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First post, by BEEN_Nath_58

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MechWarrior 2 was one of the earliest 32-bit Windows game (Windows 9X era), released in 1995. The game also has a DOS version. With updates and changes to the Windows environment, the game becomes unplayable with newer versions of Windows. This thread aims to make the legend game playable on a native Windows environment. Currently, I aim to have the Pentium, Titanium and the Battlepack Editions in this thread; Battlepack having the most issues.

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat Pentium Edition

The game uses a 16-bit InstallShield setup, which will fail to run on 64-bit Windows environments. On 32-bit versions of Windows, it should install just fine.

INSTALLATION

  1. Insert the CD in your drive.
  2. Install WineVDM v0.8.1 or greater on your machine.
  3. Set "START.EXE" to run with Windows 95 compatibility settings from the Properties menu.
  4. Running "START.EXE", click on the 'INSTALL' button to start installation.
  5. After installation finishes, copy the "DPLAY.DLL" from the "DIRECTX" folder of the CD to the game directory.
  6. Download and install the MechWarrior 2 v1.1 patch (This one seems to prevent a lot of corruptions and crashes).

If OTVDM is not supported (such as on Windows Vista), the only way to install the game is to copy all the files from the CD to a directory, and renaming "MECH2.EX_" to "MECH2.EXE", which is your executable. And then copying the "DPLAY.DLL" as explained earlier. But installing the patch would be troublesome, so search for an unpacked patch online or get the game installed and copied to the main PC from a VM.

RUNNING THE GAME

  1. After installation finishes, download DxWnd v2.05.85 or greater.
  2. Download the attachment for the Pentium Edition (mech2patch.zip).
  3. Install the .sdb file given in the attachment using the .bat file. Open DxWnd and use import the profile given attachment. Set your executable path through DxWnd.

MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat Titanium Edition

The game uses a 16-bit InstallShield setup, which will fail to run on 64-bit Windows environments and it also required a Windows 9X compatibility shim. On 32-bit versions of Windows, it should install just fine.

INSTALLATION

  1. Insert the CD in your drive.
  2. Install WineVDM v0.8.1 or greater on your machine.
  3. Set "Setup.exe" to run with Windows 95 compatibility settings from the Properties menu.
  4. Running "Setup.exe", click on the 'INSTALL' button to start installation.
  5. During installation, choose the "HARDWARE ACCELERATION" option which installs the Titanium Edition of the game.

RUNNING THE GAME

  1. After installation finishes, download DxWnd v2.05.82 or greater.
  2. Rename "Mw2win.exe" to "Mw2tit.exe".
  3. Download the attachment for the Titanium Edition (mw2titpatching.zip).
  4. Install the .sdb file given in the attachment. Open DxWnd and use import the profile given attachment. Set your executable path through DxWnd.

If you are not having a bad day, then the game should start without a hitch. Double-click on the entry in DxWnd to launch the game.

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Last edited by BEEN_Nath_58 on 2022-06-26, 12:18. Edited 3 times in total.

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058

Reply 1 of 17, by BEEN_Nath_58

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Update:

NOTE:

On Windows 8+ operating systems, a WinMM bug causes the game to run very fast. I will try investigating this problem, but I am not sure when the problem will go away. In fact, the problem already got solved but that brought in issues to the input system of the game. So ideally, the game will work best till Windows 7.

This issue has been fixed, and I will update the post to reflect more on it.

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058

Reply 2 of 17, by ajacocks

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Nice work! I just saw a video on WineVDM on 64 bit windows, and here’s a GitHub repo for it:

https://github.com/otya128/winevdm

This should allow the execution of the 16 bit installer on 64 bit Windows.
- Alex

Reply 3 of 17, by BEEN_Nath_58

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ajacocks wrote on 2022-03-14, 13:44:
Nice work! I just saw a video on WineVDM on 64 bit windows, and here’s a GitHub repo for it: […]
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Nice work! I just saw a video on WineVDM on 64 bit windows, and here’s a GitHub repo for it:

https://github.com/otya128/winevdm

This should allow the execution of the 16 bit installer on 64 bit Windows.
- Alex

This one requires WineVDM too, as in the original post. However the WineVDM had to be applied in a certain way such that the InstallShield Wizard doesn't stop the installation.

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058

Reply 4 of 17, by BEEN_Nath_58

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Nothing is consistent. As things were going good, the latest Microsoft update changed something and now the games won't work in fullscreen mode with Windows DirectX. So it is now required to enable the DirectX emulation in DxWnd.

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058

Reply 5 of 17, by Carrera

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BEEN_Nath_58 wrote on 2022-04-11, 15:50:

Nothing is consistent. As things were going good, the latest Microsoft update changed something and now the games won't work in fullscreen mode with Windows DirectX. So it is now required to enable the DirectX emulation in DxWnd.

Welcome to the world of Cloud where the computer based on inputs from someone thousands of miles/kilometers away decides what is best for you....
It will likely go back the other way in a few weeks/months...

Reply 6 of 17, by BEEN_Nath_58

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Carrera wrote on 2022-04-12, 09:23:
BEEN_Nath_58 wrote on 2022-04-11, 15:50:

Nothing is consistent. As things were going good, the latest Microsoft update changed something and now the games won't work in fullscreen mode with Windows DirectX. So it is now required to enable the DirectX emulation in DxWnd.

Welcome to the world of Cloud where the computer based on inputs from someone thousands of miles/kilometers away decides what is best for you....
It will likely go back the other way in a few weeks/months...

I don't know, MS is adding to many secondary functionalities to Windows and causing revolutionary changes. Cloud can't, at least for the next 10 years here, overtake local PCs. At least you must feel a PC, that will go away someday just as digital content.

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058

Reply 7 of 17, by Carrera

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BEEN_Nath_58 wrote on 2022-04-12, 11:01:
Carrera wrote on 2022-04-12, 09:23:
BEEN_Nath_58 wrote on 2022-04-11, 15:50:

Nothing is consistent. As things were going good, the latest Microsoft update changed something and now the games won't work in fullscreen mode with Windows DirectX. So it is now required to enable the DirectX emulation in DxWnd.

Welcome to the world of Cloud where the computer based on inputs from someone thousands of miles/kilometers away decides what is best for you....
It will likely go back the other way in a few weeks/months...

I don't know, MS is adding to many secondary functionalities to Windows and causing revolutionary changes. Cloud can't, at least for the next 10 years here, overtake local PCs. At least you must feel a PC, that will go away someday just as digital content.

We still need hardware of course but the software is being pulled out from under our feet.
I hate it when my computer behaves differently without me doing anything.

Reply 8 of 17, by BEEN_Nath_58

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So I was able to run a 3Dfx version of MechWarrior 2 using dgVoodoo2 + DxWnd, but it is not perfect. As you can see in the screenshot, the HUD is not loaded and the Pause menu doesn't display either. The version I use is for Orchid Righteous 3D but I don't think the other 3Dfx versions differ much (if they).

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Reply 9 of 17, by PerryRhodan

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Hi Been_Nath_58, I see the latest dgVoodoo 2 now works a lot better with the 3dfx versions of Mechwarrior 2, the HUD now displays, but there's still some weird flashing/shimmering effect on the HUD. I've tried different settings in both dgVoodoo and DXWind without success. Maybe you'll have better success.

Reply 10 of 17, by BEEN_Nath_58

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PerryRhodan wrote on 2022-07-03, 12:35:

Hi Been_Nath_58, I see the latest dgVoodoo 2 now works a lot better with the 3dfx versions of Mechwarrior 2, the HUD now displays, but there's still some weird flashing/shimmering effect on the HUD. I've tried different settings in both dgVoodoo and DXWind without success. Maybe you'll have better success.

Read here
Re: MechWarrior 2 3Dfx Edition doesn't load HUD in mission as well as pause menu

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058

Reply 11 of 17, by bestreducer

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titanium edition works good on win10, with huge fps and good visuals(except resolution). music works only in missions.

in addition to instriction above, it needs to set win95/98 compatibility to mech2tit.exe in Properties window(avoid initial freeze), and add tweak SlowDownExceptions(options->expert mode; modify->Tweaks tab) at dxwind instance.
ingame scroll is screwed so I configured controls with editing GAMEKEY.MAP - primary controls, and inputw.map - user controls (not as simple as primary 🤣). I also used 3rd party remapper to configure wasd - key remapper or autohotkey script. just these 4 keys, they cant be set in gamekey.map

mercenaries works same (simply renaming mw2mercs to mw2tit helps to install startup fix). they were going very laggy for me with dosbox, thanks C:

p.s.: sry if bad english)

Last edited by bestreducer on 2022-10-29, 09:22. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 13 of 17, by BEEN_Nath_58

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bestreducer wrote on 2022-10-28, 10:29:
titanium edition works good on win10, with huge fps and good visuals(except resolution). music works only in missions. […]
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titanium edition works good on win10, with huge fps and good visuals(except resolution). music works only in missions.

in addition to instriction above, it needs to set win95/98 compatibility to mech2tit.exe in Properties window(avoid initial freeze), and add tweak SlowDownExceptions(options->expert mode; modify->Tweaks tab) at dxwind instance.
ingame scroll is screwed so I configured controls with editing GAMEKEY.MAP - primary controls, and INPUT.MAP - user controls (not as simple as primary 🤣).

mercenaries works same (simply renaming mw2mercs to mw2tit helps to install startup fix). they were going very laggy for me with dosbox, thanks C:

p.s.: sry if bad english)

Yes I need to add the SlowDownExceptions tweak, I forgot to change here. Thanks for noticing.

Regarding the initial freeze, the .sdb file should fix it. The .sdb file installs one of the Win95 compatibility shim - IgnoreScheduler.

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058

Reply 14 of 17, by bestreducer

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Carrera wrote on 2022-10-28, 12:48:

Thanks.
Which 3d version of Titanium did you play?

direct3d, got from comments in REMOVED. Used dgvoodoo for better graphics, but menus worked only in windowed mode (alt+enter). 3dfx graphics don't seem to work

Reply 15 of 17, by DosFreak

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Removed link. So called "abandonware" not supported here.

DOSBox Compilation Guides
DosBox Feature Request Thread
PC Game Compatibility List
How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
Running DRM games offline

Reply 16 of 17, by BEEN_Nath_58

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I found another issue, at least in the Titanium Edition autorun installer. The installer is crashing, since my 22H2 install, with a fault module directing to winmmbase.dll. It can be mitigated by copying the CD to the HDD and installing from there, but I am wonder what changed by copying to HDD. Some permissions, (maybe?), but permissions also existed on 21H2 of Win11 too.

Edit: Looks like the problem is from the compatibility modes (not shims) and the PCA feature. When you select the 75 shims separately instead of directly selecting Win95 compatibility, you will bypass the problem, but this won't help with the InstallShield crash later. Let me find something better...

Edit-2: I performed an ACT glitch, and it makes the Win95 mode work?!?

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058

Reply 17 of 17, by BEEN_Nath_58

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BEEN_Nath_58 wrote on 2022-11-01, 05:47:

I found another issue, at least in the Titanium Edition autorun installer. The installer is crashing, since my 22H2 install, with a fault module directing to winmmbase.dll. It can be mitigated by copying the CD to the HDD and installing from there, but I am wonder what changed by copying to HDD. Some permissions, (maybe?), but permissions also existed on 21H2 of Win11 too.

Edit: Looks like the problem is from the compatibility modes (not shims) and the PCA feature. When you select the 75 shims separately instead of directly selecting Win95 compatibility, you will bypass the problem, but this won't help with the InstallShield crash later. Let me find something better...

Edit-2: I performed an ACT glitch, and it makes the Win95 mode work?!?

Ok so I found a good workaround but I don't have an explanation. It needs the Win95 mode, true, but also the Run as administrator setting enabled too! I don't know what change that setting made, because Win95 mode always has admin privileges on Win10/11.

previously known as Discrete_BOB_058