A god won’t accept PC Speaker

Attempting to play Populous on my old PC today yielded some interesting results: if you can call interesting the garbled mess coming out of the speakers when attempting to run the Adlib Sound version.

What picked my attention was that I also had a similar issue with Monkey Island 2. Back then, I just gave up as I couldn’t find any solution. When the problem presented itself again with Populous, this time I was able to find out more. So now I managed to solve it.

Completely random screenshots comparison between the three versions of Populous, just because I can somehow print the screen in this game. Here's the default CGA, also known as banana overdose.
Completely random screenshots comparison between the three versions of Populous, just because I can somehow print the screen in this game. Here’s the original CGA, also known as banana overdose.
EGA version, actually pretty good. I'm not a fan of EGA but this one came out pretty well.
EGA version, actually pretty good. I’m not a fan of EGA but this one came out pretty well.
VGA version, which is how the game plays on Origin and GOG too. Those versions also use the Roland MT-32 emulation though.
VGA version, which is how the game plays on Origin and GOG by default. Those versions also use the Roland MT-32 emulation though.

I was able to find the answer in a page of the Adlib Tracker II message board from 8 years ago. Some of the best ideas are buried that deep. Turned out that the SB16 requires changing the I/O 8-16 bit recovery setting on newer machines, such as my Pentium 3. I changed them (from 1-1 to 8-4) and now the game works like a charm. And so does Monkey Island 2.

Never doubt the internet. What you need to know is always available somewhere, if you know how to look.

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