Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

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Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby Osprey » 2017-8-25 @ 01:40

Hi. I'd like to share a little patch that I've been working on for The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel (the 1992 point-and-click adventure).

Image Image

I recently started playing the game again for the first time in years and was disappointed to find that most of the game's music plays only once at each location or "room." Many of the music pieces are only a minute long, so they often finish long before you're done at each location, leaving you to play in silence until you leave. Interestingly, when Mythos Software ported the game to the 3DO a few years later, they set the same music to repeat. Perhaps they decided that that was better for the atmosphere of the game than having long periods of silence.

This patch causes the music to repeat at each location, like the 3DO version. You can choose to have it repeat immediately or after 20, 40 or 60 seconds. I made the latter variations just in case some people wish to give their ears a bit of a break before hearing the music again. The patch is pretty simple, but there's a little more information in the included Readme.

Hopefully, this helps people enjoy this wonderful game a little more.

Edit: I've fixed a bug with the intro when played in ScummVM.
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Lost Files-Serrated Scalpel - Repeating Music Patch.zip
Repeating Music Patch for The Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes
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Last edited by Osprey on 2017-12-01 @ 21:54, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby Great Hierophant » 2017-8-25 @ 03:27

I tested this patch prior to its "official release" and it worked great for me. I may not personally prefer having the music repeat, but given that Mythos eventually thought it was a good idea for the 3D0 version, I can understand why some people may prefer it for the earlier MS-DOS version.
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby Osprey » 2017-8-25 @ 03:52

Yeah, I should've added thanks to Great Hierophant for letting me bounce a few ideas off of him. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I registered here in the first place because I saw his avatar and figured that he was just the person to get feedback from.
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby sirlemonhead » 2017-8-26 @ 18:51

Nice work Osprey :)

I asked the original developer about this:

03:25:39 PM) sirlemonhead: still interest in the game, James :) viewtopic.php?f=7&t=55622 Was that bug just an oversight, do you remember?

(03:40:12 PM) James Ferguson: I don't recall that being a bug and had you asked me, I would have said it repeats now and I can't think of a good reason to have it not repeat. I'm glad someone is patching it anyway.  It seems like such a simple piece of software now, but it was ever changing back then with extremely tight deadlines. The game started out as a chess board rather than the overhead map, with moves in a chess game bringing up rooms, so suffice it to say things were changing right up until the end and I'm guessing that was a complete oversight.

(03:40:44 PM) sirlemonhead: i do recall some debug string or perhaps file name in the game referring to "chess" :)

(03:40:49 PM) James Ferguson: The testers and developers all knew the game well enough that I'm guessing they didn't stay in a room long enough to realize and with everything else we were doing it simply slipped through the cracks.
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby Osprey » 2017-8-26 @ 20:31

Oh, wow. You actually have a communication channel with one of the original developers. That's pretty neat to get his insight and feedback. It's also interesting to hear that the music not repeating might've been an oversight. That makes me feel even better that the patch doesn't violate the developers' intent. Hearing that he's glad to see the patch has also made my day. Thanks for sharing that, sirlemonhead.

That explanation of the "chess" references is also illuminating. There are two files named "chess" in the game: CHESS.TXT and CHESS.PTH. CHESS.TXT actually has nothing but the names of every map location in it, which makes sense now that the developer has explained that the overhead map was originally supposed to be a chess board. I wonder if either of those CHESS files are used by the game or if they were left in accidentally. EDIT: Yep, they're definitely still used. I renamed them both and the game now crashes when I try to go to the map screen. With the tight deadlines (perhaps EA was bad about that even back in 1992), going through all of the source code to change references to "CHESS" to something else (like "MAP") for nothing but cosmetic reasons probably was really low priority.
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby sirlemonhead » 2017-8-28 @ 15:34

Yeah he worked pretty hard for them :)

He's a really sound guy anyway, so let me know if you want me to ask him anything.
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby keropi » 2017-8-28 @ 17:41

thanks for the patch Osprey!
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby Osprey » 2017-12-01 @ 21:56

FYI, I've fixed a bug that caused the intro to stall when played in ScummVM. It doesn't happen in DOSBox, so there's no need to re-download if you care only about DOSBox. Credit for finding the bug goes to Raziel over at the ScummVM forums.
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby Shagittarius » 2017-12-01 @ 22:27

I know this is out there but I've always wanted to patch in the speech included in the 3DO version to the PC version. I don't know if anyone has the raw files for the 3DO audio or if it can be obtained in any way or if it's possible to trigger the audio during the dialog...

Just dreaming, I'm sure it would be very unlikely for this to be do-able given current asset/code availability.
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby Osprey » 2017-12-02 @ 03:20

Shagittarius wrote:I know this is out there but I've always wanted to patch in the speech included in the 3DO version to the PC version. I don't know if anyone has the raw files for the 3DO audio or if it can be obtained in any way or if it's possible to trigger the audio during the dialog...

Just dreaming, I'm sure it would be very unlikely for this to be do-able given current asset/code availability.

I've taken a look and, unfortunately, the speech in the 3DO version is part of the full motion video files. When a character speaks, the game pops up a video clip of an actor reciting the lines. In other words, it's way more complicated than simply playing an audio file and totally beyond what the DOS version was coded for. It's probably close to hopeless unless one were to re-write/remaster the game. In a sense, that's what the ScummVM team did, so they could possibly do it, but that would be a huge undertaking and I doubt that they have any interest, even if they could get the permission.

BTW, just to save the time of anyone who might want to try the 3DO version... you can't play it with the mouse. You have to play it with a controller (or the keyboard), since the 3DO was a console. I don't understand how people played it like that. Let's put it this way: "point and click" adventure games weren't meant for controllers ;).
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Re: Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes (Serrated Scalpel) - Repeating Music Patch

Postby Serious Callers Only » 2017-12-26 @ 00:52

It's not the only case of a adventure that made the jump to cd speech on console but not pc. Rise of the Dragon from Dynamix for the Sega CD is another case. I suggested a long term objective for a 'mix' patch on scummvm but was rebuffed too, they're not really into incorporating or supporting fanpatches where they either have to do the work, or it's not completely obvious that you need both games for the patch. Its possible they'll support the variant versions (as in this case) but they're often worse, except for 'something'.

Also in this case, the Sega Cd has the 'sex scene' (not really) you can get into skipped so some dialog would be missing anyway.
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