Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

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Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-4-07 @ 15:21

Little Big Adventure 2 works great on Windows 7 via dgVoodoo2 WIP33. You can use any dgVoodoo2 settings that you want. I think the game uses DirectX 3.

Please make sure to install the game under "C:\LBA2". Some people reported errors on LBA2 fan forums when the game is installed under a different directory.

The game uses Miles Sound System (MSS). If you are having problems with sound just use one of the alternate mss32.dll files that you can download from the thread below. I used mss32.dll version 5.0p and it works perfect on my soundcard. Some LBA specific forums recommend mss32.dll v6.0m but I got glitches (clicking sounds) in audio with that file. The game's original mss32.dll is version 3.6b.

Game videos are in Smacker video format and they work without any problems. If you are having issues with videos you can try one of the alternate smackw32.dll files that are also included in the thread below. The game's original smackw32.dll is version 3.0h.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11330#p122108


Unfortunately GOG version is setup to work with Dosbox only. You need the original CD with windows executable to run the game with dgVoodoo. Since dgVoodoo got affiliated with GOG, I hope they include the windows version in their release in the future. For now, you can follow the instructions near the end of this post to make the GOG installation run natively on Windows via dgVoodoo.

If you are unable to install by using your original CD, you can search for LBAHQ website and use the installers created by them. Just make sure to use the original game EXE (and not the Windows XP compliant patched exe of LBAHQ) when running the game via dgVoodoo.

If somebody can patch the game EXE to allow widescreen resolutions (with proper aspect ratio), this game will be even better.


Differences between Version 1 and Version 3 Retail CDs.

People who own the original retail CDs own either Version 1 (aka US Version) or Version 3 (aka European Version). Version number is stated in the LBA2.CFG file of the CD. LBAHQ installer used Version 1 CD. I don' think there is a Version 2 CD. Game executable name is LBA2.EXE in Version 3 CD and TWINSEN.EXE in Version 1 CD. Game executable sizes are slightly different. Version 1 CD has a TWINSEN subfolder, Version 3 CD has a LBA2 subfolder. Intro video in version 1 has a logo that says "Twinsen's Odyssey". Intro video of Version 3 has a logo that says "LBA2". Version 1 CD has English speech pack and 6 audio tracks for music. Version 3 CD has English, German and French speech packs but only has 1 audio track for music. The number of Wave files under the Music folder seem to be different on each CD, probably to make up for the different number of tracks. Gameplay and graphics are supposed to be identical based on the information shown on LBA specific websites. I did not notice any differences during gameplay.

LBAHQ edition installer of LBA2 is a special case. It is based on Version 1 CD's file structure, has Twinsen.exe executable, but it has 7 audio tracks and all 3 speech packs. I am not sure where the extra audio track came from. Maybe there is another version of LBA2 cd somewhere.

Game executables, installations, save games and CDs are interchangeable. You don't have to reinstall the game to compare a different version. Just change the CD in your drive, edit the LBA2.CFG file located in your installation folder and change the Version line to match the version of the CD in the drive (e.g. change it to "Version: 1" or "Version: 3"). If you forget to edit the version line, the game will not recognize the CD. Just to be safe, it might be a good idea to keep both TWINSEN.EXE and LBA2.EXE executables in your installation folder and use the executable that matches the CD, if you will be switching between different versions of the CDs.

Instructions for getting the LBA2 GOG Version to work natively on Windows via dgVoodoo

GOG version of LBA2 supports DOSBOX out of the box. We need to generate the original windows & dos installation CD in order to run LBA2 in Windows via dgVoodoo. Disc image files are actually included in the GOG version of LBA2. They are stored in a special way that only DOSBOX and ImgBurn support. GOG uses version 3 of the installation CD (as stated in LBA2.CFG file).

1) Install GOG version of LBA2 if you haven't already. Try to install into "C:\LBA2" if you can since some people reported issues with other locations.
2) If you already have an original retail installation CD and if the LBA2.CFG file located in the CD's LBA2 (or TWINSEN) folder has a line that says "Version: 3", you can skip to step 8. If there is a line that says "Version: 1", you can still proceed to step 8 but you also have to visit step 12 if you can not start the game.

3) Install ImgBurn version 2.5.8. Download it from MajorGeeks mirror because MajorGeeks host an installer that does not include OpenCandy (adware). Just to be safe, temporarily turn off your internet connection when you are installing ImgBurn. ImgBurn itself does not contain adware but some installers have adware that shows ads during installation. I am adding these warnings in case MajorGeeks change the installer they host between the time of this writing and the time that you read it.
http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/imgburn.html
4)Install Ogg vorbis directshow filters from the link below. These are required for ImgBurn to process the external OGG file of the LBA2 disc image.
https://www.xiph.org/dshow/
5) Go to your LBA2 GOG installation directory and change the name of the file "LBA2.DAT" to "LBA2.CUE". This is a very smal 1kb file.
6) Start ImgBurn, select "Write Image File To Disc", Open "LBA2.CUE" file in your LBA2 GOG directory as the source file, choose your CD/DVD burner as the destination, insert a blank CD into your burner, press the "Write" button. Wait until the burn process is complete.
7) Congratulations, you now have an original LBA2 Windows and Dos installation CD. You can close ImgBurn. Rename "LBA2.CUE" back to "LBA2.DAT".

8 ) Go to your CD's LBA2 folder and copy the files smackw32.dll, mss32.dll and the folder VOX to the GOG LBA2 installation folder.
9) Copy all dgVoodoo files into the GOG LBA2 installation folder.
10) Edit the following line in your LBA2.CFG file. If you don't change this line, music will pause during speeches. Keeping it ON improves performance in DOSBOX as well.
FlagKeepVoice: ON
11) Double click LBA2.EXE to start the windows version of the game. If you are having issues with sound or videos (or experiencing crashes), please see my recommendations that are located in the beginning of this post regarding alternative versions of mss32.dll and smackw32.dll .
12) If the game does not start, and if you have a Version 1 CD, edit LBA2.CFG that is located in your installation directory and change the version line to "Version: 1". You will have to change this line back to "Version: 3" if you want to switch back to the DosBOX version. If you can't get it to work, just create a Version 3 cd by following my instructions in steps 3 to 7.

You now have a GOG installation that fully supports the Dos Version of the game via DosBox and the Windows version of the game via dgVoodoo. As a bonus, you can use the CD that you generated to install LBA2 on a retro PC with real Dos and Windows 95 Operating systems.


Instructions for getting the Original Retail LBA2 CD Version to work natively on Windows via dgVoodoo.

If you are unable to run the original installer on your Windows system, just follow the instructions below. They work with both Version 1 and Version 3 CDs.

1) Copy the contents of the LBA2 folder (or TWINSEN folder) of your CD to "C:\LBA2" folder. Name of the folder on the CD depends on the version of the CD.
2) Go to your "C:\LBA2" folder and erase the sub folders named "DIRECTX", "MUSIC" and "VIDEO".
3) Edit the following three lines in your LBA2.CFG file. The rest of the lines in LBA2.CFG will be automatically populated/fixed when you run the game for the first time.
Language: English
LanguageCD: English
FlagKeepVoice: ON
4) Copy all dgVoodoo files into the LBA2 installation folder.
5) Run LBA2.EXE or TWINSEN.EXE to start the game. Name of the executable depends on the version of the CD you are using. If you are having issues with sound or videos (or experiencing crashes), please see my recommendations that are located in the beginning of this post regarding alternative versions of mss32.dll and smackw32.dll .
Last edited by CoolGamer on 2017-4-11 @ 19:15, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-4-07 @ 15:22

Screenshots are shown below:

Image

Image
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby willow » 2017-4-07 @ 16:16

What are the differences between dos and windows version except the fact to use dgvoodoo 2 with windows version?
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby F2bnp » 2017-4-07 @ 17:20

Love this game, but I am curious as well if there are any benefits to using the Windows version instead of the DOS executable.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby KainXVIII » 2017-4-07 @ 17:32

willow wrote:What are the differences between dos and windows version except the fact to use dgvoodoo 2 with windows version?

F2bnp wrote:Love this game, but I am curious as well if there are any benefits to using the Windows version instead of the DOS executable.

Vsync? :evil:
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby ZellSF » 2017-4-07 @ 17:38

CoolGamer wrote:Little Big Adventure 2 works great on Windows 7 via dgVoodoo2 WIP33. You can use any dgVoodoo2 settings that you want. I think the game uses DirectX 3.

Please make sure to install the game under "C:\LBA2". Some people reported errors on LBA2 fan forums when the game is installed under a different directory.

The game uses Miles Sound System (MSS). If you are having problems with sound just use one of the alternate mss32.dll files that you can download from the thread below. I used mss32.dll version 5.0p and it works perfect on my soundcard. Some LBA specific forums recommend mss32.dll v6.0m but I got glitches (clicking sounds) in audio with that file. The game's original mss32.dll is version 3.6b.

Game videos are in Smacker video format and they work without any problems. If you are having issues with videos you can try one of the alternate smackw32.dll files that are also included in the thread below. The game's original smackw32.dll is version 3.0h.

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=11330#p122108


Unfortunately GOG version is setup to work with Dosbox only. You need the original CD with windows executable to run the game with dgVoodoo. Since dgVoodoo got affiliated with GOG, I hope they include the windows version in their release in the future.

If you are unable to install by using your original CD, you can search for LBAHQ website and use the installers created by them. Just make sure to use the original game EXE (and not the Windows XP compliant patched exe of LBAHQ) when running the game via dgVoodoo.

If somebody can patch the game EXE to allow widescreen resolutions (with proper aspect ratio), this game will be even better.

Don't be so sure everything works properly until you get the car. Two of the game's major problem revolves around the car and for some bizarre reason fixing one (audio) often breaks the second (car controls).
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-4-07 @ 17:49

I think the developers intended both the DOS and Windows versions to look identical. The official differences that are mentioned on some websites are the following: Dos version has 22.05 kHZ audio, Windows has 44.1 kHz audio. Windows version uses DirectX, dos version uses software renderer.

dgVoodoo and Dosbox versions look and sound very similar. I think the dos renderer of the game does a very good job and differences in audio are not noticeable.

V-ysnc does seem to make a difference in some scenes via dgVoodoo. Video playback seems to be smoother in Directx version via dgVoodoo. I experienced some frame tearing at the fast scenes & camera panning scenes of the intro video with Dosbox. Also during gameplay Dosbox sometimes had frame tearing when I was running around. I did not experience any frame tearing via dgVoodoo.

As I mentioned in my previous post, widescreen patch will make the biggest difference in the Windows version if somebody can make it. This game will also benefit immensely from the high res texture replacement feature that will be added to dgVoodoo in the future versions.

P.S. I haven't checked the car controls bug that ZellSF mentioned yet.

EDIT:

I found a car save game online and the car does seem to work in windows version via dgVoodoo. I was able to go around the track without any issues. I tested both with and without placing the dinput.dll into the game folder (note: dinput.dll was provided by LBAHQ installer).
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby willow » 2017-4-07 @ 18:22

Does A high resolution texture pack exist for LBA 2?

Is not possible to turn on vsync with dosbox?
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-4-10 @ 01:14

Willow,

There are no high res texture packs for LBA2. Currently (as of WIP33 and v2.53) dgVoodoo does not support texture replacement. After Dege adds texture replacement functionality to dgVoodoo, we will be able to work on creating high res texture packs for our favorite games.

I was not able to get Vsync to work perfectly in the DosBox installation that comes with the GOG version of LBA2, but keep in mind that I am not a DosBox expert.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby UCyborg » 2017-4-10 @ 15:59

Emulating DOS is pain the ass, particularly if you're interested in playing more demanding games. Tackling the Windows version is definitely the way to go, for one thing, you're running it natively and there are better possibilities to enhance it. Forget about ever playing DOS version at decent resolution, you'd probably need very powerful and expensive CPU for that. Maybe if someone someday could make a version of DOSBox utilizing virtualization instead of emulation. I found out about a modern Quake 2 port to DOS recently, DOSBox struggled running it at 640x480 (around 20-30 FPS), after figuring out how to install FreeDOS to USB stick and booting my PC off it, it ran at constant 60 FPS at 1280x1024 on my AMD Phenom II X4 920 (without sound, but that's a separate issue).

There are enhanced DOSBox builds out there. Personally, I only messed with DOSBox SVN Daum, this one has VSync. There's also DosBOX-X. Even though it's updated frequently, they haven't bothered releasing Windows binaries for a while now. No idea what version GOG bundles.

While I don't know this game, there is always possibility of bugs occurring because it runs too fast, game can forget to specify correct refresh rate so it runs above 60 FPS on fancier monitors by default even with VSync. And in other cases, even 60 FPS can be too fast. WIndows version can definitely run very fast on modern hardware.

BTW I found DINPUT.DLL at LBAHQ in some ZIP file with some fixes (Sound & Video Fix). It can be deleted because even if it's actually needed, updated version is part of Windows. The old version doesn't work anyway because it depends on Windows 9x specifics.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby willow » 2017-4-10 @ 16:44

UCyborg wrote:Emulating DOS is pain the ass, particularly if you're interested in playing more demanding games. Tackling the Windows version is definitely the way to go, for one thing, you're running it natively and there are better possibilities to enhance it. Forget about ever playing DOS version at decent resolution, you'd probably need very powerful and expensive CPU for that. Maybe if someone someday could make a version of DOSBox utilizing virtualization instead of emulation. I found out about a modern Quake 2 port to DOS recently, DOSBox struggled running it at 640x480 (around 20-30 FPS), after figuring out how to install FreeDOS to USB stick and booting my PC off it, it ran at constant 60 FPS at 1280x1024 on my AMD Phenom II X4 920 (without sound, but that's a separate issue).

There are enhanced DOSBox builds out there. Personally, I only messed with DOSBox SVN Daum, this one has VSync. There's also DosBOX-X. Even though it's updated frequently, they haven't bothered releasing Windows binaries for a while now. No idea what version GOG bundles.

While I don't know this game, there is always possibility of bugs occurring because it runs too fast, game can forget to specify correct refresh rate so it runs above 60 FPS on fancier monitors by default even with VSync. And in other cases, even 60 FPS can be too fast. WIndows version can definitely run very fast on modern hardware.

BTW I found DINPUT.DLL at LBAHQ in some ZIP file with some fixes (Sound & Video Fix). It can be deleted because even if it's actually needed, updated version is part of Windows. The old version doesn't work anyway because it depends on Windows 9x specifics.

There is less demanding games on dos. LBA 2 is not demanding game.
Quake was a demading dos game but with dosbox, quake in software renderer works very well in dosbox even in very high resolution like 1280x1024.
Native dos is less demanding but it's normal because emulation is more demanding than native.

dosbox is not a perfect solution but on some game until now, dosbox allow to play game instead of windows version that don't work on new os even if dgvoodoo can be nowadays a solution for these games.

I found out about a modern Quake 2 port to DOS recently, DOSBox struggled running it at 640x480 (around 20-30 FPS), after figuring out how to install FreeDOS to USB stick and booting my PC off it, it ran at constant 60 FPS at 1280x1024 on my AMD Phenom II X4 920 (without sound, but that's a separate issue).

I didn't know that quake 2 had been released with a dos version.
On mobygame and magaazines of 1998 there is not a dos version indicated.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/quake-ii
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby Jorpho » 2017-4-10 @ 17:14

willow wrote:
I found out about a modern Quake 2 port to DOS recently, DOSBox struggled running it at 640x480 (around 20-30 FPS), after figuring out how to install FreeDOS to USB stick and booting my PC off it, it ran at constant 60 FPS at 1280x1024 on my AMD Phenom II X4 920 (without sound, but that's a separate issue).

I didn't know that quake 2 had been released with a dos version.
On mobygame and magaazines of 1998 there is not a dos version indicated.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/quake-ii
The key word there is "modern". The Quake II source code was released long after those magazines of 1998 were published and people have since been able to do many things with it that the developers never did originally, including port it to DOS.

But I agree that the performance of DOSBox is entirely adequate on modern Windows hardware with the vast majority of DOS games.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby UCyborg » 2017-4-10 @ 20:21

True, majority DOS games aren't demanding at all, just the latest of that era when true 3D graphics was becoming the reality are hungrier. Probably that's why emulating it on non x86 architectures is feasible in the first place (eg. DosBOX on Android smartphones, where ARM is prevalent).

I can't get past 9 FPS in Quake 1 at 1280x1024, VirtualBox runs it at about 78 FPS. I did manage to get DOSEmu (Linux only) working in the past, this one relies less on emulation. Combining the best of DOSBox and DOSEmu, now that'd be a killer combo! :D
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby Jorpho » 2017-4-10 @ 20:26

DOSEMU relies on unique features of the Linux kernel; there is unlikely to ever be any clever mashup of DOSBox and DOSEMU. (I have the impression that those unique features might be on the verge of being depreciated in favor of improved security.) But that is a subject for another thread.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-4-11 @ 16:54

It seems like there is very strong interest in getting Little Big Adventure 2 to run natively in Windows via dgVoodoo, but most people either only have the GOG version or having difficulty with the original 16bit Windows 95 installer of the Retail CDs.

I edited my original post and added very detailed instructions for getting the Little Big Adventure 2 GOG version to work natively on Windows via dgVoodoo. As a bonus, you will learn how to burn the original LBA2 Windows & Dos installation CD that is already included in your GOG installation. As an additional bonus, you will be able to use this CD to install LBA2 on a retro PC with real DOS and Windows 95 Operating systems.

I also added instructions on how to install and run Little Big Adventure 2 manually (without an installer) on Windows by using your original retail CD and dgVoodoo.

After all, you paid for the GOG and Retail CD versions of Little Big Adventure 2. It is your right to enjoy both the DOS and Windows versions of this game on modern PCs.


I hope somebody with debugger skills can patch the game exe (LBA2.EXE) to allow widescreen resolutions. That's all we are missing at the moment.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby Jorpho » 2017-4-11 @ 17:02

What happened to the open-source "LBAWin" project? Were there not plans of some sort to extend that to LBA2?
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby UCyborg » 2017-4-11 @ 17:29

There are LBAWin binaries from 2006, and there's this: https://github.com/xesf/twin-e For LBAWin it says all functionality is implemented, for TwinEngine, it says some features are still missing.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby CoolGamer » 2017-4-11 @ 17:38

If I am not mistaken LBAWin was closed source. It was the windows port of LBA1 made by one of the original developers of LBA1, Sébastien Viannay.

There was an open source LBA1 engine named TwinEngine, but they stopped its development in 2005. I think they never ported it to LBA2.

They were originally hosted on Sourceforge but it seems like they merged with another LBA1 engine project named prequengine and moved to the Github webpage that UCyborg posted. It seems like the merged project had some development until 2015.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby DosFreak » 2017-4-11 @ 17:52

UCyborg wrote:True, majority DOS games aren't demanding at all, just the latest of that era when true 3D graphics was becoming the reality are hungrier. Probably that's why emulating it on non x86 architectures is feasible in the first place (eg. DosBOX on Android smartphones, where ARM is prevalent).

I can't get past 9 FPS in Quake 1 at 1280x1024, VirtualBox runs it at about 78 FPS. I did manage to get DOSEmu (Linux only) working in the past, this one relies less on emulation. Combining the best of DOSBox and DOSEmu, now that'd be a killer combo! :D


No one played Quake 1 at 1280x1024. DOSBox isn't intended for craziness. Use the port luke.
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Re: Little Big Adventure 2 - LBA2

Postby UCyborg » 2017-4-11 @ 19:23

CoolGamer wrote:If I am not mistaken LBAWin was closed source. It was the windows port of LBA1 made by one of the original developers of LBA1, Sébastien Viannay.

That makes sense. So those 2 projects on GitHub are separate efforts and not connected to LBAWin, just the goal is common.
DosFreak wrote:No one played Quake 1 at 1280x1024. DOSBox isn't intended for craziness. Use the port luke.

I do.
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