Running on an iBook G4

works okay for a long time, but not all the way

I've been running Aquaria on a sub-spec computer, and now I'm having problems. Obviously that's only to be expected; I took a chance and lost. I post here to warn anyone else who may be thinking about trying the same.

I tried the demo on my iBook G4 1.33 Ghz, and it was fine, at 800 x 600 resolution. A little slow and unresponsive with the menus, but fine in actual play. So despite being a bit below the "required" 1.42 GHz, I bought the game.

Having made it more or less happily to the Abyss, though, I'm going to have give up and wait until I get a new computer. Actually swimming around and even fighting things is still fine, but bringing up the menu panel while dealing with some of the things down in the dark — for example, trying to eat a roll while fighting the Jelly King, which seems to be pretty much required — hangs the whole machine more often than not, requiring a power off.

I'd be more willing to put up with this hassle if save crystals weren't so few and far between in this game. There's no point at all in exploring or trying things, when the odds are so good that it will all be lost by another hang. The first time or two around, it's fun to just creep through the darkness looking at weird stuff. But after that, it's just really tedious hiking all the way from the last crystal to the Jelly King, for one more futile attempt. The thrill is gone.

I can't really complain, since the game says you need more speed, or at least a later model. Though I have to say it's odd that such a slight deficit produces such a catastrophic failure, and that it occurs only on the menus, which would seem to need very modest resources, and not in playing the game. If anyone has any ideas on how I might fix or work around the problem, I'd be grateful. Otherwise, this can be warning. You can get a long way into the game on a 1.33, but eventually the hangs will drive you nuts.

I take it you've turned off frame buffer effects and vsync but there are some additional video settings you can access by editing ~/Library/Preferences/com.bit-blot.aquaria.xml
No idea if it will help with hangs but you can try turning parallax and dark buffer off (0) and turning down the FpsSmoothing.

How much memory do you have installed? Someone else was having similar issues relating to transitions between areas which turned out to be caused by a lack of available memory.

I have 1.5 GB, which I believe is all the iBook will hold. I'll try messing with the video settings more; thanks for those suggestions. As I say, I have no problems swimming around and shooting stuff, only with bringing up the menu pane, so this seems a bit more like a bug than anything else. But it may be a bug that doesn't manifest unless you're marginal on video, and while fixing bugs that only affect sub-spec machines is obviously a low priority, maybe that means that turning more things off will somehow forestall it.

FWIW, the jelly king is also totally optional. I think you just get a costume from it.

@cheleball, on Feb 2 2009, 08:56 PM, said in Running on an iBook G4:

FWIW, the jelly king is also totally optional. I think you just get a costume from it.

Correct, but I've found it the most useful one.

I'd be more willing to put up with this hassle if save crystals weren't so few and far between in this game. There's no point at all in exploring or trying things, when the odds are so good that it will all be lost by another hang. The first time or two around, it's fun to just creep through the darkness looking at weird stuff. But after that, it's just really tedious hiking all the way from the last crystal to the Jelly King, for one more futile attempt. The thrill is gone.

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