Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Getting old DOS games working. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby dr_st » 2016-11-06 @ 13:36

The only think you may be able to do (why didn't I think about it sooner?) is to record the FM/MIDI songs as digital audio, save them as 11KHz WAV files and replace the existing WAV files of the existing songs with your WAV files. There is a chance it will work as is, if the game does not check file integrity and does not have any specific length restrictions. And if there are problems, in theory you may be able to solve them with binary hacking (e.g., HEX editing) without recompiling the game from the sources you don't have.
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby badmojo » 2016-11-13 @ 10:28

Yes that sounds like a workable idea but too much work for me personally, and I'd end up agonising over which OPL3 card to record it on, volume levels, etc and never be satisfied! I've been playing the CD version and am finding the "new" music to be quite acceptable. I'm also digging on the faster paced game-play - some of the timings and NPC behaviour are slightly altered I think, perhaps as a result of the smoother animation? It's close enough to the floppy version to be familiar but different enough to make things interesting again - win win :cool:
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby dr_st » 2016-11-13 @ 14:14

I realize I missed one of your questions earlier.
badmojo wrote:From memory there's a 'SB16 patch' available for the floppy version - do you guys know anything about that? I applied it once but it slowed the gameplay down and re-added the DRM, so I quickly reverted. I'd be interested to know if it helps with the missing sounds issue though - I'll have to try it again one day.
I've heard of it before, but I'm not sure what it's about. Do you still have this patch? Which files does it contain/affect exactly?
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby Stretch » 2016-11-13 @ 15:13

Win98SE - Intel SE440BX-2 - Pentium II 233 Mhz - 256 MB System Ram - Voodoo 3 1000 AGP - Yamaha YMF-724 PCI - Soundblaster 32 ISA
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby badmojo » 2016-11-13 @ 23:53

Yep that's the one. From memory the DRM ("word at position X of the manual") didn't match my manual, and the game was way too slow, so I didn't even bother checking for a sound fix as it would be unplayable anyway.
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby schlang » 2016-11-21 @ 20:15

the game slows down extremely when I select Roland + SB, SB only is without problems. Is there a patch for this?
PC#1: K6-III+ 400 | 512MB | Geforce4 | Voodoo1 | SB Live | AWE64 | GUS PNP Pro
PC#2: 486DX2-66 | 64MB | Riva128 | AWE64 | GUS PNP | PAS16
PC#3: 386DX-40 | 32MB | CL-GD5434 | SB Pro | GUS MAX | PAS16

Think you know your games music? Show us: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=37532
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby dr_st » 2016-11-22 @ 18:39

Stretch wrote:mkpat.zip

This is just the patch that updates the first Ultratech release to the final release. It merely extracts a bunch of files, overwriting any existing files you have.

One of those files is MK.EXE, so if you had a cracked one, the new one will still have the copy protection. The other key file is SBLASTER.DRV. The new version fixes some problems and introduces other problems. See here: https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/mk1-dos-sblaster-fix/

There is also a new file - RM.DRV. By the extension, I'd expect it's another sound driver. Not sure what it does, but the new version locks up if it's not present, even when sound is disabled.

I am puzzled why the game slows down for you after applying the patch. I tried both versions (old and new) and they run at the same speed. Are you using real hardware (if so, which), or DOSBox (if so - what is the CPU core type and cycles?)
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby badmojo » 2016-11-23 @ 02:23

dr_st wrote:I am puzzled why the game slows down for you after applying the patch. I tried both versions (old and new) and they run at the same speed. Are you using real hardware (if so, which), or DOSBox (if so - what is the CPU core type and cycles?)


Yes I'm using real hardware - both a 486SX33 and P166MMX. But I didn't realise this was an Ultratech patch - infact at the time of applying it I wasn't aware of the different versions at all. I have the Virgin version, so I guess it either runs faster than the Ultratech version (and thus the patch slowed it to the Ultratech speed), or it didn't appreciate being patched with someone else's patch :dead:. This explains why my manual was no good at getting me past the DRM though - it must be paginated differently!

I beat the CD version the other night and I suspect that it's slightly harder than the floppy version. It seems to me that the NPC's respond more quickly and use a greater variety of moves - some of my tried and tested attack patterns didn't work so well anymore. Also, in the floppy version I can consistently freeze the second opponent when they jumped onto screen during the double matches, thus allowing me to get in a freebee uppercut before they had a chance to fight. The CD version hitches at that point now, causing my freeze attempt to be ignored sometimes.
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby dr.zeissler » 2016-11-23 @ 08:24

I think I should try this game out on my new retro 486 :)
There was also MK2 and MK3 and the Triology for Dos and Windows :)
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby dr_st » 2016-11-23 @ 08:32

badmojo wrote:Yes I'm using real hardware - both a 486SX33 and P166MMX. But I didn't realise this was an Ultratech patch - infact at the time of applying it I wasn't aware of the different versions at all. I have the Virgin version, so I guess it either runs faster than the Ultratech version (and thus the patch slowed it to the Ultratech speed), or it didn't appreciate being patched with someone else's patch :dead:. This explains why my manual was no good at getting me past the DRM though - it must be paginated differently!
The Virgin final release does run faster than the Ultratech final release. And the different manual pages make sense too. If you patched it with the Ultratech patch, I am surprised it ran at all, instead of complaining for mismatched files, and if it does - you may experience a whole range of issues. Definitely not the way to go. :) Also, this patch would do nothing to address any possible sound issues you may have with the Virgin release - the SBLASTER.DRV is identical between the Virgin and the final Ultratech.

badmojo wrote:I beat the CD version the other night and I suspect that it's slightly harder than the floppy version. It seems to me that the NPC's respond more quickly and use a greater variety of moves - some of my tried and tested attack patterns didn't work so well anymore. Also, in the floppy version I can consistently freeze the second opponent when they jumped onto screen during the double matches, thus allowing me to get in a freebee uppercut before they had a chance to fight. The CD version hitches at that point now, causing my freeze attempt to be ignored sometimes.
Yes, I've had similar experiences. The floppy versions always allow me to get a free special move against the second opponent in an endurance match. With the CD version, while I didn't experience any moves being ignored, I did notice that the AI is a little more likely to block them.
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby Nyerguds2 » 2017-7-10 @ 07:21

dr_st wrote:The only think you may be able to do (why didn't I think about it sooner?) is to record the FM/MIDI songs as digital audio, save them as 11KHz WAV files and replace the existing WAV files of the existing songs with your WAV files. There is a chance it will work as is, if the game does not check file integrity and does not have any specific length restrictions. And if there are problems, in theory you may be able to solve them with binary hacking (e.g., HEX editing) without recompiling the game from the sources you don't have.

Well, I tried this, but I wanted to go further. A few tests showed that in fact, the game has no problems accepting much higher quality .wav files, so since the .wav files in there are a pitiful 11025Hz mono, I decided to embark on a project to replace the music there by the CD audio tracks from the Sega CD version of the game. There was one small problem, namely that the game didn't seem to read more bytes of the replaced file as the size of the original file I replaced, but that was easily solved by just finding and editing those file sizes in the exe, and I ended up spending a day making a tool that could update them automatically.

However, when I actually got to the part where I was figuring out which of the Sega CD tracks corresponded to which of the ~500 .wav files in the game folder, I found out that the SEGA CD was simply missing some tracks. This made me remember a thread on the GOG forum about running MK2 with Gravis Ultrasound, and since this MK1 also supports GUS, I wondered if the GUS midi would be a viable source for filling in those missing tracks. So I set up the game to run with GUS, recorded the intro track with DOSBOX, and compared that with the original .wav from the SFX folder.

Well. Turns out it wasn't just "a viable source". It's simply the source :dead:

The recording I made was an exact 44100Hz stereo match of the 11025Hz mono .wav file in the game's files. It turns out that all the .wav files in the sfx folder, besides the actual recorded samples, are simply the output of the Gravis Ultrasound playing the midi music and sound effects of the game.

Furthermore, even in GUS mode, the game still plays the actual recorded samples from the .wav files, making it the ideal solution.

So, conclusion: Use Gravis Ultrasound. It's the best quality audio you can have for the GOG version :happy:

The thread about MK2 GUS on gog.com:
https://www.gog.com/forum/mortal_kombat ... ultrasound

And for those who are interested... here's my (now rather useless) tool to update the file sizes in the mk1.exe file:
http://nyerguds.arsaneus-design.com/pro ... r/release/
Well. If someone happens to have higher quality versions of the actual recorded samples, or wants to experiment with replacing the .gra files with those from different versions, this could still have some use, I guess :-P
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby dr_st » 2017-7-10 @ 10:11

Nyerguds2 wrote:So, conclusion: Use Gravis Ultrasound. It's the best quality audio you can have for the GOG version
I'm confused. Are you mixing up MK1 and MK2?

When you say
Nyerguds2 wrote:It turns out that all the .wav files in the sfx folder, besides the actual recorded samples, are simply the output of the Gravis Ultrasound playing the midi music and sound effects of the game.
are you referring to MK1 or MK2?

Also:
Nyerguds2 wrote:Use Gravis Ultrasound. It's the best quality audio you can have for the GOG version
Again - is it about MK1 or MK2? I know that MK2 sounds different and quite nice with GUS, but AFAIK, and as you said, when it comes to MK1:
Nyerguds2 wrote:even in GUS mode, the game still plays the actual recorded samples from the .wav files


So what MIDI tracks will you record with GUS? The floppy version of MK1, that has MIDI tracks, does not support GUS...
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby Nyerguds2 » 2017-7-10 @ 11:00

Uhh. You seem to misunderstand a few things, heh.

-The post of you which I replied to was about the CD version of MK1 as it is sold by GOG.com. That is the only thing I was talking about in my post, too.

-I don't want/need to record anything; the whole point of my post was that the CD version's GUS output is exactly everything you could ever need. It'd be rather useless to record that if the game itself can play it like that already without a need to replace anything.

-I only mentioned MK2 because someone on the GOG forums experimented with enabling GUS on MK2, and that's why I tried it on MK1 too.

-With "recorded samples" I mean the voices and such. Actual recorded samples, as opposed to simply saved GUS output. With GUS enabled, all music and sound effect .wav files that are just recorded GUS output are overridden by the higher-quality actual GUS sound, but, unlike the floppy version on midi-only settings, this version on GUS setting still plays the voices too, giving the ideal high quality combination.

setsound_000.png
Gravis Ultrasound option in MK1 config tool in the CD release
setsound_000.png (6.6 KiB) Viewed 188 times
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby dr_st » 2017-7-10 @ 11:49

So perhaps I actually misunderstand more than that, because it still does not make sense to me.

The CD version does support GUS, it's true, but AFAIK it still plays exactly the same audio samples from the SFX folder.

You say that it plays just the audio effects from the SFX folder, but takes the music from the MIDI tracks of the game. Which MIDI tracks? I am not aware of the CD version containing any MIDI tracks.

I just made an experiment with DOSBox myself (configuring it to enable GUS) and the audio sounded basically the same whether I chose SB or GUS (in Setsound). Maybe the GUS output is of higher quality (?), I couldn't tell, but it still plays the same music tracks.

You say "With GUS enabled, all music and sound effect .wav files are overridden by the higher-quality GUS sound". Where is this higher-quality GUS sound coming from? What is the input to the GUS?
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby Nyerguds2 » 2017-7-10 @ 12:05

Well, as I said, the .wav files (well, those that are not actual recorded sounds) are saved GUS output, so of course they are the same music. But the game's sound output is 44100 Hz, and the saved .wav files are 11025 Hz, so there's a pretty clear quality difference.

You made me doubt myself, so I just tested it again; I let the game play, got to the bridge scene in the intro, paused with alt+p, and recorded a full play of the theme there with DOSBox using Ctrl+F6 (as I mentioned before, this version keeps looping music when you pause it. Really handy). I did that twice, once with Sound Blaster, once with GUS. And the music is very clearly higher quality when played on GUS.

So, no, when set to GUS, it does in fact not play those .wav versions of these things. It only still uses those of the actual voices.

I don't know where it keeps the data for these GUS tracks, but it definitely plays them. There don't seem to be many files in the game folder even in the floppy version that could be candidates for midi music, though, so they might simply not be external files at all, but somehow embedded (or even simply programmed) into the exe.
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby dr_st » 2017-7-10 @ 13:19

Nyerguds2 wrote:You made me doubt myself, so I just tested it again; I let the game play, got to the bridge scene in the intro, paused with alt+p, and recorded a full play of the theme there with DOSBox using Ctrl+F6 (as I mentioned before, this version keeps looping music when you pause it. Really handy). I did that twice, once with Sound Blaster, once with GUS. And the music is very clearly higher quality when played on GUS.
That's very interesting info. Would it be possible for you to upload the comparative outputs (maybe just a short segment, if the files are too big)?

Thanks!
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby Nyerguds2 » 2017-7-10 @ 13:24

Was just doing that :)

http://www.mediafire.com/file/hffc3e3c5 ... arison.wav

This is the start of the game's intro music. Just a 5-second sample, first from the SB version and then the same from the GUS version. Very audible difference. The SB wav versions sound very muffled when compared to the crisp original.

[edit]

The full tracks:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/ek20t20g9 ... arison.rar
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby dr_st » 2017-7-10 @ 16:21

I hear what you are talking about.

I opened both signals in MATLAB and performed spectrogram analysis.

SB output (DOSBox)
spectrogram_sbp.png

GUS output (DOSBox)
spectrogram_gus.png

You can see that the GUS signal has considerably more content in the upper frequencies (yellow versus greenish), however they are both clearly divided into 4 bands with cutoffs around 0.25, 0.5 and 0.75 Nyquist. This suggests to me that they probably both originate from the same 11KHz signals, but the GUS output has something added to it that adds crispness to the upper frequencies. Incidentally, I don't know if it's something DOSBox does or the game engine.

Compare to an 'ideal' upsampling of 11KHz to 44KHz (via MATLAB's "resample") - which has almost zero frequency content above the original 11KHz (and also sounds just as muffled):
spectrogram_resample.png
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby Nyerguds2 » 2017-7-10 @ 16:58

Well, I don't know how DOSBox does its GUS emulation. I just know it sounds better :)
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Re: Versions of Mortal Kombat (1) (DOS port)

Postby Nyerguds2 » 2017-7-11 @ 07:26

I've been experimenting with replacing sound some more, and it does seem there are upper limits it can handle; when I replaced the main theme by the Sega CD version it crashed after the score screen. Too bad I couldn't find where the size component of the file struct was actually used when I disassembled the exe. Would make it easier to see what these upper limits are.

Though, it might've been a 100% raw .wav dump of the CD track, without even reduction to mono, and since it seems to read the entire file into memory, well, maaaybe it was simply more than the memory DOSBox actually gave the program :P
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