mapping algorithm. Also Adlib (adlib) is supported. This
defaults to mt32gm.
midiout_driver = driver
Selects the output device to use. Available options are alsaraw
(using ALSA’s raw MIDI output devices), unixraw (using
/dev/midi-style raw MIDI output devices), ossseq (for OSS
sequencer devices) and win32mci on Win32 systems. The default
on UNIXish systems is ossseq.
sound_server = server
This chooses one of the asynchronous sound servers. For sound
output, FreeSCI uses an asynchronous process or thread;
currently two implementations of this mechanism are available:
unix, which forks off a separate process, and sdl, which uses
libsdl’s threading mechanisms. Defaults to unix, where
DRIVER-SPECIFIC OPTIONS (GRAPHICS DRIVERS):
gfx.xlib.disable_shmem = yes | no
Can be used to disable support for MIT Shm support on the X11
Windowing System in cases where detection fails. This is off by
default, enabling SHM support.
gfx.sdl.swap_caps_ctrl = yes | no
This option instructs the SDL driver to swap caps lock and ctrl
when reading input. Disabled by default.
gfx.sdl.fullscreen = yes | no
Toggles the SDL graphics driver’s fullscreen option. Disabled by
DRIVER-SPECIFIC OPTIONS (SOUND DRIVERS):
midiout.alsaraw.card = #
This specifies the ALSA card to use for raw MIDI output; the
default is 0.
midiout.alsaraw.device = #
Specifies the ALSA device, relative to the card, for raw MIDI
output. It also defaults to 0.
midiout.unixraw.device = device
Sets the device file to use for raw UNIX MIDI output. This
defaults to /dev/midi.
midiout.ossseq.device = #
Selects the OSS sequencer device number; this defaults to 1.
midiout.ossseq.recorder = file
Chooses a file the OSS sequencer should print debug output to.
This is not particularly helpful for everyday use, and disabled
PER-RESOURCE COLOUR CUSTOMISATION:
FreeSCI allows the brightness and hue of in-game images to be
customised. A complete description of this mechanism can be found in
the accompanying README.
Here is an exemplary configuartion file:
# FreeSCI configuration file
# For FreeSCI version 0.3.5
# default values:
console_log = /home/user/.freesci/log
pic_buffer_size = 4
pic0_brush_mode = more-random
pic_antialiasing = simple
pic0_dither_mode = dither256
pic0_scaled = yes
pic0_line_mode = normal
pic0_dither_pattern = scaled
text_filter = trilinear
cursor_filter = trilinear
pic_filter = trilinear
view_filter = trilinear
midi_device = mt32
midiout_driver = alsaraw
alpha_threshold = 140
sound_server = unix
animation_delay = 1
resource_dir = /usr/share/freesci/lsl3
resource_dir = /usr/share/freesci/kq4
version = 0.000.502
The following games have been tested with FreeSCI and are known to give
some level of interactivity. In theory, FreeSCI should be able to let
you complete all of these. Games marked with [c] have been completed
· Hero’s Quest / Quest for Glory 1 [c]
· Space Quest 3 [c]
· King’s Quest 1 (SCI version) [c]
· King’s Quest 4 [c]
· Leisure Suit Larry 2 [c]
· Leisure Suit Larry 3 [c]
· Police Quest 2 [c]
· Codename: Iceman
· The Colonel’s Bequest [c]
· Conquest of Camelot
· The Fun Seeker’s Guide (from the SQ Collector’s Series)
· Hoyle’s Book of Games (volume 1) (*)
· Hoyle’s Book of Games (volume 2) (*)
(*) Due to differences between the way Sierra SCI and FreeSCI handle
graphical widgets, these games may cause an accumulation of widgets in
the widget subsystem, resulting in a slowdown and some increased memory
This release has the following limitations (plus some bugs):
· Only SCI0 games (and some SCI01 games) are supported
· The SCI debug functions aren’t fully supported (and probably
never will be, since FreeSCI uses its own debug functions).
Please refer to http://freesci.linuxgames.com’s bug list section for a
listing of all known and current bugs.
FreeSCI is copyright (c) 1999-2006 by the following people:
· Christoph Reichenbach <email@example.com>
· Carl Muckenhoupt <firstname.lastname@example.org>
· Dmitry Jemerov <email@example.com>
· Magnus Reftel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
· Petr Vyhnak <email@example.com>
· Sergey Lapin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
· Lars Skovlund <email@example.com>
· Matt Hargett <firstname.lastname@example.org>
· Solomon Peachy <email@example.com>
· Rickard Lind <firstname.lastname@example.org>
· Rink Springer <email@example.com>
· Hugues Valois <firstname.lastname@example.org>
· Ruediger Hanke <email@example.com>
· Alexander Angas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
· Walter van Niftrik <email@example.com>
This man page was written by Bas Zoetekouw <firstname.lastname@example.org> and