As discussed before, I want to play some downloaded games on my Atari ST.
But first we need to get them there. Here are the options:
Option 1. Use Disk Images
Disk Images are a software representation of the physical Atari ST game disk. Think the floppy equivalent of the .ISO files you use for CDs/DVDs. Common image formats are .ST, .MSA and .STX (aka Pasti). For our use case we prefer the first two as .STX is for emulators only and cannot be used on a physical Atari.
Disk images are freely available on the web (use Google). Emuparadise is probably the best resource.
Once you have a disk image, you need to make it physically playable on the Atari ST. Your options:
- Use your PC to prepare a bootable game disk. Then put the game disk into your ST, power on and boot the game
- Transfer the disk image to your ST. Then use your ST to prepare a bootable game disk.
- Transfer the disk image to your ST. Then mount it as a RAM disk and run the game directly.
- Purchase and use a floppy emulator. Floppy emulators are a hardware solution that trick the ST into thinking a disk image is a real game disk
Option 2. Use Hard Disk Adaptations
Most original ST games were designed to boot directly from floppy disk, bypassing the Desktop OS. This approach frees up more memory, allowing the game to be bigger and better.
Following the initial ST release, units with more memory arrived, opening up the possibility of launching games from within the Desktop UI - or even from an attached hard disk (if you had one). Way more convenient. This wasn’t the intention of game developers, though, and games had to be hacked/adapted to run.
To play a hard disk adaptation, all you need to do is:
- Download it
- Transfer it to your ST
- Launch the file from within the Desktop UI
How Do I Transfer Files From PC to ST?
Several of the solutions above rely on transferring files from PC to ST. I’ve already explored this and you can find the details here
That’s pretty much it. Happy retrogaming!
More Atari ST Posts
- Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge Enhanced for Atari STE - 17 Apr 2021
- Games With MIDI. The Atari ST Never Sounded So Good! - 19 Jun 2019
- Using an SD card and Ultrasatan to Transfer Files from PC to ST - 08 Mar 2016
- Using Ethernet to Transfer Files from PC to ST - 07 Mar 2016
- Using PARCP-USB to Transfer Files from PC to ST - 24 Feb 2016
- Using Serial Cable and ZMODEM to Transfer Files from PC to ST - 13 Feb 2016
- Using Serial Cable and Ghostlink to Transfer Files from PC to ST - 06 Feb 2016
- How to Split and Copy Large Files to Your Atari ST in Chunks - 31 Jan 2016
- Using Floppy Disk to Transfer Files from PC to ST - 30 Jan 2016
- Transferring Files from PC to ST - 26 Dec 2015
- Use Your PC to Create a Bootable Atari ST Game Disk - 22 Sep 2015
- Playing Downloaded Games on a Real Atari ST - 18 Sep 2015
- Atari in the Attic - 15 Aug 2015