View Full Version : Got My Sierra Games installed on my Mac

August 25th, 2009, 12:20 PM
Hey All:

I don't know how many of you are fans of the old Sierra On-Line games like "Space Quest", "Kings Quest", and of course, "Leisure Suit Larry". I bought all the games when Vivendi Universal released the "Collections" about two years ago and of course I am on Linux and Macintosh exclusively.

I am proud to say that with a little help from a couple of blogs and a utility that we should all come to love (DOSBOX), it is possible to run these beloved games on my Macintosh Mini (which is the 2009 Intel model). My Mac has 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard disk which are not standard fare for it, but I feel I should point that out for anyone wanting to try out my methods. This of course works for any real DOS game... I have yet to find a good solution for Windows based games like "The Incredible Machine 3" which would be fun I think. This requires I believe W95 at the minimum.

Anyhow, the utilities you need are unshield and DOSBOX to make this work, I haven't tried this on a Linux box yet, but assume it would work the same...

Step 1:

Taking your handy-dandy CD-ROMs you copy the data*.cab files and the data1.hdr file to a folder on your Macintosh (mine was named according to the game eg: sqinstall). There are only two cab files for Space Quest and Leisure Suit Larry; however for Kings Quest there are 3. The data3.cab is on the second cd-rom.

Step 2:

On the Macintosh you will need Darwinports and then you can install 'unshield'.

get to a command prompt and do this for all the directories you made for the games.

sudo unshield -d <directoryname> x data*

This command upacks the cab files into a structure that starts with file, file1, file2... etc. These will be directories containing your games.

You may get rid of all the extra ones that deal with engine and registration and etc that are unpacked before the initial 'files' directory.

move the "files, file1, file2 ..." directories into their own subdirectories -- eg: sq for Space Quest, etc.

Step 3:

Move the newly created files to a directory that means something to you. Remember you are going to run DOSBOX, so think 8.3 DOS names for directories you choose.

Step 4:

Download and install DOSBOX.

After this you will be enjoying your favorite games on your Macintosh! I wanted to share this because I have been looking to do this for quite some time and now I have it working, so I thought I'd share.

BTW: Apparently there are Installshield Cab files and other cab files in the Microsoft World, go figure they'd do something like that :-)

August 25th, 2009, 06:58 PM
Strange, just installed DosBox on a brand-new Macbook and didn't have to do any of that unshield stuff... just unpacked it and it was ready to go. And CDs, disk images etc mount quite easily within it, so nothing else to do as it was all native to OS X.

and TIM 3 is also available for Windows 3.1, which you can run under DosBox. It is also on classic Mac OS, so you can run it with Sheepshaver or Basilisk

August 26th, 2009, 12:46 AM
I hear that ScummVM (http://www.scummvm.org/) can run a lot of Sierra games, too.

August 26th, 2009, 03:10 AM
@phreakindee: You "unpacked" the XP CDs without something to uncompress CAB files? I find that hard to believe, there is no native Mac software to deal with MS Installshield CAB files and last I checked, DOSBOX does not do it. I am interested in exactly HOW you did that? I could see installing from real Diskettes or Diskette Images, but not from the new collection CDs.

@cosam: It's cool to see alternatives always :-)

@all: I hope this helps some people and again I just posted it because I had been looking for a solution and this was my solution. I would love to have the original games on floppy disks instead, but alas, the CDs were the best solution for budget reasons and of course, I am acquiring the games New in Box (NIB) for the Atari ST and may try to get them for the Amiga too.

Not sure if TIM was available on either of those platforms, but certainly SQ 1-4, KQ (not sure if all are available) and LSL at least 1,2,3,5 I think. Always interested if someone has these for sale for Atari ST or Amiga. I have SQ I and II for Atari ST already... but looking for the Amiga versions of everything still and the rest on Atari ST.

December 6th, 2009, 02:45 PM
I hear that ScummVM (http://www.scummvm.org/) can run a lot of Sierra games, too.

Correct. Both Sarien (an open source engine for Sierra AGI games) and FreeSCI (an open source engine for Sierra SCI games) have been merged into ScummVM, making the latter pretty much a unified solution for running most classic adventure games on modern hardware. :)

In a way, ScummVM is a more intereting option than DOSBox, since the former runs adventure games natively, as opposed to emulating an entire machine just to run the game. This also allows for additional features such as higher resolution and color depth support. Higher resolutions are possible since many adventure games used resolution-independent vector graphics, as opposed to fixed-resolution bitmap graphics. And higher color depths are sometimes possible since some adventure games used dithering to increase the amount of perceived colors in a limited color palette. For instance, Sierra SCI0 games supported no more than 16 colors, but used dithering even in 16 color mode. This lead FreeSCI and ScummVM to developing algorithms to convert dithered color patterns to the solid colors they were meant to represent, since these days most systems support 24 and 32 bit color depths.

It's amazing how older games could be run showing improved graphics, without changing the original data files, just by adding the appropriate rendering intelligence to these alternative game engines.

But for the purists and hard-core nostalgists, ScummVM also supports running the game in their "original" graphics modes, without any enhancements.

Scroll down this page to see what's possible: