I think I'm in over my head...
June 25, 2016 6:20 PM   Subscribe

I love old Sierra adventure games. I am currently obsessed with making Gold Rush! work on my Macbook. It was going so well at first. But now the number keys are mapped as directions instead of numbers (emulating in Boxer). The weird thing is that I COULD type numbers when I started the game a few hours ago! I've read everything I could find that seemed relevant in the last hour, and still, I can't type numbers; typing numbers is required to move to the next stage. Hope me relive my childhood game, hivemind!

I have DOSbox, but I've never been able to make it work. While I am pretty proficient with most things technological, this just was beyond me. So I went with Boxer, which made everything much easier, until now. However, there is no keymapping in Boxer.

I can't find anything in System Preferences that helps. I'm running El Capitan on a 2014 Macbook Pro. I've tried deleting Boxer and reinstalling, as I have with the game itself.

Please help me.
posted by guster4lovers to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Not sure what changed the mapping but maybe there’s a workaround. The Boxer instructions say you can hold Fn and use the "789/UIO/JKL” section of the keyboard as a number pad. Command-U should also activate/deactivate that number pad section of the keyboard.

Another option might be using the on-screen character selector (control-command-space) or the on-screen keyboard (System Prefs > Keyboard > “Show Input Menu”…then click the new menubar item and choose “Show Keyboard Viewer).
posted by bcwinters at 6:44 PM on June 25, 2016

Would an external USB/BT keypad help?
posted by scruss at 6:51 PM on June 25, 2016

Response by poster: @bcwinters - I've tried all of that, and none of it changes the number key values. I have the keyboard viewer up now and the numbers still map as directions.

@scruss - I thought about it. I guess I can try that. But there HAS to be a way to fix this without an external! A few hours ago, it was PERFECT and I don't understand what changed.
posted by guster4lovers at 6:58 PM on June 25, 2016

This is pretty rudimentary but I deal with it constantly because I work with weird-configuration keyboards: Did you accidentally toggle the NUMLOCK?
posted by carsonb at 7:01 PM on June 25, 2016

Response by poster: I don't have numlock on my keyboard.
posted by guster4lovers at 7:02 PM on June 25, 2016

Sure but whether or not there's an actual button that says that there's still some key combo that toggles it, right?
posted by carsonb at 7:04 PM on June 25, 2016

That really does sound like a number lock problem. On my older Macbook Pro it was triggered by the Fn + F6 key combo.
posted by ZaphodB at 7:09 PM on June 25, 2016

Response by poster: I've googled to figure out what could possibly have been configured as numlock and I can't figure out a way to do it. I don't have a clear key, shift+delete doesn't work, Fn+F6 doesn't work...

Anyone have a 2014 or later Macbook Pro know how to trigger/untrigger numlock?
posted by guster4lovers at 7:13 PM on June 25, 2016

Response by poster: @mbrubeck - that just makes 789/UIO/JKL act as DIRECTIONS. AGAIN. BECAUSE I TOTALLY NEEDED THREE WAYS TO DO THE DIRECTION KEYS.

So frustrating. Thanks for continuing to suggest/troubleshoot, guys.
posted by guster4lovers at 7:19 PM on June 25, 2016

i don't know if this is any help (and you may have googled yourself) but according to the boxer release notes the "send key menu" (whatever that is) reports the numlock state.
posted by andrewcooke at 8:07 PM on June 25, 2016

Response by poster: I've ordered an external keyboard and I'm hoping it works. The send key menu doesn't fix it (I've tried everything I could possibly try there). I even downloaded Karabiner and tried to remap keys. But there is something in the emulator or game files that is not mapped correctly anymore.

For the "this is truly bizarre" files, I tried this out on my second computer - I downloaded boxer for the first time, downloaded the game files for the first time, then launched it. AND THE NUMBER KEYS WERE STILL DIRECTIONS.

I'll keep watching this in the hopes that someone will have the magical answer. Sorry for so much back/forth dialogue.
posted by guster4lovers at 8:29 PM on June 25, 2016

Best answer: If you don't mind restarting your game, the ScummVM adventure game emulator supports Sierra games, including Gold Rush. It may be a bit less finicky because it's not emulating a whole DOS computer, just the game engine.
posted by zsazsa at 8:59 PM on June 25, 2016

Response by poster: @zsazsa - You know what? That's good enough for me - I did have to start over, but the numbers work fine now. Thanks!

If anyone has any idea how to restore default settings in Boxer, let me know. I'd still be interested in making that work.
posted by guster4lovers at 9:07 PM on June 25, 2016

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