Use PocketC.H.I.P. to Blast Hordes of Invading Spacecrafts in OpenTyrian

OpenTyrian running on PocketC.H.I.P.

OpenTyrian is a vertical scrolling space shooter straight out of the mid 1990s arcade. It’s fast paced, full of power-ups, and best of all, it’s easy to setup and play on PocketC.H.I.P..

Published in 1995, Tyrian was a closed source DOS game that featured fast action and space shooting. In 2007, Jason Emery, the lead developer for the game, released the source code to the OpenTyrian team, who were dedicated to creating a cross-platform port of the classic. Thanks to Emery’s gift and the hard work of the OpenTyrian developers, you can play the game on just about any system.

Not only does OpenTyrian runs well on PocketC.H.I.P., it’s also easy to setup network play and fight back the waves of enemy ships with a friend.

OpenTyrian running on PocketC.H.I.P. in full screen mode

OpenTyrian running on PocketC.H.I.P. in full screen mode

1. Install the Required Packages

Tap the Terminal icon on the PocketC.H.I.P. home screen and get ready to type in a few commands to install OpenTyrian. The game requires several packages before you can compile it from source code. Install them by typing the commands below and pressing enter.

Update the list of packages available to your system.
sudo apt update

Install just the ones you need to build OpenTyrian.
sudo apt install build-essential libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-net1.2-dev mercurial

Note: The command above should have a space between libsdl-net1.2-dev and mercurial, not a line break.

2. Clone the OpenTyrian Source Code Repository

Make sure you’re in your home directory and then use the mercurial utility hg to clone the source code repository for OpenTyrian.

Note: Typing pwd will output your current directory.

Change to the home directory.
cd ~

Clone the source code repository.
hg clone

3. Compile & Install OpenTyrian

Change your working directory to ~/opentyrian.
cd ~/opentyrian

Compile the source code.

Install OpenTyrian.
sudo make install

4. Download & Install the Game Data

Use wget to download the game data from the web and save it as the zip file Later versions of the Tyrian game data are available, but OpenTyrian requires that you use a version of game data no higher than 21.
wget -O

Extract the zip archive.

OpenTyrian expects the game data to be in a folder called data, so rename the extracted directory with the following command.
mv tyrian21 data

5. Start a Single Player Game

First, make sure you’re in the directory ~/opentyrian and then run the following command.

Note: If you’re not in the correct directory, OpenTyrian will output an error about being unable to find the data folder and won’t start.

6. Changing the Screen Size

Proper settings for full screen play on PocketC.H.I.P.

Proper settings for full screen play on PocketC.H.I.P.

The first thing you’ll want to do once you launch OpenTyrian is to change the screen scaling. It’s a bit tricky, but you’ll only need to do it once.

Press down on the D-pad until OpenTyrian is highlighted in the menu, then press enter. A new settings screen will appear. Use the D-pad down button and highlight the Scaler option. Then press the D-pad right button until the menu reads Scaler: None. Press enter to save. As soon as you do the window will massively shrink. Press up on the D-pad once and press enter. This toggles full screen and your window setup is complete.

7. Starting a Network Game

Now that the screen is properly sized, you can take on the waves of invaders yourself or you can team up with a friend.

To launch a cooperative game, quit OpenTyrian and determine your IP addresses by typing the following command. Your friend will need to do the same.
ip addr show wlan0

Start the co-op game by typing the following command.
./opentyrian --net YOUR_FRIEND'S_IP_ADDRESS --net-player-name NAME --net-player-number PLAYER_NUMBER

Replace the all-capital words YOUR_FRIEND’S_IP_ADDRESS, NAME, and PLAYER_NUMBER before you run the command. Ask your friend for their IP address, pick whatever name you want your character to use in the game, and pick either 1 or 2 as your player number. The key is that you and your friend must have different player numbers.

Note: This setup will only work if you and your friend are on the same WiFi network.

8. Level Up!

Don't forget to customize your ship!

Don’t forget to customize your ship!

After getting utterly crushed in the game I realized that all the points I was collecting while shooting down baddies could be spent on ship upgrades. A couple of ship upgrades later and I was having even more fun!


If you’re new to the PocketC.H.I.P. gaming scene, make sure to read how to setup DOSbox, Descent, and Color Game Boy emulation. These are just a few of the awesome gaming experiences available. And don’t forget about PICO-8! It’s preinstalled and days of fun.

What’s your favorite retro game you want to play on PocketC.H.I.P.? Let us know in the comments below. And share the projects you’re currently working in the forums. Happy gaming!

About the Author

Posted by

I'm busy writing and editing content at Next Thing Co.




Add a Response