Man Linux: Main Page and Category List


       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.

       --version, -v
              Display version number and exit.  Also  the  supported  graphics
              drivers, sound servers, midi and midiout drivers are reported.

       --help, -h
              Display a short help text and exit.

       --run, -r
              Do  not  start  the  debugger;  only  run  the game. This is the
              default action.

       --debug, -D
              Start up in debug mode.

       --list-savegames, -l
              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
              resource files.

       --disable-mouse, -m
              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
              long ago.

       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
              the options.

       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


       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


       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
              by default.


       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
       using FreeSCI.

       ·      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’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 <>
       ·      Carl Muckenhoupt <>
       ·      Dmitry Jemerov <>
       ·      Magnus Reftel <>
       ·      Petr Vyhnak <>
       ·      Sergey Lapin <>
       ·      Lars Skovlund <>
       ·      Matt Hargett <>
       ·      Solomon Peachy <>
       ·      Rickard Lind <>
       ·      Rink Springer <>
       ·      Hugues Valois <>
       ·      Ruediger Hanke <>
       ·      Alexander Angas <>
       ·      Walter van Niftrik <>

       This man  page  was  written  by  Bas  Zoetekouw  <>  and
       Christoph Reichenbach.