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The Creeping Network

M/75 Is Fixed, SHSUCD Shennanigans.........

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Well that was a long wait on stuff......NOT

Turns out I just knocked the power board loose when I Dropped it.....so I added additional insulated foam support inside the case....that thing isnt coming loose again.

So most of my tinkering since has been with the SHSUCD suite of utilities for optical drives in DOS. I'm doing all this under FreeDOS 2.1 for the time being (really tempted to put RC 1.3 on though).

So anyway....I've got five or so game's I've been experimenting with....to test out virtual CD-ROM support. I'm surprised how many of these open source DOS applications are lacking in actual documentation on how to use them.

TITLES I'M MESSING WITH
Under a Killing Moon
Castles II
Freddy Pharkas CD
The 7th Guest
Lighthouse

All the ISO Images are ripped using OMI G: (my DVD-ROM drive in the Versa Dock is a 48x DVD-RW drive mapped to letter G) - takes about 15 minutes at most to rip an entire CD-ROM to the HDD (which is an 80GB Seagate Momentous).

After the images are ripped they are stored in the F:\ISOS\(gamename) directory under the names DISC1.ISO, DISC2.ISO....etc....

Castles II - this one is the easiest, it's just one Disc and does not seem to care WHAT CD-ROM you use.....I just added these four lines to the C2CD.BAT file the installer asks for....
shsucdhd /F:F:\ISOS\CASTLES2\DISC1.ISO
shsucdx /D:SHSU-CDH

and then after the executable for the game I put
shsucdhd /U
shsucdx /U

The first two lines set the ISO to the driver and then assign it to the next Drive letter availible
The last two unload everything so if I decide to swap to another game, or decide to work on something more memory intensive, I have RAM freed up.

Lighthouse was a little more tricky, 2 CD's, but it seems it's capable of finding the other disc in another drive if you have 2 optical drives. So instead it's setup like this....
shsucdhd /F:F:\ISOS\LIGHT\DISC1.ISO /F:F:\ISOS\LIGHT\DISC2.ISO
shsucdx /D:SHSU-CDH

and then the same two lines to unload AFTER the executable in the Light.bat file Install created.

Setting up The 7th Guest was a little more tricky - first off, the M/75 is a WSS compatible system (Crystal CS4231-KQ chip - ir Crystal Business Audio....no OPL in hardware). Somehow my copy does not have drivers for WSS. Secondly, it has 2 discs, but the crazy part is the INSTALLER requires to start from DISC2.ISO, so I had to flip-flop the "install.bat" file I put in the ISO directory to install, and the actual batch file (start.bat in this case, created by me) to execute the commands above for The 7th Guest's ISO files, and then the T7G executable. Basically put, I had to load the 2nd ISO file first for the install.bat file, then switch to having the 1st disc first in the start.bat file for it to find the discs needed - thus far.

By far though....the trickiest was Under a Killing Moon - which DOES support WSS.....but it's setup is very interesting.....

Under a Killing Moon for DOS has FOUR - that's right FOUR CDs!

Just to even use this I had to add a "Lastdrive=Z" line to config.sys for me given how many drives I have with all four CD's mapped, regardless of active or not.

Then I had to run the command with FOUR ISO files, that's fine....but one more caveat with Under a Killing Moon is the config.ini file.....there's 4 lines at the bottom allowing you to do custom mapping for the CD's - all of these were set to G initially, so I changed them to G, H, I, J - and put the unload commands at the top of the bat file so the files would be loaded up as I expected them to be - that way it can find any of the discs for the game and I never have to swap one (or wait for it to load).

Last one left is Freddy Pharkas....but this one is a bit of a mess....the ISO I ripped from my old copy is long gone, so I had to get the GOG version and am going to have to do some file-hacking to make the speech work. So a bit more work for that one not related to the CD.....might even be able to get it to work without an ISO Though....

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Comments

  1. Gary C's Avatar


    Vintage games without instructions !

    Dying every 10 seconds before you work out which keys to press is infuriating.