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First post, by Vaudane

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So, I'm the sort of nerd that likes to know what version of what game I'm running 😎 . I know for example commander keen 4 comes in 4 flaviours, v1.0, v1.1, v1.2, and v1.4; and there's a handy wiki page to keep me informed of this http://www.shikadi.net/keenwiki/Keen_4_Versions.

With old games, documentation is often either regarded as an afterthought, or greeted with downright laughter.

So for example, my favourite old game - Halloween Harry, I know comes in the 3 versions as detailed on the ID software/3d realms site, but there also exists more versions they haven't mentioned such as the full registered version of HH shown here: http://www.thefloppydisk.com/old/games/hallow … harry_manaccom/

So my question(s) is: If you're the sort of retronerd who also likes to know this sort of stuff, where do you look it up? I also like to own copies of the original floppy install media and even better if I can get images of the disk labels/box/instructions too; so where do you get those? Should there be a sticky/google document/something else linked here that details this?

Reply 1 of 14, by chinny22

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I like my games the latest and greatest for the most part, even if the bug fixes offer no real benefits, say fixes something for a bit of hardware I don't even own.
But don't have any real place to go apart from google which will hopefully bring up some fan site like ones you linked above. So for all I know some of my games may have later releases.

Reply 2 of 14, by David_OSU

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I usually check Moby Games first. For your example, they show the the following versions on their Alien Carnage page:

  • v1.1 Halloween Harry release
    Shareware v1.2 (as Halloween Harry)
    v1.0 Alien Carnage release
    WizardWorks full version CD release

and the following patches:

  • Oct 10, 1993 Version 1.1 (Halloween Harry)
    Nov 07, 1993 Version 1.2 (Halloween Harry)

They also have a dead link to the Halloween Harry Webshrine, but I found an archived copy on the Wayback Machine.

Reply 3 of 14, by BloodyCactus

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i used to track versions of infocom games, magnetic scrolls games and level 9.. (I have massive Interactive fiction setup)...

I remember having multiple versions of the ssi Gold Box AD&D games...

--/\-[ Stu : Bloody Cactus :: http://kråketær.com :: http://mega-tokyo.com ]-/\--

Reply 4 of 14, by Vaudane

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I will be adding all of these sites to my list. Tracking down the releases is a pain in the backside sometimes though. Alien carnage has a screen remenance bug if you press F1 then return to game that HH never had. I'll check the patches though to see if that gets sorted...

ssi Gold Box. I'ma give that a google!

Reply 6 of 14, by Vaudane

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Calvero wrote:

For Apogee games there used to be the Apogee Software Game Information Vault.

It's a shame that site is dead now, that's pretty much exactly what I mean. I wonder if the Vogons WIki would be a good place to add that sort of data?

Reply 7 of 14, by dr_st

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Vaudane wrote:

I wonder if the Vogons WIki would be a good place to add that sort of data?

I would suppose so, except the wiki is hardly maintained.

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 8 of 14, by Stiletto

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dr_st wrote:
Vaudane wrote:

I wonder if the Vogons WIki would be a good place to add that sort of data?

I would suppose so, except the wiki is hardly maintained.

That's probably a better fit for PCGamingWiki (https://pcgamingwiki.com ) than for VOGONSWiki in my personal opinion.

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 9 of 14, by Kerr Avon

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Are there any games where it's beneficial to play an earlier version rather than the last version? Say if the last patch, or the last pressed disc verson, removes something good about the game, or makes a game-play change that's generally considered to be for the worst?

There are probably a few games where a later patch fixes a glitch that people have been using to cheat, such as Prey 2017, where before a patch fixed it, you could create near infinite items using an in-game glitch.

Reply 10 of 14, by dr_st

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Well, off the top of my head:

  • Mortal Kombat (the original): The CD version has Arcade-perfect sound but removed the FM/MIDI music option that existed in the PC version, and some liked them.
  • Prince of Persia 2: There are 3 versions - IR, 1.0 and 1.1. 1.0 fixed a good number bugs, and also changed a couple of levels in a way that's not necessarily better or worse, just - different. 1.1 fixed a couple of more (tiny) bugs, but introduced an annoying graphical glitch, and changed enemy behavior in a ridiculous way. So, of all these - I find the 1.0 to be the best.
  • Blackthorne: The latest version that was released by Blizzard a few years ago as freeware changed the control scheme in a way that, IMO, messed it up (requires a different key for jump and fire).

There is also a Russian "Preferans" card game (Марьяж) which, unless you are Russian or a fan of Preferans you probably haven't heard of, that went through a number of version upgrades; the latest version made significant changes to the graphical engine as well as the basic rules of play, so that it is almost like playing a different game, but it still carried the same name.

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 11 of 14, by akula65

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The OP's curiosity isn't the only reason to be interested in the issue of versions. If you are buying a physical copy of a game second-hand, then you might be getting a release for a distribution region that can be substantially different than the release intended for the region where you live for any number of reasons:

Nazi symbols (Verboten in Deutschland! which means publishers had to provide alternate versions for a number of different titles)
Blood and gore (Walmart and some other retailers wanted "family friendly" Teen versions of Mature rated games. Fortunately, a lot of publishers/developers released patches to restore our "beloved" gore in particular titles, but that isn't always the case.)
DRM (I bought a lot of dirt cheap European releases that had StarForce where the U.S. release did not, and you can find the opposite is true for some games.)

Sometimes the publisher simply chooses to use different version schemes in different regions. Descent I and II: The Definitive Collection is a good example where the North American and European/U.K. releases were not synchronized, and the European version of Descent in the Collection could not be patched to Version 1.5 using any patch provided by Interplay. SKARDAVNELNATE and I put our heads together, and the result is an alignment patch available here on VOGONS:

Descent Version 1.4a Alignment Patch

Users who were unfortunate enough to buy Descent CD-ROMs that contained a Version 1.5 release (including the U.S. release of Descent I and II: The Definitive Collection) wound up with a version that has no music after Level 7, so that particular release is just plain broken. The real problem is the fact that the publisher/developers failed to release any patch to fix the issue. More details here for the curious:

Descent Version 1.5 Patch Fix

You just have to do research on a title-by-title basis, because there is no single, comprehensive source for this kind of information. And even then, you can still get burned.

Reply 12 of 14, by leileilol

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Sometimes it's like this for a few Interplay/Gremlin productions. Normality and Realms of the Haunting are two big examples. For the US releases, the former's got different voices, the latter has difficulty settings and new bloody death scenes for monsters (despite the T rating).

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Reply 13 of 14, by akula65

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leileilol wrote:

Sometimes it's like this for a few Interplay/Gremlin productions. Normality and Realms of the Haunting are two big examples. For the US releases, the former's got different voices, the latter has difficulty settings and new bloody death scenes for monsters (despite the T rating).

That brings to mind an issue with Colin McRae Rally 2.0 where the European release featured Nicky Grist (McRae's real life co-driver) as the co-driver voice, but the U.S. release used some voice actor instead.

Some other entries in "The Evil That Publishers and Re-publishers Do" category:

Encore Software was noted for re-publishing a variety of titles, and they had a series of pinball compilations called Pinball Madness. Encore removed all of the music from Pro Pinball: Timeshock! in order to squeeze Pinball Builder onto the same CD-ROM in the Pinball Madness 2 compilation.

Midway released an Unreal series compilation in 2006 called Unreal Anthology. Astute users realized pretty quickly that there were issues with some of the games in the package including missing S3TC textures in Unreal Tournament, online incompatibility in Unreal and missing maps in Unreal Tournament 2004. More details here:
http://unreal.wikia.com/wiki/Compilations
http://unreal.wikia.com/wiki/Essential_files#Unreal
https://www.unrealtexture.com/Unreal/Website/ … alAnthology.htm

EA provided two official patches to address issues in Command & Conquer: The First Decade, but the user community was sufficiently unhappy with the multitude of errors and missing content in so many of the included games that it produced an unofficial patch to rectify matters:
https://cncnz.com/hosted-projects/command-pat … official-patch/

Reply 14 of 14, by Vaudane

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leileilol wrote:

Sometimes it's like this for a few Interplay/Gremlin productions. Normality and Realms of the Haunting are two big examples. For the US releases, the former's got different voices, the latter has difficulty settings and new bloody death scenes for monsters (despite the T rating).

Ah Normality, I remember that game fondly, similarly I remember my confusion when I got an image of the game CD, installed it in a virtual system, and was immediately hit by a different voice. Upon looking it up, the voice I was used to was the version everyone hated (IE not voiced by Corey Feldman), so when I played the "real" version, I didn't like it!

Great game though, get a job in a furniture factory to save the city!

I definitely think the PC gaming wiki is a great place to feature this sort of info, does anyone here do anything with it?