How to get The Pawn up and running with the vDriveQL

Anything QL Software or Programming Related.
User avatar
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:46 am
Location: New Zealand

How to get The Pawn up and running with the vDriveQL

Postby Bloodnok » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:16 am

If you've got a vDriveQL and would like to play The Pawn adventure game then here's what to do:

Due to the need to swap cartridges in mdv1_ and mdv2_ during game loading, and not being able to return to the command line to change the vDriveQL config using the vDriveQL toolkit, two SD cards are needed (ironic I know :-). As well, in order to save and restore games, a vDriveQL update to version 002 is needed, if not already done.(go to for the latest firmware and update instructions).

The original MDV files (now available on Dilwyn’s fantastic website) are in mDump format. These files have the same MDV extension as full cartridge images but have a few differences to store extra archive data gathered during the dumping process. The vDriveQL converts mDump files to MDV format automatically upon loading (using the interactive LD command). I’ve attached a zip file with ready-made config files and converted images to copy to the SD cards needed (the converted MDV images may possibly be used on emulators which don’t support the mDump format – I haven’t tested this).

So, to get The Pawn working.

Copy the contents of the SD_BOOT directory from the attached zip file to the root directory of the SD card to be used for boot. Then copy the contents of the SD_GAME directory to the root directory of the SD card to be used for the game (and game saves).

The vDriveQL config for the boot SD card has mdv1_ mapped to the Pawn boot image and mdv2_ mapped to the key image. The game SD card has mdv1_mapped to the Pawn game image and mdv2_ mapped to a formatted image for saved games (the key image is not needed in mdv2_ after the game first loads).

Now we should have two SD cards, the boot SD card holding a VDRIVEQL.CFG file and two MDV files (PAWNBOOT.MDV and PAWNKEY.MDV) and the game SD card holding a VDRIVEQL.CFG file and two MDV files (PAWNGAME.MDV and PAWNSAVE.MDV).

The Pawn expects to boot from mdv1_ so vMap needs to be set to 3 so that the first 2 vDriveQL drives are mapped to mdv1_ and mdv2_ (internal drives are now mapped to mdv3_ and mdv4_). To change the vMap config just boot the QL with no SD card in the vDriveQL. The built-in toolkit will run and the VMAP 3 command can then be executed from the command line. If vMap is not installed then the two internal drives can be simply bypassed with a jumper.

Once this is done then just place the boot SD card in the vDriveQL and boot the QL. Once The Pawn has booted and asks for the game cartridge in mdv1_, then remove the boot SD and insert the game SD. Press enter and after a bit of a wait the vDriveQL will light up, the rest of the game will load and you'll soon find yourself on a gravel path leading north to two snow capped mountains...

Maybe needing two SD cards makes for a more authentic experience – instead of swapping cartridges you need to swap SD cards!

The Pawn - vDrive files
(214.52 KiB) Downloaded 110 times

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests