If you’ve got an itch to play some classic DOS games, homebrew coder Pate has just the thing. After creating a DOS emulator for the Nintendo DS, Pate has released an emulator for the Raspberry Pi based on the DS version called rpix86. All you need is a Raspberry Pi and a little free time, then the world of retro DOS games is open to you.
The DOS emulation through rpix86 v0.03 will allow you to play such classics as Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Ultima Underworld, Day of the Tentacle, and more. Many of these games no longer run on modern hardware, so emulation is the only way to play them, short of finding a 15 year-old PC laying around.
In this version of rpix86 the virtual machine will be based on a 80486 processor running at an effective speed of 40MHz. It can also run with 640KB of low memory, 4MB of EMS memory, or 16MB of XMS memory. Video output is capped at 640×480 with 256 colors, which is sufficient for the old titles the emulator is intended to play. Sound output comes in the form of a SoundBlaster 2.0, once the gold standard of PC audio.
Pate only began work on rpix86 in February, but numerous bugs have already been stomped since its initial March 10th release. Now the tweaks are mostly to fix issues in specific games.
The Raspberry Pi is an ideal platform to develop on because it’s very cheap (about $35 online), and the target audience for the device is probably more interested than most people in emulating old DOS games. The Pi has a 700MHz ARM processor, 512MB of RAM, USB support, ethernet, HDMI-out, and modular SD card storage.
If you’ve got a Raspberry Pi sitting around, grab the latest version of rpix86. It’s completely free. Then get to work tracking down some of the best DOS games from years gone by