Getting 'Yellow River Kingdom' Working on RISC OS Pico

I recently got my copy of RISC OS Pico, and the very first thing that I wanted to try was running some software from the BBC Welcome Disc. Now, my favourite item on there was a game called Yellow River Kingdom. You are in charge of a village, and each turn involves allocating resources to defence, farming, and so on. Your population withers or flourishes as a result.


Working on the assumption that it was likely to have been coded up in straight BASIC, and given that Pico boots straight into BBC BASIC, I thought I’d give it a go. So, for RISC OS Pico on the Raspberry Pi, the steps to get it working are as follows:

  1. Get hold of a disc image for “Welcome”.

    It’s online in a number of places.

  2. Use a utility to get the files off the disc image.

    I used William Andrew Steer’s content extractor.

  3. Copy the files that you want to a USB stick.

    Straightforward, this part. Try to ensure the USB stick doesn’t have too much rubbish on it. That should make reading directories easier.

  4. Put the stick in the Raspberry Pi.

    Again, straightforward.

  5. Switch to the USB stick.

    Type *SCSI to switch to the USB stick’s drive in RISC OS.

  6. Load and Run.

    Type *. to list the directory contents. Find the file you’re looking for, and type: LOAD “filename”. Then RUN

And there you are! You’ll see that the program runs very nicely, albeit with a few animations sped up to the point of instantaneousness. This should work for pretty much any game which has been written in pure basic and doesn’t use computer cycles for timing. Over the next few months, I’ll try converting a few things and posting them here to be used on Pico. I suspect we might see lots of type-ins and adventure games.