Friday, November 04, 2005

I've got back into playing games recently.

I'm not sure what caused it, but I found myself reading about old games, like Leisure Suit Larry, and Space Quest, and went about working out if I could play them on linux.

I found various useful documents, mainly a PDF on Al Lowe's (the creator of Larry) website, here, pointing out how to play all the different Larry games on Linux.

I went about installing and configuring the necessary software.

I already had Sarien installed and configured, from a while ago, so that was able to run Larry 1 (the AGI version) fine, but only to a point, and then there's a bug somewhere, and you get stuck in the disco.

I then got Larry 2 running, using dosbox. I hadn't previously been aware of dosbox, and it's pretty cool. I also used it to run Larry 3, 5, 6, and the VGA remake of Larry 1.

It's a little bit slow for 5, 6, and the VGA remake of 1, but they would probably be playable. I actually played a little way through the VGA remake of 1, until I got to getting the remote from the drunk in the hall, and the game just got stuck.

From Al Lowe's site, I went looking for websites of other guys from Sierra, like Mark Siebert, and of course Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe.

Scott really needs to put a bit more effort into his site I think :-) I'm sure he's got tons of interesting stories about the development of Roger Wilco, and the Space Quest series, among the other stuff he's done, and I know I'd love to read all about it.

I couldn't find a site for Mark Crowe, but I found an interview with him here, which is fairly interesting. It mentions fan based games, and SQ7, so from there I did a bit more searching.

I found the site for SQ7, here, and while reading the FAQ, answer 14 got my attention.

It mentions other fan based games, like "Vonster's Space Quest, the Lost Chapter" (which I played a few years ago, and found quite good), and "Space Quest: Replicated".

It's a prequel to the series, the website is here, and so I downloaded that, and got it running with Sarien.

It's pretty good! Admittedly, I did cheat, and use a walkthrough, after I died the first time, but I really enjoyed playing it.

After that, I managed to find my "Monkey Island Madness" CD, and I used ScummVM to play "The Secret of Monkey Island". This would have been quite easy to get running, but I think my laptop doesn't have a way to play analog CD audio.

I couldn't get any music from the game, until I used grip to extract and compress the CD audio to mp3 files (probably should have used ogg, but anyway), and then it was fine.

It seems to have some sound effects issues, but it was very much playable, and I played that through to the end.

After that, I downloaded an old copy of the original AGI version of Space Quest 1, which I've never played before, and it was pretty good too, I don't mind the old typing adventures.

Oh, and while downloading the old Space Quest 1, I ended up with an Amiga version, adf file.

I had to work out what the hell an adf file was first though, and I turned up this page, and then this page, with the emulator on it, although it's an old version, I found a newer one here.

There was a compatible binary, so I just had to unbzip it, and then it ran.

I setup UAE on my laptop, and got it to try to boot the disk image, but it wouldn't start, something about an unsupported feature of the kick rom replacement.

I googled around, found a copy of kick.rom, and put it in the right place, and then the game would run.

It wasn't too flash though, because UAE was doing a half scan double size image, so it had all gaps in it.

It was also exactly the same at the DOS version (basically), which I'd just finished, so I wasn't going to play it again.

I then used dosbox to run up some old dos games that I found here, and it's been running them all quite well.

I think I'd like to try and get "Escape from Maniac Mansion" (or whatever it was called) running, because I've never actually played that one.


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