VOGONS


First post, by SirNickity

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I bought a copy of Dune II on CD-ROM from Ebay recently, and tried to install it on my 386. When you run the EXE file the first time, it creates a directory on C: for saved games. When you run it a second time, it displays a menu with fancy graphics that lets you play the game, or read the docs, etc. If you click the Play button, it just complains that it couldn't print. (Apparently, the menu has mixed up the (P)lay command with a (P)rint command that is present on the doc reader pages.) I have not found a way around this by pressing other keys or clicking in different places, navigating elsewhere and back, etc.

The disc contains a folder that looks to use some kind of proprietary container format for its archive files, and there are no other executable files anywhere, so just copying the game to the HDD does not seem to be an option.

Did they actually release a version of this on CD that is totally broken and unplayable? Anybody familiar with this release and ever get it working some other way?

Reply 1 of 10, by Errius

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My notes for this say: "To install the CD-ROM version to the hard drive run HITSQUAD.BAT"

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 2 of 10, by SirNickity

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Do you know if that is available somewhere, or should it be on the disc? Here's the sum total of files on my version:

nas /mnt/md0/Game Images/PC/Dune # find /mnt/tmp
/mnt/tmp
/mnt/tmp/dune2.exe
/mnt/tmp/readme.exe
/mnt/tmp/readme.txt
/mnt/tmp/sn.exe
/mnt/tmp/swt
/mnt/tmp/swt/product
/mnt/tmp/swt/product/copyfile.swt
/mnt/tmp/swt/product/democntl.swt
/mnt/tmp/swt/rv241
/mnt/tmp/swt/swrt.cfg
/mnt/tmp/swt/swrt.grx
/mnt/tmp/swt/swrt.prt
/mnt/tmp/swt/swrt.txt

I forgot about there actually being three EXE files, so let me correct my original statement by saying: The readme.exe is obviously just that - a very large and fancy readme-er. AFAICT, dune2.exe is just a stub that runs sn.exe. It's 2.9KB and contains mostly blocks of 0x00.

The readme just tells you the normal stuff... requires a 286-16 or better, supports AdLib, SB, MT-32... make sure you have enough conventional memory. To install, change to your CD drive and run dune2.exe.

Reply 3 of 10, by Errius

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Right, we have different versions. I have the Hit Squad version:

http://dunelegacy.sourceforge.net/website/pakfilelist.html

I don't see any PAK files in your file listing. Which version do you have?

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 4 of 10, by SirNickity

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Here's the photo from the auction. The takeaway being a 1992 copyright date, "MS-DOS Version" by Westwood Studios / Virgin, catalog # MQ 13-004-112.

The data is obviously all packed in the file /swt/product/copyfile.swt. It's 7.3MB, and opening it with a hex editor results in a list of filenames at the top, and a banner for "SelectWare Technologies" -- swt. It doesn't even look like it's compressed, because I can see VOC file headers later in the file. My best bet might be to try and reverse-engineer the header to see if it's a simple filename / offset / size structure or something. If I can extract the files, I could just burn a new CD without the stupid front-end.

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  • s-l500.jpg
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Reply 5 of 10, by Errius

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According to this it's from something called the "Gold Medal 12 CD Pack"

There's one on sale here. Maybe message the seller and ask nicely if he can give you a copy of any instructions?

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 6 of 10, by SirNickity

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Interesting. Cursory Google search doesn't reveal much about that ... what I assume is a compilation set? (Oh, duh, yeah it is -- missed the sale link the first time.)

I decided to take matters into my own hands. 😁 After looking at the file checksum page linked above (thanks for that, BTW -- it was quite helpful!), I dug into the SelectWare archive file with a hex editor and managed to deduce enough of its format to write a parser that could extract the files from it. The resulting files match the MD5 sums from the page.

I'll attach my C source code here in case it's useful to anyone else. To use (from *nix -- YMMV):

$ gcc -o swt swt.c && ./swt copyfile.swt
Examining copyfile.swt...
Extracting file [2]: ATRE.PAK (flags=0x19)...
Copied 411391 bytes

Extracting file [3]: DUNE.PAK (flags=0x1a)...
Copied 404716 bytes

Extracting file [4]: DUNE2.ICO (flags=0x19)...
Copied 1792 bytes

Extracting file [5]: DUNE2.PIF (flags=0x19)...
Copied 545 bytes

Extracting file [6]: ENGLISH.PAK (flags=0x1a)...
Copied 89218 bytes

Extracting file [7]: FINALE.PAK (flags=0x19)...
Copied 582276 bytes

Extracting file [8]: HARK.PAK (flags=0x19)...
Copied 434162 bytes

Extracting file [9]: INTRO.PAK (flags=0x1a)...
Copied 1224553 bytes

Extracting file [10]: INTROVOC.PAK (flags=0x19)...
Copied 975460 bytes

Extracting file [11]: MENTAT.PAK (flags=0x1a)...
Copied 567236 bytes

Extracting file [12]: MERC.PAK (flags=0x19)...
Copied 45589 bytes

Extracting file [13]: ORDOS.PAK (flags=0x19)...
Copied 462480 bytes

Extracting file [14]: SCENARIO.PAK (flags=0x1a)...
Copied 317356 bytes

Extracting file [15]: SETUP.EXE (flags=0x1a)...
Copied 90992 bytes

Extracting file [16]: SETUPENG.DIP (flags=0x1a)...
Copied 2978 bytes

Extracting file [17]: SOUND.PAK (flags=0x19)...
Copied 1310138 bytes

Extracting file [18]: VOC.PAK (flags=0x19)...
Copied 262738 bytes

Extracting file [19]: DUNE2.EXE (flags=0x1e)...
Copied 367794 bytes

Extracting file [20]: SWTGAME.BAT (flags=0x1e)...
Copied 598 bytes

Extracting file [21]: QUERY.EXE (flags=0x15)...
Show last 5 lines
Copied 2581 bytes

Found 20 files

$

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    swt.c
    File size
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    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 7 of 10, by Errius

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You got it to run? Good work.

I'm guessing that CD 1 of that compilation contains the installer for all the other disks.

“Your mission is to attack and destroy the Apple Computer manufacturing plant. You are allotted 35 bombs and 60 lasers."

Reply 8 of 10, by Nyerguds2

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I've seen this CD on ebay but wondered what it was all about. What actually baffles me most is that the file size of the exe (367794 bytes) does not match any of the known Dune II versions I researched alongside MrFlibble:

  • Gameplay demo with recorded actions played back in the game engine: (found on the Westwood FTP)
    • Exe size: 338768 bytes
  • US v1.00:
    • Exe size: 365504 bytes
  • US v1.07: (patched from v1.00)
    • Exe size: 367760 bytes
  • EU v1.07:
    • Exe size: 371616 bytes
  • EU v1.07-HS: (HitSquad release. Other companies seem to have distributed this too but we called it this to distinguish the two different EU 1.07 versions)
    • Exe size: 371474 bytes
  • Intro-looping demo:
    • Exe size: 374178 bytes

All the other file sizes match US v1.07 though, which is peculiar, since I've never actually seen a pre-patched release of that.

I'm assuming the version on the main menu says 1.07?

Reply 10 of 10, by Nyerguds2

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Hmm, got my own copy now, and I tested the application in DOSBox, but there is no "print" button on the main menu, and both clicking the button with the mouse and pressing "P" both work fine for actually running it.

sn_001.png
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Also, the folder created on hard disc contains the entire game, not just savegames. I did specifically select the option to keep the files on hard disc after playing.