37 Years of Emulation on the M1 Mac

For those who love emulation, especially Macintosh Emulation, this one will be right up your alley. Kyle Fox has posted a picture of Shadowgate (Mac 68K version) running on the M1 Macintosh. In order to get there, he had to jump through a few hoops and architectures.

The game Shadowgate itself was released in 1987 by Mindscape and is a game that offers a combination graphical / textual adventure experience that will not only entertain you but will challenge your brain as you attempt to solve the puzzles within the game, as you enter “Shadowgate, a once shining fortress, now an evil, dark, moldering ruin. Swallow your fear and take up your torch. In your hands lies the fate of your land…freedom and sunlight, or the dark dominion of the Warlock Lord.

Preventing the raising of the titan behemoth and the destruction of the land is your sole purpose and goal in the game. Shadowgate was created by ICOM Simulations and uses the MacVenture game engine. Shadowgate is the third game in the MacVenture series of games but was the first in the series to delve into the land of fantasy rather than the real world. Most of all it is a full black and white computing experience that is unheard of in this day and age.

But then we digress a bit. This is about the emulation bits. But when a game like this comes around again, we get a bit nostalgic and jump right back in with both feet. But then we are brought back to the reality and Kyle, a regular in the Low End Mac group took the time to go through each stage and here is how he got there:

Big Sur – (M1 ARM64)
-> Rosetta 2 (M1 to Intel)
—> SheepShaver (Intel to PowerPC, runs on macOS 10.13 to 11)
—–> Mac OS 9.0.4 (Power PC)
——-> MacOS compatibility Layer (PowerPC to 68k)
———> Shadowgate (68k)

It’s SLOW (but some of that may be just SheepShaver in general). Once Sheepshaver is available for ARM64, it should be faster (though I’ll be skipping the Intel Layer)

Posting by Kyle Fox in Low End Mac group on Facebook

If you count this all up, that is four layers of emulation and of course 38 years (not 37) of emulation goodness. Either way, it is a lot of fun and if you are interested in trying this on your own, you can get the Sheepshaver emulator from the Sheepshaver page at:

If you need the other bits to emulate this emulation, you can check out the Macintosh Garden website at:

Lastly, we would be remiss if we did not provide the link directly to the game, Shadowgate, so here it is:

If you want to give Kyle a should out or a Kudo, he can be found in the Low End Mac group on Facebook or at:

Editors Note: Kyle reminded us about one item we wrote about last month, saying “there are more direct ways to get there as well.. such as the Macintosh.js which has native M1 -> 68k emulation to provide better overall emulation performance“. We wrote about this wonderful piece of emulation in February at: https://www.callapple.org/modern-apple-computing/macintosh/macintosh-js-the-mac-os-8-macintosh-quadra-in-an-app/

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The A.P.P.L.E. Website is run by the Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange Users Group and is open to all Apple and Macintosh fans and their friends.